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Ludosity games

From 2010 to early 2023, I worked at Ludosity making games as my day job. The core team slowly changed over the years, but usually contained around six people. Some folks have wondered about what games I've contributed to, so here's a list!

The credits are listed roughly in the order they appear in the game or manual. Some credits were simplified.

Bob Came In Pieces
  PC, 2010
Design: Joel Nyström, Björn Öjlert
Programming: Gustav Eriksson, Lasse Järvensivu
Graphics: Jerry Högnäs, Daniel Kaplan, Anton Nilsson
Sound and music: Christoffer Holmström
QA manager: Joacim Marklund

This game is only on the list on a technicality - I just made one of the VR levels, which resembles the first level from Hero. Bob is probably Ludosity's most owned game due to the fact that it's appeared in so many bundles and got a physical release in some countries, even if not everyone who owns it has actually played it. :p

Mama & Son: Clean House
  Xbox 360, 2010
Design: Joel Nyström, Daniel Remar, Daniel Kaplan
Programming: Stefan Hanna, Joel Nyström, Gustav Vidner
Graphics: Stefan Ribera Olsen, Jeff Jenkins
Music: HyperDuck Music Studios
SFX: Mårten Brüggeman
Voice: Martin Jonasson

This game was only available on the Xbox Live Indie Games service, and was mainly an upgrade of Really Shooter found in Scrap Pack 1. It had a series of levels and a simple boss at the end, featuring the same co-op gameplay as the game jam title. The game features music from HyperDuck who made the Iji soundtrack a few years prior.

Garden Gnome Carnage (Flash version)
  PC, 2010
Design, programming, graphics, SFX edit: Daniel Remar
Producer: Joel Nyström, Daniel Kaplan
Music: Jacob Wallén
Voice: Joel Nyström, Linus Sjöholm, Camila Dalence, Erik Thelander, Johannes Helgesson

Porting GGC to Flash (using Flixel) wasn't easy. In order to make the gnome's swing identical to the Game Maker version, I just locked that part of the logic to 30 FPS and copied the swing mechanics line by line. Unlike the original version though, there's a new minigame involving Princess Pitch that also made it into the Xbox 360 version coded by Gustav Vidner, and more secret tricks.

The game is no longer playable because Flash is no longer supported by browsers, but all the improvements it added have since been added to the Game Maker version as well.

Froggish Swimmer (available in Scrap Pack 5)
  PC, 2011
Design, programming, graphics, SFX, music: Daniel Remar

A simple game with the focus on completing the levels with as few clicks as possible, but the levels aren't exactly great. It has a hidden "reallyjoel's dad" difficulty accessed with a secret button combination found behind a breakable block, but completing that difficulty (which is theoretically possible) just puts you back on the main menu.

Frozen Swimmer (available in Scrap Pack 5)
  PC, 2012
Design, programming, graphics, SFX, music: Daniel Remar

A far more challenging game, at least in the final world. This one has the same "reallyjoel's dad" difficulty and a secret way to change the color of your frog, plus some new game mechanics.

Like Froggish Swimmer, this game became unplayable when Flash stopped being supported by browsers. Isn't game development fun? I found a workaround and put it in Scrap Pack 5 though.

Alien Chaos 3D
  3DS, 2012
Producer: Joel Nyström
Programming: Gustav Vidner, Stefan Hurtig, Mattias Hakulinen
Level design, editor programming: Daniel Remar
Graphics: Anton Nilsson
Music: HyperDuck Music Studios
QA Manager: Fredrik Hansen

Together with Boulder Dash-XL 3D, we made this in only six months with part of the devkit documentation still in Japanese. We wanted to call the game "Clean House" but the publisher went with this generic title instead. The resulting game is what you'd call "shovelware", but I do think it's fairly fun for what it is. I've gotten a total of four StreetPasses for this title since it came out, so evidently someone bought it.

After the Ittle Dew prototype, this is the second appearance of the Exploding Flaming Chainsaw Shotgun. It's also the second Ludosity game that HyperDuck did the music for. Since the programmers were busy, I wrote the level editor in Game Maker (it outputted text files read by the game). The printed manual turned out pretty funny, and the game can now only be found online for second-hand prices you probably wouldn't want to pay unless you're a serious 3DS collector. So that's something I guess.

When the final boss appears, he says "cowabunga" backwards. The clip was taken from Garden Gnome Carnage. Also, hidden in some backgrounds are pictures of Ittle Dew and the Apathetic Frog.

