Christian Løvdal is our game director here at DinoByte. We badgered him with 16 questions to help you get to know him better!
So what exactly do you DO at DinoByte Labs?
I’m our Games Director, which means I’m in charge of overseeing the design and development processes of our games, but if I was going to reduce what I actually DO I guess I’d say I write. Writing stories and interesting characters was where I started, and what made me want to work in games, and then I started writing quests which turned into a passion for games design, and finally I learnt how to code, which I guess is a type of writing as well.
What was your favorite game growing up?
Oh man, it’s hard to choose just one, so I’d rather take you on the journey of favorites that formed me as a gamer and designer. My first proper gaming memory is Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES, and basically it’s the best 2D Mario to this date (fact). Moving on to the Nintendo 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was my first big favorite that I just put endless hours into, and stayed up night after night playing. Then I moved away from Nintendo to Final Fantasy VIII (and later VII) which became the first game where I played it for the characters, and I think this is where I started getting interested in character development. Finally The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind will forever be the game from my childhood that I’m the most nostalgic for and will always treasure as the greatest game ever, and the catalyst for making me want to work in games.
What's your favourite part of the game development process?
I’m quite passionate about story and characters in games, so I love the creative challenge of balancing gameplay with narrative. That being said I really like RPG class systems, and coming up with character development (leveling) systems. So maybe designing narrative and gameplay oriented character development is a close second?
Other than DinoByte, what other game studio's would you love to work for?
You know, it's always been Bethesda for me because The Elder Scrolls series is the very best of gaming. They make games that seem interesting to work on, and like there is a lot of creativity going on in terms of the design. If their games could do with more of anything it’s well developed characters, character relationships and great narrative flow, but those are all things I’d personally enjoy the challenge of trying to add. I feel I should also mention Blizzard would be cool to work for, ‘cause they just make incredibly polished games, and I do love me some polish.
Who is the games industry inspires you?
Pft, this one is easy, because Todd Howard is the greatest human who ever lived (video proof below), and I would sell my right kidney to have him be my mentor. I do feel like I should mention Mark Rosewater as well, because I think the way he interacts with the MtG community is amazing and worthy of admiration.
What game do you wish you'd created?
Probably Portal. It just manages to do so much with so little. The mechanics are amazing, the atmosphere is perfect, the narrative is impactful and GLaDOS is one of my favorite characters of all time.
Who do you think is the most well written game character?
Kreia from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a good example of a complex and well written character, so maybe today I’ll say her (might change my mind tomorrow). Bioshock obviously gave us Andrew Ryan, Comstock and the Lutece Twins all of whom I think are great, Final Fantasy X is one of the only games to make me cry (because I cared for the characters, so that’s relevant here right?), and I think Dragon Age does the best character relationships so honorable mention to that.
Who is your favorite writer?
Hmm… I think George R. R. Martin is a great writer. Not just because he’s good with words, but I like his attention to detail, and how much time he puts into creating a world that feels real (because of the cuisine. Food is the way to win me over, every time). I’m obviously biased as well, because he’s basically my mentor. We met once outside his hotel, right next to where I live, and he told me: “Sorry, I’m just trying to get to my room”. I feel he was trying to teach me a valuable lesson about patience and understanding, and it’s stuck with me ever since. Honorable mentions to Rhianna Pratchett, Kazushige Nojima, and Patrick Weekes (yes, all game writers).
Sound track while you work?
Ambient/calm video game music, heavy metal or… Korean music (yes, Kpop, but also
weird Korean indie stuff, I’m a complicated guy OKAY).
Meyer Briggs personality type?
I’ve changed many times, but I took the test right now and I guess now I’m ENFP.
I want to be true neutral, but I’m probably neutral good.
I’m a Hufflepuff through and through.
Which fictional character are you most like?
I’ve been told multiple times that I’m Finn from Adventure Time, and that’s good by me.
In real life, are you more a warrior, rogue or mage?
A mage. While I probably have some warrior traits (quite protective of those close to me), and wish I was a rogue, I feel the mage is more calm and patient, they are often a logical thinker, yet also creative, and healers are often mages, and I’m quite nurturing and caring so that fits too.
Console, PC, Mobile or Tabletop?
Console, I like gaming on the sofa.
Most importantly, what is your favorite donut?
How does the rest of the team describe Christian?
"A precious cinnamon roll, too good for this world. His mind is a palace of knowledge, he knows EVERYTHING!"
- Louise Leolin
"A very pretty nerd with a heart of gold."
- Freya Haga
"The walking wikipedia, and top choice for apocalypse survival buddy."
- James Pendry
We hope you've enjoyed getting to know Christian! Keep an eye out for more interviews in the coming weeks where you can get to know the rest of the DinoByte Labs team!