Founder of Wonderful Elephant + jmtb02 Studios. Formally Armor Games CEO, previously at Kongregate, 100+ Flash games many of which featuring a little blue elephant

John Cooney @jmtb02

Age 37, He/Him

Game Developer

UC Davis

Northern California

Joined on 3/1/04

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jmtb02's News

Posted by jmtb02 - November 17th, 2007

Well, we just played Kongregate today in a Halo match. The Armor Games team did extremely well, and you can read the rest of the article on the Armor Blog. Who says work can't be boring?

If you ever want to jump on Halo with me something, my screen name is jmtb02. How original.

In other news, I bought the movie Hot Fuzz today on HdDVD. That movie is just about the most hilarious movie I've seen in years. British humour is awesome.

Posted by jmtb02 - November 11th, 2007

I run circles when I drink Red Bull or Monster. When I drink it at work, I don't know what it is, but I can sit down and blaze through hundreds of lines of code in a matter of hours.

Is it the energy, the sugar? The alertness? I can't tell.

But anyway, I feel fidgety and giddy, but I can sit down and get a huge amount of work done... more than normal. I would have thought the opposite.

Posted by jmtb02 - November 7th, 2007

Writing a good review takes a lot of talent, timing, and whimsy to catch the audience's attention. However, I was distraught by the attitude of the Newgrounds community by a recent review I wrote for a political animation.

I recently reviewed an animation concerning a political statement, and was barraged by one of the most immature responses I could have ever conceived. I quote the author response:

It's not very reasonable for you to complain to me about how I chose to express myself. You should do the reasonable thing and shut the hell up because this is an ANIMATION WEBSITE.

First off, this sentence makes absolutely no sense. How is it not reasonable to complain about his animation in a review? Isn't that the very nature of reviewing, is to state one's opinion on a public piece of work? I am also baffled by the idea that this is an animation website, thus the loss of right to make any sort of negative comment.

Second, I am concerned about the idea of people using the "Is this review helpful?" button as a measure of "I agree or disagree with this review". Really, isn't the point of that to say whether to state whether you think the review was well versed or not? Reviews are only helpful if written well, and I have to say, for all the work I put into that review, I was confused by the current 5 / 11 people who thought it was useful.

Sure, the animation is getting a 4.something and is doing well, but just because you take a different stance doesn't mean the review was not helpful.

Here is my review in full length, you can decide if it was helpful or not. God knows, it might get flagged as inappropriate in the days to come. I kindly ask the Newgrounds community to re-review their own review skills and reading, if for anything the sake of my sanity on this site.

"Summary: "Weak Argument, Terrible Message"

Wait, let me see if I have this right. You have issues with the government, so your response is to make a music-video length animation about the problems facing it without giving a clear platform or objective? This animation is the most misguided, unrealistic view of government and ways to fix it.

If you have a problem with something, do something reasonable about it.

Basically you could have done something awesome with your time. You have the talent, just a lack of direction. If you have a political stance, than god speed to you. But really, your textbook definitions and quotes from the Declaration of Independence are not going to save our media monopolies or whatever else you seemed to pace through way too quickly in the beginning... with everyone suddenly getting angry and taking over their government in a giant war for democracy.

The animation suffers far beyond your lack of focus. You subject looks like the devil, and I hate to break it to you, but portraying your protagonist as the devil doesn't really work when you want your audience to identify with the main subject. If memory serves me right, the devil is typically a negative, non-associated character. And several times the pacing was just irregular and awkward. It makes it hard to understand what you are trying to say (but overall, I had no clue what you were trying to say... besides burn and kill Capitol Hill because you hate our government policies)?

Next time, take your catchy song and do something more meaningful with yourself. I'm waiting for your nonchalant "I'LL DO WHATEVER I WANT" response from other reviews, because really, it fits your "rebellion will triumph!" attitude about things... skewed, illogical, and definitely among those who will sit in the backseat complaining with no solution or guidance.


Posted by jmtb02 - October 15th, 2007

I am a HUGE retro gamer. I love the NES so much I own one for the office, and one for home. And finally, after about 10 years, I am going to have a Super Nintendo again. I picked up a copy of Chrono Trigger and Super Mario World, and I can't wait to play them again. Nintendo and Super Nintendo were both great eras in gaming, and if you are finally getting bored of Halo 3, you should sneak back and play a few of the classics.

Posted by jmtb02 - September 28th, 2007

Some of my work is making it around the web, and I thought I might drop a few links.

Pop Ethos Interview
Casual Gameplay Article
Wired Magazine Blog

And something from Fortune Magazine should be around soon, I have no clue when.

I am currently working on a Dark Cut II, sequel to Dark Cut which is a surgery game similar to Trauma Center. The graphics have been upgraded to near-real graphics, to make it more realistic. This time, you'll be performing surgery in the Civil War era with the tools and technique of the time. Below is a screenshot of this madness.

I "Finished the Fight" with Halo 3, which was a great game. But now I am working on getting my apartment together for my roommate Luksy, who will be moving in next week and we'll both be working on Flash games for a few months. It'll be great :).

Enjoy your weekend.

Press, Dark Cut, and Life

Posted by jmtb02 - September 9th, 2007

Last night I completed an amazing game, which I am pretty sure will be one of the major highlights of the 2007 gaming season.

