This month we have escape game expert, Dina Gjertsen, a super rad female from Massachusetts. Dina has created some of your favorite escape games, including Escape From The Oval Office, Santa Escape, and my personal favorite, Turkey Liberation Front Escape.
We asked Dina a few very important questions, and here are her answers!
Anya: How did you get started making flash games? Why escape games in particular?
Dina: I started making them as a hobby. I began taking it more seriously when I got pregnant with my son (now 20 months old) because I wanted to figure out a way to stay at home with him and still bring in some money. I started making escape games because those are the games that I most like to play.
Anya: Why do you enjoy creating escape games?
Dina: I like all of it – planning the puzzles, the artwork, the coding. There’s just something satisfying about creating them. They make sense to me as games, creating an environment where the goal (to escape) is very clear from the beginning. I never get tired of them.
Anya: Do you have an educational background in flash gaming?
Dina: When I was pursuing a graduate degree in Museum Studies, I took a class in Flash that was very helpful (my first game was a final project for that class) but for the most part, no, my educational and professional background has nothing to do with gaming or Flash or computers at all, really. Most of what I know I taught myself from books or websites or just figured out.
Anya: Top three favorite flash games.
Dina: Samarost. Grow. Trapped – The White Rabbit.
Anya: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what items would you bring and why?
Dina: Is my son an item? Also laptop, some books and a beverage cooler. And anything my son needed (which is a lot of stuff, actually)
Anya: What is your favorite escape game of all time?
Dina: The first escape game I ever played (like most people) was The Crimson Room. It blew my mind. I had it open on my browser at work for days. I had no idea what was going on and had never played a game like that before. So it’s probably my favorite.
Anya: If you weren’t a flash game developer, what would you be?
Dina: Well, I used to be a theatrical painter, production manager and lighting designer. And I supervised the technical staff of science museum for a few years. So probably one of those things, with my son in daycare. Which would make me unhappy. So flash designer/stay-at-home-mom is perfect for me right now.
Anya: Free for all! Tell us anything!
Dina: I’m 37 years old and female. This apparently makes me rather unique in the world of flash game designers.
Thanks for your time, Dina! We’re super stoked to see your next escape games!”