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Funcom | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 05/20/08)  | Pub:Eidos Interactive
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Funcom: Developer Profile - Per Storløkkenn

Every month, the folks from Funcom provide us with a new developer profile Q&A, telling us just a little bit more about the people behind Age of Conan. This time around, it's Per Storløkkenn, a Gameplay Designer.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us a little about your childhood. How did school and where you live influence your choice to join the video game community?

Per Storløkken:

Tell us a little about your childhood. How did school and where you live influence your choice to join the video game community?

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MMORPG.com:

Can you remember your first video game? How often did you play, what other games had an influence on you?

Per Storløkkenn:

One of the first games I remember playing repeatedly was a Space Invaders clone on the VIC-20 that I think was called Battlefield. I also remember playing the first Donkey Kong on a handheld. I never played a lot when I was young, that came later.

There isn’t one game that has influenced me a lot; there are rather many games that each has influenced me a little. However, when I started gaming “for real” two of the games that I spent the most time on were QuakeWorld: TeamFortress and Ultima Online - they both represent the type of game I prefer. They both gave me (to some degree unintentionally) a lot of freedom as a player. In QW:TF the unintentional gameplay made the game; it’s a fact of life that rocket jumps, grenade jumps, and triple pipe jumps are fun!

 
MMORPG.com:

Besides games what other influences brought you into your career? Whether it is books, movies, or artwork everyone has different tastes, tell us about yours.

Per Storløkken:

I used to do Pen and Paper role-playing, both as a player and a GM. I believe I learned as much, if not more, about how to make content from playing role-playing games as from playing video games. You get very fast and direct feedback on whether your players are having fun, or if they are bored, when they sit across the table from you.

 
MMORPG.com:

What was your first job in games? What other games have you worked on?

Per Storløkken:

My first job in games was as a World Builder on Anarchy Online. I’ve also worked on a couple of smaller projects that never saw release.

 
MMORPG.com:

What is your job at Funcom? How did you get your foot in the door?

Per Storløkken:

My job now is as a Gameplay Designer on the level 60-80 strike team on AoC. I’m responsible for an outdoor playfield, a group dungeon, and most of our raid content. As for getting my foot in the door I guess I did a good enough job on AO to be worth hiring again for this project.

The first time I was hired went something like this: I applied for the job, made a sample level, and got an interview - that went really, really bad. Then they hired me. I still haven’t figured that one out.

 
MMORPG.com:

Take us through a typical day of work on Funcom while working on Age of Conan, what is it like when you show up at the office?

Per Storløkken:

It’s usually very quiet as I’m one of the first people to arrive. I get a cup of coffee, sit down and prioritize my tasks to see what I need to do that day. From there it’s usually the good old “implement, test, change, meeting, test, fix, test” cycle.

 
MMORPG.com:

Are there any friends or family who had a major impact on your career or chasing dreams that you’d like to talk about, do they play games?

Per Storløkken:

I have a second cousin I like to give some of the blame. It was his VIC-20 I mentioned earlier; he probably affected my choice of Computer Engineering over Electrical Engineering as well. Quake was released during my second year, at which point several computer labs turned into small LAN parties in the evening. Eventually we started playing around with level editors and I discovered: “hey, I could be pretty good at this, let’s see if I can get someone to pay me for it.” And someone did.

 
MMORPG.com:

The video game industry continues to grow very quickly. What are your hopes for games in the future?

Per Storløkkenn:

Like most other players I’d of course like the industry to move in a direction that will create more interesting games for me personally. As a developer I’d like to see more diversity and new types of games. To get there I think the industry has to move in a direction where more parts can be commoditized. It will reduce the cost of making small and medium sized games, and we’ll see more developers willing to explore new types of games and gameplay.

 
MMORPG.com:

How have things been progressing with Age of Conan? Have you enjoyed working on such a strong IP as Conan?

Per Storløkken:

One of the possible problems when you’re working with a strong IP is that it ends up sitting on your shoulder dictating what you can and can’t do. This hasn’t been a problem with Conan – with the possible exception of Conan having already killed most of the notable villains from lore at least once. It feels more like I’m working within the limits of Howard’s imagination rather than within the limits of the stories he managed to write before he died. There are many stories about Conan that have yet to be written, and I happen to work on one of them.

 
MMORPG.com:

Is there anything you would like to write to the readers of MMORPG.com that we have not spoken about?

Per Storløkken:

It’s important to broaden your horizon. I’ve found that many of the most useful things I apply to my work on a daily basis had nothing to do with games when I learned them. And remember: All good raids start with a wipe.

 

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