Comments: 72 • Responses: 29  • Date: 

PoisonedPeace5 karma

I've thought about leaving everything behind for Sweden or Finland once I graduate college. Was it difficult to integrate yourself into Finnish society?

ChillingInFinland0 karma

It has been difficult. I still don't know Finnish well, so I am not viewed as a member of their culture. Even if I knew it well, there are still stigmas towards foreigners, though they are more accepting than many. It's a huge step, and it is only fair to the culture to attempt to learn the language and values and integrate properly!

PoisonedPeace3 karma

One big reason I would like to leave the states is because of the government. I don't know if this matters to you at all, but would you say the Finnish government makes good use of your tax dollars? Do their social programs have quality organization?

ChillingInFinland-1 karma

I feel that they do. I think that they are a shining paragon of virtue in a ruthless world. Granted, they have their issues, but they do pretty damn good.

StuffHobbes4 karma

Hey Steve, thanks for the AMA!
I'm always amazed by people who are able to just back up and head to another country.
So my question is, how did you overcome the language barrier?
Did you already know Finnish or did you learn along the way?
(Also, are you hiring:)

ChillingInFinland5 karma

Very slowly. I am STILL working on my language skills, and have (unfortunately) a poor grasp on their language. I have a supporting wife, and everyone speaks amazing English, so that's how I do it! Haha.

I learn along the way, and learn new things every day.

I'm looking for a new project right now, and working on my own. I don't have a budget for my concept (just doing my own work on it) so I can't offer any kind of position, 'cause I suck!

imnotronca234 karma

How many ships full of seamen have you been on?

ChillingInFinland2 karma


noshore4me1 karma

How's the weather?

ChillingInFinland1 karma

A little snowy at the moment, thanks for asking.

Alexlam241 karma

What do you think about the new laser cannon gun thingys the military now has?

ChillingInFinland1 karma

Pretty cool. Hope they never have to use it.

Alexlam241 karma

It would make carnival cup shooting very very easy.

ChillingInFinland2 karma

Isn't that the point...?

Hasty_Snail1 karma

Best dish you've had so far in Finland?

ChillingInFinland5 karma

I would have to say it wasn't even Finnish... Finns can grill like beautiful savages, but the best food I've had here was from a kindly old Indian gentleman who made me Korma!

SBrooks11 karma

What's the industry like in Finland for writing video games? What companies are there and what games have they produced?

ChillingInFinland2 karma

I am barely getting myself through the door. I attached myself to projects as a Social Media and Digital marketing consultant, then showed them my writing skills, and they liked what I had, so they used me!

Some companies are Remedy, which made Alan Wake and Max Payne, Fragment which made Rescue:Everyday Heroes (I worked on this), Rovio the creators of Angry Birds, Supercell, the creators of Hayday and Clash of Clans, et al. Really an impressive industry here in Finland.

Dinklebern1 karma

What was your MOS while enlisted? (or rate, not sure what you squid call it)

ChillingInFinland3 karma

Pay attention, Grunt! My rate was AC, I said so in my OP! You savages never pay attention... ;) Just kidding.

Yeah, Air Traffic Controller. Nothing too exciting, though President Obama once transited my airspace and I was renowned for my hot sauce and alcohol consumption abilities. Never together though.

Okay... Once together. It was a bad night.

Dinklebern2 karma

Ahhhhh, Yah. I was a 0311 in the corps so.... anything besides weapons I don't know abbreviations for XD. Air control seems like it would be chill as hell.

ChillingInFinland2 karma

Eh. High Stress.

MrBillyLotion1 karma


ChillingInFinland-3 karma

Hooyah, brother.

Not going to get into particulars, just to keep some semblance of privacy while being unprivate. Trained in the usual places for aviation. Went a few places, then ended up in the pacific north-west.

The Navy helped me in my ex-pat life in so far as it helped me meet my mentors, who REALLY showed me how to travel and how to get along with folks!

TacoSwimmer1 karma

How's Finland? Any culture shock in there?

