tiistai 31. joulukuuta 2013

Review of 2013 wheeeeew

EDIT: this is more of a thought process vent for me than a proper review of the year, but try to enjoy!

Wow, how to even start, hmmm, let's see...

Quick review:

This year has been probably my most important year.
Worked on so many amazing projects and with so many incredible people
and got a lot of games and other projects finished and released.
Got to go to so many video game events and video game jams,
went and taught at schools and did plenty of interviews for every kind of medium.
Got to meet so many friends, old and new, feel so lucky to have all you in my life.

This year also brought a lot of stress and hard decisions in work terms but here I am,
pretty happy about the year and more than ready for the coming year :)

Not so quick review where i'll go through mostly my thoughts with Badland to finally get these things processed and wrapped:


The year started with me continuing on Badland, creating sounds and mixing it, lots of back and forth bouncing trying out new ideas and mechanics. This game has a special place in my mind as this was the first commercial game that I got to work on as a sound designer. After winning 2012's Game Connection Europe Best Project + Sony Europe Best Project awards I felt so proud and relieved, atleast people didn't hate the game or my designs, quite the contrary it seemed.

On april in about two or three (I think) days before the release we had to create the trailer in a semi-rush and got it done just in time, if I recall right it was a matter of hours heh, but we got it out!
The release...I was so nervous, I was super happy to have the game out but oh so nervous. I think New Zealand had the game before others did for some timezone difference stuff? Didn't really hear that much about it though if i'm not mistaken, then the hour struck for us too, checked the app-store did we get the Apple feature, didn't see Badland there.

After not seeing it there I just thought "well, okay, no biggie :) got the game done and feel good about it!" and left to play a practice round with my band until my phone rang, it was Juhana, the visual artist 1/2 founder of Frogmind. "well that's odd" I thought, as he didn't really call me that often if ever really...he was in a good mood and told me that we had Editors' Choice for our region and the UK if I recall right, I was so happy to hear this, I was so excited about this. Then during practice I got a text message saying that we're Editors' Choice in the rest of europe, then another text telling Editors' Choice in the USA, then another text saying "scrap the previous messages, we're Editors' Choice around the globe" and wow, I was speechless, after practice I just sat down at home and went "wow, what just happened?".

Badland was a nominee at Nordic Game 2013 for the Indie Sensation award so I went there, I had a lovely time there and met some friends and a ton of new friends. I also met Juhana from Frogmind and I helped him out presenting the game at our Badland booth. After a few days it was the award ceremony for which I wasn't present as my flight left just before it, but I got a soothing message before my plane left: "We won!".

On summer I did sounds for the new update levels more than happy as people seemed to like the soundscape of the game a lot and during summer we got huge news... we were nominees for the Apple Design Awards 2013...which we won.

The summer also saw a few events for which I went to hold my 'The Sounds of Badland' programme in which I go through the sound design process of Badland from start to finish in a quick and informative manner where I showed and opened up my sessions and ideas for the game along the production. The events were Illusion 2013 and Assembly 2013.

Badland got invited to be showcased in the Beatbuddy release party at Hamburg, Germany and no one could make it except me and I was more than happy to go, I got to meet good friends of mine and showcase the game I was so proud and happy about.

Badland also got chosen for the PAX10 section at PAX Prime and as no one else could make it I got to go there too and lucky me that I did as I had so much fun presenting the game and had the most fun ever talking about my experiences as a game developer and sharing advice for aspiring game developers during the PAX10 talk panel. Got to meet so many new and old friends there that it was insane...insane fun!!

In the fall of 2013 I had my 'The Sounds of Badland' talk at Northern Game Summit 2013 and Game City 8 (of which I've written about on a earlier blogpost, check that!)

During the fall we won a Tabby award and then, probably the most historic, iconic moment in my career to date, Game Of The Year award from Apple.

I'm speechless about receiving all this...it's seriously like a dream come true how ever corny that sounds, something I never would have anticipated to happen to me just happened, so happy about that.

Badland has had atleast around 8 million downloads for iOS devices and I don't even know the figures for Android and Blackberry, oh and we won some Android Game Of The Year 'awards' too :)

The story for Badland isn't quite over yet, as we're waiting to hear from IGF 2014, so stay tuned!

During 2013 I also got to work with so many other interesting games as in The Swapper by Facepalm games, Crayon Physics Deluxe by Kloonigames, Mushy Rooms by OYOs Games, Turbo Dismount by Secret Exit and a few others that i'm not allowed to talk about yet sadly.
EDIT: I would love to expand on these games but I feel like it could potentially be breaking a worker->client bond if you know what I mean, so i'd rather be on the safe here, hope you understand!

                                         Crayon Physics Deluxe
                                         Mushy Rooms
                                         The Swapper
                                         Turbo Dismount

2013 was also the year of game jams for me, I participated in Nordic Game Jam (3:15 AM, Feed the Toad, KARZ, Cart Lyfe), Global Game Jam (Someone needs you !, Heartbeat Challenge, Awake in the dark, Ninja Princess, Observe Worm Falling), MOJAM (Wasteland Kings), GameBoy Jam (STEEL STOMPER), Ludum Dare (Tsuba). I think there were other jams too but i'm just forgetting them now! Also had a lot of mini jams with my friend and neighbour Jukio "Kozilek" Kallio!!

