We - Johan Pilestedt (game designer from Arrowhead Game Studios) and Shams Jorjani (producer at Paradox Interactive) - just released our new game The Showdown Effect. Almost a year ago we did a really fun AMA and got a ton of fun questions from you about gaming, game development, bananas and vampires. We had so much fun we're doing with you so we said fuck it - let's do another.

The Showdown Effect is a 2.5D multiplayer action game inspired by 80’s and 90’s action movies. Movie heroes/stereotypes fight to the death for fun, for glory and for awesome - or die trying. The game is our love declaration to games, movies and TV-shows of yore - and by yore we mean the 80's and 90's.

So ask us anything about the gaming industry, game development, the game or anything else except that dream about your sister, in the rain, at the bus stop. We don't talk about that.

We will be live steaming the entire AMA! - www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive and will keep at it for at least 4 hours - we hate short AMA's where OP only replies to like 3 questions - THROUGH A PROXY - we're looking at you OBAMA.

Proof: https://twitter.com/ShamsJorjani/status/309737720136216576/

Moar info about the game. www.theshowdowneffect.com

Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/shamsjorjani and www.twitter.com/pilestedt

Comments: 163 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

WesternNinja17 karma

Magicka is such a fun game to play with friends. What gave you the idea behind the multi-elemental spellcast system?

shams_johan_tse19 karma

It's basically how you'd imagine that a Mage would conjure spells - and we wanted that in a game. Basically being tired of how the games industry usually does stuff... I hate one-button-spellcasting.

falafelnr110 karma

I need a key so that I can play instead of studying

shams_johan_tse18 karma


mortiphago8 karma

What's the deal with netcode? Magicka had a bazillion issues with it and the TSE beta is on a similar state (not quite so bad, thankfully)

shams_johan_tse4 karma

The peer 2 peer network means that ping is felt differently; what it does is provide players with the ability better connection and also lowers the overall traffic load demanded on the server.

NVRLand7 karma

I'm currently studying to become an engineer in computer science and hope to score a job in the game developing field.
Is an engineer degree in computer science at KTH something that will (eventually) get you a job at Paradox/Arrowhead?
Do you only hire people with "experience", do I have to get a boring job for a couple of years until I can enter the game development field?
Do you have any ex KTH:are at Arrowhead/Paradox?
Do you care about pet projects when you hire people or is it only experience and education?

shams_johan_tse5 karma

Most of the coders at Paradox are actually engineers from KTH - the best tip we can give you is to start making games in your spare time. mod projects, or solo projects - just get some game dev experience under your belt - but we do sometimes hire fresh out of college coders - but they usually have a few projects under their belt :) doing a master thesis project with us is a good option too.

weezer39895 karma

The big question is how did the GD studio get so damn good?

shams_johan_tse10 karma

They've been practicing for days. Fucking cheaters.

solembum5 karma

will you work on the netcode?

great game! :) just the netcode sometimes feels a bit... off

shams_johan_tse5 karma

Yes - an update is coming tomorrow - we will continue to work on it continuously!

Stinkerised3 karma


Nothing like a raging thunderstorm to kill everything. Including all of your teammates and yourself.

That was before I found out you could cast elemental shields.

shams_johan_tse2 karma


Ender_Cats3 karma

do you plan on actively nerfing/buffing/fixing characters and items?

shams_johan_tse4 karma

We honestly don't feel it's needed right now - there's a healthy metagame where people can counter all kinds of characters, tactics and abilities. But we'll tweak stuff continuously.

RavenIsABird2 karma

1) Why SHOULDN'T I purchase The Showdown Effect?

2) Are there any cheesy one liners you REALLY wanted to put in but decided not to, if so, for what reason?

3) I can't think of a third question, so pretend there is one here just because I feel like 3 is a good amount of questions, that okay with you?

shams_johan_tse10 karma

1) You can't take one-liners.

2) Hm.... Not really, we just put all of them in there - all of the lines are "originally written"

3) Yes, That's a good question - I'll have to contemplate it... But my guess is that the answer is 42.

mynameistux2 karma

I, like many others, am frustrated by the netcode in Magicka. The game is amazing. Not just pretty good, legitimately amazing. It amazes. It inspires awe.

In my experience, getting a LAN game of Magicka to run properly is as difficult and frustrating as GFWL. That is not something I say lightly.

