Thank You For Playing

Amateur game design for the technically impaired

Posts Tagged ‘nifflas

Interview with Nicklas “Nifflas” Nygren – Creator of Knytt Stories and Within a Deep Forest

with 2 comments

knytt-small2.jpgAnyone who has read just about any one of our posts knows that we’re big Nifflas fans, so it was a great honor when he agreed to be interviewed. I won’t bog you down with a bunch of blah blah blah, since you’re obviously here to see what Nifflas has to say, but it is tempting. I could rant for paragraphs about this; however, I guess I’ll just go with the following.

 

Thank you, Nifflas, for participating, and thank you, visitors, for reading.

 

“It actually took me around 7 years to realize I should keep my projects small.”

 

Nicklas Nygren was born in 1983 in Gävle, Sweden. Today he lives in Umeå, working with the intellectually handicapped at a newspaper. His game portfolio includes Knytt Stories and Within a Deep Forest.

 

You’ve done a wide range of work for your projects, including visual and audio art, besides the general design and engine creation. Is that a result of the difficulty of finding other people or are you just passionate about the entire gamut of game creation? Do you find it easier or more difficult to bring in outsider help as you become more well known?

 

It’s pretty easy to find help as long as you can convince people that you will actually finish your game. The thing is just that I like the graphics and music creation process so much that I want to do a lot of it myself. However, as you can see in the credits list of all my games, I’ve got tons of help as well.

 

About how much time do you spend working through the different aspects of game creation? How much time do you spend, for example, on level design as compared to the visual art?

 

The different aspects are very closely connected to me, when I do all those things in a rather random way. I often create graphics at the same time as designing the level by jumping back and fourth between Photoshop and the level editor. The same goes for music as well. By this reason, it’s quite hard for me to estimate how much time I spend for each thing, but I guess I spend more or less an equal amount of time on each thing.

 

Is there some overarching philosophy you follow when designing games? Something to guide you as you create?

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Written by justindopiriak

March 26, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Knytt Stories Level Editor

with 7 comments

Knytt SideNifflas is a brilliant level designer. While others have noted the influence he’s drawn from Metroid, the experience for me is far more reminiscent of Riven: the Sequel to Myst. While Within a Deep Forest depended more heavily on skill than anything in the Knytt collection, both offer intricate worlds to explore and learn, which start off unknowably vast and actually seem to shrink as new areas open up. The confusing collections of boundaries and obstacles steadily transform from distractions into landmarks as the player expands the arsenal of abilities and brings each image into perspective.

It’s because of this brilliance that I’m confused about the inclusion of a level editor in the release. The effort is, of course, appreciated, but I’m quite apprehensive. With no abilities available in the editor that do not already appear in the pack-in adventure, The Machine, there is little to do besides alter the audio-visual style and craft a new Knytt world; however, the custom worlds (even the official ones) come across as remixes of the original adventure more than anything else.

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Written by justindopiriak

March 10, 2008 at 8:06 am