Jory Prum – a champion in the Norwegian gamedev community

On April 23rd we got the sad news that our dear friend and best “sound guy”, Jory Prum, had passed away after a motorcycle accident a few weeks before. He had been slowly recovering and we were hopeful that he would soon be with us again complaining about a tiresome recovery period. It was therefore a painful shock to many of us and I, for one, have been crying in many public spaces since then.

Jory had an enormous influence on the Norwegian game development community.  Not only did 12238036_461610137361671_2300017370915052368_ohe work on the sound for many of the games but he was also an essential team player of our sales force. We don’t actually have an official Norwegian game sales force, if we did, Jory probably would have led it. Jory understood the importance of networking and communication. He has played a vital role in placing Norwegian game developers on the map in several ways: by introductions to his vast and rock star network, by carrying around and distributing pamphlets on Norwegian games at GDC, by making sure to invite his amazing network to our conferences and events, by giving talks at our schools, by giving talks at Norwegian gamedev events, by giving talks at events that have nothing to do with game development, by naturally taking on the mentorship role for both students and first-time game developers and by constantly rolling his eyes and shaking his head at the Norwegian reluctance for selling ourselves.

But without a doubt he was a champion of sound and he was brilliant at reminding us how essential good sound is in game development. He fought for sound to be taken seriously in both budgets and planning and it infuriated him when it was suggested that students could do sound for games for free, that there was no need to pay professionals to do it.  Jory was a champion for real professionalism and can take a good deal of the credit that so many of our game studios are running successful companies and churning out top quality games.

Here are some of the Norwegian games that Jory worked on:

For me, personally, he seems to have been a larger part of my life than I thought. He was with me when I bought the computer that I’m typing this on (and warned me that I would regret not getting more memory – which I, of course, do), he graced Konsoll with his presence twice, he had faith in the work I’ve been doing and I was privileged to know a good deal about the project he was working on .

It’s unbelievable that he is gone and left this deep void.





Konsoll 2015

Yes! Of course we’re doing a Konsoll 2015! This year I am so far behind on everything … hence this post is way too late!


We’re growing into a conference that I’m extremely proud of! We’re inviting speakers back that we love and it genuinely feels like we’re forming a special family.

It will be exciting this year, I promise!

So please join us on the 29th and 30th of October.

New Kickstarter from Norway

My good friends at Antagonist are in the middle of their Kickstarter campaign and you should definitely support them!
It’s a promising game with many very specific nordic features like art inspired by Kittelsen and Hertervig. The nature of and the forest seem to be extremely Norwegian as well as the folklore and mythology that’s put into the game.  But nothing is more Norwegian than these guys with their lumberjack beards and Norwegian sweaters.

Skjermbilde 2015-05-27 19.30.35

They’re a determined group of developers and I believe in them. I believe that they will reach far! I love that audio is such a core game mechanic for their game and it seems they’re trying out some good new ways of thinking about narrative in games. What’s not to love?

They’ve also received some love from the Norwegian game developing community, which says a lot about them. So much love, in fact that a new hashtag was born #ThroughTheBeards. Please join us!!



TEDx Bergen

I asked to talk at TEDxBergen months ago but it took me ages to figure out what it was I wanted to talk about – so little room to practice + I was promised a timer on stage – but suddenly realised that there wasn’t one when I needed it!  It’s such an honour to be asked … I hope I get another TEDx chance someday!

My favourite was Jill Walker Rettberg talking about wearables and data! So interesting and well presented!

Some late thoughts on “It takes too much time to make female characters”-discussion – part 1

A few weeks ago there was an amazing internet uproar because of Ubisoft’s claims that it would take too much time to create a female character in their upcoming Assassins Creed Unity. It really was the most pathetic comment that was indeed doomed to be ridiculed and disputed. And thank goodness for that! I’m so pleased that we’re at a place in the industry where we can stop and say “Wait a minute … what? That doesn’t sound right!”. I’m also so pleased that so many male developers are getting involved in the discussion. What depressed me was some of the comments that followed. And I know that I should never read the comments – but my heart just sank. 