What drove you to pursue a career in game writing? What games have inspired you to do so?

Any particular moments from your service to the country that you'd like to share?

ChillingInFinland5 karma

Finland is a great country, I agree with their social policies (except that it took too long for them to get around to legalizing gay marriage) and am proud to live here! There was a lot of culture shock, actually... Finns aren't typically talkative, so I left an environment filled with bravado, knuckleheaded silliness and talkative behavior when I left my command, and came to silence and distance. It's been hard, but not impossible. I listen more. Not to people, because they don't talk much... But to like... the wind. And birds. And silence. Lots of silence.

You also end up missing every little thing about home (tons of good beer, cheap prices, food in general, friends, family, you name it!)

I have always loved video games, they kept me sane as a kid growing up in foster homes and rough neighborhoods, and during my time in the Navy. I have also always loved writing. The two meshed. Mainly, I got into gaming as a social media consultant, but I was able to force my way into the creative area by impressing my bosses!

My favorite moment from my service was when I was in the Navy was travelling to Vancouver B.C. as often as possible and enjoying some fine brews and whiskeys in Gas Town with my glorious group of friends!

MattBaster1 karma


ChillingInFinland1 karma

These days Finland feels more like home. I've been here for 2 years, and life has become business as usual. A common Finnish activity to keep your mind off anything is... drinking! But beyond that, I read, play video games, train MMA, travel, hang out with friends, and write!

MattBaster1 karma


ChillingInFinland1 karma

I do what I can! If I'm not accomplishing SOMETHING I tend to feel empty and broken... There's probably something to that psychologically, but I refuse to analyze this further. Haha.

reticule1 karma

Why did you choose Finland?

ChillingInFinland4 karma

My (now) wife (then girlfriend) is Finnish! It is also one of the current gaming capitals of the world! Plus, I agree with the Nordic Welfare Model and am happy to send my tax dollars into their coffers.

murrayhenson1 karma

Sounds like a good (awesome, really) move. I was in Finland last year and loved it.

I don't live in Finland but I have been an expat for about a decade. Find other expats in your area and meet up with them, whether they are Brits, Americans, Russians, whatever.

So - questions: where 'bouts in Finland are you? Have you visited Koli NP yet? Eaten any reindeer or moose yet? What's the coldest its gotten where you're at?

ChillingInFinland1 karma

I'm in Tampere, a medium sized city in the south. Never been to Koli!

I have eaten both Reindeer and Moose, and the coldest it has gotten is -25 C!

murrayhenson1 karma

Nice. We went through Tampere on our way back from Rovaniemi and Oulu.

Visit Koli when you get the chance - it is absolutely stunning.

I never had moose when I was there as I only like eating farm-raised stuff. Reindeer is fine.

BTW: I'm an import as well, but went to Poland. We're practically neighbours. :)

So, more questions: what's the thing you were surprised to find out you can get there? Some American product you thought you'd never see again after moving? ...And what's the thing you miss the most, besides being able to get beer with 5% ABV without making a special trip to a special state-run liquor store that is open for 16 minutes per day?

ChillingInFinland1 karma

I was surprised to get a Whopper... After 3 years without one, it was pretty delish. Poland sounds fantastic, dude! I miss my friends and family, so badly... I skype them as often as I can, but it really isn't the same. Haven't been home in around a year.

murrayhenson1 karma

Also: what the hell, isn't it 4:45 am there? Whaddya still doing up?

ChillingInFinland1 karma

Skyping my friends! I missed Thanksgiving, so we had a little celebration when we all got "together". ;D

teamkeogh1 karma

Hey Steve, Did you enjoy your time in the Navy? I have a few friends who are thinking about joining the Australian navy soon. That's insane that you were able to get a job within the gaming industry in another country. You must be a very smart man. Thanks again for doing an AMA.

ChillingInFinland1 karma

I did, yeah. I loved my friends and enjoyed my job. I was stressed a majority of the time, but it has a visceral level of accomplishment that is hard to explain.

