Sebastian Janisz, Developer in Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Sebastian Janisz

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
February 25, 2017

Sebastian is a rockstar programmer with two decades of programming experience in games and tech, including many solo indie games. He has worked with Disney multiple times, for whom he was tasked with their highest priority R&D projects (including tracking for Jedi Challenges AR, which other experts claimed was impossible). He codes many times faster than normal and is suited for problems that are too difficult, tedious, or time-sensitive for other programmers (especially in game development).


Interactive Projection USA
Augmented Reality (AR), Computer Vision, OpenCV, Unity
Ultimate Walrus
AllegroGraph, FL Studio, DirectX, PHP, PixiJS, HTML5, JavaScript, HLSL, C++...
ShaderLab, Android, iOS, Unity




Preferred Environment

Android Studio, Xcode, Unreal Engine, Visual Studio, Unity3D

The most amazing...

...thing I've built is my website and the games on it (note: site works on mobile, but is designed for desktop). The tracking algorithm for Disney was also cool.

Work Experience

Freelance Programmer

2018 - PRESENT
Interactive Projection USA
  • Created OpenCV algorithms from scratch for interactive projection screens.
  • Managed a subcontractor and another freelancer to make interactive Unity-based demos to be run on projector/IR camera setups.
  • Implemented aggressive noise filtering and object trajectory tracking to push depth camera hardware to its limits.
Technologies: Augmented Reality (AR), Computer Vision, OpenCV, Unity

Sole Proprietor

1997 - PRESENT
Ultimate Walrus
  • Made dozens of solo and collaborative indie games, and published almost two dozen on my personal website .
  • Created hundreds of game prototypes over the years.
  • Built games that have been featured on Kotaku, Destructoid, Rock Paper Shotgun, PC Gamer,, Indie Statik, and Warpdoor. (Please look at for more info.).
  • Developed 2 games that have made it through Steam Greenlight: Trike (a solo project), and Beat Bros (a collaboration with an artist).
  • Created several iterations of my personal website. It is now an interactive Pixi.js and WebGL-driven experience, designed for desktop computers (though it works on mobile). I coded it solo, and it's one of the most easily accessible demonstrations of my abilities:
  • Developed many games during 48-hour game jams. Some were made in as little as 3 hours.
  • Published a meticulous analysis of my own workflow, based on a time lapse over the course of a 48-hour solo game competition, Ludum Dare 29, in which I placed in the top 2%, 28th out of 1492 entries:
  • Developed games and prototypes for PC, Gameboy Advance, iOS, Android, Xbox 360, and OUYA.
  • Created my own artwork in Photoshop, and my own music in FL Studio. I have had formal music training and took sound synthesis classes during my time at USC. You can hear some of my music here:
Technologies: AllegroGraph, FL Studio, DirectX, PHP, PixiJS, HTML5, JavaScript, HLSL, C++, Visual Studio, C#, Unity3D

Freelance Programmer

2018 - 2019
  • Developed a complete AAA-caliber front end for a mobile game. I was virtually the only coder for the front end.
  • Worked on a project that was essentially completed in three months, and a feat that I maintain would have taken six months for a team of five average-level coders.
  • Built in Unity, making heavy use of Unity UI, shaders, AssetBundles, and editor tools. Project communicated with a web back end that was simultaneously developed by a team.
Technologies: ShaderLab, Android, iOS, Unity

Freelance Programmer

2018 - 2018
AiR Everywhere
  • Developed sophisticated AR/GPS tracking software which used custom algorithms to outperform the system hardware.
  • Worked on the development that was done in Swift, Unity, and ARKit.
  • Prototyped in Swift, and then translated line by line into C# for use in Unity.
Technologies: ARKit, Unity, iOS, Computer Vision, Augmented Reality (AR), Xcode, Swift

Freelance Programmer

2017 - 2017
  • Made a prototype augmented reality app from scratch in Unity.
  • Did a 90-hour crunch to help the client make an urgent deadline.
  • Interfaced with an existing RESTful web API.
Technologies: Augmented Reality (AR), Computer Vision, C#, Unity

Freelance Programmer

2016 - 2016
  • Performed maintenance on the hit mobile game, Alto's Adventure.
  • Added a screen-recording functionality and UI to the game.
  • Tracked down crashes that were happening only on older devices, by debugging through Xcode.
  • Performed exhaustive on-device optimization through use of Unity's profiler and other strategies.
  • Helped with Apple TV compatibility.
  • Implemented a Zen Mode game type.
Technologies: Objective-C, Xcode, C#, Unity3D


2015 - 2016
Disney Consumer Products
  • Single-handedly invented the code that made tracking in Star Wars Jedi Challenges AR possible (nobody else could figure it out, and other experts claimed it was impossible).
  • Was trusted with high-priority R&D projects that nobody else could solve, most of which involved augmented reality.
  • Created low-level Unity3D Android plugins to facilitate AR tech.
  • Came up with 4-dimensional linear algebra equations and other math to facilitate AR-tracking and solve other problems.
  • Wrote highly optimized C# code to extend OpenCV's capabilities.
  • Wrote interactive AR demos in raw Java using OpenGL ES.
  • Developed flashy demos (with liberal use of shaders and particle effects, and interactive characters) to be shown to Disney executives.
  • Did mechanical engineering work creating simple working AR tech prototypes.
  • Worked with mechanical engineers to ensure their prototypes met the technical requirements for the AR software to work.
  • Helped with rapid prototyping of toys and games.
  • Helped with maintenance of the Playmation mobile app.
Technologies: Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Android Studio, NGUI, ShaderLab, GLSL, Python, Java, C++, C#, Vuforia, OpenCV, OpenGL ES, Unity3D Native Plugin Interface, Unity3D

