P.S. I Love You!'s Exclusive Interview with
Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now
video game creator, Jason Oda!

What a treat it was to go online on Wednesday, May 2nd to find an absolutely wonderful surprise and treat in store for Perfect Strangers fans everywhere!  For that's the day that Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now appeared seemingly from out of nowhere; an online video game based on our favorite television show!  It was like a dream come true!  Only it wasn't Warner Bros. or any other corporate entity behind the game, it was one person, a fan of the show (or at least the show's theme song) who just decided this game needed to be done.  And grateful we are that Jason Oda (better known online as JODA) took the time to make his dream come true and create this game!  We asked Jason if he'd be willing to answer some of our questions about the game and he was terrific in responding to all of our inquiries, so here now is the story behind the video game!

P.S. Online: So how long have you been a video game designer / creator?
JODA: Professionally 6 years, but I've been making games for about 12 years now.

P.S. Online: And how long have you been a fan of Perfect Strangers?
JODA: I'm 33 so I grew up watching it.  Hadn't seen it in a while, but revisited it after hearing the old theme song on a podcast.

P.S. Online: So when did you decide to meld the two together? What was your inspiration?
JODA: The theme song to Perfect Strangers invokes such wonderful feelings of hope and it truly makes you feel like all of your dreams ARE going to come true.  I thought it would be great to use my skills in games to help others feel and express that too.

P.S. Online: How did you go about creating the game? What software did you use, programming, etc.?
JODA: I just use flash and a brand new 3d engine called Alternativa.

P.S. Online: How did you go about selecting the images and audio you wanted to include in the game?
JODA: It was really hard finding good pictures of Larry and Balki.  Balki is just a 3d model with a face photoshopped onto it in most cases.  A lot of the other images are screen caps from the show.

P.S. Online: How long did it take you to create the game, from concept to launch?
JODA: It took about 5 or 6 weeks to make the game.

P.S. Online: What was the most challenging part to create?
JODA: The most challenging part is just building the world and the different scenes and figuring out which ones work and when.

P.S. Online: Did you add in any particular images or scenes or tributes to favorite episodes which we should watch for?
JODA: I didn't want to get too specific with individual episodes.  I tried to hint at things in the journey however.  For example at the end there are houses in the suburbs which kind of symbolize the characters move out of the city.  There are bits of Dimitri in there and the ranks you receive at the end point to random little bits in episodes.  For example, "Wet Larry" is the plumbing episode.  Balki Claus is the Christmas episode.

P.S. Online: I love the fact that you ask visitors to choose their dream and then have then play to make it come true.  It’s so fitting of the show’s theme!  Was the theme song Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now an inspiration in your life in any way?
JODA: Definitely!  Day to day life can make you feel uninspired and routine, but in the back of you head its always important to hold that dream you're chasing in the back of your mind, and feel that in your day to
day life you're chasing it at least in some small way.

P.S. Online: You are certainly notable in the world of online gaming.  What are some of your favorite games and interactive sites you’ve created?
JODA: Well the Emo games were my first 15 minutes of fame way back in 2001.  Those games are pretty awful and the at the same time charming.  I like some of the old ones I've done like the Chemical Brothers and for newer games I like the Fall Out Boy one.

P.S. Online: I have to say the Meow Mix site cracks me up . . . your sense of humor definitely comes through in your work.  Is that important to you?
JODA: Sure!  But making silly fun stuff is what my work is about.  Just dumb stuff that hopefully is entertaining and gets you to waste a minute or two.

P.S. Online: What other games have you worked on that you’re most proud of?
JODA: Not many to tell you the truth.  Most of my games are commercial and awful.

P.S. Online: Well, that's certainly up for debate!  But you also do a fan site for the movie Se7en.  That seems far removed from Perfect Strangers!  What is it about that movie that you love?
JODA: I used to love that movie in college.  I still sort of do.  I made that in 2001 when I was trying to make movie websites instead of games.

P.S. Online: Do you think the world is ready for a Perfect Strangers video game?
JODA: Apparently it is!  People seem to really like it.  I'm not used to that happening with what I do!

P.S. Online: It's pretty clear that you've struck a chord with this game!  Any chance of a Family Matters game at some point?
JODA: Maybe, I have to think about it.  If I do another sitcom I guess it would be FM, but I'm not sure what the "chasing your dreams" idea would be for that show.  Either way, I'm going to be just doing commercial work for a while.  Nothing too special or fun.

P.S. Online: What would you like to do that you haven’t done yet in your career?
JODA: I'd probably just want to do more games that are less commercial and more artful and get paid the same.  New things seem to come up every year and pretty happy with how things are going.

P.S. Online: What would you like fans of both Perfect Strangers and the online game to know about you?
JODA: Oh not much.  Just that I hope they like the game and it was great to help people look back and appreciate how awesome that show was.

Thanks, Jason, for taking the time to make such a wonderful game for all of us which really captures the heart and feel of the original series!  Be sure to visit Jason's website to learn more about his career and to play his other great online games!