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Zeron Jun 9, 2017 @ 2:51pm
Interviews #2 - Interview with Toplessgun
Today i'm interviewing Johannes Rojola, also known as Toplessgun. You may know him as the main developer of My Summer Car, a game that has been rising in popularity recently. He's been developing the game alongside with his spouse in a nice family orientated business.

Without further ado, here's the interview.



Zeron: Thank you for accepting this interview. I'd like to start by asking you to tell us about yourself, who is Toplessgun?

Toplessgun: Haha, well that's not an easy question. I am a 35 year old car enthusiast and have transformed my interest towards cars into game development. These days i dont do anything else except work on MSC, I do not even have time to play other games.

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Zeron: My Summer Car started as a small project, how does it feel to see it naturally becoming something bigger? Did you expect to have a big following?

Toplessgun: It is sort of two edged sword, the game was not planned to be such large and it has some hard restrictions because of that, so I sort of failed to keep it within the boundaries. On the other hand it has been great that the game has so much potential to offer different things, not only for players but also for me as a player and developer. I did not expect such a big following, I had very precise calculations of the maximum fan base and that calculation was completely wrong. Maybe those calculations were based on the original idea anyway, and not based on the game as how it is currently.

Zeron: It was certainly unexpected, sometimes great things start the simplest ideas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0IZ_TEzg7M&t=2259s
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Zeron: This is a question from MartyTheGamer, what would be your ideal car project?

Toplessgun: Early 60s american car customized into 70s style street machine. Probably a mopar, i like those.

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Zeron: Before developing games, you had a quite interesting music career, what's the story?

Toplessgun: Well I was supposed to become a performing artist and composer. I used to do that a little for living, but then I realized that because of my introvert personality it was becoming way too difficult. Anyway, I still would like to compose music but I do not have time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ABgSzsPGDc
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Zeron: Speaking about your music career, some of the songs in MSC were created by yourself, how do you feel about the overall positive reception from the community?

Toplessgun: I think that is the best thing that can happen to the music I have made, because as they are played in "radio", they get a lot more listeners than in any other way. They are not played in real radio, but this is even better alternative because possibly more listeners. Most of my music is not suitable for the msc radio so that is little shame.

Zeron: Yeah, nowadays' music on the real radio is terrible, but many people like it.

Toplessgun: Yes, but the commercials really kill the pleasure of listening to the radio.

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Zeron: My Summer Car is heavily based on the finnish culture, what can you tell us about it? Did you expect it to catch on in other countries?

Toplessgun: Well to be honest, not really, maybe russia but that's it. I never really even thought of that, it was just only way I could done this game.

Zeron: "Car cultureh" XD

Toplessgun: Yes :D

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Zeron: What do you think about the modding scene in My Summer Car? Have you tried any of the mods yourself?

Toplessgun: I haven't done that, I should but it is something I haven't tried. However, I try to follow the scene closely, through race department and from screenshot feed. I am interested to see what mods people are making and which ones become popular, it might give me ideas I want to include in the game officially. I think it is great people are able to mod the game even if it seems to be pain in the ass because of the unity structure.

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Zeron: Speaking of which, will there be a way to make it easier for modders? a system like Steam Workshop in the future?

Toplessgun: I don't have any knowledge on how, in-game mod support is very difficult to make, almost impossible. It should have been included from the beginning and it would still be a clumsy system.

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Zeron: We've got a question from Epsypolym, will we see orderable (or Findable) New-Old-Stock engine parts?

Toplessgun: Not likely.... small chance.

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Zeron: What inspired you to make a game about building your own Datsun piece by piece?

Toplessgun: It was an experiment, I wanted to see if a game like that could be fun. Basically this game is a puzzle, but it has been disguised into car game of sort. It was not fun I soon discovered, and then I really started to like it.

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Zeron: Even though Jalopy is a completely different game, many people usually compare it with MSC, what's your opinion on the game and the comparisons?

