In the head of a designer – #ZoinkDay 3

Today we’re talking to Emil who’s the Game Designer for Zombie Vikings.

Hi Emil! Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Hello, my name is Emil Nilsson, I’m 24 years old and come from the bog-filled parts of western Sweden, mostly wolves live there now. I spend much of my time making games and thinking about games, but sometimes when I’m feeling extra adventurous I also play in a band and try doing some amateur theatre.


So, tell us something new and exciting about Zombie Vikings!

Last week I threw the interns vomiting head into a bunch of unsuspecting vikings stupid faces and it spectacularly bounced back onto his body, reviving him and pissing of the vikings. It was a Tuesday.

What is your role in the development of Zombie Vikings?

I’m the game designer on the game, which mostly means that it’s my job to make sure that the game is fun and does not explode in your face when you do the wrong thing. We usually encourage things exploding – but only when we want them too! I build a lot of levels, create special moves for the players and make sure enemies are relatively smart.

What is your inspiration for the game? Is it inspired by zombie movies in any way?

Growing up in Sweden you learn at an early age that viking mythology is cool, and if you’re like me you also had a fascination with zombies and beat ‘em ups. Growing older you still love the things you grew up with, but it’s also easier to poke fun at them and find new appreciation in what they actually are. To me Zombie Vikings in many ways reflect those feelings.


In the trailer we saw a lot of crazy characters, how do you come up with new ideas?

Since my job is coming up with abilities for the characters, my inspiration mostly comes from playing a lot of games. Take an ability that you enjoyed from one context and put in in another context and it becomes completely different. It is also important to look at your game and ask yourself – “What do you want to see this character do?”.

You just recorded some development videos, how was it like to be in front of the camera?

A lot less terrifying than I imagined it to be once you actually sat there. No nightmares, just enough adrenaline to be exciting and enough cameras to make you feel important.

Do you have plans for any DLC to Zombie Vikings?

We have a few new characters we would like to give a shot. And personally I would like to create a giant zombie tower filled with challenge rooms. All the best games have challenge rooms.


What are the biggest challenges working as a game designer?

A lot of being a game designer is being intuitive. You have to be intuitive in understanding what is wrong with the game without knowing the code, you have to act as a translator to what everybody is thinking, including the player, and based upon that make decisions that you think will end up being the best for the game and for the player. I don’t trust my gut at all and neither should you.

Good luck with everything! 😀

Thank you! 😀