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Jiggmin
Jiggmin Avatar
Jiggmin's avatar.

Name

Jacob A. Grahn

Born

1987-06-05[1]

Occupation

Game Designer

Years Active

2005-2014

Website

http://freegoo.se

Jiggmin (real name Jacob Grahn) is an American independent video game developer.

Career

Web Design

Grahn's first experience with programming was in an elective Java class he took while in high school.[2] This sparked his interest in the field and in his senior year, Grahn began working as a freelance web designer and opened jacobgrahn.com on 2005-02-03 to serve as a portfolio for potential employers.[3] Grahn created his designs in Adobe Flash rather than using typical web-based languages and ranged from designing basic headers to entire websites.

Over the year, Grahn received several offers from various companies, including cdatasolutions[4], Fiber Patrol[5], Net Noose[6], and Appol Contracting.

Video Game Development

Early Years (2005-06)

Upon learning about a competition on Armor Games' (then known as Games of Gondor) website where users could develop and submit an Adobe Flash game with a requirement that it related to The Lord of the Rings, Grahn created his first game on the side titled Red Earth in a few days and submitted it on 2005-03-15.[7]. The game was unexpectedly a moderate success, leading to Grahn creating and entering a sequel the following month in another Armor Games contest.[8] The Red Earth series' success lead Armor Games to offer Grahn money to create a larger, more expansive experience.[9] He eventually came up with an adventure RPG concept known as Kimblis the Blue, which he worked on for the next several months before releasing it in October. The game quickly became a success, peaking at being the 2,941st most played game on the popular website Newgrounds.[10]

After Kimblis the Blue, Grahn began to increasingly devote his leisure time to developing games, releasing several within the next few months, including the popular Uber Breakout series and Cooties. Grahn later became temporarily employed at the sports themed gaming website Mousebreaker.com in March 2006[11], where he produced Mines and Uber Pool. Due to his dwindling interest in web design, Grahn opened and moved to a new website named mrjiggmin.com (later shortened to jiggmin.com) in April dedicated to hosting his games, with Uber Pool being the first published on it.[12] Grahn's next project, Destroyers of Planets, was intended to be a larger RPG style game, similar to Kimblis[13][14], and would be in development for several months before ultimately being dropped quietly for unknown reasons. However, during a temporary break he took in October, Grahn created The Game of Disorientation in one week, which was met with very positive reception and became Grahn's most successful project at the time.

Platform Racing and Success (2007-08)

2007 came to be Grahn's most active year, releasing a total of ten games and marking his expansion to online multiplayer ones, including Click Upon Dots, Kongregate Racing, Platform Racing, and Volly-Bounce. While most would largely fade out shortly after release, Platform Racing proved to be an enormous success and would launch Grahn's most popular series. Outside of multiplayer games, Grahn developed Rolley-Ball, which was released in January and tied for third place in a Mousebreaker competition.[15] Beat Master 3000 and Orbit were also released a month later in February, with the latter being developed in one day as a personal challenge.[16] Grahn wouldn't create another single-player game until July when he began working on Uber Space Shooter, which was released in November after multiple delays. The game was quickly followed up by Musical Evenizer three and a half weeks later.

After Musical Evenizer 's release, Grahn began focusing his efforts on Platform Racing 's sequel, Platform Racing 2, for the next six months.[17] An open beta was published on his website in the following February[18] and was fully released on other websites in May. The game quickly soared in popularity, eventually becoming the most played game on Kongregate in December 2009, a title it would hold until March 2012 when it was surpassed by Tyrant, and briefly the highest rated on the website as well during the summer of 2008.[19][20] Platform Racing 2 went on to win the "People's Choice" award at the Mochi's 2009 Flash Gaming Summit Awards and was runner-up for "Best Multiplayer Game" at the same event.[21][22]

Grahn's next project began development in August 2008 and was named Neverending Light (then titled Never Ending Night[23]), though he had first thought of the concept a year prior. The game was the first of Grahn's to feature mature themes and have multiple well-known voice actors, such as Lani Minella. A demo was released a month later in September and was completed the following February. While not as popular as Platform Racing 2, Neverending Light received high praise for its production values and briefly held the highest rating on Newgrounds.[24][25]

Platform Racing 3 also entered development in October 2008,[26] although few details were publicly revealed over the next year.