The Norwegian game dev scene has so often touched me and given me hope that there is no need to fight on the barricades and shout anymore. I’ve had an amazing conversation with a game developer on female protagonists and how interesting complicated female characters such as Anna Karenina would be in a game. One company embraced their transgender team mate with open arms and another made sure to have females represented in their gaming inspiration presentation without making a big fuss about it. I adore some of these guys and I believe them to be true artists who have the capacity to challenge their minds to thinking differently, outside their own worlds and into the hearts of so many others. 

So perhaps I had been too smitten by this younger,  more independent generation of game developers, that I was temporarily was blinded and forgot my responsibility as an grown woman to watch out for sexist attitudes. So – for the record – here’s some of my responses to some of the comments I’ve been hearing about the issue. 

1) “I don’t want to be told what to create just because women are feeling left out! Let them create their own games!”

This comment annoys me on so many levels, I suppose mostly because it makes me feel guilty about not becoming a game developer myself – just to prove a point. Luckily we have so many wonderful women developing games, not just for their gender but for the mainstream gaming market. Like Brenda Romero, Kim Swift, Anna Marsh and so many more! It’s not about that.

I’m not saying that you – working on your very first game with a team of three should be forced to create female protagonists in your game – it would be nice if you did – but I’m not going to come knocking on your door if you don’t. I’m a big believer that all artists should start with what they know. 

But for a series like Assassins Creed – with 7 hits under their belt and rather large teams working on different areas – HELL YEAH, I expect them to consider female characters. And it really doesn’t take a genious to figure out that something else is going on when one representative says that it would be too time consuming to create a female character and an earlier AC-artist calls them out on the comment being bullshit. And yes … when you’re a series that has sold over 73 million copies – too f’ing right, I expect them to have diversity in their games. 

And urgh … Assassins Creed has already done this which made it kinda hurt some more. Ubisoft have later revealed that Unity, although having a cooperative multiplayer function, there’s still only one character you can play. 

As artists I feel that game developers have a responsibility to challenge their own world view. I expect you to think of more ways to express your story than through a white male. I swear – we really do want it. 

I have no idea if this is true but I sometimes get the impression that someone out there (perhaps marketing departments, which is my world) is telling game developers that gamers don’t want female characters, or any diversity what so ever. Which has to be bullshit – I refuse to believe this!

I remember being rather confused about some of the marketing for Tomb Raider: Reborn which portrayed a completely different Lara Croft than I experienced while playing it. Lots of the advertising was about sex, when the creators made an amazing female character that I respected and felt proud to play. There seemed to be a mis-match between the creators and marketing strategy which was terribly sad. Although, googling through some of the advertising now – I can’t seem to trace back to any of it – was I just dreaming?). 


Observations from the Norwegian game industry

As I’m figuring out what my official thoughts on what we should be doing in Norway to make the industry in Norway grow – I thought I’d use this blog of mine to brainstorm publicly about some of the impressions and thoughts I’ve had along the way. I’m still working through them, so please feel free to share your opinions, thoughts and insight.

The state of Norway

There are 99 companies in Norway working on game development with less than 400 employees. In other words we have a lot of indies with about 4 to 5 people. Norway has one large studio, Funcom, which has moved most of its production to Montreal. Other than that our studios are small and function either as start-ups or as a side company for a larger advertising or tech agency.

That said, there are about 10 independent game studios that have been doing rather well for many years. Most of these have found additional income through “work for hire” from different industries such as education, advertising and, of course, oil. I don’t have official numbers to back me up, but I think the oil industry in Norway gobbles up the best minds in Norway within programming. Understandably so, as it is one of Norway’s top industries next to shipping. They have money, security and prestige. I’m an oil brat myself – so I’m definitely not complaining.