Here are my challenge mode highscores:
Stage 1: 51'900
Stage 2: 274'100
Stage 3: 5'339
Stage 4: 34'700
Stage 5: 215'500
Stage 6: 5'320
Stage 7: 52'350
Stage 8: 198'350
Stage 9: 5'264
Stage X: 145'050

Boulder Dash-XL 3D
  3DS, 2012 (port of Boulder Dash-XL for Xbox 360)
3DS port credits:
Producer: Joel Nyström
Programming: Gustav Vidner, Daniel Nyström, Mattias Hakulinen
Design: Daniel Remar
Graphics: Anton Nilsson
QA Manager: Fredrik Hansen

The less said the better.

Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet
  PC + Android + iOS, 2013
Producer: Joel Nyström
Design, animation, SFX edit, stages, cutscenes, additional graphics: Daniel Remar
Graphics, additional animation: Anton Nilsson, Nils Härgestam,
  Helén Ahlberg, Mikael Kihlstrand
Programming: Gustav Vidner, Stefan Hurtig, Mattias Hakulinen
Script: Mattias Johnsson
Voice direction: Steve Breslin
Voice: Todd Benzin, Jen Deyo, Joel Hair, Kevin Iuzzini,
  Phil Knoerzer, Cray Sebee, Lisa Vitrano
SFX and music: the original Magicka team

A prequel to the original Magicka made for Paradox Interactive. It's no longer available on Steam. Why? Ask Paradox, because I have no idea. Video games!

I animated and scripted the enemies and bosses, built the levels, and made the cutscenes in Unity's animation editor that usually ran at a single-digit framerate and automatically started recording as soon as you touched anything. All of the particles needed to be redone at least twice because of Unity updates, and just a few weeks before launch we were told by some higher-ups at Paradox to include microtransactions and consumables, so yeah... it wasn't easy.

I am however pleased with some aspects of the game. Between the efforts of me and Stefan there's at least one easter egg or visual gag in every level. Since Magicka is supposed to be a game full of references, I did personally include some, but they tend to be subtle or hidden. I think a good reference is something that doesn't seem out of place in-game, but is still possible to recognize as something that couldn't have been coincidental.

Ittle Dew
  PC + Wii U + Ouya + iOS, 2013
Producer, design: Joel Nyström
Design, level design, script and cutscenes, additional graphics: Daniel Remar
Programming: Gustav Vidner, Mattias Hakulinen, Stefan Hurtig
Music: Mattias Hakulinen
Graphics: Anton Nilsson, Nils Härgestam
Additional content/programming: Fredrik Johansson, Håkan Levin, Helén Ahlström,
  Johan Mattsson, Daniel Nyström, Pontus Askbrink

Ittle Dew started out as just a proper version of the Game Maker prototype, set entirely inside The Castle. Since we felt this was too simple, we added Itan's shop, then three smaller dungeons, then an overworld with collectible cards. Although the combat is very simple, I'm happy with the non-linear design of The Castle and its puzzles, which went through an endless number of iterations. The game's biggest issue is probably that you can't tell whether you have the right tools to solve a particular puzzle or not, but if you're being forgiving I suppose you could say it's part of the game. Like Alien Chaos 3D, I wrote the level editor in Game Maker for some reason.

I can't talk about Ittle Dew without mentioning the Master Cave. During development I came up with puzzles so nasty and unfair, I tucked them away in here. I apologize. At the end of the cave waits Ultra Fishbunjin 3000, whom I drew when the artists were busy. He's both terribly designed and kinda funny at the same time - he's an action boss in a puzzle game who destroys the player with ease. Those who don't quit in disgust, never to purchase a game from us again, will be relieved to hear that there are two ways to cheese him: farming Fishbuns to leave lots of free hearts on the ground, or just attack him continuously if you have four full hearts.

In hindsight I wish the game didn't rely so much on the Zelda references - it was obviously inspired by those games, even if none of them play quite like Ittle Dew.

Space Hunk (available in Scrap Pack 3)
  PC + Mac, 2013
Design, programming: Daniel Remar
Graphics: Anton Nilson, Nils Härgestam, Valdemar Ribbing
Music: Mattias Hakulinen
Rainbow powerup song: Bubblegumballoon

Made in two days at Mojam 2013, it's a simple versus game with a couple of odd secrets. The lead character Mark later appeared in Card City Nights and Card City Nights 2. The phrase "get pain wrecked" originated from the name of a function in one of the codebases we used called "get_pane_rect".

  PC, 2013
Design, script, programming, graphics, SFX: Daniel Remar
Music: Mattias Hakulinen

Made mostly in my spare time for Ludosity, with some help from Mattias who set up a synth to emulate the PC Speaker. Retro DOS gaming doesn't get as much love as the NES and other consoles, so I tried to make this as authentic as possible.

In hindsight I'm disappointed that the gameplay doesn't have as many wrinkles and secret bonuses as it should, and the levels are too simple and straightforward. This type of DOS game thrived on being overly complex, making it feel like you were never done exploring. At least it has a shareware-style demo of the first episode on the store page.

