First Days of Game Development

I declare to the world, how I will truly start writing my thoughts, throw them into the ether that is the Internet to see what the responses are. And then I go completely silent instead, ironically enough.

Christmas was a busy season for me, and the last weeks I have been busy travelling to Sweden for a new job. I have been hired as a contracted Content Designer at Paradox, on Crusader Kings 2.

My very first job in Game Development, seeing the other side of whatever is the business that delivers those experiences. I have been working at Paradox for a little over 2 weeks now,  getting to know everyone, getting used to everything.

I wouldn’t used the term “wild ride”, because honestly speaking .. I don’t think game development or IT in general can fit too well into that term because of our very sitting nature. But it has been an information overloard, and newness all around. I will be in Stockholm for 2 and a half weeks more, before I go back home to Norway, so this is a bit like my .. Halfway through my stay kind of update.

I have to say, it absolutely shocked me how welcomed I was at Paradox. Everyone I’ve met and talked to have been friendly to me, helped me out and taken care of me, and I could hardly ask for more. I have made some experiences I probably shouldn’t have had to learn, and I have done things I probably shouldn’t have. But that is all a part of the learning that is new jobs, specially one like these.

I feel like I am finally starting to fit in, and starting to find my spot on the team and in the development of the next expansion for Crusader Kings 2. I am super excited to see how things progress from here on out.

And finally .. Now that everything has settled down, I think I am ready to start writing down my thoughts once more, pack them into a ball and throw them at the Internet. Who knows, maybe something will stick in the long run!

Whats in a Game?

Games are hard to define. Really, really hard to define. What is the common elements in a game between kids, a video game and a board game? A lot of ludologists has tried to define it, in my honest opinion to no avail. To play a game just seems to come really natural to humans, and we don’t need a proper definition to understand it.

Definitions aside though, that isn’t the focus of this blog post, but rather a little bit more of a positive rambling about the future of games and the medium. In many ways, gaming is still in the early stages, unlike other huge entertainment mediums. Stories are several millennia old, going all the way back to the Bronze Age. So does the music industry. The film industry has been around since the start of the previous century. They’ve all had a lot of time to grow into their possibilities, whereas gaming has been around since the 70’s, hugely popular since the 90’s.


To bring it back to the headline, what is in a game? If you asked people to tell you about a game, you would probably be told about Mario, or Candy Crush, or another famous hit. But lately we’ve seen the medium expand in so many ways.

  • You have Journey who brought an emotional yet somewhat simple story to the forefront. Simple graphics, no way of communicating to your potential ally, yet a strong experience to everyone I’ve talked to who have played the game.
  • Amnesia turned the horror genre on it’s head by removing weaponry and combat entirely, forcing the player to hide and get away from the monsters. Taking a quick check at youtube over Amnesia reactions proves how wildly effective this was.
  • AR and VR has been making headway into our lives, AR with games like Pokemon Go, and several big names publishing VR headsets. Though Pokemon Go can be criticized for a lot of things, it was undeniably popular and well known. To the point where I could even talk to my parents about it, two people who haven’t touched a game since the early 2000’s.
  • Undertale launched in 2015 as an indie success, an RPG where you could befriend the monsters instead of fighting them. In fact, killing the monsters would forever tarnish your Undertale experience after finishing the game, tainting every future playthrough as the game remembers your brutality.
  • Farmville, a game few gamers would admit they are playing actively. Yet it brought millions of “casuals” into Facebook to fix their farm daily. For weeks, months, years.
  • And finally, Minecraft. If you had asked an investor if they wanted to support an indie game where you made stuff with mega-pixelated blocks, chances are they wouldn’t fund or support you. But that didn’t stop “Notch” from making the insanely popular Minecraft. Huge massive recreations of whatever you can imagine, be it the Mines of Moria (from Lord of the Rings) or King’s Landing (from Game of Thrones).

All of these examples are pretty different, yet they all have one thing in common. They popularized a huge change in how we play our games. Be it a narrative shift, a gameplay shift or just a completely new thing we haven’t seen before, they all brought something to the forefront.

New ideas and thoughts are brought into the game industry every day. Yes, we see the fifth Uncharted game or the god-knows-what-number Call of Duty game be released, but among them we also see the Limbo or TowerFall. They do something different, or something old yet fun. Be it an improvement of something old, or something entirely new, the game industry is still growing up in many ways, and I think people in general should be happy about that.

With every new addition to the game industry, it will be forever harder to define what a game really is. How would you, considering it can be everything from a board game, to running around in the woods pretending you are a gnome, to wearing a virtual reality headset and see worlds one could only imagine until recently. But to all the consumers out there, that is only a good thing, and I think they will have a lot of experiences to look forward to, that all of us can only begin to imagine.

You know, when we aren’t talking about lootboxes, Destiny 2 scandals, overpriced DLCs or the messed up faces of Andromeda. Specially that last one.

New Blog

I used to have an older blog, but I thought I’d have a fresh start.

I’ll try to write down my thoughts on game design, game products and the likes as they pop up, and hopefully relatively regularly. I am not really used to writing blogs as I wasn’t using my previous one much, so I hope I’ll quickly improve and get used to it.

Wish me luck!