Oskar Burman from Rovio and Tommy Palm, who just left King.com, talks about what it takes to be a game developer, and what they will be looking for when reading the applications for their new game development accelerator, Stugan.
Nordic Game Bits was fortunate enough to be able to ask a couple of questions to two of the biggest personalities in the Swedish games industry. The opportunity arose in connection with the official opening of their new accelerator program, Stugan, which opened up for applications earlier today.
Oskar Burman is the leader of the Swedish branch of Finnish mobile powerhouse and Angry Birds creator, Rovio, while Tommy Palm is both a serial entrepreneur, co-creator of one of the biggest mobile hits ever, King.com’s Candy Crush Saga, and part of the newly founded VR game studio, Resolution games.
Nordic Game Bits: You are both best known for the huge commercial success of your games and companies. Will you also be looking for a similar commercial potential when selecting candidates for Stugan, or will you also be selecting participants based on more artistic criteria?
Tommy Palm: We are looking for innovation and passion. Stugan has no real commercial demands, on the contrary the time spent at Stugan, where you do not have to think about money for food and lodging, gives some freedom to dare to take risks you would not normally do.
Oskar Burman: We will look at the applicants from both angles, and try to get a good mix of projects in the cabin. But I also don’t think one thing necessarily excludes the other. I’m hoping to see artistic games finding great commercial success coming out of Stugan!
Nordic Game Bits: In your opinion, what is the most important skill for anyone trying to become a successful game developer?
Tommy Palm: A good balance between passion and cooperation. Few individuals are multitalented enough to do everything in a game themselves. (Markus Persson and Lucas Pope aside). The rest of us must be good at teamwork in order to achieve a great end product.
Oskar Burman: It’s hard to single out just one thing, you need a lot to build great games. But if I must pick something, it’s stamina, not giving up. If you believe in an idea, you need to keep pushing for that to be realised. In this business you’ll run into so many different expected and unexpected obstacles on the way, and theres plenty of times you just want to give up and start working at Mc Donalds or hide under a rock. Keep fighting!
Nordic Game Bits: Why did you choose to become a part of the Stugan Programme?
Tommy Palm: I love the idea of Stugan and have always found my own inspiration in the meeting of other great minds. The game industry has been very rewarding to me personally and this is one way to give back a little bit.
Oskar Burman: Stugan has been a pet idea for me for years. Being part of this industry in Sweden for twenty years, I wanted to find a way to give back to new sprawling teams, because that’s where I, and many other of the sponsors, come from. It’s great to have Stugan finally on the way to be realized, with such a perfect link back to the heritage of the first Swedish computer game released commercially.