Card City Nights
  PC + Mac + Linux + Android + iOS, 2014
Producer: Joel Nyström
Programming: Mattias Hakulinen, Anton Nilsson, Stefan Hurtig
Script, event scripting: Daniel Remar
Music: Mattias Hakulinen, Pontus Askbrink
SFX: Fredrik Johansson
Graphics: Anton Nilsson, Nils Härgestam

Probably the most chill Ludosity game ever. The music by Mattias is incredible! Inspired by the Game Boy Pokémon trading card game, it has you go around town collecting cards and battling various goofballs to win a million-coin prize. Being in charge of the script and story, I found it fun to reinvent our old characters in the same way that Zelda: Majora's Mask put new spins on the characters from Ocarina of Time. The most fun characters to write were probably Excitable Student (who has some secret events that don't appear on the map) and Rock Enthusiast from the free Valentine's update.

The most obscure of all characters is probably Bookworm - it's the human form of the hidden boss in Muri's fourth episode who can only be fought on the highest difficulty in that game.

Princess Remedy In a World of Hurt (available on my homepage)
  PC, 2014
Design, script, programming, overworld, battles: Daniel Remar
Graphics: Anton Nilsson
Music: Mattias Hakulinen, Stefan Hurtig

Made during the Games Against Ebola charity game jam, and later updated with more advanced options and savefiles, we managed to pack a lot in there in just four days. Remedy can marry any of the 64 NPCs after beating the game, plus a few things more, which was inspired by the Game Boy game "Great Greed". The final boss, That Guy, actually started out as an item designed for Ittle Dew 2 by a friend.

  Android + iOS, 2016
Design, script, programming, graphics: Anton Nilsson
Graphics: Nils Härgestam
Programming, SFX, music: Mattias Hakulinen
Additional graphics and script: Daniel Remar

I mostly playtested PsyCard without being involved in its development. It's a super cozy game about living with a bunch of friends and playing cards in tournaments - even if you don't win, the story progresses anyway. There's also a retro-style dungeon crawler card battling mode where you reset your savefile by throwing yourself in the trash. I drew and wrote the brief dialogue for the characters in the Snake Corp tournament.

Princess Remedy In a Heap of Trouble
  PC + Max + Linux, 2016
Producer: Joel Nyström
Design, script, overworld, battles: Daniel Remar
Programming: Stefan Hurtig
Graphics: Anton Nilsson, Nils Härgestam
Music: Mattias Hakulinen

Since people liked the first Remedy, we made a sequel that was more of the same, but with more bosses, more bizarre locations, and the ability to date characters to use their special abilities. I think I made the "DEATH" difficulty way too hard though. Sorry about that...

Gunnel Vision (available in Scrap Pack 4)
  PC, 2016
Programming: Stefan Hurtig
Title screen: Joel Nyström
Graphics: Anton Nilson, Nils Härgestam
Sound, music: Mattias Hakulinen
Level design, enemy scripting, additional graphics: Daniel Remar

Made in three days for BlockJam in 2016, quite obviously inspired by Doom and featuring a lot of running with scissors. Most of the weapons were digitized from photos of various props taken during the game jam. This was a blast to make - I just wish I had included at least five times as many weapons in the final stage.

Ittle Dew 2
  PC + Mac + Linux + Xbox One + PS4 + Switch, 2016
Producer, additional design: Joel Nyström
Design, script, level design, enemy AI, 3D animation,
  additional 3D modeling, voice direction: Daniel Remar
Programming, additional everything: Stefan Hurtig
Music, SFX, additional programming, additional level design: Mattias Hakulinen
Graphics, 3D modeling, additional animation: Anton Nilsson, Nils Härgestam
Project managment: Laura Bularca
Additional content/design: Jeff Pulkkinen, Emily Olmstaed, Simon Götborg
Voice: Annette Nielsen, Neophos Frenander, Ingunn Hammer-Olsen,
  Nils Härgestam, Linus Pernyer, Simon Götborg, Daniel Remar

Oh boy, I have a lot to say about this one. My presentation during the 2017 No More Sweden game jam was all about the design and problems of Ittle Dew 2.

Though I'm fairly happy with how the game turned out, considering what it was aiming for, it really wasn't a good idea to follow a puzzle game with one focused on action. Many players were understandably disappointed. The puzzles themselves could also have been a lot better, not to mention harder, which didn't have that much to do with the fact that you could beat most of them without any items - it was rather I who dropped the ball.

The game was finished in 2015, after me working two months voluntary overtime to cram 15 Portal worlds, four secret dungeons and a game-wide ultimate secret in. However since the game was going to be released on multiple platforms at once, the PC release was delayed until the porting, testing and lotchecks were done almost an entire year later.

