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Jiggmin
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Name

Jacob A. Grahn

Born

1987-06-05[1]

Occupation

Game Designer

Years Active

2005-2014

Website

https://grahn.io

Jiggmin (real name Jacob Grahn) is an American independent video game developer who is most well known for creating the Platform Racing series.

Career

Web Design

Grahn's first experience with programming was through a Java class in high school.[2] This sparked his interest in the field and in his senior year, he began working as a freelance web designer in October 2004, opening jacobgrahn.com the following February to serve as a portfolio for potential employers.[3][4][5] Grahn's designs, which ranged from simple headers to entire websites, were created with Adobe Flash rather than usual web-based languages.[6] Over the year, he received several offers from various companies, including cdatasolutions, Fiber Patrol, Net Noose and Appol Contracting.[7][8][9][10]

Video Game Development

Early Years (2005-06)

After learning of a Lord of the Rings themed competition on Armor Games' website (then known as Games of Gondor) in March 2005, Grahn developed his first game Red Earth on the side and submitted it.[11] Finishing in around 15th place, the game was unexpectedly a moderate success to Grahn, prompting him to develop a sequel the following month and enter it in a similar contest.​​[12][13] The Red Earth series impressed Armor Games, leading the website to offer Grahn money to come up with a larger, more expansive project.[14] He settled on an adventure RPG concept known as Kimblis the Blue, which he worked on for the next several months before finishing in October. The game quickly became a success, peaking at being the 2,941st most played game on the popular website Newgrounds.[15]

After Kimblis, Grahn increasingly devoted more of his time towards game development, completing several within the next few months, among them being the popular Uber Breakout series. He later became temporarily employed at the sports-themed gaming website mousebreaker.com in March 2006, where he produced Mines and Uber Pool.[16] Recognizing his dwindled interest in web design (with his last commissioned work having been in the previous Fall), Grahn decided to create a new website in April dedicated solely to his games, naming it mrjiggmin.com based on his username on Newgrounds and other websites.[17] Afterwards, he began work on his next project, Destroyers of Planets, which was intended to be another RPG like Kimblis, albeit more traditional.[18][19] It would be in development for most of the year before ultimately being quietly dropped for unknown reasons. However, during a week-long break in October, Grahn made The Game of Disorientation, which was met with very positive reception and became his most successful project at the time.

Platform Racing and Success (2007-08)

2007 marked Grahn's expansion to online multiplayer games, including the releases of Click Upon Dots, Kongregate Racing, Platform Racing and Volly-Bounce. While most were met with moderate success, Platform Racing proved popular enough for Grahn to consider a sequel. He also developed Rolley-Ball, which was released in January and tied for third place in a Mousebreaker competition.[20] Beat Master 3000 and Orbit were released a month later, with the latter being made in a single day as a personal challenge.[21] Grahn began working on Uber Space Shooter in July, which eventually saw a November release 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 2 for the next six months.[22] An open beta was published on his website in the following February, before the full game was released three months later.[23] The game quickly soared in popularity, receiving nearly 10,000 plays on Kongregate within the first 24 hours of release.[24] It would eventually go on to become the website's most played game in December 2009, a title it would hold until it was surpassed by Tyrant in March 2012, along with briefly holding the highest rating during the summer of 2008.[25][26] Platform Racing 2 went on to win the "People's Choice" award at the Mochi's 2009 Flash Gaming Summit Awards along with being runner-up for "Best Multiplayer Game".[27][28]

Grahn's next project began development in August under the title Neverending Night, whose concept he came up with the previous year.[29][30] The first of his to feature mature themes, Grahn unusually chose to use well-known voice actors for the game, such as Lani Minella, a rarity for Flash games. A demo was released a month later before the game was completed the following February. While not as successful as Platform Racing 2, Neverending Light received acclaim for its story and production values, being selected as making Flash Portal History in 2009 by Newgrounds' staff.[31]

Collaborations (2009-10)

In January 2009, Grahn met with fellow indie developer Greg Wohlwend from Intuition Games where they challenged themselves to develop and finish one game for each day of the month, with Grahn programming while Wohlwend worked on art.[32] However, this plan soon proved to be infeasible and was quickly dropped in favor of a more operable schedule.[33] The pair ended up creating several small games by the month's end, including The Great Red Herring Chase, Effing Hail, InkclipseA Murder in Crowland and ZigZagZak​​​​​​.[34][35][36][37] Only Effing Hail and The Great Red Herring Chase were ever released, though, due to the remainders inability to find sponsorships.[38]

Grahn spent much of the remainder of the year working behind the scenes on Platform Racing 3, which had begun development in October 2008.[39] He briefly took a break, although, to make Competitive Line Waiting by himself in November for an endurance themed Kongregate contest.[40]

Later on 2010-03-22, inXile Entertainment announced via a press release that the company's Sparkworkz web-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.[41] Grahn confirmed the news the next day on his website and a beta was later released in July exclusively on Sparkworkz to positive reception.[42] Although the game received major updates through December, a full release never occurred due to Sparkworkz experiencing extensive layoffs in 2011 that left the division with only enough employees to maintain their servers, preventing Grahn from publishing further updates.[43]

While Platform Racing 3 was nearing 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.[44] Development was spread throughout the year due to his 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 collaboration he took part in.

