Rachel – Olli Harjola

Olli Harjola of Facepalm games. Creators of The Swapper (2013)

I admire Olli because of his wide range of talents. He created The Swapper mostly by himself (while a student at the University of Helsinki), with only one other permanent team member (only credited with level design) and two freelance workers. He had full creative control, and with backing from the Indie Fund, created a stellar game that met with great success. Initially released for Mac and PC, the game is now slated for release on all major consoles and has won numerous awards for its main mechanic use and aesthetic. He’s also quite vocal about the divisions between indie and AAA development. Though I think a few of his points are lost in translation, this is a talk he gave in 2012 at Assembly about how big companies use tech to spackle over design flaws. In it he emphasizes complementary art and design choices, as well as the need for intimate player interactions rather than massive, often slow, multiplayer interaction crap-shoots.

A repetitive interview discussing the game’s release date and Olli’s work on the unique visual qualities of The Swapper.