Last summer twenty aspiring game developers were chosen to spend eight weeks in the Swedish countryside as part of Stugan’s first annual games accelerator program.
Among the participants was American Clint Siu, who is the first developer to finish a game that was created while being a part of the program.
Siu’s _PRISM, a visually stunning journey where players manipulate shapes and patterns to unfold sacred geometry, has just been released for iOS.
Check out the _PRISM teaser trailer:
Impressed, we got in touch with Siu to learn how spending time in a Swedish forest influenced _PRISM:
NG: What attracted you to Stugan – and what did you do to get accepted into the program?
CS: Having two months to work on my own game with meals and lodging taken care of was the first thing that got my attention. On top of that, having industry mentors to help with advice and guidance and to be surrounded by other like-minded developers in the beautiful (natural setting) of a Swedish cabin next to a serene lake – it all sounded incredible!
When I saw the opportunity, I wasn’t actually working on any specific game. So I immediately started prototyping different things, trying to figure out what I could actually accomplish as a one-person team. After a couple weeks, I ended up with a tiny demo idea of sliding shapes and unfolding geometry that became _PRISM. I recorded the gameplay footage and sent it to Stugan as my pitch, and I guess they liked it enough to let me join them for two months.
NG: What surprised you the most about being at Stugan?
CS: I wasn’t really sure what to expect coming to Stugan, it all sounded way too good to be true. I think all the other developers felt the same way. But the whole experience ended up even better than we could have imagined! It was surprising to me that even though most of us were from different countries with different backgrounds, it didn’t really matter. The one common thing that connected all of us was our love for making games and sharing this adventure together.
NG: What did you take away from Stugan and being in the Nordic region?
CS: Sweden has had a long history with making games that I wasn’t really aware of before. That definitely showed in the quality of mentors that came. Everyone brought really insightful knowledge that we wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. There was also something amazing about having (sunlight) for almost 24 hours (a day)! We could socialise, play games and work until midnight without even knowing it! It was like there was so much light, we never felt tired!
NG: How do you think game developers benefit from getting to meet other developers from around the globe at Stugan?
CS: I think every game developer could benefit from experiencing different viewpoints; be it cultural, gender, age or really anything that exposes you to fresh thought and experiences. The types of games made at Stugan were so different from each other because all the developers had different influences and interests. Homogenised ideas don’t end up creating innovation. It’s seeing things from different perspectives that can lead to making surprising, wonderful things.
Stugan is a non-profit organisation that organises the annual accelerator program for aspiring game developers. Stugan leverages the expertise of the established Swedish game industry and aims to provide opportunities for shepherding up-and-coming game designers and developers through development, publishing, marketing and more for ensuring a successful games launch.
Stugan is supported by individuals including Oskar Burman, general manager of Rovio Stockholm, Tommy Palm, games guru at King Digital Entertainment and Christofer Sundberg, founder and creative director at Avalanche Studios.
About Clint Siu
Clint Siu is a one-man indie developer/VFX artist with a focus on breathtakingly visual, highly impactful games.
Learn more about the developer and _PRISM at www.clintsiu.com.