But Norway isn’t very good at the entertainment industry. I feel extremely guilty and unpatriotic towards my country writing that, I mean, we did produce The Fox after all! We have an amazing government that funds the arts and we’re so lucky that they recognise computer games as a culture industry and game developers will in 2014 receive record support of € 3 million. I’m certain that this is more generous than many other countries and we are indeed very lucky. But it’s not nearly enough to build a commercial and sustainable industry. We need to start taking the culture industries seriously and we need to invest in creating a commercial industry that can pay and invest in itself.

And the time is now. If ever there was a time for independent game studios to blossom it is now and Norway has a lot of wonderful talent. We have struck gold talent wise, now all we need to learn is how to polish and make it shine. And also mine it responsibly to sell globally so we can invest in more mining to cultivate more gold. I’m not certain I feel comfortable with the mining analogy – but you get what I mean, we need to think sustainability while selling and growing.

So I’ve spent the last couple of months looking into what other countries do. I’ve had a dream job these last few months, acting dumb and soaking in as much information as I possibly can about the game industry. I have a severe handicap as I’ve never worked for the game industry – only studied it for many years. But luckily I have been so priveleged to meet companions on the way who have been more than willing to share their opinions, experience and outlook with me. Some have been negative and rude, but most have been absolutely lovely and just as idealistic as I am.



Center for game development in Norway

I’m extatically happy that we’ve received funding from The Norwegian Arts Council and Hordaland County Council for a pre-project that will be working towards building a

center for computer game development in Norway. I’ll be working on this full-time for the next months and I’m hoping to have a financial and business plan ready by summer.

This is gold for me! Getting paid to do something that I’m very passionate about – is just so wonderful.

So! Why a center for game development in Norway?

1) The game developing community is rather fragmented and with several rather small companies in Norway. We have about 70 companies working on game development in Norway, but most of them are rather small, consisting of one or three people full-time and probably even more part-time or down right volunteers. We in The Game Developers Guild of Norway want to build a network of all proffessionals working with game development so that we can learn from and help each other grow as an industry. If you are in crunch mode and need an extra programmer, illustrator, sound guy or similar, our network should be able to provide you with the connections needed.

2) When I tell people who aren’t working within the game developing community that Norway has over 70 companies working on computer games I’m faced with shock and bewilderment. Our center for game development will also function as an information office looking to promote and create awareness about what’s going on in Norway. There’s a lot of beautiful games coming out of Norway these days – and we want to make sure that everyone in Norway knows how awesome they are, and as many as possible abroad.

3) Because most of our companies are rather small, most also only have a very tiny marketing budget. Our center will be supplying game developers with our network of journalists, publishers, distributors a.s.o. When a Norwegian game developer is going to GDC, for example, then we will do our best to arrange meetings with relevant companies for them.

4) I forget

5) Workshops. We want to provide game developers with workshops within their field. So giving them advanced skills within their field. We also want to work closely with the education institutions and increase the game development courses in Norway. We also want to work closely with diverse research institutes.

Picture on my iPhone at l33t by Gunvor Rasmussen: Caption in Norwegian says "Let's go build a rocket" - given to me by Ina Remme, my favourite film producer.

Picture on my iPhone at l33t by Gunvor Rasmussen: Caption in Norwegian says “Let’s go build a rocket” – given to me by Ina Remme, my favourite film “game developer” to a professional and serious level. We see our skills needed in lots of innovative fields and we want to make sure that there’s a guarantee of excellence.

6) Build strong bridges between the game developing community and other industries. Our goal is to advance the occupation of “game developer” – making sure that all who “dabble” in game development use professionals to ensure a quality of excellence.

All of this may change in the course of the next few months however. ;)

Firstly I’m focused on getting representatives from all the game development districts in Norway together so we can look at our challenges and needs on a national level. At the same time – I’m looking for organisations that would be interested in collaboration – if you know of any – don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Actually – dear blog reader – I’m looking for similar centers around the world. Do you know of any? Please let me know! Either send me an e-mail at

linnsovig (a) or please comment on this post.

