Thursday, July 9, 2015

Nicklas Nygren

Name: Nicklas Nygren
Twitter: @Nifflas
Gender: Male
Nationality: Swedish
Birth date: 06/01/1983
Title: Game Designer
Company: Nifflas' Games
Some games that you have worked on:

Affordable Space Adventures

1-What did motivate you to become a game developer?

I've had a strong need to create things all my life. Building Lego thingies, drawing, writing short stories, making music, programming. I started to make games as a hobby because it allowed me to combine so things I like to create into a single product, and because games don't necessarily require a big team or a budget. In time it became my full time job, even though it wasn't part of my initial plan. I'm actually not 100% sure I'll keep making games forever, maybe I'll make music albums, maybe art installations? All I know is that I'll create stuff.

2-What does inspire you creatively?

It's hard to answer, because it can be anything there is. Any kind of change usually leads to new inspiration, so I always try to learn new things, seek out new adventures and meet new people.

3-If you had unlimited resources to make any game you wanted, what kind of game would that be?

I don't know. Before I started to make games, I would ask questions like that much more, but now I find myself subconsciously constraining my ideas to whatever I think can be accomplished one day. It's also hard to say if unlimited resources would even be of much help, as I don't want to work in big teams. Maybe I'd just spend the resources on more Affordable Space Adventures-sized (which was varying between 4-10 people over 2 years) projects.

4-What was the biggest challenge of your career? In which game? How did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was to realize how to create my first game. It took me years before I realized I had to create something small, rather than some huge RPG or something, which is a mistake I share with a lot of my indie developer friends. I wish someone had told me earlier to keep things smaller, but I don't think I'd have listened to that advice back then.

5-What do you usually do for raising the possibility of success in your projects?

To me, game development is a bit like rolling a massive boulder around. As long as it has momentum, it's not too hard to keep it rolling. So, when I'm really into a project, I do a lot of work when I'm inspired, and when I'm not I work a little less but make sure to keep the momentum going. Misdirected inspirations and ideas can be dangerous, as losing myself in them can break the focus on my current project. Game development is my passion, but it's also my job, so I can't expect it to be fun all the time. Though inspiration comes and goes, I need discipline all the time.

6-What is the most helpful piece of constructive criticism you ever received?

I can't pinpoint a single piece of criticism. It's always during playtesting I learn the most important stuff. What players like/don't like, or what they get/don't get. Many things I've realized from watching people play has stayed with me with every project since (such as the rule that whatever I create is probably a lot harder than I think). Maybe the most constructive criticism aren't necessarily the things I'm explicitly told.

7-What are the advantages/downsides to working in games?

Game development is super challenging and fun, and I've got to know so many other cool people who make games. However, without a really big commercial hit, there isn't tons of money in it. Given the amount of time I put into it, it doesn't pay nearly as much as just a regular salary on a regular job. Not that I mind, I get to do something I love.

8-What is your best advice to a beginning game developer?

If you're a programmer, pick up a platform like Unity. Otherwise, start with something easy like Game Maker. Watch some online tutorials. Create a small game, the most simple you can possibly imagine. Spend one week on it the most, maybe even two, but not more. Then make another, then another. Show your creations to friends, watch them play. Post the games online. Also, and there are schools that teach you how to make games. A similar advice goes here: make sure you go to a school that makes you frequently create small things.

9-Which skills are the most important for a game developer in your field/position?

I consider my own most important skill that I'm a jack of all trades. Though I always get people to help me with lots of stuff, it's great to rarely get completely stuck due to something being completely out of my skill area. It's also a good skill as a game designer in a team, as it allows me to understand what everybody else is doing and speak their "language".

10-If I want to become a great dev in your field, what games should I play, what books should I read, and whose work should I follow?

The game that taught me the most was Ico, for its minimalism and focus on atmosphere. Journey gave me a whole new perspective on how to do online play (though I haven't actually made any game with online play). It also taught me that glitches can be insanely fun to explore. Proteus is a great example of how just a simple thing like a single-color frog that consists of a few pixels that plays a note when it jumps can be the most amazing thing ever. The game is full of wonders like that.

11-What changes do you want to see in the game industry?

I'd like to see more diversity among developers and players (gender/sexuality/culture), and that more games are made with this in mind. It's changing for the better, but it's happening too slowly, and it breaks my heart to see so many people oppose this change and think of it as a threat, instead of celebrating it.

No comments :

Post a Comment