Collaborations (2009-10)

In January 2009, Grahn met with another indie game developer from Intuition Games named Greg Wohlwend (aeiowu) where they challenged themselves to develop and finish one game for each day of the month, with Grahn programming them while Wohlwend worked on art.[27] However, this plan soon proved to be infeasible and was quickly dropped in favor of a more operable schedule.[28] The pair ended up creating several small, short games by the month's end, including The Great Red Herring Chase, Effing Hail[29] Inkclipse[30] Murder in Crowland[31], and ZigZagZak[32]. Although Effing Hail and The Great Red Herring Chase would later be released in April and July, respectively, the remainder were shelved indefinitely due to inability to find sponsorship.[33]

Grahn spent much of the remainder of the year behind the scenes working on Platform Racing 3, however he momentarily took a break to develop Competitive Line Waiting alone in November for a Kongregate contest.[34]

On 2010-03-22, inXile Entertainment publicly announced via a press release that the company's Sparkworkz division, known for hosting Line Rider and other indie games, had been collaborating with Grahn on Platform Racing 3 by designing the game's art and bringing the installment to mobile platforms.[35] Grahn confirmed the news the next day on his website[36] and a beta was later released in July exclusively on Sparkworkz's website to mostly positive reception. Although the game received major updates through December, a full release never occurred due to Sparkworkz suffering extensive layoffs in 2011 that left the division with only enough employees to manage their servers, preventing Grahn from publishing further updates.[37]

While Platform Racing 3 was nearing towards its beta release, Grahn reunited with Wohlwend in May to create a sequel to Effing Hail known as Effing Meteors, which was announced a week later.[38] Development was spread out over the remainder of the year due to Grahn's obligations with Platform Racing 3 and the game was released in December to positive reception, ultimately surpassing the original in popularity. Effing Meteors would go on to become the final single-player game Grahn would create, and the final collaboration he would take part in.

War of the Web, Cancellations, and Hiatus (2011-Present)

Following a redesign of his website in January 2011, Grahn announced that his next project would be War of the Web, which would serve as a spiritual successor to an old forum game that was no longer compatible with the layout.[39] The game was placed on a temporary hiatus a few weeks after being announced for a few months in favor of updating older projects, such as selecting courses for a new Platform Racing 2 campaign and releasing hats in Platform Racing 3.

Later that June, Grahn began working on a smaller scale game known as Creation, which was intended to replace his forum's default vBulletin chat on the index.[40] Creation was released two months later in August, although it was later moved to its own game section in October,[41] with a more basic chatroom also created by Grahn replacing it on the forum. During War of the Web 's alpha release, the game was eventually published on other websites as well.

Development on War of the Web resumed in October, with Grahn hosting several livestreams throughout the next two months detailing the game's progress. An alpha was released on New Year's 2012[42] to allow for beta testing before it was released on other websites in March.

War of the Web was Grahn's final game made in Adobe Flash, as he revealed that his next project, Luna, would be developed in JavaScript to test the format before potentially writing a fourth Platform Racing installment in it, citing Flash's declining popularity for the change.[43] Despite this switch, however, War of the Web was Grahn's final finished project. While he attempted to develop several other games over the next two years, each were abandoned before completion. Luna was placed on-hold once his Motley Monday series began before later being removed from his website in June 2013[44] while he was reprogramming it,[45][46] however the game never returned and was unofficially dropped.

