Who's this Klanger? An interview with Oddur Magnússon

For the second part of our Who's this Klanger? series, I sat down with Klang's “Code Janitor” and Co-Founder. In a nutshell, he's the guy who makes sure that there are no technical bugs in ReRunners and that the crazy designs we come up with are actually doable in the game.

So, Oddur, tell the readers about your background as a programmer.

“As a teenager, I started programming and constructing web pages and building various games. I ended up being dragged into working as a professional programmer during the dot-com bubble.

From there, I ended delving further and further into it, then into working with large scale systems and server farms. To be honest, it was never my plan to work specifically as a games programmer, but I ended up being hired by CCP Games to build the billing system for EVE Online. I got really interested in all the technical challenges of game development, specifically for MMO games – I realized that this is what I wanted to be doing all along, working on large scale systems for games. I threw myself into learning about all the technical elements of game engines, as well as game development processes.”

EVE Online is one of the biggest games in the MMO genre, what did working on it teach you?

“It taught me a lot about game development and how to approach it. I really grew as a programmer working on live production systems with customers; I learned how to prioritize, how to throw out bad ideas, and how to focus on the things that really deliver value.”

Why make the move to creating mobile games?

“Before Klang Games, I had the feeling that mobile was emerging as a leading gaming platform. I started seeing PCs as tools to do something professional, like for designing an AutoCAD, rather than being the go-to device for gaming.

For leisure and personal use, I saw mobile and tablet games as an obvious choice to become the leading platform – something that is more approachable and easier to use; it's integrated into people's lives. I still think that mobile has a lot of potential ahead of it.”

What's your favourite game ever and why?

    “Command & Conquer: Red Alert, because it was the first game I started playing socially. I would meet up with friends, lugging around my bulky PC and monitor to a bunch of LAN parties. That's when gaming turned from being an introverted getaway for me to a social activity. Instead of locking myself away in my bedroom for days playing MYST, I'd meet up with friends to play – that made it a whole different experience!”

    Stay tuned, readers, for the next instalment of Who's this Klanger?