Now it’s the beginning of the fantastic story

Making games is my lifelong passion. As anything in life it’s a journey. What follows is a series of texts about things I have learned on my journey through the craft of game making. I hope at least some of it will be useful to someone else.

Stay tuned!

Angry Birds Slingshot
Angry Birds Slingshot

“An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” — O. W. Kenobi

I am aware that it is the year 2021, and that talking about Angry Birds now might look as anachronistic. Yet I still believe that these characters, especially their original incarnation, offer some very important lessons relevant for Character Designs and Branding.

Full disclosure: my first job in the gaming industry was at Rovio. I had a good fortune to be hired by them in 2012 when they were arguably at their peak. Back then I was just a novice game designer there without much say in how…

“It is by will alone that I set my mind in motion” — P. De Vries

Human motivation is a strange thing. I would groan in agony at even mention of crunch, yet I would gladly spend a weekend with a couple of all-nighters on a Game Jam. Millions of people around the world scoff at jobs that involve manual labor, yet would happily pay each month for a privilege to pump iron in the gym. From Linux to Wikipedia, much of our modern internet infrastructure is built on software written and maintained by volunteers.

What is the catch? Why…

Pacman banner
Pacman banner

“It is by will alone I set my mind in motion” — P. De Vries

Why do people play games? Well, that’s easy… Games are fun!

I still clearly remember one lunch break from couple of years ago that I spent going for a Pokémon GO raid. It was wintertime in downtown Helsinki, Finland. The weather that day was -7°C (that is 19F in US) with gusts of strong wind and snowfall. I was sure that I’d be alone, but as the scheduled start of the raid was approaching a small throng of people started forming. By the time raid…

Ad monetization models in games.

Ad Glitch
Ad Glitch

DISCLAIMER: Although I am an employee of EA, I do not speak on behalf of this company. All opinions in this text are entirely my own.

Imagine that you are walking into a supermarket. You want to buy toothpaste and perhaps some snacks. You walk down the aisle past the bags of chips and 300 kinds of breakfast cereals. Finally, you spot what you are looking for. You reach for it ready to pick it off the shelf and put it into your shopping basket, but at that very moment a salesperson pops up seemingly out of nowhere. She grabs…


Once upon of time in a galaxy far, far away…

The universe is black and white. There is an Evil Empire oppressing numerous worlds and conquering many more. Pitted against her is a ragtag group of plucky rebels, proverbial underdogs with nothing to lose. Epic fight ensues!

If you grew up on the steady diet of American sci-fi this is the pattern you instinctively recognize. It’s everywhere from the Dune to Star Wars, but what if I told you that there is a whole world of pop-culture that treats these same topics in a profoundly different way?

Franco-Belgian school is…

Cozy Grove
Cozy Grove
Cozy Grove by Spry Fox


Imagine a scene… Golden rays of sunlight are shining through the window. Tiny particle of dusts are glittering as they float slowly through the air. There is a faint sound of children giggling outside, somewhere in the distance. The air is warm, and so is the soft quilt covering the bed. Faint smell of old paper and printing ink is filling your nostrils. The glass of soft drink feels presently cold as you grasp it in your hand. The ice cubes jingle gently. The soda bubbles pop and hiss…

How to give users control during the FTUE and leave a good impression of your game

This text is a part of a series which explores the parallels between the design patterns of First Time User Experience in video games and the Monomyth narrative framework by J. Campbell.

“One does not simply walk into Mordor.” — Boromir son of Denethor

Why using a main character or mentor is crucial to providing a positive first time user experience — and how Pokemon GO did just that

An elderly alien standing in a swamp.

This text is a part of a series which explores the parallels between the design patterns of First Time User Experiences in video games and the Monomyth narrative framework by J. Campbell. To read the first part, click here.

“Patience you must have my young Padawan.” — Yoda

Stanislav Stankovic

I am a Creative Director at EA/Tracktwenty studio in Helsinki.

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