Jasmine Persephone Jupiter is a California-based narrative designer who is currently pursuing an MFA in Interactive Media & Game Design at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Her work – Koshka’s Kofe – has been showcased at the Asian American International Film Festival, IndieCade, and the USC Games Expo. Currently, Jasmine is working on a couple of exciting projects, including a collaboration with students from the Tokyo Geidai University in Japan.
Here are some highlights from our talk with Jasmine, edited for brevity.
Did you always know you wanted to make games?
Kind of, actually. When I was a really young kid, I loved video games so much. The very first game that I was exposed to was when I was in elementary school. I went over to my friend’s house and they introduced me to Starcraft. I was hooked after that. Then my cousin introduced me to Kingdom Hearts. However, I didn’t believe that I could make video games. I didn’t know it was a job that people could do but I was really interested in the topics. I took AP Computer Science when I was in high school and created my very first video game called Laser Space Dolphin Attack. You play as a dolphin in space who shoots lasers out of its blowholes.
I was also, by that time, really interested in film. I applied to USC for undergrad and got in. I was going to be a film person because I didn’t know we had a games program. After I graduated, I took a year off and then applied to USC for grad school. I got wait-listed. Later my partner at that time saw a random poster hiring interns for a comic book company, which seemed interesting to me. I applied and it turned out it was an augmented reality comic book company. For all of the books that we created, you could use your phone to look at animations and hear music. That’s actually how I got involved in interactive media. I learned how to do 3D modeling and rigging. I did environment design for different areas the comic books took place in. I also got my first experience doing writing, in which I wrote codex entries for an augmented reality children’s book called Creative Creature Catcher. It was an amazing experience. I got to do a couple of contracts for Marvel Comics. I was able to use all of that work to create a portfolio and get into USC.
What do you like most about USC?
I especially appreciate how, at USC, the students are encouraged to take as cross-disciplinary and collaborative an approach as possible. It’s not something that I have encountered at another institution or anywhere else. There were all sorts of initiatives that try to bring people together from different disciplines all over the university to make something new. I think that’s extremely exciting. As for a specific memory, I helped to organize the very first Polymathic Academy retreat to Catalina Island, which was an absolute delight. I was honored to see it continuing after I have graduated.
Do you currently have games in development?
Yes, I do. The biggest project that I’m working on at the moment is this collaboration with students from Tokyo Geidai University. You will be able to see the results of that collaboration at the USC Games Expo this year. Another game that I made with the composers from Koshka’s Kofe will also be there. The game is called Operator, which you can find on itch.io. I’ve also got my thesis project which probably will be the biggest project I’ve worked on so far. I’m going to work on it for the entirety of my third year in this program, so you will be able to see it at the 2022 USC Games Expo.