I Love You!'s Exclusive
Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now
video game creator, Jason Oda!
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!
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.
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
So when did you decide to meld the two together? What was your
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.
How did you go about creating the game? What software did you use,
JODA: I just use flash and a brand new 3d
engine called Alternativa.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you think the world is ready for a Perfect Strangers video
JODA: Apparently it is! People seem to
really like it. I'm not used to that happening with what I do!
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.
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.
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.
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!