STATUS:
Always Hungry

Hello.
My name is Rodrigo.

I'm

We Can Be Friends!

I am a Chilean-American designer & developer, specializing in frontend development.

My passion lies in simplifying complexity through intuitive design, maximizing efficiency while adding a touch of style.

Throughout my career, I've crafted interfaces for various domains, including finance, gaming, and mobile applications.

I've built this portfolio using vanilla HTML, javascript, and CSS (SaSS in this case) to share some snippets of my previous work, projects, and experiments.

I also built this portfolio for FUN!

If you want to learn more about me, just ask! rcsantelices@gmail.com

Like Me, A Work In Progress

Below are some projects I'm proud of, works in progress, lessons learned, and more.

My journey in web development goes back 15 or so years when I started a music website with my college roommates. It was called MDFire and we ran it out of our University of Maryland dorm room.

In hindsight, it's name sounds like it should've been a website for a Maryland firestation instead of a site dedicated to the hottest new music trends we could find.

Though I am very proud of my entry point into web dev, let's bring things back to some more recent and relevant projects I have been a part of.

The Aunt Betty Fund

This non-profit is dedicated to help fund students struggling with their debt.

Our team at Purefy has been working on this meaningful project for a little over a year.

Students are able to request help from family & friends OR apply for one of our grant programs. Family members and friends can also invite people they know are struggling with their debt and offer to help them. The idea is similar to gofundme, however, it is unique because we guarantee that the funds go to their loan servicers by wiring them the money directly.

On this project I provided UI Design leadership and UI development with HTML, JS, and CSS. My primary contribution has been on the user dashboards for all of our user flows. This includes user states that track progress through donations, invitations, adding their loan information, and grant applications.

I was also given the opportunity to learn how to set up a headless CMS for that our outreach team to easily create content for the site. Besides working with wordpress sites in the past I had no prior experience. I welcomed the challenge and was able to figure it out quickly.

Our Wedding Website!

Not only was I fortunate enough to be marrying the love of my life, but while she was out planning the important details of our special day, I got to work on our wedding website!

Needless to say my boss had some strong opinions and constant feedback on this one.

All jokes aside I really enjoyed working on this one. Made in WP with a decent amount of CSS and some javascript customizations.

I do enjoy working with a CMS, but nothing beats the freedom of propping a site up from scratch.

Though I am no longer paying for the premium hosting @julieandrodrigo.com, I did manage to save the page on the link above.

Purefy

I have been working at Purefy for 6 years now. I joined the team as a UI Developer and I am now the Lead Front-end Engineer on the team.

I have been the core, and sometimes sole, front-end developer on the team and have enjoyed the opportunity to work on a wide array of projects while honing my skills and learning new things.

As the Front-end lead, I've managed a UX Designer and a UI Designer while making pivotal decisions in their work and direction. My role allowed me to work closely with leadership, development and design and I made it my priority to make sure they were all communicating effectively with one another, and frequently through me. I've also enjoyed collaborating with external creatives and developers to solve design and user-centric problems.

In the time I have been here, the company has made several changes in tech and efficiency. We've made sites and applications using; a proprietary CMS, React, Wordpress, PHP, Vue.js, and our latest in Blazor.

In my time here, This team has also allowed me the opportunity to work closely with our CEO and CTO. Their experiences and friendship are invaluable to me.

Resume Run

Run, scale, and plunge through office buildings while working your way to the top in this Arcade platformer. Hand out as many resumes as possible before time expires! Gain time for each resume you deliver. How far will you go to get the job?

Résumé Run is a game I started working on for fun while pursuing a career in the game industry. After several rejections I was inspired to continue and persisted. Each time I would revise my résumé and continue to hone my skills. For me it evoked a similar feeling to leveling up in an RPG to finally defeat a high level boss. I decided to share this experience by creating a game depicting a determined and slightly frantic character working their way up in the world(s). I felt like it was a relatable struggle, and decided to have some fun with it.

I developed this game using Construct 2, a visual scripting tool for HTML5 games. I found this tool allowed for quick solo development, iterative design, and and testing of the game as it evolved.

At the time the game was released for free on iOS and android, but have unfortunately been removed from those stores due to a lack of updates. The game is still playable on Desktop, and I may make it available on iOS again.

