My short bio: I am best known as a voice actor for indie video game titles, most notably the Serious Sam series. I also do horror photography, and recently launched an indiegogo campaign to fund a cross country "killing spree" photoshoot which will be published into a table book. Campaign can be found at

My Proof: Edit: Updated proof, recording as Serious Sam a response to a question from this AMA -

Comments: 143 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

BaronHarkonnen819 karma

Do you have to use pickup lines with your dates, or do you just tell them your name in a sexy voice?

johnjdick19 karma

I'm told that my voice can cause panties to spontaneously combust in some cases. I don't have a specific pickup line that I use. But I do try to talk to the ladies and actually listen to what they have to say. Then, after dinner, I just power shout their clothes off.

XillaKato5 karma

How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? - secret admirer

johnjdick7 karma

A cubic fuckton. Assuming the woodchuck is in fairly good shape and has a decent work ethic.

cmcpress3 karma

John - you need to record "how much wood.." etc and upload it somewhere in your best Serious Sam voice.


kirbyprower4 karma

How do you feel about the character Serious Sam?

johnjdick7 karma

The character fits very well with my own personality. He's very cocky and self assured. I tend to cuss more. And Sam can be a bit more aggressive than me. But there's a lot of my own personality poured into the character. It's an enjoyable role for me. And I do love the character.

Devostator3 karma

Was there ever a quote you would wish to do by yourself?

NorbitGorbit3 karma

is it valuable to know multiple languages for voice acting (for example, were you asked to voice multiple language versions of serious sam)?

johnjdick5 karma

I imagine it would come in handy. I've never been asked to act in multiple languages, though. The only language I speak fluently is English. I've picked up bits and pieces of many other languages over the years from my travels, though.

Thinking on the subject further... Perhaps it's best to hire native speaking voice actors for localization purposes? I know that non-native speakers often get minor inflections wrong when trying to speak a second language. Much of the work I get on smaller games from non-English speaking countries, they seek me out even though they have learned English in school, it just doesn't sound as natural as if coming from someone born into the language.

At the very least, multiple languages would come in handy for communicating with the team, though. I wish my Croatian were better.

NorbitGorbit2 karma

how about studying different accents? is there a ritual you do to get into a specific accent?

johnjdick2 karma

If I need to learn a new accent, I'll spend some time listening to natives speak, and try to mimic them. Then I'll record myself and listen back. Then listen to some more native speakers. It's a process. There are also some great resource tutorials and tips on the interwebs for learning accents, if you google around a bit.

Harry2K153 karma

How did you get girls to take these kind of photos of them? Because if someone would asked that to me I would be running away ( scared to be killed )

johnjdick7 karma

I'm not entirely sure how I get away with some of the things that I do. I guess I've built up a reputation over time for getting results and being fun to work with. I try to joke around a lot during the photoshoots to break the tension. Women usually approach me to volunteer to take their clothes off and have fake blood poured on their tits. It's kinda crazy. I don't have to actively seek them out.

Also, although the pictures I take can be violent and risque, it's important that I don't act 'rapey' in person. My art reflects a completely different side than how I actually behave.

doctorflipy3 karma

What would you do to get as a good known voice actor if you were 17 years old again and knowing everything that you know now?

Which things would you always keep in mind, which rules would you follow, steps...?

johnjdick5 karma

I really wish I knew the answers to that. It was sheer luck that landed me the gig as Serious Sam. Right place, right time. Yes, having the right voice played a part. But there are a lot of people out there with a voice that would have worked.

I do enjoy talking, though. And I enjoy acting out and entertaining. I love being the center of attention and being on stage. And I take every opportunity to grab that spotlight. I guess, if I had any advice, it would be to never be afraid to put yourself out there. Be loud, but never angry (though you can act angry if the script calls for it). Go out and travel, get some life experiences to draw from. And don't get discouraged if your dreams don't come true. Sometimes it takes time. Never stop dreaming.

divingrose3 karma

What actually scares you?

johnjdick3 karma

I really don't have much in the way of things that scare me. If I had to answer, though, it'd be Alzheimer's. Losing my sense of identity and my ability to think and remember. I think that would be terrifying.

