Alan Luo

Game Designer & Developer // Software Engineer | Columbia '24 | NYC / BOS

Personal Statement

I’m a part-time game designer, part-time software engineer, and full-time maker with a passion for learning and creating awesome projects. I view games as a bridge between creativity and code, and as a necessary substrate for humanity to flourish. I enjoy thinking about UX and interaction design, and seek to deliver the best possible experience to users.

Professional Experience

Co-Founder & Game Designer @ Dark Forest

January 2020 - now

Creating the world's first-ever decentralized real-time game, using zkSNARKs on Ethereum. 2600+ followers on Twitter (@darkforest_eth), and hundreds of users. We're going to break mainnet. Sponsors: Ethereum Foundation, Mozilla.

Applied Zero-Knowledge Proof Systems Engineer @ Ethereum Foundation

June 2020 - September 2020

Did sponsored work with Ethereum Foundation on applied Zero-Knowledge Proofs, with the nominal end goal of enriching the Ethereum and applied zero-knowledge communities and ecosystems. Part of ZK-SUMMER program.

Research Intern @ Columbia Graphics and User Interfaces Lab

September 2019 - March 2020

Developing applied technologies for augmented reality and virtual reality with Prof. Steven Feiner. Worked on project to use augmented reality as a means of improving training for dental students.

WebGL & Front-End Developer @ Countable Web Productions

February - June 2019

Worked as a contractor and developer for a variety of projects, with an emphasis on open-source company organization and rapid prototyping. Created a VR Chatbot for lead conversion, and built the Smart Inquirer an AI-based assistant for analyzing legal documents which is entering deployment. Used Scrum / OKRs internally for project management.

Research Intern @ Visual Analytics Lab at Tufts

June - August 2017

Created interactive interface for data labelling and feature engineering. Wrote paper and poster. Created Javascript library for running Amazon Mechanical Turk experiments. Later, presented to school about research work.

Creator @ Little Planet Procedural (Project)

March 2016

Created page to generate random artistic interpretations of alien planet landscapes. I used Javascript and HTML5 Canvas. The project is open-source on Github (/alan-luo/planetprocedural), and has 8000 views, 68 stars, and 5 forks. I also wrote 40 pages of documentation to explain the processes and algorithms that power the page.


Columbia University in the City of New York | BSE, Computer Science, Minor in English

2019 - 2023

GPA: 4.06/4.00. Egleston Scholar - Columbia’s most competitive engineering scholarship (<1% acceptance rate)

Clubs: Application Development Initiative (committee member), Columbia Creative Coding Club (founder) CU Records (recording engineer), Jazz Ensemble (piano and guitar), Musical Mentors (guitar teacher)

Teaching: Programming for Social Impact (TA, Fall 2019, Spring 2020)

Courses: Multivariable Calculus (A+), Data Structures (A+), Physics I / II (A+), Real Analysis (A), Advanced Programming (A+*), Fundamentals of Computer Systems (A*), Differential Equations (A**)


Front-end: HTML, CSS, Javascript

Graphics: Unity, THREE.js, GLSL

Libraries: React, jQuery, D3.js

Data: Python, Mathematica

Back-end: Flask, PHP, Node

Team: Github, Trello, Agile / Scrum

Et Cetera

HackPrinceton 2019: Won Contrary front-end developer competition.

Duolingo Certified Expert in English (2019-02-23): “Can understand virtually anything, even… academic lecture[s] and book[s] on philosophy. Can use the language [in] a way that [is] more advanced than an average native speaker.

Tetris 40line time: 43.2

Highest Hearthstone rank: 1372

Rubik's 3x3: 32.5

Smash main: Diddy Kong

* Course taken pass-fail due to COVID-19. Grade calculated from midterms.

** Course taken at Stanford ULO.