Ask A Gamer: Tessa Hastjarjanto
Welcome to Ask A Gamer! Each week I will be posting a series of questions and answers from gamers to show just how similar or different we all are. My aim is to highlight the positivity in the gaming community and share what we love doing most: gaming.
This week’s gamer is: Tessa Hastjarjanto
Introduce yourself and your blog/social media page
Hello! My name is Tessa Hastjarjanto and I’m a writer and gamer. I’ve been playing games for over 27 years, but more on that later. The last ten years of my life, I’ve been struggling with my love for gaming and my chronic pain. Joint pain in my hands kept me from gaming when I needed it the most. Gaming was my one way to escape real life just a little. Clicking a mouse too often or using a gamepad was painful.
I’m gaming much less now, just two evenings a week, and I don’t feel the pain in my hands as much anymore. It does allow me to really focus on what I play and I enjoy my play sessions more. It’s hard because I still have a huge backlog that I want to tackle, and with limited gaming time and more great games coming out, I have to make choices.
Nowadays, I’m writing on my blogs, Princess in a Castle (my gaming/personal blog) and Narratess (my writing/book blog). I wrote a few fanfic pieces for Guild Wars 2 which you can find on Princess in a Castle. Other fiction can be found on Narratess. My first book, a collection of fantasy short stories will be out soon as well. Follow me on Twitter (@endalia) for more updates! If you like pens and stationery, you might also be interested in my Instagram (@narratesscom). If you’re a dog lover, check out the Instagram of our white shepherd (@shepherd_shiro).
Where did your love for Gaming begin?
Probably around the time we got the NES. We had games like Super Mario Brothers 3, Kirby and Disney’s Adventure in The Magic Kingdom. We still had lunch breaks at home during elementary school and I remember playing Super Mario or Doctor Mario with my friends. My mother heard the tune so often that she can still hum it.
What is your earliest gaming memory?
I remember going up to the attic when I was three. My mother was doing laundry and I asked if I could play a game on the computer. My dad worked at a bank and they had a good technology program that allowed employees to buy computers at a better price. I’m sure it was an IBM computer, but no idea which one it was or what the specs were. My mom would boot up the computer and I knew what I had to type in DOS to start the game. I didn’t know how to read or write, let alone any English computer lingo, but I knew how to get the game on the screen. It’s something I see in my nieces and nephews as well. We adapt to technology pretty quickly, especially if we get a reward out of it.
What was the first game you remember playing?
A puzzle game on DOS. I have no idea what it’s called but it was very, very retro. After that were games like Prince of Persia, chess and some kind of PvP game with tanks. My brother always beat me, but it was fun.
What was the first game you ever purchased with your own money?
It might have been Diablo 2. I’ll be honest. Most of the games back then were pirated or gifts from my parents or uncle. The first time I played Diablo 2, we borrowed a copy from the library, but I liked it so much that I wanted my own copy. I knew that I wanted the expansion as well, when it was first announced. My mother and I went to the department store to get a copy and it was super busy. She told me to wait at the book section while she managed to snag a copy. It was one of the last copies.
Which is your preferred platform? (No judgement here!)
I play a lot on the PC, but I really enjoyed most of the games I played on the NDSlite. The NDS was constant companion on vacations, during commutes or outings that I wasn’t really interested in. The Pokemon games were a must to have, but there were so many other good RPGs on there. One of my favourites is still Avalon Code.
What is your all time favourite game and why?
This is always a hard question, but Diablo 2 holds a special place in my heart. I still have it installed and I still think about playing it often.
But Dragon Age: Origins also deserves a mention. Why? Alistair.
What is your favourite genre of game?
Did you figure it out yet? RPGs.
What Game(s) are you most looking forward to this year?
There aren’t many games that I really look forward to. My expectations of any games are incredibly low and gaming isn’t the thing that gets my blood flowing. Maybe it’s because so many game companies have over promised and under delivered.
I might be one of the few looking forward to this, but Diablo Immortal is one game on my radar. I don’t mind that it’s a mobile game. Due to my chronic pains, mobile gaming has become a medium I learned to love when I couldn’t click a mouse or use a gamepad.
Which game made you realise that video games are a powerful storytelling medium?
Neverwinter Nights. While I played other games with strong stories, Neverwinter Nights comes with a modding option and it allowed me to create my own stories. To this day, it’s still the only game I actively roleplayed in.
What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect of a game (level design, music, story etc)?
Narrative design is one aspect that I have huge respect for if done well. It takes more than words to tell a story, especially in games. It’s the mixture of music, art, words, sound cues, lighting and interaction that makes a world believable.
There was a time when I wanted to become a narrative designer at a game company. The lack game development degree, experience, and a portfolio made me put that dream aside. I still want to make to games, but it’s not something I’m actively pursuing right now. (She says with three game design documents and a handful of scribbled ideas for games.)
Which game would you love a remake of?
I’m a huge fan of nostalgia and that might be a reason for me not to want a remake of a game I love. I just want the old games to be optimised to be playable on today’s platforms. That’s why I’m a fan of what GOG does.
Maybe Settlers 3 or Heroes of Might and Magic 4 if I had to choose.
Which game do you feel not enough people know about?
Epistory is a cute indie game with incredible art. It’s a typing game, so it’s different than most games these days.
Tunic is another indie game that I know many would love if they knew about it. The main character is fox that dresses like Link. The game itself is also much like the older Zelda games. Definitely check this one out if you like those games.
What is your favourite video game movie?
Pokemon: The First Movie. I’m a big Pokemon fan and the scene where Ash is resurrected by the tears of all the Pokemon, is still one that gets to me.
Another one that deserves a mention is Final Fantasy: Advent Children.
If video game movies were largely good, which game would you like to see on the big screen?
I think I could watch a movie about Guild Wars/Guild Wars 2. No Hollywood ambitions though. Allow ArenaNet employees to collaborate with filmmakers to create an awesome movie.
I enjoyed the Warcraft movie, but I’m no fan. I can’t say it’s a good representation of the game. I think it’s well made and it was still enjoyable to non-fans as well. I want the Guild Wars movie to be the same.
Also, no Uwe Boll or live action please. No white washing.
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