A page dedicated to Mark Overmars'
When and how did you discover Game Maker?
I don't recall where and when I discovered Gamemaker.
Have you used any other game creation programs?
Other than the use of Gamemaker, I used to program in a computer language called REXX. My grandpa taught me how write in it. It was very simple to understand and I put together some obscure projects. I remember a text rpg I did in which you go through this story with no real objective. All I remember was that it was unique.
What games or other projects have you made with (or for) Game Maker?
I created a fairly popular series entitled "Mnomen," which took place in a world of the same name and focused on the dilemmas of the magical beings within this realm. There were a total of four Mnomen games, and I have been working on a new one that should be out sometime this year hopefully. Turning out fairly good.... Currently the whole series is not available, but I am sure it is circulating around. Around the same time, I created a spin-off of the Mnomen series I call "Hexot." This was a fighting game with a few Mnomen characters and a whole slew of bizarre monsters and such to compete with. Some people believe Hexot was one of the greatest Gamemaker games out there, and I do not understand why. It also developed a new sub-genre some recognice as "Hexot," but it is really just presented as a fighting and shooter hybrid. People have told me they were working on games with "Hexot battles," this new fighting game format. I was sort of proud of this. Shortly after, I took it down due to embarassment despite all the requests to put it back up. I am thinking about restoring it. The rest of my projects are much too embarassing to discuss. My whole hard drive is full of weird abortions that I had worked on over the years. Soon, you will find the whole Mnomen series and the older games available on my website.
What are your favorite Game Maker games?
My favorite Gamemaker games consist of those with much originality and effort. When I think of quality Gamemaker games, Himasf comes to mind. A friend of mine, Himasf put together a couple of really pure, albeit bizarre platform games. I sort of considered him an alternative of myself, as we were sort of similar in various aspects, yet a little different. I was much more serious than him and it was reflected with our games. His games seemed to have that mellow attitude which I really liked.
What are your favorite games NOT made with Game Maker?
I'll name a few: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Playstation), A Boy and His Blob (NES), Saga Frontier 2 (Playstation).
What advice would you give new Game Maker users or those who would like to improve?
Haha, well, I'm sure everybody has heard me say this over and over: Make sure 100% of your graphics are your own. To me, it looks extremely unprofessional when I'm playing a game with the default explosion, or modified sonic sprites. It makes me want to throw up. I just can't stress it enough...
What elements of a game are most important to you and why?
I really enjoy games in which every time you play it you find something new that you never noticed before. For example, it is great to have secret rooms and easter eggs lying around for you to find, or variations of different things and such. I also appreciate custom graphics. Even if they seem to have really bad quality, to me they look so much better than those ripped off sprites and they have their own special charm to them as well. I remember playing an example somebody made in which you walk around as this decapitated pig head in complete darkness, and it was showing off some sort of ability to have 3d aspects in the game by displaying this weird Nibelheim reactor-esque monstrosity overlapping the lost pig head. Stuff like that draws me in. I like bizarre. Things that make you go "What is that?!" is also very attractive.
Why do you make games? What is your primary inspiration, motivation, or both?
I don't really make games as much as I used to. I think I am a little bit burnt out or something. I have become the biggest perfectionist around so I am rarely satisfied with my work of any sort... I have to start listening to the critics. Unfortunately, I really don't... so I sit here working on the next chapter of the Mnomen series at an extremely slow pace and fixing everything at least five times due to unsatisfaction. There is a good side to this: Whatever I produce must be satisfactory because that must mean I accept it, and if I accept it, then that is good enough for the less critical people. In any case, I believe I make games because I have these crazy ideas being tossed around in my head and I want to somehow express them. My inspiration comes from my idle mind. It is as if there is a person in my head telling me things that I need to express. I have resorted to writing, drawing, and even singing... but the results are always some jackass expecting whatever I produce to be typical and cliche, and god forbid if it has something moderately unique in it, they complain about how "weird and confusing everything is." None of these have given me such attention as my games. People really like them, and I am happy for that. That is why I continue, and that is why I am trying my hardest to produce something amazing.
Do you have other artistic pursuits other than game development? If so, what?
Actually, my new website (http://www.symmetryiscomfort.cjb.net) contains some of my work. It is a little bit bare at the moment, but every once in a while you'll find games, artwork, and some mp3s of some songs I've put together. The newest addition to the Mnomen series is gradually evolving, and it is looking pretty good so far, I must say. Aside from that are other interesting projects of mine.
Any other comments?
I wanted to say thank you for your interest, and I hope I gain more of an audience with my work. One day I hope to finally come up with that special something that seems to be shrouded in mist within the depths of my mind.