In an effort to prevent it from overshadowing his other projects, Grahn initially refrained from mentioning Platform Racing 4 too often and avoided a release date. However, he unexpectedly commented "December 1st" on a fan video inquiring for one in early 2013. While it was uncertain whether this was said in jest given his commitment to other projects and no additional information being given afterwards, two placeholder websites for the game featuring the main menu were opened on the date.[47] However, no further updates were made and the domains were shut down the following June without explanation.[48]

One month after Motley Monday concluded, Grahn started his next project titled Futurism in October 2013, which would be the first of his games to be open sourced and served as a personal challenge to complete a multiplayer game in a single week. However, similarly to his situation with Wohlwend, this proved to be impractical and was dropped after two days.[49] Instead, development took place over the next few months, with a public beta opening the following May.[50] However, like Platform Racing 4 's, the game's domain abruptly closed a month later. Patches continued to be published on Github for a couple months, though these eventually ceased as well.

After Futurism 's cancellation, Grahn entered an on-going extended hiatus. While many assumed he had retired from game development after jiggmin.com's unannounced closure in July 2015 and learning from forum moderators that he found another full-time job,[51] Grahn later stated on his replacement website Freegoose that he plans to develop more games eventually, specifically another Platform Racing installment.[52]

Trivia

  • Jiggmin's alias was originally "Jaggman", with the first three letters representing his initials. The a's were swapped with i's one day out of random and he decided to stick with it.[53]
  • Jiggmin's avatar comes from an advertisement for the hair loss drug Propecia.[54]
  • Jiggmin's favorite level in Platform Racing 2 is "Its New York!", with his second being "Soul Temple".[55]
    • His favorite songs in Platform Racing 2 are Paradise on E and Instrumental #4.[56]
  • Snorlax is Jiggmin's favorite Pokemon, with Ditto being second.[57]
  • Ocarina of Time was Jiggmin's favorite console game as of 2011.[58]
  • Jiggmin prefers to work on multiplayer games over single-player ones as he finds them more challenging to make.[59]
  • Jiggmin privately revealed in the Mod Hut on his forum on 2015-03-07 that one of the reasons for his inactivity was that he "met the girl he was going to marry". He later posted that he was engaged on 2015-12-19 via his Facebook and married two months afterwards on 2016-02-16.
  • Jiggmin is 1/16th Swedish.[60]

