About Jamie Fristrom

Welcome to the old webpage for my mothballed indie studio. In 2019 I threw in the towel on the indie life and took a job on the Minecraft team with Mojang|Microsoft. But here’s my old bio:

In 2005 I quit a pretty sweet gig at Treyarch|Activision, having been both a technical and creative director on their Spider-Man games, to go indie and make my own games. I’ve been getting pretty beat up ever since! Making indie games is hard.

After Treyarch I was partner, technical director, and designer at Torpex Games where, with help from Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield, I invented the game Schizoid–“The Most Co-Op Game Ever”–available on Xbox Live Arcade. Schizoid was in the PAX 10 and nominated for both Best Original Game and Best Co-Op in the XBLA awards.

After Torpex Games crashed and burned, I founded Happion Labs in 2011 (when I shipped Sixty Second Shooter) or 2012 (when I actually came up with a name for the company), depending on how you count…

Of all I’ve done in my twenty-something year career, I think the thing I’m still most proud of is inventing the dynamic, physical swinging system in Spider-Man 2…loved even by Zero Punctuation and NerdCubed! Spider-Man 2 has made a lot of top-games lists and was nominated for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering by the AIAS. Which is why I created an Energy Hook, a game about swinging among skyscrapers, inspired heavily by my work on the Spider-Man games, which I spent about four years on but was sadly very poorly received.

Other games I made as a lone wolf indie included Sixty Second Shooter Prime for the Xbox One, which was one of my few profitable indie efforts, and a few games for the Roblox platform: Castleheart, Legend of You, and Dungeon Life. I still work on Dungeon Life now and then, when I have a free minute.

Other stuff about me: I used to write the “Manager in A Strange Land” column for Gamasutra and I think I hold the world record for writing game development post-mortems in Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine. I was also on the committee for the IGDA Leadership Forum for several years. Other games I’ve worked on include Die By The Sword, Tony Hawk, the Magic Candle series, Draconus, and more.