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Sep 14th 2016 by v12a12 • 42 Questions • 192 Points
EDIT: Thank you all for the support and all the questions! It was awesome. I'm headed off to bed, as it's 5:11 AM here in Finland. I had a great time!
If you would like to continue to support Dreamloop, please, reach out to your favorite journalists and streamers and tell them about our game! :)
Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax is out now in the following locations:
and Steam! (-15%)
My short bio: Hey, Reddit! I'm Steve. I'm a U.S. Navy veteran who packed everything I could fit in my seabag ~10 days after finishing my service, and moved to a country I had never even visited (spoke maybe 5 words of the language) to be with the woman I love. I'm back again for another AMA. :)
Over a year ago, I founded a game studio (Dreamloop Games) with my awesome friends. We started working on Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax, a 1-4 player local co-op arcade shooter with badass giant mechs!
Today, our game is live!
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 a long and sometimes painful road of long-distance love. Shortly after we had begun dating, I joined 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. 4 years later, I have founded my own studio, and have brought my first game to consoles!
So... AMA about being an expat, my experiences in the Navy (though I was just an Air Traffic Controller at a shore duty station), having a game studio, or being the producer/release manager for a console game!
My Proof: Some pictures, and my studio's site (site got hugged to death...)
More proof, as per mod request: https://twitter.com/DreamloopGames/status/775426810951659520
Hey guys - I know Josiah had to step away for personal reasons but do you think his absence changed the finished product? Did he write/help write any of the songs on the album? Finally, is he doing alright / have a plan to return?
Hey Luke! Did you realize how close of a near miss it was as you were approaching the net?
By any chance did you and your wife do a student exchange to a town in the centre of Ireland last year?
EDIT: Seeing as this is the top comment, you crazy people, make sure you buy this game. Also thank you to whoever gilded me.
Josiah was there for the creation, the writing and added his voice to the record. Not sure if his situation changed the direction of the album but it definitely gave us more stuff to write about. He's doing great! Thanks
Yes, i saw it just prior. But knew I was in the safe zone.
This is odd... We certainly did.
Would you mind sharing the influence behind the song "Honey Come Home"?
The reason I ask is because, 4 years ago I was a pretty shoddy husband. I treated my life poorly, and one day while I was at work she told me she was going to get a hotel and spend the night away from our house. I knew that if she left, she would never come back. So I sent her the link to the video for Honey Come Home, and that night we went to the hotel together and started to rebuild our relationship. A few years later we both got tattoos that say "I want to die with the one I love". Whatever the reasoning behind that song, I just want to thank you guys for your music. We attended your show at Red Rocks in August and you were awesome!
Did.. Did they... Did they pay you in gum?
How's the language learning going? Is Finland like Norway where everybody knows English, so you can attempt to speak their language, but they'd rather you not for risk of butchering it further? :)
Amazing story! Josiah wrote that one. Not sure of the story...
Is it true you guys altered your control scheme because a disabled user mentioned he couldn't play?
Maybe a future release! Who knows... could be a b-sides release or something?
Hi guys, huge fans of your music. I've been listening to the new album, and I'm really loving the new blend you guys are putting together. I know you'll probably get this question a million times, but do you guys have any interest in acoustic sets in the future? While I love your new album, "Lets be Still" and "10,000 Weight In Gold" are some of my favorite songs of all time, and truely taught me a lot about music. I learned to harmonize by listening to Charity in "Winter Song" and such. What I'm getting at, is I just wanna let you guy know how much I appreciate your music, but I would love to hear some more Acousitic sounds from you guys in the future. Keep making great music guys!
Edit: Jon I'm growing my mustache for you. Please rock the stache forever
Was your wife supportive of this project the whole way or did she try to dissuade you from doing it?
Not in the beginning, but after we talked through it and we came up with a safety and testing plan, she came around.
Dude you just brushed that off like it was something anybody would do. I remember seeing that on the front page but I had no idea it was you. That is fucking legendary and only a truly dedicated dev team that really cares about their fan base would do that. Good on you
We alway found hope and optimism through the sadness, it was our way of relieving the anxiety we felt at those moments in our lives. With Signs of Light, we weren't anxious and we were in a happier spot. We got the bummer stuff out of the way, if you will.
The songs still resonate with us because we know the experiences that helped create them.
