There is perhaps no one on Boston College’s campus that is simultaneously as adored and ridiculed as Steve Addazio, BC’s own football coach. However, the extent to which he has been memorialized has just reached new heights with the release of an interactive video game called DazQuest.
The brainchild of Josh Artman, MCAS ‘19, DazQuest is a Twine video game that features Addazio navigating his life as a football coach, family man, and all-around dude. Twine is a program that enables creators to tell interactive stories, like this one. Artman began working on the project last May, while studying abroad in Israel. “The country shuts down for a day and a half every week,” Artman recalls, referring to Shabbat, “so I got kind of bored sometimes and started messing around.”
This “messing around” led to the inception of the video game, which Artman shared with Luke Layden, MCAS ‘19, and Peter Zogby, MCAS ‘21, both fellow members of the New England Classic. They began working on the game together this past summer, but decided they needed a deadline if they wanted to take the work seriously. Thus, the game changed from a pet project to an actual endeavor.
The game is essentially a story following Addazio’s day, in which players click along to follow his quests.
“Chapter four branches into three directions,” Artman describes, “so we each took a direction and fleshed it out. From there, Luke and I have been finishing it off. Pete’s been consulting, far enough away to know if a joke is too deep or too much of an inside joke.”
When asked why Addazio, Zogby replies, matter-of-factly, “If you had the chance to paint God’s face, wouldn’t you?”
“He’s the man! It’s everything about him,” Layden says, and goes on to add that, “Jim Christian shows what a blessing Steve Addazio really is. He’s mediocre, straightforward, he wears suits.”
Addazio, or as the game crew affectionately calls him, Daz, is portrayed in this vintage-style game as its creators imagine him. They admit to looking up some facts about him, but others were completely from their imagination. “He’s a professional football coach. He must love classic rock, he must love meat,” Artman says, referring to the curated soundtrack to the game and one of the jokes prevalent in the game about Addazio’s diet, before stating, “We must admit we are objectifying Addazio.”
“He’s so virile. He’s the most masculine guy,” Zogby adds, before exclaiming: “His birth was a touchdown!”
They explain how the game essentially wrote itself. The concept of watching and aiding Addazio as he navigates his life may be niche content, but it is a unifying joke for the BC student body. “We asked ourselves: 'what would be the most enjoyable or ridiculous thing for Addazio to do?' And then we did that,” Layden explains.
They all agreed that their only goal for the project is that people enjoy it, and that, hopefully, Addazio knows it exists.
The game is a testament to the age we live in. “If you’re a creative, weird, funny person with time on your hands, you can do whatever you want,” Artman muses. “This is our minor contribution to the internet as a whole.”
When asked if any other games inspired them, the group began listing games such as Undertale and The Secret of Monkey Island. This interestingly led to a brief side-debate over the origins of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, before they apologized for getting side-tracked.
This side-tracking is exemplary of the kind of humor that led to the game. Artman, Layden, and Zogby produce a stream of banter that is sharp and almost impenetrable, but not alienating. Instead, it is much like the game: self-aware, subversive, incredibly entertaining, and just ridiculous enough to work.
As for what’s next, Artman jokes that he will “probably try to do a little more schoolwork. This might be my legacy,” he concludes, before adding, “or I’ve been known to hold doors for people.”
“Yeah… they may not remember much,” Layden admits, “but there may be an asterisk by my name that says I made this video game.”
DazQuest is accessible through the New England Classic website.