The Super Blood Hockey Indie Pin Set is here! As Canucks, we can't be more proud adding a hockey game to the Indie Section Pin Series family! And because we can't get enough hockey, we just had to pick the brain, of the man behind Super Blood Hockey! Without further ado, we present...
10 Questions with Loren Lemcke
1) First off, congrats on the success of Super Blood Hockey! We fell in love the moment that we first saw Super Blood Hockey on Itch because it looked like a modern version of one of our favourite hockey games, the NES classic, Ice Hockey. What are some of your favourite hockey games of the past?
Thank you for the kind words! I really appreciate everyone who has helped make Super Blood Hockey a success. There are quite a few good retro ice hockey games: NES Ice Hockey, Blades of Steel, NHL 94/95, Hat Trick, Mutant League Hockey and NHL Hitz are among my favorites.
2) Super Blood Hockey also feels like a love-letter to the days of arcade sports games. What are some of your favourite arcade sports franchises?
I really like NBA Jam, NHL Hitz and NFL Blitz, Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl, as well as the golf game Neo Turf Masters.
3) Do you play the NHL Series? If so, what do you think of NHL19?
I honestly haven’t played any of the NHL series for many years now. I can’t comment specifically on NHL19, but in general, at least to my personal taste, their games lately have been too focused on simulation, and have long since lost what makes for a fun hockey video game. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a place for a simulation focused hockey game, but sometimes aspects of simulation harm gameplay, which is, in my opinion, the most important quality of a hockey video game. Super Blood Hockey takes the opposite approach and puts emphasis on gameplay.
4) Some of the best NHL players of all time (Teemu Selanne, Jari Kurri) and best players of today (Patrik Laine, Mikko Rantanen) come from your country, Finland. What's the hockey scene like there?
I am originally from the USA, but I have been living in Finland for several years now. It has definitely become a home to me though and I appreciate the Finnish people for welcoming me and allowing me to channel their ice hockey spirit into my video game development process! I also enjoy watching the local Liiga matches. Going to a hockey game in Finland is quite the treat.
5) What team(s) do you root for, and who are some of your favourite players?
I currently root for the Oulun Kärpät, which is the local team here in Liiga. I am a fan of Patrik Laine, Alexander Ovechkin, and Jaromir Jagr, among a few others.
6) What's the indie game development community like in Finland?
There is definitely a strong video game development community here in Finland. Significant portions of the Finnish economy have hinged upon several large publishers, so being a developer here holds a special status of sorts. Finland is a great place to start your own studio and game development is a great activity for those cold, long, dark winters!
7) Indie dev is tough, and solo dev is arguably even tougher. How did you keep yourself motivated and dedicated during development?
I play lots of disc golf, or Frisbee golf as it called here in Finland. I believe exercise is incredibly important to my creative process - it relieves stress, helps me sleep, counter-balances all the sitting that gamedev requires and much more. I start essentially every work day with a round of disc golf to get my mind going. There is something about exercise that helps the unconscious mind churn away at problem solving. So if I get hopelessly stuck on something, I just go play a round and then come back and look at the problem with fresh eyes, hopefully to discover that my unconscious mind has come up with a solution.
8) Your community nominated you for the "Best Developer" award, for listening to your fans. What's the process like for you in listening to community feedback and deciding what to implement into the game?
As a solo developer, feedback from the community is invaluable to me. When you work on a project for such a long time by yourself, it’s easy to have your thought process get stuck in a box. Community feedback helps me think outside the box when it comes time to brainstorm new ideas. I keep a running a list of feedback ideas from the community that I pull from when it comes time to develop new content.
9) Your soundtrack composer is located all the way in Canada. How did that relationship form?
I found Shawn Daley on Reddit somewhere. I heard some samples of his music and I thought they were awesome, so I had him commission a single track for the game. Right out of the gate Shawn made something amazing that helped bring the action and pace of the game to a new level. Over time Shawn made an entire OST for the game, and I will say, I am a big fan of the results!
10) What's next for Super Blood Hockey? Can we expect a Switch port one day?
Console ports are the next step for Super Blood Hockey, as well as the Franchise Mode content update (which is already available to owners of the game to beta test). The Franchise Mode update represents a significant increase in new content. As far as the console ports go, it is looking very likely the game will come out on both Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Thank you to Loren for this fantastic interview! Super Blood Hockey on is available now on Steam! You can also check the Indie Section x Super Blood Hockey Pin Set here.