From Stunlock Studios to Knackelibang
A programmer at Stunlock Studios and a teacher within programming, art and design came together and decided to take the chance and start their own game company, Knackelibang, together through The Game Incubator. They are currently working on their game Just Read The Instructions, for PC.
The founders of Knackelibang, Tobias Johansson and Claes Eriksson, met when they studied game development at University of Skövde between 2009 and 2013, where they made two projects together during their time at the university.
- I did my final thesis at Stunlock Studios and then worked there for six years as a programmer, mostly on Battlerite and adjacent projects, while Claes started working as a teacher within programming, art and design for junior high school-level, says Tobias.
Created the opportunity
In the spring of 2019, Tobias decided that he wanted to try and make something of his own.
- I work a lot because I really enjoy it, so that was a sign for me that I should probably work for myself. On top of that, Stunlock Studios has a kind of niche that they have carved out for themselves and that they execute with world class, but I really want to make games in all sorts of genres, says Tobias.
By the time he had come to the decision of making it on his own, he ran into Claes and together they decided to start their own game company.
- Creating a company created the opportunity to actually work and survive on my own creations and really push me creatively and combined with Tobias, projects and ideas that would have otherwise seem impossible, became possible, says Claes.
Tobias and Claes decided to join The Game Incubator program at Science Park Skövde this summer, about a year after they created their game company Knackelibang in late summer of 2019.
- The Game Incubator has the context for knowledge and a good atmosphere where you get help with your blind spots and they actually push you to perform in some areas that are harder to self motivate. Then there is the office space and hardware which is very nice, says Tobias.
Just Read The Instructions
The team is working with their current title, Just Read The Instructions, for PC. Just Read The Instructions is a surreal co-op first person shooter game where the only thing that matters is following the next set of instructions. Enemies will flood the scene, your weapons will break, more instructions will come, and then repeat. Aspire to not die.
- The game is really about you and some friends solving strange puzzles together while shooting hordes of enemies. We want to make the player sort of “squint” at the instructions to figure out what exactly it is even saying. By putting emphasis on deciphering the instructions themselves, the title “Just Read The Instructions” becomes a bit ironic and humorous. The game is not meant to be funny though, even if it probably will contain some dark humour, says Tobias.