I am a versatile game maker with a broad skill set. A jack of all trades. My primary focus is game design, conceptualisation and prototyping.
A 2D ragdoll physics based fight-until-a-player-surrender game for two players. The game was developed over 48 hours for the PlayOFF 2018 game jam at Odense Film Festival.
The theme of the game jam was "standhaftig", Danish for steadfast. Inspired by the resilience of The Black Knight in Monty Python's The Holy Grail, we decided to make a fighting game that can only be lost if one chooses to surrender. Throughout the fight the steadfast knights will keep insulting each other with taunts appropriate to the state of the game.
Responsibilities: Game design, art, animation, programming.
HeadStrong, gameplay video.
The Human Machine, playful phishing tool.
A playful phising tool developed over 48 hours at the PETSKATJAM in autumn 2016. The game took first place in the jam.
The Human Machine was a provoking take on a social engineering / phishing awareness game. The Human Machine was intended as a web service that helped the players creating various assets for non-malicious phishing.
Responsibilities: Concept design, game design, front-end design.
Rubot controlled via Processing and Arduino.
An evolutionary beer-pong robot project i participated in, in the spring of 2017.
In this project we developed a beer pong robot that via a genetic algorithm evolved and developed its shots. Rubot was meant as a co-player. The human co-player to Rubot evaluated and rated the robots shots. The rating functioned as the fitness condition used in the genetic algortihm of Rubot.
Rubot was purposely built cheap and made to work slow and imprecise to raise co-players empathy towards the robot and create a playful attitude towards it.
Rubot presentation video.
The genetic algorithm and the user rating input program was developed in Processing and the robot was controlled using Arduino.
Responsibilities: Robot design and implementation, Genetic algorithm design and implementation, Design and implementation of GUI.
GUI for Rubot. Shoot, rate and disable cups that has been hit.
Pizza Wave VR, being creative with the sausages.
Pizza creating and frisbeeing game! Where you battle waves of orders that need to be made with the correct ingredients, then baked and thrown to the correct table. Won 2nd Most Hilarious Game at GGJ CPH. Developed in Unity3D for HTC Vive.
Responsibilities: Game design, 3D models and textures, sound and music design and implementation.
Rat Kid Dog Fight, Pokémon like battle screen
A game design project i co-founded and participated in, in autumn 2017. The game was developed for mobile devices in Unity3D.
The game was made to investigate ethics and player reactions towards video games. The game raises the questions whether the player wants to pursue a dog fighting career or remain a poor boy in the slum of Mexico City. Throughout the game the player is faced with different moral dilemmas. These serves the purpose of telling another side of the story of dog fighting and why some people might engage in it.
In Rat Kid Dog Fight, we played with the perception of agency and how lack of perceived agency can be used creatively to convey meaning through emotions. Our play testers emotional reactions was far stronger than anticipated, despite the cheap visuals.
Responsibilities: Game design, GUI design and implementation. Narrative and writing.
Various screenshots of the game
The UNTERGANG logo
In the beginning of the spring semester 2017 i successfully pitched the idea of UNTERGANG to be selected as one of the Game Development course projects.
Pitch: Govern a city with ultimate surpreme political power! Enact laws and blame your friends! UNTERGANG is four-player co-located mobile multiplayer game, where you are tasked to rule a city towards its inevitable downfall.
UNTERGANG is a hidden information game, where the players both have to cooperate and compete to avoid being the dictator that contributes the most to the downfall of the city. The tone of the game is satirical and absurd. The hook of the game is that players can enact laws but they cannot reject laws. This creates a snowball effect that will inevitably lead to the downfall of the city. The game is a light satire on modern politics.
The start screen of UNTERGANG
Responsibilities: Game design, GUI design and implementation. Narrative and writing. Networking.
Title screen as encountered in a playthrough of the game
The Game World Design project I participated in in the spring of 2017.
The game is a spin off of norse mythology and is set in an underground environment during ragnarok. In the role of the mythological creature Jordhugg, the player explores a cave environment filled with ancient relics and neon glowing plants and mushrooms. On the journey towards the bottom of the cave the player will learn about the origin of Jordhugg and his purpose through environmental storytelling.
