Q&A: James Rose, creator of MarioMMO

Published On June 6, 2016 | By Stephen Johnston | Blogs, Interviews

After the release of Mario Maker for the Nintendo Wii U, you may be forgiven for thinking that the days of modding the classic Super Mario Bros. were behind us.

On Sunday night I was browsing through my usual set of favourite subreddits when something jumped out. The post, simply titled ‘I added multiplayer to Super Mario Bros’ piqued my curiosity, and I quickly found myself immersed in the world of MarioMMO. Chatting to the developer within the actual mod, I realised just how fun this idea was and was interested to know more about it.

I reached out to Reddit user Jamesterjim, real name James Rose, to ask a few questions about the project.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is James Rose, and I am a 17 year old developer from England. I’m currently at college studying “Information Technology” but I self taught myself all my programming knowledge. I started programming at the age of 7 but didn’t properly learn until I was 12. I absolutely love retro games of the 80’s even though I wasn’t really around for them.

Just what is MarioMMO?

MarioMMO is a way to play the original Super Mario Bros with your friends, it runs on a NES emulator and I just wrote some code to overlay other people’s positions. Everyone’s movements are recorded so I will be posting a video to my youtube channel of everyone’s run overlayed.

Is this your first gaming mod?

Yes! I have worked on around 10 actual games however I never had the motivation to get them to any finished state. MarioMMO is the first personal project that I have actually released to the public!

So, what motivated you to want to add multiplayer to Mario Bros?

mariommo lolI hope to have my game development company specialising in web based games. I registered the domain name jam.dog a few months ago but only now I have gotten round to using it. As a solo developer, making games from scratch is very hard, so I decided to use some preexisting content and build on top if it. So many successful mods arise because all the groundwork is done, however there is always the limitations. Single Player games can feel quite lonely so hopefully my mod will improve that feel.

What’s the reaction been like for the mod so far?

Either people get to the first Goomba and close the page or absolutely love it. The community is great and after chatting to a few people including yourself it really makes it feel worth it when people are enjoying themselves reliving a bit of history.

What are you working on next?

I would love to make a Multiplayer Pokemon Red. I want to try make it so people can battle and trade each other as the interaction on MarioMMO is limited to just chat. I will be posting any updates on http://jam.dog for future projects.