What was it like moving all of a sudden to Finland and what sparked the desire or idea of making games?
Silent Film Star- T and J
Worked on this project for 2 years and 6 months of hard preparation and practice jumps.
Right now, I'm sweating. :D
First of all, I'm a huge fan. I discovered you guys after hearing Rivers and Roads during the series finale of Chuck. Your first album was a huge comfort to me during a difficult time in my life, and it remains one of my favorites to this day. I've seen you guys multiple times in Salt Lake City, including a small show Josiah did in Provo, and they have been some of the best shows I've seen. Because of you, I've been introduced to other favorites like Blind Pilot, Blitzen Trapper, Bryan John Appleby, and Hey Marseilles. So needless to say, you've been a huge influence in my life, and I appreciate the comforting sounds of your music in my family's home.
Okay, now down to the question(s). As a screenwriter, I know how random the artistic process can be. The genesis of an idea can come from just about anything, but how it forms into a full and complete idea does have a process. I know for me, this process is different when I'm by myself, than when I'm presenting the idea to my writer's group. So I'm interested to hear more about how this works for you guys musically both from the genesis of the song when one of you first forms an idea, and how it transforms once it is brought to the band. Is there a particular song that had an interesting process from start to finish? One that maybe underwent quite a few changes and is almost unrecognizable from when it got introduced to the band (whether that's a good or bad thing)? I guess in my rambly roundabout way, I'm not looking for anything specific here, just a little insight into the songwriting process both individually and as a band.
Also, hope Josiah is doing well. Thoughts/prayers/good vibes are sent his way. You guys are the best, and hope you have a killer time on your tour!
What was your routine that morning before the jump?
I remember how over-heated the buildings in Finland were. I actually loved it. I pretty much hung out in my underwear all day, looking at the thick snow tumble onto the trees and the pre-existing snow to produce the fluffiest snow image you can imagine...!
You made a good move. I really miss Finland, even with its reticent people. I mean all it takes is one beer, and they become sobbing blobs of emotions... :-)
There's a major difference especially the longer you sit with a song, the way you play them without a band gets engrained in my brain and it becomes tougher to let the songs get harassed by other members haha. Turn It Around is a good example of the different stages it went through- so many phases. It changed so much. Finding a good balance between what the songwriter wants and what the full band wants is hard but its good when it feels balanced. -J
Tired to keep everything as normal as possible. Went for a walk on the beach with my wife and had breakfast with my family.
Oh, man... Way too warm indoors in winter. I have to go outside all the time to cool off.
Did you have any prior experience to game development?
How's the citizenship game coming along?
Do the huge taxes there live up to the hype that the world gives them?
Over the years, I've gotten better at not taking things personally. Once you release a song into the world, it's no longer just about you. It could mean so much more to someone else so you can't view it as something you created but more of a thing that just now exists out there for everyone.- J
Steve, the Steam page for Stardust Galaxy Warriors says the following:
FIVE MECHS FOR DELIVERING GALACTIC JUSTICE Choose from four unique, badass mechs, each coming with its own special abilities.
Which mech is not a badass and why?
The first album exists the way it does because of the time and situations. We never consciously said, "We need to change." It's a product of evolution and growth as people. No I don't think we could ever go back to trying to make a record like the first, doesn't make sense to our lives.
No, I did many jumps opening the parachute just above and many test drops of a 220lb dummy into the net system. What you saw on tv was the first time it was ever done.
Typo, but I blame Silver Wolf.
What is it like dealing with Sony, MS and Steam? How is the process done, and did you have any problems during that process?
Locations played a large role in this record. Influenced by nature and the beauty of California, lots of time spent drinking wine and having conversations overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We were hugely influenced by Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Bruce, Paul Simon. Classics. Right now, we were listening to old Saves The Day. So just getting nostalgic up in here.
Everyone was supportive except for my mom. She refused to hear about it. But she did show up for the jump and stayed in the trailer until I was on the ground safe.
It isn't easy. There are a lot of names to remember, and each concern may be handled by an entirely different person within a certain company. It's my job to know who to talk to, when, and why, and so on. When you're dealing with 3 giant companies, it can be hard. They helped and made the process as easy as they could though!
The problems we had are my fault. I had a lot to learn in a short period of time, and sometimes I wasn't quick enough.