Gallery

References

  1. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/429725/3/#post152763
  2. http://web.archive.org/web/20141112050007/http://jiggmin.com/threads/91490-Ask-a-coder
  3. http://web.archive.org/web/20050407185720/http://jacobgrahn.com/
  4. http://web.archive.org/web/20100526074240/http://jacobgrahn.com/webDesign/centerPanel/centerPanel.htm
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/20100526074051/http://jacobgrahn.com/animation/fiberPatrol/fiberPatrol.htm
  6. http://web.archive.org/web/20100526074314/http://jacobgrahn.com/webDesign/netNoose/staticNoose.htm
  7. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/428335/1/#post119962
  8. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/428972/1/
  9. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/428972/1/#post135188
  10. http://web.archive.org/web/20060716053823/http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/275185
  11. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/432556/1/#post216046
  12. http://web.archive.org/web/20060702205042/http://mrjiggmin.com/
  13. http://web.archive.org/web/20061115005049/http://mrjiggmin.com/
  14. http://web.archive.org/web/20061115005132/http://mrjiggmin.com/DoP.html
  15. http://web.archive.org/web/20061216190316/http://mrjiggmin.com/
  16. http://web.archive.org/web/20111029061854/http://casualgameinformer.com/wp/2009/04/15/an-interview-with-jiggmin/
  17. http://web.archive.org/web/20111029061854/http://casualgameinformer.com/wp/2009/04/15/an-interview-with-jiggmin/
  18. http://web.archive.org/web/20080220051545/http://www.jiggmin.com/
  19. http://web.archive.org/web/20091209083622/http://www.kongregate.com/games?sort=gameplays
  20. http://web.archive.org/web/20120321174911/http://www.kongregate.com/games?sort=gameplays
  21. http://web.archive.org/web/20100314012224/http://mochiland.com/articles/the-flash-gaming-summit-re-cap-and-round-up
  22. http://web.archive.org/web/20090308055243/http://www.flashgamingsummit.com/the-mochis.html
  23. http://web.archive.org/web/20080923205648/http://jiggmin.com/
  24. http://web.archive.org/web/20100102112958/http://jiggmin.com/forum/blog.php?tag=madmonkey67+wuz+here&u=1
  25. http://web.archive.org/web/20090226001021/http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/484591
  26. http://www.kongregate.com/forums/3/topics/25151
  27. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/jiggminaeiowu-flash-game-collaboration-2009/
  28. http://web.archive.org/web/20111029061854/http://casualgameinformer.com/wp/2009/04/15/an-interview-with-jiggmin/
  29. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/more-from-the-collaboration-front-lines-with-jiggminaeiowu/
  30. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/inkclipse-jiggminaeiowu-collaboration/
  31. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/crow-game-working-title-jiggminaeiowu-collab/
  32. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/zigzagzack-jiggminaeiowu-collab-the-final-frontier/
  33. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/07/the-great-red-herring-chase-is-finally-released/
  34. http://web.archive.org/web/20131213155132/http://jiggmin.com/entries/8100-Competitive-Line-Waiting
  35. http://web.archive.org/web/20130601114354/http://www.sparkworkz.com/2010/03/inxile%E2%80%99s-sparkworkz%E2%84%A2-announces-the-next-installment-in-the-hit-flash-series-platform-racing%E2%84%A2/
  36. http://web.archive.org/web/20100808193125/http://jiggmin.com/forum/blog.php?b=10916
  37. http://forums.acidch.at/showthread.php?tid=115&pid=3036#pid3036
  38. http://web.archive.org/web/20110911130130/http://jiggmin.com/blogs/1-Jiggmin?s=46ceb1ee2c704dc555b1355462651eb7&blogcategoryid=124
  39. http://web.archive.org/web/20110209004155/http://jiggmin.com/entries/21210
  40. http://web.archive.org/web/20110826090808/http://jiggmin.com/entries/26795-Creation
  41. http://web.archive.org/web/20111021205620/http://jiggmin.com/games/creation
  42. http://web.archive.org/web/20120105150255/http://jiggmin.com/entries/44395
  43. http://web.archive.org/web/20120512142837/http://jiggmin.com/entries/51131
  44. http://web.archive.org/web/20150407094236/http://jiggmin.com/threads/105345-Luna-is-missing
  45. http://web.archive.org/web/20150407094344/http://jiggmin.com/threads/109941-luna-release-date
  46. http://web.archive.org/web/20150402215629/http://jiggmin.com/threads/107748-Is-Lux-gained-on-pr2-is-worthless-for-luna
  47. http://web.archive.org/web/20150418221830/http://jiggmin.com/entries/105919-PR-Fewar
  48. http://web.archive.org/web/20150323152318/http://jiggmin.com/threads/123178-Futurism-shutdown
  49. http://web.archive.org/web/20140402090355/http://jiggmin.com/entries/101337
  50. http://web.archive.org/web/20150417192404/http://jiggmin.com/entries/115781-Futurism-io
  51. http://forums.acidch.at/showthread.php?tid=1862&pid=93804#pid93804
  52. http://forums.freegoo.se/t/reply-jiggoman-insert-random-crap-here/148/6
  53. http://livestre.am/JpZL Revealed at 27:21.
  54. http://www.hairsolution.co.uk/about_me.htm
  55. http://livestre.am/JCE9 2:20.
  56. http://livestre.am/47rzI 11:10.
  57. http://livestre.am/JCE9 56:20.
  58. http://livestre.am/GpWG 49:00.
  59. http://livestre.am/19Rzt 1:32:55.
  60. http://livestre.am/N7S4 8:40.

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