Category Archives: Game Design

Automated game testing

Something that is very cumbersome (and boring) to do for every developer out there is the software testing. To combat that, you usually develop a number of methods that helps you track down bugs, for example automatic bug-reports and unit-testing.

One of the more interesting ones is automated testing. For games, this usually means that you have a system that simulates the player and automatically generates input for it. For my latest project Hyena. I’ve had the rare opportunity to play around with an application where the controls are so basic that it was actually possible to write a system that played the whole game for me.

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Computergame + Human = Story

Yesterday I attended a lecture by Jonas Carlquist called “Datorspel + Människa = Berättelse” (Computergame + Human = Story). The lecture was mostly directed towards people who didn’t know that much about storytelling in games, but it was still very interesting to see everything from an academics point of view (also, he made a good impression on me by namedropping important games for storytelling like Deus Ex and Planescape Torment).

After thinking a bit about this lecture I though of some of the views I and my fellow designers at Starbreeze has had on how to tell stories in games. In the last couple of games we’ve made, storytelling has been extremely important.

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Interactive storytelling & dialogue

One of the hardest things to create in games is the interactive stories. It’s probably because that’s something that is very new for us. Before computers, the only stories you could call interactive or branching were the role-playing game-books such as Lone Wolf (which I remember foundly from my childhood). And even those stories are not much older than half a century. Even so, I wish interactive storytelling had evolved as so many other areas related to computers and computer games like graphics technology and AI has.

There are some interesting things going on the subject, though. Continue reading Interactive storytelling & dialogue


Having a great idea for a game is valuable. That goes without saying, but exactly how valuable is such an idea? I’ve become rather cynical on the subject after working a while in the games-industry. If 50 people work on one game for over two years, how many good ideas are thought up? And how many of those are needed for the next game? Even if you don’t have a team of 50 people or don’t plan to work on one project for that long, there is a good chance that you’ll come up with a bunch of ideas that could become great games; Ideas that never will be realized.

Cosmonaut is such an idea. Continue reading Cosmonaut


The Swedish game-magazine Level had a nice article about the relationship between art and games in their July 2007 issue. This article contained an interview with me about the game Rorschach, where I collaborated with Ida Rödén to make a small art-game. This game has been shown in a number of more “traditional” art-forums, for example at Umeå Konsthögskola and the M.A.D.E. festival. Art and games has always had a slightly weird relasionship and as usual opinions drift apart. Personally I see interactivity as the key word, and Rorschach tries to explore the interactivity of conversations; something that games in general have been pretty unsuccessful in.

Rorschach is now available for download and can be found at

Did you hear about this underappreciated game?

I just saw the first batch of reviews on Halo 3. That’s amazing. I never though they would score that great. On top of that Bioshock turned out to be incredibly as well. It’s a good time to be a gamer. While waiting to get my hands on Halo, I wanted to talk a bit about a game that’s close to my heart:

Pokémon. Yes, you heard me right, the Gotta catch’em all one. Continue reading Did you hear about this underappreciated game?

Bioshock and the life of an unreleased video game

Since I traveled with a few Irrational guys on my short trip through The New World, I got a chance to see Bioshock in quite some detail. This game has been in production in almost four years, which is a very long time for a video game. Now, I know how developing a game for a long time can be from a developer standpoint, but I’ve never spent much though on how the world’s perception of a game can evolve as well.

Continue reading Bioshock and the life of an unreleased video game