ArtyomHavok2 karma

yeah this was actually a very depressing answer to read when i was excited to see how funny the response would be :/

johnjdick1 karma

Lol. Sorry to disappoint. Serious question demanded a serious answer. If you want a funny answer: Ducks who know how to use machine guns.

Harry2K153 karma

Robocop or Terminator?

johnjdick7 karma

Terminator. But only because the Robocop remake weakened the franchise as a whole.

BioMech152 karma

So you don't think Terminator 3 and Salvation weakened the Terminator franchise?

johnjdick2 karma

They did. But not as much as the Robocop remake weakened that franchise. If we were just talking the first Robocop movie vs the first Terminator movie, I'd pick Robocop. I loved the cyberpunk aesthetic to it. But the Terminator franchise built itself up over time and made itself into something bigger... the mythology grew. With Robocop, the remake undermined the entire feel of the franchise and caused it to deflate.

BioMech152 karma

What is the meaning of life?

johnjdick3 karma

I'm an Epicurean Hedonist. To me, the meaning of life is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Enjoy life and fuck the drama.

BioMech152 karma

Which Serious Sam game did you like and dislike the most?

johnjdick6 karma

My personal favorite remains the First Encounter. The entire development of that game was a perfect storm of creative collaboration. You never forget your first time :)

My least favorite would probably be SS2. There are a number of people who loved the game, but I think that it went a little bit too over the top on the silliness factor. I like my humor with a bit more of a sarcastic bite.

majan_pl2 karma

How much of the Serious Sam lines writing have been directly/indirectly influenced by you. It's more about you changing/creating it on the fly or you change it before recording. And was it any different with Talos DLC?

Also somewhat silly question, how do you imagine Serious Sam family? I mean, who could raise such badass?

johnjdick7 karma

I varies a lot from game to game. In the first games, it was kind of the wild west of quote writing. We were taking submissions from fans. We would just come up with stuff off the cuff. There was no plan regarding how the quotes would be used in the game. I'd just record whatever I could get my hands on or come up with, and send it off to Croteam. Then they'd find a place to put it into the game.

On BFE, most of the script was written by a third party. I think I ad libbed a little bit in the studio, and tweaked things. But I didn't have a lot of creative control. Most recently, I personally wrote about 75% of the lines that were used in the Talos DLC. My involvement in the scriptwriting process really does vary a great deal from game to game.

Regarding Serious Sam's family; I always think of him as a product of the system. Raised in military schools. No friends at a young age. Hard life. But he rose above.

theankh2 karma

Canon or Nikon? What is your favorite "go to" lens?

johnjdick2 karma

I use a Canon, personally. But my feelings are that neither is necessarily better than the other. It's just a matter of what the individual is comfortable with. I'm more familiar with Canon, so that's the make that I use.

I'm not much of a gear head. My 'go to' lens is just the stock one that came with the camera. I tend to shoot close to the model, to make things feel more intimate for the viewer. The 18-55mm stock lens is almost ideal for that kind of shooting range. Sometimes I use a lens extender, if I'm getting real up close and personal, though.

theankh2 karma

I feel the same way about the Nikon/Canon debate. I'm personally a Nikon shooter. I have done some horror photography around some local Cons. I don't go anywhere without my "Nifty-Fifty". My best lens purchase ever at about $100.

I prefer to get close and move my feet to get the shots.

Best of luck with your crowdfunding project!

johnjdick2 karma

It sounds like we have very similar shooting styles. I'm always in motion, moving around the model to get the shot. Getting down on the ground. Raising the camera above my head and praying that it's pointing the right direction. Always staying close.

Thank you for the kind words. Feel free to follow the project's progress on the event page I have set up for it:

Kinickie3 karma

Definitely get yourself a 50mm fixed lens when you can. They're so versatile, and it gets you closest to what your eye actually sees.

theankh3 karma

I couldn't agree more.

johnjdick2 karma

Maybe I'll make that one of the stretch goals on my campaign :) Get some new lenses and better lights. I saw plans for a car battery powered LED array. Thing was brighter than the sun. I could just hook those up to the bike to light the shoots. And I really have been wanting to pick up more lenses. A nice fixed 50mm would be an awesome thing to have.