I’m really enjoying this work – I may actually be approaching so-called “happiness”! ;)

Re-mission 2

I recently had the privilege of giving a presentation on what games are, how they’ve IMG_0765grown to a serious medium and the potential of what games can bring to different forms of communication to a group of proffessionals in the health industry. The wonderful Ricki Sickenger from Sonat Consulting followed me to talk about the process of gamification. My main focus through the presentation was on gaming systems. True – the graphics within the industry have become “almost real” and truly beautiful but so has the system/game design. And I wanted to emphasize on this to point out that game developers should be involved early on in development processes and not brought in in the end with a simple note of “gamify this within 2 weeks”. At least I think I did – but this may also be the conclusion from the wonderful conversation we had after.

It gave me an opportunity to dip into some health games and I’m absolutely smitten with Re-mission 2 by HopeLab! I love this project! They put game developers together with kids who are going through cancer treatments to make games that are absolutely joyful and so much fun. The games helped kids visualize what their bodies are going through and understand what all the painful treatments were fighting. I love this idea! First of all just using kids that are already going through this to help create games must be such a great program in itself. Second of all – the games are gleefully great! They made me giggle.

I wanna do something like this in Norway! Who’s with me and where do we start?

Skjermbilde 2013-09-15 kl. 4.50.18 PM


I’m so extremely proud that we’ve successfully managed to put together a game conference in Bergen again this year!

#konsoll13 will be in Bergen 3rd and 4th of October this year! For the observant readers you’ll recognise that this coincides with The Philosophy of Computer Games conference. Same city, same time and a wonderful opportunity for game academics and developers to co-exist in the same space.

This year I’ve received some wonderful help. Yngvill Hopen and John Edward Armstrong have put together a wonderful program with guests such as Ken Wong, Emmy Jonassen, Ernest Adams, Ole Andreas Jordet, Ragnar Tørnquist, Jory Prum, Dag Scheve, Nils Anderssen and our dear friends Alex Trowers and Luke Dicken. We’ll be having talks and workshops simultaneously.

Yngvill will also be this year’s Game Master. We had a great chat this weekend and I guarantee that you will enjoy!

We’ll be in an amazing house called “The Literary House”, which I love! It’s a beautiful place for cultural happenings in Bergen and I’m pleased to offer game developers something so aesthetically pleasing and warm as the back drop for celebrating their craft!

We’re also having a Dragon Den where game developers can pitch their projects to our

Dragons Den illustration by Øyvind Lien from Turbo Tape Games

Dragons Den illustration by Øyvind Lien from Turbo Tape Games

expert panel. We’re already filled up with game developers willing to fight the dragons and there are some suprises in the mix that make me so incredibly happy! I’m also very pleased with this year’s panel which is Alex Trowers, Ernest Adams, Helge Hannisdal (founder of Its Learning) and Tor Ole Rognaldsen representing the film and game fund, FUZZ. Dungeon Master this year will be Bjørn Alsterberg from BTO.

A huge thanks also to Morten Formo who’s designed our wonderful website and will be in charge of media!

There’s so much great stuff happening in Norway these days and you’ll be able to witness all of it by joinging us:

Something’s Brewing in Norway – part 1

Something’s Brewing in Norway – part 2

Something’s Brewing in Norway – part 3

I’m still short on funding though, so if you want your logo with our work – please let me know so that we can make this the best exprience! We offer the following packages:

1) € 1300 for logo on our webpage
2) € 1900 for logo on all our advertising material, screens and t-shirts.
3) € 2500 for all of the above and a stand with roll-up or whatever you wish for.


I’ve become really intrigued with sound lately. I had, quite honestly, given up on sound after having attended several lectures and awkward sound/noise concerts which made me come to the conclusion that this was an art form that I would never understand. But something shifted.

Just watch this AMAZING mini-documentary of basically a conversation between Björk and David Attenborough about sound, science, music and nature, while documenting the work and thoughts behind Björk’s Biophilia. It’s absolutely fascinating and well worth your time.

Wasn’t that just inspiring?

I adore the way she’s using technology and sound to explore or I would say “read” nature. My mind has been blown on so many levels. So I’ll just list some of them:

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