I have to say that when you meet people in the gaming industry and they tell you about their lives, almost nothing surprises me anymore. However, I was blown away when Mathias told me that he financed Valavendur completely from his savings that he got from poker games – a true gamer. I was very happy when he decided to dedicate his great game to Aroshops. After all, Mathias knows from his poker games which horse to bet on 😉.
Why have you decided to create your own game?
I have enjoyed playing all kinds of games all my life: Board games, role-playing games, computer games, poker, chess, etc. In addition, I am a creative living person, I have always written since I was little until now, poems and stories. My first major creative work was actually inventing a board game in elementary school, together with two of my school friends.
I was a professional poker player for many years of my life, so I played almost every day professionally and studied the game theory of poker. This year, for the first time, I’m taking some time off from this to focus on selling the game.
I’ve been wanting to build something else besides poker for several years now and have played through many ideas. Until I came up with the idea for Valavendur in 2020 while on vacation in Uganda, my wife’s home country.
What interest you the most about developing games/ and what not?
Designing a story and concept are important to me. However, what interests me as much about game development is the logical thinking necessary to make the game coherent. I’ve always been a fan of brainteasers and logical thinking itself. In game development, I think this is an important skill. Playing through all the possible scenarios over and over again and making sure that there are no inconsistencies at any point in the game and that everything harmonizes with each other is fun.
Tell us about the funniest failure or situation that you had as a developer.
So far, unfortunately, I can’t tell any funny anecdotes. A very pleasant experience was the cooperation with the LongPackGames factory in China. The people there were very helpful and friendly, it was very nice to work with them, even though everything was done through email communication only. I am also more than satisfied with the quality of workmanship of the game.
If you had to play only three games for the rest of your life, which games would these be?
Chess, Poker and Grim Fandango.
Chess and Poker are just so complex that they can never get boring. Grim Fandango is a click and point adventure computer game from the late nineties that just absolutely pulled you into its world. I would still take the game for the retro aspect and the memory of my early youth.
What makes your game/games unique?
What I wanted to create with Valavendur was a game with an easy to learn set of rules, which nevertheless has a high level of fun and replayability and despite simple rules is not dull but still complex in a certain way.
In Valavendur, a lot of the game takes place in a mental space that is not really explicitly described in the rules, so you have a lot of freedom to choose your strategy.
What was the best moment you had as a game developer?
Once the first prototype of the game came to me. And then when all the games were actually delivered. It’s definitely a nice feeling when you’ve been working on something for such a long time to have the finished product in front of you.
Games sold: Valavendur