Ima_asku_aboutcheese2 karma

If you had to pick one cheese to go on a killing spree with you and back you up, what kind of cheese would it be and why?

johnjdick4 karma

Double Gloucester. Shit's hard, yet smooth.

ArtyomHavok2 karma

Given that this has happened to you before... In what STATE, during your road trip, do you think you are most likely to have the police interrupt a photo shoot to investigate what they are told is an actual "crime scene"?

johnjdick2 karma

I'm gonna guess Georgia. They get paranoid about murders down there. Fortunately, I don't actually have any stops planned in Georgia yet. But, I'm not discounting the possibility that I'll end up going there. The route is still being planned out.

Muuritsio2 karma

Have you ever played any community-made content for any of the Serious Sam games, besides just the main game? Also, do you like bananas?

johnjdick3 karma

Of course. I was a gamer long before I became a voice actor. Probably my favorite community made map was a deathmatch level using the gravity changing properties in the first games. The level was based on an Escher drawing of staircaises going all kinds of different ways. Death on that map could come from any direction. It was insane.

johnjdick2 karma

And I do enjoy bananas. Though I don't think to purchase them as often as I should.

f3likx2 karma

Could you swear more in the next Serious Sam? Thanks!

johnjdick6 karma

Believe me, I try. Croteam is getting better at letting my coarse language slip through with each passing game, though. I'm optimistic that by SS5, I'll be able to call the player's mother a cum felching gutter fuck. Fingers crossed.

BioMech152 karma

How did Croteam find out about you back when they were developing Serious Sam: The First Encounter?

johnjdick3 karma

I wrote them a fan letter, actually. I had played the test of the game, after reading about it on OMM. Fucking loved it. So I wrote Croteam a fan letter, and casually mentioned that I was a radio DJ and that if they were looking for a voice actor, I'd love to help out. They wrote back and asked me for a voice demo. Everything just kind of fell into place from there.

iia2 karma

What's the best joke you've heard about your last name?

johnjdick9 karma

That's a tough one. Shit's been going on my entire life. At one point, I thought about moving to Mexico to get away from it all, until I realized that down there I'd be known as 'Senor Dick'. I could have stayed in the Army and become a Major Dick, I suppose.

If I ever have a child, if it's a boy, the name will be Milo Harry. If a girl, her name will be Anita Ophelia.

BioMech152 karma

In the Serious Sam games, Sam kills every biomechanoid he sees. Do you actually hate biomechanoids? Or you do hate the ones that shoot you first?

johnjdick2 karma

I actually think a biomechanoid would make an excellent pet, if it were tamed and trained properly.

BioMech152 karma

What would you name it if you had one?

johnjdick2 karma


ArtyomHavok1 karma

Would it be a Blue or Red Biomechanoid? and also which of those two would you be more afraid to swat with a newspaper?

johnjdick4 karma

Red. They're bigger and have rocket launchers. And I fear nothing, so the second part of the question is irrelevant.

majan_pl2 karma

How do you explain to newbies what you do. How do they react after hearing that you are taking pictures of bloody women?

Which blood type is the most photogenic (AB A B 0)? Which blood type do you have?

Also have you tried imitating Hippie or Green blood from Serious Sam?

Did you have any influence on Sam games besides voice acting and writing? I mean you know blood and BFE got it in spades.

johnjdick2 karma

I find it's best to just show them my pictures and let the visuals do the explaining. If they wonder why I take these kinds of pictures, I elaborate that it's a kind of escapism. I like to explore fear... try to get to the root of what scares us. I think that by facing fear, we make ourselves bolder and stronger.

My blood type is O Positive. I couldn't tell you what blood type is more photogenic, though. I just use the fake stuff for my photoshoots. I make it myself at home using sugar, flour, cocoa powder and FD&C Red Dye #40. Never tried Hippie or Green blood. Though, I imagine green blood wouldn't be too hard to make.

My role in the Sam games is primarily in the arena of voice acting and sometimes writing. I've done a little bit of beta testing, found a few bugs over the years. But that's trivial. Aside from that, I just sit on the sidelines and let Croteam do their thing :)

johnjdick3 karma

Oh, by the way. If anyone was curious to view some of my photography, here's a link:

It's mostly my more recent stuff. And isn't as horror oriented as you might expect. But it should give a good idea for my style.

