Powered by Ola, My Neighbor Alice will never run out of Steam.
Today, Ola (pronounced “Ooh la”) is the developer in charge of giving My Neighbor Alice and all upcoming Chromia games a proprietary launcher. The very talented Mr Sivefäldt started developing for the Playstation circa 1996 and has since toured the world with artists such as Dead by April and Tove Styrke as a sound engineer. We picked his brain to find out more about his vision for the launcher and the future of blockchain technology and NFTs.
Hi! Please introduce yourself.
My name is Ola and I’m developing the launcher for My Neighbor Alice.
Can you tell us how you got into working with the launcher?
I had a few colleagues working with a project called My Neighbor Alice. When there arose a need for the game to develop its own launcher, I became involved and we’ve been working hard ever since!
Very interesting. Is gaming one of your hobbies?
Yeah, it’s a pretty big hobby of mine. I also have a couple of years of experience working as a game developer. I actually started developing games for the first PlayStation as far back as in 1996.
Wow, that’s a long time ago. So you’ve been working with games for quite a few years…
Yes, you could say that. I also had 15 years during which I didn’t work with games, I’m also a sound designer and have been working a lot with sounds. I had my own company as a sound engineer mostly for live concerts. I’ve been touring with a lot of bands and working in lots of concert halls for around 15 years. When the pandemic hit however, there were no jobs to be found as a sound engineer. I then started to look for a new job and figured that I still know how to program games. So, I started applying for jobs as a game programmer and now we’re here!
How has programming and game development changed over the years?
Yeah, there are lots of things that have changed, but still I’m a C++ programmer. That’s my main programming language and hasn’t really changed that much, which made it pretty easy to get back into again. But I did have to do a lot of research. When I started doing game development again, the main challenge for me was that game studios are using third party game engines these days. When I was working with it back in the day, you would always build your own game engines. So I had to learn about Unreal Engine and Unity and all that stuff.
You mentioned that your own company frequently traveled with artists. Did you tour yourself?
I didn’t travel with my own band because we never really broke through, but I traveled as a sound engineer with lots of bands. I worked with many Swedish bands, such as Augustifamiljen, Dead by April and Tove Styrke. Pretty much all of the biggest artists in Sweden.
Very impressive. If we get back to blockchain games and My Neighbor Alice for a minute. What are some differences if you compare it to working with traditional games?
The whole blockchain technique is totally new for me. I had never heard about it before and I’ve never developed anything for it. Sometimes, I still have a hard time grasping the ins and outs of technology. I’m still working on understanding it to the fullest extent — so in that respect, it’s very different.
There’s a lot of potential in the technology that I think is really interesting. It’s breaking new ground but you also have to be a bit careful, since it’s a big buzzword right now. You don’t want products to develop using the blockchain when you don’t actually need it. But I have high hopes for it.
NFTs is another popular topic. Everyone wants to be part of different NFT clubs or possess something unique and rare. What are your thoughts on NFTs as they relate to blockchain games?
There will definitely be more blockchain games in the future, and I think NFTs will absolutely become more involved in blockchain games. This is only the beginning.
But as with most hyped things, the hype bubble is probably gonna burst and it will even out to a balanced interest for NFTs and blockchain games. In my opinion, blockchain technology and blockchain games will find their own place to fit in and they will run parallel with traditional game development because all game types are not fit for blockchain technology and vice versa.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of blockchain technology and what it can lead to in terms of decentralization?
Blockchain technology is really interesting looking at aspects like secure contracting and especially looking at the concept of decentralization. I think that’s the biggest potential with blockchain technology that everybody is a part of it and owns a piece of it. By the same token, I don’t think every game or every product benefits from blockchain or is fit for decentralization. For some things, centralization is the better option.
I personally haven’t decided if decentralized currency is a good or bad thing. Maybe it is just a thing.
Interesting. You will also develop a launcher for My Neighbor Alice!
Yes! The most important parts are already in place. It has actually gone a bit faster than I thought it would! I will probably have to eat my words later but it has been a smooth process so far.
At the moment, you can download the game and have a single sign-on. So all the important aspects are in place. The part that begins now is making it an actual product. I’m currently implementing the new graphics that my colleague Adam has done, which will also uncover stuff that we haven’t considered in the process. All the cosmetic pieces are now going to be added, if you will.
Will the launcher be on the blockchain?
No, the launcher itself is not on the blockchain but it connects to the blockchain and will also be able to launch more games than My Neighbor Alice Alice in the future. When it connects, you will be able to see what kind of blockchain games are available. They will pop up in the launcher for you to install them, start playing, run your account on it and all that good stuff.
So you will be able to log into your vault or to your wallet on the launcher?
Yeah, I think that is super exciting. In its current state, all the development and stage builds are available for download. You are able to back and see an older stage build if developers want to try that. For the released versions, the launcher will check if there is a new patch available and download and update the product intuitively.
Will the launcher have a familiar feel to people? Looking at some of the bigger launchers that are available, will it be intuitive and have a library of games?
We are working on the design. My colleague Adam who works with design has done a great job with the look and feel. He has looked at other launchers and used some of the better aspects of them, while making it unique for Chromia and My Neighbor Alice. So in fact, it doesn’t look really like any other launcher but it will remind you of them in some ways which will make people feel very familiar and comfortable with it. Not to mention, it’s very intuitive!
Sounds very user friendly. Now to the big question! When can we see the launcher?
You can actually see it right now! But we want to make sure it looks and feels as good as possible before we launch it. You can expect to see something very soon!
Thank you for your time. Best of luck with the launcher — we look forward to using it!
About My Neighbor Alice
My Neighbor Alice is a social online game with focus on resource gathering, crafting and creative expression. Players build their own virtual lands, interact with neighbors, perform exciting daily activities and earn rewards along the way.
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Telegram Announcement: https://t.me/AliceAnnouncements