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Exclusive Q&A with Nicklas Nygren of Nifflas Games

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Here at PlayStation University we got the opportunity to have a great Q&A session with Nicklas “Nifflas” Nygren from the studio Nifflas Games. Nifflas is well-known for his freeware titles like Knytt and Within a Deep Forest, both of which he has essentially combined into his largest game yet that just released on PSN as PS3/Vita cross-buy and cross-save title: Knytt Underground. Check out the full Q&A below where I got to ask him my burning questions about the game. Be sure to keep it locked on PSUni as you can expect our full review (with gameplay footage) to be up on the site in the coming days!

David Jagneaux: There have been a few Knytt games before this one, what was the inspiration for Underground and what sets it apart from its predecessors?

Nifflas: The story is much more developed in Knytt Underground and has a lot to do with the existential questions I’ve had for quite a while. It’s the first time I tried to come up with a meaningful story and not just something simple that sets the mood as in my previous games.

DJ: What about influence from other franchises? The art style immediately reminds me of Limbo personally, so what do you think about comparisons to that game?

N: There were of course plenty of silhouette style games before Knytt Underground, but I like the style and it felt right. I don’t think Limbo (I absolutely love Limbo by the way) which is very dark and eerie compares much to Knytt Underground, which has a much more colorful style where all of the background scenery is based off photographs.

DJ: The storyline is very interesting, as is the concept of the protagonist being literally mute. Could you elaborate on the plot and concept for the main character?

N: Originally my idea for Mi is that whenever she was uncertain about a situation she would choose an aspect of her own personality which she perceived as the fairies. They would hold the conversation, but it would really be Mi’s thoughts. However, as I added quests I started to realize that making everything a metaphor isn’t always better and that the story would work better if the fairies were their own characters with their own back-stories.

So instead, when you meet a character in the game, Mi (who represent the player) is unable to speak and has to choose a fairy. She knows them, so she can pick the fairy who she feels is the right one to have the conversation, but Mi can still not predict fully what they will say. I thought that would be interesting.

DJ: If someone is new to your type of games, what one thing do you want new players to keep in mind?

N: Don’t stress out and try to play it slow and enjoy the atmosphere.

DJ: What plans do you have moving forward? Are there plans to release additional rooms/levels and other ways of expanding or do you plan on looking towards your next release?

N: I don’t know yet. A big project requires a big break after. Maybe I’ll do small silly games for a little while, or maybe an editor for Knytt Underground.

DJ: Finally, I would love to know how you maintain such a glorious beard. What’s the secret?

N: I don’t know, but it tends to follow me where I go.

There you have it, not even HE knows how he maintains such an epic beard! What did you think of the Q&A? Have you had the chance to try out his latest game yet? Let us know what you think of everything in the comments below!

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