EDIT: After nearly 8 hours of answering... I'm exhausted. 3:30 AM, so time for bed! If you want to support Dreamloop, or Stardust Galaxy Warriors, we appreciate that love! You can find us on Steam, or send an email or tweet to your favorite games journalist! Cheers, and thanks for all the love! -Steve.

My short bio: I'm Steve. I'm a U.S. Navy veteran who packed everything I could fit in my seabag, and moved to a country I had never even visited to be with the woman I love.

Around a year ago, I founded a game studio (Dreamloop Games) with my awesome friends. We received a little love recently for an awesome review we got on Steam.

Our first game Stardust Galaxy Warriors is out now on Steam, and coming soon to Playstation 4 and Xbox One!

How I got here: When I was in high school, I fell in love with a Finnish foreign exchange student. We started as friends, but in the year she was at my school, we grew closer and closer. On the night she was scheduled to leave, I took a chance and kissed her. That started an awful lot of trouble and hurt, and 10 times that amount of love. We started a long distance relationship shortly after, and then I decided to join the Navy. She flew to see me at every opportunity, but the distance was hard on us both. In spite of that distance, we fell deeper and deeper in love.

As my time with the Navy drew to a close, I had no idea what to do with my life. So I asked my best friend and lover... And she told me we should get married. So I flew to Finland, popped the question, and never came back.

I went to work in the game industry with my writing skills, business knowledge, and a profound love of games. 3 and a half years later, I have founded my own studio, and am in the process of bringing my first game to console!

So... AMA about being an expat, my experiences in the Navy (though I was just an Air Traffic Controller at a shore duty station), or having a game studio!

A while back, I also wrote this little dealio about my first night in Finland, if you have any interest!

My Proof: Some pictures, and my studio's site.

BONUS: A video of that one time our studio baked a cake for Colossal Order, makers of Cities: Skylines!

Comments: 1077 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

HomerWells565 karma

How difficult or easy is it for you not speaking Finnish? Are you able to learn the language quickly enough to fit in?

ADudeLikeAnyOther1107 karma

Finnish is an insanely difficult language... I do speak some now, so that has been helpful, but at first it was terrifying. Until I remembered Finnish people are insanely well-educated, and 80% of them can speak English!

Day to day life in English is totally possible, assuming you don't need Finnish for work. Which I don't, because... games!

TL;DR - Piece of cake.

HomerWells92 karma

That's how it was for me in Deutschland. I spoke Deutsche as much as I could, but they all spoke English better.

ADudeLikeAnyOther197 karma

Sometimes it sucks because I want to practice my Finnish, and folks are just like "yeah, fuck that, this guy sucks." Hahaha :D

Indie_uk84 karma

But then you say 'god damnit lars i pay your salary and if you say I suck again then I will read you my Finnish poetry and then fire your ass'

ADudeLikeAnyOther52 karma

"You're fired, Andy."


When I lived there my friends in high school didn't even use the subtitles that came with the shows they pirated. They just watched the show. They would miss something small here or there, but that was it. And yeah, if I asked to speak Finnish with them they would do it. Normally though, when we hung out, they just automatically switched to english

ADudeLikeAnyOther58 karma

Yeah, that's the way. I get to force my team to speak Finnish, but can only handle that frustration in short bursts. :D

harryandrews19 karma

totally understand you, having lived the first few years of my life in finland, i remember being utterly lost when trying to buy food from the supermarket!

ADudeLikeAnyOther46 karma

My god, man... The first time at the market I thought I was on an alien planet what with all the strange labels and such. Now... it feels like home. :D

AboveTheThrone189 karma

Do you involve yourself in Finland's awesome metal scene?

ADudeLikeAnyOther230 karma

I saw Children of Bodom 2 years ago. That was pretty badass. I go to summer festivals and stuff, but (sadly) I don't have time for mid-week shows anymore like when I was younger.

thegrizz5160 karma

Dude, you have to make time for the Swedish and Norwegian summer festivals! It is a moral (metal) imperative!

