Blueberry Garden Spotlight

This time, we invite Erik Svedäng, who is working with the game Blueberry Garden for another spolight interview. Welcome Erik!

Q1 – Tell me about your game and what makes it unique. What is the vision that is driving the development? What is the objective of playing the game ?

Blueberry Garden is a game about a strange world full of life. You explore this world and interact with the creatures and plants who live there. I created the game because I wanted to experiment with the possibilities of storytelling solely through game play and interactivity. That means that there are no cut scenes or scripted sequences. Hopefully the game world will encourage the player to explore and experience his or her own adventure.

Q2 – Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what your specialities are?

I’m 21 years old and I’m studying Game Design at the University of Skövde. I have always made games but the last couple of years I have actually started to finish my projects. Game design is my strength but I also like drawing, programming and sound, so I make up a quite good solo game making team.

Q3 – You are working alone on the game, how is that working out?

It’s lonely but I had to do it that way this time – my vision of this game was too personal, I just couldn’t let anyone else touch it! But I really prefer working together with other people.

Q4 – How long have you been working with the game? What technologies and tools are you using? Have you encountered any hardships during the development?

I got the idea for the game in the spring of 2006 but the actual production started in January this year. I’m using XNA and a physics engine called Physics 2D .NET. My biggest problem is to make the game run fast enough, the simulation of the world is very unoptimized right now.

Q5 – Can you tell me more about how Blueberry Garden’s creatures and plants work ? Does the ecosystem play a big role in the gameplay or is it more of a feature thats there if you wish to explore it?

My goal has been to create a very tangible world where everything is working somehow like you would expect. That includes creatures and plants who live together in an ecosystem. How much the player have to interact with that is up to her – but it sure helps a lot.

Q6 – What’s your advice to other people competing in Swedish Game Awards?

Know the limits of yourself and the people you’re working with, then try to make the best game ever! Seriously.

Q7 – What are the top five games ever made? Have you been inspired by any of them?

Some of my favorite games are Shadow of the Colossus, Starcraft, Go (the board game), Worms and Super Mario Bros 3. I think you can see influences from most of those games in Blueberry Garden. I also have to mention Nifflas and his games Within a Deep Forest and Knytt, they really helped me gather the courage to do something where exploration and mood is more important than a well defined goal. The game is influenced by a lot of other things too, like music (Sagor & Swing, Detektivbyrån, among others) and the Swedish outdoors.

Q8 – If you got to bring one object into a never-ending loop, what would it be?

A never ending fridge.

Thank you for the interview!

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