johnmasterlee's Profile - Destructoid

Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android

Meet the destructoid Team >>   johnmasterlee
johnmasterlee 's blog
★ destructoid | Community Blogger ★
click to hide banner header

I'm a game developer, and head up several gaming studios, including Wicked Loot and FitGoFun. Been in the game industry for many years now. It's the only life I know.

I pretty much done it all. QA. Marketing. Game Design. Coding. Editor. The guy who had to wear the (stank) mascot costume at a gaming event. The guy who drove a truck to deliver games to a warehouse. For the love of the game.

It's sorta about games. But mostly about my life.
Player Profile
Xbox LIVE:John Master Lee
Steam ID:JohnMasterLee
Raptr ID:johnmasterlee
Follow me:
johnmasterlee's sites
Following (4)  

I use to work on this PC game called XCar: Experimental Racing at Bethesda Softworks about 20 years ago. You can't find much info about the game online because it's before the internet got popular. But I managed to dig up this old news reel I had sitting around on a VHS tape at home. This stuff is classic!

Year: 1997. It's from WJLA TV7 5pm News, which is a local channel in the Washington DC area.

It's amusing to see how the reporter raves about how realistic the game was (he was starting to sweat while playing.) By today's graphical standards in gaming, it's ironic this clip feels so... vintage.

BTW - That Asian dude in the news clip... Yeah, that's me, 20 years younger and sexier.

Some notable things about the vid:

  • The game box was really unique, and a nightmare to assemble. It had a clear plastic shell, and the box within it was shaped like an X. It didn't hold together very well, so extra tape had to be used. I remember this because I helped out down in the shipping facilities when we were in the middle of getting the product out the door.
  • For promo purposes we partnered with a maker of a hydraulic racing chair which you see in the video. And yes, the chair itself cost about a ridiculous amount of money as the reporter indicated. And no, it really wasn't very realistic, since it was so jerky your eyeballs could have been shaken out of your sockets.
  • Yes, there really was all that sort of telemetry data you can play around with. But to be honest, it was utterly confusing what each thing did, even if you were a diehard car fanatic! If only the net had game wikis back then.
  • The game was created by a satellite team at Bethesda Softworks that worked out of a little known west coast studio. They went on to make NHRA Drag Racing.
  • I was in my early twenties and was a mere peon working at Bethesda Softworks. This was my first time on TV so it was a real hoot!
  • And yes, Courtney Cox did use to work at Bethesda Softworks... but that was right before I got there.


The great purge continues! Since it's Chinese New Years, this is a fitting post. During this time of the year, you are suppose to get rid of old stuff, and clean things up. Start the new year off fresh. I'm just getting rid of all my junk.

So I made this vid as a way to showcase some of the more interesting gamer and geek stuff I sold. And I was blown away how much people were willing to pay for them. Guess how much a copy of The Elder Scrolls Daggerfall goes for? Or how about a brand new Gizmondo handheld system? 

It's amazing how much stuff you collect over the years. And how much of it you really don't need anymore. Sports equipment for sports I haven't played in years. Games that sit on a shelf for showcase, but no one really cares. Kitchen appliances you got for a gift and used once because it seemed novel but you never touched again.

So why get rid of all this stuff? This was partly fueled by our plans to move (which have been pushed back.) But then evolved into a desire to live life minimally for 2015. Perhaps it would encourage us to explore more rather than "nest." Perhaps it's the realization that all this stuff really hasn't added much value or joy to our lives. I'm all for capitalism, and materialism sure does feel like a sweet drug high initially, but then you realize how you own enough clothes to wear something new for months, and most of the world has a wardrobe that lasts a week. 

And I'll tell you what. Since getting our whole life down to a few boxes, it feels WICKED AWESOME. I never expected it to be so liberating! So before you throw away your crap, try selling and see how much you can get for it!

So Ludette and I agreed to get rid of much of what we own and live 2015 ultra minimalistic. Why? That's another story. For now, all you need to know is that I'm giving away a box of my gaming swag! It's part of the Great Purge of 2015! My crap can be your loot!

So what's in this swag box? A t-shirt for this game, key chain for that game, and inflatable sword for this game, etc. Pac-Man this, Mass Effect that, Guitar Hero this. Basically, watch the vid to see it all. If you want to win it, you gotta subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment. It's just my life as a game developer.

And for an extra bonus for all you Dtoiders out there, here are a few keys for my game Spark Rising which is now on Steam early access!


And on a side note: We been pretty successful getting rid of everything. Our living room is empty, and we got everything we own down to several boxes. You'd be surprised how liberating it can be to own so little! 

NOTE: If you take a code, please indicate which one you took! Thx!


Let's see, so what have I been up to in 2014. 

Totally scrapped and rebuilt Spark Rising, a FPS sandbox game.

Started up a new venture FitGoFun using games to inspire people to get fit.

Lived in Hawaii most of the year, making games, beach bumming, and chillin'.

Began purging all my worldly posessions to go ultra minimalistic for 2015.

Started making YouTube vids, initially as a way to stay in touch with the wifey who was 2500 miles away, and now because it's stupid fun!


Overall, a pretty unconventional year for me. First, going indie meant having to give up a lifestyle that I got accustomed to. But when I quit my job, and sold my home in 2013, there was no turning back. So what's teed up for 2015? My 3 resolutions: Get wicked. Get fit. Make more vids!

You heard by now. Minecraft was acquired for $2.5 billion. 

And it seems trolls and haters are already out in full force. Let's put this into perspective. Who wouldn't sell for that much money?

What would you do with $2.5 bil? Srly, cash on this scale is beyond comprehension. Riot + Bioware + Bungie + Rare was acquired for less... COMBINED.

Hell, I decided to make a video about it, trying to find other comparables because my mind is so boggled! You could buy the LA Clippers + a Hawaiian island, and then move the team out ot Hawaii and call them the Hula Clippers. And still have cash left over.


It's on! We're in our final 30 some hours left for the Spark Rising Kickstarter, and we already hit our $17K goal. Swuuuuuueeet!

But the last minute hoorah continues at a fun pace! We got a 48 hour marathon going on with a live stream on We're gonna showcase new game features, gameplay, concept art, some people will cry, other's will just pass out. But we're going go through with it!

So stop by our channel and enjoy the fun!

Thanks for everyone who helped us get this far. It's been an amazing Kickstarter journey. And we've only just begun. Real development is about to commence!

Photo Photo