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Nick DeJesus’ T7 Chicken app is revolutionizing frame data

With 30,000 users strong, T7 Chicken is only just getting started!

Photo by: Traveling Controller

Nick DeJesus’ T7 Chicken app is revolutionizing frame data

While Tekken websites have existed with frame data for quite sometime, with the Tekken 7 now here, and smartphones practically in every hand, it only makes sense to have frame data immediately at your disposal. The T7 Chicken app is leader of the pack when it comes to providing frame data to Tekken players in a reliable, efficient and intuitive manner. Heck, even some of your favorite pro players rely on it!

But what does the future hold for T7 Chicken? You may know this guy already, as he is widely known as the infamous Offinbed from the Boston Tekken scene. But who better to talk to about this than Nick DeJesus, the brainchild behind this awesome piece of technology.

Nick, we’ve known each other since the Tag 2 days, and have had some great discussions. Surprisingly, many of them not even about Tekken. We’ve talked Tekken a lot too, but never about your history with the game. How long have you been playing Tekken?

Since Tekken 5, more than 10 years!

How have you been enjoying Tekken 7 so far?

I love it. It’s my favorite Tekken! Namco did such a great job. There are just a few things I don’t agree with.

Don’t agree with? Such as?

First thing that comes to mind is the throw breaking being way easier. I think it would have been a great idea to at least give each character a unique command throw if they were doing to do something like make throws easier to break with both 1 and 2 throws. But it’s really not a big deal at all. This game was so well made. Definitely my favorite Tekken in the series. Outside of gameplay mechanics, I do miss the older customization options. Rest in peace ‘Earth Worm’ Feng! Honestly, Tekken 7 is my favorite game, but I feel like I enjoyed online mode with Tag 2 more. I hope that in the next installments online play will be given more priority.

Great feedback. Do you hope they bring Jinpachi back? Would you like to see more content?

No, I’m always going to be a Feng player. I just happen to be able to get far with secondaries. What I missed from Jinpachi was 14 frame launch punishment. Geese is my new Jinpachi!

You’re not only a Tekken player, but you’re also a developer. How long have you been a code head, and what languages do you write in?

4 years. 2 of me desperately trying to learn and 2 of me doing it professionally. I just work with front end HTML/CSS and JavaScript and specialize in React/React Native (what t7c is made of)

You’re from Boston, representing Boston Tekken. But you very briefly lived in Europe at one time didn’t you?

Yes, my first dev job was for a big bank in Scotland. I lived in Edinburgh for 3 months!

What made you decide to develop T7 Chicken?

I wanted a to change my life and get a better career. I wanted to make apps and hope that I could make a really cool app to make me money. T7C is practice project for moves I wanna make in the future. I also felt like it would have been nice to have frame data at my side without needing internet. People were doing weird stuff like bookmarking rnborway or downloading that site to their phone at the time. I knew it was in demand!

Why is frame data important?

Frame data is what makes the world go round. In every fighting game it’s what players need to know so they can develop their strategies!

Do you believe it is absolutely necessary to know frame data in order to be a very good player? I think I know of a few pro players who dabble with frame data, but not religiously. They’ve played the game so long that they’ve ‘just know.’ Know what I mean?

It’s absolutely necessary to know frame data to an extent. You need to know what to punish and how, you need to know when your opponent is at frame advantage or when you’re at frame advantage. So long as you know those things, you can get really far!

I’m not aware of what other frame data apps exist, but I know they do. What sets T7 Chicken apart from them?

I’m actually not sure about what else is out there, but I’d guess that they don’t have a high fidelity app like ours. We’ve got unique art for the logo and characters, a dedicated UX designer, list and spreadsheet modes are optional, and of course I can’t forget the gifs! I don’t know if anyone else is crazy enough to try and make over 4,000 gifs.

People may not know this, but the app was called Tekken Chicken at first, and not T7 Chicken. Why the name change? 