ADudeLikeAnyOther218 karma

Why would I do that? Finnish metal is better. ;D

Areloram43 karma

Could you please walk over to Jari Mäenpää's house and look over his shoulder until he releases the next Wintersun album? Thanks.

ADudeLikeAnyOther34 karma

He would probably just stare me to death...

tagprobablylag176 karma

So what did you fit in that bag? (Also, kudos on the cool life/love story)

ADudeLikeAnyOther215 karma

Clothes, mainly. When I got out of the Navy, I didn't have much of actual value in terms of property. I had had an Xbox 360 and TV, but I gave those away before coming here.

Xx0tic50 karma

while in, how did you pack your sea bag? Any tips and tricks especially where to place the boots

ADudeLikeAnyOther29 karma

I can't recall for the life of me now... I rolled/folded everything bootcamp style. After boot camp and A School, I never traveled with a full sea bag again until I came to Finland. :D

TKDbeast136 karma

The YouTube channel "Extra Credits," a show centering around video games from a designer's standpoint, has recently started doing episodes on various countries & their social and political problems and benefits they face for video game development. Would you be interested in working with them on an episode on Finland?

ADudeLikeAnyOther116 karma

That sounds awesome! I'd absolutely love that. We do stuff like that a lot. We worked with Colossal Order (who made Cities: Skylines) to make this video about keeping things fun in games, for example.

R0ot2U128 karma

Have you met the guy from the Hydraulic Press Channel yet? If not can you put a copy of your game on disc and let him crush it?

ADudeLikeAnyOther136 karma

I... actually want to see this happen...

jukranpuju63 karma

He also lives in Tampere (pop. 225 000), so it's entirely possible that you have already seen him somewhere before he became famous.

ADudeLikeAnyOther52 karma

Yeah, maybe so! Not sure what he looks like, but I've checked out his channel, and it's pretty cool. :D

ElNutimo127 karma

How long did it take you to get used to the food?

ADudeLikeAnyOther233 karma

I'm still not entirely used to it to be honest. Some of it is a little boring, like boiled potatoes and hamburger meat with gravy...

I found some favorites pretty quickly, though. There is also that glorious little thing they call "westernization" which has been a lifesaver in regards to food availability!

rapidozak78 karma

I have not eaten home made potatoes in many years. I hate them and am finnish.

ADudeLikeAnyOther56 karma

I would say you are a rarity, no? :D

PleaseDisperseNTS37 karma

Hey man, welcome! I've been here for almost two years from San Diego. Also a Navy Vet. :) If you're craving some American (and international) cooking, check out www.ohanarestaurants.com, I'm the chef and co-owner but also consult for other restaurants. The food scene in Tampere is definitely getting better with many Finns traveling more and experiencing different flavors.

How do you like the mustamakkarra? :)

ADudeLikeAnyOther31 karma

Dude... I love mustamakkara! I would love to visit your restaurant sometime. I spent the first 12 years of my life in SD county, too! The first 6 were in foster homes in Escondido and Chula Vista, but eventually also in better circumstances in El Cajon. Awesome city!

MikoSqz13 karma

Have you been to Malabadi Turkish restaurant in Tammela? The lunch spread is out of this world.

ADudeLikeAnyOther12 karma

I have not, AFAIK. I may try this!

vapre103 karma

How did you both manage the long-distance relationship and do you have any advice or strategies for others?

ADudeLikeAnyOther316 karma

It's hard to give advice here, I think. It worked for us because we were always excited to IM, text, or Skype with each other. That was my favorite thing to do, so I did it a lot.

I guess the advice is... communicate a ton?

It also probably helped that I got naked on Skype a lot.

MonkeyManDan91 karma

How hot do you like your sauna?

ADudeLikeAnyOther137 karma

If I go alone, I prefer around 100 C. I say alone, because it seems 80% of people don't know what happens when you throw too much water on the stove at that temperature, and I've had over-zealous people steam burn me before.

KroganFreeman75 karma

What do you think about the video game industry in Finland? How is the atmosphere? Does it differ much from the American?

Also ever had a chance to go Torille?