"The origin of Jordhugg" runestone as encountered in the game
3D extrution of 2d sprites
The game is implemented in 3D using hand drawn 2d sprites. The camera is fixed on rails, similar to 2.5D games. The sprites are extruded in-engine to create depth and shadows.
Responsibilities: Game world design // Scripting // Rigging and animation
The playing field.
What is a sport? What makes a sport different from other games? How do you create a sport? The answers to these undeniably ambiguous questions were the foundation to what became the Stick Around sport prototype. In this essay I will not try to answer these question by arguing for a formalised definition of what a sport is. Instead i will try to describe how Stick Around relates to sports.
Stick Around is a team based sport that requires a great deal of cooperation. Both teams are defending and attacking simultaneously. The basic winning condition of the game is to retrieve the opposing team’s stick to your home base. A play through of a single game typically takes a couple of minutes if not less. Hence the pace of the gameplay is very similar to that of handball. This leads me to the first concern regarding the implementation of Stick Around’. We did not implement a match goal. Naturally for ’Stick Around’ to be attractive as a spectated game there has to be a match goal witch can extend the duration of the game. In handball a match takes 60 minutes and the team that has scored the most points win. A similar system could be implemented into Stick Around to make it more sporty. What is good about Stick Around is that it easily affords a match goal and you can imagine that different kind of match goals can be implemented. Instead of being time based the game could just end whenever a team has reached a set number of points similar to badminton or volleyball. The different kind of match goals affords different play styles. In time based games defensive strategies can be used to stall the game. In football you often see teams going out aggressively to a start to get their first point. If they get that point they often choose to change to a more defensive strategy because a 1-0 victory basically is as good as any victory. A point based match goal may afford a much more aggressive strategies during the entire game because such a strategy often will get the team to faster meet the match goal. In Stick Around’s current state I think it is hard to determine the match goal that suits the game the best. The game is already really fast paced and aggressive. A time based match goal may give the different teams the time they need to find the strategies that suits them best, and may afford different play styles during the duration of the match similar to football.
The pitch of Stick Around has a rather odd shape compared to regular field based sports. The field is rectangular like many other sports fields the difference is that the direction of play happens diagonally across the triangle. In opposite corners of the rectangle is the team’s home bases. The other diagonal acts as the borderline between either team’s half of the playing field. What is interesting about playing with this kind of field is that the oddly distributed play space makes it either easier or harder to defend and attack depending on where you are on the field. Because of the large space between the two team half’s of the play field it is easy to penetrate the opposing team’s defence however the closer you get to their home base the less space you have to make it out again. And opposite if you are to make it back with the opposing team’s stick to your team’s half then the opposing team gets less and less space to try and catch you the further you get to your home base. I think this design lures the players into adapting a more aggressive play style because it is easy to see openings in the opposing team’s defence. The problem with Stick Around is that both teams are playing offence and defence at the same time. Unlike football, where the aggressor is the team controlling the ball, Stick Around does not have a single object object that can be used to score points. This means that there is no clear definition of who is attacking and who is not. The consequence of this kind of play is that the game can turn into a “stare down” where none of the teams wants to risk going on offence. Among other things the play field is designed to afford aggressive play style to make up for this problem.
The playing field projected onto a picture of people playing the game.
To prevent Stick Around from being an overly physical aggressive game we implemented a ribbon system similar to that found in flagfootball. Under the right circumstances a player can pull an opposing team’s player’s ribbon out and eliminate that player from the game. In Stick Around the ribbon is attached like a tail to each player. This means that as long as a player is facing his / her opponents that player is safe from being eliminated. This creates a very interesting play style where you have to move around the play field in a certain way always watching your back. I think the ribbon system is what makes the game most similar to other sports. In most other popular sports you are as player are handicapped in different ways. In ball based sports you can only use certain parts of your body to move the ball. In some of them you even have to use a device to move it, like tennis or badminton. This is what makes these sports skill based games. You have to learn to use the ball as a natural extension to your own body, hence eliminating the handicap. In Stick Around you have to learn how to move around with an Achilles heal attached to your back. The problem with the ribbons is that the players rarely are aware that it has been removed from their back. This makes them keep playing even though they have been eliminated. In game judges could maybe help solve that problem. My concern I though that the players may obscure the game before they become aware that a judge has taken them out. Unlike other sports Stick Around does not pause when a player is eliminated which makes the game very vulnerable to eliminated players, playing as if they were not eliminated.