Is there any hope of the improvements you are making to the netcode of The Showdown Effect making their way back to Magicka? I really want to play it more at LAN parties but it is crashtastic and often even connecting to a server is difficult.

shams_johan_tse3 karma

Thanks! - Magicka was/is buggy - that code is rotten way down - that's why we went with an established engine for TSE. There's a demo - try that and see how it runs on your computer. We've had very few technical complaints so far - which is a nice change of pace - for Arrowhead and Paradox :) - since they're different engines we can't transfer netcode. But there's light at the end of the magicka tunnel - hold on 2 more weeks.

takacsjd2 karma

Hey~! You guys smash so much epic partical effects and physics into tiny epic awsome games. BULLETS IN THE AIR smacking away? What new mechanics are you going to be putting into your new games like the multi spell casts in magicka?

shams_johan_tse7 karma

Thanks! In TSE - we're hoping to add more mechanics through the characters we add to the game. What would you like to see in the game?

shams_johan_tse6 karma

Also your post gave us a headache - but we do like bullets.

TheYellowWizard2 karma

How did you come up with the characters for TSE? What characters are you planning on for the future? Why aren't you wearing a scarf?

Edit: I see you added a scarf, thank you.

shams_johan_tse2 karma

Everywhere ! - movies and tv's from the 80's and 90's mostly! There are so many more stereotypes we'd like to cover. What would you like to see character wise? Check again - we got a scarf now :)

bodlike2 karma

Have you ever played Dota as Invoker?

shams_johan_tse2 karma

Neither of us have played Dota - yet. But many of our colleagues do. How good is it really?

ItsOppositeDayHere2 karma

Hey guys, couple questions!

1) Was the decision to run an open beta for The Showdown Effect inspired by the somewhat rocky launch of Magicka? Also, what big things did you tweak in the 'final' version as a result of data/feedback from the beta?

2) I have to know, what's the feedback on the horse armor DLC been?

3) Is it fair to say this game has Richard Garfield's DNA all over it?

Pleasure to meet you guys in Reykjavik and I wish you good luck with the release! Almost everyone who plays it loves it; I just hope more people play it!

shams_johan_tse3 karma

1) Yes, it was - we did change a lot of small things such as making the game more color blind friendly.

2) Some got the joke, some didn't - those who did, we love those guys!

3) Yes.

liamt252 karma

Have you ever met any of the guys Mojang?

shams_johan_tse3 karma

Yup we've had beers with them a couple of times and they've been to our office. We even got invited to do their Mojam, but unfortunately we didn't have time to join in.

GimbleB2 karma

Do you plan on adding a zoom function or something like Smash Bros' dynamic camera for spectating?

shams_johan_tse4 karma

Use the mouse scroll!

OmegaSpoon2 karma

Will I ever be able to play magicka on my laptop? I bought it eagerly at the start of my PC gaming career (yes, I'm young :P), and booted it up. I got through the tutorial, and started a mission. I killed a troll (or something similar) but when I moved in to the next area, a blue fog met my eyes. Only the particle effects were slightly visible. Will it ever work? Are any updates planned? Or will I have to wait til I get a new computer?

shams_johan_tse2 karma

To get games to run on integrated graphics cards one generally needs to do a lot of optimization - which takes precious code work. We're a 15 -man team - 4 coders - which means we must spend most of our time building everything else. Sorry :/

losian2 karma

Magicka was pretty fun, but even a few years after it came out my friend and I found a heck of a lot of general buginess here or there. It's made me a bit leery of future projects for that reason - the game was pretty fun, even if I personally thought the humor was awful. :D Not a question, but just sayin', be careful with that shit - you guys may end up with a reputation for releasing a certain type of quality of game!

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Magicka was/is buggy - that code is rotten way down - that's why we went with an established engine for TSE. There's a demo - try that and see how it runs on your computer. We've had very few technical complaints so far - which is a nice change of pace - for Arrowhead and Paradox :)

woody4132 karma

This might be a little late, but do you have any plans to take magicka to mac?

shams_johan_tse3 karma

Yes and no :)

hypmoden2 karma

Love Magicka!

shams_johan_tse2 karma

Magicka loves you

rw152 karma

One of the most funniest gaming moments I have come from Magicka with two friends.

Thank you!

shams_johan_tse2 karma

No - thank you!

Vapsyvox1 karma


shams_johan_tse1 karma

Will do -!

The_Turk21 karma

First off, thanks a lot for doing this AMA! I really love Magicka, and I can't wait to try out the Showdown Effect!

