After Jerry (aka Tycho) posted this earlier today, I got a few requests for an IAmA, so... hi! You can read a lot of basic stuff about me here, but if there's anything specific about the inner workings of PA that I can answer, I'll try to answer the best I can.

Verification.

11:30 PST Update: Alright, I'm going to call it a day at 11:45 or so... i need to eat food. This was an insane response and a lot of fun guys. Thanks for reading Penny Arcade, going to PAX, supporting Child's Play and putting up with us. We'll try to do our best to keep you reading three jpegs a week. :)

Comments: 1225 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

robertkhoo374 karma

Answers to the initial set of questions:

1. When you first joined up with Jerry and Mike did you feel like a third wheel? How long was it until you felt like you were part of the team.

Since Mike/Jerry serve a VERY different function than I do (even from the beginning), there's never really been that mentality. It's not like I'm in there trying to write comics with them - I handle the business stuff, which they were more than happy to get help with.

2. What's the process for developing a new venture at PA? I'm thinking specifically of PATV. How do you consider if it's a good idea for the company? Or is it more throw it at the wall and see if it sticks?

The way we look at Penny Arcade is servicing a very specific group of people, specifically really intelligent and sophisticated gamers (the average age of our reader is actually 28 - so many are actually parents as well). The big question we always ask ourselves is if what we're doing adds value to those folks. Whether it's the comic, merchandise, PAX, the scholarship or even Child's Play, it's all about providing that core group of folks what they want. My specific role is to take the lead on something until it's stable and then to bring folks on board to take it over (and further than I could).

3. What's the most profitable aspect of PA? Site ads? Merchandise? Video ads on PATV?

Advertising is the highest margin piece of business we have, but we've diversified pretty well to the point where if ads dried up, we could theoretically survive just fine.

4. Do you like it when you show up in a strip? Do you ever fear things you've said in the office ending up in the next comic?

Haha, I don't mind showing up in comics (although Mike's interpretation of me changes each and every time), and on the whole, no. I have nothing to hide. What I say is what I say.

5. What are your personal goals for PA in the coming year?

I actually can't answer this. We're doing something that is KIND OF A BIG DEAL in February. Probably the biggest move we've made since PAX. SORRY. I AM A BAD PERSON.

imnottouchingyou295 karma

This one time, you tweeted a picture of "hair mayonnaise" and my little brother happened to hear me read the label out loud. He then went to the kitchen, put mayonnaise in his hair and told me he "became the internet".

Please tweet things more.

That is all.

robertkhoo162 karma

This is so awesome.

JohnArr186 karma

What 'revenue streams' have you turned down for PA and why?

robertkhoo449 karma

Dating site integration

ads embedded in the text of the newsposts

product placement in the comic

site takeovers (think mcdonalds IGN)

all sorts of stupid shit.

PrettyFly4aGI178 karma

No questions. Just a thank you from a long time very loyal PA fan. (Anthony here. I sent you guys a flag from Afghanistan a while back. Still here for another 5 months.) Kudos and keep doing what you're doing!

robertkhoo212 karma

We have that flag framed in our office. Thank you. :)

CottonStorm131 karma

Even though you're the busiest man on Earth, ever thought about writing a book? I would read the hell out of a Robert Khoo book, regardless of topic.

robertkhoo203 karma

Hah, when I'm done with Penny Arcade, I promise you there will be a book.

fightinfilipino126 karma

When G+T do interesting things like, say, post the e-mail chain between a disgruntled customer/PA fan and a marketing rep with poor judgment, how much of a heart attack does that give you, do they ever run stuff like that by you first, and how do you gird PA (and yourself) for the inevitable internet firestorm?

robertkhoo280 karma

The only real heads up I got on the Ocean Marketing stuff was Mike forwarding the emails as they were coming in for my entertainment... and then at some point Mike realized other people should hear about it. I prepare myself by... apparently sitting there with an excel sheet recording data off google analytics.

Serrata125 karma

Do you have a favorite Penny Arcade comic?

I'm not good at questions.

JeffRyan1124 karma

How worried are you that your career is ruined, now that the mayor of Boston is out to get you?

robertkhoo238 karma

I wake up in cold sweats. Even worse is the guy that holds the door at the convention center. Seriously I am effed up the a.

