I've been meaning to catch up with Nick DeJesus for a while now. He's the developer behind one of the most popular Tekken related apps out there and has managed to generate some impressive buzz around Tekken data and utility. Here's our conversation highlighting his journey with T7Chicken, and what's to come in the near future.
Him - Hey man, how's it going?
Nick DeJesus - Going well, thanks!
Him - So tell us about the app. What inspired your team to take it on?
Nick DeJesus - The initial start of the app has a few variables. First, I needed a career change, something that paid more. Second, I downloaded Rip's Level Up Your Game, the app that was my introduction to frame data. It only focused on the top 10 moves, and I wanted an app that had all of them. At the time, none of those existed, so I decided to actually learn how to code so I can make it for myself.
Him - The art for the app is pretty awesome. Who's the artist behind it and what inspired your choice of art style?
Nick DeJesus - Arkayne for the logos, KaijuBrothers for the character Banner art, Konnestra for the chicken portraits and last but not least, Ray Mills who handled the aesthetic/flow of the entire app.
At first, it was just people volunteering and wanting to help/contribute to the project. This project belongs to them as much as it does to me. I didn't really choose an art style or choose my team for that matter. They all naturally came to me and I couldn't be any more grateful!
Him - What is the biggest success for T7Chicken? Bringing players together, a certain pro shouting you guys out, a killer partnership? Something else?
Nick DeJesus - There are so many: career, personal growth, learning...it's overwhelming what T7C has done for me. The most magical feeling in the world is meeting people that use the app but have no idea I made it. Going to tournaments in Amsterdam, Scotland, Denmark, watching Europeans walking around, scrolling through frame data on my app preparing for the matches. And days later getting messages on Facebook like, "Hey! I had no idea you were the guy that made the app!". The app has gotten a reputation beyond my own. That feels really good.
Him - What has been the biggest challenge for T7C?
Nick DeJesus - The project IS a challenge. This app has been a big part of my entire journey of learning how to code. I wasn't some expert developer who decided to jump in and make it work. I struggled so much to get where I am now. Everything about making this has been a big obstacle.
Him - Have you worked on any similar frame data apps? Are there any plans to branch out and do more?
Nick DeJesus - I haven't, and honestly, I don't know if I have it in me to do much more. Perhaps if I were able to make this my full-time job, I'd feel differently. However, it's hard balancing 9-5 jobs and other aspects of life while working on this.
Him - Favorite Tekken Character and why?
Nick DeJesus - Feng has been my main for over 10 years. I love that kung-fu monk stuff. I especially love that he killed his master, not because I'm some evil person or anything, but I am a big fan of students surpassing their masters. We should all grind to become better than those who inspire us. Feng just took it a little too far.
Him - Anything else you want to tell fans about the app and your plans for this season?
Nick DeJesus - We're going to be monetizing the app this time around - ads and, later on in the future, the ability to remove ads by paying. Honestly, I'm ready to move on to other things I'd like to build. However, if the community gives us financial support, I'd be more than happy to build out more features.
Some things we'd like to include are:
-Combos for every character;
-Player Spotlight section where we feature a player per character and point to their social media accounts so people can follow (we're working with one player right now to kick it off, top-secret stuff tho);
-Gifs for the combos (gonna need time for this one though);
-Community screen where we share different Tekken communities, based on region and discords as well.
Everything I listed may or may not happen; it all depends on community support. We couldn't get there without any of it.