Joshua Viszlai oral history interview, 2018-12-04

Georgia Institute of Technology Library
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HAGENMAIER: So tell me your name, your year at Georgia Tech and your major.

VISZLAI: So my name is Joshua Viszlai. I'm a third year Computer Science student here at Georgia Tech.

HAGENMAIER: What is the title of the game that you made for this class? [CS2110]

VISZLAI: So for this class I made a game called Super Toad-ally Mario, which is a pun on Super Mario, but the main character is now the toad character from Mario.

HAGENMAIER: Um, can you describe what the game play is like? How does the game work?

HAGENMAIER: Yeah, so the game was kind of supposed to be similar to Super Mario, so there's some sort of platform or type game play, uh, where you're just kind of moving and jumping over obstacles and trying not to get stuck on a wall. So the, the different parts of the game are just kind of scrolling across the screen and you just kind of have to jump over obstacles and not get stuck on one or else you fall off the screen.

HAGENMAIER: Can you talk a little bit about the inspiration for the game or what inspired you to pick this particular game play?

VISZLAI: Yeah. So I'm a really big fan of Super Mario. So when I got presented 00:01:00with the ability to make a Game Boy game, I thought, okay, well I might as well make something similar to one of my favorite Game Boy games. So I decided to try and make it, and yeah, just had a lot of fun with it. Um, I really like puns, which was where the title came from. And then, uh, yeah, the actual game play. It was just very much based on like a story of a toad trying to be like Mario and then not succeeding, which I thought was just a little funny.

HAGENMAIER: Great. Can you tell me what's the title of the game that you made for your physics class?

VISZLAI: Yeah, so for my physics class I made a game, titled The Lens, uh, which is supposed to essentially explain gravitational lensing to someone who's not familiar with physics or relativistic concepts.

HAGENMAIER: And describe how you play that game.

VISZLAI: Yeah, so that game is more of a, you're going through this story of some character named Bob, great name. Um, and Bob's learning how this, this object in the sky is bending light that allows his planet to see other planets 00:02:00that were in the distance. And then it's explained that that's through this process called gravitational lensing. And it's kind of like a Legend of Zelda, like top down, puzzle solving type of game. So you just kind of go through different rooms, solve some puzzles and then kind of progress through the game that way.

HAGENMAIER: In terms of the inspiration for that game game...

VISZLAI: So that game -- half inspired because I really like physics and I was working on a physics project and then half inspired by Legend of Zelda, which was another one of my favorite games growing up as a kid.

HAGENMAIER: Cool. Can you tell me about um, one memory you have of using technology as a kid? Um, maybe the first computer you use or you know, you've mentioned a little bit about games that you liked to play. Anything that pops into your head about an early memory.

VISZLAI: Yeah. So I'll go with games again 'cause always great when growing up. Me and my brother shared one of the original Game Boys when we were a kid and they don't have backlit screens. So I distinctively remember us trying to play at night when there's no light outside and trying to look at the screen that 00:03:00doesn't have the back lighting. So we can't actually see the game and so we're like trying to shine like a flashlight or something over it. And it just doesn't really work that well. But I remember that being a key kind of starting to me playing video games.

HAGENMAIER: Can you tell me about one aspiration you have for your future after Georgia Tech? Something that you want to do or something that you want to see in the world? Anything.

VISZLAI: Yeah, so I'd probably say like one or two things. So I've never actually really traveled outside of this country. So I'd really like to just kind of travel the world and see different things. Um, and then I think just long term, I really want to make like a lasting, beneficial impact on the world. In some sort of some sort of way. Um, right now it seems that avenue is going to be towards computer science, but yeah.

HAGENMAIER: Great. Well, thank you very much.