He may not be the “dirtiest player in the game,” and it’s questionable whether he is “stylin’ and profilin’,” but Jesse’s boisterous appearances at the ping pong table have earned him the title of “Ric Flair of Ping Pong.” We’ll let him explain.
Why are you known as the ‘Ric Flair of Ping Pong’?
Ric Flair is the single most decorated world champion in the history of wrestling. He is in a class of his own, steamrolling his opponents with a wave of masterful execution, leaving them begging by the wayside for mercy. Winning is all that he knows how to do and he does it with impeccable style and magnificent grace. I’m pretty sure this is the comparison that most people draw with my Ping Pong skills. That, or I happen to yell “Wooo!” at the top of my lungs at random intervals of play.
How did you get started with Game Design?
I like to think that I was born with a controller in my hand. I’ve always been a gamer, and I will always continue to be one. So, as a young lad, I thought to myself, “Why not combine my biggest passion with my need for monetary sustenance?” Haven’t looked back since.
What kind of work did you do before coming to Blue Frog Gaming?
Well, straight out of school I did a bit of freelance character design work. Soon after, I was hired as a Level Designer at a small startup company called ‘Kiz Toys’. I spent about a year there, eventually working my way up to the role of Game Designer after only being there for a few months. After that, I migrated to the bitterly cold climate of Ohio to lend my talents at Blue Frog Gaming as their resident Game Designer. Also, I did some bartending before all this – I can make a mean Cosmopolitan.
What do you do as a Game Designer for Blue Frog Gaming?
My position mainly consists of trolling the developers as much as possible, ‘researching’ the latest and greatest social and mobile games, and blasting Dubstep playlists on Spotify into my eardrums. In my free time, I’m usually drawing up some crazy new game mechanics or trying to break existing game systems so that I can hand the devs some shiny new bugs to fix.
What projects have you worked on at Blue Frog Gaming?
A majority of my work belongs to Stardrift Empires, Polar Puzzles, and the occasional smaller endeavor, like Ghost Chicken. Currently, I spend most of my time working on a super-duper top-secret undisclosed mystery project that shall not be named or have its existence confirmed, but it’s going to be awesome.
What’s the biggest design challenge you’ve been faced with at Blue Frog Gaming?
There certainly have been a lot of challenges that I have faced here at Blue Frog Gaming. The biggest, so far, has probably been implementing enemy NPCs into Stardrift Empires. There were a lot of player expectations, requests, and outright demands going into it, so I definitely felt a lot of pressure to deliver something that would be viewed as both fun and fair to a universe where the slightest change can potentially cause devastating reverberations to the game balance and economy if not done correctly. Once we introduced the NPCs, we were able to respond quickly to player feedback, adjusting and iterating to ultimately provide something that I feel accomplished its intended goals of expanding upon the existing universe and giving the players additional targets to seek out and destroy for their enjoyment.
What’s your favorite Blue Frog Gaming game?
I have a soft spot for all the love and care that I put into Polar Puzzles. As the first title that I worked on here at Blue Frog Gaming, it kind of feels like my baby. Despite it not reaching the breakout hit status of casual games like ‘Angry Birds’ or ‘Cut the Rope’, I still view it as an extremely fun, challenging, and addicting puzzle game.
Anything else you want to share?