I’m Freek Verheijde and I design and develop games as BoterJan. I live together with my partner and my two cats. I go bouldering every week and I’m general board member of the Game Bakery, a cooperative of game developers in Groningen, The Netherlands.
I’ve been designing games for as long as I can remember. Inspired by the Super Nintendo at home, I created my own ‘video games’ with toys and anything I could find around the house. I’d spend hours imitating platformers and action-adventures.
I found Game Maker 2 on a school computer when I was 9 years old and I was instantly obsessed. ‘Could I change how fast the spaceship was moving around? Where did all the asteroids come from and why couldn’t I see them in the Room view?’ But most importantly: ‘Can I make my own video games?’
I’ve always considered it a hobby, until I was fretting about which career path to take and someone at a workshop pointed me to a game development programme in the city. The programme was a big eye opener. I started building my network there and it was a stepping stone more than anything. I did many things on the side until I graduated in 2015 and continued with BlauwPrint, a studio I founded with a friend, until 2019.
My favorite games include Celeste, The Binding of Isaac, Chicory, as well as classics like Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, and Earthbound.
I love a wide range of genres like sandbox games, roguelites, metroidvanias, adventure games, platformers and point and clicks. Most games I play are single player, but I prefer multiplayer games to be co-op over competitive.
I play mostly indie games with 2D gameplay and colorful graphics and am less fond of ‘realism’ or overly gory or violent games.
I made this website primarily as a collection where I put all of my work. So for me personally, the most important page is the Archive. I document as much as possible because I want a place that everyone (including me) can look at to see that I’ve come a long way and that it took a lot of effort to get where I am now. It’s a page to reminisce and to silence the nasty little voice in the back of my head.