My question is (more directed to Shams Jorjani), what is it like working for Paradox Interactive, and how did you get a job at PI? Also would it be possible for someone like me to one day intern or work at PI? :)


shams_johan_tse1 karma

I used to work at Avalanche Studios (Just cause 2 and other games) but was always interested in the publishing side of things. So when an open position appeared I took a chance and quit a fun job at Avalanche. Since then I've worked in every conceivable department - marketing, production, business development and sometimes dabble in sales. I can easily say that it's the best job in the world. Every weekend is too long and weeks too short. Everyone works hard but we are all very passionate about the games we make. We're a relatively small company and we've built our business on doing niche stuff - and we're not going to quit any time soon. My job right now is to find and sign new games. We regularly have interns - so email us and we'll see :)

Xe3d1 karma

Hi, guys, how many are you at AHGS right now? How many of you went to Högskolan i Skövde, and if you went there, what did you feel about you time there and the school?

shams_johan_tse1 karma

15 right now - only 1 went to Skövde!

shams_johan_tse1 karma

15! only 1 from skövde!

shams_johan_tse1 karma

15! one from skövde

fuzzhit1 karma

How many guys are/did work on this game?

shams_johan_tse1 karma

at most 15 people. Right now 2-3

TheNinthLegion1 karma

When you termed "Party" as "Dunka Dunka", was it a reference to "Bunga Bunga" parties?

shams_johan_tse3 karma

Dunka dunka is the swedish for the sound that the bass does in music :)

Smoochiekins1 karma

Hey, I enjoy your game. Some questions I think many people have been asking:

1) What are your general plans for post-launch support of the game?

2) What kind of monetization model are you looking at for future content? Will you charge for new maps? Will you charge for new characters? What kind of prices can we expect for cosmetic items?

3) Are you hoping that The Showdown Effect will become an acknowledged eSport? If so, what plans do you have to facilitate this? Will you be hosting tournaments, etc?

shams_johan_tse2 karma

1:) Cosmetic items (weapon skins, hats, torsowear, legwear), new weapons, new levels, new rules, new environemt and maybe a few characters. 2:) Main monetization is through cosmetic items. Pricing similar to TF2 - a lot of cheap stuff - some stuff more exclusive. We will never split the player base by selling maps like in CoD of BF. see magicka as a reference for how we handled it. 3:) demands on e-sports are soo high - we're a small team - we see this game as a "competitive fun" game - the game you enjoy between frustrating rounds of Starcraft 2 and DOTA.

Koink1 karma

The Showdown Effect seems to be equal parts beat 'em up, platformer and mutliplayer action game. And it works. How did the concept come into being? Just want to congratulate you on yet another quality, unique and FUN PC game.

shams_johan_tse1 karma

It started with a concept that Shams wrote - he showed to the arrowhead guys who loved it and took it to the next level. It started out as a Liero+smash bro's - and then turned into the crazy movie-esque thing.

3vere11 karma

Thanks for making Magicka, Just please, please, make more dlc nobody can get enough, at all, ever.

shams_johan_tse3 karma

Big Magicka announcement coming soon :)

TengenToppa1 karma

I'm currently playing TSE and i've got to say that it has gotten better over the few days since early access, but i still have a problem: i can't find ranked games.

I've waited over one hour once for match only for no one to join. So i'm stuck with custom games which are fun but i really wanted to try ranked.

Also, any word on dedicated servers? I feel the host has a huge advantage right now over whoever connects to them.

shams_johan_tse1 karma

We're patching the game constantly, the problem is with the regions that they don't show games in adjacent regions.

karl20251 karma

I've spent a TON of money on Magicka, but still want to pay more. Any new DLC coming out in the future?

shams_johan_tse1 karma

If you like Magicka you're in for a H-U-G-E treat during GDC :)

SpockNinja1 karma

How is the game selling, and how is the userbase expanding post launch?

shams_johan_tse3 karma

Ok - releasing on the same day as Sim City, Tomb Raider and Arma III has it's drawbacks.

10NOs1YesMeansYes1 karma

Hey guys, I'm a big fan of Magicka and TSE. I played the beta and had such a blast and I plan on buying it when I can. Any plans on letting people make custom maps for the game?

shams_johan_tse1 karma

We really really would like to. The game is made in the bitsquid engine - if they release a free editor you could totally create new levels.

InNomine1 karma

What are some kickstarters you guys are looking at or looking forward to release?

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Hmm - few!

hsztheater1 karma

I'm a huuge fan of Super Smash Bros and I was really glad when TSE came out! I'm playing it like crazy and even though the game is awsome, it needs a couple of things to make it even better and competitive. Here are some suggestions beside the obvious dedicated servers etc:

-Damage localization (head, torso and lower section to keep it simple) with more damage received when shot to the head, and less when shot on the lower section

-No more infinite ammos on throwing weapons, it calls for spamming them :/

-Maybe more moves like air canceling and stuff like that

-I just thought about it, bear traps would be a cool idea for a character's special ability :)

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Nice to hear!

Damage localization is disabled - wasn't so fun

Great ideas - adding to the list!

CongoCast1 karma

Awesome game guys! I did ask this on the stream but I would love to see some tournaments! I shoutcast dota 2 and this looks like it could be an awesome game to commentate on!