                                         3:15 AM
                                         STEEL STOMPER

At the moment, i'm working on Nuclear Throne and I don't think i've ever had this much fun working on anything. I will write a talk for events about the process and a blogpost when the game is done and released! I even wrote a language for the game which the characters talk in the game with dialects, words, cyllable systems and so forth! Can't wait to get this game done although it's one of these projects which you wish never ended 'cause it's so much fun creating it.
Hope to see Nuclear Throne in IGF aswell.

                                         Nuclear Throne

Oh man i've learned so much this year and have had the privilidge to share my methods of working to others, I feel so lucky and happy. It has been hard work but really fun work at the same time, I hope that 2014 brings me even more games to work on :)

Happy new year!

                                         Apple Game Of The Year winners photo
                                         Badland & Ridiculous Fishing

torstai 19. joulukuuta 2013

Minecon 2013

Phew hi people!!

Last blog post was aeons ago, sorry for that, I also "forgot" or didn't really have time to write about Minecon so i'll get that out of the way now as a separate post to my coming fall 2013/a review of the past year post :)

Right after GameCity I got a call from Rami from Vlambeer that I need to go to Minecon to present Nuclear Throne at the indie section, so with a few hours warning I packed my stuff and had a rummage through accomodations until Adriel helped me find a hotel, then I headed to Orlando, Florida, USA.

Arriving to Orlando I was tired and seemingly jetlagged beyond recognition also very disorientated 'cause I wasn't a 100% of what's up but eventually I managed to get to the venue and got to set up all the required stuff (oh yeah, I also bought speakers with me and the game on a usb stick, heh, true indie stuff here!).

 <--- whooo setting up minecon at the same time!

After setting up I decided to head to the hotel 'cause I couldn't find the other indies as they were eating somewhere and I was reaaaally tired so yeah, sleep felt like the best idea so I tried to find a taxi...wow that was quite something I tell you, I found some super sleazy super unofficial looking taxi which I decided to skip, erggghhh, luckily I found an more official looking taxi and then realized just how far the hotel was, it was around 7-10 km distance away but yeah, not really an issue as such luckily :)

The hotel was HUUUUUGE, it was actually an five star hotel (if I remember right) and it looked so posh and high class, I love staying at places like that 'cause i'm everything but posh and high class hahah...

<--- the hotel view wasn't that posh tho, but I actually liked the view, oddly relaxing!

Okay, first day of minecon was really fun, the whole event started overly epic as Notch lit some "redstone" that then "exploded" a wall that rose up to let all the crazy attendees to the exhibition venue itself. I don't really know what to write about the demoing of the game, almost everyone who played it liked it and a lot of people bought it right away on steam with their mobile phones which seemed crazy to me, it's a new world I tell you!!

Oh and then there was this one over excited kid that still makes me smile:

The first evening of Minecon itself was really fun, i'm kind of used to the usualy beer evenings at the pubs but this time it was an (jetlagged) adventure at the universal studios theme park which was a fun change of pace, also I got to meet up and chat with the other devs more over there :) made some good friends there too! Oh and Robin Arnott was there too with SoundSelf so got to meet him again! OH and met ofcourse C418 again as you might know he's kinda involved with Minecraft ;)

 <--- RAWR! Me and Jon Tunnell who's making Contraption Maker

<--- I met superman "...."

Cool, so, day 2 was much of the same as day 1 so yeah, it was SUPER fun :) also before the event started I had a duel with BaraBariBall creator Noah Sasso on Super Pole Riders as he was holding the Sportsfriends booth over at Minecon! I swear I lost 'cause i'm not used to playing it with ps3 controllers ;) heh

The evening of day 2 brought us the VIP Club party with....MR.OIZO AND BOYSNOIZE playing sets, now....WHAT?!?! I was supposed to get mega pissed and dance around naked but then the jetlag kicked in like a Slugger in Nuclear Throne, I just couldn't drink or do anything, I kept on bobbing my head as I was falling asleep all the time, hell disapointed in me but hey, I can't tour and party like crazy all of time it seems :(

 <--- mr.oizo and boysnoize !!

Okay so I had one random wonder around day before heading back home to Finland, didn't really have much to do and I hung out with Stéphanie Yath who was presenting their game Dungeon of the Endless at Minecon indies until she had to leave to the airport, then I battled against my will of what to do, should I head to town to find shops or what should I do, all this worrying about food and stuff until I realized by accident...there's a gigantic shopping mall attached to the hotel...seriously probably the biggest shopping mall i've been to...so that kinda took a few hours of wondering around and I ended up buying Dragons Crown for the PSVITA. Also had some weird chinese food that was way over priced for what I got...hmphth....oh and on the way to Target food shop I bumped into two cats and I tried to pet them but they ran away :(

<--- traditional healthy hotel food

I guess that was pretty much my weird non-sound related OH WAIT A SECOND, on the very first night I actually made a sound for Badland purely 100% on the iPad 'cause there was a patch in a rush to get released, so that was my first from start to finish recorded edited and mixed sound all with the iPad, it wasn't easy I tell you but it was possible so yay, now I can say i've done that for a released product :P

Oh and I watched a lot of Adventure Time in the hotel, I actually miss lying on a hotel bed watching the telly and eating garbage, that's probably me in my happiest and most relaxed mindset for some reason...i'm weird... Cheetos are pretty good!

Okay, so, yeah, I really have nothing to add here other than a picture of my packing, hope this was even slightly amusing to read, just wanted to get this out of my system :D until next time :)