A Fort Wayne man has used his cancer diagnosis to fuel his dream of turning Fort Wayne into a video game.
Places like Headwaters Park, Parkview Field, and the Wells Bridge have been brought to life with retro video game art.
For 11 years John Springer has worked on a trilogy of Fort Wayne games. One of them, inspired by 90’s ‘beat-em-ups’, has the player fighting zombies and ninjas outside Science Central, The Embassy and other Fort Wayne landmarks.
A life-long gamer, Springer says nothing beats joining friends on the couch to share a game together. That’s why he’s also working to open a video game themed pizza shop.
He’s looking to get other businesses involved, including them in the game as actual places you can visit.
He says his vision is that when you go visit a local store in the game and make a purchase, he’ll be able to see that you visited the store, and give you a coupon or voucher that you can redeem at the actual business.
Springer says he got the idea for the project after he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Throughout treatment, all he could think about was how he could make the project special.
He has since purchased a property on the city’s northeast side and aims to open his pizza shop by fall next year.
He’s also inviting local businesses to reach out. He wants to include them in the game for free, to help create what he calls the “ultimate shoutout” to Fort Wayne.