I_Need_To_Go_To_Bed2 karma

What is your favorite line that you've delivered?

johnjdick8 karma

"Two heads are better than one, but how does it fart?". A little trivia on that line: It was originally recorded as, "but how does it shit". I was told to tame it down a bit, though.

ArtyomHavok2 karma

in your upcoming cross country "killing spree" photoshoot, knowing that it will be traveled via motorcycle and camping(where possible), are you planing to do a large number of your shoots outdoors? or with a portion of the bike showing in the background?

johnjdick5 karma

I don't plan on doing many shoots in nature, if that's what you mean by outdoors. But I'll probably find plenty of nice secluded alleyways... places that you'd imagine a murder actually happening. There will also be a fair number of murder scenes staged indoors, I'm sure. I'm just playing it by ear, and plan to see what resources are available for settings at each stop along the way.

I'm also going to try to stage some murders in front of some historic and recognizable sites. I'll have to be fast and opportunistic. It'd make my trip if I could stage a murder scene in front of the worlds largest ball of twine, though.

Acidbrah1 karma

How do you get into voice acting? I have no idea what to do with my future. I'd like to be an actor, but I'm too ugly to be an on-screen actor, nomsayin?

johnjdick1 karma

I started off as a radio DJ. Things just kinda grew from there. To become a radio DJ, I went to broadcasting school.

ArtyomHavok1 karma

Ignoring Serious Sam. What are the TWO video games you have played in your lifetime that make you feel incomplete if you don't replay them every few years and why them?

johnjdick5 karma

The original Half Life and the original Diablo. I always cycle back to those games every few years for some reason. Both games were inspired. The pacing, story, gameplay... everything about them. I have other 'comfort games' that I go back and replay from time to time. But you asked for two ;)

Kinickie1 karma

The original Diablo? How has your index finger not fallen off from all the clicking?

johnjdick3 karma

Lol. I only break it out to play every year or two. Make a run or two down to hell. Then move on to another game when my index finger starts hurting.

BioMech151 karma

What are your thoughts on The Talos Principle?

johnjdick3 karma

I admit that I was a bit hesitant when Croteam first made the announcement. Talos was pushing SS4 back, and the concept didn't sound as exciting on paper as it turned out to be in reality.

Once I played it, though... I did a full 180 in my attitude. Talos is an absolutely astounding game. It's got some beautiful design and balancing. The backstory and content really does get you thinking about the nature of sentience. The puzzles are challenging, yet not impossible.

Fucking amazing game.

Opeope891 karma

What's it like being a dick horror photographer?

johnjdick3 karma

It's scary. There are some truly terrifying dicks in this world. Often they try to write humorous questions on reddit.

Clipsterman1 karma

What is a line you really wish could have been included in a Serious Sam game, but was cut out or changed?

Alternatively, off the top of your head, what would you like as a line in a future SS game?

johnjdick2 karma

That's hard to say. Most of the time, the cream really does rise to the top. All my favorite lines have made it into the game. I can't think of any that were excluded. The only thing I'd change is to make the language a bit more raw. It just isn't realistic for a bad ass soldier to censor their language. I've been on the battlefield. We would say some downright offensive stuff. No filter.

Regarding lines for a future game? My one wish, and I've been pushing for this for years, isn't a line. It's a weapon. I'd love to have a cannon that shoots a spinning chain bola with flaming chainsaws on the end. It'd just cut a path through the enemies. Maybe have it leave a trail of napalm in it's wake.

Clipsterman1 karma

Holy shit that sounds cool. Why has no one ever done this?

To be honest, half the reason I asked the questions was me hoping I could get you to record you saying them in the Serious Sam voice. In lieu of that, how about your favorite Duke Nukem/movie action hero quote in the Serious Sam voice?

BioMech151 karma

Do you eat steak? If so, how do you usually cook your steak?

johnjdick2 karma

You're god damned right, I eat steak. I prefer it rare or medium rare. Probably the most common way I'll cook steak is to wrap it in bacon and slow cook it to temp in the oven, then turn on the broiler just long enough to crisp the bacon up.

My diet is pretty much 80% carnivorous.

