Liquid Swords and the Gamemakers of Tomorrow

Sharing the Liquid Swords approach to design, code, and art

Christofer Sundberg founded Liquid Swords with a clear idea for the studio’s way of working. His experience taught him that game development is a the most creative job one can have, but the downside is that it’s prone to unnecessary distractions. He was convinced there was another way, one that focused on why we all loved games to begin with and brought game development back to a time when the focus was on fun and quality, not KPIs. How are we trying to do this? We’re following the credo of game development without any nonsense, which is achieved through a small team working together in a transparent, collaborative environment. And absolutely no crunch!

This way of working has brought all of us together, and nothing would make us happier than others adopting this philosophy for themselves. That is just one of the reasons why we were so thrilled when Future Games approached us about a studio visit for their students. The young people that joined us this week are the future of gaming, and we were so happy for our own rising stars to lead a discussion about the Liquid Swords approach to video games.

When all 70 students were settled and caffeinated, Christofer opened the floor with a trip down memory lane, describing how a trouble-making high school dropout spent the last 30+ years starting studios and disrupting the video game industry.

Christofer presenting a slide that reads Start your brain. Rev it up and go! Believe in yourself and your vibe. Be respectful and patient. Follow your dreams. Listen and observe. Have fun. Don't be greedy. Be grateful that you get to work with games, the most creative job one can have.

Antonia Kiili also took us back in time in her talk about game design. Her work varies from day to day, and she gave our young people a whistlestop tour through everything from Design & Code Workshops to rapid prototyping to developers helping her stay grounded.

As a Future Games alumni, she was able to share some tangible advice that applies just as much to veterans as they do students.

  1. Sleep matters – and exercise! Take care of yourself so your brain has the energy to take care of your career.
  2. Keep an open mind – learn new skills, dream big, and take that call with the recruiter who keeps pestering you. You never know what the future holds unless you look!
  3. Have fun! We’re making games, for crying out loud.
Antonia presenting a design slide that reads 5 take aways: What you think you want isn’t always what you actually want Have an open mind! Be open to opportunities that present themselves to you.  Always seek more knowledge - Never stop learning! Find your natural curiosity and dive deeper into it. Never stop learning, it’s very important to keep yourself up to date in a constantly changing industry where new technologies are developed every day.   Take care of yourself - Eat, sleep, exercise Sleep on it! Literally. Come back refreshed the next day and suddenly you have the perfect solution.  Imposter syndrome is very common So many of us have imposter syndrome, don’t be afraid to find support in each other. We will all be better people for it. Happy people make good games!  Have fun! Life’s about the journey, not the goal. Happy people make good games, enjoy yourself while you can!

You can find our open positions in Antonia’s team on our Careers page, where we’re looking for a Mission Designer, Systems Designer, Gameplay Designer, and Technical Designer.

Nathan Bhat from our Animation Team covered code. He gave us a succinct overview of how code fits into the studio, like squashing bugs so other teams can continue their work. We got a granular look at his work on the combat for Game 1 as well, and how his team works with Unreal Engine 5. Before he answered questions from the crowd, he shared his job application process from when his time as a Master’s student at KTH. A stand-out approach that brought him to Liquid Swords by way of Avalanche was to not only introduce himself to the studios he was applying for, but also outlining specific projects he would be able to work with.

Nathan presenting a Code slide that reads Responsibilities, Tech and Systems Give Designers Control, Squash Bugs Crashes take Priority, Planning Plan your solution

You can find the last handful of open positions in Nathan’s team on our Careers page, where we’re looking for a Systems Programmer, Audio Programmer, Backend Programmer, AI Programmer, and Graphics Programmer.

Representing art was Anastasia Nurmi, our Outsource Manager. Her career path started out in a completely different medium, namely cosmetics. She took her work as a makeup artist as far as it would go, but when she need a more creative direction she swapped her brushes for controllers. When she started working as a level artist, she realized that her work reminded her a lot of her childhood days of playing The Sims but now she was getting paid for it. Dreams do come true!

Having worked both as a level artist and industry mentor, she found her way to Liquid Swords in the beginning of 2023. Today she works with our co-developers on the art side, giving feedback and making sure that they have everything they need to follow our workflow so we can meet our sprint goals.

Anastasia presenting an Art slide that reads Outsourcing Artist path, What's it like? Pros: Easier to get started in the industry Switch between projects (and studios) and learn unique pipelines, engines and techniques Feedback from internal Leads + the Leads from the project you work on = EXP!  Cons: You don’t get to really influence the project Might have to hop between studios to get promoted Feeling like a cog in a machine Communication issues are common

You can find our open positions in Anastasia's team on our Careers page, where we’re looking for a Technical Artist, and Lighting Artist. If you didn’t find the job you were looking for on our page, send in an open application. We loved hosting the bright minds from Future Games and sharing our knowledge and experience with the next generation. We’re waiting with various degrees of patience for all the incredible games they’re going to create!