Industry veteran Thomas Vigild is not only an experienced freelance journalist and games consultant. He is also headmaster at Vallekilde Game Academy and a game designer at Mystery Makers, working on a new “escape room” experience set to premiere on 1 October in Copenhagen.
At Nordic Game 2016 in May, Thomas Vigild will once again host the wrap-up session – this year titled “NG16 Final Wrap-Up: Panic Button Edition”.
NG: What was the first game that really made you aware of games?
TV: It was Centipede – the arcade machine version. I was 4-5 years old and was living in Boston for a year together with my parents. I remember Centipede, because the arcade machine was located at our local ice cream store, and I love ice cream. What really blew me away was the controller – you used like a big inverted mouse-ball to control your little ship, and had to shoot the pesky Centipede from the sky. By every time you hit the worm, the game sped-up, (and) so the difficulty level was really hardcore. But I still today love that game because of the simplicity of the game mechanics, but advanced dynamics and strategies.
NG: Which game has made you most frustrated or angry?
TV: Probably squash (the sport), which I’m playing now every week. It’s a fantastic well-designed game where you really have these intense duels of “man vs. man” and a lot of swearing and cursing. It’s a catharsis for me. In board games it’s chess, since I always feel so extremely dumb when I’m playing. And for a digital game, it must have been Doom – the first one which I really played a lot in multiplayer.
NG: Which game have you spent the most time on?
TV: In the digital realm it must be Warcraft II. I played so many hours back in my teenage days – waging war against my school friends in large LAN parties. And I still love the game mechanics of this game – the balancing, the idle-sounds of the peons (and every unit actually), the interface, the maps and the story.
NG: What game, genre or game mechanic would you like to see brought back the most?
TV: I miss some of the more experimental adventure games like the French In Memoriam, which sent you emails, made fake websites and really scared the crap of me. But I also miss games like Perplex City – a physical/online puzzle-based card game with fantastic puzzles.
NG: What is the best detail you ever noticed in a game?
TV: One of the best details was in Shadow of the Colossus – when it struck me who really are the monsters in that game. The interactivity of the game, the soundtrack, the interactions and the way the story was told. Still mind-blowing and sends shivers down my back – it’s genius.
NG: Which game would do well in another media form?
TV: I would love to see the puzzle-boxes from games like _PRISM or The Room be made real! To tell a story through the interactions with a box and the box itself is extremely fascinating – and something I’m working on now at Mystery Makers, where I’m designing a new “mystery room” in Copenhagen.
Intrigued? Thomas Vigild – games journalist and consultant extraordinaire – another great reason to join us for Nordic Game 2016, 18-20 May in Malmö, Sweden. Register today!