ADudeLikeAnyOther96 karma

I love the game industry here, but there are improvement to be made. Now (as opposed to a few years ago) it is more successful, but some people have let that go to their heads. (Though they are a heavy minority.)

I still believe in the community. It means a lot to me to be part of a bigger whole, like I was in the Navy. I, personally, don't view everyone as competition. I think that's a negative perspective, and cheapens the community. But there are those who do...

All things considered, I love the gaming community in Finland, and wish people would remember to have more fun. :D

This video we made is about keeping things fun in gaming, actually! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCOcPckvA7A

spook55967 karma

What kind of games are you in to?

ADudeLikeAnyOther167 karma

My absolute favorite is definitely The Last of Us. The narrative is incredible.

I enjoy a bit of everything. RTS, Arcade/First Person/Third person shooters, management style city builders, etc.

spook55933 karma

So what kind of games are you developing/creating?

ADudeLikeAnyOther92 karma

We recently created Stardust Galaxy Warriors, which is an arcade shooter. We are now working on a Tactical RPG called Challengers of Khalea which puts you in the shoes of a new team captain in Khalea's favorite blood sport, Arena Fighting.

217to70750 karma

What are some things that you learned about starting your own business that you were oblivious to before you started?

How is life as an expat? Do you meet many Americans? Does it matter to you?

ADudeLikeAnyOther106 karma

I learned that what you think works on paper is never what really works. I learned that my BBA studies are/were almost useless. I learned that I never want to become part of an unethical company that doesn't believe in it's own mission statement.

Life as an expat is pretty interesting. I am constantly learning new things about Finland and the world. It is, in my opinion, quite nice to get away from the deeply rooted opinions of family and friends back home, and instead experience new ways of thinking.

I've met a few Americans here. And all of them have been pretty damn cool. All told, under 10, if I remember correctly. It is nice to talk about home, and have that kinda' "insider feel", but none of them really understand my upbringing or the cultural experience of the military. All in all, no matter where you come from, people are people, so it rarely truly matters to me.

217to70719 karma

Awesome, thanks for the reply! Good luck on your game.

ADudeLikeAnyOther21 karma

Of course! It was my pleasure.

zoidboob40 karma

Pyttipannu or hot dogs post pub? About the only thing I remember well from my time there.

ADudeLikeAnyOther74 karma

Nokian Kuuma Koira, represent! Most people do kebab, but I prefer the hot dog. At home, I make some wicked pyttipannu, though.

(For those of you who have no fucking idea what I'm getting at here, I'll break it down, since there are currently no other questions: Young Finns who go out drinking typically get hungry. So they go for "grill food" after the bar. My favorite is a hot dog shoved inside a sugar donut, covered with onions, relish, and ketchup.

wannapopsicle32 karma

Spent several a months in Turku a few years back , to this day when I drink the first food item I think of is a mutha fuckkn rollekebab .

ADudeLikeAnyOther22 karma

Like a massive, delicious burrito...

GroundFyter39 karma

I read that it's super expensive for ex-pats to do their US taxes after moving. I'm considering a move to Germany. What has your experience been with the tax thing?

ADudeLikeAnyOther66 karma

I don't make nearly enough for my income to matter to the U.S. Government. Under 100K or so, you owe nothing to the states if you pay in your country of residence. Sure, you can't use TurboTax, which sucks, but it isn't crazy hard either.

GroundFyter20 karma

Nice, I didn't know that. I wish I remembered where I saw the article. Can I come live with you?

ADudeLikeAnyOther33 karma

Let me sleep on it. ;)

Datik36 karma

how did u survive first winter in Finland?

Im from Eastern Europe, and -20C is pretty normal winter temperature for us, but ppl in US were astonishing when i told them that

ADudeLikeAnyOther89 karma

The first one was... horrifying. I walked off the plane in January of 2013, and my nose hair froze in my nostrils ON THE CAUSEWAY. I was scared as hell. Ever since I have been adapting well. The cold is hard, but mainly it's the dark that gets to you.

Oghier35 karma

Had your butt kicked by Akvavit yet? Stuff took me by surprise once ;)

Mostly, I want to applaud the fact that you've taken some real risks to build an interesting life. Moving overseas and starting your own business take some courage. But the experience must be a lot more exciting than going home and looking for work in a cubicle, warehouse or mall.