Dudes! First off congrats on your album release it is absolutely fantastic. Do you (Jon) write most of the songs or does everyone else help out? Have you always wanted to be a musician or is that just how things panned out after you guys started to grow? You're guys' music has inspired me greatly and has got me through a lot so I must say, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Last question.... When you come to The Ritz in Raleigh can you play Gone? :D Thank you so much for doing this AMA for us fans and send my love to the rest of the band! #signsoflight
How did you prep for potential wind variations? What were the roles of other guys in black? (guessing they'd steer you if things got off course, and be your last ditch safety if things got really nuts?)
For the WV, I practiced jumping in winds up to 22 knots and was able to hold position. The guys in black, were there to wear smoke for the ground spotter and to collect my O2 system. The could not have helped.
Haven't seen it! :D Don't have the NX devkit, no.
Is Finland the country where you go to saunas co-ed, completely naked, and no one thinks anything of it?
Edit: Thinks, not things.
Right now, it's City of Angels for me! I dig the uptempo vibe and the middle break is so cooooool to feel live. -T
Rhythm & Blues, duh. That song is a party onstage, esp when the bridge hits. Feels like I' in Elvis' band. - J
How did you find developers and where did you get the money and knowledge to start your own game studio?
Can't wait to make it to Portugal! A record that has been out for only hours cannot replace an album that you've had for 3 years, we're just excited to give you new music so that in 3 more years, Signs of Light will have all new meanings and emotions attached to it.
You can't get life insurance for jumping out of a plane without a parachute.
Finland has dedicated themselves to investing in their own people. The same, sadly, cannot be said of the US, in my opinion.
Which current artists do you look to for inspiration the most / which current artists are you enjoying these days? Really wondering what's on your guys' playlists. Love the new album!
As an old skydiver I was wondering why you chose 25,000 feet? I do realize that the hieght would give you a slightly wider "cone of possibility," but why not the usual 15K jumps that most do?
It was choice by the creative agency that helped secure the sponsorship. It was safe to jump fro that alt. so I went with it.
Just quick, unsolicited advice:
As a vet, use that GI bill. Study your ass off, and hustle to become an expert in your field, then leverage that reputation with investors. Network. Fellow veterans will likely show you love. Meet everyone you can and see how you can help them, and how they can help you.
Hi I just joined the navy last week. My question is how did your family feel about you joining the navy and moving to Finland right after it?
We would love to come to Asia absolutely!
Ah my uncle lives in Tampere, have you heard of a hockey club there? It has the lynx as it's symbol or something, my uncle runs it if I remember correctly, pretty proud of that even though I barely keep in touch with my finnish half family(it's a pretty dispersed family, last name is katainen).
Half Finnish guy here.
We try to do as many meet and greets as possible. Maybe there is a way to open them up to more fans, we shall look into it and make a plan!
Your music kept me great company during a week-long road trip across the southern coast of Iceland. It was awesome! What's your favorite music to listen to while on the road?
Thanks for making great music! Hope you make your way to Copenhagen someday.
Hey Luke! Did you anticipate any of the backlash or negative reaction from the skydiving community about the project? Has anyone questioned you about it or are they all just armchair quarterbacks behind keyboards?
How many jokes have you heard about the size of and/or composition of your testicles?
Nordic people are reticent, but it's all because it's considered to be polite not to disturb other people. We value our personal space, and being as nice as we are we value your personal space as well.
I really like Midlake for long road trips, anything that feels like trees, mountains, nature. -T
Neil Young. -J
Josiah had that song in his pocket and we had already recorded the first album without it! The first time we ever played it(or heard it) was in a parking garage in tacoma after a small warehouse show. It was amazing.
Rhythm & Blues! City of Angels!
My first post was auto removed. There are about 4 of us Marine Vets living in Helsinki. You ever make it down here? Can you shoot me a PM?
We don't really worry about anything other than how we feel about the songs. Not to be selfish, but it is our job to take you all to new places and not rehash old stuff that other bands are now doing.
Still learning. :D
What was the most difficult thing about moving suddenly to another country (other than the language barrier)?
I did a pretty weird shift. In something like 10 days I went from military air traffic controller, to unemployed civilian, to expat in a country where I know a handful of people (only my girlfriend for any length of time).
