Skip navigation


I recently had the opportunity to Interview one of the rising stars of the Indie Gaming scene, Jesse Venbrux. Jesse is the winner of the 2008 YoYo Games Competition for his creative platformer  Frozzd.

Check of the full interview below to find out why Jesse adores  Killer 7, loves the Gamecube Controller, and where he seems himself headed.

April 2010 Jesse Venbrux Interview

1) I know you have done some interviews before Jesse, but tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into game development?

Hey. I’m born and raised in the Netherlands where I still live. Currently I’m studying “game design and development” at the Utrecht School of the Arts. As a kid I was very creative and always drawing comics and making board games. I also got an interest in developing computer games, but it wasn’t until I tried Game Maker that I really got into.

2)You designed Frozzd in 5 weeks in order to submit it for the YoYo Competition. What were those 5 weeks like?

They were hell-ish. Well, pretty intense anyway. I got rather excited about my idea and really wanted it to be the best game in the competition. Especially the last few weeks I worked very hard and planned everything out to the last minute. The competition deadline as well as my ambition to win really made me do my best. All the time I tried looking at my concept from different angles, imagined how it would come across to other people, trying to find any loopholes, anything people could critique. I really kept the public in mind and tried my best to make it a smooth experience from the start. It’s something I didn’t really do before Frozzd, so I think I learned a lot from that.

3)Frozzd won first place in the YoYo Competition. Does winning awards come as a surprise to you or is this something you are beginning to expect?

Haha. I haven’t won any other awards since so it’s really not something I expect. In the case of Frozzd I did.

4) Getting into the gaming industry has been described as “tricky” by some. What has your journey been like thus far?

People tell me I have a good portfolio, so I’m confident I’ll be able to find a job somewhere. However, the game industry here in the Netherlands is small and doesn’t interest me as much. So for my internship in 2008 (it’s part of my study) I contacted lots of small but interesting companies all over the world. I got an internship at Q-Games (Japan), which has been a great experience. I think my portfolio really helped there.

5) What are you working on right now?

Currently I’m trying to do a small prototype each week. I’m also looking into different programming languages such as Action Script 3 and the Flash Punk library. I hope to do a new browser-based game in the future.

Recently, I’ve made “They Need To Be Fed” which I’m very happy with myself. My main site needs to be updated but you can find it on my blog ( It’s actually similar to Frozzd; yet very fresh.

They Need to be Fed

I love Orange!

6) Is your goal to work for a big budget studio or keep your independent gaming roots?

This is a tough question. I don’t know yet what I want to do, but I hope to get a job in the Japanese games industry after graduation (I also really like Japan as a country and culture). I want to get some experience working at an interesting company and maybe further in the future I can start something myself, but that’s hard to say as of now.

7)What is a challenge facing indie game design in 2010?

I wouldn’t know. I hope every independent game developer picks their own unique challenge to work with.

8 ) What are your favorite games? Console of all time? What game are you best in?

My favorite games are probably Killer 7 and Resident Evil 4. I think both are masterpieces, designed to entertain from beginning to end. It seems the developers really made every moment unique instead of repeating patterns to lengthen the game.

As such, my favorite console is the Nintendo GameCube. I love the controller design with the central A button.

I’m not very good at playing games. I’m terrible at first person shooters, be it console or pc. I could never get into fighting games, and always get my ass kicked in sports games. But I’m pretty good at Mario Kart, I think.

Thanks a bunch for your time Jesse. Check out Frozzd and all of Jesse’s other games at


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] titled “Suicide in games” on GameSpy. I recommend it! The other interview was for HugePush, about Frozzd and other things. Category: Game Design  |  Comment (RSS) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: