Interview With Pajamahouse Studios’ Jakob Haglof

A ton of animation work must have been poured into Desi, to say nothing of the voice acting and writing! How long did the project take from concept to release? Was the team overwhelmed by the project’s scope in retrospect, or did your backgrounds in all the above areas prepare you pretty well?

The project lasted about 13 months — from November 2010 to December 2011. And yeah, the work load was massive and made for a great learning experience. It was certainly overwhelming on occasion, and other times a lot of fun and inspiring.

I handled all the art and design, so having been an illustrator since I was four certainly prepared me. And the programming side came together pretty well. That was a much shorter chunk of the overall development, maybe a few months out of the full dev time.

How did you end up working with Riley Martin? I’m aware that he did a radio talk show for awhile, but does he often do voice acting? Because he really delivered with Desi.

A good friend of mine named Paul listens to Howard Stern pretty often. I was hanging out with him when I first heard Riley’s voice. It’s immediately distinctive and memorable. When it was time to find someone to play Desi, I immediately thought of him.

I knew he had done some voice work for Adult Swim, so decided to contact him. Luckily he agreed to work with us and really got into the spirit of Desi. He did an amazing job!

And where did you find the rest of your cast? Did everyone send their lines to you separately, or did you end up doing one giant recording session?

The rest of the cast is made up of friends of ours. Whenever we had their lines ready, we would meet up somewhere with a microphone and get a character out of them. It was a lot of fun and we had at least a dozen different recording sessions over the course of development.

What’s next in the pipeline for Pajamahouse? Do you think you’ll do another project on the same scale as Desi, or will you take a breather and concentrate on smaller things for a while?

We actually have more planned for Desi. I’ve written out a skeleton for a second episode that’s completely interactive. The first episode was made the way it was intentionally. In the early stages it could have been a full game or a full cartoon. So we decided on a unique hybrid — a way to have a little of both that was a good introduction to Desi and his personality.

But yes, definitely a breather in between! Before tackling the next episode we are going to put out something on a much smaller, more bite-sized scale. It’s a really fun project so far, but it’s probably too early to reveal anything. I’ll give you a sneak preview as soon as I can!

iFanzine’s thanks goes to Jakob Haglof, design director of Pajamahouse Studios, for taking the time out to answer our questions. You can check out our review of Desi Leaves Town here. As we await more news out of this unique studio, check out their blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. Now let’s leave you with previews for Desi Leaves Town, Sonorasaurus Rex and Sea Rascals: