Tag Archives: Paradox North

Thank you!

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Went to this awesome Japanese place with my friend Anders tonight. We just walked along the streets of Stockholm until we found something tasty looking!  They had the best restroom ever!

Yesterday I had some beers with my game dev geek friends over at Easy! We ended up at Imperiet’s club and I randomly met with an old friend who then slept on my sofa because of hassle with his hotel room. I’m really gonna miss all the nice folk at Easy! It’s possible to see Easy’s offices from where we are sitting at Pdx N, and sometimes I shoot photos of them hanging out on their balcony and send it to my friends over there, just to creep them out haha!

Today was sadly my last day with the amazing team at Paradox North. I’ve been spending this week finishing the last metrics reports for “Salem- The Crafting MMO” & “Magicka: Wizards of The Square Tablet” and documenting metrics/telemetry work. It was a lot of sad moments when I said goodbye to the team members this afternoon, one by one when they went home. Almost all of the crew are taking tomorrow off, but I guess I’m gonna drop in to say thanks & goodbye to the rest of Paradox! I really had an amazing run at Paradox, gonna miss this place a lot! I wish the guys & gals the very best!

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This long, hand written letter from my friend and previous co-worker at Junebud made me speechless : O

Ever since I told my friends and followers  I’m gonna move back to Malmö I have just gotten so much warm, loving, exciting feedback, messages and emails. I’m totally overwhelmed and so happy! Thank you all for beliving in me, it means a lot. I got an amazing handwritten letter from a former Junebud Crew member (featuring a bag of Danish licorice!!11), when I finished reading it I just sat silently on my bed with my mouth open : O

Some friends have contacted me with suggestions for new job openings, one of them invited me to this year’s Nordic Game Conference (!), another one offered his programming skills if I ever want to make a quick n’ dirty indie project (to make sure “I wasn’t leaving the industry” haha), and others have invited me to upcoming release parties this summer. Not to forget the trip to the secret location together with Mojang next week! I don’t know what to do, I feel like the happiest person in the world. I never knew I had so many friends and lovely people caring this much about me. Thank you, you guys rock!

A lot of my fellow geeks seem to be afraid I might leave this industry, but I can assure you I don’t plan on doing so. I just miss Malmö and I need a break. I don’t think there’s any other industry like this. Where you mix art, math, music, storytelling, management, psychology and data like this. Where people love their teams and pour so much passion into their everyday job. It’s possible to travel all over the world, to hang out with nice peers at fancy conferences, to grab a beer at each other’s studios, to create something that makes the world a better place, to entertain people and make them laugh, cheer, cry or just have an awesome time while playing something you actually helped to build. I love it. Not one day is identical to the other and since things are moving so fast there’s always something to learn, something new going on. I’m so happy I get to be a part of this! I really feel like I’m living the dream <3

This said I finally feel like I’m ready to replace some of my broken dreams with new ones. It’s not work related, but I feel like there’s so much nice stuff going on right now, and I feel I just wanna go with the flow.

I’m Leaving Paradox And Stockholm

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I’ll be keeping this tee as a fond memory!

This week will sadly be my last working for Paradox North. It’s been seven awesome months since I moved to Stockholm from Malmö, and in two weeks I’m about to move back, to the South end of Sweden. This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m gonna miss my team and all the friends I’ve made in this town  so much. I could never have guessed that this town, known to be a bit cold both when it comes to the climate and the people, would teach me so much about compassion, friendship and team spirit! People have let me sleep on their sofas like it’s the most natural thing in the world, when it takes me two hours to get home after watching a movie. In Stockholm (and maybe in other big cities as well), you need to think of the city as a prolonged living room. Seeing friends over a lunch is better then not seeing them at all, when you live in different parts of the town or have a long way to work.

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Mojang’s house warming party in fall of 2012. Had plenty of super nice parties here in Stockholm < 3

The reason I choose to quit this super exciting job and move to Malmö, are more than one. Stockholm is indeed a very beautiful town, my job has been awesome and I got some super cool friends to hang out with. But I feel that all those things can’t really make up for the gut feeling that I’m not really gonna be happy if I stay here for a long time. I was lucky enough to find a room to rent for these seven months, but I now feel like I need to get my own place, and I really don’t have any money to buy an apartment, which you almost need to do if you want to find a place to stay here. There is an enormous shortage of apartments, and since I’m not filthy rich I know that if I even get a flat in the first place, I’m gonna need to spend much time on the metro, which I dislike a lot. I already spend something like 6-7 hours a week in the underground. I love Malmö because you can ride your bike or walk almost anywhere you wanna go. Also, the weather here is a bit cold and too dark. I was born and raised four hours from Stockholm, on an island in the ocean called Åland, and I always imagined myself living somewhere warmer with more sun. By moving to Malmö, 600 km South, I get at least little bit less of the snow and cold each year, which makes me happy panda! Some day I might even move to a country that has no snow at all!