ArtyomHavok1 karma

Have you ever eaten imitation meat that "almost" fooled you? if so what was it?

johnjdick3 karma

I tend to avoid the stuff. I've had some hamburger patties that had so much filler in them that they could almost be classified as imitation meat, though. Horrible stuff.

But, no. I've never been 'almost' fooled by meat substitutes. Or, if I had been fooled, I guess I wouldn't be aware of it.

BioMech151 karma

What's your favorite weapon in the Serious Sam games?

johnjdick1 karma

The double barreled shotgun. Hands down. It's just got a really meaty feel to it. And so much of the combat happens up close and personal, it's just natural to fall back to the shotty as a default.

Having said that, anyone who has played any of the games knows that the weapons are balanced beautifully. Different weapons work better on different enemies. So it's entirely situational which weapon is my favorite at any given time.

EntroperZero1 karma

The Coach GunTM: Shattering Kleer Skeletons since the turn of the millenium.

What's your favorite enemy of the series?

johnjdick3 karma

Favorite enemies would be the kamikazis. Fucking hate those guys.

SeriousPan1 karma

Considering you can be hired to do voice work by fans I was curious. Is there any lines that you've been asked that you'd consider strange?

johnjdick4 karma

I was hired to do the voice over for a nature documentary on the Galapagos Tortoise once. I was shouting out information like a drill instructor. That was kinda odd. But it was a humorous project all the same, just because it was so over the top.

SeriousPan2 karma

I was expecting the answer to be some kind of insulting birthday message. But I'd much rather see this instead!

johnjdick6 karma

One time at a con, a guy called his friend to tell him that he'd met me (I still have a hard time getting used to stuff like that when it happens). His friend didn't answer, so he asked me to leave an insulting voice mail as Sam. I layed into the guy for not picking up his phone. Called him every name I could think of at the time.

Does that count?

BioMech151 karma

What's your most favorite and least favorite game of all time?

johnjdick2 karma

Least favorite game... that's difficult. Games that I don't enjoy tend to be forgotten. I did play E.T. on the Atari 2600 back in the day. And, yes, it really was as awful as people say it is.

Most favorite game? Aside from the Serious Sam franchise, of course, would probably be Half Life. Cliche' answer, I know. And there are definitely other games that are right up there. If you ask me another day, you may get a completely different answer.

StrikeUnleashed1 karma

Why did Sam sounds so different in Jewel of the Nile dlc?

johnjdick3 karma

I'm not entirely sure, to be honest. I recorded the content in a studio that I'd never used before. But, I've recorded in many different studios over the years. It might have been a combination of factors. It's hard to say. All kinds of stuff gets done to my voice during the post processing to get it game ready.

Or, maybe I just wasn't drunk enough when I recorded? I seem to vaguely recall being sober that day.

BioMech151 karma

What are your thoughts on the idea of paying for mods?

johnjdick2 karma

I'm not against it. But I think the ultimate say in any case should rest on the game creator. It's their property, and they should be the ones to make that call.

Devostator1 karma

Did you do other voices too and not only Sam?

johnjdick2 karma

Yeah. I do other voices. I've actually got a fair bit of range. Everything from squeaky little cartoon characters, to Russian mobsters, to innocent and naive shopkeep, to old man... I go all over the board. I impersonated a few historical figures recently for Industry Giant; JP Morgan, Thomas Edison...

johnmars741 karma

hey bro. its john marshall. any game projects in your near future?

johnjdick2 karma

I just picked up a contract playing the lead villain in a game called Antinomy. Other games on the horizon for me are; Dark, 7 Days to Die, Jinx - Womb of Chaos, Street Arena, Kyn... I'm sure I'm forgetting something here... Suffice to say, I'm always keeping myself busy with small indie hopefuls.

burnerthrown1 karma

How does it feel to have two first names?

johnjdick4 karma

I don't really think of it all that much. The prevalence of 'Dick' as a first name has declined in recent decades as the word's prominence as an expletive increased. I do think my name would make a great name for a porn star, though.

majan_pl1 karma

For what you DON'T want to be known?

The worst compliment you ever got?

