Archive for May 2010

Interview: Jan Willem Nijman

May 29, 2010

Jan Willem Nijman (you may know him as jwaap or JW) has created many well known games including 10800 Zombies and Pro Killer Man. He is a member of The Poppenkast. You can view his games on his YYG Profile.

Introduce yourself:
My name is Jan Willem Nijman, aka JW or jwaap. I mainly make score-based arcade games inspired by bad sci-fi, and the 8-bit era. I’m a student of game design and development at the Utrecht school of Arts in the Netherlands.

How did you get into game making?
When I was 11 I read about game maker in some kids’ computer magazine. I downloaded it and didn’t understand anything. I’ve always been messing with it but about 4 years later I got back into game maker properly, got invited into the poppenkast ( and started what I’m still doing right now: making decent games.

In all of the time you have been making games, what is the most important thing you have learned about game design. Why?
Cactus once taught me that the bigger the explosions are the better the arcade game is.

What’s it like going to school for game design?
Currently it’s rather bad. I’ve learnt a lot in the first year, but right now we are not given the oportunity to specialize at all. It’s great for people who have no previous experience with making games, but for indies with experience I wouldn’t recommend it. I might quit soon and start a company.

What is your favorite type of game to make. Why?
I don’t have a favorite type of game. I love it when I manage to turn ANY idea inside my head into something fun. That first part, where you go from idea to proof of concept is the best part. After that it gets very hard to finish games.

What is your favorite part of a game to make. Why?
Game design. On any team I’m in I always do game design. I love making up the concept, and making that work through the game rules, and possibly adding context.