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Our view at the 24rd floor at Paradox North : D

I know all of the above might sound a bit negative, but there are a lot of good things happening in Stockholm, especially if you make games! I do not regret one bit I made the move to come here and work this winter, and I’m very happy Paradox gave me a chance. The XP I gained is totally worth it. Paradox is one of the best places I ever worked at, and I really believe that Wizard Wars is going to be a fun game when it’s released. I had the best team and I once again feel like making games and being a part of this special industry is what I want to do. After the bankruptcy of Junebud I felt a bit disillusioned and lost in 2012.

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My hood here in Stockholm. Beautiful and a bit cold.

I don’t have a new job in Malmö waiting for me, and honestly I’m a bit afraid of the future. Afraid and excited. People have asked me what I’m gonna do now, and I have some plans. Mostly taking time off to recover after the whole “oh you might have a brain tumor thing” I experienced this spring. I made a bucket list while waiting for the answer from the doctors, and I want to make some of my dreams come true. I realized what is important in life. Maybe go to China with my Chinese friend Cecilia, paint & draw and buy my own sub surface camera and snap photos of fish in the sea. I don’t know. Time will tell.

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Team building with the Paradox North crew. Gonna miss these guys!

Anyways, my dear friend Johan who works at Mojang, making Minecraft asked me if I want to join him and his crew for a surprise trip next week. Hell yes! So I guess I’m gonna start things by going to a secret location together with a bunch cool people for 72 hours, and that’s not too bad!

My Games Yo!

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The secret is out! Last week Paradox North finally announced the game “Magicka: Wizard Wars” at Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco! I’m finally able to talk about why Paradox hired me in the first place, haha! I might have been all over the place at Paradox, involved in the overall metrics pipelines of the company, but this is actually the project John pitched to me back in August/September 2012.

M:WW is a super intense action pvp game, based on the original Magicka game developed by Arrowhead and published by Paradox Interactive, back in 2011. Wizard Wars is not really a MOBA game like League of Legends or DotaA. It’s a bit more like a beat em’ up, taking advantage of Magickas advanced spell system and chaotic friendly fire. If you ever played Magicka you know the basic gameplay is a fun toy in itself, combining 10 elements of nature. I think there’s something like 1123 possible combinations in the original game. Ever since Magicka was released fans have been complaining about the lack of a stable PvP experience, and I’m pretty sure this is exactly what those players are waiting for!

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The epic announcement trailer for Wizard Wars! If you like Game of Thrones you are in for a treat. Click the picture to start the video.

The game is developed by the internal Paradox studio Paradox North, and published by Paradox Interactive. We playtest the game daily and I have so much fun playing it! It’s really the best time each day, when the whole team gather around to kick some ass in teams of 4 on 4 team fights. So far I’ve been playing for 60 hours, and I still find new ways to play the game. It’s very easy to pick up, but I sense this game is going to attract some very hardcore gamers, that kind who like to grind Street Fighter for years or play LoL professionally.

Speaking of Magicka-related stuff and what I do for a living when I’m not drawing or derping, Paradox and Ludosity just released the tablet game “Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet“! The game scored 90 on Metacritic after its first 4 reviews, which is amazing! I think It’s my first Metacritic rated game ever since I did some QA on Puzzlegeddon for Pieces Interactive in 2009.

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Gameplay trailer for the all new “Magicka: Wizards of The Square Tablet”! Click to start the video!

Wizards of The Square Tablet is a bit of a milestone for me personally. It’s the first game where I’ve been part of the metrics process all the way. I got to have a say in what game specific metrics should be tracked, to make sure the standard protocol that applies to all Paradox games was implemented, test the pipeline, involve QA in the process, beta, the launch of the game and finally construct SQL queries and write a report about the data for the producers. It really struck me yesterday, I do games for a living…!