LuDux106 karma

Do you receive a lot of attempts to poach you away from Penny Arcade? How do you respond to these?

robertkhoo199 karma

Yes, but ultimately they know what I already know. There isn't anything they can offer me that would compel me to leave.

Lsadsad96 karma

I just rolled a 17. Do you think you can beat that?

robertkhoo91 karma

Whatever. I rolled a ... oh hey wait hey come back... why did you run away to Pennsylvania? Wait, i thought we were friends?

(Erika's husband, folks)

AngryGiraffe94 karma

I heard that you met PA randomly in a food court one day, at a time where they were struggling, and told them you'd work for them for free for several months to prove to them you could make them profitable. And then you did. Is that how it really went down?

robertkhoo139 karma

I think a good account of it can be found here: http://www.foster.washington.edu/about/Pages/AlumniProfileRobertKhoo.aspx

moiseschiu92 karma

When something like the Ocean Marketing...thing...happens, do you and your tech team have some sort of "batten down the hatches" emergency plan you put in place to keep the site up against the onslaught of the internet hordes? What have you learned over the years on the backend of Mike and Jerry's mighty wrath?

What is the most ridiculous request that you get on a regular basis, in general (from readers, PAX exhibitors, hooligans, miscreants)?

I'll take my answer off the air (in the AMA that's currently overwhelming me). Good luck with yours here.

robertkhoo106 karma

What was interesting about the Ocean Marketing bit was that it was the first time we had a traffic surge since we moved over to Rackspace (cloud computing, etc etc). We used to have a server cluster in a data center, so making adjustments in scale were much more difficult. I think our old hardware would have handled this traffic a bit better initially, but I was pretty impressed with how we were able to make adjustments with Rackspace.

copax72 karma

From watching the PATV episodes, you're an incredibly driven person, both personally and professionally. If you had to pick one thing that is behind that drive, what would it be? Do you ever have moments where the drive slips and you have to work to get it back and if so, what's your go-to way to get back on track?

robertkhoo151 karma

Loving what you do is a really big part of it. I've always loved games. I remember applying to janitorial positions at Nintendo after I graduated from college because I wanted to be in the industry so badly.

And this may seem weird to everyone... but I don't actually care about money all that much. Money isn't a terribly interesting motivator for me - it's a high score mechanism, but I see PA as a business simulator. It's about tweaking inputs and maximizing output... some of that is revenue, sure, but there's all sort of other parts to it. Customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, etc... So as appropriate as it is, seeing the whole thing as a game has probably helped me do this for... 10 years now? lord.

RunItsAPirate69 karma

Searching for this thread, I discovered that you have some fans over in ladyboners. Care to respond?

robertkhoo137 karma

How exciting!!!

elSpike69 karma

Can you run us through a typical day for you?

robertkhoo113 karma

Depending on if I swim in the morning, I am in the office at either 8:30 or 9:00 AM. I've already answered between 20-30 emails before I've left for the office, but by the time I get to the office I probably have another dozen or so that need attending to. (for reference, I get between 150-250 actionable emails a day)

From there it's very liquid. I'll be on conference calls, meetings with different teams at Penny Arcade (Mike/Jerry, Designers, Merch, Ad guys, Tech, Child's Play, PAX, etc.), and then dealing with my own projects. Like I said in an earlier answer, I deal with a lot of the "new" and undefined business, so each and every day is different.

I'll try to grab dinner with different folks here (at any time of the year, SOME PART of Penny Arcade is in crunch mode... PAX events, site launches, CP events, merch launches, etc... people work late), and continue to work into the night.

If there's a game I'm playing actively with the office, I'll hop onto one of the TVs here to play between 9-10PM... that seems to be the magic hour for most folks here when we're playing on Live.

I'm usually out of here between midnight and 2 am.

tavir66 karma

After watching the first two seasons of PATV, there is only one conclusion I got out of it: Robert Khoo is fucking awesome.

