Hi, y’all. I’m John
I make games as a hobby, but I’m pretty serious about my hobby. I’ve also been a film director/writer. I’ve also done some academic video game studies stuff. I presented a paper on SMT Nocturne and place at a conference a few years back.
I got started making games on paper when I was a kid. I started actually making games in QBASIC and then in ZZT when I was 13 or 14 (1997). I made a ZZT adaptation of Lemmings that got a lot of attention and is mentioned on the ZZT Wikipedia page for some reason.
I got back into game design in 2009 and have to date released over 90 games (including my shitty teenage ZZT games). I put them out under a vanity label I call Whatnot Studios. I’ve made a lot of short single-screen puzzle platformers with small mechanical novelites, like Shadow Wrangler and Liz & Laz, and then the doozy (in terms of scale) of a puzzle platformer I made in 2017, Explobers, which is the product of my lifelong obsession with Lemmings. I’m working on a remake/sequel of that game, but I’ve been playing with narrative a lot more lately, including a Gundam-inspired VN/action game and a game about praying about the Wumpus. That may seem like I’m just promoting my games, but, Idunno, seems relevant to my interests on this here forum. I’ve gotten really interested in games that intentionally frustrate players on mechanical or narrative levels.
Uh, yeah, I also got an MA in Japanese literature. My thesis was on the first Mobile Suit Gundam series.
My gameplay diet these days is mostly small games (I started a blog about those that is on an unanounced hiatus, because my day job became more exhausting), indie games, and JRPGs with a handful of action games thrown in. I just finished Final Fantasy XV this morning and put my thoughts about it in this thread.
Games I can never stop thinking about: Super Mario Bros. 3, Lemmings, Persona 3, both NES Zeldas, Nier
I am always hungry for some good videogame discussion. Glad to be here.