I know not even my close friends really seem to get what it is that I do for a living. I have done some community management, but I mainly focus on game data. That is I collect data from games and reality check how players really play the game. I usually say I do “reverse engineered game design”. It started when I was the in-game shop manager for the MMO “MilMo”. I tried to find out what items the players seem to like, and at the same time Zynga’s Facebook games arrived to the scene and game data became the big thing. But this is another story, haha!

Paradox Studios: Three Months Later

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Stockholm as seen from the 24th floor, where Paradox North got it’s office. It’s early morning and ice-cold winter. You can see the “warm” sea water generating a soft gentle mist, rolling over the shores in the distance.

It’s been roughly three months since I packed my bags and moved from Malmö to Stockholm, to start my new job as a data analyst and community manager at Paradox North. So far I’ve been working with two unannounced projects and three other projects that’s already live; Salem-the crafting mmo, Magicka and some stuff for the coming brawler The Showdown Effect.

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It’s got to be one of the best jobs ever, getting paid to have a snow fight dressed as wizards from Magicka!

Stockholm may be a cold city, and I get tired of unfriendly strangers pushing me around on the metro, but the Paradox Studio is a great place to work! Short story to clear up some confusion: Paradox is Sweden’s biggest game publisher. Incorporated in the studio are:

1. Paradox Interactive is the publishing part of Paradox. They work together with skilled teams of game developers to publish new titles. They published games like Magicka and Mount & Blade.

2. Paradox Development Studio, that create their own classic hardcore strategy games in-house, such as Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron.

3. Paradox North is my base. It’s a fairly new studio based in the same office as development studio and interactive. We are up to something very exciting, but I can’t really tell you any details at the moment.

4. Paradox South is the name of a content creating art studio based in Skövde (the same place where I studied game development during my time at university).

Paradox is growing like mad at the moment. A few years ago they were just about 30 people, and today we are something like 80+ employees, it’s amazing! The company pays my gym-card and provides me with a stand up desk as well. I really wish more video game  companies would display such an interest to help the staff maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve learned so much since I started working at Paradox. My closest boss John H is damn smart and has a way of asking me to explain exactly what I’m doing. This way I find obvious flaws in my way of thinking and solving problems. He is the studio manager of North and his partner in crime is David N. David is an experienced industry veteran that always adds positive energy to the team! I feel so humbled to be part of the team, learning new things each day! All in all PN is something like 15-20 people, and we are still searching for more talent if you know any skilled programmers [jobs here].

The reason I don’t talk that much about what I’m actually doing all day at Paradox is that I find it very very sensitive. I work mostly with user created data and how to improve the games based on data that we track and analyze. It’s like game design reverse engineering. I might measure the steps in a mandatory tutorial for a game, trying to find out where players struggle to move forward, or how many players that ever return after starting the game for the very first time. I work both with our own data system and Steam. I believe it’s important that the players know the data we track is made anonymous and treated with respect. The end goal is always to make the game a better experience, to find hidden bugs and help developers understand how people use their game.

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At Paradox not only the wizards have board game nights, a lot of the employees do too! Photo from Magicka’s official FB-page.

Apart from this I do some community management like posting photos and events on Facebook, manage twitters and organize multiplayer events. My job at Paradox is a more advanced version of many of the things I did at Junebud. The main difference so far is that I work much more on the technical side, closely with the backend and database programmers. Right now I’m learning how to construct SQL-queries and how data packages should be organized, how to filter data and how to think when working with big quantities of data (we are talking millions of millions of text strings here). I’m grateful I got very friendly and smart people that are willing to answer my 10 000 dumb questions all the time <3

I’m happy to work at Paradox, but I really wish Paradox could open an office in Malmö since I love that town. There was a gang rape near where I live in Stockholm, in this small suburb, so I don’t do those midnight walks anymore :/ It’s a bit disturbing to think somewhere in these hoods there are five rapists hiding, hoping they won’t get discovered.

Related posts: Five Weeks Later

Working 9-5

Hello there!

Paradox offices, Christmas is on the way!

In da club!

Joakim and GustF from Coffee Stain Studios.

Winterrrrr! My desk.

Lunch with developers from DICE, Paradox, Avalanche, Mojang and Easy!

Sometimes there’s kids visiting around at work, someone brought the kids with them for one reason or another (and we are all fine with that). It strikes me they must have a hard time thinking we are actually working…there’s Legos everywhere, plastic nerf guns on the desks, posters of movies and we have video games on our screens. Colorful miniatures of anime characters, stacked board games and some Guitar Hero guitars laying in a corner…

Went to a game developer beer two weeks ago. Had a great night, many of my friends attended, so nice catching up. I miss you guys :/

Five Weeks Later

Just a normal desk decoration!