Play Resume Run on Desktop

Trap House

Trap House is a 1-8 player top-down competitive push ‘em-up where players MUST leave friendships behind in order to ensure their own escape. You play as a Pusher – a fully-customizable, pixelated terrorizer who’s been possessed by a soul residing in the Trap House. Each room is filled with fire, blood-covered spikes, pitfalls, killer bees, monsters, iron maidens, and more. The only means of escape is to ensure you do not meet your demise at the hands of your friends. It’s push or be pushed, but in the end, the house always wins.

Trap House was an original concept I came up with in the attempt of making an easy to play but hard to master competitive couch game. I pitched the concept to my classmates for the upcoming global game jam. Our 7 man team composed of Full Sail Graduates (currently enrolled at the time) managed to knock out a prototype that was well received at the game jam. When a Professor of mine showed interest in furthering the game, we decided to pursue the game's completion ourselves. We spent several months trying to secure funding and managed to attain it by means of a co-signed loan. We finally funded our small indie studio, Hive Mind Studios. Three months later we were Greenlit on Steam, and 3 after that we released Trap House!

Trap House is currently Available on Steam!!

During our 7 month production period, I acted as Lead Designer and Art Director. As Lead Designer, I managed our design team (of 4) throughout several tasks including Level Design, Game Mode Design, play testing, and QA. Maintaining proper documentation was key in helping our programmers share our design vision, so it was a weekly design task to update the GDD based on changes that had occurred. We faced several design challenges during production, mostly due to the variety of diverse Traps found in the game (19 total). Each had its own set of values, behaviors, and visuals that could vary from map to map. This was designed so that player created levels could vary drastically at the creators whim. Another challenged we faced was due to our inevitable scope creep. In adding game modes and functionality we pulled focus away from the core of the game, which was to be the last one standing. Unsurprisingly, our different game modes each had it’s own design philosophy.

As Art Director I manged our Art Team of 3. We had two artists in house (including myself) and an external resource in Brazil. This required constant communication in order to establish the proper direction for the art style as well as the required file types and sizes preferred by our programmers. We had a few deviations in art style that I was forced to accept due to time constraints but we did manage to fix a majority of them. ​

While working at the hive, I also worked on Level Design (over 50 levels in game), Web Development, Quality Assurance, Character and Promotional Art, Video Editing, and Marketing. Balancing all these roles was not easy, luckily I had my team's support if I ever faltered.

Here is the Press Kit. ​

Post-Mortem: During the full production of an Indie title from conception to release, I learned several important lessons. First and most importantly, I discovered the importance of marketing a game thoroughly, before its release, as it was an aspect that was overshadowed by the rest of our work. This was one of the key factors of our low sales numbers as we could not attract sufficient attention to our release (which was around the same time as E3....) ​

Which brings me to my second lesson, plan your release date according to when it will best suit the game, not out of necessity. Due to our small funding, we only had less than six months to release the game and start having it bring some income back to the company. The game had reached it's most stable build around June, and out of necessity we had to release the game (with little to no publicity besides social media campaigns). We had attempted to get on Steam Early Access but the approval process took several months, time which we could not afford. We all wanted Online Multiplayer for Trap House, Hell, the game was designed around it. But between our programmers lack of experience with online multiplayer, the abundance of bugs still left to fix, and an ever imposing timer for when our funding would run out, we simply could not.

​ Another vital lesson learned was the necessity of constant communication with the team, without interfering too heavily with work flow. It was important to set time away every couple of days or less for our team to better understand their varying roles and methods of approaching them. Working full time in a small, tight- knit team while living under the same house for 7 months was a fun experience I will never forget.

More coming soon...
Art Coming Soon

Project SyDD

This is a recent personal project I've undertaken. I'm building a productivity app with some game elements in React with Node.js. Ask me about it!

Expense Tracker

Another quick React Project to showcase some of the things I've worked on. This simple expense tracking app allows you to build a list of expenses and calculates the total. Made with React, Typescript, Zod for form validation, and Bootstrap.

See it on github

Rodri GPT

I found and completed a quick tutorial on getting hooked up to Open AI's API in React. This was a quick and fun project and I found out how easily you can access OpenAI's API.

I don't believe I'll use it much as they do not have a free tier and each API call costs tokens to use. Unless you plan to hook it up to other APIs or a for profit service, I'd recommend sticking to Chat GPT, Gemini, or another free to use LLM.

You can pull my code from GitHub and insert your own API key to start building your own GPT. You can also specify which GPT model to use.

See it on github

Let's Collaborate

If you're looking for a multi-faceted developer and creative leader to join your team (or start a new one), feel free to email me at rcsantelices@gmail.com.

If you still want to learn more about me, check out my resume.