Freelance Programer

2013 - 2014
Scott Partridge (Hobbyist)
  • Commissioned to help with hobbyist projects recreating old Sega Master System games.
  • Invented a new variant of the Scale2X graphics upscaling algorithm, which uses one branch instead of eight for optimal shader execution. Wrote the shader in HLSL.
  • Created an optimal pipeline for use of this shader in the Clickteam Fusion game engine.
  • Wrote C++ extension code for the Clickteam Fusion game engine.
  • Developed a Scale3X HLSL shader and a way to stack shaders to upscale graphics up to 12 times.
  • Created and analyzed Sega Master System footage frame-by-frame and created fine-tuned HD movements that closely mimic that of the old game.
Technologies: C++, HLSL

Lead Programmer

2013 - 2014
  • Managed remotely a small team of programmers for a mobile Unity game. (NOTE: this game was never released, since the funding fell through.).
  • Developed a custom collision detection system using quadtrees, which fit the game better than Unity's default collision detection.
  • Wrote custom scripts for sprite rendering which, at the time, outperformed both TK2D and Unity's native sprite rendering.
  • Created custom soft-body physics for the main character.
  • Developed a random level generation system.
  • Built various flashy visuals and particle effects.
Technologies: Unity3D

Programmer | Designer

2011 - 2012
Disney Mobile
  • Worked as a designer and programmer on the high-profile iOS game, Where's My Water?.
  • Handled and was in charge of implementing new mechanics, including y-switches, mud, and mystery ducks.
  • Designed and implemented single-handedly the mud game mechanics.
  • Participated in much of the game's design. Attended all game design meetings.
  • Contributed to many levels to the game. I was eventually the preferred designer for harder levels involving more difficult puzzles (Gravity Dynamo was one such example).
  • Designed and wrote the programming for the successful spin-off, Where's My Perry?, from conception to release.
  • Did programming work that was primarily on a proprietary C++ based engine.
Technologies: Game Design, Adobe Photoshop, C++

Freelance Programmer

2009 - 2011
Cul de Sac Studios and fnBrit
  • Coded single-handedly the Facebook game, Burb Wars, for Cul de Sac Studios, according to their specifications.
  • Consulted as the project lead on game design best practices.
  • Created both the front-end Facebook interface (using FBML and FBJS) and back-end server (using PHP and MySQL).
  • Gave advice to the artist on how to create assets that could be displayed on Facebook and would allow for simple customization.
  • Maintained an already existing code base for a Fast and the Furious type of Facebook game (also did similar work for fnBrit).
Technologies: Facebook, MySQL, PHP


2008 - 2008
Heavy Iron Studios
  • Maintained and expanded C# scripts which did batch renderings of Maya scenes.
  • Maintained and expanded the MEL code the facilitate batch-rendering on the Maya side.
Technologies: Maya, C#

Tomopteris Screensaver (Unity3D)

This is a solo project that doesn't use outside code so any source files that you see were written by me. You can't run the sample as intended without a Windows computer.

Tomopteris is a Unity project that acts as a screensaver. It also includes a small C++ WINAPI program that wraps the Unity app, allowing it to function as a screensaver. It's intended to look like a real-life marine animal called Tomopteris. It demonstrates, among other things, my high level of comfort with graphics and 3D math.

Please check the file "Toptal Readme.rtf" for more information.

Scale2X Shader (HLSL)

This is a solo project that doesn't use outside code so any source files that you see were written by me. You can't run the sample as intended without a Windows computer.

Scale2X Shader is a shader effect that I wrote on commission for the Clickteam Fusion game engine, using HLSL. It shows my ability to invent new solutions to problems, in this case for optimization purposes, and my deep understanding of how GPUs function on a low level. I have included an implementation of the Scale2X algorithm which uses 8 branches, and my new algorithm variant which uses only one branch.

Please look at "Toptal Readme.rtf" for more information.
2007 - 2011

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Games)

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA, USA


REST APIs, jQuery, OpenGL ES, DirectX, OpenCV, OpenGL, Marmalade, XNA, Facebook API


Microsoft Visual Studio, Xcode, Android Studio, Adobe Photoshop, MonoDevelop, Flash, FL Studio, Maya, Visual Studio, SourceTree


Unity, PixiJS, Unity3D, Django REST Framework, Django, NGUI, Unreal Engine, ARKit


C++, C, C#, Python, PHP, HTML5, JavaScript, Cg, HLSL, XML, ShaderLab, Go, Java, Objective-C, Game Maker Language, Lua, Flash ActionScript, Visual Basic, GLSL, Swift, Clojure


Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Mobile Development, Agile


Vuforia, iOS, Mobile, Android


MySQL, JSON, AllegroGraph


Video Games, 3D Games, Front-end, Graphical User Interface (GUI), User Interface (UI), Augmented Reality (AR), Programming, 3D Graphics Engines, Shaders, Visual Effects (VFX), Unity Shaders, Virtual Reality (VR), Computer Vision, Game Design, Level Design, Web Development, Unity3D Native Plugin Interface, Software Development, Front-end Development, Mixed Reality (MR), Sound Design, Music Production, 3D Animation, 3D Modeling, Facebook

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