The Nintendojo Interview: Bertil Hörberg

We talked to the Gunman Clive developer on what games inspire him and the future of the franchise!

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 03/20/2015 02:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

ND: It seems like Nintendo gave Gunman Clive 2 a healthy bit of exposure through Nintendo Direct. How would you describe your working relationship with the company?

BH: My contact with Nintendo has been fairly limited outside of the final submission process but they’ve been very generous in offering exposure to the game. I actually turned down a few offers from them to show the game at events because I didn’t have time to do demo builds. We have a good relationship but I generally like to be left alone when I’m in development and I always get stressed out when I have to make promo material and show something to the public. Being part of something like a Nintendo Direct is extra stressful because of the large audience, and the final editing is up to them so you never know exactly how it’ll turn out.

ND: As of last month, Gunman Clive has been downloaded over 400,000 times on the Nintendo eShop, which is a significant improvement over iOS sales. What do you think it is that has endeared so many Nintendo fans to the title?

BH: Actually it was 400k in total, with about 80% of it on eShop. I think the game was always best suited to be played on traditional gaming hardware with buttons and it was development with an old school console gaming mentality. But also the eShop market seems to work a bit differently. What has amazed me most about the eShop sales is how consistent they’ve been over time; you don’t necessarily get massive sales spikes at launch, but after over two years the first game is still selling respectable numbers. I can’t really explain that; obviously the market is less flooded than mobile, and Nintendo has given me some good exposure inside the eShop, but I still don’t think that fully explains it.

ND: Have you seen any sales figures for the sequel, yet? Or is it still too early?

BH: Yes, I get daily sales figures, but considering the long legs of the first games it’s too early to make any real judgments. It started a bit stronger than the first game but it’s slowing down faster. It remains to be seen how the sales will continue in the long term, though.

I’ll admit that I was hoping for a bigger impact considering how many people already played the first game and how much more well known the the game is from the get-go, and also how much longer the development was than GC1. But I’m not sure I have any right to be too disappointed; I’ve already just about recouped my modest development budget, and it seems unlikely that it’ll suddenly stop selling tomorrow, so I’ll survive. Being able to work fully independent without needing outside funding is a pretty good situation to be in.

ND: What games inspire you as a developer? Both Gunman Clive games seem to take some inspiration from titles like Mega Man, DuckTales and even Tetris, but what are the less noticeable ones?

BH: Yes, the first game was very heavily inspired by Mega Man and I borrowed ideas from a lot of classic games. In the sequel I don’t think I looked quite as much at Mega Man, but rather built from the foundation I had and created new ideas that would fit thematically with the different environments.

But of course I’m still very much influenced by other games and there are still some obvious direct references to other games, such as the Tetris section you mentioned. Also, the horse riding section is attempting to recreate Outrun style graphics, and the final boss has some influences from Shadow of the Colossus.

ND: To wrap things up, what kind of advice would you offer aspiring developers?

BH: Just start developing. You don’t need a big team to create a game; focus on your own skills and be open to learning new ones. There are more tools than ever to help with development, but I’d also like to point that you don’t have to make yourself reliant on big complex middleware solutions. It’s still possibly to code a game or an engine from scratch in C++, and it doesn’t have to be that hard or that much work; for most indie games you only need a fraction of the functionality in Unity or Unreal. With your own engine you can customise everything the way you want it, and it gives you complete ownership of the code and you can port it to any platform.

ND: Bertil, thank you so much for your time!

If the Gunman Clive games sound like something you might be interested in, take a look at our reviews here and here! And stay tuned to Nintendojo for more information on Hörberg Productions’ next projects in the near future!

Pages: 1 2

2 Responses to “The Nintendojo Interview: Bertil Hörberg”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!