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Dev Box Interview: Paradox Interactive’s Producer Johan Andersson

Dev Box: Johan Andersson

It usually takes a small army to create the video games that we play, and, most of the time, all of the focus gets put on the game itself, and not on the people that came together to make it. Our Dev Box interview series takes a look at some of the unsung heroes that have committed their lives to entertaining all of us. This week we are letting Paradox Interactive’s Johan Andersson take a break from working on “Hearts of Iron 3” and give him a chance to get on the Dev Box and tell us a bit about himself, and what he thinks about the games industry.

Name: Johan Andersson
Title: Producer at Paradox Interactive
What you do: I do quite alot of things on the games, as I am in charge of making sure that we get a great game released on time and on budget. This involves being involved in gamedesign, planning the project, following up details, and whatever other tasks are needed. Since I have a background in programming, and the team is extremely busy at the moment, I also help out programming when it is needed.
Most recent game worked on: The latest release we had was “EU: Rome,” and we are currently working on “Hearts of Iron 3,” which should be out this fall.

1. What game has most influenced you, and why?
There are alot of games through the ages that have inspired me like “Civilization,” “World of Warcraft,” “Storm Across Europe” and others, but no game has ever captured my imagination as much as the original version of “Pirates.” The map and the world just drew me in, and I kept playing it for lots of nights as a teenager, thinking that this was the kind of game I would like to make myself. That is why the base of my design philosophy is to create believable worlds.

2. What are you playing right now?
I’m an MMO addict, so I’m alternating my time between “WoW” raiding and 0.0 warfare in “Eve Online.”

3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about game development?
If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. And it is not the end of the world if things go wrong, we’re just doing entertainment, not saving the world.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Don’t worry about the things that you can not do anything about. Too many people spend way too much time worrying about things that are out of their hands. Nowadays, I am a much calmer and relaxed person and I only focus on what I can accomplish.

5. What do you think is the biggest problem current games suffer from?
I think the bigger and bigger budgets spent on games makes for less revolutionary games. Too much money is riding on projects, which makes it too risky to gamble.

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