J Jolton Works To Publish Economic Management Video Game

Alum in process of creating post-apocalyptic video game

Universal Space Station Inc. is expected to be published later this year.

J Jolton

Universal Space Station Inc. is expected to be published later this year.

Lachen Reid, Staff Writer

Deep in the library, across from the Dan Danielson study room, is where J Jolton, a Blake teacher and alumnus, teaches Game Development and Animation Mr. Jolton has a beard that inspires both wonder and astonishment, but what is most impressive about the teacher is what he does outside of the school.

Jolton, along with his friend Byron Atkinson-Jones, is in the process of creating a video game titled “Universal Space Station Inc.” The game gives the player the opportunity to create a space station which grows crops for the dying world demolished by violence, overpopulation, political unrest, and more man-made problems. Players have the ability to dictate everything about the game, from the structure of the space station, the type of crops grown to how they are sold on Earth.

What makes the game unique, however, is Jolton’s addition of an economy based on real-world patterns and needs. Mr. Jolton says one of the most challenging parts of putting the game together was creating a realistic agricultural economy. He says, “The biggest thing is balance. The game’s economic model is based off the way the stock market flows. My job as the game designer is to manage that so the game is not too easy or too hard.”

The players also have the ability to grow crops based on the nutritional needs of various regions around the world. Additionally, due to initial reviews and success of the game, Xiotex Studio, the studio commissioning Mr. Jolton to create the game, has given Jolton a few more months to work on the game as they believe it has the potential for commercial success and wants it to be as profitable and seamless as possible.

If the process of creating a game seems appealing, Mr. Jolton recommends his own class, saying his students “every day get to see how the game has progressed and the ins and outs of working on a professional game. Also, we need more girls in the class. We have too many boys. It is not a nerd fest.” Once his game is published and completed, Mr. Jolton is planning on staying in the game development industry and creating more video games. Those interested in playing Jolton’s game should search for “Universal Space Station Inc” and check it out on video game installation platforms like Steam.