What makes you annoyed? So annoyed that just thinking about it makes you flinch.

johnjdick2 karma

Assuming you mean something that I actually have done that I don't want to be known for? Probably some of the stupid mistakes of my youth. We all do dumb things when we're younger. But we learn and grow from them. I'm not going to give specifics, though... it's more of a collection of minor things. So it's kinda hard to say. Vandalism. Sleeping with people whom I shouldn't have slept with. Just generally being a douchebag.

Worst compliment? "For a guy with such a tiny penis, you sure do know how to use it". (I'm paraphrasing)

I don't really get annoyed... I'm honestly one of the most low key people you're likely to come across. But, if pressed for an answer, I'd probably say I get annoyed with my own inability to manage money. I have absolutely zero sense when it comes to budgeting financials.

majan_pl2 karma

First question was supposed to mean: who you don't want to become in the future that you realistically could.

johnjdick2 karma

A washed up, bitter old man, clinging to the glory days of his youth. Glory days that nobody cares about anymore. I want to constantly move forward and do new things. I don't want people to look at me with pity.

maxumusx1 karma

Mr. Dick, Did you get to play Drunk Quest again?

johnjdick3 karma

Lol. I've only had the opportunity to play it the one time. I should probably set up a party or something. It's a fun game.

I know! I'll bring it on the road with me this summer. I'm sure I'll have plenty of opportunities to play, meeting up with all these new people all over the country.

johnjdick3 karma

Actually, Jasn Painter, the guy who designed the cards, said he'd be down for meeting up over a pint when I swing through Vegas.

usaokay1 karma

Hey Sam

How much are you willing to do for some freelance Serious Sam voicework?

johnjdick2 karma

I don't charge for Serious Sam freelance work. I accept projects on their own merits... whether I think they'll make the franchise stronger or not. If you've got a great idea for a mod, and want my help. Email me a pitch. Try to sell me it.

If you're wanting something personal, like a voicemail or birthday greeting... I dunno. Just pledge something to my indiegogo campaign or something. I'm usually pretty flexible.

Kinickie1 karma

Hi Booger, glad to see you on the reddits!

What's your opinion of the new VR technologies like Oculus Rift and Gear VR? Have you gotten a chance to try them out, and how do you think they will change the way we game in the future (if at all)?

johnjdick3 karma

I haven't had a chance to try any of them out yet. But I'm excited for the tech.

GoredonTheDestroyer1 karma

If Croteam asked you to voice Serious Sam again, would yo do it?

johnjdick2 karma

Of course. The gears are already set in motion for Serious Sam 4.

whoamiwithoutyew1 karma

what is your advice to actors who want to get into voice acting? And do you think it's easier to get more work as a voice actors vs actor?

johnjdick1 karma

I work on the fringes of the acting community. I don't have an agent. I don't belong to any kind of union. I don't interact much with traditional channels. I wouldn't recommend that anybody try my route to get into voice acting or acting. I just got very very lucky.

What I will tell you, regarding the difference between voice acting and physical acting, is that you should go with what YOU want to do. There is plenty of work, even at the lowest level. Community theater, recording radio commercials and phone messages, college radio, indie films. And there's no reason that you can't do both voice and physical acting at the same time.

Find your path. Reach out to others who are wanting to break into the industry. Work on your talents together. Make something awesome. And never be too humble to start off working for free. Your pay grade will improve as your talents and reputation improve... but you have to build that reputation.

PikaCommando1 karma

How's it going with Serious Sam Origins?

If there's one thing you can change about your life, what would it be?

How much does sound editing help in landing a role?

johnjdick1 karma

I haven't touched bases with the Origins team recently. Your guess is as good as mine, regarding how things are coming along for them.

I try to live a life without regrets. I don't know if there's anything I would change. At least, nothing major.

Most clients want the sound files raw, so their own sound guys can do the post processing. It doesn't play a big part. Though, I'm certainly capable of doing it if requested.

bluemime861 karma

how do you feel about morons using your last name as a slang for penis and using it as a swear?

johnjdick1 karma

It doesn't really bother me, unless someone just does it persistently. Then it gets annoying. It's like, "Yeah, I know my name means penis. It's not really funny to me, dude. Get some new material."

Devostator0 karma

How would Sam sound like if he was a girl?

Example: "Look! Look! I am a girl, I got man boobs..... Uh....nevermind"

johnjdick5 karma

If you're trying to get me to record that one, not gonna happen :P