MEET OUR CTO: “I AM AS EAGER TO LAUNCH THE GAME AS I AM TO PLAY IT MYSELF”

By Tomas Nordström

25 October 2016

After living in Los Angeles for a while, working on several game and commercial projects, he moved back to Skellefteå in 2015. Since this spring, he has been part of Gold Town Games and has already made his mark in the company.

Meet our CTO, Lars Alin.

When we hired you, we were actually looking for a board member, but realized you should come work here instead. How did you feel about that?

– I had read about GTG in the newspapers and was very interested. After our first meeting, and with the job offer on the table, I could not resist.

What is your background?

– I have a degree as a master civil engineer, which landed me a job at North Kingdom in Skellefteå. I started out as a developer, advanced to a lead role, and finally became a technical director. My whole journey was within that company.

You worked a lot abroad?

– Yes, a lot of the work was consulting for Google, so for a period of time I commuted between Skellefteå and California, but after North Kingdom opened their Los Angeles office, I moved there with my family.

What kind of work were you involved in?

– Lots of different projects. I created mobile experiences for Disney, worked on projects with Google, and with Lego and other famous brands.

Why did you decide to move home?

– It was a mutual decision in the family, we wanted to go home to Skellefteå. I was also ready for a new challenge, and luckily enough it coincided with the expansion of GTG.

What made you interested in GTG?

– First of all, I was intrigued by the possibility to build a durable product. For most of my career, I have been involved in short term projects, lasting from four weeks to six months, and then you let it go. This product will be developed during a longer period of time, and that is an interesting challenge.

– I was impressed by the previous work made by GTG and saw an opening where my skills and experience would suit the company well.

And now you have been here for six months, what has happened during that time?

– Pär (CEO) and I got involved in GTG at the same time, and we have been working on bringing the product to the next level. The main idea and core are still intact, but we have reinforced the team to lift the graphics, the gameplay and the user-experience among other things. The team is hand-picked to deliver world class standards at all levels.

How do you like it so far?

– I enjoy building a team that is not just producing one, but several games. Hockey is not our final destination; it is merely a beginning. And there are some role models out there. Supercell, for example, work in smaller core teams around every game, that is a model we are looking at for the future titles.

What, in your opinion, are the development possibilities for a company like GTG in Skellefteå?

– Right now, there is a very positive movement in Skellefteå with major investments in the gaming industry. This new building we are in, The Great Northern, creates opportunities for both this company and for the industry as a whole to grow here. We want to use the local talents and also bring international developers here, and the city helps us do that.

And the challenges?

– We are in the in the midst of planning our first launch, which will also be our first major public appearance. We want to polish every detail so it represents us well, since the free-to-play segment makes us depended on statistics. We need to finish the product, analyze how it is used and thereafter further develop it. That is why we have made great efforts to build a solid analytical division.

– Right now, things are moving along as planned and there will be an soft launch in December.

How much are you looking forward to the release?

– On a scale from 1-100, probably 500. I am as eager to launch the game as I am to play it myself and compete for the titles.

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