War of the Web and Hiatus (2011-Present)

Following a redesign of his website in January 2011, Grahn announced that his next project, War of the Web, would serve as a spiritual successor to a forum game that was no longer compatible with the software.[45] The game was placed on a hiatus a few weeks later, however, in favor of updating older projects. Later that June, he began working on Creationa smaller-scale game that was intended to replace his forum's vBulletin chat.[46] Creation was released in August, although overtime it turned into its own game and was eventually published on other websites in 2012.

Development on War of the Web resumed in October, with Grahn hosting several livestreams throughout the next two months showing the game's progress. An alpha was released on New Year's 2012 to allow for beta testing before it was released on other websites in March.[47]

Following War of the Web 's release, Grahn revealed it would be his last to use Flash, citing the format's declining popularity.[48] Instead, his next project Luna would be written in JavaScript to test the format before a potential fourth Platform Racing installment. Despite this announcement, Grahn has not completed another project as of yet. Although several games were announced over the next two years, none saw completion. Luna was placed on-hold once Motley Monday began before later being removed from his website in June 2013 while he was reprogramming it, though it never returned.[49][50][51] Two websites were set up for Platform Racing 4 on December 1st that year with plans to release updates to beta testers in the coming weeks, though no further updates were made and both domains closed the following June.[52][53] Futurism was also announced in October, which was the first of his projects to be open sourced. The game was originally planned to be completed in one week, though similarly to his situation with Wohlwend, this proved to be impractical and was dropped after two days.[54] Development instead lasted several months, with a public beta opening the following May.[55] The domain abruptly closed a month later, however, and updates on GitHub ceased in August.

After Futurism 's cancellation, Grahn entered an on-going hiatus. While many assumed he 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, Grahn later stated on his replacement website Freegoose that he plans to develop more games eventually, specifically another Platform Racing installment​​​​​​.​[56][57]

Trivia

  • Jiggmin's alias was originally "Mr. Jagman", with "Jag" representing his initials. An extra g was later added, and the a's were swapped with i's one day out of random and he decided to stick with it.[58][59] He lastly dropped "Mr." as he thought it sounded dumb.[60]
    • Jiggmin originally planned to keep his alias and real identity unlinked to direct attention away from himself, intending to turn Jiggmin into a mysterious person he worked for.[61]
  • Jiggmin's avatar comes from an advertisement for the hair loss drug Propecia.[62]
  • Jiggmin's favorite level in Platform Racing 2 is "Its New York!", with his second being "Soul Temple".[63]
    • Likewise, his favorite songs in the game are Paradise on E and Instrumental #4.[64]
  • Snorlax is Jiggmin's favorite Pokémon, with Ditto being second.[65]
  • Ocarina of Time was Jiggmin's favorite console game as of 2011.[66]
  • Jiggmin later came to prefer working on multiplayer games over single-player ones as he finds them more challenging to make.[67]
  • Jiggmin revealed in the Mod Hut on his forum in 2015 that one of the reasons for his inactivity was that he "met the girl he was going to marry". He later publicly posted that he was engaged that December and married two months afterwards on 2016-02-16.
  • Jiggmin is 1/16th Swedish.[68]

