The most alluring thing about game design for me is the world building. Drawing up the magic circle where new rules apply. Inviting the player inside it to experience amazing things.
There are three main pillars of design that I draw on frequently as a source of inspiration in my design work:
- Epicness, Surprise and Delight
- A really tight concept
- Elegant design that scale well (cost effective)
I use my visualization skills and knowledge of people to guide my creative thought process and it helps me come up with strong concepts and understand quality. Putting myself in someone else’s shoes is one of the things I do best and it’s a vital skill to have for a designer. It allows me to get into the head of the player and realize what the gaming experience might be like from their point of view (That said, there’s no substitution for actual play testing). I find both the teaching and my background in arts and animation makes it easier to communicate design and vision to a team or stake holders and to prevent potential bottle necks from occuring.
I like to think that a firm understanding of product combined with a genuine interest and understanding of the human being are part of my core strengths. I believe these skills makes me a better leader, an encouraging coworker, and enables me to view and communicate a project from multiple angles. I believe ownership, motivation, trust and accountability are vital in a team in order to achieve excellence and view myself as a facilitator for others so that they can be productive and build their skill set. I think it’s super important to show appreciation and aim to make sure everyone on the team know how their specific piece in the puzzle matters.
I can be a perfectionist and I expect a lot of the people I work with, especially if they are on my team. This is a trait that can be useful, but that also has it’s downsides. I’ve learned to throttle it a bit in order to make sure I give space to colleagues (the aforementioned trust and ownership comes to mind) letting synergy and productivity come first.
Teaching and Coaching
To me teaching is a privilege and quite humbling. Being allowed to broaden the horizon of others is some of the most rewarding work I have done. Subjects included game design and production methodology, characterization of agents in game space, MDA framework, game systems, balance through iterative processes, graphics production, Agile (Scrum) & group pedagogy. As course responsible I co-ordinated the over arching structure (one year at a time) for the game design department’s first years which also served to connect the Programming & Graphics branches for joint project work. I discovered taking the role of coach is something I really enjoy and have benefited from both professionally and personally. I’ve taught and coached under graduates of the Game Design Bachelor’s program at University of Gotland, Sweden.
I’ve been involved with games since I was a kid (about 6 years old when I hooked up with my first 8-bit Famicom) and have been playing ever since. I’m a fairly hardcore gamer showing mainly in MMOs, PvP and MOBAs. I ‘m a minmaxer, theory crafter and quite performance focused player but, this doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy casual gameplay as well.
I often find myself creating communities, running guilds, broadcasting and creating events. I’ve done a lot of raid leading (WoW); encouraging and pushing for teamwork in raids is one of the most fun things I’ve experienced. The feeling of finally downing a heroic boss together with some of the nicest people you know is absolutely epic. I have a weak spot for classic table top rpg for the same reason.
Right now I’m playing a lot of Arkham Horror, experimenting with all of it’s expansions. There’s also WoW, DOTA2, Hearthstone , various indie games. And the amazing Dungeons & Dragons The Dark Sun campaign that we’re just about to finish off this February. In general I enjoy tactics, brawler, beat em up, MMORPG, MOBAs, experimental and adventure games.
- I love sound. I like to DJ and dance. Love jazz, drum n’ bass, post punk, electronica, soul and hip hop.
- I enjoy comics, performance art, coffe, politics, psychology, cultural history, ethnology and ethology.
- I have watched every episode of every Star Trek TV-show, save the Animated Series. More than once. Yes I’m still sane. Mostly.
- I love to eat things. (Cook them too).
- I have a soft spot for for sci-fi, cyberpunk and bizarre takes on the fantasy genre.
- I travel as much as I have time for, unchartered.
- Graham Greene is one of my favourite authors. I also enjoy Ray Bradbury, Alan Moore, Kenzaburo Oe, Tove Jansson, Tennesse Williams, China Mieville, Joyce Carol Oates, Kurt Vonnegut and Philip Pullman.
- Battlestar Galactica reimagined is the best TV show. It’s just the way it is.
- My first pet was a calf namned Totte, wich I insisted on bringing indoors to my mother’s GREAT dismay.
A game developer with a wide toolset that includes experience with games from a managerial, artistic and game design point of view, spanning from small to AAA and academic work. I also do illustration work on comission.
A huge gamer, dedicated sci-fi fan, lover of unsolved problems, storytelling, taking-things-apart-just-to-put-them-right-back-together-again, litterature, comics and good food. I prefer my coffee black as midnight, just like Cooper does.