Good on you. Good luck!

ADudeLikeAnyOther32 karma

I've never had that... But Koskenkorva has made my life pure hell once or twice!

Thanks for the well wishes and the kind words! I knew I could have a terrifying, hard, and exciting life, or I could have a boring and secure one. I made the right choice, IMO. :D

rapidozak11 karma

What city you live in?

ADudeLikeAnyOther23 karma

Based in Tampere!

Suprime1230 karma

Hey what part of finland do you live? Where did you study? Im a finnish guy myself and i try to apply to kajaani university of applied sciences to study game graphics and such. Any tips for game develpment? Sorry for my stupid questions (like we all finns are a bit insecure...)

ADudeLikeAnyOther50 karma

Kajaani has a great game scene! I'll visit this summer, in fact.

The Uni there has a good program from what I gather, as well.

Tips for game dev? I'd say... treat learning as if it were your sole reason for existing. Learn all you can, from everyone. Even if their knowledge seems irrelevant or uninformed, dig deeper to find out if there is anything you can take away from it. Even if they're wrong. Hell, especially if they're wrong! Then you can at least know what not to do.

CJohnson199025 karma

Hey, saw your game on Steam, looks great! So my question is what do look for when hiring artists for game dev? To be more specific, what do look for in a portfolio?

Tanagashi51 karma

You have already received an answer from the OP, but since I'm a 3d artist myself, and have hired people in the past, I can give you a couple of pointers.
First - be at least above average at what you do. I have seen so many applications from people who just slap a photo on a box and put it in their portfolio. You want to show the very best of what you can do, and it has to at the very least look good. Technical knowledge is really important as well, but in rare cases employers might overlook poor unwrap or topology optimization if the applicant has models that look amazing, since they might teach this kind of stuff during employment.
So how do you know if you are good? Observe models in games and take notes on how they look. Browse 3d communities such as Polycount, since they often have WIP threads and you can see progression and breakdowns. Post your work and ask for critique.
Then, it's also really important that your portfolio is well organized. Doesn't really matter if it's your own site or something like Artstation - as long as it looks professional, easy to navigate and understand, we're cool.
As for the contents, first of all it's good to showcase what you are best at. Then, while different companies look for different kind of stuff, it's good to show understanding of artistic principles such as composition and colour control.
It's a good idea to have models of something from real life or something uncommon - a room, some piece of old tech, clothes, etc. I've seen so many applications with a bunch of sci-fi stuff, they sort of blend in and are indistinguishable from one another. You want to stand out and leave a mark in the memory of a person who might be seeing dozens of portfolios a day.
Also, if you are not particularly skilled, it's really hard to make good stylized models. A lot of people try and create something that doesn't look particularly nice.
When applying, a good idea would be to take a look at whether you will fit with the company you want to work at. They are looking for people to make general props for games that look realistic, while all you have is a bunch of stylized models? They will probably decline, because they can't judge your abilities to create realistic stuff. And vice-versa.
A bonus thing that boosts your chances is a short cover letter that goes along with your application and describes who you are and why you want to work there. It shows that you have researched the company you are applying to, and not just spam applications. Well, and also always be polite, check your spelling, and don't be upset if your application gets denied - sometimes it's not because you are bad, but because there is someone who is better or more experienced than you.

ADudeLikeAnyOther22 karma

Damn, man... Thanks for picking up my slack here.

ADudeLikeAnyOther20 karma

For me, I want to see a well-defined style, but also a versatile ability, first and foremost. Secondly, I want to make sure that the person has the technical skill required.

We use pre-tasks, but not ones that are used in-game. We just ask that people do specific artwork to prove they have the base skills we need.

CJohnson19907 karma

Thank you very much! To be more specific, what would be those "pre-tasks" you mentioned? And for example what skills would you have needed to work on your current project?

Just for reference, Im a junior 3D generalist with a vfx background so I know some of the lingo.

