Saturday, December 12, 2009


Ah, the blog. February, seriously? I seldom have career-related things to write about, but I suppose I could give a little update. Much has happened, after all.

For one, I have been working for place called Balthazar as a teacher for kids age 12-14. I taught two groups, one week per group (during the summer holidays), the very basics in designing game ideas and then realizing them using the software Game Maker 7. It was very different from teaching university students, but also really interesting. The problems that kids have, and some of the ways that they think at that age, really turns things upside down for me as someone who has studied games and worked as a professional game developer. For one, it re-taught me one valuable thing that I've forgotten since I was a kid myself; when making games, don't forget to have fun, and most importantly - DO - don't think too much. My problem the last few years has been that I plan too much, weigh things over in order to find perfection, before I even do any production work. The result of this? I don't do anything at all. Instead, I should just sometimes have a small idea and let it grow as I MAKE it, in Game Maker, or Unity perhaps, or some other high level tool.

Since summer, I've started work at the University of Skövde as a research assistant. My goal is to create, using Flash and ActionScript 3, an application/game for teaching Japanese Kanji. I'm the programmer, and to some degree game designer, while my employer (or project leader) is the one who actually knows Kanji and Japanese. It's a somewhat straightforward job, and since I knew no Flash at all in the beginning of the project, it is one that is sure to let me develop my skills.

During this job, which is only half-time, I'm hoping to be able to start some own projects. Maybe i C# or maybe Unity. I have a dream that someday I get to make small games, myself or in a team of 2-3 people, and try to sell them digitally on portals such as Steam or Xbox Live Arcade. I'm not sure I fit into a massively huge corporation with hundreds of people, where the projects cost tens of millions and there is pressure from all sorts of investors. As an indie developer I'd have less safety perhaps, but I would have a much greater freedom to create what I want, and to experiment. I would know that I, myself, was responsible for it to succeed, and that I, myself, was controlling it. And now when digital distribution is fast, simple and (for both developer and consumer) quite cheap, there really is no need to be dependent on a huge middle-man other than to pour in money in advance.

Let's see how that goes. Other than that, and if I happen not to write any more in a while, I would like to wish you a Merry X-mas!