Jaakan FAQ

To say we’re frequently being asked questions might be an overstatement, but we thought it would be good to provide a definitive source on some of the questions we’ve been asked multiple times.

@JaakanGame Who is the team behind Jaakan?

@fasterthanlime Hi! I’m Amos, I usually do web development as my day job, and I do a little bit of game dev on the side. I live in France, and I’ve been trying to make games since 2001, mostly on the coding and music side.

@bigsylvain And I’m Sylvain, I teach maths in Switzerland for a living, and I’ve also been working on games as a hobby since 2001, sometimes with @fasterthanlime, sometimes with other people. I compose music too, and my role in Jaakan is mostly visual.

@JaakanGame How long have you been working on the game?

@fasterthanlime The first release was for Ludum Dare, on December 17, 2013. We’ve been working on it on and off ever since.

@JaakanGame What tools do you use to make Jaakan?

@bigsylvain I use mostly Blender for 3D modelling of things like characters, environment (grass, rocks), and GIMP for the 2D assets. The music is all done in Cubase by @fasterthanlime and myself, using instruments from EastWest, mixed with real acoustic instruments. I use my Zoom portable mic to record ambient sounds.

@fasterthanlime On the code side, I use my own language, in which our custom engine is written on top of SDL2 & OpenGL 3.x, our own collision engine, our own sound library, the main game logic is written in TypeScript, and interpreted via Duktape. I use a variety of other tools, such as gdb, valgrind, Apple’s OpenGL profiler, a custom binding generator written in ruby so we can use ooc code from JavaScript, and many others.

@JaakanGame When is Jaakan coming out?

@fasterthanlime Admittedly, Jaakan is a side-project of ours, and we’re going to keep working on it intermittently over time.

@bigsylvain We used to do Early Access, but it wasn’t a good fit for the game. EA works best for games that have a solid basis on which you can progressively add content. Jaakan underwent several rewrites since its initial Ludum Dare release, and so we decided to disallow new purchases for the time being.

@fasterthanlime While we’re aware that working without a deadline puts a project at risk of being in limbo indefinitely, Jaakan is one of the projects where we want to put the time in to make something we can be proud of. For example, the XMas update was rushed and the result was subpar. We want to avoid that in the future.

@bigsylvain Although the reality is that we are still planning the exact timeframe, the scope of the project is, at the time of this writing, well-defined. As we approach completion and feel more confident on the timing of the release, we might start accepting purchases again, so early supporters can help us iron out the last few kinks.

@JaakanGame Can I watch Jaakan being made?

@bigsylvain We did some development livestreams a while ago, but we seem to have stopped doing that. Part of the reason is that the game has changed significantly since, we’ve had a long period of rethinking.

@fasterthanlime However, I do talk about Jaakan occasionally on my stream, where I mostly play Spelunky & The Binding of Isaac and just generally have a good time with my viewers!

@JaakanGame Why did you change the name Lestac, and where does Jaakan come from?

@bigsylvain Being a Ludum Dare entry, we didn’t have much time to come up with a good name. What we did was simply take a word of a bottle of red wine we were using for research purpose.

The problem is that “Lestac” is part of a brand name trademarked by a powerful wine corporation. Although we never received word from them, we thought we’d be proactive and change the name.

@fasterthanlime “Jaakan” is a Hebrew name from the Bible that means approximately “he twists”. We chose to interpret that in a liberal sense, meaning someone who takes different paths, who uses various ways (some of them sneaky) to achieve their goal.

@JaakanGame Amos, don’t you work at itch.io? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

@fasterthanlime I think doing game dev on the side is a good way to stay in touch with our userbase. It gives me a better understanding of what kind of challenges developers face.

Although Jaakan is a commercial game, and it will definitely be available for purchase on itch.io, I carefully keep my work and my hobby separate: I will never use my admin powers for my own gain.

Personally, I don’t count on Jaakan being a commercial success, I have no plans to rely on its income to pay the bills. If it reveals successful, it’ll be a nice bonus, but what I want above all with this project is to make something that feels complete and consistent, and that aligns as much as possible with our creative vision.