ADudeLikeAnyOther17 karma

As a pre-task we might ask them to draw themselves (or a friend or something) in a style we are using with reference images. Or give them a style sheet for a fantasy race we made and ask them to fill in a missing piece with their own addition. Or "model something that fits in this town". Something like that. Never "free work" or anything like that, though. Never used a pre-task for anything, and I think that is important, as artists being forced to give away work is bullshit.

BenLind24 karma

What is your role in the company (besides founder that is) and how did you end up in the games industry?

Greetings from a fellow game dev from Helsinki.

ADudeLikeAnyOther29 karma

I do a lot of things, actually. External relationship management is huge (for instance our relationships with Microsoft and Sony), community management, public relations, marketing, writing, dialogue and narrative design, and some game design.

BenLind16 karma

Alright, thanks for the answer. Good luck with your upcoming games!

ADudeLikeAnyOther16 karma

Absolutely! Do you mind if I ask what you do? :D

BenLind26 karma

I don't mind, no. :)

I'm currently working on environment art for an upcoming game at Remedy Entertainment in Espoo. We just released Quantum Break (maybe you've heard of it) a couple of months ago.

ADudeLikeAnyOther21 karma

Awesome! Remedy is actually my second favorite studio, behind Naughty Dog. Your narrative team is incredible, and all the work you do there is amazing!

I haven't played Quantum Break yet, sadly, as I don't have an Xbox One. :(

If any of your team heads out towards Tampere, tell them the Dreamloop team will shoot the shit and buy them a beer. :D

BenLind15 karma

Haha that's nice to hear, seems like you have similar tastes! Remedy is where I want to be in the Finnish games industry at the moment but if I would work abroad, Naughty Dog would definitely be on the top of my list. The stuff they make at Naughty Dog is absolutely incredible...but so is the crunching. ;)

Well it's not going anywhere but QB is available for PC too though if you missed that ;D

Thanks for the invite! :) Gotta head to bed, work tomorrow. Looking forward to Challengers of Khalea and I should probably take a look at Stardust Galaxy Warriors as well. Best of luck and thanks for doing this AMA!

ADudeLikeAnyOther15 karma

Yeah, it seems we do. :D

QB is up for PC, but sadly mine is a piece of junk and won't play it -__-

FawtyTwo22 karma

I just saw that your game has local co-op, thanks a lot for that, not many PC games that I like have that. I'll buy it right away!

What were the biggest challenges about starting the game company?

ADudeLikeAnyOther14 karma

Really, funding, and actually selling the dang game. Other than that, I work with awesome people who are passionate about what we do and have awesome vision!

PowerFrank21 karma

Moving to Finland has been my dream since I can remember and I've being a videogame enthusiast since I touched my first controller. Any advise for this poor soul? P.D. Have you met the Hydrolic Press Guy?

ADudeLikeAnyOther30 karma

Whoa...! Are you from America? How did Finland enter your frame of reference? My advice is start studying the language now, then look for jobs you can do here in your field, and hope someone will hire you! :D

I have NOT met the Hydraulic Press dude, but I bet he's pretty cool.

PowerFrank28 karma

South America actually, Venezuela to be precise, thanks for the advice I hope my proficiency learning languages fast helps me, I work as Production Assistant in a Video Production House, I have a friend in Norway who sends me pics and stuff and he tells me both countrys are actually similiar and I fell in love with the views and culture. A piece of advice to you: if you meet the Hydrolic Press Guy try being friendly, otherwise he might think you're extremelly dangerous and feel he must deal with you.

ADudeLikeAnyOther16 karma

I am extremely dangerous. ;)

With video production skills, though, you can probably get work here pretty easy... Look into it if you're serious!

xakeness14 karma

As a Marine who's been out for a few years and just now getting into learning some basic programming, I have an idea for a pretty cool RTS that I've been writing concept for on paper for quite some time. How did you get started getting into the game industry? Any tips for someone else who has a love for games but not as much programming experience?

ADudeLikeAnyOther22 karma

You don't have to be a programmer to work with games. First and foremost, take a look at common jobs in the industry, then see which one fits your skills best, and dedicate yourself to learning everything about that role, its responsibilities and tasks, its required skills, and etc. Your time in the Corps taught you everything you need to know about dedication and hardwork. Use that same mentality and apply it to games.

