This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
Back when he was a young student and budding artist obsessing over the latest release from Nintendo, Godric Johnson knew he wanted to create his own video games someday — but there was nobody to show him how to make that dream a reality.
Today, Johnson, the founder of Baton Rouge-based video game developer Jetstreame, is working to make sure local students get an early window into the technology world. Johnson volunteers his time through summer camps and area nonprofits to teach students the basics of video game development and production, with a special emphasis on students in North Baton Rouge.
“It’s very important because me growing up myself in North Baton Rouge, we didn’t have those opportunities and I didn’t have really anybody to look up to,” he says. “As a young kid I didn’t know I could pursue this as a career.”
In addition to his mentoring work, Johnson is carving out a space in the hyper-competitive world of video game development by releasing high-quality immersive games across multiple platforms. The company is preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign for its most ambitious project to date, a cyberpunk-themed dystopian dating simulation.
Scotlandville to Arizone to L.A. to Baton Rouge
Johnson was born and raised in North Baton Rouge, and graduated from Scotlandville Magnet High School. From there he attended college at the University of Advancing Technology in Arizona, where he earned a degree in game design and digital arts. After college he moved to Los Angeles to take a position with a game development company, where he worked on the first mobile game for rock band Linkin Park.
In 2012 he returned to Baton Rouge and founded Jetstreame. The company, which is located at the Louisiana Technology Park’s Level Up Lab video game incubator, has developed “Circuit Swap,” a 40-level puzzle game for mobile devices, as well as other titles aimed at both casual players and hardcore gamers.
Johnson is a vocal advocate for the Level Up Lab companies, who along with a handful of larger gaming companies at the Tech Park make up the bulk of a growing video game industry in Baton Rouge.
“People need to know what’s happening in their own community and support the booming tech industry and Louisiana game developers,” he says. “We’re definitely the pioneers of new game development in Baton Rouge and Louisiana.”