Download documentation for the sport prototype. (166 MB)
Presentation + rules, Video, Essay as PDF
Stick Around is not a sport, at least not yet. It borrows elements from already popular sports and definitely has things that makes it applicable for a sport. One ofs our design requirements was to make a sport that could be played anywhere from a playground to a stadium. At its current state the game still has more of a playground game feel to it and further adjustments need to be made to turn it into a sport. The biggest concern as of right now is to implement a match goal that can help balance the game so that offence and defence play equally big roles in the game play.
How do you design a playground for adults? A quick google search reveals that the adult playground is an existing paradigm in modern architecture. Typically the adult playgrounds are open spaces constructed to afford physical activity. In these spaces there often is machines set up that can be used to exercise and climbing walls also implemented to exert a physical challenge to the adults. In our prototype we wanted to do something different. We looked at children playgrounds and discussed what kind of activities they afford beyond just physical exercise. What we ended up designing is something very different from the common adult playground. In the next paragraphs i will discuss how our design relates to playgrounds.
Overview of the playground layout.
Children’s playgrounds are open spaces typically involving different structures, like houses, towers, slides and sandboxes. Furthermore there often is different props scattered around the playground like balls, sticks, buckets and shovels. There are no rules in a playground, you can play in any way you like and use the structures and props however you see fit. The only rule on a playground is that you play. In Huizinga’s (1998) words you enter the ‘magic circle’ when you enter a playground. When children play they educate themselves for their future life. Children often does not have the same intimacy barrier as adults have and on a playground they play with each other unrestrained by their relationship to the other children. They fight, engage in competitions, play mom and dad etc. The only rule that prevents the playground from becoming a malicious mayhem is that the children are well aware that they play. If a kid feel that the play has gone too far, in other words that the ‘magic circle’ has been broken they can at any time exit the playground. My point is that a children’s playground is not interesting because the children can be physically active it is interesting because they are very social. I am convinced that the children learn a lot of their social skills on the playground. The play itself is a safe way to explore social interaction and the psychological barriers involved. The common adult playground does not involve play in the same way children’s playgrounds does. Whether that is the design of the playground or the mentality of the adults is hard to answer. But if the design does not afford social play it will likely never happen. A nice example of what can be perceived as an adult playground is night clubs. The adults attending the night club are well aware of the social interactions involved in such a place. However a night club is a very linear playground. The play is more or less dictated beforehand and there is not room for imaginative freedom from the attending adult’s side. What they do well is that they help adults engage in social relations in a somewhat safe environment. Everybody attending the night club know that there has to be space for social experimentation, that is the play.
Early concept art of the playground.
Our playground is designed to help adults play in a social context. We acknowledge that adults are much more restrained towards social interaction than children. Unlike the common adult playground we do not want to play along these restraints we want to challenge them and provide the tools necessary to play with other adults. In our playground we play a lot with the human sensory system. Basically we make it hard for the adults to navigate using their regular sensory system. The idea is that by handicapping the adults they have to learn to navigate in new ways. The best way to learn how to navigate is by playing with the other persons in the playground. The different rooms in the playground affords play where you have to use different senses. By depriving the adult’s senses and establishing a framework for new ways of communicating we ensure that all of the adults are on the same page, equally handicapped. To interact with the space they have to play with the other adults which in turn will establish social interaction. Our intention is not to make a playground where adults can romanticise. Our intention is to create a space where adults can play without risking losing their pride.
Our playground is designed as a tunnel system. The farther you go in the darker it gets. The idea is that you yourself can decide how far you want to go. Hopefully this can establish the necessary trust needed to experience the feeling of play. The dark setting obviously carries along undertones of terror. This is of course dangerous because we risk that people can panic in the midst of the playground. However sensory deprivation will always be uncomfortable. It is very similar to horror films. We are scared because we lose control but are equally relieved once it is all over and we realise that it was just a film. The same feeling of relief can be experienced in our playground when people start playing to overcome the terror. The unfortunate thing about a tunnel system is that it is hard to escape which most likely will have a negative impact on how the safety of the playground is perceived. Inside the tunnel there is different rooms that deprive and stimulate different senses. Unlike the regular playground these different activities are not played with in the same single space. This makes our playground more of an interactive exhibition than a regular playground.
