Doug Hoover


I haven't yet made a snazzy, eye-catching home page, but this should provide all the information you need. If you want any more, feel free to get in touch with me and ask!

How to contact me (e-mail, phone numbers, IM, addresses)

When to contact me (my schedule: when I will be unavailable)

Why to contact me:

For work...

Since 2006 I have been working at 1st Playable Productions -- making video games! I've worked on several titles for the Nintendo DS since I've been there (usually as programming lead), including World of Zoo, Imagine: Gymnast, and my favorite, the DS implementation of the Marvel VS collectable card game (for which I am proud to say I wrote a killer AI in less than two months!). Not only can I finally make good professional use of my serious hobbies, but the company is very nifty, too. I certainly haven't needed my Hypertext Resume for quite a while.

In the summer of 2005 I had a lot of fun teaching 5th-9th graders at CTY how to program in Java, and "How A Computer Really Works" (transistors, gates, logic design, assembly language, and Java, all in three weeks! ...sharp kids). Previous to that, I led the R&D software group at Plug Power in Latham, NY, one of the world leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology. It's a forward-thinking company with some cool technology, which I am glad to have helped bring one step closer to maturity. My favorite former position was at Document Development Corporation, making an AI-based product that would allow people to create highly complex documents quickly and reliably out of re-useable components. It was great fun, but unfortunately the company folded. (Ah, the joys and disappointments of startup companies.) Right out of undergraduate school, I subsisted by building secret weapons for food.

I submitted my Master's thesis in 2000, and finished my degree in Computer & Systems Engineering at Rensselaer. My thesis, "Automatic Stain-Based Classification in Biological Images Using Adaptive Archetype Color Estimation", describes a color image processing technique to help automate the analysis of microscope slides. This could have many possible applications, including helping to improve medical screening procedures used in the diagnosis of breast cancer. The work was done under Professor Badrinath Roysam in the Advanced Imaging Systems Laboratory. If you are interested in more details a copy of the abstract is available here, and I would be happy to send you an electronic copy of the thesis on request.

Being a Teaching Assistant at RPI is another fun thing that I have been paid for; I mostly taught hands-on digital circuit design. Although I am now usually working full time, I still enjoy helping people out with things that are in my areas of expertise. In addition to computer hardware fundamentals, I am also experienced in programming in C++, Java, Lisp, C, Ada, several assembly languages, and spreadsheet systems, among others. If you could use a hand, I would be happy to lend one.

...or play:

I enjoy anything generally considered entertaining, as long as it doesn't involve being drugged, submerged, dropped from a height, or severely sunburned. I like all kinds of sports (although ping-pong, pool, and volleyball are the only ones I'm good at), but I don't take sports very seriously... unless you count hiking up a mountain for a good view as serious.

I try to avoid mediocre passive entertainment (almost all TV -- I don't even have one). Movies are usually cool, though, and theater and good music are always appreciated.

My real focus for fun is more on the mental plane. My idea of serious fun is a good game of Go, or anything else that requires a lot of thought and planning. I enjoy all kinds of games -- the less luck the better. Long games don't scare me off; I have played many an 8-player game of Avalon Hill's Civilization to completion. (That's eight human players around a real board, mind you! Video games are cool, too, but in some ways they just don't compare.)

Role-playing games are also a fun distraction. I even do "theater-style" live-action role-playing, and I helped bring a full-weekend game to the RPI campus in January of 1998. If you are interested in future live-action role-playing opportunities at RPI, contact The RPI Gaming Club (where I regularly play board games on Saturday). Other places you can find me (every year) include Alan Moon's Gathering of Friends (a solid week of board gaming!), Genericon (RPI's annual sci-fi convention), and the Boston-area Intercon.

The all-time most satisfying sort of entertainment, however, is still creativity. A good deal of mine now goes into my work; much of the rest goes into designing new and better board games. If you are interested in new games that take lots of thought and are decided by skill rather than luck, I've created quite a few, including abstract baord games, card games, pool games, a zero-luck miniatures wargame, an Iron Dragon variant that's been quite popular locally, and the ultimate spatial challenge: 3-D Go! Most recently, I entered my quintissentially simple and elegant game of Box into The Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge.

For the particularly hard-core, my good friend TauCeti Deichmann and I have been running a new kind of game at RPI for about the last five years, which we call "Aleph" games. Aleph games are a hybrid between a GMed nation-scale strategy game and a live-action role-playing game. Each of the 12 - 30 players custom designs their own faction and their own goals in advance, and then grows and develops their society economically, diplomatically, and technologically over the coarse of an entire weekend. Tau and myself custom-build the rules for each particular game (occasionally even as the game is being played, as new technologies or other advancements are developed). The genres of our games have ranged from hard sci-fi through space opera to epic post-apocalyptic fantasy.

On the performance-art side, I've sung Handel's Messiah with the Octavo Singers a few times in the last several years. While at RPI, I sang with the Rensselyrics, and in the RPI Players production of the musical Chess. Other ways I like to relax include good solid conversation (light gossip was never my thing), and reading (mostly science fiction, though I enjoy almost everything... especially if it makes you think). I'm always on the lookout for people's favorite books... what are yours?

If you are looking for...
...information on Nintendo DS development, color image processing, or automatic document configuration
...or an opponent in ping-pong or go
...or another player for volleyball (or even ultimate frisbee, if you're not too serious)
...or you need a tenor (doesn't everybody?)
...or you like the challenge of that new and unique game (or that ten-hour game no one else would ever play)
...or a companion for a hike in the Adirondacks

...drop me a line!


maintained by Douglas C. Hoover | doug@hoover.net | last updated 8/31/11