paradigmlogoPost Apocalyptic Sloths, Haircare, and Paradigm with Jacob Janerka

with Greg Micek


paradigm6We’ve discussed Paradigm a few times here on Cliqist, but in case you’ve missed it… Paradigm is a post apocalyptic adventure game with a 70’s / 80’s Eastern Bloc vibe.  The main character, Paradigm, is just a simple mutant trying to make his way in an absurd world full of comedy, disgusting characters, and an evil sloth.  Check out our hands on preview for more info, and then give our interview with Paradigm’s developer, Jacob Janerka, a read!

Cliqist :  If you had a profile on HotGameDevs.Com what would it say

Jacob Janerka : If you like handsome fellas, toned calf muscles and the ability to blink really fast, you’ve come to the right place.


Cliqist :  What’s Paradigm all about?

Jacob Janerka : Paradigm is a surreal point-and-click adventure game set in post apocalyptic Eastern Europe. It’s Pixar meets Fallout and takes inspiration from what people from the 70/80’s believed the future to be like.

In this world a company named DUPA genetics exists, and grows genetically perfect children to sell to rich parents who don’t want to give their inheritance  to their poor excuse of biological children. During the growing process of one of these Prodigy Children, something goes wrong and he becomes horribly mutated. They dump him in a post Soviet town to grow up on his own, this is where you begin your adventure as Paradigm.


Cliqist :  I’ve read before that making someone laugh, or cry, in videogames is extremely difficult. Ever worry that the comedy in Paradigm will fall short?

Jacob Janerka : There is always the risk of that, however that is definitely what makes it exciting! (and a little scary). When I first started creating entertainment art I went for the whole “let’s draw this super serious warrior, he’s really mad, I’m serious, man.” vibe. However I always found that I got an infinitely better reaction from less serious stuff I did. I found it way more fun anyway so I decided to take that direction.

This Image specifically from 2012 completely changed my mind set after it got runner up for a competition with Crimson Daggers run by Dave Rapoza and Daniel Warren.


Cliqist :  Does Paradigm (the character, not the game) look like a deformed penis on purpose?

Jacob Janerka : Aren’t they supposed to look like that? Oh no, my life has been a lie. In all seriousness Paradigms deformation was an extreme exaggeration of ‘contrasting shapes’. If you ever study character design, everyone will harp on how important it is to have a strong contrast of shapes so it’s silhouette is dynamic and immediately recognizable. There are also some deeper metaphorical meanings, but I also just wanted to make a really ugly protagonist.


Cliqist :  I saw that you got Edmund McMillen to give you a positive quote, how did you manage that?  The promise of free hair care products?

Jacob Janerka : Yes, you can guarantee his hair will be silky smooth for the rest of eternity. Although really all I did was contact him through Tumblr where he is very active. I sent him my trailer when I released it and he was really awesome about it. He really is good to his fans, I love that guy. I hope if Paradigm took off I would be just as interactive with fans.


Cliqist :  How much playtime should players expect to get out of Paradigm?

Jacob Janerka : It’s quite hard to say with adventure games, it depends on puzzle difficulty and what kind of player you are. Paradigm is designed to promote exploration, so each and every interaction is unique, of course though some people might just power through the puzzles. However from my estimates it will be around 5-7 hours long.


Cliqist :  Having multiple difficulty settings isn’t very common in adventure games.  How will it be implemented in Paradigm?

Jacob Janerka : The game actually only has a single difficulty but one with a tutorial, one without. The difficulty screen was a solution to problem I found through play testing. The people not adverse in adventure game mechanics got frustrated quickly. So I wanted to introduce those people to the genre with a tutorial. The harder option (without a tutorial) was so the veterans wouldn’t get irritated about being told how to play.


Cliqist :  If you could add one dream feature to Paradigm, what would it be?

Jacob Janerka : Wow, good question, also a hard one. If I could program I’d definitely would love to have a dynamic music system. I’ve been told it’s almost impossible to do and a super pain, but I think it would be an awesome feature. There would so much new unexplored ground for unique puzzles, and even interactive sound jokes, similar how Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) handles cinematic comedy.


Cliqist :  Is Paradigm a scam, or undeliverable pipe dream?  What assurances do backers have that you can deliver?

Jacob Janerka : Paradigm is something really special to me. It’s my first individually developed game and something I really want to play myself. You can see I definitely can deliver by looking how much passionate work I’ve done for it already, numerous backgrounds, characters, planning and even a playable demo. I’ve even gone as far with small details such as designing and recording fake records with musicians to be put in the game. I’ll never divorce with Paradigm, but if I do, I get the house and dog.


Cliqist :  Can you close us out with a Paradigm inspired haiku?

Jacob Janerka :

I once saw eggplant

I got some phat beats

kids don’t eat your vegetables


Thanks to Jacob for answering our questions!  To learn more about Paradigm be sure to head over to its Kickstarter page!


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Greg Micek

Greg Micek

Editor at Cliqist
Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.
Greg Micek


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Greg Micek
Greg Micek
Greg Micek