Download documentation for the playground prototype. (4 MB)
Presentation, concept art, Essay as PDF
Huizinga, Johan (1998 ): Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture, London et. al.: Routledge, 1-27.
Red engages in a dual stand-off.
What happens when you start altering the rules of Ludo? In our case we ended up with something similar to a board game adaptation of a first-person shooter game. The original Ludo is very close to a game of pure chance. The gameplay itself is overly repetitive and requires less to no strategic level of thinking. Furthermore the game duration is fairly long compared to the challenge the gameplay has to offer the players. Still the game is very popular because it is easy to understand for children. The game loops are simple and all start with rolling a die. My postulate is that Ludo itself does not convey any enjoyable experiences in itself. What people enjoy with Ludo is the company of their co-players. The game requires almost no psychological effort, hence you can focus on enjoying the company you are within. We wanted to try and change Ludo to make it a game that could convey experiences in itself. In the next paragraphs I will discuss some of our design choices and how they have changed the play experience from the original Ludo.
The first thing we acknowledged with Ludo is that the pace of the game feels very slow. There are a couple of reasons for this but the most apparent is the entry restriction rule where a player has to hit a six before he can enter the game board. It feels as if this rule only has been implemented to prolong the duration of the game. We decided to remove the entry restriction and start with all four tokens in play. It dramatically increased the pace but the whole board is now filled different players tokens. The consequence is that you constantly eliminate other player’s tokens. In the original game the tokens will be set back to the team’s corner zones from where the tokens can be put back into play if you beat the entry restriction rule. We did not want that because that would slow down the game pace again. Naturally we would have to change another part of the original game, for the new design to work out.
We removed these features in the following order:
As can be seen from the overview a single change in the original game snowballed into many changes. There is really not much left from the original Ludo. In the next paragraph I will outline the final changes to the game, what they contribute to in terms of play experience and how our redesign of Ludo relates to the original.
The redesigned Ludo game board. Every player starts with four tokens in play. The coloured tunnels has been crossed, and diagonal movement over the centre has been allowed for.
*In this text I refer to alea, ilinx, mimicry and agon. I use them following Roger Caillois’ (1961) definition.
On top of the changes mentioned earlier we added a shooting mechanic with wild west themed aesthetics. The aesthetics is a nice way of introducing a level of mimicry to the game. By giving the players the ability to engage in a Mexican stand-off they are encouraged to mimic what happens on the game board. The interesting design choice here is that we acknowledge that even our re-design of Ludo is still very much a game of pure chance, albeit less than the original. By focusing on the mimicry aspect of game play we focus on making the game a pleasurable experience despite who is winning. The game becomes more about doing the cool moves and engaging in the most outrages revolver duels than playing safe for the win. This works well with an area game because it downplays the unfairness of such games. This makes the game a good candidate for a party game.
Download documentation for the Ludo redesign prototype. (12 MB)
Photos, Rules and thoughts, Essay as PDF
As mentioned earlier The original Ludo consists of some very basic game loops. Our re-design is not any different. The core loop of the game can be described as: move —> fight. Repeat this until you die. Where the game becomes interesting is in the fight loop. Depending on your token’s position relative to the opposing players tokens you can attack in different ways, stabbing, shooting or Mexican stand-off. Basically the way shooting works is that the players speed roll their die against each other. The first one to hit a six wins the fight and the other player’s token is eliminated. The experience of speed rolling is arguably playing with the feeling of vertigo or ilinx. The shooting becomes more of an embodied experience because the players naturally has to be as fast as possible to have the best chance of hitting a six first. It does not make the game less unfair but it adds to the mimicry of the game, it becomes silly yet entertaining. The game feels like the first time you encountered a first-person arena shooter with WASD and mouse controls. It was fun, hectic but impossible to play seriously, mainly because of disorientation and difficulties aiming. However unlike a first-person shooter the chances that you can get better at Ludo With Guns is low. Like the original Ludo, this is not a game of skill. The essential part of the control scheme is based on the eyes of the die. The rest of the gameplay is more or less a game of pure chance because the possibilities of playing with the outcome of the die are almost non-existent. What sets the games apart are the pace, the aesthetics and the competitiveness. In the original Ludo you rarely interact with each other, it is a race and however gets first wins. In Ludo With Guns it is all about player to player interaction.
Caillois, R., & Barash, M. (1961). Man, play, and games. University of Illinois Press.
The Glorious Battle on the Road to Valhalla(GBRV) is board game designed so that there can only be one loser. Basically the game is a race. The last player who has not reached the finishing line loses. The design challenge of making a viking game can be solved in many ways. In the classic card game ‘shithead’ the loser is the one who cannot empty his hand. In many hidden information board games the game can end up with only having one loser, but often these games can also end up having several losers depending on how the game ends. Many examples of games with only one loser are designed as race games. In other words, the last player to fulfil some kind of goal loses. In our prototype we have not tried to challenge the classic race game approach to viking games. We try to embrace it and make it fit to the aesthetic theme of our game and vice versa. As we discover in our prototype the viking game approach poses some challenges.
Overview of the gameboard. The vikings are roaming on the british isles.
The gameplay of GBRV is divided into to parts. The first being the part where you have to gather enough resources to be able to go to the ’Land of Fire’. The second part is when you have successfully migrated to ‘The Land of Fire’. Here you have to die in a glorious battle and go to Valhalla. Once you are in Valhalla you have not lost the game. If the game had not been designed as a viking game the game would probably have stopped once the first player had reached Valhalla. In our game the play proceeds for the remaining players in the game. The bad thing about this design is that the first player to reach Valhalla has to wait for the other players to finish the game. We have tried in our design to account for this by making the second part of the game both a safe haven and an interactive affair to keep the players engaged in the game. The implementation is far from perfect, but the idea works well for this kind of game. We want to keep the viking game approach for reasons I will explain later, but we also want to keep the not losing players engaged until the game has found its loser.
The green viking has gone to 'The Land of Fire' and is thus very close to not losing the game.
It is a great challenge to keep the not losing player engaged in the game. To design a space where the player can operate without feeling a loss of agency and still not having him / her impact the game in a way that makes the other players feeling obscured by his / her presence. So why not just skip the viking game approach? In the case of our game only having one loser changes how you strategically play the game. If the game is played with only one winner, the natural strategy for the players will be to prey on the player with the most resources. This can create a dynamic where the game can stall because no one gets to have enough resources to reach Valhalla. The players resource distribution will most likely be very flat because no one wants to be the hunted. In the other scenario with only one loser, the players will likely be less concerned about the resource distribution and play more free and risky, simply because the risk of losing is lower. Furthermore it creates a deeper kind of gameplay where the relations between the players change throughout the game. When only two players are left in play the risk of losing is high hence the competitive feeling will rise. This makes the play experience more dynamic compared to the alternative.
The dynamic gameplay experience fits well with the viking aesthetics implemented in our prototype. In the beginning of the game we want the barbaric nature of the Vikings to flourish. The players should be encouraged to take a lot of risks and play freely. The intended experience is to get a feeling of going berserk and fighting against all odds. Of course there has to be benefits of having more resources than you counterparts hence fighting against all odds does not grant you extra power but the viking game approach creates room for that kind of game play. As the number of players narrows in the tactic, strategic, more careful gameplay will prove to be the best way of progressing in the game. This is an important experience to have, or else the resource management system may feel as being redundant. Even though the game has a great amount of alea to it, we have tried to balance it so that you actually have an advantage if you carry more axes than your counterparts.
Download documentation for the Viking game prototype. (11 MB)
Photos, Rules, Pitch, Game session, Essay as PDF
What later came to be the COVER BLOWN! application logo.
The goal of COVER BLOWN!(CB) is to create a play experience where the players will feel how nerve wracking it is to cooperate in an environment where every other player potentially tries to play against you. We want the players to feel stress, mistrust and anxiety. Our believe is that once these negative feelings are relieved they will feel an equal satisfaction. We try to achieve conveying these feelings by making the players engage in discussion where their arguments are based on fragile individual information. The greatest challenge of the game design is to make the players feel a sense of control and that they can play logically while at the same time provide the information chaos necessary for the players to constantly doubt each others intentions. In the next paragraphs I will describe how we designed our core loops to afford these play experiences.
