Sunday, April 12, 2009
Interview: Jan Willem Nijman (JW)
It's been a while since I've had an interview with an Indie developer, so when I had the chance to interview JW, I jumped at it! Here are my questions to the developer of Pro Killer Man, 10800 Zombies, 4hRPG, and many more freeware games.
Why did you want to make games?
I read about game maker in some random kid’s computer magazine when I was about 11. Downloaded it, and didn't understand shit. 2 years later I found gm again and started editing example games (speed racer with guns, etc.). I just sort of rolled into it. I was never a hardcore gamer but I just really liked being able to make whatever you wanted.
About how many games have you created?
I started 50 million, turned into something proper about 200, finished +- 20, around 5 of which aren't minigames.
What would you say is your most famous game?
Pro killer man and 10800 zombies got the most attention. Pro killer man is sort of smoother, but 10800 zombies is bigger. They both had tons of reviews and were featured in some magazines. The game I like most myself is super ninja hunter. It was semi-epic, had good boss fights, a nice setting, but rather bugged and was never properly released outside yoyogames.
Some of your older games have sported a colorful, shaded type of style. Why did you make the change to your now signature style?
That's basically because I'm lazy and it's easy to make, but I do try different styles now and then. I'm just no great artist so don't expect awesome pixel art from me. I'm probably able to make pretty shaded stuff, but I'm just too impatient for that. It's probably that the stuff I make without outlines looks ugly, and when I use outlines it quickly looks like most things I make.
What games are you working on at the moment?
I have 3 "real" projects that I work on now and then, some times more actively then others: Test Monkey, Quest for glorious money (4hRPG) and Explorer.
Could you explain a bit about Test Monkey and Explorer?
Test Monkey is basically a puzzle platformer. You are a sad monkey being manipulated by the people who test you. You could say it's slightly inspired by portal, on how player's don't really care about the story and what is being said, but still think they do. I'm just making levels for this, story and all (don't kill the president!) is completed, so it should pop out some day.
Explorer is just plain old platform exploration. It has crazy npc's and items, and is pretty big. I’m not sure how it'll look eventually, but I want to change quite a bit.
What are some of your favorite indie developers, and why?
Well, there is ikiki. He made Nikujin which is one of the best games I've ever played. I have no idea what kind of guy he is, but his games are always crazy and good. Then there is darthlupi. People sort of forgot him but he is still kicking ass, while being married at the same time. I really like what wolfire games is doing, except for the furry shit. I loved black shades. Everybody should play it. Also, there is the poppenkast. People shouldn't see us as elitist bastards who bully all the small indies and get away with crappy shit all the time, but we are just elitist bastards who bully all the small indies.
You can find More of JW's games on his site, Slordig.com