Left to right: Miska, Juhani, Eero
Sleepy Sentry is a three man team, but who are we and what do we do when we’re not bashing our heads against the keyboard trying to make things work? Above all, we all really want to create games that someone else will one day think back to with the fondness and longing that we feel for the titles that really defined us as gamers. So let’s take a look at each of us, and see what lies beneath the surface.
Miska is in charge of drawing the isometric wonders of Stirring Abyss, and also plays a critical role in creating the world the game takes place in. Back in the day Miska was a hardcore fan of the classic Sierra and LucasArts adventure games, with a particular soft spot for the gorgeous art and amazing story of Monkey Island 2. He has always been a fan of games where the player has a variety of options on how to complete difficult tasks, such as Thief, Deus Ex, System Shock and Dishonored. Like Eero and Juhani, he appreciates a good narrative, and lately he can often be found playing Witcher 3 and its expansions. Miska has also played World of Warcraft for the past decade, as did the others until just a few years ago. He could definitely quit any time he wanted to.
Music is important to Miska, and he likes it heavy and loud as is common here in the frozen north. He carries his love of art with him anywhere he goes in the form of tattoos. Miska grew up in a more rural area, and has always had a keen interest in biology; an interest he is now pouring into finding the strangest deep sea creatures possible for Stirring Abyss. For a while Miska was almost ready to drop his studies and stick to the more blue collar jobs he’d been enjoying on the side, but finding a more game-oriented track and not worrying about programming so much reignited the spark, and he is looking to graduate any time now. Yes, aaaany time now. It’s totally going to happen!
Juhani is responsible for the writing of Stirring Abyss, but he also helps out with programming and tries his best not to leave the tax papers unfiled. As a boy, Juhani played countless hours of both strategy games (Settlers, Colonization, Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Total Annihilation etc.) as well as first-person shooters like Unreal Tournament and Half-Life. He always loved emergent stories in games, often crafting his own narratives on top of the ones presented in the game, and it was not uncommon to find him simply watching the AI play out games against itself, trying to find patterns and characteristics for the different enemies. Later on he also discovered RPGs, and Knights of the Old Republic still ranks as one of his favourite games ever.
Outside gaming, Juhani likes to read a lot, mainly fantasy and science fiction. He would play golf, albeit badly, if he had the time. Before enrolling into Computer Sciences, Juhani applied for a university degree in Psychology, and though he was not accepted, his interest in the subject is now channeled into interactive storytelling. Juhani also greatly enjoys worldbuilding, especially using historical and mythological sources as inspiration. Eero and Juhani have known each other since elementary school, and also share many common interests, such as board games and craft beer.
Eero is the lead programmer for Stirring Abyss, and is also responsible for many of the game design decisions that are being implemented. His gaming background reaches back to the Amiga, but he really got sucked in by titles like Diablo 2 and the X-Com franchise. Eero is also a lifelong fan of the Counter-Strike franchise, having started playing at Beta 3 in 1999 and still playing today, if not quite as well as he used to. Later, he discovered the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Witcher series and grew enamored with the dark and atmospheric worlds they presented. These days he can often be found swearing at his screen after yet another death in one of the Dark Souls games.
High quality films and TV shows have always been important to Eero, from the works of Quentin Tarantino to Game of Thrones and everything in between. He enjoys an oppressive atmosphere that does not resort to jump scares in both games and other media, with the works of Stephen King, and the famed series Twin Peaks being prime examples. It is this path that lead him to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, an author whose work each member of Sleepy Sentry is very familiar with. In his younger years, Eero also co-produced and starred in several amateur film productions along with his brothers. He is thankful that these, the earlier ones at least, were made in the time before YouTube and are therefore not available to the public.
“I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams.”
– H.P. Lovecraft