In CB four players have five rounds of three minutes to find the right combination of a single murder weapon and a single murder suspect out of 9 and 10 possible respectively. One of the players are assigned the role of ‘corrupt cop’ who’s goal is to make sure that the other players does not find the right combination. The greatest task of the game design is to make the game afford cooperation and doubt of the other players intentions at the same time. We designed a very basic loop where the players get individual information and based on their information they have to take a joint decision on what combination of suspect and weapon they believe has been involved in the murder. Based on their combination the players will get public feedback on how close their combination is to the right combination. Encompassing the loop is the ability to shoot another player at any given time. To understand how the loop works I will break it into fragments and argue for our choice of design.
The individual information is fragile in the sense that the players can not prove their information to the other players. If for example player 1 gets information about the murder weapons he / she is told that one or two of the murder weapons were not involved in the murder. The player is told once and has no physical proof of his / her information. He / she can only hope that his co-players will believe in his claim. However the information stream is designed so that players from time to time will get identical information. This is very important for the play experience of cooperation. When two players has got some identical information they can establish some trust towards each other. Hardly ever will the players get enough identical information to confirm each players claims, this is important to keep the mistrust alive. Furthermore it makes room for lying which is an essential part of the game. It is easy to lie about the information without getting caught in your false claims. With this in mind the players will constantly doubt each others intentions and only occasionally can they trust what other players are saying.
The joint decision are important for two reasons. The first being that it forces the players to find common ground. This means that they can only proceed if they talk about what they want to do. This ensures that the players will use their information, or at least pretend that they know something about the suspects and weapons. This makes it very difficult for players to play individually. The other reason is that the result of the joint decision - whether or not their combination is right or partly right - is publicly announced. This is the only real trustworthy information in the game. This makes the joint decisions an invaluable tool when trying to get a clear picture of the information mess. Hence the joint decision is a very important decision to make. From the players get their individual information they have three minutes to make their joint decision. If they do not make the decision in time they lose the opportunity to get valuable information. The importance of the joint decision coupled with the time pressure makes the discussion about the joint decision a very stressful experience.
The game can end in three ways. Either a player is shot, the time in the last round runs out or the right combination of murder weapon and suspect is picked in a joint decision. The game can be played without the shooting mechanic, but due to the experience it adds to the game I consider it a core element of the game. The game is very hard to win by pure deduction. Often players will end up having a wealth of options for their last joint decision which makes the odds of finding the right combination very low. In CB it is very likely that a single player has enough individual information to be almost certain who the corrupt cop is, but because of the fragile information design the player will most likely not be able to proof his claims to the other players. Hence he / she can choose to shoot the player he / she believe is the corrupt cop. If the player fails the corrupt cop wins and vice versa. Knowing that other players at any time can shoot you makes the anxiety of saying something that might sound suspicious very high. The anxiety helps heightening the tension of the game. Furthermore the players can use their gun to threaten the other players in stressful situations. The gun becomes a tool players can use when negotiating with each other. We encourage the players to use the gun by making a gun-finger gesture and point at the players they want to shoot or threaten. This creates an embodiment which is very pleasurable. The big consequence of pulling the trigger - the game ends - makes people hesitant to actually shoot. Pulling the trigger is a big decision which is very stressful to make however the reward of running the risk can be great.
Early concept drawing of the physical assets.
Early concept sketch of the game loop
Download documentation for the COVER BLOWN! prototype. (0.1 MB)
Concept drawing, Essay as PDF
The loops of CB is very hard to spell out because the game affords very free play. The enforcement of rules and the feedback provided by the system is low. One can say that both acquiring information, taking a joint decision and shooting are three small loops in themselves. However they often intertwine. Predicting how the players exactly use the game mechanics, in what order and when they discuss what is hard to determine beforehand. We have designed a framework that encourages discussion and bluffing. We have provided the tools necessary to make sense, at least partly, of the information chaos. How they are used are up to the players.
Lego Lone Ranger Tomahawk
Made for Cape Copenhagen in 2013 as part of an internship from January 2013 - August 2013.
Responsibilities: Sound design, effects, music and foley for game and promo videos.
Promo videos for Lego Lone Ranger Tomahawk Game
Lego Mindstorms: Fix the Factory
Made for Cape Copenhagen in 2013 as part of an internship from January 2013 - August 2013.
Responsibilities: Sound effects and implementation of sounds.
Lego Duplo Trains
Made for Cape Copenhagen in 2013 as part of an internship from January 2013 - August 2013.
Responsibilities: Sound effects.