Lisa, the uproariously painful, miserably funny, and disgustingly delicious RPG game about one man’s personal hell, has been available to ruin lives on the Steam and Itch.io clients since the end of 2014. After experiencing the pleasure, and the pain, of Lisa first hand, I was able to get in touch with its creator, Austin Jorgensen, for an interview. Austin, the one-man wrecking crew that is Dingaling Productions, based in the Denver, Colorado area, has been working on Lisa for several years. The Lisa Soundtrack and Art Collection are also available. For the hardcore Lisa lover, I suggest picking up the PERVERTS red t-shirt (comes with OST).
Me: Hey Austin! Thanks for taking time to get to the real, real with me.
Me: Well, let’s get down to it. Tell me about your life as a youngster.
Austin: Too young to remember, really.
Me: Growing up, how was your childhood?
Austin: Simple. Full of bitterness, and dedication to the things I loved. <3
Me: Did you play many video games as a youth?
Austin: I’ll say … Earthbound. It stuck in my head the most.
Me: How about now? What games are you playing these days?
Austin: Now? Not a lot. I seem to always come back to King of Fighters 98′ for whatever reason.
Me: My guilty pleasure game has always been Battle Arena Toshinden. You must have been pretty young when that came out.
Me: Did you look up to anyone growing up?
Austin: Jackie Chan. Jake “the Snake” Roberts. Dolph Ziggler. Hell, I don’t know. Really anyone that defied all odds. They thrive in their fields by standing out and carving their own path.
Me: So, what do you do when you’re not working on a project?
Austin: Touching myself, mainly.
Me: Let’s break for a commercial.
(Add “Funny Video” in post-production)
Me: Welcome back. Let’s talk about being an Indie Dev. What got you into the Indie scene?
Austin: Well, I can’t exactly just hop right into the Mainstream scene, now can I? Just kidding. When I realized I was strong enough to do it.
I enjoy the lack of restriction. The freedom to work and create on my own terms. The technical stuff like coding and dealing with bugs. The beauty of Indie is the lack of rules.
Me: Did you have to push yourself to get your content out as quickly as possible?
Austin: As hard as needed. I lived by this quote, “Work smarter, not harder.”
Me: How did you cope with stoppages when working on Lisa?
Austin: Move on, do something else. It will come naturally when you least expect it.
Me: Give me some insight on Lisa.
Austin: It’s kind of like my diary in digital form. My personality. Plus a bunch of wrestling shit.
Me: Did you worry about censoring any of your content?
Austin: Yes. I didn’t want to cross TOO many lines with Lisa. I try not to censor myself, but sometimes it’s best just to shut up and smile.
Austin: I’m okay with violence.
Me: How much time do you intend on spending in a development cycle?
Austin: Until I feel too pressured to release. I don’t think I’ll ever achieve true satisfaction.
Me: What is it like releasing on a client without using a publisher?
Austin: I’m on Steam? I don’t know the differences.
Me: How would you rate success in the full development cycle of a game?
Austin: If you’re happy with the results of your work. And I’m pretty happy. 7.5/10
It means I can finally afford that private island! $$$
Me: Having some many positive reviews for Lisa, do you think you’ll be written in the annals of history as a good developer?
Austin: I’m like, the King of Anal’s now.
Me: Since releasing on PC, has there been an instance where you had to deal with piracy?
Austin: Fuck you! Give me my money, please.
Me: My apologies, Austin. Do you accept traveler’s checks?
Me: Is there a side of you that you keep out of the public eye?
Austin: How truly powerful I really am…
Me: I get it! I’ll pay for the game. New topic, please… Do you think we should make coding a part of the learning curriculum, like math and typing are now?
Austin: Yeah. That would be really cool. I owe a lot to being able to do video and Photoshop in school.
Me: How do you feel about the standards changing in curriculum, teaching the next generation the programming stuff we had to learn in college, or on our own? Do you think that, with the advent of newer, easier to use systems, and younger tutelage, the Indie Devs of the next years will have a harder time trying not to sink into the folds of obscurity?
Austin: I don’t know…? This question is too big for my britches.
Me: Do you have any words of advice for the next generation of developers, or the readers at home who want to start on a gaming project?
Austin: Make sure it’s fresh. Try not to just rehash too much. Be yourself. #NeverGiveUp
Me: Hash-tagging the Interview?
Me: Can you tell me anything about your upcoming projects? Are you currently developing anything?
Austin: Lisa (2), and some other kooky stuff.
Me: If you could work on any game project, past or present, what would it be?
Austin: Takeshi’s Challenge (Takeshi no Chōsenjō), because that game is a big “fuck you” to the player. I like “fuck yous.”
Me: Last question… Does this interview make my butt look big?
Austin: You ask too many questions.
Me: Thanks again for the your time, Austin. I’ll make sure that check gets in the mail.
Written by Ryan Helms