This is the Ludosity game with the most secrets and easter eggs, hands down. If you dig deep enough you'll hear the music from Frozen Swimmer, meet Business Casual Man in several different places, face Jenny Lemon, talk to a floating ice cream companion, and discover the darkest secret of a cult of carrot wizards.

The game was later released on the Switch as Ittle Dew 2+, featuring slightly easier enemies and bosses, five massive new puzzle-heavy dungeons designed by me, Stefan and Mattias, collectible cards, and even more secrets (like the 41st card).

The original Switch version, which was published by Nicalis, appears at first to only have an English language option. However the rest of the languages can be unlocked by holding L and B for 8 seconds on the main menu. We don't know why Nicalis made such a baffling change to the game, but we believe they wanted to skirt around Nintendo's lotchecks so the game could be released faster, eventhough it wouldn't have made a difference to just have the languages freely selectable as in the previous versions of the game.

Further due to Nicalis designing the cover of the physical Switch release themselves, the back features at least three things that are not actually in the game, including a flaming skull crystal enemy - this guy appeared on Ludosity's homepage together with some other scrapped enemies with the mouseover text "I wonder how many of these will make it into the game". We didn't write the manual, save for the hints section, which is why it spoils the secret final boss. Ludosity also isn't credited anywhere in the manual; instead Nicalis literally claims they were the ones who developed the game. Because publishers.

After half a year of Nicalis breaching contract by not paying us for sales, along with their year-long radio silence, we wrested back the publishing rights and put the ID2+ version (previously only available on Switch) on Steam ourselves with an added easy mode and Swedish translation. Sadly, on Switch this uses a different app ID since Nintendo didn't want to give us the one used by the discontinued Nicalis release.

Card City Nights 2
  PC + Max + Linux + Android + iOS, 2017
Design, programming, music: Mattias Hakulinen
Programming, additional graphics: Stefan Hurtig
Graphics: Anton Nilsson, Nils Härgestam
Script, event scripting, additional art: Daniel Remar
Producer: Joel Nyström

Though the gameplay was improved, I personally feel that CCN2 wasn't fully as cozy and charming as the first one. Maybe it's due to the space and sci-fi themes, but Nils still managed to fill the backgrounds with humorous and charming details. Still, this one was fun to write and has some intricate secrets for those who like to read all the dialogue.

This time around, it's Serious Scientist (also known as Esi, the daughter of Adwoa) who gets to be the slightly less obscure Muri reference. Lemonic Diva also gets her own song using the Vocaloid Synth "CYBER DIVA" as her voice - it's pretty difficult to hear what it's singing, which only makes it funnier.

Slap City
  PC + Switch, 2018
Producer: Joel Nyström
Design, programming: Elias Forslind
Graphics, 3D modeling: Anton Nilsson, Nils Härgestam
Design, 3D animation, Vocaloid lyrics: Daniel Remar
SFX, music, additional programming: Mattias Hakulinen

What started as a platform fighter test by Elias eventually turned into a full game. While it's based on Super Smash Bros. and shares many of its mechanics, it's essentially like how Ittle Dew was based on Zelda - not because we were trying to capitalize on the success of Nintendo's franchise (Ultimate wasn't even announced when Slap's development began), but because we loved the series and would like to put our own spin on it.

Slap City focuses on being fun, silly, and easy to control, but also being deep enough that it holds up when played competitively. The art style isn't to everyones' tastes, but it did help us produce content at a fast rate. Each character has between 80 and 90 animations, and while the first one (Ittle Dew) took me over a month to animate, later characters took as little as nine days due to smarter rigging and more experience.

Due to all the story modes, hidden unlockables, Jums & Bemp episodes etc., this game has way more text than our previous games. Lemonic Diva also makes an appearance here, lending her synthesized voice to a small number of songs including the main theme.

Heartwood Heroes
  PC, 2023
Producer, additional event function programming: Joel Nyström
Design, graphics, script, additional SFX edit: Nils Härgestam
Design, script, SFX edit, additional graphics: Daniel Remar
Programming, music: Mattias Hakulinen
Graphics, additional programming: Anton Nilsson
Programming: Stefan Hurtig
Testing: Elias Forslind, Tanja Waimer

A cute co-operative board game inspired by the Famicom game Hundred Worlds Story, headed by Nils as the lead designer and writer. It was made to be a smaller title, so it uses Steam's screen- and controller-sharing feature instead of a proper online mode, since it was faster to do. There are lots of obscure equipment, jobs and random events, and randomized twists in the main scenarios, so it takes a lot of playthroughs to see it all. It's a cozy game with the usual great music by Mattias, and you can change the scenario settings to make it incredibly challenging if you want.