All Episodes

February 15, 2021 118 min

In episode 02, we sit down with Benjamin Johnson, or Mr. Benja as he’s known online, who is a designer and creative living in SoCal best known for being the lead designer on Rockstar Games Presents: Table Tennis and being a prominent open-world scripter for Red Dead Redemption.

Early on, he was introduced to the arts, but when he came across video games, he quickly decided to make game development his focus. Benja obtained degrees in Information Systems and Software Engineering from Florida A&M University and Michigan State University, respectively.

From there he went on to create and design video games for companies such as Sony Santa Monica, 3DO, WowWee, and, of course, Rockstar Games San Diego.

Afterward, he turned his focus away from the corporate and has since moved into creative ventures including podcasting, gallery curation, and a fine arts project called The 8Bit Cubist. And as he explains, “Life Imitates Game.”

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Chapters:

  • (0:00) Who is Mr. Benja?
  • (01:01) Intro Theme
  • (01:27) Are Games Art?
  • (04:56) A Toast: JÄGERMEISTER & Peloton de la Muerte Mezcal
  • (11:22) Falling in love with video games
  • (17:29) Learning & Applying DirectX
  • (23:10) Committed to Getting a Game Dev Job
  • (28:27) Interviewing at the 3DO Company
  • (41:21) Being a Gameplay Engineer at 3DO
  • (55:49) Playing Grand Theft Auto 3
  • (01:06:36) Can I be a Rockstar?
  • (01:14:26) Lead Designer for Rockstar Presents Table Tennis
  • (01:34:54) Red Dead Redemption Bounty Hunter
  • (01:43:52) Game Design is Dead
  • (01:50:47) Q&A - Suprise from Chris Bourassa
  • (01:53:00) Mr. Benja Farewell
  • (01:56:06) John's Recap
  • (01:57:26) Next Episode Teaser: Mayling Tan
  • (01:57:58) John's Outro
  • ----more----

    Additional Resources:

    Ben Johnson's Game Credits

    The 8Bit Cubist Mr Benja's ADD Experience  Follow Benja on Twitter @mrbenja

    Follow Benja on Instagram @mrbenja

    Follow you host John R. Diaz on Twitter @elkingpin

    http://outofplayarea.com

     

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