In part 1 I started introducing the game developers in Norway starting with Bergen. So far I’ve mentioned Rain (keep an eye out for them at GDC – they’ll be at the Nordic Game stand), D-Pad Studios, Henchman & Goon and Turbo Tape Games. I still have a few more I’d like to mention:
This is pretty much a one-man band named Petter Sundnes. I’ve had the privilege of working with Petter on a few potential projects and I enjoy his visions and game developing skills. We’ve also worked with students together and he’s an excellent and patient teacher while introducing Unity (I’ve even started dabbling with it). His game mechanic skills are excellent, creativity top notch and management skills are great. I hope to work more with him in the future and is my number one choice to bring along for meetings with potential new clients.
Read more about Mentalfish here.
Vostopia is slightly outside Bergen in beautiful Voss. Vostopia’s founding father is Bjarne Rene who has the most impressive game developing CV that I’ve seen around here. I keep describing him as a person with gravitas, by this I mean he is a man with experience and connections and we all value his opinion greatly. But he’s also a genuinely nice and fun guy who’s very willing to share and contribute to building a sustainable game developing industry in Norway. Here’s a little profile piece from our local paper, BT (again – in Norwegian): http://lisa.bt.no/btmultimedia/prosjekt/vestlendingen/#story_13
Vostopia offers avatars or avatar systems for game developers. They’re very versatile and fun and I think it’s a very smart business idea. Are you creating a game in Unity I would definitely recommend having a look. Here’s their demo reel:
As game developers do, they’re also making games. Among them the awesome Wingsuit Challenge. They’ve also currently relased Quiztopia which has quickly become my favourite iPhone game (although I always play with the sound off – the music can be rather annoying). It’s a great trivia game that you play in rounds among your friends. I’m hooked and I hope that several more of my friends will become so too – sadly only in Norwegian so far.
Some concluding thoughts on Bergen
Before I go on to the last Bergen company, which will also function as a segway into another district – let me just write some very few thoughts as a conclusion of what’s happening in Bergen.
I feel that the developing community in Bergen is in a very unique position. We have success stories and maturity, we have some games being released soon that have great commercial potential and at the same time we have the energy and vigour of youth from newly educated students and students – of course! I find this a unique mix where we can learn from each other and constantly inspire. In my opinion the perfect recipe for innovative and thriving developing community.
We only have one representative living in Bergen, Ricki Sickenger, whom I adore. Yet another game developer who has experience that he is more than willing to share. Case in point, this one hour interview with our studentradio where Ricki shares the trials and turbulations behind Darkfall: podcast link.
The fabulous Henning Ludvigsen and Natascha Röösli are also a part of BadgerPunch which I’m going to use as a perfect segway to one of my favourite companies in Norway: Rock Pocket Games in Tønsberg, which I will leave for the start of part 3. But please make sure to meet them at GDC – they’ll be at a Unity stand somewhere.