Maybe a weird question, but how do you balance both trying to run the serious business side of PA and taking part in the more inflammatory aspect of PA? You obviously have had a lot of flames to put out that Mike and Jerry have started over the years, but do you ever find yourself agreeing with them even as you are actively trying to put out fires? Is your life a constant struggle?

And in the words of Ocean Marketting/Stratagy, "Love Penny Arcade!!"

EDIT: One more question! If you don't mind, what is your ethnicity? One comic implied that you are at least partially Japanese (mentioning you had uncles who were kamikaze), but Khoo doesn't strike me as a particularly Japanese surname.

robertkhoo77 karma

There's a pretty clear distinction between what they do/say and what I do, so it's not that big of a deal. But yes, even when I agree with them, I often play the OH-MAN-THOSE-CRAZY-GUYS-THEY-ARE-OUT-OF-CONTROL role.

poktanju16 karma

I had the impression that "Khoo" was a Hokkien surname by name of Singapore. This would jive with the kamikaze uncle bit if his mother's side stayed in Singapore after liberation, which did happen. I'm thinking way too hard about this.

robertkhoo49 karma

I'm half Chinese (from Malaysia) and half Japanese.

damagicsausage65 karma

What would you say is the biggest perk about your job?

robertkhoo196 karma

I can honestly say it's being able to build and run a company in a way that I always thought companies SHOULD be run. We have no outside investors. We don't bend to client pressure. Our only responsibility is to our readers. Being able to make business decisions each and every day with absolute clarity is something I think every business guy would be envious of.

WateredDown58 karma

What is it like wrangling two artists as a person with a business mindset. How often do you have to strike down one of their ideas as unfeasible? Because goddamn, it would seem like a sane business man would have put the brakes on after "Most popular online comic", "Most popular video game convention" , and "Own Internet TV channel".

robertkhoo155 karma

It's actually really easy, because my job is not to wrangle. I very rarely see the comic before it goes up on MWF. Don't forget, that I may be president of the company, but Mike and Jerry are my board of directors. They're my bosses, and although I can give suggestions or guidance, my job is to monetize what they create, not dictate what they create. Even if they do things that are unpopular business wise, it's easy for me to see whatever created that was the same thing that built this whole empire.

WateredDown39 karma

Its certainly been working so far. Thanks for all you do, and the rest those who help them achieve their ideas. PAX means alot to me and PATV is almost better than the comic.

Graham_LRR101 karma

You hear that Khoo? We're almost better than the comic!

robertkhoo68 karma

Noted, Graham. NOTED.

Firstprime58 karma

Do you ever see a possibility of a PAX in Europe? Seriously, I will give you all my worldly possessions if PAX ever comes to europe...I mean it....Please?

robertkhoo85 karma

But it's so far away!

Dingobloo56 karma

Your bio always fascinated me what did you see in Mike and Jerry that made you think it would be a great idea to drop your job and work for them with absolutely no guarantee that it would work out? What would you have done if after the 6 months it clearly wasn't working?

robertkhoo89 karma

I was a huge fan of Penny Arcade, and when I finally met them I was pretty blown away they weren't millionaires. Quitting my job to take a shot was a no brainer - opportunities like that don't come along every day. If in 6 months it wasn't working, I'd probably be working for an investment bank or a management consultancy (many of which have since gone out of business btw).

branta55 karma

Was there an incident that happened to stop Mike and Jerry from posting regularly on their own forums or is it just a sort of "for their own good" sort of idea?

robertkhoo79 karma

Hah, I think they're just scared of the forums. The Frankie incident was terrifying.

PlantHopper79 karma

Can someone fill me in on the Frankie incident?

robertkhoo97 karma

Long story short, Frankie from Bungie was rotating through different forums to do community-related-stuff... he mentioned to me that at some point he would probably pop into the PA Forums. Fast forward a few days, there was some thread where shit was getting out of hand and the head admin, Tube aka CT aka Lewie P's STEPDADDY, declares that the next person to post was going to get banned... and of course, that was the moment Frankie decided to say hello.

Balls.

wraith26021 karma

small point but CT changed his nick to Lewie P's Step-daddy, Lewie P's Mummy is a member of the community in her own right(as well as being Lewie P's actual mum).

also CT probably wouldn't shy from jailing you for making that mistake. :p

robertkhoo21 karma

oops. fixed!