Because I don’t have any rights to the ‘Tekken’ name I got in trouble for using ‘Tekken.’ The first app got taken off the store because of it.

Oh wow! Okay, so then you named it T7 Chicken after Tekken 7. Will the name change again when another version of Tekken is released?

The next version of Tekken will just be called T8 Chicken or Tag3 Chicken. I never changed the name of the first app. It actually got banned forever. (laughs)

I get it now. So each app will always exist to support that particular version of the game. Very smart. How many people actually helped make the app?

Besides me there’s Danny Nguyen, who is a developer from my last job, Scott Jones, aka ‘Rolling Deaf Cradle,’ who actually joined the scene at the end of Tag 2. He’s also a developer as well.

Speedkicks actually has been helping me learn how to code for a long time and completely made the back end for T7 Chicken. I call him when I have really big coding tasks that I’m not sure if I can handle. Speed is way better at coding than he is at Tekken. That’s SAYING something (laughs).

Haroun from London was very helpful in helping us get the frame data formatted from RBnorway.

Brad is a random guy from Reddit who decided to jump on board the week before Tekken launched. He helped us manage the server and continues to do so if something goes wrong.

Ray Mills is the UX designer. Words don’t exist that can speak on how important this man is. He is very talented and put in so much hours on coming up with designs and even helping the devs make decisions on features. I hope I can get a chance to work on anything with him in the future!

Quentin, aka Arkayne, he did the logo for T7 Chicken.

Ron, aka Scrubzilla, did the character art for the select screen! I’m the one that asked him for chibi style art and he made it happen in no time.

The gif making team, Brian Jones, aka TZBIGWORM, recorded a bunch of videos for us. He literally went into practice mode and inputted every attack and uploaded high quality vids to record from. He’s also been really great at helping with anything he possibly can. Cameron, whiskey Jack, on Twitter. So I built a gif making tool with the idea that I’d recruit a team of gif makers. Cameron is a team of gif makers! He has single-handedly created over 3,000 gifs with the gif making tool. Sneaky Coyote also helped with the gif making, but he is more importantly a secret weapon.

Last but definitely not least, Jon Lassiter, aka NeoXianWu! He is the one doing Twitter for T7 Chicken and so much more. On Twitter we went from zero to 2,000 followers, he handles giveaway events, and helps me get connected with our partners. He always brings great ideas to the table and I consult with him before making major decisions. I really hope he gets picked up to do social media for another organization and actually gets paid.

There’s a long list of people who have helped a lot, even you, Aziz! But that list right there are the ones that I believe made it all real. T7 Chicken would not be a thing at all without the list above.

Huge team! It was an honor to help you all launch the app man. At one time the app opened saying ‘Powered by TekkenGamer.’ Thanks for that too! How long did it take to actually get the first initial version of the app created and launched?

Nine months of me not knowing what the hell I’m doing.

Is T7 Chicken server based? Or is the data housed within the app?

Server based. We have a server we fetch our data from.

How do you all determine frame data? Where does it come from?

Well we really just rely in RBnorway. They get their data from InaTekken which I guess isn’t a thing anymore? Outside of that sneaky coyote has these intense character Bible’s with the most up to date info

What has been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced with developing, maintaining and updating the app?

I started this as a project to help me learn. I didn’t know anything about making apps and shipping product. I bit off way more than I can chew to be honest. There is a huge list of things that have caused me grief. The code is so bad that trying to make updates now really sucks. We like to joke that T7 Chicken is a Lambo’ on the outside, but a Honda on the inside.

With such a major gif operation, are gifs in the app now? And what exactly is the purpose and goal of them?

Yes they are, however, the gif update ended up crashing every phone. An uninstall and reinstall fixes for iOS, and Android users need to delete app and cache data. It still doesn’t work for all Androids though. The goal of the gifs were to be able to see the attacks without opening it up in practice mode or when it’s too late, like a tournament or something. (laughs) It’s important to know what things look like!

Has Noctis been added yet?

Yes, with the gif update.

