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Autism and Game Development with JJ Fox

Episode 16

In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie talks to JJ Fox about neurodiversity – specifically, JJ’s experiences being an autistic game developer (mid-development!) and how autism links to mental health.

JJ is an indie game developer currently working on Hymble Ventures, as well as a Safe In Our World Class of 2023 Ambassador. They are also a fan of cosplaying, kung-fu and heavy metal.

We discuss the common stigmas and misunderstandings surrounding autism in the games industry, and the ins and outs of autism awareness and acceptance. We chat about JJ’s game in development Hymble Ventures, which is a 3D puzzle platformer about an insect-like alien on the autism spectrum.

The core mechanics of Hymble Ventures are based on controlling the five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hear). For neurodiverse people, they can be hypersensitive to sensory information and may overreact to increasing stimuli. This autism trait is an inspiration to aspects of Hymble’s world such as quirky, organ-shaped berries that grant enhanced sight, or smell etc.

We cover JJ’s experiences of when they have not been supported in the workplace, and highlight the importance of valuing and supporting autistic people in game development.

Follow Hymble Ventures on TwitterInstagram and Ko-Fi.

various sketches of the character from Hymble, in various poses and positions. Text reads 'facial expressions can change according to animation.This can be achieved by animating eye/lip textures. Ears, eyelashes and string on the wrist, should have physics when the characters moves.


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