Last week I went to Stockholm from Malmö, delivering a first batch off stuff to my new apartment. New job starts on Monday the 15th, and I’m really excited! I had the chance to attend Mojang’s housewarming party and mingle with some of the most awesome game developers in Sweden.
This week I flew to Stockholm, staying just for a day, meeting up with some old palls and new contacts. I must say I was very excited when Mojang’s community manager Lydia Winters invited me on Twitter, to the office for a cup of coffee. Meeting with her was such a nice experience! She really is the same lovely, smart and talented Lydia as on Twitter. It’s not often people turn out to be the same IRL. Many ppl create an alter ego online that possesses all those characteristics they wished they had in real life, but not Lydia.
So I had a quick cup of coffee (or glass of juice for me since my stomach was still rioting after the flight), and I must say it was so sweet to meet old friends such as Tobias and Johan (also hired by Mojang now)! We went to school together, and they are both very bright and fascinating gentlemen.
But the coolest moment was when I opened the door to the office and an unknown family behind me tried to look over my shoulder to get a sneak peek of the Mojang office. It turned out they had traveled all the way from Israel, to see the place where Minecraft was made! The young gentleman in the Israeli family got to take a photo with one of the Minecraft devs “Jeb”. I have never ever seen anyone that starstruck, he almost fainted! His mouth was moving, but he could not make a sound, and his eyes were almost popping out of the sockets. It’s amazing he got to meet his big idol, and I’m sure he will remember that moment for the rest of his life. My previous boss at Junebud, Ola Holmdahl, was the lead designer for Battlefield 1942, and sometimes when he mentions this fact to developers at game conferences, they react a bit like this young Israeli kid. But they usually like to shake his hand and thank him for making such a great game (then they want to talk war stories from inside the game). All in all, it’s amazing to be part of something that actually means something to people, that changes them, that makes them have fun and connects with other humans.
It’s important to have someone to look up to, when you are young. To have some sort of role model, someone who inspires you and brings out the best in you. It can be your mum, your cousin, a teacher, a singer or a game developer. I admired Bono from U2 when I was a teen. And if I got to choose, I think he is still one of the most inspirational people I know. One day I would love to sit down with him and have a beer, talk about the world, and how strange place it really is.
Celebrated my birthday this week! Can’t really tell you much except it was one of my best birthdays ever! Got this awesome hand painted portrait from my dear friend David. He made one Mass Effect themed and a plain one. I was so happy to get them, it really made my day!
Speaking of something more serious: the game studio behind “Prototype”, Radical Entertainment, is shutting down. Makes me sad, I really enjoyed Prototype 1 and was going to buy the newly released squeal. Haven’t really got around to do it yet since my 360 is kinda old and I know it could get RROD at any time. That + I don’t really want to spend my vacation indoors…
Had a quick lunch today while in Stockholm (yes, feels like I’m traveling 24/7 while on vacation). Met with Henrik who’s a game designer at Easy Studios. Back in the days he and some other game developers I knew at Uni worked at a mod called “Decadence“. It made me happy to hear he liked it at Easy now and learned plenty of new things. I was always sure the the gays & gals behind Decadence would get hired after Uni. They were all talented, friendly and motivated. Today they work at Paradox, Mojang and Starbreeze (to mention some of the places). Hopefully I will be able to catch up on more about what’s going on in Henriks life in July when I go back to Stockholm again!