Kim Okkerstrøm aka Kimberly Kubus was a Norwegian Artist, best known for
his video games, of which he made over 178. He also performed music and directed short films,
these he distributed on his website.
He was a friend of mine and an artistic collaborator. We regularly corresponded over several years.
In December 2014 I received sad news that he had committed suicide.
This page is intended as a memorial for him and a retrospective on his work.
Kim’s best known game series is his Johnny series, which consists of 36 episodes.
It’s also spawned numerous unofficial fan games, including two by Cy5m, creator of
Typically these games revolve around the protagonist Johnny,
Who must navigate a hostile, surreal world, in a side-scrolling platform manner.
Johnny is distinguished
by his absurdly long nose, manic grin and ability to shoot an uninterrupted beam of
Other distinguishing characteristics are; Johnny has infinite lives and is often gifted with
the ability to shrink himself at will, and to a lesser extent, to enlarge the
length of his nose. His nose sometimes serves as a game-play mechanic, making
it possible for Johnny to grasp far away ledges.
Most of the Johnny games are
very difficult to complete and sometimes require exploiting a bug or finding
an obscure secret, such as an invisible trigger, in order to complete them.
"Johnny" from the first Johnny game.
Kim had a large influence on my games.
His output was both phenomenal and inspirational.
He pointed out to me that nothing's perfect, and
often there’s good elements even
in imperfect things. By accepting this it helped to free my thoughts
to be much more creative. I’m most grateful for this insight.
Kimberly and I regularly talked about our dreams.
My dreams are often really good, because I am actually more
alive in my dreams than I am in my real life. Too bad I forget about many
of my dreams when I awaken. Who’s to know if our dreams are actually our real
lives and that being awake is really what a dream is?
It was during these conversations that I learnt about
Kim’s inner world, a place which he called "Kubus".
Kim believed that "Kubus" was a real place and that it existed externally of him.
In 2007 I started having dreams about it myself and began working on "Johnnies Lobotomy"(unreleased)
a game based on Kimberly’s
character "Johnny", which takes place in the Kubus universe. Kim believed
Johnny and his other characters were real and lived in the Kubus universe.
Johnny is immortalized. That's why he has an eternal amount of life in his games
Around this time We also collaborated on a fighting
game called "Mort Battel"
which incorporated many of Kim’s characters. The game was unfortunately never finished
(Kimberly finished a version of this on his own however.)
Mort Battel screenshots
Nice work on mort battel, I almost got to laugh at the visual
representation of Magic Jimbo Wizz, one of the main creatures
from Kubus and my best friend, I think it is quite funny.
Mort Battel character designs.
This is the first email where
Kim told me about the Kubus world
I wanna tell u something, Whether you believe it or not is up to you, but I believe
it myself, not just because i want to escape, but because it is
such a strong evidence and other stuff.
here we go
As you might know, I am an avatar from a world called Kubus. An avatar
is a creature from another place/existence/world/whatever who's soul has
come to earth as a human being for specific purposes.
As I was gonna say, I just had an out-of... body / SPIRIT experience by shanneling
the energy caused from extreme tootache and channeing them to my frontal lobe in
order to transfer mentally to the world of KUBUS, and it worked.
OMG what a waaacky experience.
I was back in the world of Kubus for the first time
in 20 human years. I only had a limited time there, becuz you know, it takes a
tremendous amount of energy to do those things.
I used all my mind power + the feeling
of pain transformed into "fuel".
At first I arrived at No Place, in the control tower. In here I met Magic Jimbo Wizz,
there was no one else there.
I wished I could tell him more how it was like to be a
human, but did not get time.
I asked him if Kubus was doing well, he said there was some
trouble in Xonia, but it was under full control.
Then Magic Jimbo Wizz pulls open the
handle to the fridge in the mini bar, well not actually a bar, but the main control station
in No Place looks like it.
Mind you, No PLace is a very small place floating in the air which only consist of one
building, the Kubus house. It is very secure.
Anyway, Magic Jimbo Wizz pulls out the
handle and grabs some good weed, called ice weed. In Kubus, drugs are different than on
earth. Tho the concept of getting high is the same. Mind you, when it comes to back on
earth situatuins, I am completely sober, this world travel thing is not becuz of drug use,
I was sober when I travelled and am sober now.
but in the world of KUBUS; me and Magic
Jimbo Wizz smoked this ice weed from a blue bong. The high from this type of Kubus Drug
lasts for a very short time, tho it is very intense, and it gives after effects for
about maybe 30 minutes, case depeningdring very.
When I was high I went outside to
the wonderful garden of wilderness wonderful, and I was flying (Yes, I can fly), I
was swinging on metal clothing-dryes pipes thingy , and it was spinning.
Magic Jimbo Wizz took me down to the basement to show me his latest hat creations. He
only got to show me 2 hats though. The first one was blue and somewhat transparent maybe
and shining, it was very big, and funny. The other one was also big, but the brim was
bigger, and it was flaming, it was a fire hat of most uber-quality. At this time I
actually told him about my game Flower Gunner and I told him the story.
He was surprised
that I included his name there and that I also included other names from Kubus like NO
PLace and Xonia.
After this and that, I went home through the portal. When I inside it was like 1 second
and POOOOF I Was back on earth. Definitely cool experience and very good for me head.
Anyways, nice to tell u about this :-)
On several occasions I had dreams that we met in the Kubus world.
In reality, we never met in person, as
I live in Australia and Kimberly lived in
We often talked about meeting up and making a movie together.
The closest this came to happening was in 2013 after I had attended the Rezzed Inde PC game
festival in the UK.
Afterwards I flew to Berlin where we had arranged to meet and shoot a short movie.
I'd been really
looking forward to it.
Unfortunately it did not eventuate for reasons which were unclear at the time.
Kimberly later told me
that he had suffered anxiety from the
biometric data collection at the airport. I could understand this anxiety, as I had
been uncomfortable with it myself.
We Had quite a few similarities like that. Unknown to Kim when I first talked to him,
my parents used to call me "Kubus" because it's the polish for
Jacob. We also both liked Frank Zappa music and C64 games.
I’m of the opinion that Kim’s games held personal meaning for him, they weren't designed to be accessible (in mainstream terms).
I think that he made them largely for himself, as a sort of cathartic art therapy.
Kims work still inspires me.
many of his ideas were innovative and original and he had a distinctive style of art.
Playing his games makes me want to design new games.
Few other games can be credited for having this empowering effect on me.
I wouldn't have released Revenge of the sunfish if Kim hadn't encouraged me.
Originally I was worried that it wasn't a very good game, but through our friendship
i developed a strong belief in the importance of being yourself.
Kim had a colorful sense of humor and was very much an individualist - He’ll be missed.