In what ways could the community help you make the app better?

I need money, but what I truly need is way more users. Tekken sold over 3 million copies and we only have 30,000 users. I would love to see 100,000 or 200,000 users some day. I’d be able to do way more with T7 Chicken if the community supported us financially. More giveaway events, sponsoring players, server, tools and I’d be able to actually pay people for their work. Possibilities are endless.

What about the pro players, do they use the app and do any of them ever endorse it?

I’m confident pro players use the app. Anakin has given me shoutouts several times, as well as Rip. I think everyone has it, but I feel like the dynamic of esports kind of changes what you’re allowed to promo if you’re sponsored. But also you don’t want to give shoutouts to an organization that’s not paying you.

I hear that, but I don’t think a dollar should always be the bottom line. If it was, TekkenGamer wouldn’t even be here. We don’t do this for the money, though money helps. We’ve turned down major money because something didn’t align with our goals. But that’s a discussion for another day. But speaking of money, have you ever thought about selling the app? This may help you implement features quicker and more, because you could pay developers.

I have, but this project wasn’t even supposed to get as far as it did. (laughs) It’s too late now.

I saw you say two interesting things recently. One, you said you were going to scrap this version of T7 Chicken and start over from scratch. Why is that?

We have way more data available now thanks to the secret weapon that is Sneaky Coyote. I’d love to make a T7 Chicken with that data, and also find a way to monetize it from there. I’m also way stronger as a developer and can make a better performing app with more features that’s faster and easier to update. This is still practice for me, but now I kind of know what I’m doing!

The second thing I saw you say is that you spoke with someone who works closely with Soul Calibur 6, and they expressed interest in using your app as the official frame data app for the game. How’s that developing?

Just early discussion so far. I have a lot to build out with the new version of T7 Chicken before I can provide that framework to them, and Soul Calibur comes out months from now. We’ll keep y’all updated!

Good deal. How would you support both games with one app though? Would you change the name of the app?

Oh no, what they would do is clone T7 Chicken and use the code I wrote, but change the data for T7 Chicken. I won’t be actually working on it, I’ll just give them guidance since they haven’t done this before.

Ahhhh. Okay. What can people expect in the future from T7 Chicken? Is there a website coming soon? Or any other cool ideas, like maybe an esports team or sponsoring events?

Honestly, that all depends on community support. There will be a website eventually, a new app hopefully this year, a merch store and more give away events. Those are guaranteed. With community support, aka money, I’d be able to sponsor, add to pot bonuses, advertise and pay my team! I also have many ideas that I don’t know if I’d have time or energy to do. Like a tournament finding system or a way to find local players in your area.

Any last words you want to leave with our readers?

Yes! The new version of T7 Chicken will be called T7 Chicken Plus. I am trying to think of ways to monetize the app without having the community hate my guts! Just follow me or the T7 Chicken account on Twitter and stay tuned!

I can’t let you go just yet! T7 Chicken Plus? Explain.

T7 Chicken Plus is going to have tons of information available that T7C doesn’t have. The data will come from Sneaky Coyotes “character Bible’s”. It will have max damage combos (with gifs for each one) and a lot of data on which direction to step attacks among other things. The app will be much easier to update/upgrade as well. I would love to do other things like player locators, tournament trackers and even online events, but it will all come down to how much support I get from the community. People will have the ability to “star” attacks too. I was also thinking of adding a voice search feature. You hit a microphone icon and then say, “Bob q c f 2,” and it goes straight to the character and attack.

Now that’s next level! Thanks, Nick!

Aziz Peregrino-Brimah aka Zee the CEO | Founder / Editor-in-chief of TekkenGamer | Gaming has been a passion of Zee's since the early days of Atari and ColecoVision. His first experience with Tekken was in the early 90's, and it was Tekken 3 that sealed the deal. True story... As a teenager Zee once received his Winn-Dixie paycheck and spent it all at the arcade the same day. Needless to say, his mother wasn't pleased.

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