Friday, November 12, 2010

The People Behind MilMo

In this post I want to talk about who the people behind MilMo are. If you hang around on the Forum, you probably remember me talking about "the script team" or the "design team" or the "level designers". A couple of days ago I realized this might seem confusing, so today it's time to introduce the teams working day and night to make MilMo what it is!

First out we have the famous scripting team. Scripting is a bit like being a programmer, only you kind of build upon the rules the programmers already put in place. Scripters place the enemies, tell them how to react to players and make sure they drop the right loot. But our beloved scripters have more artistic assignments, too. Scripters plan, write and implement the storyline and the quests. They make sure you get your medals and your rewards. Right now our scripting team consist of people from USA, Finland and Sweden. 

The future is bright! Ola at Games Com 2010

But to make all this scripting work, there has to be a solid foundation of code. This is the code that makes everything else work. This means work for the programmers. We have gameplay programmers, web programmers, backend programmers and interface programmers. Some people think all programmers are lurking in their dungeons, afraid of sunlight and exercise. The programmers working on MilMo are bright and funny people. Some of them like hiking, other juggling and one of the gameplay programmers even grows her own herbs and spices in her garden! It seems they like to keep all parts of their brains busy. Programming is hard work, and you have to be careful about the details.

Me and our concept artist at Games Com 2010

But who comes up with the ideas for MilMo? The same ideas programmers and scripters work so hard to implement in to the game? That's a job for the game designers, who make up the design team. Being a game designer is very complex. Usually you have a lot of different skills and know a little bit about everything. You have to have good communication skills, both written and spoken, to get your ideas across to the rest of the team. You might have to tweak numbers in order to create the perfect balance for one game system (weapons for example), or you might work with designing new game play features (like the Exploration Tokens, the Shop or the special potions). It's often the designer's job to keep an eye on the rest of the team and make sure everyone keeps their deadlines. A game designer might spend half of the day with the script team talking about the look and feel of the new island, and the rest of the day working with updating the project plan. One of our game designers have even morphed into a businessman and is responsible for meeting with new investors, meeting with other companies and making sure our public relations are taken care of. The other one sometimes takes the shape of a sound designer. Game designers are shape shifters (or at least very flexible people).

So that's some of the stuff under the hood. On the "surface" you have the graphic team (also known as the art team at some companies). When you start playing MilMo your first impression is always the surface; what the game looks like. Our graphic team consist of a bunch of people with broad skill sets. We have a concept artist who draws the portraits of all the NPCs, the map and the splash screens, among other things. His job is to transform ideas into pictures, in order to help set the look and atmosphere for the game. Our 3D-artists and level designers look at these drawings, and model the objects using special software. The animator animates them to appear lifelike. The graphic team also paints textures for all items and clothes. They have an excellent eye for color and form.
A self-portrait made by our animator. She draws comics on her spare time

Our level designers work closely with both the graphics team and the game designers when they create the "physical" world of MilMo. They are the "architects" of the MilMo Universe. They listen to the designers and look at the concept artwork when they build the new levels. They constantly have to think along the lines of, “How can I make this forest/island/basement understandable for the player? How do I set the right mood with lighting? How many trees can I use on this level, if I use too many the loading time will be too long”. Our level designers have plenty of experience in creating graphics and working with 3D. 

An early concept picture of Visitor Island, made by one of the level designers

Okay, by now you hopefully know more about the teams that design, code, create and paint the game you play! When you work with game development you can't do it all by yourself (anymore). You need a lot of different people, and they all need to have some basic team working-skills.

See you online,


Sara is the Community Manager at Junebud. She also works with Quality Assurance (QA) and social media. She's got a bachelor's degree in game design, but likes the social part a bit more than tweaking numbers. She usually spends her time moderating the forum, testing the game and planning new events. 


  1. Hey Sara,

    This blog gives you a good feeling what is actually happening or needs to happen before a game comes to be. It's a real eye-opener to read about this. Also it lets you appreciate the game more ;).
    Keep it up Junebud :D!


  2. Hi Gielo,

    Nice you liked it! We are working hard day and night to build the MilMo Universe! Soon we will have world dominance!



  3. Lol overlooked this last bit: "Soon we will have world dominance!"
    Hope we will xD!