About Me

aboutme_photoHello :-) On this page I will talk about me, myself and I. At length. To the point where you  will get bored and go back to looking at the cool stuff instead :D

My name is Mattias Gustavsson, I’m 33 years old (when I’m writing this in november -07, and I probably won’t remember to update this, so you need to look what year you have when reading this and adjust accordingly :P ) and I live in Hudiksvall (the place where I was born, yay) in Sweden with my wife Tanja.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved games, really loved games in all shapes and forms. Well, not like sports and stuff (yuck) or gambling (eeoow), but everything from boardgames to roleplaying games to video games. I started making computer games at the age of 10, at first at a friends house on his Commodore Vic20, but later on my very own Commodore 64 (well, I say very own, but technically my younger brother owned half of it. I let him play Bubble Bobble once in a while, and he seemed happy enough with that :-)

I spent years messing around on with computers, games and programming, without a real goal, just having fun. I was involved with the “demo scene” for many years, doing little graphical demos for the amusement of myself and my friends. It was great years, and I learned a lot.

It wasn’t until the year 1999 I got my first job in the games industry. Before that, I used to work with programming for bank software, cash machines, fund management and things like that. Wasn’t really my thing though :-) I’ve been working with games every since, and it’s sure had its up and downs. The games industry can be rough, but I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else. It’s been a big learning experience, and I now feel I have a pretty good idea of how to take a game from a rough idea to a nicely finished product :-)

Further down on this page I’ve included screenshots from all the released games I’ve worked on. I say released games, because for every game you work on which gets finished, there’s at least one which is dropped before it sees the light of day. It kind of sucks when it happens, but not every idea works, and sometimes all you can do is cut your losses. I won’t bore you with lots of details about the games I’ve worked on; it’s not relly relevant anyway, but feel free to ask me about it if there’s anything you’d like to know :-)

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So it’s getting close to a decade as a professional developer for me, and I feel it is time to really get some games of my very own done. At the moment, I work as a contractor, and I have the luxury of working from my home office, which is great :D We’ve taken the bigger bedroom in the flat we’re renting, and turned that into my office. But the best thing is the view, I can just look up from my screen and there’s the sea, in all its glory. I love the sea :-)

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Right, so what sort of games can you expect from me? Well, obviously it will be a wide variety of game types and themes, but they will be based on things I like and find interesting… The Fantasy setting will always have a place in my heart… but not the dark, moody kind of fantasy, but warm, bright and with a bit of a fairytale twist. Or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, that’s the style I like. Super heroes is another theme I’ll be indulging in. Expect classic capes and spandex stuff :-) I also like horror themes set in the 20th century, Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu comes to mind.

The aspect I really want to explore in all my games though is what I call “procedural content generation”. By that, I mean that I want a significant portion of what you encounter in the game to be generated by the game, not by me. I find this fascinating as it has the potential of giving the player a new game experience every time he or she plays the game. There’s no fixed story or pre-built environments; the game generates things as you go along. I hope to make the games fun enough to play that this means you can play them over and over and over again, without getting bored. My goal is that I should be able to play the game myself and enjoy it, even after months of development (which is surprisingly unusual in the games industry!)

I expect that it will take me some time to achieve this to the level I aim for though. The first game will have generated dungeons, and generated rooms, but that’s pretty much going to be it for the first one. Rest assured though that I do not intend to stop there. I have plenty of ideas I want to try out, and I’m sure some will work, and some will not. I’d love to talk about this, and hear your opinions and ideas on it, so do drop by the forums and speak your mind :-)

Here’s some screenshots from all the games I’ve worked on which has been released to the public (I’ve worked on a bunch of others as well, which were never revealed, so I can’t show anything from them). I didn’t make these all by myself of course, but I was part of the team, as a programmer or lead programmer, and with some of them I had some input on design as well :-)

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