As children, our ambitions are often to reach out to celebrities and sci-fi dreams that are represented by cartoons or movies. Although for 15-year-old Narayan Karthikeyan, it was not just a dream; He’s going to be part of something bigger. The new Space Jam movie has just been released but back in December, the Xbox team teamed up with movie makers to let fans work on a game idea. In this global competition, Karthikeyan in India has won both the overall and the youth category.
The result? He sat down with the Xbox team and saw his ideas come alive in Space Jam: A New Legacy – The Game. If you have a game pass, you can try it for free on Xbox consoles as well as PCs. We tried it ourselves and after doing a lot of old school wham-bam action, we couldn’t wait to talk to Karthikeyan.
Below is a transcript of our brief conversation with Boy Surprise.
15-year-old Jam with the Xbox team for the Space Jam game
Q: How does it feel to see your name on the cover of a game, even for such an iconic franchise?
NK: It seemed amazing, it was a feeling I couldn’t explain in words. It’s like a dream come true for me. I always want to create amazing stories and make them accessible to the world and I see this as the first step towards my goal.
Q: We tried the game ourselves and it was very fun. Where did the inspiration come from? Was the retro “wham-bam” theme your thing?
NK: At first, I was fairly stupid and a fan of pop culture but mainly, my inspiration was some classic games that I played, I was always a fan of classic arcade games of the 80s and 90s, the classic Sonic the Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat my favorite classic. So, these were my inspirations. The ‘bit’ m-up component of the game was Ricky’s (adult winner) concept and I suggested a combination of both a shooting, action-platform and the final product, with some more specific power-ups and attacks. Available in the game.
Q: It’s special to be associated with Xbox. You’ve been able to work with the team responsible for some of the iconic games over the last few decades! What was your experience?
NK: The experience was golden and one I will cherish. Once I found out that my idea was one of two ideas that would make the game, I was excited. During the development phase, there was a Microsoft Teams call where the developers told me how they planned to incorporate both ideas into the game and what the game would look like after that. The best thing I have learned from this experience is that these amazing people learn and understand the effort and dedication in behind-the-scenes games. And personally, I think this is something that is overlooked because most people see games only as entertainment and do not notice the amazing dedication to the game.
Q: I hope Space Jam: A new legacy is just beginning for you. Do you plan to build your career in game development?
NK: No, no doubt, I have more amazing ideas in my sleeve and I hope that one day I will be able to bring them to the world. I like to work on the creative aspects of the game because I like to create the world, the characters and the story.
Q: Gaming is still seen as a casual time pass activity in India. Do you think our education system should now integrate gaming as a serious career option for young people?
NK: This is something I have thought about and yes, it is true, gaming is seen here in India only as a casual activity, but considering the dedication of the developers and designers in the game it demands a lot more love. The painter is drawing or the director is drawing. A game is the result of the hard work of many people and gaming as a career is an issue that India should focus on because we have so many opportunities in that field. Also, there are a lot of people out there who will have amazing ideas, so if gaming as a career is something that is taken seriously, we will be able to see a lot of development.
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