Pekka, game and story design
My name is Pekka and I’m the game and story designer for Prisonscape. I’m currently working as a researcher at University of Tampere where I study multimodal user interfaces. When Tuomas asked if I wanted to get involved in creating games, I was immediately interested. I have a long history with roleplaying games both as a DM and a player. I want to study gaming platforms as a way to tell stories and create emotions. I’m also interested in creating dynamic worlds where the player’s actions matter and where decisions have different consequences.
I draw inspiration from movies, books, recordings, games and from day-to-day scenarios. I want to create realistic characters whose personalities are more in the shades of grey instead of black and white (good vs. evil) you traditionally see in RPGs. To get the general idea of my vision, here’s a list of some of the things I have been inspired by:
– The Wire (dialogue, probably the best built characters in the history of TV)
– Oz (dialogue, amazing prison atmosphere)
– The Sopranos (dialogue, personalities)
– Prison Break season 1 (intensity, clever story)
Music and ambience:
– Gemini Rue (amazing story)
– Final Fantasy VI & VII (storytelling, fight system)
– Chrono Trigger (storytelling, fight system)
– The Monkey Island series (interaction, user interface, puzzles)
– Alone in the Dark series (general atmosphere)
– To the Moon (impact on emotions, story)
Hey! I’m Tuomas, and I am behind all the technical stuff in Prisonscape, which means I program, program, program and then program a little more. I have worked as a QA Lead in the mobile games studio Universomo, and currently I am a partner and a senior software engineer in Surveypal (a web-based survey software). I also have a B.Sc. in Computer Science and a M.Sc. in Interactive Technology.
I have played video games ever since I was a little kid, starting from NES to the current generation of PC and console games. A side note for fellow nerds: my first PC had a 486 SX2 66MHz processor which barely ran Warcraft (after updating RAM to 8MB).
I wanted to start building games because I felt nobody is currently making the games I want to play. Namely, games which are challenging, contain compelling stories and characters and do new takes on existing gameplay mechanics. It seems that the current game industry is either pumping out predatory casual games or mindless action games. Some indie games are of course an exception, like Braid and Faster Than Light.
After building and trashing a couple of game prototypes, I approached Pekka with the idea of creating a game set inside a prison. I originally had the vision of making a simple game based on escaping the prison, but Pekka quickly turned the idea into an RPG/adventure game. I distinctly remember him saying ‘Nah, that arcadey escape crap has been done a million times, let’s do something different!’. Within a month Pekka had written a huge game design document and the rest is history.
– Oz (dialogue, characters)
– Babylon 5 (dialogue, characters, amazing story arc)
– Northern Exposure (best drama/comedy ever written)
– Prison Break Season 1 (like Pekka mentioned, clever story line)
– Shawshank Redemption (characters, dialogue)
– Final Fantasy VII
– Braid (graphics, gameplay)
– Jagged Alliance series (characters, dialogue, gameplay)
– Tribes 1 and 2 (best FPS games ever made)
– Baldur’s Gate series (solid RPG gameplay)
– Chrono Trigger (story, multiple endings)
– Phoenix Wright series (story, dialogue, characters)