Toplessgun: I played jalopy some time after it came out, I liked it because it is about road trip. I think road trip car games are the best breed of car games, it is a shame there is very little of those. Only thing about jalopy I would personally improve, is that all the routes should be like 100x times as long, I dont mind if they are generated like they are, but I would like that such car game would feel like those space sims where you travel long distances.

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Zeron: Here's a question from Richard Petty, he asks if there will be a demo derby in the game.

Toplessgun: Possibly something not very close to that... maybe. :)

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Zeron: What can you tell us about your past as a game developer?

Toplessgun: I started with RPG maker engines back in late 90s, made millions of prototypes with that which were NOT any sort of RPG games. Then later in 2010's through school I got introduced to unity and moved away from rpg maker. After the school we had small start up studio where we started working on a FPS game. There I was introduced to Playmaker which is visual scripting tool for unity, and from graphic designer position i switched mostly to game designer role. Well the start up folded, game was never released and I got back to MSC for real which I started as a learning hobby while I was working there. I also made a 2D society simulator game which was released in 2015 or 2014, it was a educational tool about unemployment and building western societes.

Zeron: Tons of experience I see.

Toplessgun: Well, as a hobbyist mostly, not professionally almost at all.

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Zeron: As a finn, how accurately do you think the game represents your country?

Toplessgun: I try to do my best in that sense, of course some of the things are exaggerated and in the other hand some of the things are based on my life. But i would say that when it comes to games, it is most accurate finland simulator after "talvisota: icy hell". I think many finnish players can agree that it is fairly good representation of country life back in 90s.

Zeron: Some finns do say, the country is stuck in the 90's today XD

Toplessgun: I guess it is in some parts :D

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Zeron: Last question from the community, oHKonDee asks - what do you think about underage players playing your game?

Toplessgun: Well, hard to say, I think parents should keep up with the kids and take a look what they are playing, then it is matter of dialogue between those what happens next. The game cannot be bought from steam unless buyer has registered as a 18 years old or older, of course we know that it doesnt mean anything.

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Zeron: What do you think about piracy and how damaging was it?

Toplessgun: When the game leaked during development, it was bad because of how broken the game was, how unfinished and all. But the biggest issue was that other players did not have any official way of getting the same game. But after the game got released that has not bothered me too much, it is a battle that cannot be won. However I thought of giving the game little lower price so that even those with little worse economic situation might have a possibility to get the game legally. But the pirates have their own circles, and people who own the game legally can come to steam forums to hang out and hopefully enjoy some steam features like achievements.

_

Zeron: And here's my last question.

Zeron: What's the future of My Summer Car? Got any projects in mind such as a sequel or other games?

Toplessgun: I am focused in msc and possibly a winter sequel for it. But first things first, MSC needs to be finished, then it is time to see what other opportunities there is with that particular game. I have no immediate interests of starting some other game project after this. MSC can be expanded to winter sequel and another buildable car, so there is plenty left to do as long as it is viable.



It was a privilege to have yet another quality conversation with Toplessgun. I'd like to thank him for taking some time off to have this interview with me and i'd like to wish him the best in his future and his projects. You can follow him and keep up to date with his news using the following links:
:SpeedEmoticon: Website: http://www.amistech.com/msc/
:SpeedEmoticon: Twitter: https://twitter.com/mysummercargame
:SpeedEmoticon: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mysummercar/


If you're a fan of car games and you want to try something completely new and unique, be sure to buy My Summer Car on Steam:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/516750/


If you haven't read my Early Access recommendation for My Summer Car, you can read it here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/TheZeronShow/discussions/6/1318836262664783258/



Hope you enjoyed this interview, thank you for reading and keeping up with The Zeron Show. You can discuss about this interview here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/TheZeronShow/discussions/2/1353742967813526692/
Last edited by Zeron; Jun 30, 2017 @ 8:16am
Date Posted: Jun 9, 2017 @ 2:51pm
Posts: 0