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Interview: JIM BONACCI

Posted by 456jerkface on March 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

I finally made an interview with the great Jim Bonacci!

1. Why did you started working on Happy Wheels, and when?

I began working on Happy Wheels around 2006.  I was flash developer employed in advertising.  It had always been my intention to try to live off of my own work, as developing things for others was depressing and seemed very wasteful of my time.  My friend and boss back then, Alec Cove, had made a verlet physics engine for flash.  I was messing around with it, and eventually created a guy in a wheelchair that would endlessly fall down a random hill.  I thought it was funny and stupid, so I kept expanding on it.  It was only meant to be a very small game, but eventually it became my main focus.

2. on which categories do levels have to be good to get Featured?

Originality is usually the most important.  Creative use of the level editor, artistic detail, amount of time put into development, humor and how I feel it will be perceived by the majority of users are other things I consider.

3. What update would you try as next one?

I'm currently working on a new animation system for what will most likely be a new game, but I should soon go back to updating Happy Wheels to appease the masses.  I would like to put in sound selections for vehicles.  They don't make any sound right now and it makes me cringe.  I'd also like a trigger system, that could set off certain things.  One such thing could be starting and stopping ambient sounds.  I really feel the sound is so far behind everything else.

4. Are you having plans to add the zombies you mentioned?

I actually kind of regret saying that.  I had some ideas for it, but I really wouldn't want to see an overwhelming number of zombie levels.  People already seem to represent zombies decently on their own.  Animated bad guys would also be easier with the new system I'm building, rather than the one in place for Happy Wheels.

5. What kind of levels do you hate the most?

Any levels that try to manipulate the user into rating 5 or some other random bullshit.  Endless copied levels.  I really don't understand the gratification some users get just by getting a lot of plays for something they spent zero time creating.  It's a meaningless number and it really just harms the active community.

6. Who is your favourite author on Happy Wheels?

I'd rather not choose a favorite, but it's pretty much represented by the authors of the featured levels.

7. How does a regular day at the office (as you have one) look like?

It's less than spectacular.  I show up at around 11:00.  If I followed my own schedule I'd be there at 10:00.  I sit in my desk and press buttons.  I usually go out and eat somewhere at 12:30.  When I'm not pressing buttons, I'll most likely be complaining about trivial life issues to Jason.  Joe, my brother, is there now too... so that leads to more varied, retarded conversations.  I usually leave around 6 or 6:30.  If I happen to be very motivated with what I'm doing, I'll stay late.

8. What are all your "Employees" that work on Happy Wheels, and how many?

Jason Schymick is the only other person working on the game.  Joe, my brother, is currently working on choose-your-own-adventure style videos that I'd like to get more involved in.  A few other people I've met through Happy Wheels have helped me with a few other things, but nobody I see in person.

9. What kind of levels do you like the most?

This is basically the same as what qualifies for a featured level.  There are levels I like though that I wouldn't feature.  I'll always enjoy a good meat factory level.  The key to that though is to not murder everyone immediately, because then there's no screaming after the first 5 seconds.

10. Would you ever like to join


I suppose it's not harmful.

Thanks so much Jim!


Categories: Interviews

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Reply rex1440
7:58 PM on March 27, 2012 
oh my god!!! you are awesome!!!
Reply BlueMonkey22 (Peter2222)
1:59 PM on March 21, 2012 
Thanks Jim!
Reply 456jerkface
1:07 PM on March 21, 2012 
That's nice to hear thank you!

[/Eagle of Honor]
Reply Eagle of Honor
12:34 PM on March 21, 2012 
I always wanted an interview with Jim Bonacci, and to join
Dreams really come true!
Reply TJFT
10:49 AM on March 21, 2012 
Awesome 456jerkface for doing this, great job! And of course thanks to Jim for answering the questions ;)
Reply 456jerkface
9:26 AM on March 21, 2012 
Jim Bonacci answered my e-mail, I am so HAPPY :D
Reply iDeViL360
9:14 AM on March 21, 2012 
awesome. Just: AWESOME :D