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.
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.
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.