Will keep an eye and ear open :D

shams_johan_tse1 karma

We would love too! we'll see what we can do.

Emptypiro1 karma

If/when you release new stages will they be free or are they paid DLC?

Also what kind of other stages do you have planned

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Some free, some paid - cosmetic stuff will be paid for.

EvilElephant1 karma

Is not being able to change the loadout during a match a deliberate design decision?

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Yes - we don't want you spending half your time in the loadout screen - get in there and chop some heads off!

Xe3d1 karma

How Tight are/were you with Overkill and Fatshark, considering that you are/were practically neighbors.

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Fatshark very. Overkill...let's just say it's best that we don't say anything about them.

Moncole1 karma

I played the beta of Showdown Effect. What are good reasone to make me buy it in the future? Like a feature thy will be added.

shams_johan_tse1 karma

More environments, more characters and more gunz!

castillar1 karma

I love Magicka to death, but as an avid Mac user I was disappointed that I couldn't play it on my platform of choice. What led you to the (Totally awesome! Thank you! Wooooo!) decision to produce for multiple platforms this time, and how has the experience been, compared to Magicka?

shams_johan_tse2 karma

Magicka was made on tech that restrained us quite a bit - so it was a natural choice to go with an engine (Bitsquid) that has more platform support. It's been much better. Now if we just can add linux...

warmachine0001 karma

So, if I remember correctly, wasn't Magicka built with XNA? Has the game stayed on that platform, and if so, what have you guys learned while using it? I used to do XNA during college, but I rarely see many famous titles come out using it. I am curious as to how well it can be used for a professional game.

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Magicka was built in XNA - no left that platform as soon as possible. We're a small team that have limited resources - so the less time we spend on the engine the better. Unity is a safer bet today than XNA.

gottagofaster1 karma

Showdown Effect, what items are you going to add for the paid shop? I haven't bought it yet but I am looking forward to buying it. What cosmetics are you going to be adding and at what price range? I've seen the Horse Armour from Total Biscuit's video but I'm pretty sure that was just a spin-off of Oblivion's Horse Armour.

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Yeah - the horse armor was a big joke - detailed here:http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?673328-Day-1-DLC-joke

You can expect skins for weapons and other cosmetic items - most priced 0-$3 and a few more expensive vanity items.

Dxyris1 karma

My friends and I bought magicka but were unable to play the game because we could never connect to a server, or hold a stable connection..shame, because the game looked fun and we've never had connection issues with any other game.

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Did you try connecting to eachother through steams interface - "Invite to game". Or "join game"

backamil1 karma

I loved magicka while I could play it, it's a unique and wonderful game, however, has there been any news on getting Magicka running properly with windows 7. I haven't looked at the issue in a while, but after recommending the game to two friends, they grew quite frusterated when they found unplayable due to stuttering (and myself after an OS change).

shams_johan_tse1 karma

Works fine on W7 - it's mostly low end machines that have a problem. what's the problem exactly?

Whirlpoolkt1 karma

What are some other games you guys drew inspiration from for Magicka and The Showdown Effect? To me, Magicka is one of the more unique games that I've had the chance of playing and I'm extremely happy about that.

shams_johan_tse2 karma

For TSE it was Soldat, GoldenEye, Smash Bro's and a small indie game called Liero - For Magicka it was Gauntlet and moonstone! - as you can see there's a theme - games that we played when we were growing up!

InNomine1 karma

Are you putting in any unique balanced or unique overpowered dev weapons for showdown effect? And unique weapons in general that have low availability

shams_johan_tse2 karma

Sounds like a very neat idea - but it's very risky. Would require lot of testing. :)

RyJammer1 karma

What was the inspiration for TSD? Besides generic action movies

shams_johan_tse2 karma

Goldeneye and Smashbros :)

Morick1 karma


shams_johan_tse1 karma

key sent - enjoy!

salpara1 karma

How would you describe your philosophy behind control schemes? Magicka's success, I would guess, had a lot to do with how fun the spellcasting controls were. What lessons did you learn from Magicka's controls? How did you take that knowledge into Showdown Effect?

shams_johan_tse3 karma

One big challenge with magicka was doing controller AND keyb+mouse - it was just so much extra work that hampered design. Once we went with PC with lead platform it was much easier. So for TSE we decided to use a very specific aiming mechanic which adds a tremendous layer of skill and depth to the gameplay but kinda prohibits gamepad support.

noxville0 karma

Obligatory AMA question:

Would you rather fight one hundred duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck?

shams_johan_tse2 karma

100 horses!

Nuudules-1 karma

If you could work for any video game developer for a future project, would you? With who? Why?

PS: Any chance for a free copy? :D

shams_johan_tse4 karma

I think both Johan and myself would kill to work with Relic on Dawn of War 3 :)