Game industry Jani Penttinen was diagnosed with a corona infection in Slush – two weeks later she was being prepared for intensive care at a hospital in Las Vegas

On the worst days of illness, Pentti was weighed down by heavy worries about the family’s future if he had a bad time. The game’s latest game was finished without finishing.

“Doctor said Monday will be the worst and most decisive day for recovery. That’s exactly what happened. ”

Early on Monday morning, December 13, the nurse came to check in Jani Penttisen at the ward of Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas. The oxidation meter readings were alarming. Penttinen tried to breathe properly, but oxygen did not enter the bloodstream in the damaged lung tissue.

“I heard from the speakers that rapid response the team was asked to room it and that. I realized it was my room. Then there were a lot of doctors and other staff around, ”says Penttinen.

Him preparations began for the transfer to the intensive care unit of the hospital. However, someone still suggested turning the patient on his stomach.

The translation worked. It helped the lungs work. Oxygen saturation increased to such an extent that the transfer to power could be reversed. The danger was still over.

“The situation was bad for a couple more days. I was really afraid of getting to power. One British friend fell ill just a little earlier. He had been transferred to intensive care and anesthetized. He never woke up from that anesthesia, ”Penttinen says by phone from his home in Las Vegas.

Jani Despite his age of 46, Penttinen is a veteran of the Finnish gaming industry. He has been coding games since the early 1990s, when industry enthusiasts began to showcase and compare their accomplishments at Assembly events.

In 1993, Penttinen and a friend developed a space shooting game called Utopos for an Atari computer, which he started selling for FIM 50 (about 10 euros). Orders came first from Finland, then from Sweden and finally from all over the world.

The deal went so that players around the world sent the money in an envelope and Penttinen sent the floppy disk containing the game back as traditional mail. The internet was just emerging.

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In the following years, he worked for the successful Finnish gaming companies Remedy and Housemarque.

Housemarquen made an internationally successful snowboarding game attracted the attention of Westwood, a gaming studio belonging to the US group EA. The studio offered jobs to Penttis, who led the game project, in 2000.

He moved to Las Vegas. “I hadn’t thought about going that far, but the offer was so good it couldn’t be refused.”

Later, Penttinen changed fields, sometimes lived in China, and founded the Transfluent startup, which does language translations.

In In 2019, however, he still decided to try the gaming industry and founded a gaming company called Utopos with acquaintances. Penttinen lives with his four children and his Chinese wife Wen Sunin with Las Vegas again.

Utopos was the first to make a modernized version of Penttinen’s space shooter game 30 years ago. It was released two years ago. Then Penttinen started preparing a version of the game suitable for the Xbox console.

Last November, the unfinished version of the Xbox was ready for release.

On one level of the game, a player-controlled spacecraft bursts into red, glowing red balloons surrounded by spike proteins, obvious coronaviruses.

Daughter Mei wanted to play with her father on a tea party in the backyard on Saturday morning.

“At some point, I realized I was pretty sick.”

Size During the corona epidemic, Penttinen has been very careful in his encounters. She has worked from home, and in the United States, the children also attended distance school for a long time.

Last autumn, however, the epidemic calmed down. At the turn of November – December, Slush, which had expanded into a giant event in the startup industry, was held in Helsinki. Penttinen decided to participate.

There were a lot of friends and acquaintances coming to Slush who would be great to meet after a long break. Slush is also convenient for meeting financiers of startups.

“A couple of days before the event started, information about the spread of the new omicron transformation began to come. However, I thought that it would not be so much in Helsinki yet. ”

Epidemic situation changed with the omicron literally from the flight. Some California venture capitalists on their way to Slush withdrew their incomes just last time. Some even turned back in the middle of the trip, from the New York stopover.

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However, Penttinen traveled, met people, and attended Slush’s famous evening party. During the day he wore an FFP2 protector, but in the evenings it was freer to go. With the help of quick tests, we talked and danced without masks at the evening party.

After Slush, he took a quick test and went to see his parents in Orimattila.

“Then I flew to Los Angeles, where I was to attend the Finnish Consulate’s Independence Day celebrations. Finnair had lost my luggage, and I tried to arrange a suit for myself. At some point, I realized that I was actually pretty sick. I did the corona test again, and it looked positive. ”

At a hotel the well-being of the resident Penttinen deteriorated rapidly. Luckily, he got to Las Vegas on a friend’s car ride.

“I just thought I didn’t want to be hospitalized in a foreign city. I want to go home. Of course, I could not have gone on any means of public transport. ”

Penttinen got an oxidizer at home from another friend. If the reading drops below 90, you should go to the hospital.

“It didn’t happen, but I still went to the emergency room the following Friday. I was feeling bad and thought I might be getting antibody treatment. The doctor said I needed to be admitted to the ward. ”

Penttinen was in the hospital for a total of eight days. At his weakest, he was weighed down by heavy concern for the future of his wife and children. Even the new game, which he had used his savings to design, was yet to be filed and unpublished.

“I was pretty desperate and terrified of the family’s livelihood if I didn’t survive or have to be on sick leave for a long time.”

Penttinen and his wife arranged for a fundraiser on a crowdfunding platform from the sickbed. More than 150 friends donated a total of $ 26,000 to support the family.

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“It’s been a big help. I finally recovered faster than I expected, but there are still pretty thick remnants of the disease in my lungs, making it harder to breathe. According to the doctor, it takes months for the lungs to recover. ”

In the worst days, Jani Penttinen feared for her family’s livelihood if she did not survive.

“The playmaker is as good as his latest game”

Penttinen became seriously ill despite vaccination. The virus that afflicted him was a delta type that often causes a disease that is more acute than omicron.

“I chose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last spring because it was only given one injection and I thought it was therefore convenient. It is now known that its effectiveness has been slightly weaker than other vaccines, ”he says.

Penttinen is convinced that the stress caused to the body by the long flight and time difference also weakened the resistance at the crucial moment when the virus attacked the defense system in charge.

“After air travel, my body is always pretty strained. The resting heart rate is many days higher than usual. I don’t have any risk factors, but my health is otherwise good. ”

According to Jani Penttinen, Las Vegas is a good city to live with a family with children.

After recovery Penttinen made the final adjustments to his Guntech 2 game and on January 13th it was released for Xbox. The future looks bright again.

The game has received a fair amount of attention, not least because of the irony: the game shoots viruses that Penttinen himself had to fight against. Among other things Wired pages wrote about Penttinen’s illness recently.

“The reviews have been good and it has sold quite well. The game maker is always as good as his latest game. Success was therefore really important for future projects, ”says Penttinen.

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