I am not the most intelligent man, but I am pretty tenacious. Haha. I go after things I want. As hard as I can, until I get it, or it is lost forever. Haha.

My pleasure for doing the AMA. Great fun for me while drinking some brews and Skyping with buddies back home!

jod2441 karma

Hey! I've always been fascinated by Scandinavia and particularly Finland though I haven't actually managed to visit either yet. Despite that, I think it's the sort of place I'd love to live some day.

So my question is: Was it what you were expecting? The culture, the people, the way of life etc. And another question: Were you reluctant at all, moving to another country? Especially one so far away and relatively obscure compared to typical places people move to!

ChillingInFinland2 karma

I had very few preconceptions. I knew it was a Nordic Welfare State that was primarily liberal, and liked that. I thought people would be very open, so oddly that was a huge shocker. They are quiet, reserved, and focused people, but not particularly warm or welcoming to strangers. There is also (in my opinion) a slight xenophobic tendency toward people who come from countries that are less stable economically. Too many jokes exist about Turkish Kebab-stand owners.

I wasn't reluctant, really. Which was stupid. I thought "no matter what I've gone through, I've been fine. I can do this too." And it was true, I could and have, but I didn't consider that I would leave behind 2 very ill parents, and that I wouldn't be able to visit again due to funds. That part has been hard.

Woogleboo1 karma

Would you mind saying I love mmaviking.com?

ChillingInFinland2 karma

Mmmm. Love me some Sir Woogle!

quixotic_11 karma

What the hell is separation depression and how is it a result of military service?

ChillingInFinland2 karma

Military service was awesome for me. Afterward I missed my friends and my job, and got depressed. I think you're digging a little deep and getting a little hostile, champ.

quixotic_1-1 karma

Sorry, I didn't realize "hell" is offensive to sailors.

ChillingInFinland2 karma

"how is it a result of military service" is, actually. A lot of people view veterans as freeloaders, looking to get some kind of disability they aren't entitled to and criticizing any mental health claim they think we're pursuing. I'll make it clear, I never tried to do anything like that, or even seek treatment, but I am acutely aware of the criticisms some vets get about their service related mental health issues, and how that keeps folks who don't want to be seen as "weak" or "freeloading" from seeking help they truly need. I'm sensitive about that issue, I have had friends who took their lives due to the stresses of serving, or leaving service when they weren't prepared.

Edit: Also, I am slightly inebriated while skyping with my friends after a Christmas party, so I may have gotten too butthurt for the situation.

quixotic_12 karma

Ok makes sense, I've just never heard of separation depression before. I think everyone goes through that shift of, "I can't wait to fucking get out" to, "why did I ever want to get out?" Good luck in this new phase of your life.

ChillingInFinland0 karma

Yeah, just depression related to my separation.

Thanks for the well wishes, man!

GIGI6031 karma

I admire your sense of adventure. Finland is the last of the Scandinavia Countries I need to visit. What are some must-see/must do things in Finland that I should do?

ChillingInFinland1 karma

You should go to sauna, then jump in an ice hole. It's delightful. Also, you should drink some punch and marvel at drunk Finns. They are a strange and wonderful breed.

HereComeTheColdJets1 karma


ChillingInFinland1 karma

Sahti is beer, bro! I've drank a few, but honestly American Sahti (Sam Adams Norse Legend, for example) is better than any Finnish Sahti I've had. It's gotten to the point where the world is so small due to technology that very few "region specific" things are better than what pros elsewhere can do.

BasementBiotech0 karma


ChillingInFinland1 karma

Each country has it's own rules. Finland accepted me because of my marriage and education.

archangelwinter0 karma

I am also thinking of leaving for greener pastures, how was integrating into the culture like?

ChillingInFinland2 karma

It's not simple or easy. I still struggle every day. If I didn't work in gaming, there wouldn't be a place for an "English and some Finnish" speaker in the workplace, and I would basically be fucked, to be frank.