I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Happy Tuesday’s Founder, Karsten Härle. Technically we sat down over Skype, but sitting down all the same. We talked about his experiences and the founding of Happy Tuesday.
Me: So what do you do at Happy Tuesday and what is Happy Tuesday?
Karsten: Happy Tuesday is a developer/outsource/custom work for hire. So what we do is, we create our own game or own games. Then we also do full fledged game production for other companies. If the bigger companies don’t have as strong a creative team as we have, they ask us to develop styles and get their products fixed and give them a unique look. So that’s what we do at Happy Tuesday.
Me: Kind of a like a jack of all trades?
Karsten: We’re not really a jack of all trades. Everything is centered around games and we have everything in house from game design to modeling to concepts, everything from art to sound and music.
Me: The main focus is just making games, but it’s pretty cool that you have artistic talent in house as well.
Karsten: Yeah everybody likes it because you don’t have to worry. Like when you’re doing your own projects you’re always looking into the tunnel and your expectations of quality are the only thing that you focus on. When you work for somebody else, it’s really outlined what you have to do and what is expected. Here you can do other styles, other techniques and you develop different pipelines, different work flows.
Me: What made you start Happy Tuesday? What was the thought process?
Karsten: It was a long one. I mainly started with doing my diploma in research so like directing, writing the books and this kind of stuff. Then pretty early, like half a year after I got my diploma, I moved into games. By that time I was still thinking I would be doing cinematics and stuff, but then I figured out that game production is the thing that I enjoy most. So I then started my career in games which was at E.A. having a team of ten people. And basically having the responsibility for all the 3D stuff and the character and whatnot. Then I was fed up with the structures that you encounter in big companies where there is a lot of hierarchy and you are not allowed to tell people what was decided behind closed doors when you speak to other people from the games industry. Also many people get fed up with one project being cancelled after the other. Back then, we were a couple of people and we decided that we can do all of that better than everybody else. We got together and we kind of came up with ideas and that was in 2011. We had this idea that maybe a tower defense game can look good and maybe it can have some action elements. And that was kind of the birthday of Happy Tuesday.
Me: That actually answered my next question of when Happy Tuesday was founded. That’s two birds one question right there.
Karsten: Yeah, but I didn’t answer that question fully because the date when it was founded is also hilarious because it was 1/11/11. It wasn’t that long ago and it was a Tuesday. So the question that you might have in mind, where does does the name come from? It comes from from an idiot sitting there and deciding that we should give the studio a name. Many stupid names came up, but we came up with a game and it’s a Tuesday. So we’re starting something and we shouldn’t argue about any names. It’s Tuesday, it’s a good day, so let’s go for Tuesday.
Me: I like it. Probably the best way I’ve heard someone name something that a lot of people would put so much thought into. That’s awesome. What was your inspiration for Hero Defense?
Karsten: It’s hard to say where the inspiration came from. I mean, during that time, friends of mine and I played many, many defense mods where you go building up everything that came out on defense. And we thought, we like the mechanics. We also like the move to play aspects that you can do with collaboratively building towers and defending stuff and you can pause anytime and you can continue and then there were few games that had progression.
Me: Thank you so much for the free DLC that you’re doing for Hero Defense and for this interview. It’s been a blast and I hope we can do this again.
I highly recommend that you give Hero Defense a try, in fact I want to give away 2 copies. Want to enter? All you have to do is follow me on twitter and tweet at me “I support indie developers” and you’re in! The twitter account is @BigZAndTheWins. I suspect there are great things to come from Happy Tuesday and I’m looking forward to it.