One of the big hitters in the arcade basketball genre, John G. Vignocchi came onto the scene in 2000 and was one of the driving forces behind Midway's NBA Ballers franchise.
On August 15th, 2008, Vignocchi left Midway Games to help start up a new Chicago-based studio for Vogster Entertainment. There, he oversaw the production of an original IP for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and assisted the company with new business development. He is now the Development Director for Disney Interactive.
Vignocchi attended Lake Forest College in his hometown of Lake Forest, Illinois. During his sophomore year he was offered an internship at Midway Games, working under his favorite childhood game designer, Mark Turmell. After several months Vignocchi was offered a full time position as an assistant producer at Midway. His positions at the company were:
- 2000-2001: Assistant Producer
- 2001-2002: Associate Producer
- 2002-2004: Game Designer
- 2006-2007: Senior Game Designer II
- 2007-2008: Lead Designer
- 2008-2008: Product Strategist
During the E3 2011 Bombcast, John freestyled about Bing, the New Xbox Experience, DLC, Sony and Microsoft's press conference, and sweaters. The lyrics:
"Bing to the NXE
Understand, it's me. Johnny V.
Can't find DLC, need a search engine to optimize to find it for me.
Real quick let me think about this.
Microsoft's press conference was the sh*t.
Everyone was saying Sony's was better, I think they're crazy
I'm hot, I'm wearin' a sweater."
After this line he "ran out of words".
- Vignocchi is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club and is an avid boater.
- Known to be an avid photographer.
- Preferred Prototype to Infamous.
- Is a Rock Band fan, who bought the entire $250 set for Beatles Rock Band, just days before he got laid off from his job at Vogster Entertainment. He contemplated sending back the game to EA with his resume.
- Is proud of the soundtracks that he supervised for the NBA Ballers series, the first of which was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement In Original Music Composition" by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
- Dubbed "The Juggernaut" and also "Johnny the Juggernaut" in grade school, this was due to his uncanny ability of charging the opposing team when engaged in basketball.
- Donkey Kong Junior is his favorite game of all time.
- Has previously been banned from World of Warcraft for farming out his character to a guy in China for $10 a day to help him grind to the title of "High Warlord."
- Has been nominated by Giant Bomb as the video game character that they'd Most Like to Party with, but lost to Brucie from Grand Theft Auto 4.
- Was nominated for a second Giant Bomb award, for Video Game Character That They'd Most Like to Party With, but lost to Eddie Riggs from Brütal Legend.
- Was nominated yet again for the Giant Bomb award for Character We'd Most Like to Party With, but lost to the Illusive Man from Mass Effect 2.
- Is a fan of the pinball game Medieval Madness.
- Joked that he looks like Rufus from Street Fighter 4.
- All of his grandparents died from cancer.
- Is close friends with Adam Boyes, they lived together in Chicago where Jeff Hilbert of DDM asked how they both fit inside their shared apartment in reference to how big the two friends are.
- Often throws wild parties.
- Made a bet with Ryan Davis on the Gran Turismo 5 release date. If the game met its proposed release date of November 2, Vignocchi was to shave "RD" on his chest. If he won, he would get a Giant Bomb art treatment of himself. Vignocchi was ultimately victorious, and Ryan had the art made up and printed on a blanket.
- Has three cats named Maximillian, Principessa and Sir Tucker Kensington Vignocchi.
- Does impressions of both Ice T and Marlon Brando.
- Did readings from Ice T's Twitter profile while doing an impression of Ice T during Giant Bomb's panel at PAX Prime 2010.
- Prefers to refrigerate his peanut butter.
- He has also been waiting for a totally dope Castlevania experience.
- Claims his middle name is "Gallagher."
- Is totally sourced in a college English textbook.
- Jokingly does not respond well to questions regarding the presence or absence of Jeff Bridges and Daft Punk in the recent Tron: Evolution video game.
- Was married in 2011. No comment on whether Jeff Bridges appeared at the wedding ceremony, or whether Daft Punk performed.
- Enjoys Super Mario Bros snacks and Donald Duck orange juice.
- Was a stunt double for Andre the Giant on the film The Princess Bride.
- Was wed on top of an active volcano.
- Makes back hair dolls of Adam Boyes and performs voodoo rituals to keep him looking young.
- Kettle corn devouring aficionado.
- Known to spend $27 at Taco Bell.