Weekly Penguin
November 14th, 2022
Making of TAGAP 4

Launch day foreword

First – in case you arrived here from somewhere other than the front page and have missed the big news: TAGAP 4 is out now!

Before we I start with the foreword, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who contributed into making this day happen, so in no particular order:

Petja Heiskanen, Funk the Magic Monk, Neil Gardner, Poison Sleeper, Veldoodles, Gianni Matragrano, Sgurk, Jacob Lloyd, Alan 'Penned Guin' Henderson, Timo Liimatta, Teemu Pesonen and Veeti Heiskanen.


TAGAP 4 is a lot more special thanks to your contributions!

For Mom

TAGAP 4 is dedicated to the memory of my Mom.

Thank you for everything.

She loved raccoons as much as I love penguins.

TAGAP 4 is actually out!

To say I'm overwhelmed by the fact would be an understatement. This time there's no avoiding it, the 'launch thoughts' write up is bound to be a bit more emotional than the ones in the past. There is a reason for it, but in order for anyone to understand how big launching this game is to me, I have to shed light into into things beyond TAGAP 4 itself. I usually keep real-life stuff apart from TAGAP, but here it is important for context.

TAGAP 4 started soon, if not immediately after the launch of TAGAP 3 in 2017. In those innocent days I had no idea what kind of turmoil awaited in my personal life just around the corner. Instead, spitting to the face Fate, I declared that our 'internal deadline' for this new project would be something chill with a lot of leeway. Like...

"Before the world ends".

Oh boy. Of course there was the pandemic, but that honestly felt like a breeze compared to things in my private life in the start of the dev cycle. Ranging from a death in the very close family, the financial troubles it cascaded into, to the dissolving of my day-job under my feet... Simply put, I had very little control over anything past five years.

Anything, except TAGAP 4.

It became my anchor. Whenever things got too much, I focused even more on the development. As a solo dev, because of the interconnectivity of all the areas of the process, you have to focus on design, art, coding, sounds, game feel at the same time. If you want to nail a feature in one go, there is no room for anything else in the brain at that point. It can rain hellfire and I wouldn't notice. It was effective and allowed me to stay positive about something looming in the future. I managed to keep TAGAP as a whole a positive experience for myself and – I really hope – for everyone else as well.

Even then, events of March 2022 shook me. 'Before the world ends' was supposed to be a flexible timetable, but suddenly it felt like it would become a race. At this point I became a borderline hermit and focused squarely on completing TAGAP 4 before the deadline of deadlines.

But silver linings are a thing; thanks to this amplified focus – or how the Biz calls it, the Crunch – TAGAP 4 is a lot bigger and better than I originally planned. TAGAP+, the fully illustrated soundtrack album and the translation support are among things that I managed to pull off by focusing squarely on TAGAP 4 all my non-dayjob waking hours.

I'm not telling you this to pat myself on the back or anything. I'm telling you all this so that you understand how much actually getting to release TAGAP 4 means to me.

I'm not expecting any of the turmoil to show in TAGAP 4 itself, mind. In fact I hope it doesn't. TAGAP 4 is a silly little game in a series of silly little games and that's how it is meant to be. There's no grand statement behind it, its function is to give someone besides myself a fun afternoon or two.

I hope you, if you give the game a spin, are that someone.


Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin