Team Desert Beagle

Desert Beagle Studios is a graduate student team made up of artists, programmers, designers, and producers. Formed for the capstone project at UCF's Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, we worked from December 2018 to December 2019 to make Malediction a reality. Get to know each member of the team by reading a short bio and having a look at their personal websites.

Meet the Teams


Project Lead
Jaime Tous

A technical designer by training, it was Jaime’s leadership experience that lead him to be chosen as Malediction’s project lead. It was his job to wrangle the beagles, direct their efforts, and keep them in good spirits. Given the results, it seems like he was successful. Jaime has lived in eight countries around the world, driven over 130 mph on the German autobahn, trekked through the jungles of Panama, handled snakes in Thailand, and played laser tag with Paraguayan special forces. He’s an Air Force veteran and student of history with a set of Roman centurion armor. He enjoys all kinds of games experiences, from the adrenaline-pumping action of DOOM to the relaxing, idyllic farming of Stardew Valley. Grand strategy games, like Europa Universalis and Stellaris, are his favorite. They make him feel like Bob Ross working a canvas as he paints the map a single color.

Luis was Malediction's Development Director and Scrum Master. He started as a Computer Science major and Digital Artist, and specialized in Project Management for his Master's from the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy.  Because of his background, he was able to become a bridge between artists and programmers. For Malediction, Luis was responsible for ensuring the team was on track, making sure milestones were reached on schedule, and designing plans with leadership in case things did not go as planned. Luis enjoys astronomy, playing tennis, and video games. His favorite video games are Action-Adventure games like Shadow of the Colossus and Bloodborne.

Development Director
Luis Pino


Rene bencik

René studied technical art at FIEA. He functioned in the capacity of a freelancer for the Malediction project, where he worked together with the Art Lead in creating a visual style. He also provided technical debugging for a few issues.

joseph bonura

A technical artist with a focus in lighting, shaders, and particle effects. Joe loves to work in the subtle details that can be used to immerse a player into a game space. He studied art history at Princeton University while fighting on the gridiron for an Ivy League championship title in football. And while his sports life demanded violence, his true passion found itself in the fantasy of video games. Since his first gaming console as a kid, Joe has loved all the new adventures and experiences the gaming world has to offer. From fast paced military shooters, to high fantasy RPGs, Joe has always loved a wide range of video games, and has discovered lifelong friends along the way. Always looking for the next generation of technology to play with, Joe is working hard to push game immersion to the next level in the years to come!

carol eastwood

Carol utilized assets provided by the artists to add detail to the levels of Malediction. She has her BFA in character animation from UCF and currently works at Steamroller Studios as a Production Coordinator. A woman of many talents, Carol also created this website! I'm writing this right now! I enjoy casual games like Animal Crossing as well as sprawling open world combat games like Assassins Creed, Uncharted, and the Witcher 3. In my spare time I draw, read, and walk my Husky, Jake.

John kim

John is a 3D artist who studied at FIEA.  He was a freelancer for the Malediction project and worked together with the Art Lead to create the bomb enemies in the game.

Carolyna Marin, better known as Caro by her peers, is a 3D character animator who worked on Morgan's gameplay animations. As an experienced Character Animation Lead for the award-winning student film, Night Light, she became the sole animator for most of the project. Caro developed the animation style for Malediction while working in close conjunction with the modeler, rigger, and Design Lead to bring Morgan from concept to life. Her creativity and playful personality also made a significant contribution to the fun and quirky art style of the game. Caro's work ethic, abundant enthusiasm, and infectious excitement encouraged the whole team not only to work hard, but also to play hard and enjoy the process. In her spare time, Caro is known for screaming excitedly while playing Overwatch (or almost any other game) and enjoying movies such as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Mask, and Kill Bill. Caro also loves animals and has the privilege of caring for an adorable tiny dog named Momi.

Carolyna Marin
Zachary Meyer

Zach Meyer is a 3D modeler and UI graphic artist.  He enjoys designing assets that are both intuitive for the player and match the style of the game.  He has created the art for the menus, crosshairs, and health bars for Malediction.

Alejandro perez

Alejandro (Alex to his friends) is a 3D modeler who created Malediction's big set pieces, from the fountain at the beginning of the game to the clock face in the final battle. He enjoys creating environments in any style and finds working with creative people very motivating. From photos of the environment Alex takes on his travels, to good movies and great games, to Artstation, Polycount, or Pinterest, he can find inspiration anywhere. Alex is the other veteran on the team, having served in the US Army as a tank mechanic.

Jennifer sarlo
Website Coming Soon

Jenn is a 3D animator who worked as as freelance artist on evironmental animation for Malediction.  She was responsible for vine, pumpkin and mushroom animations.