Ryaken53 karma

I know you are a really busy guy during PAX, but is there any chance you could do a panel at PAX or PAX East? I feel like there are a lot of people who would love to hear your side of the story regarding penny arcade or whatever else you would like to talk about.

robertkhoo99 karma

People have been trying to pitch me the "Khoo and A" for a while now... and as much as I'd love to oblige, I can't think of a worse time to take me off the grid for an hour. Maybe in a few years... maybe.

FallenKing49 karma

When you are recruiting for you staff, what do you look for in people?

robertkhoo69 karma

We look for a lot, but off the top of my head:

  • An absolute disregard for the 40 hour workweek.
  • A love of games.
  • To have a basic eye for design.
  • To get along with everyone at PA during high stress situations.

remedialrob47 karma

Hi RK. We met once at NYCC a few years ago.

One of the biggest criticisms I've heard of your contribution to the webcomics world is that most things you suggest are WAY too macro and don't apply to smaller, scraping by webcomics business.

Can refute these charges?

Thanks for doing the AMA.

robertkhoo82 karma

I'm probably guilty as charged on this one, but I also don't really consider ourselves a "webcomic." We're more of a micromedia company... When I talk about business, I'm going to draw from my experience, of course, which is running PA. But at the same time, I look at larger media companies all the time to try and learn lessons - it may not all apply, but there's value there.

robertkhoo42 karma

Ha! Yes, but never again. 2011 almost killed me. That's as busy as I've ever been.

MarlonBain43 karma

If you were running the business side of reddit, is there anything you would do differently?

robertkhoo97 karma

Protect what they have with all their might. Learn the lessons of Digg.

throwcounter43 karma

I've read a bit about how Gabe and Tycho, not being versed in business matters, managed to sell their book rights to some fellow who ran off to Alaska or Canada or something and in many other ways were bedazzled by this frightening world of business. Got any other good stories about cleaning up after them?

robertkhoo83 karma

That one was particularly awesome, actually. This guy runs off with all the pre-order money, breaches contract via non-payment, and then we end up writing him a check for $30,000 because it was cheaper than going to court. :|

pojut41 karma

What do you consider to be the hardest part of your job?

robertkhoo60 karma

I think that with growth comes greater dependence on outside parties/vendors, which means sometimes we lose control/visibility on parts of the process. When that doesn't pan out how you want it to, that's really really frustrating, because we do everything we can to nurture what we've got.

benjiwaa38 karma

Let's talk ping pong! How did you first get started playing and how often do you guys play at work?

robertkhoo48 karma

I played tennis competitively in another life, so ping pong was a natural sport for me to pick up on when I started working in an office. At Penny Arcade, when a challenge is looming, we'll play multiple times a day. Right now it's pretty slow, so I only see 2-3 matches a week out there.

benjiwaa10 karma

Thanks for the answer! I work in the video game industry and we also have a table at the office. Some pretty heated matches have taken place there, ha ha. Do you guys ever take ping pong a little more seriously than you should?

(Also, whenever theres a ping pong related comic or episode I fill the need to foward it to all the other office players)

robertkhoo20 karma

If you ever want to challenge PA as a company, email me! ([email protected])

PlantHopper37 karma

In the extras on the Penny Arcade Series 1 DVD you talk about leaving the company in 3 or 10 years depending on if Mike and Jerry were up for the next step you had in mind. Are you going to be sticking around for 10 more? (well 9/8 now I guess)

robertkhoo78 karma

I honestly do not know, but everyday I wake up excited to go to work. I work with the greatest group of people that I've personally hand selected from across the world... I get to have absolute freedom in the way things are operationally done... people love the work we do. I have no reason to think I would leave.

j41d3n37 karma

How did the idea for PAX come up in the first place back in '04? Like, was it driven by one person in particular, or was it a joint effort even back in the very first planning stages?

robertkhoo42 karma

This is a really long story, and it's detailed in the anniversary book... i swear that's not a plug (IT IS A GREAT BOOK GO BUY IT)... but in summation:

  • Necrowombicon was a fan run convention up in Vancouver BC, and our experiences there, at a show called Ubercon in New Jersey, and SakuraCon collectively gave us the idea that we could do a show focused on gaming.

