Krillbite Studio | Game Developers Conference Adventure
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Game Developers Conference Adventure

A couple of weeks ago we attended Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. For us Norwegians, it was great getting a break from the cold winter to what we see as spring (10-15°C). Oh, and it was also really great attending inspiring talks and meeting lovely people!

Friends and games

This year we had a booth at GDC Play and showed The Plan, Among the Sleep, and the teaser for Mosaic. Behind closed doors (well, not always, at least we had walls) we showed a playable part of Mosaic! But don’t worry! We are working hard right now on the game so we can show it to everyone!

By the way, if you could not attend GDC, or still just want to learn things you can find many educational and interesting talks from GDC on their YouTube!

Another wonderful happening during GDC this year was that our sound designer Martin Kvale and the rest of Art in Heart won an IGF Award for Excellence in Audio for the game GoNNER.

Let’s have a chat with Martin about the game and sound design!

You’re often working on several projects, how is that?
It’s super fun! I came into working with games with first working on Among The Sleep, which for some time was my only project. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve been able to juggle more projects over time, especially the last year or so. The process can be stressful if things do not match up, but it’s usually inspirational to me, as I can approach sound design and game design in different ways per project. I love being experimental, and having several games ongoing enables me to do this.

How did you start working on GoNNER?
I originally got to know Ditto, the designer, through a few strange and random events, I initially even mistook him for someone else. He is a super guy however and we struck up a friendship. At one point I saw him post a gif of the early prototype of GoNNER, and I got so excited I tweeted at him, saying that I was going straight to my studio to make sounds for the game.

Tell us a bit about what GoNNER is.
GoNNER is a tough-as-hell platformer shooter rougelitesomewhatish. It’s charming rather than cool, it’s quirky rather than serious. It’s pretty hard and does not communicate much of its inner workings.

What inspired the sound design? How did you work with the other sound people?
The inspiration was to have fun and try out a piece of hardware I own together with Adrian from Krillbite. We’ve been having it for awhile and I wanted to test it for sound design as it was not super useful as a music tool to us. So the inspiration came from mucking about with the synth, and just recording anything that sounded fun. We went with sonically pleasing to a larger degree than realistic or fitting the game. Luckily that really worked!

With GoNNER, I did sound design, Ditto did implementation/coding, and Joar Renolen did the eminent music. We worked together by helping each other out. It was quite collaborative, and we would suggest things and try things no matter who said what.

Any tips for sound designers starting out?
Network, join game jams (for example Global Game Jam – ask around!), attend events and share a beverage or two with someone you know or don’t know. Seriously, I think each time I do a game jam I end up learning a lot, meet new friends who also loves making games, and end up with a prototype which quite often is fairly presentable to others to showcase aspects of what I can do. Be fair and transparent in your dealings.

How was the IGF award show? Any aftershow party?
The IGF award show was pretty awesome! We were lucky and got seated next to the developer of Lieve Oma, and got to dress up with some nice wine to it. It was pretty shocking to actually win, as the other nominations were fantastic in in different unique ways. I was humbled to be nominated among some of the audio creators I admire and respect. Winning felt like a fantastic victory as our game’s audio is pretty equally made between the 3 people working on the game. It felt like an amazing acknowledgement of the fruits of our collaboration.

Afterwards, we went a few friends to have a quiet dinner, then to That.Party for hugs, glitter, dancing and unwinding.

And how was your GDC in general?
GDC was good in terms of being social and network. Each year this conference feels to me like the chance to catch up and learn from others. As mentioned I have worked on a lot of projects the last year, so I was representing several projects. My main project is naturally Mosaic, that we work on here at Krillbite. The other projects I’ve done work on which we showed at GDC are Keyboard Sports, Hidden Folks, Fugl(link), World to the West, and GoNNER ofc.

What’s for the future?
The next foreseeable future I’ll be diving deep into Mosaic again. Really looking forward to polishing this gem of a game, and very much looking forward to showing off some of our audio collaborators!

Adrian and Trond from Krillbite at our booth at GDC Play. Source in link.

GoNNER will be out on the Switch as well! Photo: Andy Touch.

Martin and Ditto on stage during IGF Awards. Photo: Gemma Thomson.

Screenshot from Mosaic.

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