Mary Sumner earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Central Florida Character Animation program on the short film "Night Light," and her Masters from the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA), specializing in Animation; she was the lead animator on the capstone game "Drift Light," as well as a contributing animator on the game "Malediction." Originally from Tampa, Florida, she also has a background in Motion Capture, 3D modeling, texturing, layout, and 2D animation. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida.

mary sumner
Ziyou Zhou

Ziyou is a 3D artist who specialized in modeling characters, creatures and props, as well as doing concept art and illustration. She gave form to the wicked, charming character Morgan and his clones. She believes that characters are the core to storytelling and help create an emotional bond to the audience. With this, she is an enthusiastic 3D artist with a strong passion for story.

Cat, known as the "Art Mom" of the team, served as the Art Lead for Malediction. Art Mom has no time for blurbs, so Carol is ghost writing this for her. With a BFA in Character Animation from UCF, Cat has prior leadership experience on the animated student short 'Night Light.'  She works tirelessly to make sure everything gets completed on time and to a high standard. Although Cat isn't a huge gamer, she enjoys learning and experiencing new things. When not putting out fires, she likes to bake and feed people, and makes some killer mochi.

Catherine Ha
Art Lead
Website Coming Soon


aaron cendan

Aaron served as the Audio Lead on the development of Malediction. What does an Audio Lead do? Aaron helped to set up the tools and audio systems that govern playback of audio throughout the game. He also wrote, recorded, and mixed the music for the game, in addition to developing a wide range of sound effects using analog synthesis and other nifty audio tricks.

alberto huffman-negron

Al worked as a Lighting Artist and a Level Designer on Malediction. At time of publication, Al has three shipped titles: Two on Steam and one on Xbox One.

John-Thomas Lascha
Website Coming Soon
Christine Wright

Christine Wright (nickname: Sound), a FIEA Graduate, currently works as a Audio Engineer and Game Designer for PBS Kids. Sound contributed to both the audio engineering and level design for Malediction.

jacob zuch

Jacob is a Technical Designer that worked on various puzzle elements for Malediction, implemented the game's audio, and he programmed and designed boss 2.  He was also the voice talent behind boss 2.


Steve Diezel is a level designer with a passion for experimentation. Handling the levels layout, scale, gameplay, and creation, he's like a mad scientist in a lab combining elements until the perfect concoction is reached. Between meetings, team organization, and iterating, there isn't always the most time for this scientist to leave his lab. When he does however, he enjoys a comic or manga, an action packed thriller, some fishing and a walk on the beach, or studying (and enjoying) his MASSIVE Steam Library backlog. So far he's traveled to London, Madrid, Paris, and around the U.S., with a trip to Japan soon to come. A nice way to generalize him is the social nerd with a passion for creation and exploration. Someone anyone can grab a drink with and relax after a hard days work.

Steve Diezel
Farina Khandadia
Website Coming Soon


Michael Carter

Michael was a gameplay programmer, gameplay designer, and cinematic designer for Malediction. He designed and implemented core mechanics, like the Time Bubble. He helped to tutorialize the experience and designed puzzles. He was also responsible for all the cutscenes and trailer for the game. In his spare time, he loves performing in rock bands, playing video games, listening to podcasts, and watching movies.

With a diverse set of skills and even wider assortment of interests, Dakky (Dakota Dolde) strives to claim his place in the game industry as a programmer with a knack for innovation and broad experience that allows him to be useful with any task he has to conquer. He graduated with dual degrees in Art and Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island, and proceeded right after to UCF's FIEA program, working towards his dream of doing game programming. As a late-added member of team Desert Beagle, he worked largely on mechanics polish and varous refactors, helping the game progress through its later stages of development and into final release. Outside of work, he has dabbled in a little bit of everything, from parkour, bmx, and bridge-climbing to flow arts, photography, and electrical engineering. He enjoys active hobbies as much as he does relaxed ones, and likes the balance he gets from doing a little of each in his free time.

dakota dolde
Yixiang Xu

Yixiang Xu is a general programmer in the Malediction team who works on diverse tasks including gameplay, AI, tools development and bug fixing. In his leisure time, he reads novels and plays trpg games.

Michael Fisher

Michael served as both the lead programmer and an AI programmer on Malediction. As a lead programmer, he worked to ensure the programming team was functioning properly, and as an AI programmer, he worked on the first and second bosses in Malediction. In addition, he worked on gameplay features throughout the development of the game. Outside of work, Michael enjoys reading books, hiking, playing video games, and driving.

Junxiong Yang

Meticulous in his research, experimentation, and iteration, Junxiong was invaluable in his role as Lead Programmer. With a great passion for system, gameplay, and engine programming, he was crucial in solving the technical challenges involved with the time control mechanics, 3D pathfinding, and boss 3 AI. Besides programming, Junxiong loves video games, especially strategy games like Civilization VI and Europa Universalis IV. Naturally, he also has special interest in history, which has led to readings of historical texts and travel around China, Japan and Europe.