A Charming Lot - Minna Salminen

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This is the first in a series of interviews with the team behind Critical Charm and those who helped us getting our game together. To begin with, here’s Minna!

Let’s talk archery. How’d you get into it?

Well, a friend of mine invited me to go try boffering with his team one summer day. It was fun, but I got hit so many times that I doubted if it was really for me. I decided to give it another try, but this time another friend on the team lent me her bow and arrows to try a different weapon for a change. And it just clicked: I could stay farther away from the actual fight, pick targets that weren't paying attention or just harass the enemy giving my teammates trouble. 

Also I could better assess the situations and flee from battle when things went south, and maybe keep my precious life, which matters when actually battling for points. Of course the first time I tried it I wasn't too good, and hadn't yet realized all the plus sides - except that people usually won’t hit you as hard as other targets, since archers are pretty much dead if you get within arm's length of them. Unless they carry a sidearm.

For a moment there I thought you said you were getting hit while learning archery, and all I could think was - is that the safest way to learn. But you’re talking about boffering. Does your choice of a bow and arrow over a sword and shield, reflect what types of games you play?

I guess you could say that. In fighting games as well, I like to play characters that have range, which then gives options on how to position and a chance of escape as well. But I usually play more story driven single player games anyway, like the Danganronpa-series, Portal, Gone Home... The exceptions being Heroes of the Storm and Dead by Daylight (+ L4D & L4D2 which were my absolute favorites back in the day) which are a ton of fun to play with friends.

Those games and with boffering included make for an interesting dichotomy. On one-side you have very story-driven experiences and the other it’s reacting to the situation. Do you find yourself playing one or the other to get some different from them? Or could you get everything from a single game?

Story rich games are something I like to plunge in, and just play for hours without distractions - it's special me-time - but it's virtually impossible to do on weekdays. So I end up playing a lot of HotS or DbD with friends who are online. The matches are quick, the games are pretty familiar, and I don't have to get so invested, so it's more just spending time with people. 

But when there's time like on weekends or holidays, I like to just get soaked in in a story-driven game all by myself. Some of those do have more action than others, but I guess the key is the single player aspect. There's no idle chat with friends and no known battlegrounds, but everything in the game is new to me. It's refreshing. I'm not sure if I answered your question.

I think that’s how lots of people play games. I know I do, or want to.  Where do you think A Giant Problem falls on the spectrum between story-focused and reactive situations?

Probably more reactive, just 'cause the game play is so focused on physically defending your village, castle, and gold. I'd like to think that in time we get more story in there, but it's essentially a party game.

If you were a giant would you stick to using a bow and arrows to take out your enemies, or pesky little beings trying to steal from you? What would your strategy be for handling them if they were as unrelenting as they are in our game?

I feel like a bow, even a giant-sized one, might not be an efficient weapon against a horde of thieves. I'd probably prefer some kind of AoE magic to get rid of many tiny pests at once, but that being said I don't think ranged weapons are the best way to go in our game. You're going to end up in melee, like it or not, and then I think grabbing a log and smacking the heck out of the enemy is probably the way to go.

Are you ever worried that the ability to “smack the heck out of the enemy” may be contagious and that you’ll just take that approach to more things in life? Personally, I can see you going full Legolas while boffering and using your bow to do more than fire arrows.

That's actually something I'm aiming for in boffering at least. Not using my bow as a weapon of course - it's too precious and expensive - but like I mentioned, an archer with a sidearm is far more difficult to kill, and has usually the upper hand in duel situations because of the surprise factor. I'll have to implement the smacking-part in my training routine.

Awesome, well we look forward to seeing some pictures of you wrecking fools.