Bioshock is a steampunk-style first-person shooter taking place in a city called "Rapture", built completely underwater to protect the innocence of it's people from the 1940's warfare happening above. The city, in all irony, has gone awry with zombie-like creatures who have been corrupted by new found powers, called "Plasmids." The Plasmids created a competition for success and power, being driven by a resource called "Adam" which enables people to gain more power. With more power comes corruption, and corruption results in an all-out battle for Adam.

The game takes the basic first-person shooter, but makes it smart. The deep philosophies and constant references to Ayn Rand and other futuristic writers is engaging. Your mentor and disembodied voice is "Atlas" himself.

Beyond the storyline, the gameplay is engaging and intuitive. You are given choices as to how deep you want to enter the storyline, instead of being constantly railroaded into specific situations. Rapture is yours to explore, and the more you explore the more you realize how thought out this game really is. And of course, if you want to rush to the end, you can always do that as well.

The graphics and sound are amazing. Any System Shock fan will be amazing by the dynamics of the game, and playing on a 5.1 surround sound system made me leave the lights on at night. The soundtrack is incredibly engaging as well, with real licensed tracks that remind you that you are actually playing in a World War II setting.

I have a feeling I will be loving this game more than Halo 3, sorry guys. The game is just a cut above the rest, and is smarter than most games out there today. There is nothing to really dislike about this game, beyond the want and need to play a sequel.

I usually am not much for the mainstream gaming, but damn it, this one takes the cake.

Posted by jmtb02 - August 26th, 2007

College is done, what now?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Technocultural Studies, a major that cross-disciplines in Digital Media and the history of human interaction in technology. Full of knowledge, I feel like it's time to head out into the world, degree (almost) in hand, and go do some real work.

I finally got my new place, all the way down in Southern California nearly 400 miles away. I finally bought my own car, and can afford to live independently. Everything seems to be fitting together.

I'll be working full time at Armor Games, which means Flash can continue.

I am so excited that life progresses as planned. And with my 21st birthday happening today, I can't be more thrilled with my life as of now. I can't wait to see what the future holds :).

Posted by jmtb02 - August 13th, 2007

Isn't it amazing when people are nice?

Renting scuba equipment is expensive. Sometimes they'll charge you up to 40 bucks a day to rent scuba equipment, which is just ridiculous given that you only have enough time to make 1-2 hours worth of diving a day. I went into the local dive shop, and the guy told me he would only charge me 80 bucks for 8 days rental, after telling me he really didn't mind. He saved me at least a hundred bucks, and was really nice about it. He also told me if I wanted a few days extra, he wouldn't charge much more.

I love it when people are nice, but not necessarily just financially. People who tell you good morning or greet you as a stranger are awesome. It's neat waking up, going outside, and having someone I don't know say something nice. And it feels good to give something back too.

Door being held for you. People take it for granted, but I think its really nice to do for people.

When driving through a busy 4-way stop sign, people waving to let each other through instead of just speeding and not taking turns. That's annoying, but when people are nice, everything just seems better.

I had a family email me today telling me great job on a recent game. To take the time out and write a nice email only returns 10 fold for the recipient. Heck, write a letter. That's even better.

Just go do something nice today. I've had the blessing of a few great people today, and it feels like I'm walking on the clouds. I'll have to go pass it on.

Posted by jmtb02 - August 6th, 2007

Hey there,

I toiled until 4 am last night to finish up 8 months of work on Ball Revamped 5. The new game has an amazing level editing system, as well as 100 new levels of gameplay. On top of that, there is an achievement system built in for extra replay value. Here's the run down:

* 15 Power ups each fused by collecting multiple power ups!

* 100 levels, with 12 different ways to beat the game!

* Custom high score system!

* Brand new worlds and obstacles.

* Robust Physics engine.

* Built in save-system.

* Achievements system, for capturing hard-to-get moments.

* New final boss, with less lag! :)

* Incredibly refined level editor, with high scores for each custom level, ratability and log-in functions.

* Completely original soundtrack.

The branched gameplay is something I really like. It allows for the users to navigate the levels in a non-linear fashion, and based on a difficulty that matches the difficulty to get to the levels!

Hope you'll go play it and enjoy it. This probably wouldn't have happened if a bunch of 16 year olds didn't pressure me to do it, so I am glad they forced it down me :). Enjoy the madness, hopefully you get a lot of fun out of it.


Posted by jmtb02 - July 19th, 2007

Ball Revamped 5 is in full-gear, bound to release in a week or two! Ball Revamped is a series of games, in which you navigate a beach ball through increasingly difficult levels. If you like, you can play around with Ball Revamped 4 to get acquainted with the game.

This version will have a 100 levels, more power ups, and several new features. I will be updating my website with new features from day to day, so if you are interested, you can head over to jmtb02.com to check out some of the preview screenshots.

A more interesting part of this release will be the included level editor. This level editor was made by Tastylamp, a friend and forum member on my site. The level editor already has 400+ user made levels, and you will be able to make your own in-game as well! There's no need to save codes, as your levels are saved on a server, where you can see everyone else's level sets and play them! That way, Ball Revamped 5 will have plenty of extra playtime if you're at all interested.

Cheers :)!