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Rainbow Jam 2018 – Meet Benjamin Jusserand!

We are now 3 day away from the start of Rainbow Game Jam 2018! We are so excited to kick off the jam this year!

In the run up to Rainbow Game Jam 2018 we wanted to take this opportunity to share the work and voices of previous entrants of Rainbow Jam!

Today we have Benjamin Jusserand ( Twitter, itch.io, website), developer of Rainbow Jam 2017 game An Everlasting Dream With You!

Hi Benjamin, Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello! My name is Benjamin Jusserand, alias “Mobandon”. I’m 20, I live in France and I like coding, music and experimental stuff!

Can you tell us about your Rainbow Jam 2017 Game?

I made a little “dodge-em-all” named “An everlasting dream with you”. It was created with PICO-8, a fantastic tool that I recommend if you like retro games or if you have, like me, limited graphic art skills. (I try to get better at drawing, but it’s hard!)

The feedback for my submission has been overwhelmingly positive, and I want to thank everyone who voted and commented!

Why did you take part in Rainbow Jam 2017?

Before Rainbow Jam, it was been a while since I made something game related. The year before, I started being a student in web dev, and I began to understand how to code and to learn the basics of design. But I still didn’t know what tool to use to create a game… Until I discovered PICO-8.

In summer 2017, I was exhausted from school. But I wanted to create and finish something. While browsing Itch.io, I saw the Rainbow Jam and I said, “Why not? I will try.” I never though I would be so proud of my submission!

What were your highlights of Rainbow Jam 2017?

Telling myself “I made a game that I’m proud of, and people play it”.

With my anxiety and my tendency to procrastinate, I have difficulty finishing anything. And when you don’t have a lot of friend to support you, it’s even harder.

But this Jam has motivated me to finish a game. Reading so many kind comments and seeing the ranking made me realise that my work is not so “worthless” after all.

In a way, I was able to change the life of someone, even if it’s not a lot.

Last year the theme for Rainbow Jam was “Spectrum”, how do you feel your game explored that theme?

At first, I was a little afraid that my game would be “refused” because it’s not explicitly LGBT themed.

But by browsing other submission, I realised that I could explore this theme in other ways:

  • The player is controlling a ghost. “Spectre” means ghost in French!
  • I really like colourful games, so I took inspiration from the term “colour spectrum”. PICO-8 has a limited palette, but it is vibrant colours. In the game, you must survive a week, by playing 7 levels. Each day is represented by a colour. This colour set the tone of the character that greets the player in the beginning of the night. You begin with the end of the visible colour spectrum (the colour red) and you gradually go down to the purple.

How has the LGBT community helped your passion for game development?

I love productions that tries to be accessible and inclusive, even if it’s not perfect.

Like a lot of people, I watched a lot of cartoons, played some video games, and read a lot of books in my childhood. But when you don’t really identify with the popular “heteronormative” tropes (along with the bashing of modern art), you can think that your creative vision can’t be shared with others.

So, when you begin to see all the LGBT creators/artists on the net that wants to make unique, different stuff, you realize that you are not alone. And that feels good!

Can video games, by themselves, improve our society? I don’t know. But one thing is sure, they can give courage, confidence, and hope to the ones that need it.

What advice do you have for someone who hasn’t taken part in Rainbow Jam, or any other game jam before?

You should often make backups of your code. If something breaks your game and you’re having trouble determine/remember what it is, it can be less frustrating to restart from an earlier version!

Do you have anything else you would like to share?

I’m making another PICO-8 game: it’s a bullet hell/danmaku called “Statice Limonium”.

It’s very inspired by Touhou, but it will be easier (mainly because you can’t fit a lot of bullets within a 128×128 screen) and you will be able to purchase upgrades that may help you!

I’m also making a little website/blog for my work. This last year has been very tiresome for me. And I’m still too anxious to post the things I want to share on the internet. I hope this blog will brings me motivation!

Keep in touch and get involved on social media!

Discord    Twitter    Facebook     itch.io

Categories RainbowJam18 RainbowJamInterviews

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