  • it was a joint effort initially with Ubercon when we approached them with it. Ultimately we had creative differences, so we parted ways and started to do it ourselves.

Doc_Burns36 karma

Heyo. I'm curious as to how much of penny arcade you run. Is it like an evil grand vizier thing, where you run the day to day, bringing only the most important matters to Mike and Jerry? Or is it more of a democracy?

robertkhoo52 karma

I handle the day-to-day operations, but anything that I feel needs to be brought to Mike and Jerry's attention, I do so. Mike and Jerry trust me to run things in a manner they see fit, especially after 10 years of this. I'm not perfect, by any means, but the times they've needed to reel me in have been pretty rare. Like I said earlier though - at the end of the day, Mike and Jerry have the final decision on everything.

Jallasar36 karma

I'm not perfect, by any means, but the times they've needed to reel me in have been pretty rare.

I never really thought about Mike and Jerry having to restrain you, that's intriguing. Can you give us an example?

robertkhoo83 karma

This may seem really weird, but the last time was when I wanted to send a christmas card with the word "shit" in it. They said it probably wasn't appropriate, and they were right!

theskettios35 karma

How much do you love SE++?

robertkhoo54 karma

So much it hurts.

ws1732 karma

What has been your most satisfying moment working for Penny Arcade?

robertkhoo71 karma

The dinner auction for Child's Play is always the most incredible thing to be a part of. More of you have been to PAX, so I'll try to contextualize it in that manner. You know how at the show, you're surrounded with all these people that think like you and love games and are having fun? At the dinner, it's all those same people with the sole focus being selflessness. It's people pouring their hearts out for a cause they believe in, and being part of that is pretty incredible.

kickinthehead30 karma

In a PATV episode you said you might end up leaving the company if someday Penny Arcade stopped growing. It seems that most of PA's growth has stemmed from Mike/Jerry saying something like "Hey, we should have a convention." Do you yourself have ambitions and ideas for how you would like to expand the company?

robertkhoo50 karma

Oh i do!

CoffeePoweredRobot27 karma

It's often stated how much time you spend working, so do you sometimes lag behind with the games that everyone else in the office is playing, or even just stick to the few fighting games against Kiko?

robertkhoo59 karma

Yeah, it's pretty frustrating sometimes. I don't sleep very much, so I do try to get as much gaming in as I can during the late late hours... these days I've been really focused on stuff I can play on a plane. (3DS stuff, etc) The office is cool because everyone games with each other, but the game selection has VERY high turnover. A multiplayer game can literally last 2-3 nights before we've moved onto the next one, so on one hand it's great because I'm never TOO far behind the curve, but on the other it's tough to keep up with the watercooler conversations at times.

Maybe I'm just getting old.

crazyjaco25 karma

Any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

robertkhoo49 karma

Everything that you do is a commodity. In many many instances, the only difference between you and the next guy is how much you're willing to sacrifice... your sleep, your social life... it's not a healthy lifestyle, that of an entrepreneur, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

donwuebos24 karma

[deleted]

robertkhoo59 karma

If there's one thing I've learned from creatives, it's that everyone sucks at first, and it takes an enormous amount of hard work to succeed. If that's art or writing or music, if you work on your craft each and every day, that's what makes you great.

Example:

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/1998/12/02

to

http://www.zelda.com/skywardsword/comic/

didn't happen overnight.

You want to be heard? Push yourself and write every day.

yellowseven24 karma

How many hours of sleep do you actually get during the average PAX weekend?

robertkhoo36 karma

Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night... I've gotten as much as 12 hours and as little as 6.

halfbent24 karma

Briefly said hello to you at PAX Prime, and you seemed extremely calm for dealing with running such a large show and venue at the time. Are there any secrets/techniques/habits you use to handle such large amounts of stress and work at once?

robertkhoo50 karma

Know that no matter what you do, the show will happen, problems will occur, and that it will end on Sunday night. :) All the stuff inbetween is just trying to roll with the punches the best you can... I've done over 10 PAXes now though. I can assure you that in previous years I was not as calm.

centipededamascus22 karma

Hey Khoo! Do you know anything about any progress on The New Kid film?

robertkhoo27 karma

I haven't heard much lately - only that Paramount is still in the middle of getting their ducks in a row for their new animation division.

redfenix22 karma

First off, SE++ .. what's up.

