Game Developers Are Showcasing Their Inspirations in the Twitter Trend #GameStruck4

Game Developers Are Showcasing Their Inspirations in the Twitter Trend #GameStruck4

From the director of BioShock 2 to even a Star Wars film director, everyone's sharing what video games helped define their personalities and work.

Yesterday, Twitter became flush with the hashtag #FilmStruck4. No one seemed to care that it was a glorified advertisement for FilmStruck, the classic film streaming service. Instead, people excitedly shared screenshots from the four films that they feel defined them. Heck, even I joined in on the fun, highlighting Chungking Express, Only Yesterday, Tag (the Sion Sono film, not that horrible-looking comedy that's coming this year), and Heathers.

As with all good Twitter trends, it's spawned a game version now with #GameStruck4. Again, no one seemed to care that this was just replacing the word in a movie streaming site's name with "game," but I digress. People, from game journalists like me to game developers across the industry, began sharing the games they feel not only define them, but inspired their work as a whole.

It's been an enlightening day on that end. Seeing developers' core inspirations is always a treat, and on a personal note, is one of my favorite things to talk to developers about in interviews. We decided to round up some of our favorite #GameStruck4 posts that we've seen over the past 24 hours. Also be sure to check out myself and my co-workers' own tweets (News Editor Matt Kim's and Managing Editor Tom Orry's), since we decided to join in on the fun too.

Sophie Mallinson, a narrative designer with Arkane Studios, listed off Earthbound, Bully, Firewatch, and Kentucky Route Zero as key influences for her career.

Both co-founders of the game studio Finji (known for publishing Night in the Woods, the upcoming fox-starring Zelda-like Tunic, and a few other titles) shared their biggest inspirations in the realm of video games. Adam Saltsman's list stretches to include twelve games overall, breaking the cardinal "four" of the hashtag; while Rebekah Saltsman's stays at a concise four (but with some honorable mentions of course). Their spotlighted games include Katamari Damacy, Spyro, Secret of Mana, and Dr. Mario.

Jordan Thomas, director of BioShock 2 who's currently working on the indie co-op horror title The Blackout Club, featured some deep cuts in his own list of impactful games. It features Stonekeep, Die by the Sword, Rise of the Dragon, and Memories of a Broken Dimension.

Indie game designer and NYU Game Center lecturer Robert Yang (known for his Radiator collections, The Tearoom, and other games) highlighted four games that lie on opposite spectrums, separating them according to "soul" and "level design." Yang sometimes streams video games on Twitch to comment on miscellaneous games' level design, like BioShock.

Creative Director of Twin Otter Studios Becca Bair talked a little about the reasons for her early inspirations, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Chrono Trigger. As a long time 2D pixel artist in the realm of indie games, she was inspired by some of the greats of the sprite-based RPG era.

Sarah Podzorski swept into the trending Twitter tag with the GOAT entry: listing four Animal Crossing games. Podzorski was once an assistant localization producer with 8-4, and is now situated as a Community Manager with GungHo.

It wasn't just game developers, journalists, artists, and writers throwing in their inspirations into the void that is Twitter. Wrestler Austin Creed (a.k.a. Xavier Woods, a.k.a. Austin Watson) also threw some of the games that he believes helped define him into the ring. His choices, which include Nights Into Dreams… and River City Ransom, are eclectic and pretty bold.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson also shared his #GameStruck4 picks. He opted for some relatively obscure titles like the 1980 adventure game Mystery House and the interactive fiction C64 game Trinity.

So what say you commenters? What four games do you think helped define you as a person or your creative work? Let us know in the comments! We've put our collective one below because we are forever trapped in hell.

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Caty McCarthy

Features Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's official altgame enthusiast.

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