What’s the story behind JUMP! ???

Back in high school, I had to buy a fancy graphing calculator for math. Around 1997 that meant a TI-83 (nope, not the fancy TI-83+ for me, just the base model). And that calculator was amazing. It had its own BASIC programming language you could use to create your own programs! But even cooler than that, a bunch of really smart people knew how to write code in the calculator’s Z80 assembly language, which meant we could play even cooler games. Some folks even wrote operating systems for the calculator!

One of my favorite games was the Penguins game written by a guy named Bill Nagel. Probably my second favorite was a ball-jumping game. Plain Jump is not the exact one I played, but it does feel familiar. To me, those were the original “mobile” games, back in the days before everyone carried a cell phone.

When I first started working on a game I could play on my Kindle Fire, I wanted to recreate that retro experience but with some cool power-ups and effects not available in the old TI-83 game.

I intentionally named it JUMP! with the exclamation mark to invoke excitement. I picture someone yelling “JUMP!” in a panic right in the moment the ball reaches the edge of a platform before falling into the abyss, and I think that sense of urgency is what drives the addictive gameplay. I’ve truly enjoyed making and playing this game, and hope you will enjoy it too!

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