Newsroom News Breaking Comics Tags RSS
News video games 19 February 2021, 14:33

author: Lukasz Stefaniak

Valheim Draws From Skyrim and Zelda, Devs Explain

PC Gamer conducted an interview with the co-founder of Iron Gate Studio - Henrik Törnqvist. The topic of the interview was, of course, Steam's latest hit game Valheim. It turns out that the inspiration for the project came from such titles as Skyrim and Zelda.

  • PC Gamer interviewed the co-founder of the studio responsible for Valheim;
  • Henrik Törnqvist points to sources of inspiration for their team;
  • Among the titles mentioned by the dev are Skyrim and Zelda;
  • The simulation of the real world in the game is subordinate to the gameplay, not the other way around.

Valheim is one of the hottest positions of recent weeks. PC Gamer decided to take a look at the game's phenomenon and interviewed Henrik Törnqvist. The developer revealed the sources of inspiration for his team's latest game.

It turns out that the Swedish developers haven't played much survival games in the past. They drew their inspiration for Valheim mostly from single-player games. Törnqvist mentions Skyrim and Zelda as source material for the creation of their game. The developer emphasizes that the team wanted to convey the feeling of an old-school single player game and combine that with elements characteristic of survival games. As Valheim's success shows, this approach yielded very good results.

A characteristic feature of the game is its non-standard approach to survival elements. Repairing equipment and breaking it down does not involve any additional costs. This system refers to another project that Richard Svensson - CEO of Iron Gate Studio - once worked on. It was an open-world simulation game, but its title was not mentioned. Based on this experience, the Swedish developer came to the conclusion that creating a real world simulation just to simulate a world is not a player-friendly solution. This assumption was at the core of Valheim, which focuses more on the gameplay itself rather than accurately replicating survival elements based on the real world. According to the developer, the simulation in Valheim is subordinate to the gameplay, not the other way around.

Valheim Draws From Skyrim and Zelda, Devs Explain - picture #1
In Valheim, the world simulation does not come first. Source:

The Swedish developer emphasizes that in video games, the accurate representation of the real world should not interfere with the gameplay. An example of this approach is the hunger and thirst issue in Valheim. Eating makes the player character perform better, but they can't die if they stop eating. The same is true of thirst. These mechanics are meant to reward the players, not punish them.

The team at Iron Gate Studio consists of only five people. This did not prevent them from releasing a very successful early access title. According to SteamDB data, more than 390,000 players played Valheim during the last 24 hours, which was close to the record-breaking 393,000, achieved just four days earlier.

Valheim is a multiplayer survival game. The title is inspired by Norse mythology. The game debuted on February 2 in early access on Steam and enjoys "overwhelmingly positive" reviews from players. The Swedish studio's game sold over two million copies within the first two weeks of release.