Frequently asked questions
Q: What is this?
A: This is a fictional story about two students, who launch on an ambitious project to document the Video game industry, between years 1994 – 2009. Story happens first at Helsinki, Finland, but then proceeds to London, UK (in chapter 2) and around the world (Chapter 3) and then returning from time to time finland again. It is fictional, characters are invented, but everything has been inspired by real events. Some of the events I have experienced myself, some I have heard, and some I simply read from a magazine interview. This was released as collected paperback edition in 2013, and it’s first chapter was adapted into mini tv series called Bitwisards by Yle broadcasting service in 2016 (You can stream it from the link above if you live in finland, or if you know how to get around country restrictions. I am not telling you.)
Q: Who are you and what makes you entitled to make a comic about game industry? What do you know about it?
A: My name, which is irrelevant, can be found on the home page (look at the logo), and I have been developing games for over 25 years. I have been professionally employed (=had salary from a game company) since 1994. I have worked on number of titles (published and unpublished) for number of platforms, including C64, Amiga, Playstation, Dreamcast, Xbox, Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and mobile. I have also made number of comics. Does this answer your question?
Q: How often you make new episodes?
A: They have all been made already, back in 2013 I completed the whole story, but it was mostly in finnish. Actually, in the original comic, everyone speaks their native language, untranslated. I liked it because it gave the storytelling some “reality”- but since most of the people can’t read finnish, it makes sense to translate this into english.
Q: Your english is bad, why not use professional translator? My uncle/friend/me/my dog can help.
A: Probably correct, as english is my second language. But this whole story is hundreds of pages long, and translating a comic is much more than just checking the grammar. It has to fit in the speech bubbles, have a right rhythm, flow, context.. I just can’t be bothered as long as it is readable, and I have no money for professional translator. So beat it.
Q: When is the next episode going to come out? Why not release them all at once, if it’s all drawn? Why you are taking so long? Why not just put comic sans and be done with it?
A: Next episode comes out when I am done with it and I do it when it pleases me. It takes time to translate and type one page, because I am writing the text by free hand, using cintiq. Original comic was typed straight into the original artwork with rapido pen, and the style has to match. Comic sans and any computer-typed speech bubbles are an abomination in a comic book like this, because the text needs be ‘alive’, it needs to stretch, scale, squeeze and scatter to display emotion, timing, vocal strength, rising and descending of tone, nature of the sound and billion other things which I learned from classic cartoonists such as Gilbert Shelton, Jack Davis, Don Martin, Andre Franquin, etc.. you know, back in the day, when people still made comics that were actually funny. Those were good days. Comic sans and computer lettering destroys all that, but how would you know, if you have never seen anything better.
Q: Why is the artwork so bad? Why don’t you employ professional cartoonist?
A: Excuse me, I am a professional cartoonist, on the top of being a professional game developer. If you need proof what I can do, when I put lot of effort into something, you can try buying and reading this. It’s in english, and they ship overseas as well. When I made ‘Journeys into Game Industry’, I only spent 1 hour on each and every page. This was due to lack of time, and to the fact that I was not striving to make any money with this. This was for therapy only. This being said, I preferred to make all the expressions, body language and layout and rhythm deliver whatever information they needed to deliver. Luckily I spent my childhood reading comics, so I can throw them in by intuition, without any planning. You can still argue that it looks crap and you have right to this opinion. It is rushed. Get used to it or go somewhere else.
Q: Come on, you say this is fiction, but I can certainly recognize some characters here! Spill the beans! Who are they?
A: I don’t have to answer to any of the questions regarding as the origins of the characters. Some of it is because many people in game industry are private people and not public figures, and I am attempting to protect their privacy. Some of the characters in the comic are based on very public people, and I guess you probably recognize them. But as for those people, their shenanigans are inspired from the very public interviews and articles which have been provided over the years. Stop worrying who or what are these characters and incidents based on, and just enjoy the story.
Q: Why are you making this? What is your point?
A: There has been long-standing assumption, especially amongst younger people, that game industry is some kind of escape place from life’s harsh realities, where you could “live your dream” and “get rich”. To put it mildly, both assumptions are mostly false. I have created this comic in the hopes that you would understand what you or your offspring might possibly have to go through, if game development is chosen as a career. There was some early misconception that I might have used this comic to defame some of my fellow developers. This whole notion was idiotic, and also demonstrated an embarrassing lack of reading comprehension – refer to my answer above.
Q: How about redrawing this comic to make it better?
A: Never. After 25 years in industry, I actually enjoy doing something unprofessionally for a change, and I am not here to please you. I have better things to do in my free time than trying to please you spoiled brats! Also, although it was not intended, I found out that the rough style actually made my story much more ‘alive’ than ‘polished’ drawing style could ever had. You don’t have to understand or like it. I simply don’t care.
Q: But how about coloring this comic?
A: Oh fuck off..
Q: Will this be available in print?
A: Yes. I will crowdfund the book after I have released most of the story in the web – if this has gained enough readers. If not, tough titty.
Q: Will there ever be a sequel?
A: I worked on one back in 2014, but then I abandoned it because I lost interest. It will never be available. For all it’s purposes, the point of the comic was completed when the original story was finished, and there is no point making any more.
Q: I work in game company and I can tell you some exclusive dirt, will you draw it?
A: Fuck off. I am not interested about your dirty laundry, and do not contact me thinking that you could hide behind my back.
Q: Will the mini tv series ever be available outside finland? Will there be more?
A: You have to ask YLE about that, it’s in their hands.
Q: It is hard to read this in chronological order here on wordpress! Can’t you do something about it?
A: No. If the chapter/page dropdown menus don’t help there is nothing I can do for you. Buy the paperback when it’s out some day. What you should know is that the posts will be in two categories – chapters and episodes. One episode consists few pages from one chapter. So you should be able to jump either to start of a chapter, or to the start of the episode, which is defined by the amount of pages it has, like pages 01-04. Got it?
Q: I love this! Can I donate?
A: Well thanks. But due to money collecting laws in Finland, collecting donations is illegal and I don’t want to get into legal trouble. If you really want to help me out, share the link and good word every time new episode is out, and save some money for the eventual crowdfunding event to get the book. There will be many higher tier perks available for the crowdfunding for those few maniacs who want to show their possible appreciation.
Q: Can I contact you?
A: I would prefer if you didn’t, really. But if you absolutely must, send a private message through the facebook page. Any stupid or annoying questions and/or threats will also be published in the facebook page and publicly ridiculed, so please be civil and discreet – you have been warned!