What area do you think you want to work in? Programming? Technical art? 3D art? 2D art? Game design?

xakeness6 karma

I'm thinking game design, but I also have surprisingly been enjoying my time learning C# for the past few months and putting it to use in Unity. I am about to start learning some 3d modeling in Blender as well so I guess I'm still trying to figure out what I enjoy most. Did you start up your company with friends you've met online?

ADudeLikeAnyOther7 karma

It seems like game design and programming would do well for you. In pro studios specialized skills (and being awesome at them) are better than being a jack of all trades, IMO. I'd say stick with programming (we use C#) and game design!

My friends I met at another studio where we all worked. :) That studio was filled with real blue falcons, so we got out of there and made our own.

xakeness4 karma

Nobody likes blue falcons, are ya'll hiring designers at all? If I ever move across the pond and master a certain skill, i'll hit you guys up. ;)

ADudeLikeAnyOther9 karma

We're not hiring designers, but my email isn't hard to find, so for sure send me an email and we can talk about your future. If I don't know some info to help, I may know someone who does!

Fourthdwarf1 karma

So no chance of a Linux port then?

ADudeLikeAnyOther4 karma

On Linux already! :D

Basdad13 karma

How nervous are the Finns about Putin, is he breathing down their collective neck?

ADudeLikeAnyOther36 karma

Nobody sweats that dude, in general. Tabloids seem to work up the "scary Russia" thing, but in general I don't see it affecting peoples' daily lives.

Bleep_Bloop_Unlocked10 karma

What is the gaming culture like there? Do you notice anything drastically different than what was more common in the US? I know the US still has a massive gaming console market and action shooter games are still amongst our best sellers, but know a lot less than I should about the global gaming community.

ADudeLikeAnyOther11 karma

In general, globalization has truly taken root. The gamer culture (not the industry culture) seems relatively similar. There are many action shooter fans here, but they tend to be young men. The older people get, the more likely it is (from what I have experienced) that they play more niche titles.

Zero217610 karma

What was the hardest thing about you moving to Finland?

ADudeLikeAnyOther14 karma

Maybe learning to adapt to an entirely new culture where I know no one!

titan_macmannis10 karma

I saw this review a few months ago on reddit so I bought the game. I don't even like that genre (more of a first person kinda guy) but I was impressed and figured that devs like you should be supported. Keep it up.

I'm only asking this so I meet the requirements for posting. Have you met the Hydrolic Press Channel guy?

ADudeLikeAnyOther5 karma

I greatly appreciate that support, man! We've had some super lean months, so it is good to get a little love now and then.

Haven't met the hydraulic press guy, but would love to!

Truth_Walker9 karma

What things did you not think about before moving to a different country that were a problem? And is there any advice that you think people should consider before moving abroad permanently that most people don't consider?

ADudeLikeAnyOther18 karma

I honestly didn't consider a lot when coming. I had a round trip ticket and everything... Then one thing lead to another and we ran with it, and next thing I knew I was applying for a residence permit! The whole visa thing is huge for people who aren't married, though...

Retarded_Giraffe9 karma

How hard was it? What did you end up having to do to get one?

ADudeLikeAnyOther11 karma

Just undergo a background check for criminal activity, give them a copy of my marriage license, birth cert, US Social Security card, and passport.

phoenix3828 karma

1st question: if I'm interested in making games, where should I start? I don't know any specific languages yet, just a very basic understanding (a singular intro class).

2nd question: do you guys offer tours of your offices or anything? It's within my ability to travel international, and I'm very interested to see what the work environment is like day to day!

ADudeLikeAnyOther8 karma

1st answer: I would recommend you start where your passion is. Is it art, programming, what? Figure that out, then pursue that as passionately as you can. If you tell me what you're into, I can recommend a place to start.

