Jon Gronli

News & Features

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sean Katamay, English alumnus, and Jon Gronli, English graduate student, are on two different paths with their academic career, but they discovered common ground when it comes to their shared passions for creative writing and gaming.

The two met in a creative writing class at Northeastern. Katamay asked Gronli to join his game development team after losing two team members.

“I love designing games and have since I was eight years old. I also had a fantasy setting I wanted to creatively develop,” said Katamay. “This felt like a good opportunity to do both.”

“Being an English student helped a lot with the narrative writing and building the world and story for the game,” Gronli said. “With Sean I found someone whose ideas just melded with mine, and our styles worked perfectly together.”

Together they developed the video game “Towers of Ajura,” where characters conquer and manage powerful mage towers, which hold ominous secrets.

The game took about a year to develop and, while the team is still trying to build their name, they have made some sales and generated positive feedback.

“We created a complete game and, so far, everyone who has bought it has enjoyed it,” Katamay said. “We’re proud of what we made.”

Katamay and Gronli credit their ideas for the narrative part of developing the game largely to their education at Northeastern.

“My experience at Northeastern really helped in creating this game, as well as future games,” Kamatay said. “I’ve had a lot of amazing teachers who are supportive and inspiring. They also have given me great insight into storytelling.”

The two plan on creating more games with a concrete team for the next project.

“How long it will take and other details are up in the air,” Kamatay said. “The only sure thing is my passion for creating games.”