May 18, 2009

One and a half year – damn, has it really been that long?

Although no longer an aspiring indie game developer, I still spend a lot of time with games. Most promptly, I am writing for the Swedish gaming magazines and I have decided to leave GameFocus as it is, if only to preserve the (admittedly few) developer interviews I have conducted. Hopefully it will be of interest to someone.


So, what’s been happening?

November 10, 2007

Well, a lot of things have been going on in my life the last couple of months. Those things kept me from updating the first couple of months, and later helpt me to learn what I really want to do with my time. Sadly, this blog is not one of them.

Writing this blog have been great fun for me. I have talked to great people that I admire, and to say that it has been great is by any measures met, a big understatement. Now, I have begun gymnasium (I won’t use the pure english translation, since I probably would’ve got it wrong), tested new things, and realised that games is not really want I won’t to do, and that programming isn’t really the thing for me. This takes a lot to write down, mind you, since I have been working with it for years now. Still, I feel like it is time well spent, I have met great people and learned a lot, not only about games and programming but also about life, and everything that comes with it.

Well, thank you all for this great time, and good luck. I won’t remove the website, since I feel that the developer interviews I have done can still be of use for future visitors. Now, go make some great games 🙂 – Groovy games for a groovy generation!

May 23, 2007

Yep, I am still going strong. I’ve had a break due to heavy pressure from my studies, but now, holidays are closing in and game development is back in focus. The website, as it is now, is just a temporary solution since my own titles still are in production, and not due for release for quite some time 🙂 As of now, I am offering games from Reflexives huge selection on the website, so if you have some extra money to spend, please stop by 😉 I am currently working on making the website a little more user-friendly and more good-looking.

Expect more updates further ahead…

RealArcade/Platypus 2 Rant

February 10, 2007

Some time back, i wrote about Anthony Flack and his games with clay graphics. One of them being Platypus, a awesome shooter with awesome graphics and a whole lot other awesomeness in it. Something i didn’t mention tho’, is the the fact that Anthony sold the rights for the game to Idigicon, a rather big player in games at that time – seven years ago. Yes, the game is really that old… not bad at all considering when it was made and that a single person developed it.

Well, as it turns out… RealArcade has released a sequel without any credit given to Anthony about it – they didn’t even let him know about it. They do own the rights to the game, but doing such a pure income-oriented business move is just wrong. I stronly believe that companies thinking with their hearts will survive the companies thinking with their accounts, and RealArcade is blacklisted in my book now.

Money isn’t everything, RealArcade.

Being busy

February 8, 2007

Yeah, i know. I was supposed to update the blog more often, but i’ve had an unfortunate lack of time lately, I’ve been working alot on the website not to mention school.

The website is practically done – and i am very pleased with it. It will be used as an personal website for now, and i am unsure if it ever will be anything else. I will primarily use it as a gallery for my artwork though, is a find it much more enjoyable to work with photshop rather than writing line after line in code.

Developer interview: Marcus Nilsson, Senior producer at DICE

January 29, 2007

Tell us about yourself, who are you and what are your assignments at DICE?

My name is Marcus Nilsson and I am the Senior Producer heading up the development of Battlefield PC titles. My latest project is Battlefield 2142.

Tell us about the history of your studio!

It all started in Växjö 1987 with a group of young guys who started to develop their own games, the Pinball series for example. The company Dice was founded in 1992 and in 2000 Microsoft asked us to develop a game for Xbox. Electronic Arts fully owns Dice since October 2nd, 2006.
Today Dice is one of the world’s leading game studios.

The series DICE are without a doubt most known for are Battlefield. Tell us about the development of Battlefield 1942, the first game in the series.

Battlefield 1942 was born from a game called Codename Eagle, actually the first game combining infantry and vehicle combat online. It was really a single player game and to be honest not a really good one. But it did become relatively popular in hardcore online FPS communities. For Dice it meant we had a foundation for building the engine behind BF1942. It was not a walk in the park to develop and it was also a problem convincing publishers and other people we could actually do what we said we could. In the end EA understood the innovation in what we did and signed a deal. Today, they are very happy for this. Development of 1942 was very much of the basement character. We did not know so much about game development and therefore we tried too much too late etc. We really struggled to get it into one piece and it told we not only have to think about scope but also the processes around making games.

