Every week we endeavour to provide you with new and up to date office gossip about what’s going on around the office, who’s been to see what at the cinema and how many times a day Torje actually speaks to someone.
The purpose of this blog is to show you that we are humans as well as game designers. Well, we’re all human except Torstein, who, rumour has it, sleeps with his head twisted around 180 degrees, always anti-clockwise. So… take from that what you will.
This week’s office gossip:
This week we thought we’d shake it up a little and create a load more work for Dan, who loves to have more and more work. We thought, as well as finding out a little about everyone’s week, we’d also find out more about the guys and girls personally by asking them a question. Sadly, there are a few teething problems; half gave info on their week, half answered this week’s question, and the third half didn’t write anything, mostly because of family emergencies and mental health issues. So it’s probably going to be a bit of a mess, but we’ll get through it together!
This week’s question, tying in with our game, Through the Woods: What has been the most frightening thing you’ve experienced?
Ole Furu: Ole has been in a zombie-like state, eating parts of his friends and family when he gets hungry, and shuffling around banging repeatedly into the sides of houses. This has made it difficult and tiring for all of us as Ole was the lead game designer of our game jam this week, developing Ohminus for the Norwegian Championship in Gameplay.
Ole has been traveling directly from work at Antagonist to ‘work’ with his band. It’s an hour’s train ride so the days have been long for him this week! Plus he’s been up all night snacking on his girlfriend’s calves. She’s really good to put up with all that you know, Ole.
Other than that, Ole and the remaining half of his better half had a visit from her brother over the weekend, when he attempted to stage an intervention to get what is left of his sister away from Ole before he eats her entirely. Sadly, he was promptly eaten himself. Ole then dragged his lady off to see the Norwegian production of Billy Elliot, the musical. A charming, charming week for Ole.
Torstein: I love Torstein, as he gives me funny things to write about, but not much of it. Torstein says he worked hard, writing many lines of code. Perfect! He had a lovely pizza on Saturday. Wonderful! He stole a pen from the Norwegian Film Institute… I think you should take that back, Torstein. They are nice people, probably wondering where their pen has gone. They’re not made of money, you know!
When were you most frightened, Torstein?
‘When I was eight I was on vacation with my cousins. We were swimming in a lake, but they suddenly went somewhere and left me in the water by myself, and a dragonfly appeared! I’d never seen one before, and the Norwegian name for dragonfly is ‘eye-stinger’, so I was terrified it was going maul my eyes or something. I started screaming desperately for someone to come and save me, and it felt like forever before anyone came. Then my dad, uncle, and cousins showed up. And when I explained the situation to them they got mad with me. My dad was embarrassed. I was sad.’ I don’t think your father was embarrassed at your behaviour, Torstein; I think he’s just always embarrassed by you. If that makes you feel any better?
Ole Helland: When were you most afraid, Ole?
‘I was lying in a bed with my then girlfriend sleeping beside me. I was barely asleep when I realized I couldn’t move. She was barely sleeping as well, and I could just nudge myself to let her know I was struggling, but I was completely incapable of moving or even speaking. The panic set in as I started hallucinating that someone was sitting inside the closet right next to the bed, and I was unable to look away from the eyes peering down at me from the darkness. I literally started hissing as it was the only thing I could do. Finally, she woke up, and gently stroked my arm, which I think what was needed to “wake up” my body or something? I wasn’t screaming awake, just calmly trying to explain what I just went through.’
Dan: After recovering from a long weekend of drinking and fighting in Copenhagen, Dan jumped straight in to creating music for last week’s game jam game. Sadly, after a spending a whole day writing two pieces of lovely music most people would be stunned by, the team said they hated what he’d made and forced him to start again. So Dan did what Dan usually does in these situations; he made something much worse which was immediately accepted by the group. Dan has used the same tactic many times, as everyone knows designers have really bad music taste.