The difficult part was for sure social isolation. In winter, people aren't just walking the streets in small towns during the day, so getting out and meeting new people was pretty hard.
Wow, I feel a sense of idolism toward you. You did exactly what my dream is. I'm twenty and just joined the navy, and I plan to move to england when I get out to be with my best friend. So, I guess I have two questions:
1) were there any difficulties or any resistance from the U.S. government about your move?
2) did you apply for citizenship in your new country, and how hard was that to accomplish? I plan on making it to England and never looking back.
Thanks in advance, for your service, and for just reminding me that what i'm doing isn't crazy; that it could be the best decision of my life.
Wow. Never been told I'm idolized. Feels like that moment in Fable "Hero... Your renown grows." :D
There wasn't any difficulty, beyond them just moving me to my home of record (Nevada). So I ended up just taking one seabag of stuff, which was fine, because I only owned like... 2 boxes and a seabag anyway. :D
I haven't applied for citizenship yet. I need to be fluent in Finnish and have lived here for 5 years. Once I meet those requirements, I will apply to be a dual-ie.
Hi, Awesoem game, might grab a copy off steam! How long did it take you to develop this game? How many members on the team, what did each member bring to the team, and finally, how were you qualified to develop games, coding skills, designer perhaps. And another finally, how high were studio expenses when developing this game?
Hey there! From concept to release, we sunk about 2 years in. We didn't decide to become a company until it started to materialize a little more firmly.
Our team is now 10 members. I'm qualified in terms of writing, business development, and in terms of producing and release management. A lot of people forget you need someone to help coordinate between teams, communicate to outside parties (Xbox, PlayStation, etc.), and so forth.
We didn't take any pay during production, so our expenses were rent, and utilities.
Didn't you just do an AMA not that long ago?
Regardless, what's up shipmate?
I did like 4 months ago, yeah. :D
Not much! Just... launched a game. ;)
When Finns hibernate during the winter, what do they stock up on?
Jaloviina, and salmon...
How did the idea of a Game Studio begin? I mean Even if your writing skills are on point there would be Many other opportunities? Why exactly video Gaming ?
I went to work for other studios first. I decided to apply at game studios because they work in English usually, and I love games. There was an open position helping a local studio communicate with the English players, and I snagged it for a few extra bucks per month. Then I fell in love as they gave me cooler assignments (like world building, dialogue editing, etc.) and decided I wanted to stay in gaming. :D
How did you know that sehe was the Love of your life... I mean if you met in Highschool i cant believe that you knew back then that you are going to see here a second time. Didnt you have any Trust issues? Or didnt she have any? I know these questions are personal but its ama, Right.
We made the relationship work for YEARS before I decided she was the one. We were friends for two, then dated for 2. Sure, there are little hiccups, but we both decided to make it work, and (most importantly) acted accordingly. This means prioritizing the relationship, honesty, communication, etc. above all things.
I would stay in on Friday nights skyping her for 8-10 hours, talking about life, the universe, and everything. I would wake up at 4 AM before PT to Skype her. I'd come home after a 10 hour day, and Skype her. I'd send her viber messages about my day, etc. Communicating a lot, and prioritizing a relationship really does a lot for trust issues.
Thanks for putting yourself in the public like this. It takes true courage to put your personal life up for scrutiny.
That said I want to ask a complicated question. I'm sure there is no short and easy answer.
I have been developing a new RPG. I have all the combat math tuned and everything is on paper (I'm old). How do I go about turning it into a digital game? I can code HTML, CSS scripts and have a solid understanding of the object oriented Bethesda language. What language(s) do you suggest I learn? Is there a suite of software considered to be universal (like Maya is to animation)?
I have spent 3 years getting my game to function. For what it's worth (nothing) my friends enjoy the game. I will learn any language and/or software. Where do I start?
Find a mentor, I would say. Someone you can trust that knows design. Put your game up to their peer review (use an NDA if you want to be 100% sure they don't take anything). Perhaps learn C#, and start working with Unity.
Have you heard of the theory that Finland is not real? It's a big conspiracy that people believe. Can you give us your input on that?
I vaguely recall something like this, but don't know the specifics. It sounds like some debate team stuff people do "prove Finland exists or does not exist based on argumentative reasoning". Hahaha.
Verdict: Goofy. If it ain't real, some people are trying REAL hard to convince me. ;)