2nd answer: No one has ever wanted a studio tour before! We have a REALLY small office, but send me an email (info is on our site) and I will see what we can figure out!

noproblemmyfriend8 karma

How hard was it to support yourself financially once you arrived in Finland? (Kinda curious as a Canadian who is shortly moving to Finland for school.)

ADudeLikeAnyOther14 karma

It was (and still is) incredibly hard. I burned through what meager savings I had almost immediately just trying to survive. There is some debt I have had to take on and such to make sure I got by, but I think things will improve in the future!

TheNightCaptain8 karma

Where are you based? Give me a shout if you want a tour of Rovaniemi

ADudeLikeAnyOther12 karma

Based in Tampere! Are you Joulupukki? I'll be there come winter! :D

Njzillest8 karma

Do you know how to program? If so how extensive is your programming skills? What else would you recommend one learns before entering the industry.

Also- isn't Finland harsh on taxes? Why start a business there?

ADudeLikeAnyOther37 karma

I don't do any programming, but I have an understanding of how it works in both theory and practice.

Finland has high taxes, but here's the catch (and I hope this one goes to the top so everyone can read it!) I love paying my taxes. I know that they go to provide healthcare, education, and a social safety net for all. I never had that as a kid coming out of foster care and going to live with my financially and educationally crippled biological parents. I want everyone to have that, and have real opportunities.

I love taxes.

majorhassel6 karma

Not really a question about your game studio but Ive recently enlisted in the Navy as an air traffic controller and was just wandering if you have any tips for me? I heard its one of the toughest schools in the Navy and as a college drop out I'm a little nervous about it.

ADudeLikeAnyOther9 karma

Relax. I made it through and I am typically considered a well-meaning idiot. ;)

Just work hard, study like it's your life (it should be at that point!) and remember what you play for, so to speak. If it is that ATC golden ticket, then keep your eye on that prize (damn good pay after!). If it is to do the best you can to serve your country, remember people are counting on you!

Indie_uk6 karma

Here's the question that's been on my mind recently - I love single screen multiplayer games and there is an absolute treasure trove of them right now - why do some devs see online multiplayer as 'impossible' and some as the expected norm? What's the difference there? Skill? Time?

ADudeLikeAnyOther16 karma

It is a HUGE time and skill investment from small teams. It also requires servers which you need to pay for. With Challengers of Khalea, we wanted to make online multiplayer. It would have cost an additional 40K or more, and we still haven't made much from SGW (under $11K for our entire studio of 7 full-timers). People simply don't understand sometimes how difficult of a challenge it is to make netcode with a small team that has bills to pay, let alone a studio to run. Next month I will get my first salary since last November...

dibbs345 karma

Okay, here's one that may be difficult to answer but you have to start somewhere I suppose.

Say you're a gamer, like myself, and you have a concept for what you think could be a successful idea for a video game, but you have no idea as to how to get your idea out there or develop a game at all. Where do you start?

ADudeLikeAnyOther10 karma

I did start like that.

So I started reading about and learning about the area. Looked into where there were job openings (patterns, not individual jobs) then started fitting those openings to my skills, picked the most likely candidate with my abilities. Then I learned everything about that role, and dedicated myself to mastering it.

Ideas are, sadly, a dime a dozen. Work hard at learning the execution of those ideas. :D

loudcloud15 karma

Hello and thank you very much for your time doing this AMA. Question: what are your thoughts on the Finnish economy and how does it compare to the US economy? also how free is the Finnish economy in your opinion?

ADudeLikeAnyOther15 karma

The Finnish economy is a tricky thing, in my opinion. It seems quite easy for everyone here to be comfortable, but difficult as hell to become rich by international standards.

Consumer spending is quite low at the moment, and their current confidence is also quite low, so that is unfortunate, but it is improving at the moment.

How free is the Finnish economy? I would say it favors the wealthy and government-owned companies as employing people means paying a lot of tax, and starting an LLC requires something like 3500 euro capital investment. So it is free, but there are some restrictions.

loudcloud14 karma

Thanks for your response, may i ask one last question? i'm planning in creating videogames myself, i love videogames and i know it's a complicated industry and business. Can you give some startup tips and did you studied any coding? can you recomend some videogame coding courses if any?

