Mattias Brynervall, co-founder of Good Night Brave Warrior twindie studio, joins The Switch Effect in the latest Industry Interviews. Sharing his passion for gaming along with the studio’s debut title, Sling Ming, we couldn’t wait to learn more! Remember, Sling Ming arrives on the Nintendo eShop in Spring 2018.
Mattias, can you introduce yourself and tell us about what you do?
I’m one half of indie game studio Good Night Brave Warrior. The other half is my twin brother Andreas. I take care of the programming and he takes care of the art. Everything else, like design and writing, we work together on.
What was the first video game console and game you remember playing?
I distinctly remember that the local grocery store had a NES with Super Mario Bros. that I used to play, although the TV was way too high up for a tiny kid like me.
I never got a NES of my own and had to visit my friends to play on theirs, but I got a Commodore 64 which was pretty rad. Giana Sisters instead of Super Mario. Bubble Bobble and Boulder Dash. It was fun just to play and didn’t really matter which game.
Growing up, what is your fondest video game memory?
If you allow me to be a bit mushy, I have to say that the best thing was to share it all with my brother. Taking turns, passing the controller back and forth, working together to overcome challenges, or going head-to-head in deadly battles!
One sort of big event I remember is the launch of Sonic the Hedgehog. At that time we had managed to subscribe to Sega Power magazine all the way from the UK, which meant we were all hyped up about Sonic; bought it as soon as we could, great game! A friend of ours also bought it, which meant the race was on. We totally beat the game before him, of course.
Did you always know you wanted to work in the video game industry?
I got serious about programming at about fifteen, I think and before that I just dabbled. A friend got AMOS on the Commodore Amiga and talked me into getting it as well. I was hooked from day one! Such a friendly way to start making games, but still powerful and comprehensive enough to cover everything you needed. I think the game industry owes a great deal to AMOS, teaching lots of kids how to make games!
I’ve been making games ever since; always as a hobby, often as a career. Never had a doubt about what I wanted to do with my life.
Can you provide some background as to how Good Night Brave Warrior, a twindie game studio, was formed?
Me and my brother “created” our first game by typing in BASIC source code from a book of Commodore 64 examples. One of us read the code out loud and the other typed on the keyboard; a very tedious job. Then we played the game for a while, turned the computer off and the game was lost forever. We didn’t know how to save the game on a cassette!
When we got internet access we released a few freeware games together with some friends under the name Brainchild Design. Fast forward again, until we both had finished our educations and worked in the game industry long enough to earn a bit of security. The unspoken dream will not wait any longer, we must try to make one real game together before we get too old!
Sling Ming, your studio’s debut title, is scheduled to release in Spring 2018. For those unfamiliar, can you describe the game and why gamers should check it out?
There is no other game quite like Sling Ming. It’s a puzzle-platformer where the movement is part of the puzzle. At first it seems quite limited, you can only move back and forth along a path, but once you get the hang of it you notice that there’s a lot of nuance and expression in the movement. Depending on your timing, princess Ming will move very differently. Like a yo-yo, I guess, but not quite.
On top of that we have a fun and lighthearted story with characters and bosses and important sub-textual messages. And everyone loves to swing, don’t they?
Let’s “switch” gears. We at The Switch Effect are obviously huge fans of Nintendo’s newest console. What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch?
I think Nintendo absolutely nailed it with the Switch! The power trade-off needed to make it portable is totally worth it to me. It fits nicely into the lifestyle of so many people. Old chumps like me can play on the commute or in bed and young kids can play in the car or on school breaks.
Still, it’s a proper console with proper games! The Joy-Con makes it way better at gaming than phones and tablets and being a Nintendo console, it’s pretty much guaranteed to have great games.
How was the decision made to select the Nintendo Switch as Sling Ming’s home console of choice?
Remember the hype train before the announcement of the Switch? The speculation, the fake leaks, all that. It was pretty entertaining and I was paying a bit more attention to it than I would like to admit.
When revealed, the Switch pretty much lined up with what I was hoping for. It made sense, it made me happy, and I wanted one. I predicted success and I’m generally not easy to impress; neither Ouya nor VR tickled my fancy.
Getting a devkit was a bit of a fluke, however. Mekorama, a game made by a friend of mine, got nominated for a Nordic Game Award. He got two tickets to the Nordic Game Conference and asked me if I wanted one. Sure, why not! Turns out it was the most expensive ticket, including some sort of meet-and-match pitching solution. When I saw that a Nintendo representative signed up I pounced on the opportunity! I believe all his time slots filled up within hours, haha. I managed to snag one, presented Sling Ming to him and got the ball rolling.
Besides your own game, haha, what others are you most looking forward to playing?
It’s a real bummer, working on my own game and taking care of my two-year-old, I haven’t had time to play any games lately. I’m saving them all for when Sling Ming is finished and boy howdy am I gonna binge!
Zelda and Mario, obviously, but I’m very much into indie games in general and platformers in particular. Celeste looks awesome and so does Hollow Knight. Dandara is super interesting because they tried to re-imagine the platformer genre with touch input, just like we did, but with a totally different result.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Hmmm…that game developers are just normal people, perhaps? They want to make great games, but it’s bloody hard. Sometimes I feel there’s too much animosity between players and gamedevs. That goes both ways, of course! A little more respect would be nice. The Nintendo crowd, however, seems to be a lot nicer than many other crowds. That’s one of the things that make me proud to be a Nindie.
Oh, and buy our game, please!? Sling Ming is a passion project by two guys who poured their heart and soul into the game. It’s a good game, we promise! 🙂
Sling Ming arrives on the Nintendo eShop in Spring 2018.
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