We are Johan Pilestedt (game designer from Arrowhead Game Studios) and Shams Jorjani (producer at Paradox Interactive). Together we made and released Magicka in early 2011 and it became a runaway hit. We've released new content for the game regularly and are just about to release a Reddit robe for free and thought it would be a great opportunity to do an AMA. Ask us anything about the game, game development, the games industry or anything else that catches your fancy.

Proof: https://twitter.com/#!/Magickagame/status/195186251110957058

Edit: Johan will use his account: Pilestedt to respond

Edit 2: You can find us twitter also Johan Pilestedt: www.twitter.com/pilestedt and Shams Jorjani: www.twitter.com/shamsjorjani

Edit 3: We're livestreaming! http://www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive

Comments: 1301 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

Nacbee515 karma

Is vlad a vampire ?

Shams_PDX768 karma

This is a very common misconception. Like we say in the office - if being labeled as a vampire just because you are pale, come from eastern europe and stay up late at night and sleep during the day then that means Magicka was coded by a bunch of vampires. So no.

gorchitza423 karma


Shams_PDX468 karma

Look, last time we dicked around we Bethesda we almost got sued (for real) so no. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/06/07/exclusive-magicka-tweaks-skyrims-nipple/

fire_the_sharklasers166 karma

first time I heard of magicka is it any good?

Shams_PDX1242 karma

"No it sucks, don't fucking buy it."

drake0727142 karma

What is the margin of operation for producing a game like this?

Is more money spent on advertising or development?

Shams_PDX177 karma

Finally! a publishing question :) - Magicka was developed with a very slim budget - so it's made a healthy profit - allowing arrowhead and paradox to keep churning out more crazy stuff (you should see the concepts Arrowhead have in pre-production). the ratio between development/marketing is somewhere between 10:1 to 20:1. That's not to say we spent too much on development or little on marketing. We try to be smart about marketing spend. It's smarter to work with social media and actually talk to the fans rather than have a giant ass booth at some show. But that's also nice - like PAX.

cb4356933 karma

You should come to some UK events in the future; it'd be great to have the opportunity to thank you lot at Paradox for the many great games you bring out in person.

Shams_PDX53 karma

We just had an event in London and hopefully we'll participate in Multiplay events soon.

radaeron112 karma

Hey there folks - I love Magicka, had it from release, and absolutely loved how you took the bugs in the initial release and made it DLC!

As a Brit I can appreciate the self-deprecating humour ;)

What sort of themes are you looking at for future DLC? Do you take user suggestions? :) -James

Shams_PDX144 karma

Shams/Johan: Thanks! Too many games take themselves too serious. Making fun of oneself sometimes felt like the only natural course of action. Well we've been talking about Star Wars themed stuff for Magicka - Our own "Blue Harvest" so to speak. But WW2, 1890's London, WESTERN! 40k - warhammer in general. But sure we're always open to ideas, but we probably already got them written down somewhere.

Pilestedt48 karma

Well... Somehow the British humor is very similar to Swedish one; the sort of dry humor that makes you cough.

3OH372 karma

What language does everyone in the game speak?

Ilovebattlefield128 karma

Being swedish myself I feel like I can answer this. The language has some words being similar to swedish or other nordic languages but it is mostly jibberish. It sounds VERY entertaining to someone who knows swedish though since every once in a while a word will come up that means something similar to the current situation;

"Vi started the dunka-dunka redan" means "We started the party already"

and "redan" is the swedish word for already. Sounds hilarious when you hear it.

Hearing this question answered before it was also apparently something they spoke a lot during the development. Sounds like an awesome job.

Pilestedt92 karma


Shams_PDX120 karma

Agramma means "Agreed". The developer actually use this in every day work. You never hear the word agreed in the Arrowhead office.

Condorazzo41 karma

  1. Is there a Magicka 2 coming out?

  2. Will you keep releasing DLCs?

  3. Any big plans for the future?

  4. What other famous games have you guys made?

  5. Can you gift me Magicka?

Shams_PDX69 karma

1: We'll we'd be really stupid not to follow up with a sequel - right now we're working on other stuff. 2: Yes! Next one coming in June - http://www.paradoxplaza.com/games/magicka-the-other-side-of-the-coin 3: Yes - moar Magicka, better Magicka, prettier Magicka and other cool games no other dev/publisher would dare to do. 4: Magicka is problably one of the best game Arrowhead ever made - considering it's their first - they're working on another game called The Showdown Effect 5: Yes.

Condorazzo39 karma

5 - seriously?! http://i.imgur.com/e6P7d.jpg

how can we work that out?

Mr_Sorter13 karma

just imagine if this was EA's AMA

DLimited28 karma

Sorry but they only talk about upcoming DLC

Shams_PDX212 karma

And Rampart.

RushofBlood5224 karma

What other famous games have you guys made?

In response to this, I think you mean Paradox Interactive in general, no? Paradox publishes a lot of games with lots of variety. Some of the more notable titles include Cities in Motion, Crusader Kings, Hearts of Iron, Europa Universalis, King Arthur, and Mount & Blade. Upcoming, I'm really excited for Salem and War of the Roses. One of my favorite companies.

Shams_PDX43 karma

Why thanks. You're one of our favorite gamers.

JethroTheRetroMetro38 karma

What do you say to the people who complain about all of the Magicka DLC that keeps coming out? Any update on The Showdown Effect?

