Where to start? My name is Jordan Magnuson. I'm Swedish-American and tall. My parents raised me in North Africa. I like spicy foods that aren't pure evil demon ichor
. I like to sit alone and think. I like to talk to people who like to sit alone and think, and sometimes I like to talk to other people too. I'm more philosophical than does me any good. I can't make decisions because I never properly understood the purpose of the pro-con list, and so I always balance all of mine perfectly. I live in Korea, I have a degree in physics, and I like elephants and camels and giraffes, because they're sweet. I love playing German board games
I also founded this website and ran it for a short time before Derek turned it into something really cool. At the time there was a lot of speculation as to why I "ran away," and I'll tell you: I got depressed. Not as in I wasn't having fun with games; more like I couldn't get myself to care about anything in the world. You know, all that clinical stuff.
I say this not to burden you with my sob story, but just so you know I'm not the kind of person who likes to quit. I've been struggling on and off with depression for the last four years, but things are better. I'm really interested in games as a medium, and I really want to get more involved with the indie community. To that end I am in fact taking the next year off to do nothing besides play, make, and write about games (yeah, um, isn't it great to have a wife who loves to work and make money, and understands your artistic drive? Actually, I will be doing a bit of web design to help butter the bread). I'm hoping to be involved in this forum, and take part in some of the super compos. Also, I've started a new game review site at www.necessarygames.com
, dedicated to discussing meaning and significance in games. I'd love your feedback if you have any.
All of that out of the way, what got me into games? I never had any of the early consoles: my first video games were Duck Hunter and Number Crunchers on my dad's ancient black and white Apple machine, which I thought were pretty fun. Then in 1994 we got a new Power Macintosh with 256 colors, 8MB of RAM and a CD-Rom drive. Wow baby, those were the days. Rebel Assault, Power Pete, and the old Lucas Arts adventure games took up a lot of my time:
These were all flings though. Casual sex I guess you could say. My first (and perhaps only) true love was, without a doubt, SimCity 2000. When I first played that game I got so excited that my brain blew my eyes out of my head. I am a creator by instinct, and SimCity opened up a whole new world of what games could be.
Castles: Siege and Conquest also made a big impression on me:
At this point all I really wanted to do was make games. I started learning Pascal, but it left a bit to be desired; when I was 13 I finally got my hands on a copy of Multimedia Fusion and then it was show time.
I finished my first "real" game in high school:
You can download it here
, but be warned that it is a multiplayer-on-one-keyboard game only. Initially I tried releasing it as shareware, which was a shoddy idea, but I did it as an experiment, not to be evil. Overall I consider Unga Bunga to have been a success, as I documented here
I made another game after that, but it was miserable. I also discovered and played a lot of indie games during this time (late 90's I guess), including all of Derek's early efforts, which I thought were great
And that pretty much brings me to where I am now (late 90's to 2009 isn't a jump, is it?). I rarely find games fun these days, but I find the medium very exciting, I like the creative aspect, I'm interested in "art as play", and I'm not giving up (if you want to read a very academic paper explaining my interest in video games from an aesthetics perspective, you can get just such a paper here
I love indie developers, and I think for the most part they're doing a lot of cool stuff. Some of my favorite indie titles include Dwarf Fortress, Braid, Eternal Daughter, Torus Trooper, N, Icy Tower... and this is really a futile list which I shouldn't have started, because I like a lot of indie games.
Oh, and here's what I look like when I'm coloring:
... and when I've made an impressively tall tower:
PS: I've been reading a lot of the introductions on this thread but, well, there's a lot of them, and I haven't quite made it all the way through yet. I do hope to interact and get to know all of you though. Cheers.