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Post news RSS Something's Brewing in the Abbey #26

After a long wait, we finally got our second artist away from his busy schedule and down for a quick introduction. This week's Something's Brewing is all about our pixel artist and animator, Raimo!

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A lot of the attention Ale Abbey gets comes not only from its tasty fermented content and game mechanics but also from that sweet pixel art style we decided to adopt.

Having already talked about our Art Director, Francesco, it was only about time we concluded the backgrounds of our artists' team with the other half of that magnificent duo, self-taught pixel artist and animator, Raimo.

Although not of few words, this post is most welcome as Raimo is quite the master of prose as well. You gotta read it to believe it!

-- Can you tell us a few things about yourself? What was the turning point when you decided to work in gaming?

My road to game development has been pretty long and winding, and sometimes I feel like I'm walking it backwards, taking stops to piss about at every possible junction and outhouse. I actually studied language and literature and worked as a freelance translator for years, mainly in software localization. Between contracts, I often did some other odd jobs as well, like stocking shelves at grocery stores or driving forklifts in warehouses, served a year in conscription, did some data entry etc.

I've had some ideas - or rather stories and experiences - for games that I wanted to share since childhood. Still, the initial hurdles of starting and creating a game always seemed too high, too unreachable. It was only in my late 20s that I finally sunk my teeth into it and started making some actual progress. I picked up Adventure Game Studio (AGS) in 2013, followed the tutorials to teach myself scripting, began reading game design materials, and took my first jabs at pixel art. And I guess that was the turning point for me - I was hooked, reeled in, stuffed in an oven, and baked. This is what I wanted to do!

-- What other games or projects have you worked on?

After getting my bearings and going through some first experiments and prototypes, I started making tiny point-and-click games with AGS. Most of them were made for game jams, all relatively simple and basic, but people seemed to like them well enough. Each released game taught me something new, I was slowly improving and really enjoying the creative process. Soon after I made my first games, my brother Riho also got inspired by this and began planning his own magnum opus - Office Management 101. On July 30th, 2014 Osaühing tulevik.EU (tulevik.EU Ltd.) was formally created, a company that would allow us both to take on contract work more easily and hopefully help us publish our own games in the future.

I continued with small personal endeavors for the next few years and at some point, my little hobby started earning me a bit of pocket change. I had a few smaller pixel art commissions here and there, worked on a couple of games that ultimately never saw the light of day, and also helped out my brother on occasions. The first bigger commercial project that I was involved with and actually got released was Kathy Rain: Directors Cut in 2021. This was then followed by the early-access version of Office Management 101 in spring 2022 and the upcoming Enoch: Children of Fate. And all that has finally led me here, to Ale Abbey.

-- What's one challenge you've faced while working on Ale Abbey?

Ale Abbey is the first game project where I have overlapping work assignments with another artist, so that has certainly been a challenge for me.

The game already had an established art style and feel to it when I joined and I had to try to emulate that. It's sometimes probably more tricky than it should be, because of my lack of formal art training and perhaps an unconventional approach to the work process of drawing and animating. I had animated other people's work before or edited and replicated some smaller assets, but having to create full environments based on existing concepts while making sure that everything looks good and consistent compared to Francesco's art has definitely been a struggle at times. But at the same time, it's also been an extremely interesting and valuable experience. I love learning and getting paid to learn and try new things is the best thing ever.

-- Do you like beer?

If there are people who don't, I simply assume they haven't found the right brand yet, considering the vast amount of flavors and types, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. I was definitely a heavy drinker during my time at the university and throughout my 20s, but I've kind of mellowed out since then. These days I mostly stick to water and herbal tea, but beer remains a close friend who pops in a few times a month to say: "Hi, remember all the fun we had back in the day? Wanna hang out and watch some sports?" And who am I to refuse an old companion and their malty aftertaste?

If you're interested in more of Raimo's work, you can always check his portfolio out or find him on our Discord server and chat it up with him ;)

Thank you for your time and see you all next Friday!

-- Hammer & Ravens

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