Shams_PDX53 karma

Personally I don't get it - if you don't want the DLC then don't bother with it. But I can also understand that's it's annoying to the players who just want the bigger stuff (expansions and sequels). The reality is however that A LOT of players are screaming/writing/tweeting about more DLC. It's a tricky balance. Next month the 3rd expansion is coming out and The Showdown Effect is looking amazing. For those interested in sequels and big stuff - don't worry you'll be happy soon enough.

iamanooj23 karma

I think the upset people might be something like myself. I only buy games on steam sale, so I picked up the 4 pack of magicka for $15 (I think) on the holiday sale, so $4 per copy essentially, but the DLC never has similarly priced sales. I'm hoping at some point that you guys offer a DLC pack with all the expansion maps bundled together, maybe when you release Magicka 2 or something.

Basically, we want more content, but without paying, but being upset about that is pretty ridiculous. It's a good game at a good price. Is there a map maker possible or anything? Letting the fans loose with that could be interesting, people making their own maps/stories?

Shams_PDX43 karma

We've actually talked about this internally - we'd like to see more sales on the DLC as well.

jlbraun29 karma

When will there be a Linux version?

Shams_PDX27 karma

I won't say never - but don't hold your breath.

cb4356917 karma

I want to second this. Why no support for Linux, guys? I understand there's no Steam for Linux, which might create difficulties with cross-platform matchmaking, but I'd love to do some wizardry on my favourite operating system.

Shams_PDX59 karma

More platforms are coming. But the original Magicka is made in XNA - which is no go for Linux. We'd have to remake it entirely. Besides Linus is like less than a percent of....everything.


What are the positive points of using Steam as a content delivery system? Any negative ones?

Shams_PDX51 karma

Positives? Just about everything - We'd be nowhere without Steam. Only drawback is that we're in Sweden and they're in Seattle - 9 hours difference kills us :(

liferaft16 karma

Explain this a bit more? What kind of communication do you have with Valve/Steam that the 9 hour difference impedes on?

Shams_PDX35 karma

We generally try to get off work around 1800 - that's when they start - on release days it can take an additional 9 hours before stuff goes live - meaning we have to be on standby. It just slows down communication.

PopperSweets25 karma

Hey guys, I've been a fan of the game since it was released! I'm not a gamer by any means, but I spent hours playing Magicka when it was released.

My question for you is this: If I recall, you released the game earlier than you intended to, with the result that there were a lot of major bugs. You kept the community up to date and released frequent patches for the game. Do you think it was worth it to release the game early or do you believe it might have been better to wait until the creases were ironed out? Did it have a positive or negative impact on the size and attitude of the game's player base?

Shams_PDX47 karma

Magicka was originally slated for May 2010, the game wasn't ready and we slipped it to August - and then again to December. 3 major slips like that is not something that's common. Magicka was slipped because we thought it really could be better with more dev time. Finally we couldn't wait more - and due to ....lacking QA we were not really aware of how leaky the old bucket was. So we worked our asses off to fix as much as possible. Hindsight is 20/20 of course. Going forwards we'll try to plan better and test more. The Showdown Effect will prove Arrowheads new bar of quality in stability, art and design. Johan is looking nervous now :)

DugDigger23 karma

Mac release incoming anytime?

Shams_PDX32 karma


pheartheceal18 karma

Will you be able to eat cats in your upcoming dwarf game?

Shams_PDX18 karma


dynewind17 karma

just wondering, what is the 'bleeee' weird sound that vlad makes?

I mean, it's quite peculiar and i like imitating it sometimes haha.

Shams_PDX47 karma

That's the sound that a lot of Romanians make. It's perfectly natural.

Idontlikekarmawhores13 karma

Can you guys make an action game a la MGS3 in a jungle setting? with cammo, stamina and all that stuff? Pc exclusive? also could you guys use the crytek 3 engine?

Shams_PDX12 karma


Naternaut12 karma

About how much of your sales would you attribute to X's Let's Play a while back?

Shams_PDX26 karma

It was a huge part! Let's not sell the marketing short - it was good - but Magicka was and always has been a gamers game - It was more or less designed/made as a "let's play". So we think that's why it resonated well with Yogscast/TotalBiscuit. The pickup/boost we got from those really helped Magicka rocket on.

Hideous11 karma

Vad är din favoritfrukt?

Shams_PDX19 karma


YasRavenheart10 karma

Hello, awesome robe and a shirt ;)

Also, Reddit Robe sounds awesome, thanks for the constant content updates guys! :)

My question(s?) .. What are your next plans with Magicka? Any new big expansions, or possibly sequels? Also, it would be awesome if players could possibly design or suggest new robes somehow (hint hint) ;)

Anyway, thank you guys for being awesome and for making awesome games :)

Edit: Oh and I reeeaaaaally hope for some sort of Magicka and Showdown Effect crossover :)

Shams_PDX16 karma

Thanks for the kind words! We've got tons of fun stuff planned for Magicka - around the corner we have a small expansion coming and then more smallish dlc (some free). We've got something really juicy planned for later this year and next year should be even crazier. We listen very closely to you (the audience) and try to work your suggestions into the game as much as possible. For instance one of the PvP modes is directly "borrowed" by a Mod - Krietor Mode

Buddharox9 karma

Thank you for creating such amazing game! I haven't played it in a long while, but it provided us with some of the most hilarious co-op moments ever.

Shams_PDX19 karma

Thanks! Despite having worked on/with the game for such a long time I still actually lol when I play it.

bajandem8 karma


Shams_PDX7 karma

By design!