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Loirak Development - About Us

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Site Information

Loirak is a programming/hobby development site. As the years have progressed it has been updated less and less frequently.

If you are wondering what Loirak means, it is simply one of those made up words. Wondering if it existed in any tongue known to man, I performed a lot of searching and found out that Loirak is a plural word in Basque meaning many small river fish.

Whipple had this to say on the subject : "Right off, I think of the Win32 API macro LOWORD, and then I mix it together with Iraq because they have wars with us and stuff, and Ben made a tank game, but we switch the 'Q' to a 'K' to make it sound Slavic or something. All these things together give me the impression of a cool organization that likes action and we like to program too. That works well, because that's what Loirak really is."


Ben Rhoades (Me) started programming at 11 on the TI-994A and quickly went from BASIC to Pascal, then later onto C, assembly and C++. My first released game was called NFighter (maybe I'll find a screen shot someday). NFighter was a 2D freeware stick figure fighting game akin to Street Fighter. It was posted to all the local BBS sites back in '93. At 17, I spent some time working for Galaxymall doing web devlepment. At 18, I left the web development business and went to work for Saffire making video games. The titles you will see me in the credits for are Xena Warrior Priness (N64) and Hotwheels Velocity X (GBA). Between 19 and 21, I took a two year break from normal life and lived in Poland for a couple years (Niech zyje Polska). Not really feeling challenged by programming, I decided to major in Electrical Engineering. I did an internship in Berlin, Germany doing contract design work for Airbus (related to the A380). Then after graduating from college, I was saddled with a choice of going to work at the Navy Space and Air Warfare Research Facility or doing CPU Design for Intel. Having always gotten in trouble for blowing stuff up or making nepalm as a kid, I decided it would be best to stay away from warfare. I spent 5 years as at Intel as a CPU Designer (Pentium D and Core i7) in Oregon or Israel. Languages I use or have used include asm (x86, arm, 6502), basic, c/c++, java, fortran, tcl, sql, perl, prolog, vhdl, verilog along with English, German, Polish and very basic Hebrew and Russian. I had an early midlife crisis and went to medical school eventually doing residency/specializing in ER. I spent some time in the Army including a tour in Afghanistan.

Joe McCombs was also one of those childhood geeks. He went straight from BASIC to C/C++ and skipped the ugly Pascal code. Along with being a decent programmer, he is also a very accomplished artist. He did all the art for the games on the site along with the website. Also a veteran of Galaxymall, he never managed to leave web development. He still does J2EE, Java, JSP stuff in Utah. Joe also spent some time interning in Germany doing design work for Airbus. Joe has a website at joemccombs.com. Joe eventually moved back east to Maryland.

John Whipple also spent some time at Galaxymall while working on his CS degree. After becoming fed up with web design and network programming, he came over to Saffire and did some game development. Saffire took a down turn in 2002 and John took off to Black Ops in California. After spending some time at Black Ops, he went to work for Konami in Hawaii. Funny story, I hadn't seen John in a couple years and I ran into him on the street while on vacation in London. He was there visiting his sister. John also maintained the site when Ben took off to Poland. He also speaks Japanese. John also served some time in the US Army.

Chris Taylor was another Galaxymall hack. He spent a few months there before moving to Argentina for a couple years to preach the Gospel. He returned from that hiatus to finish up his Computer Engineering degree at BYU. While finishing his degree, Chris spent almost two years working for ProModel Corporation located in Orem, Utah. They develop simulation software for a wide variety of industries. After graduating from BYU in April 2004, Chris took a job at Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon, but not before visiting Hawaii for a few days. Chris lives in Oregon and after Intel took a job with Microsoft. He programs random stuff when he feels like it.

General Information

The site and the current name for the group came to be in November 1998. However, the people of the group have been making demos, and games since the old BBS days. I still remember playing LORD on my 1200 baud modem.

Our site has gone through several revisions. We used to have some screen shots, but then I found a better way to go back in time and look at old stuff. Have you ever heard of the Wayback Machine? Have a look at the way the page looked back in 1999.

Programming games, in our opinion, is the only programming worth doing(for fun anyway). Games have a wide appeal to users all over the world. Afterall, what are the chances of writing a spreadsheet or database interface, and having your friends spend hours admiring your work?

Unfortunately game programming is not an easy task, at least not today. There are hundreds of APIs to choose from, and hundreds of file formats. Honestly, game development is probably the most difficult field in computer science. Games are the reason computers get faster and faster, and graphics cards get better and better.

This site was made to provide an outlet for the information we've found useful, and would like to give back to the community. Our main focus is in DirectX, and gameboy advance development. We had a section on art creation, but that has not been updated for some time and has been removed from the site.

If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact us.

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17 July 2024