ADudeLikeAnyOther6 karma

I don't do any programming, but I have been learning as much as I can. The /r/gamedev subreddit can really help you there!

InDoobyTable2 karma

You looking for a music producer?

ADudeLikeAnyOther3 karma

Unfortunately not. :(

Shout out to my boy, Karri, though!

Penqwin2 karma

are you hiring? and if so, what are some of the criteria you look for in an employee?

ADudeLikeAnyOther5 karma

At the moment, we are barely hanging on as sales aren't so good! So we aren't growing. I look for people who are honest (even if flawed), hard working, and knowledgeable in their field. I care little for formal education.

Penqwin3 karma

That's interesting to hear, I always see a lot of people promote education. If you don't view formal education as a major criteria, how would you gauge someone's potential?

To expand on this, a lot of people look at education as - you work hard and applied yourself, so you logically are a good choice, and we see this all the time that Education trumps experience almost all the time.

FYI - I will volunteer for free! :D

ADudeLikeAnyOther3 karma

Their actual technical knowledge, performance on past projects, ability to meet certain benchmarks, etc.

Penqwin7 karma

I'll use this example.

you interview someone, and part of the test, you ask for someone to code a script for you for a certain programming language, something you view as basic yet fair and challenging.

The person responds that they don't have any idea, and since this is the most basic of requirement, you decided they are not a good fit.

They respond back a day later with the code you asked for, with the comment; they did not know, yet they did some investigation and studying to come up with what you wanted.

How would you gauge that particular person?

I apologize if I comment in this way, I've never engaged in an AMA before.

ADudeLikeAnyOther4 karma

My Co-Founders and I would discuss it. Resourcefulness is important, for sure, but we also lack the resources to teach on the job unless the person wants an internship. So we need to be careful with our super limited resources. We will carefully consider the pros and cons, and whether or not they fit will with our project. If we ultimately decide that they can bring us a net gain with their skills that is worth what they cost, we will take them. But we have never had that specific situation come up, so I'm not really sure!

ihatebeingblack272 karma

What kind of technical background did you have that allowed you to accomplish this?

ADudeLikeAnyOther3 karma

Back in the day beyond an ATC certificate from the Navy, I had experience in writing, public relations, business development, management, and leadership. Everything else I picked up on the job.

jaan42iiiilll1 karma

I'm graduating geophysics in two weeks but I plan to start a Internet startup instead of applying for a job.

Do you have some tips for me? Do you know how to program? I know a little but not enough to build the site myself. What kind of people did you hire first? How were you able to pay to pay rent and food?

Thanks for doing the ama! I'm norwegian and I love Finland and Finnish people! :)

ADudeLikeAnyOther2 karma

I would say: know what you're getting into. That doesn't mean "oh, you'll fail" or anything, it simply means that you shouldn't underestimate that your company is now part of your DNA. Inextricably intertwined. It truly is a lifestyle.

Food and rent? Debt. Terrible idea, but I have one life, so I rolled the dice. Probably not the answer you're looking for. :D

leoissoicy1 karma

Hey man first off nice story, what Rate were you and rank when you got out?

ADudeLikeAnyOther1 karma

AC E3.

give_me_GOLD_u_cunt1 karma


ADudeLikeAnyOther2 karma

I was not! I was junior enlisted

yashagira1 karma

Do you prefer Finland over USA? /Northloving Swede who just can't understand how anyone would wanna live in the country that is USA

ADudeLikeAnyOther9 karma

It's hard to say, as I have spent so many important developmental years here now, and achieved so much progress in life over here. I will always love America, no question, but I also love Finland an incredible deal!

I think America is a great place to live, but it is by no means the easiest. You have to work your ass off to get by there.

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ADudeLikeAnyOther5 karma

High-five, automod!

FairyKingdom1 karma

Do you do a little bit or everything or do you focus on programming or art and design?

I wanna program to make games but I also have so many artistic ideas but very little skill in art, what do you recommend?


ps.When I get home I will take a look at your game

ADudeLikeAnyOther1 karma

I have a focus in management, so I do a bit of everything for sure.