Dan’s beloved Siamese fighting fish, Flappy Fish, died just after New Year. The fish is actually still sitting in a box in the kitchen of his house and Dan reminds himself he really has to bury it soon. Anyway, this week Dan got a new fighting fish and has already taught it to jump out of the water to attack for food. Dan hopes Snappy Fish will help keep the house free from more intruders in the future.
When were you most afraid, Dan.
‘Well there have been a couple of near car crashes, a bumpy plane ride or two, I almost fell off a very high ladder once, but maybe the most scary thing was drowning. I was at a water park in Bosworth in England, sitting in a wooden quay, floating a little paper boat on the lake by a string with my legs in the water. I think I must have been between four and five. I foolishly leaned out to extend the range of the paper boat and slipped off the side into the water. I could not swim at all and just sank into the mud at the bottom. As with all English lakes, the water was very brown and I couldn’t see anything. I stood there for a bit before realising I was probably going to die so stared to thrash around. I remember two big splashes either side of me and then I think I remember a tall man breathing into my mouth, but that may just be a fantasy. Someone had seen my fingers splash above the surface from the window of the cafe nearby and two guys jumped into the water to pull me out.
They wrapped me in a towel and took me back to where we were staying. I remember my chest felt awful, my lungs, I suppose. When they told my mother what had happened she was so angry she told them to ‘Fuck off!’ and then slapped me in the face! So I guess I learned my lesson. Don’t die while my mother is around.
Stian: Stian’s week has been ‘hectic, but awesome’ because of his lack of imagination. He spent the week developing Ohminus, our game jam game, and was very happy with the result. He’s now working on the mother character for Through the Woods, trying to finalise the design before our NFI application.
What was a scary moment you, Stian?
‘I was woken up by a sound outside the house one morning that was really strange. It sounded like something crying. I was lying still, trying to figure out what it was and it seemed to move from up the street closer towards the house. I could see it’s big shadow on the window and I was going to get out of bed to figure out what this thing was before it got too close, and realised I couldn’t move. My eyes were awake, but not my body. I was paralyzed, only wanting to move and get away. I wasn’t even able to make a sound. Then suddenly, after what felt like ten long minutes, my body let go of the dream and I was able to jump out of bed. By then, of course, the shadow and sounds were gone. It was around five in the morning and I didn’t manage to sleep afterwards. It might sound silly, but it was fucking horrible, particularly the feeling of being completely paralyzed for so long.’ Can’t help but wonder why you wrote those last ten words, Stian, after everything else, but hey-ho!
Kenneth: Kenneth says he’s ‘just been all giddy about Ohminus’ because it was ‘so fun to work on and turned out so great, it really shows how far we’ve come’. Kenneth tell me he’s also bought a new trumpet, and he really loves to blow it.
Kenneth has finally, after years of seeking out parts and circuitry from the darkest corners of Amazon.com, ordered all the elements for his new computer and is building it this week. he’s decided to call it Super Mega Dell, but I suspect, if it’s as powerful as Kenneth says it’s going to be, it may want to change its own name to something even more awesome. Like Keith. Kenneth says this new supercomputer will make doing 3D for Through the Woods much easier, as well as spying on foreign governments and remotely controlling satellites.
Hes also been cuddling with my Playing Station Four and his girlfriend, in that order. Just like the rest of us.
So, when was Kenneth most afraid?
‘I once thought there was a break-in in the flat above us, and when we called the police people started knocking on our window. I was sure I was gonna die that day, but it turns out it was just some family of the owner who had been borrowing the flat, and were getting their stuff together to go home. The owner of the flat was away and hadn’t told us he was renting it out. I swear my heart has never beat that fast, I thought I was going to have a stroke. On a side note, the police showed up fast, with automatic rifles.’
Wow, Kenneth. We respect your bravery.
Ok, that’s it for this week’s exhausting office gossip. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You are really, really sad and have my permission to skip next week.
Until next time, friends and lovers!