Also, Khoo.. a) You are fantastic. I've been a PA fan and forumer since '03 ish, and holy crap have you done wonderful things with the Penny Arcade IP/business.

b) What do you see for the future of the company as a whole? The comic seems to be just one aspect of a greater organization now, and surely it will continue to grow. In your mind, what will the PA of the future look like?

You could say I'm..... Khoorious to know.

Edit: Also, just wanna say that I think it's pretty outstanding how connected you are / try to be with the community. It's extremely impressive.

robertkhoo30 karma

AHHHH I WISH I COULD TELL YOU.

But I can't right now.

See you on the boards, yo.

Deosil21 karma

When you started to study business what did you imagine you would be doing with that degree? (I think it's a safe guess to think that you didn't ever expect Penny Arcade to happen)

robertkhoo25 karma

I studied marketing and finance. I thought I was going to be a management consultant at first, but at some point, I was going to work in the game industry.

saintrobyn21 karma

Now that PvP has moved out to Seattle and is working out of the PA offices, do you work on help their business as well?

robertkhoo28 karma

We work together all the time, and with The Trenches and Blams we're pretty much in bed together. Scott's great.

Aurick19 karma

Do you ever have local guys (read: fans) in Seattle try to swing by your office and hang out?

robertkhoo42 karma

yes. there is a sign. sadly we ARE trying to run a business, so it's super disruptive.

And awkward.

But it's still nice of them.

But yeah, say hi at PAX please. :)

nerdwithme19 karma

Robert I've been following Penny Arcade since the beginning. What the team over at PA have done for the gaming community has just been unreal. So first. Thank you.

Second. I've been looking for a "business" guy to help me with my web business. I'm a programmer. Not a business guy. Where would you recommend finding young up and coming Khoo. I can't seem to find some one with your enthusiasm.

robertkhoo18 karma

This is tough... finding someone you can trust but have no problems firing is difficult. I don't have a good answer for you, other than to create something great first and that the biz guys should come knocking... and then you have a new problem in regard to selection. Bleah.

anonlungent18 karma

The story of how you pitched a business plan to Mike and Jerry about monetizing Penny Arcade is well known, but what was it about their comic in particular that made you think "there's an opportunity here"?

robertkhoo37 karma

I was a huge fan. I guess i was banking that my taste wasn't horrible.

coffeepunk18 karma

out of curiosity - what's the story about no more mc chris at PAX concerts? he said something about bailing on PAX last second one year due to finding out he was playing on some tour or festival he had always wanted to do. just wondering what the real story with all that is after he's posted a bunch about wanting to come back

(also thanks for everything - PA, PAX, PA the series - all amazing, pax east '11 was one of the coolest things ever)

robertkhoo33 karma

Yeah, Chris is a good guy, he really is. Unfortunately one year, after committing to play PAX, his manager called me up 45 days before the show to tell me he was bailing. I didn't really make a big stink of it or anything back then, but I can't plan and promote PAX not being 100% sure the artist will come.

Arcadiaexeter17 karma

will we ever get a Pax Dev East? or is Pax Dev dead?

robertkhoo28 karma

Doing Dev out east is certainly a possibility, but not for 2012. The first PAX Dev was actually really well received, so we'll continue to do it. It's not a money maker AT ALL, but it's a really cool vibe that I'd hate to see go away. :)

artyen16 karma

How do you feel about PATV as a whole? Do you regret any parts of letting cameras so personally into Jerry/Mike/your lives? Or on the flip-side, do you really enjoy the chance to show the fans what life is like as the company; both to humanize and "sell" the product, but to act as an almost viral HR campaign?

(on a side note: your interaction with "DOG" at the PA retreat after PAX East last season was some of the most hilarious stuff I've ever seen.)

robertkhoo21 karma

I really like PA: The Series. The idea was that yeah, working here is pretty weird... we think other people may think so too. I'm still entertained by the show, week after week, and the channel as a whole I believe has some of the best gaming video content out there.

