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An Interview with Jesse Makkonen

Distraint 2

Jesse MakkonenToday, we speak with the creator, designer and developer of the ever-so-popular Distraint. A game that has captivated audiences worldwide. I remember personally when Jesse Makkonen started this game development and liaised with him almost daily on the chat a couple of years ago. I saw the early stage progress and he’s come a long way. With unique, original and polished artwork, the game was released into the Mobile world not so long ago and the audience still flocked for it. I catch up with Jesse to find out a bit more insight.

Q: So, Jesse, how long have you been developing games for?
A: As long as I’ve been using Fusion, That’d be… I think I started 2013. While studying audio visual communications I decided to create a game. When I was a kid I remember this software… “The Games Factory”. I really couldn’t use it, but I saw my brother and his friend using it. Anyway, so when I decided to create a game I started looking if this program still existed. And that’s when I found Multimedia Fusion 2.0 back in 2013. I started creating my debut game “Silence of the Sleep”

Q: How did you find the transition into Multimedia Fusion 2 and getting your first real attempt at a game done?
A: It was a long ago I saw The Games Factory, so I really didn’t remember much about the software. That said, I started learning Multimedia Fusion, I didn’t have any previous experience from coding. At first I made this small demo, where a block was walking in a forest, simple scrolling. Slowly I started adding more polished graphics and it started to shape up: I could actually create a game! I decided that I’d start creating my game once I finish my studies. So while studying the last six months or so, I started planning my game more and more. After graduating I started working on “Silence of the Sleep”. It wasn’t easy and took me around 1½ years. But, I was able to create and release the game on Steam! That’s pretty good considering it was my first game, ever.

Q: Awesome. I remember when you came along in the early days and we spoke quite often (almost daily) in the Clickteam chat. I saw your progress. How was the Silence of the Sleep release? Was it more of a “dipping your toe into the marketplace” and/or did it super motivate you to work on your next project? Ultimately, Distraint?
Silence of the SleepA: A: Release was okay, not without problems though! My game wasn’t unicode even though I thought it was. At some point people started reporting that the game didn’t work for them. A little by little I narrowed down the issue was with game not being unicode and user having foreign symbols or Cyrillic in their Windows username. It couldn’t fetch the needed data and thus failed! There are tons of stuff I learned, like using deltatime etc. It was motivating to learn a lot! I started working my master project, The Human Gallery. Unfortunately, it might have been too ambitious and I faced quite a few problems with shaders and stuff. I had to pause the project. DISTRAINT was actually a speed project of mine. But little by little after the release it has been gathering it’s audience. I’m surprised!

At first I was disappointed how Silence of the Sleep sold on release day. I kinda thought it would sell a month or two and that’s it. Luckily I was wrong and it has been selling to this date (not much though) but still enough to pay the rent.

Q: Great to hear. Do you do all the work by yourself?
A: I try, yeah! I’ve been painting a lot and I’ve always been interested in composing music. Making games I could use both my hobbies, so I kinda had that all ready. I couldn’t code, but luckily Fusion exists.

Q: What’s your current plans with regards to your releases and future game development?
 Currently I’m working on DISTRAINT 2! But right now I’m taking a small break to port DISTRAINT to iOS. It’s already available on Google Play and while writing to this it’s being reviewed for Amazon AppStore. I’m hoping to gain some good exposure so when I’m releasing DISTRAINT late 2017 or early 2018 I could have great launch.

Distraint 2Q: What are your hopes for Clickteam Fusion 3?
A: I can’t wait for it! Seriously, more power, console exporters… and the biggest for me, you can export and it will support shaders! I’m hoping to create my masterpiece with Fusion 3.0 and release it for PC, iOS, Android, Consoles etc. Simply put, if it does all that it’s pretty much my dream tool.

Q: Any feature(s) in particular you are looking forward to in Clickteam Fusion 3? Announced or unannounced?
A: Not really, code reusing code is already improved. I just want it to be able to export for consoles so I don’t need to rely on third parties for porting services. You know, full control!

Q: Have you got any last words or advice to anyone new to the game dev world? In particular new Fusion users?
A: I’d say know your strengths and build upon them as much as possible. Creating a game takes a lot of patience and determination but it’s doable. There’s nothing stopping you, all you need is time!

Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me and everyone who is reading this article. I wish Jesse all the luck in the world with his game designs and developments. You can find out more about Jesse, his games and in particular Distraint and Distraint 2 on his official website.

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