A storm on the horizon. My view!

Christmas party at Paradox’s main office this weekend. Our CEO Fredik Wester held a great speech and said “To some people it might look as if we are hiring random strangers off the streets, but that’s not true. We are just growing so fast it might be hard for some people to keep track of all the new faces. It’s really exciting times right now!”. Paradox has been growing very fast the past two years, I’m very happy I get to be a part of the ride!

Every Friday we have “Fancy Friday” at work. The developers put on some nice clothes. A guy even dressed up like a gentleman and had one of those gentlemen’s walking sticks. The had made the Alien head in 3D, then sent it to a 3D printer company! Pretty impressing!

Stockholm at 05 pm, already dark. Beautiful but cold!

It’s been five weeks now since I started at Paradox North, working with community management and metrics analytics. I can’t talk much about the games I’m working on, but I can tell you I’m involved in Magicka and Salem among others. My position is very interesting and a bit challenging, since I’m working with a lot of projects at the same time, but my base is set in Paradox North and their upcoming new project. I’m a company wide resource so to speak.

Salem is a crafting mmo, a big social experiment. It was the game that made me interested in working for Paradox in the first place. I was hoping to put my experiences of working with an mmo to a good use. Salem is a sandbox game about the pilgrims settling in a new world. Each server is an open world, and the players can change the world by modifying it, craft tons of items, explore the nature and make their own rules and society. There are really no rules set by the developers, it’s up to the players to make their own. Death is permanent, and if you die you make a new avatar and that avatar is considered a “grandchild” of your old avatar, inheriting the lands of the old avatar.

Players gather in gangs and help each other out, they defend property or destroy other people’s stuff. Sounds kinda harsh, but I think the possibilities of everything that can happen in a game like this, is just so exciting! We are giving away free beta keys each day at this site (click here), if you want to try it out : D Salem is developed together with a company called Seatribe, creators of Heaven & Hearth. It says on their site they “specialize in permadeath & forum drama“.

I’s a bit confusing, but the studio I’m working for, Paradox North, is a studio within the great Paradox studio itself. Paradox consist of Paradox Interactive with all the producers handling external contacts with games they are publishing. Then there’s Paradox Development Studio that craft their own strategy games, working together with Paradox Interactive. We have an office in New York as well, where our marketing has it’s hq. The name “Paradox” is mostly associated with publishing of strategy games, but today the company also make their own games and sell both digital and physical copies. Paradox South is a content studio based in Skövde, focusing on art. Paradox North (my studio), is located in the same building as Paradox Interactive & Development Studio in Stockholm. We’re a studio making a new secret project. When I can, I will tell you more about the game in the making. All of the studios and departments are working together and share some resources and locations.

This weekend I’m gonna spend drawing and reading my copy of “Creative Illustration” written by the great artist Andrew Loomis, just relaxing and sleeping as much as possible. It’s been a long week and I need to stress down.

Paradox North

Swag from Easy Studios & Paradox!

The sun is going down on Stockholm. Beautiful but cold city. Feels exciting but a bit weird to actually be living in Sweden’s capital now.

Release party for War of The Roses two weeks ago. Photo by @TanvirMansur. Paradox is a big publisher and developer of games in Stockholm, most known for strategy games.

On my way to the Paradox party. Colored my hair before moving from Malmö.

Anything can happen when you work at the 23rd floor!

Hi guys, I know it’s been a while since my last update here. Real life is taking a lot of (well deserved) energy and attention right now. Not only am I starting a new job and getting to know a new team, but I have also moved 450 kms to a new city and battling a broken computer and some health issues.

After Junebud went bankrupt during August I landed a job at Paradox in Stockholm, starting two weeks ago. Paradox is a big publisher of games, and also develops their own games. They’re Sweden’s 4th biggest game company and it’s very exciting to be working for such a big studio! I’m working for Paradox North, a small studio within Paradox itself. Paradox is made up of Paradox Interactive, Paradox Development Studio, Paradox North & South, all in all employing something like 70-80 people!

The company is mostly know for real time strategy games, but has also published games like Magicka and is now working on the crafting mmo Salem together with Seatribe (to mention one ongoing project). I’ll be working on a mix of several games, putting the skills I learned at Junebud to good use. Most of all it feels really good to be back in the game again, doing something that matters!