Perspective - Joseph Hatcher - Tech Helper, Game Developer, & Voice Actor


On life and other musings...

Share more love, intelligence, understanding, and good will. Education and understanding of one another is critical to our survival on this spherical, spinning, wonderful, lifeship.

March 7, 2013 - The Journey So Far

Wow, hard to believe I have professionally worked on over 37 games, many of which were major intellectual properties and licensed games. When I was a kid, I dreamed about working on games, and eventually making my own.

Video games helped me like therapy. With all the trauma, drama, abuse, and weird living conditions I experienced growing up, those games could let me play without being hit, yelled at, purposefully or neglectfully starved or overfed, ridiculed, lied to, etc. First world problems, right?

I know games of all kinds help humanity (although exploitative and gambling games cross a fine line and sometimes jump rope with that very line) with their escape to a different thought space, or world. Perhaps help bring back happy memories, and to build new memories with. Games and music help all cultures grow, adapt, learn, love, and to really live.

Even with my super rough independent game projects, that puts me over 40+ games I have worked on. I have many friends in the game industry who have worked on hundreds. I think it'll take me awhile to get that many, but to me, each one is like a little award. I helped provide a little world/thought space for people to play in, explore, and enjoy. Tens of millions of players have enjoyed those games, and my minuscule contributions helped.

Maybe they made a person feel something they needed to feel at the time. Had fun with their friends, took on a new challenge, shared their new memories with others.

Those of us that create things, and support and contribute to those things (art, music, education, science, play, interactions, etc) do have a responsibility to leave positive memories in people's lives.

Do you want to be remembered for nagging players for money all the time interrupting the flow of the game/being a clone of something, or do you want to leave a lasting impression on them for parts of the game, or sneakily teach a lesson, that can influence that person for life in a positive way?

I have memories of happiness, challenge (with some WTF $%#@! moments), and great fondness for: Populous, Tetris/The New Tetris, Phantasy Star 1, 2 & Online, Dig Dug, Popeye, Q-Bert, Desert Falcon, Rampart, Space Harrier Series, Daytona, Ridge Racer, F-Zero Series, Street Fighter Series, Pac Man & Family thereof, Virtua Fighter 1 & 2, Star Fox, Virtua Racing, Stun Runner, Panzer Dragoon, Super Meat Boy, Torchlight 2, Puzzle Quest, Centipede, Millipede, and 1,200+ more over my almost 4 decades of gaming.

Granted, it is in short bursts of 10-30 minutes here or there versus the 8-36 hour marathons I use to have with my friends (Megaman series, Halo, Double Dragon series, Battletoads (I resent you), Genghis Khan, F-Zero X, Wipeout, Command & Conquer series on two Playstation 1 with link cable and 2TVs, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Bomberman and others) but, I still want to play.

Watching the technology go from large pixels to incomprehensible amounts of wee, tiny little pixels in vast 3d worlds or well made 2d works of living art, has been a wonderful journey. I am at one branch in the path in my life, and I will work to make the next one as fun, refreshing, and adventurous compared to the past.

I am so amazed that I got to meet some of the people that helped design or create those little worlds for me to play in. They saved my life, my sanity, my happiness, my patience. You inspired me and encouraged me to "have one more life, try again" and that it was never "game over" during and after a turbulent life chapter.

Many great thanks to those of you who make such brilliant works or art in games, and hugs to everyone who takes a little bit of time out of their day to enjoy a little thought space that some people created for you to play in that you may never meet. Let's work towards making the world a happier, fed, sheltered, safer, and smarter place, ok?

June 3rd, 2012 - News and Updates

Clickteam announced on June first that they now have a XNA exporter for their excellent game and app development tool, Multimedia Fusion 2.

As a long time user of their products, being able to develop games for Flash and Windows without any programming skills required, has been a valuable tool for prototyping and making games. Multimedia Fusion 2 now allows anyone to make games for Java, Flash, Windows/XNA, iOS, and Android (in beta as I write this) quickly and concisely. All of the users, testers, and the team at Clickteam have globally been working hard on this, and I'm proud of them for doing this. Just wait for their future products ;)

I got NoGo 8x8 TicTacToe up on the Google Chrome Webstore a last month, which is hosted by my website and ads are served via Mochimedia's network. Doing so seems to have increased ad views by about 15-20%.

Hatcher Chess 3PL is another virtual board game Flash game gadget that I should have released this month. Nothing fancy, but if you like chess and have two other friends near you on the couch, internet cafe, or game room, it should be a solid strategy adventure for all 3 on the different game board.

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