You released Battlefield 2142 not to long ago. How long time did it take to develop the game?

It took us right about 18 months from start to end.

In what amounts was the budget for the game, and are the sales meeting your expectations?

I can not go into details about budget but the game is selling just fine and we have found a category of gamers none of the previous titles managed to capture. Also, a lot of the dedicated gamers playing BF2 are equally in love with 2142 and especially the persistence system. It’s important to understand that 2142 and BF2 are different products and they compliment each other, they are not competing.

What is your targeted audience with Battlefield 2142?

As I said, a new type of players that were never appealed by the previous titles but off course also all the players that have enjoyed our titles in the past.

Do you (personally) prefer Battlefield 2142 over the other games in the series? Why?

I do prefer 2142. It’s an updated engine, making it more visually impact. The soldier feels much more part of the world. The persistence system makes every round interesting and I have a clear goal with every round. Titan mode is a new way of playing and I love collecting lots of points defending or attacking the titan.

Anything else you would like to mention about the game?

The booster pack Northern Strike is on its way out the door. It brings some very interesting game play 2142; it challenges the players to develop new tactics and strengths. It adds more unlocks, these are earned though achieving medals. Northern Strike fits very well into the vanilla game.

Tell us about your current games in progress.

We are currently developing Battlefield Bad Company; this is an exclusive console game, due to come out on Xbox 360 and on PS3. It’s developed with our brand new Frostbite engine and will feature some extreme environmental destruction that radically will change the way shooters are played. More info on this project will follow soon.

How is it to work at such a mayor game studio?

It’s a dream coming true. I’m not lying. The industry is blooming and growing. We make great games that people look forward to. I love going to work on a Monday morning, what’s better than that…

Thanks for answering our questions. Anything you would like to tell upcoming developers?

Thank you! The game developing industry is a place where creativeness rules. Regardless if you’re into programming, art or design you have equal terms to succeed since you are all badly needed in this growing market.

Marcus Nilsson

Senior Producer

EA – Dice

Thanks to Marcus for answering our questions!

Apple reinvents the… wheel

January 27, 2007

I have been following the development of the iPhone very carefully lately, and i am partly excited, partly intrigued.

First of all, the thing is a beauty. Apple is doing with the rectangle what Nintendo did to the cube with Gamecube. But of course, the iPhone is more than just a rectangle… anything else would be like calling it innovative to joke about the name of Wii.

Well, let’s get back to the point, shall we?

Right – the iPhone. Lets go down to the basics; the iPhone comes with:

A camera
A phone (essential, but hardly the most important feature anymore)

I could make this a long list, but this is enough to state my point:

The iPhone doesn’t bring anything new to the market.
…Let’s take a break to slow down that heartrate of your’s.

It’s always entertaining to watch how the markets reacts when Apple releases a new product to the market, it practically starts to boil. It doesn’t really matter what they released, they could release a automatic toothbrush and it would still be all over the news, not to mention every online community existing.

Now, let me explain myself. Apple has hardly ever brought technology that have new features to the market. Where Nokia/Sony Ericsson/Microsoft and other companies has been aiming for improving the technical aspects for their products, has Apple been improving the design. Apple practically invented the expressions “Shiny” and “Glossy”. Take a look at any of their products, the computers, the iPod, or the new iPhone. None of them are really technically impressive – other companies has done what Apple has done in techonology for centuries, only better.

But the design part… Apple has always been a step ahead. When Dell, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard shipped amazing techonogy in grey/boxes, Apple flirted with people who wanted something that actually looked good on their desk. The Mp3 player iPod is pretty much the same, a clean, nice and practical design that has made product legendary. iPhone is just another product in the line – Apple have created a amazing looking phone, and that’s excactly what people was expecting and wanted from them.

By the way, i am definatley buying one… the iPhone is smoking hot.