Ben Buchwald's Portfolio
Ben Buchwald
Themed Entertainment Engineer
617.780.0380
Technology consultant specializing in software engineering and technology integration for themed entertainment experiences with unique hardware input and output devices.

Projects

5 Wits Productions
November 2007 - Current
Show Control Engineer
  • Programmed show control and lighting for 10+ immersive adventures
  • Engineered touch screen-based operator control interfaces
  • Introduced automatic difficulty and length adjustment to manage pipelined group throughput
Hasbro
Integrated Play Team
November 2015 - May 2016
Game Engineer
  • Prototyped proof-of-concepts with several physical-digital technologies
  • Built libraries to integrate new hardware with Unity3D on iOS and Android
  • Created polished green-light demos for mobile game concepts
Harmonix Music Systems
April 2009 - May 2014
November 2014 - October 2015
Software Developer
  • Shipped 8+ AAA video games on multiple platforms
  • Developed tools to support music gameplay authoring and publication
  • Improved engine facilities/tools for animation, UI, fonts, and localization
  • Supported in-game store and other networked features of released games
PlayMotion
August 2006 - August 2007
May 2005 - May 2006
Game Engineer
  • Designed and programmed video games with whole body shadow interaction
  • Installed shadow tracking and projection systems for events and permanent installations
  • Built custom hardware devices for input and control
Atlantic City Pier Fountain
Thinkwell Design & Production
Vision and Gameplay Engineer
January 2006 - August 2006
Interactive Computer Vision-based Fountain Games
  • Innovated interactive content to complement hourly fountain shows
  • Implemented engaging, natural interactions with water and lights
  • Interfaced cameras, vision algorithms, and DMX-controlled lights and water
Living Landscapes
PlayMotion / Disney Imagineering
Game and Controls Engineer
January 2007 - July 2007
Crowd-controlled Games for Walt Disney World Ride Queue
  • Developed a networked race game for 250 guests waiting in line at a popular EPCOT Center attraction
  • Designed easy-to-use control panel for line game operators
  • Engineered synchronization and monitoring framework capable of maintaining 95% uptime for multi-machine system operating 12 hrs/day
New Philadelphia AR Tour
Studio Amakawa /
National Park Service

September 2014 - November 2014
Augmented Reality Tour of National Historic Site
  • Developed augmented reality tracking system for overlaying virtual scenery on a historic site based on physical guideposts
  • Designed code framework for designer to add content to AR tour mobile app
  • Provided technical support for publishing app in iOS and Android app stores
Leehom Wang Concert Visualization
Demiurge Unit
Vision and Graphics Engineer
September 2008 - September 2009
Real-time 3D Visualization for Rock Concert
  • Created real-time 3D model of performer using stereo camera
  • Visualized on upstage LED wall using particle system with live MIDI controls
  • Set up and operated equipment for four shows of multi-city Asian tour
Movie Theater Audience Gaming
Brand Experience Lab / Volvo
Computer Vision Engineer
September 2007 - October 2007
Pre-show Audience-controlled Game for Movie Theaters
  • Continuation of six years of undergraduate and graduate research
  • Adapted computer vision-based audience control to existing Flash gameplay
  • Coordinated simultaneous installation, testing, and execution across 12 cities
Times Square Interactive Ads
PlayMotion / AT&T
System Integration Engineer
December 2005 - January 2006
Cell Phone-controlled Interactive Advertising
  • Connected pan/tilt/zoom camera to LED sign in Times Square to be controlled by phone keypad
  • Integrated automated phone system, camera, web databases, and SMS messaging to allow pedestrians to capture and download photos
  • Operated interactive sign control center on New Years Eve
World's Fair for Kids
Entertainment Technology Center
Technology Development Lead
September 2005 - May 2006
Several Interactive Experiences for Worlds Fair-style Event
  • Prototyped "world's largest" Pong game to be played via projection on a soccer field by an audience of 3000
  • Designed interactive, networked music-making experience for 32 people with integrated theatrical show elements
  • Supported and improved interactive animatronic host character
Toy Robotics Initiative
CMU Robotics Institute
Embedded System Programmer
January 2003
Rapid Development of Robots using a Prototype Control Board
  • Assembled five robots in two weeks using a new experimental robotics board
  • Developed interface library to control robotic sensors and actuators
  • Coded wireless telepresence robotic arm and web-controllable drawing robot
Spring Carnival Booths
Alpha Epsilon Pi
Project Manager
Game Designer
Lead Programmer

April 2000 - April 2006
Immersive Themed Attractions for a Carnival Midway
  • Seven years of building booths focused on guest experience by adding story and live cast members to traditionally passive visuals
  • Added immersive games that integrated with overall booth theming
  • Managed a team of approximately 30 people as project manager