The Game-Maker Archive – Part 20: Blinky and a Small Kind of Fame

Jeremy LaMar is perhaps best known under the handle SnigWich, for his Megazeux games such as Bernard the Bard – often ranked amongst the best games ever produced under Gregory Janson’s engine. More recently, under his new name Otto Germain, he has returned to his roots as a cartoonist. Before any of that, he was renowned for his RSD Game-Maker work – and he never even knew it.

At some point two of LaMar’s early Game-Maker games, The Return of Blinky and Blinky 3, made their way to a section of America Online known as AOL Kids. There, they gained a small yet fervent cult following. In the following years, a Blinky wiki and fanfics and video tributes would spring up around the Web. Even years after the AOL Kids area vanished, LaMar’s fans kept up the devotion. At least one poster to a DOS games forum claimed that the Blinky games inspired him to pursue game design.

When you consider the obscurity of most Game-Maker games, indeed of Game-Maker itself, this level of enthusiasm is remarkable. To be sure, LaMar’s games are amongst the most polished produced with RSD’s tools, both in terms of the design sensibility and in their mastery of the materials available to them. One does wonder, though, how much circumstance and exposure play in a game’s fortunes. One also wonders what other small communities might even now be obsessing over even less likely games, and to what extent those players might be inspired to greater things.

( Continue reading at DIYGamer )

Author: Azure

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3 thoughts on “The Game-Maker Archive – Part 20: Blinky and a Small Kind of Fame”

  1. Nice article. I used to be part of the Megazeux community so it’s surprising to see an article about an old-school MZXer these days. Bernard the Bard was one of the first Megazeux games I ever played, and still one of my favorites.

  2. I’m glad that this dude seems to have an ongoing fandom quietly murmuring in the wings, even though it seems to weird the guy out a little.

    The more I research this stuff, the more of a picture I’m piecing together of the way tools like this fit into people’s lives. I’ve been talking with another guy who has a pretty good career in the game industry now, who got his start with this game engine. Another guy has just kept making sequels to his one franchise, in other game engines and then as Flash games on the Web.

  3. I’m actually seeing a sort of progression here, of people starting with Garry Kitchens’ GameMaker, moving on to RSD’s Game-Maker, then to ZZT/MegaZeux, then to Mark Overmars’ Game Maker. Sometimes with a Klik ‘n’ Play interlude.

    It seems that several Game-Maker users later became fairly well known in the ZZT scene. cly5m is another obvious one.

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