Arsenic714 karma

Are the forums important to your overall Penny Arcade Strategy or just a bonus for the fans? Just wanted to say that you're a great guy in person. You once offered me champagne at a Child's Play charity when I was fairly nervous (I was poor at the time, underdressed, and not quite sure what I was doing there) and it really set me at ease.

robertkhoo15 karma

The forums are just a great place for PA readers to hang out, but strategically the login you use will play an important role in other stuff we add to PA.

xAndrenx14 karma

With all the time that you spend on work, do you ever see yourself settling down with a family at some point in the future?

And where did you go for college as an undergraduate? As a current student at UW, I'm kind of hopeful you're an alum.

Also, I met you for the first time at PAX Prime this year as an Enforcer in Line Management. You came up to us in the queue room at one point and you were able to identify everybody there, and it seemed like you were memorizing all of the new faces as well. Just curious, how did you develop the ability to retain all of that information? Actually, the answer doesn't really matter. I just wanted to say how cool it was that you were taking the time to get to know everybody, even with your importance to PAX as a whole.

robertkhoo19 karma

No. Marriage or a family is not for me. Penny Arcade is where my heart is.

Yup, I went to UW: http://www.foster.washington.edu/about/Pages/AlumniProfileRobertKhoo.aspx

If i'm in a controlled environment, I can memorize 50-60 names by relating them to people i already know. PAX is tough for me though... there's so much going on. I try to get to know all the Enforcers that i can, but it's REALLY hard.

Blackcat00814 karma

What does PA do if mike and jerry were to suddenly and tragically die?

When is mike going to be a guest artist on extra credits?

robertkhoo21 karma

We would first go into a mandatory five day mourning period. We would then emerge with a team of writers, SNL style, and the guys over at Powerhouse Animation, since they did all the cutscenes to the Precipice games and had pretty much nailed mike's art style.

wraith26014 karma

do you see the 'ocean marketing' situation(and Mike's reaction to it) and similar occurrences as a headache or a challenge?

robertkhoo35 karma

Neither! I see it has pretty typical Penny Arcade, to be honest. :)

imcanadianeh14 karma

Where did you come up with the Khoo Woo? and does it work 60% of the time, every time?

robertkhoo27 karma

Haha, it's an absolute desperation move. If i'm doing it, it means i got pulled out of position pretty badly off a really good shot of yours.

thealiasman13 karma

Based on PATV, it sounds like you're awesome at everything. Any exceptions?

robertkhoo37 karma

I can't sing. At all. I won't even try. Not even as a joke.

belthesar13 karma

I'm a big fan of Child's Play (Ran an event back in September for you guys). I understand from the Hire Jamie episodes that you're pretty involved with the HR portion of Child's Play, but I was curious how much of the other business aspects of Child's Play you were involved with.

robertkhoo16 karma

I think my title is "Managing Director" for Child's Play, so I oversee a lot of the strategic pieces to it. It's like Penny Arcade in the sense that Mike and Jerry ultimately have the final word on it, if they want it. And just to clarify, Mike, Jerry and I draw no salary, compensation, gifts, etc from Child's Play. The only employees the non profit org has are Jamie and Kristin.

ThatJerkRMED12 karma

Have you guys ever considered doing community play dates to raise money for Child's Play? I'd pay just to play with a couple members of the PA staff for an hour.

robertkhoo22 karma

We auction this off at the dinner every year!

mmazurr12 karma

I've watched the first two seasons of PATV.I'm only 15, though, so I still think about how awesome a job at PA would be. What was your dream job when you were younger?

robertkhoo13 karma

Working in the game industry. Anywhere. I didn't care what I was doing.

joealarson11 karma

Do you think anyone could have taken Mike and Jerry and made the profitable? Have you seen other ventures that you thought "if I wanted to I could make do it again."

robertkhoo20 karma

Yes. I think that what I do is a commodity, and that MANY other people could have done the things I did. The question is if someone would have taken advantage of Mike and Jerry (as had happened so many times before I arrived) to the point of no return before someone like me could help. We'll never know, thank god.