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Q&A with Jeff Hardy

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) recently interviewed Jeff Hardy, founder and CEO of F84 Games, about his career in the video game industry, how the Internet of Things will converge with mobile games and apps, and the pixelated maps that lead him to a career in video games.

 

  1. Thanks for speaking with us, Jeff. Could you introduce yourself and your work?

hardyMy name is Jeff Hardy, founder and CEO of F84 Games. We are an independent developer located in North Hollywood, Calif. I am an artist by trade and started the company 15 years ago as a creative business. By 2008, we transitioned into a full development studio and began developing for all platforms. The company has shipped games ranging from handheld and console to mobile. In addition to our own independent titles, we also support a number of leading entertainment companies developing games for their IP.

  1. You’ve been involved in the game industry for quite some time. How did you first become interested in working with video games?

I first became interested in games years ago as a kid on my Atari 2600, Sega Master System and our family NES. I would play games and look at how the textures tiled to make the game art and level maps. I often plotted out game maps on graph paper and dreamed of making my own games one day, although I had no idea what the process was.

I first became interested in working in games roughly in 2006 while I was on a creative contract with Activision. It was there where I explored the process of game production, and it really resonated with me as a creative. It was a medium that could allow me to utilize a wide breath of my skills from direction, art and design to animation.

  1. What is it about your day-to-day job that you enjoy?

The most exciting part of my day-to-day is running production. I love working with my team solving the infinite problems that challenge us in the game making process. I find it extremely engaging when we find the creative solution to technical limitations and problems.

  1. Where do you see video games in 10 years? What broader applications across society can we expect in games’ future?

In 10 years, I see game visuals hitting a whole new hyper-real level, somewhere between ultra-reality and an augmented, virtual place. I see games, as a whole, entering every facet of our lives with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IOT) and its conversion with mobile tech.

  1. What trend, either in the industry or in creative applications of game technology, do you think people should pay more attention to?

I would pay attention to the IOT and the part it will play in the mobile games and apps ecosystem. This will be an inescapable future of the business and will present unlimited opportunity as developers.

  1. OK, now a fun one. What is your favorite video game and why?

I have too many favorites to call a single one out because there are so many variables in making that decision. But I can say that today I am addicted to Galaga ‘88. We recently put a Namco Pac Man Party upright cabinet in the lobby of our studio and we have been having a blast. It’s amazing how much fun there is in such a simple title. The level of difficulty ramps nicely and it really gets your heart pumping. Currently, our lead game designer is the number one spot on the leaderboard but I plan on regaining the title soon.

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