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. https://tapatalk.com/groups/brackenwood/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5329&p=47699#p47699
  4. https://tapatalk.com/groups/brackenwood/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9960&p=74561#p74561
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/20050407185720/http://jacobgrahn.com/
  6. https://tapatalk.com/groups/brackenwood/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9993
  7. http://web.archive.org/web/20100526074240/http://jacobgrahn.com/webDesign/centerPanel/centerPanel.htm
  8. http://web.archive.org/web/20100526074051/http://jacobgrahn.com/animation/fiberPatrol/fiberPatrol.htm
  9. http://web.archive.org/web/20100526074314/http://jacobgrahn.com/webDesign/netNoose/staticNoose.htm
  10. https://tapatalk.com/groups/brackenwood/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2130&p=111958#p111958
  11. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/428335/1/#post119962
  12. http://www.newsandtribune.com/news/local_news/local-game-designer-wins-award/article_1bd03f40-d729-52ec-b80b-5e89a3a30fd1.html
  13. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/428972/1/
  14. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/428972/1/#post135188
  15. http://web.archive.org/web/20060716053823/http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/275185
  16. http://s7.zetaboards.com/Brackenwood/topic/432556/1/#post216046
  17. http://web.archive.org/web/20060702205042/http://mrjiggmin.com/
  18. http://web.archive.org/web/20061115005049/http://mrjiggmin.com/
  19. http://web.archive.org/web/20061115005132/http://mrjiggmin.com/DoP.html
  20. http://web.archive.org/web/20061216190316/http://mrjiggmin.com/
  21. http://web.archive.org/web/20111029061854/http://casualgameinformer.com/wp/2009/04/15/an-interview-with-jiggmin/
  22. http://web.archive.org/web/20111029061854/http://casualgameinformer.com/wp/2009/04/15/an-interview-with-jiggmin/
  23. http://web.archive.org/web/20080220051545/http://www.jiggmin.com/
  24. http://web.archive.org/web/20080503192307/http://www.kongregate.com:80/games/Jiggmin/platform-racing-2
  25. http://web.archive.org/web/20091209083622/http://www.kongregate.com/games?sort=gameplays
  26. http://web.archive.org/web/20120321174911/http://www.kongregate.com/games?sort=gameplays
  27. http://web.archive.org/web/20100314012224/http://mochiland.com/articles/the-flash-gaming-summit-re-cap-and-round-up
  28. http://web.archive.org/web/20090308055243/http://www.flashgamingsummit.com/the-mochis.html
  29. http://web.archive.org/web/20080923205648/http://jiggmin.com/
  30. http://web.archive.org/web/20081006094752/http://jiggmin.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=6e81fcdd0e87cab691488ca705686b0c&f=6
  31. https://web.archive.org/web/20130310152027/http://www.newgrounds.com/collection/flashportalhistory2009
  32. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/jiggminaeiowu-flash-game-collaboration-2009/
  33. http://web.archive.org/web/20111029061854/http://casualgameinformer.com/wp/2009/04/15/an-interview-with-jiggmin/
  34. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/more-from-the-collaboration-front-lines-with-jiggminaeiowu/
  35. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/inkclipse-jiggminaeiowu-collaboration/
  36. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/crow-game-working-title-jiggminaeiowu-collab/
  37. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/01/zigzagzack-jiggminaeiowu-collab-the-final-frontier/
  38. http://www.intuitiongames.com/2009/07/the-great-red-herring-chase-is-finally-released/
  39. http://www.kongregate.com/forums/3/topics/25151
  40. http://web.archive.org/web/20131213155132/http://jiggmin.com/entries/8100-Competitive-Line-Waiting
  41. 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/
  42. http://web.archive.org/web/20100808193125/http://jiggmin.com/forum/blog.php?b=10916
  43. http://forums.acidch.at/showthread.php?tid=115&pid=3036#pid3036
  44. http://web.archive.org/web/20110911130130/http://jiggmin.com/blogs/1-Jiggmin?s=46ceb1ee2c704dc555b1355462651eb7&blogcategoryid=124
  45. http://web.archive.org/web/20110209004155/http://jiggmin.com/entries/21210
  46. http://web.archive.org/web/20110826090808/http://jiggmin.com/entries/26795-Creation
  47. http://web.archive.org/web/20120105150255/http://jiggmin.com/entries/44395
  48. http://web.archive.org/web/20120512142837/http://jiggmin.com/entries/51131
  49. http://web.archive.org/web/20150407094236/http://jiggmin.com/threads/105345-Luna-is-missing
  50. http://web.archive.org/web/20150407094344/http://jiggmin.com/threads/109941-luna-release-date
  51. http://web.archive.org/web/20150402215629/http://jiggmin.com/threads/107748-Is-Lux-gained-on-pr2-is-worthless-for-luna
  52. http://web.archive.org/web/20150418221830/http://jiggmin.com/entries/105919-PR-Fewar
  53. http://web.archive.org/web/20150323152318/http://jiggmin.com/threads/123178-Futurism-shutdown
  54. http://web.archive.org/web/20140402090355/http://jiggmin.com/entries/101337
  55. http://web.archive.org/web/20150417192404/http://jiggmin.com/entries/115781-Futurism-io
  56. http://forums.acidch.at/showthread.php?tid=1862&pid=93804#pid93804
  57. http://forums.freegoo.se/t/reply-jiggoman-insert-random-crap-here/148/6
  58. https://tapatalk.com/groups/brackenwood/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1229&p=67940#p67940
  59. http://livestre.am/JpZL Revealed at 27:21.
  60. http://kongregate.com/forums/19/topics/86262?page=8#posts-1989271
  61. http://web.archive.org/web/20110227214245/http://jiggmin.com/blogs/1-Jiggmin?s=07fec2292e0e841088f7149e77fc43a9&tag=xnickx86+wuz+here+%3Dp
  62. http://www.hairsolution.co.uk/about_me.htm
  63. http://livestre.am/JCE9 2:20.
  64. http://livestre.am/47rzI 11:10.
  65. http://livestre.am/JCE9 56:20.
  66. http://livestre.am/GpWG 49:00.
  67. http://livestre.am/19Rzt 1:32:55.
  68. http://livestre.am/N7S4 8:40.