It’s the name of the game

Jeff Jensen founded Megafuzz in 2013 with his and his partner’s, Martin Pedersen’s, game called Spoiler Alert. The duo began working together on Spoiler Alert or what would become Spoiler Alert at IndieTAW game jam in 2012.

Working on the game proved difficult for the indie team of two as they lived in separate cities. But utilising Skype, Facebook, and Google Docs, they developed the game over a period of six months, which only just started their adventure into the game industry!

Let’s talk about Spoiler Alert, Jeff, and games!

In Spoiler Alert, you start your journey at the end, literally as you pick up the game, the boss has been defeated, everything’s collected, and the princess has been rescued. Video game trope aside, the goal is now to unravel the past.

Let’s do the same! I asked Jeff: what’s your end goal — when/where in your life, would you claim yourself “done”, in the way Mario finally reaches Princess Peach or Doomguy finally downs “The Icon of Sin”?

I don’t think I would ever feel like I’m “done”. Even in the wildest dream scenario with a super smash indie hit, lots of money in the bank, the girl of your dreams, the nice car and all that, I think there will always be a hunger for more. If there’s no drive, then what’s the point? So to stick with your analogy, I’d say life (to me) is more of a procedurally generated “endless” runner than a finite set of levels with a goal. It’s a sandbox, really. The day I’m no longer hungry for more is the day I’m truly dead.

From here I want to unravel your past, and I can’t do it without talking about how you started. What was your first experience with games and what steps did you take to “make it” in the game industry?

I got into old school pen & paper roleplaying, especially AD&D before videogames. When I “migrated” into playing videogames more, that roleplaying interest carried itself over quite naturally, and two of my oldest and fondest memories are Dink Smallwood and Baldur’s Gate, two games which still to this day influences me greatly as a developer. 

Adding:

What actually got me into making games in the first place was that I had been developing my own pen & paper system for a while, and seeing how they adapted AD&D to videogames in Baldur’s Gate made me think “what if I could migrate my own system to a videogame?”.

So, pen and paper roleplaying games and AD&D, along with RPG video games was what inspired Jeff. But when did the inspiration become more than just thoughts and ideas — when was the shift from dream to reality?

I was around 13 at the time, and started looking into several different tools to help me get started – RPG Maker was one of the first ones I tried, which I quickly moved away from due to a lack of flexibility. From then on it was an all-consuming hobby, until a little game called “Braid” came out in 2008, and it dawned on me that the video game industry was going through a paradigm shift – and it slowly went from being a hobby to a more serious industry endeavour.

But let’s not dwell on the past anymore, but instead look to the future or, more exactly, the present! Since Spoiler Alert is out, what’s next for you guys — could you tell us a bit about what you’re working on now or your next project?

We still have Xbox One and Switch ports of Spoiler Alert in the pipeline, but beyond that, our main project right now is Ronn For Your Life which is an RPG with heavy emphasis on branching narrative, mixed in with some good old-fashioned action, platforming, exploration, and puzzles.

Adding:

It’s a rather tragic love story told in a high fantasy world. Right now I’m trying to piece together a somewhat playable and presentable demo for Game Scope. It will be very short and boast temporary programmer graphics, but the idea here is to give a general idea of what we’re going for and to take notes on player reactions to the different aspects of the main game mechanics. We’ve only just moved into the production phase and are starting generating content, so we’re very open to feedback and want to correct as many of the obvious flaws we haven’t seen ourselves as early on as possible before the game shapes itself too much.

You can follow Jeff on his game development endeavours on his blog linked below!

We’re also very open about the development process and the more technical side of things on the game’s developer blog which you can follow here:

Megafuzz’ Blog