Meet Juho Glad

Hi Juho! Please tell our blog readers a little about yourself, what is your background?

I’ve been working in service design, and UX and UI design for the past 10+ years. I have a Master’s degree in Engineering from the Aalto University School of Science in Helsinki. Last summer I started making my first ever game called FallMan.

 

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What was the first video game you played?

Me and my brother had a couple of Nintendo Game+Watch "handhelds" back in the 80s.

The first real video game I had was a PAC-MAN clone for C64 called Snakman. This was around 1984. Our C64 was one of the very first ones in the small town that I’m from. I was also doing some pixel graphics and sprite animations on the C64, trying to make my own games and messing around with tools like Shoot-‘Em-Up Construction Kit. I also got really in to making music with the computer – I remember typing in the program code for a music tracker software found at the back of a magazine with my brother. I guess we made some typos, it made really weird sounds at times.

 

What are some of your all time favorite games?

Last of Us was a really strong experience. There are parts to the story that really hit home, probably partly because I have a daughter. That might be the game I would call my all time favorite if I had to pick just one, for me it represents the state-of-the-art in video games  in so many areas. I was really impressed by Heavy Rain as well. Spelunky constantly gets a lot of play on my Vita. Back in the earlier PC days I remember spending probably too much time playing Fallout 1 and 2 and Jagged Alliance 2. I still like the turn-based tactics genre. Midwinter was another striking experience from that time.  It's harder to pick favourites from the C64 era – as a kid you had pretty much endless hours to play anything you got your hands on. But there are titles like Lode Runner, Boulder Dash, Bubble Bobble and Airborne Ranger that certainly made more of an impression.

 

What is your platform of choice?

I don't actually really have one. I was a PC-only guy for quite some time. PlayStation Portable was my first console, and after that I have gotten myself PS3, PS Vita and PS4. I guess in the console race I'm currently backing the team PlayStation, I like that they back and put out weird and experimental stuff also, I feel it's really important for games as a whole. But I've nothing against the other platforms either. If I had more time to play games (or my daughter was slightly older), I'm sure I would've already bought a Wii U.

 
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Which mobile games have you been into?

Lately I’ve enjoyed Papers, Please; XCOM, Hitman Go! and Desert Golfing. FTL is also pretty great.

 

Why did you start making a game?

Games have always been an important form of media for me. On some level I've kind of always  been wondering if I could make something myself. At different times in my life I have been into different creative hobbies: illustration, making small animations, making music, graphic design, programming. But this all was always just for myself, I never had an outlet for any of this stuff. Making games seems to combine pretty much all the different things I’ve been into over the years, and nowadays there are established channels through which anyone can put their stuff out there. Also, after many years of client projects, I enjoy the freedom and independence of just doing things by myself.

 

Besides gaming, what do you consider important in life?

My kids, my family.


Thanks, Juho!

EGX London 2014 Recap

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Back in September 2014 we had the privilege of demoing our upcoming game FallMan at the EGX London (former Eurogamer Expo) indie showcase Leftfield Collection. EGX is the biggest games show in the UK and one of the biggest ones in Europe. In 2014 a whopping 75,000 attended the massive 4-day event. EGX describes the Leftfield Collection as "a place to sample artistic curios, quirky releases and indie games on the cusp of greatness". When we heard that FallMan got picked for the show we didn't think twice about going!

It was such a surreal experience for us being there at EGX with our Exhibitor wristbands in our hands. I mean we were there demoing the game that Juho has been working on all on his own in his tiny basement "office". Juho was setting up our stand the night before the opening and saw the monstrous booths for the million dollar budget AAA games being built at the main floor of the show. Talk about contrast. It's so awesome that EGX offers this opportunity for unknown indies like us to be a part of the same show with the biggest games out there. The Leftfield Collection was located in the second floor of the show and we had a nice and steady flow of players at our stand during the four days.

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For us the most valuable thing in participating in EGX was seeing how people play the game. We got a lot of great feedback as well as improvement ideas for the game. Utmost greatest was that so many people found the game fun. It was thrilling to see people smiling and laughing. This year Leftfield Collection featured many insanely interesting games such as Virginia by Variable State and Mushroom11 by Untame and it was an honor to be part of this group and meet all the developers.

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Here to finish off a simple pros & cons list:

Pros:

  • EGX doesn't charge anything for the Leftfield demo stand (at least this was the case in 2014)
  • Great opportunity to get your indie game out there for the public
  • Seeing how people play your game. Extensive playtest session with priceless insight on how to make your game better. You just learn so so much.
  • The people you meet! Gamers are cool folk. Not to mention getting to brush shoulders with other developers. Plus you never know who'll pop up at your stand at events like these.

Cons:

  • Costs for flights & accommodation take a chunk of the game budget, especially when you are paying from your own pocket. But this was worth it!
  • We didn't get much media/press contacts or exposure. Understandably, as EGX is console/PC and triple-A focused, we were there as a new unknown studio with a mobile game.

All in all it was an absolutely fantastic four days. Our thanks to the EGX Leftfield crew for taking such good care of us! Hope to be there again some year.

Welcome to Our Blog!

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The release of our debut game FallMan is approaching and we thought we'd start sharing our experiences so far in making our very own mobile game.

Our whole story is a bit out of the ordinary as FallMan is done completely by one person, Juho. And I really mean completely: visuals, game design, music, game development - everything. And in fact without any prior experience in game development or gaming industry. Nor coding for that matter in the past 10 years. It all kind of started just as a spare-time hobby project. This is why we are very excited how well the game has been received so far. We have had a demo booth in EGX London Leftfield Collection and in Slush Helsinki, both events with really great response to the game. FallMan also came 2nd in the Pocket Gamer Big Indie Pitch.

We realize that it's so hard out there for an unknown developer and a first ever game. Even quality games easily get lost in the depths of the app stores. But for us having come this far, having met the great people we've met, and having gotten the awesome support that we have gotten is a total win already.

Thanks for joining our journey!