‘Valheim’ Is Changing How We Play Survival Games

Rogers/WIRED: How has your active Discord community contributed to the success of Valheim?

Henrik Törnqvist: We’ve had a pretty open dialogue with the community during most of the development of Valheim, we have some players that’ve been with us since the Alpha days. I’d like to say that they (the community) have influenced the direction of the game a lot. Not only have we implemented a lot of good ideas from fans, but also changed and tweaked most features based on their input. Hopefully they feel the same way, since it has always been our intention to keep our community in the loop.

In what ways do you think Valheim compares to previous survival games? In what ways do you think Valheim innovates the survival genre?

I don’t think we have innovated anything. That being said, I do think we have found an audience in making Valheim a PvE-focused survival game. We don’t really feel that we compare that much to the games you most think of when thinking about the survival genre. Don’t get me wrong, those games are great but we’re going for another audience. We just want you to have a cozy adventure with your friends, or solo for that matter.

How would you describe the art aesthetic of Valheim?

Playstation-Modern perhaps 😉 – Neoplaystationism?

With two million copies sold in under two weeks, how do you think Iron Gate achieved this level of viral success?

Not sure really, we were more or less confident that Valheim would be received favourably, but these numbers are quite bonkers. We haven’t been alone in this venture though, and I would like to take the opportunity to point the spotlight on Coffee Stain Publishing and SwipeRight. They have been a great help with producing kickass trailers, making sure press and influencers are happy, among other things. They have helped us reach a wider audience, for sure.

If I’m a brand new player who wants to try Valheim, what is some advice that might help make my first time playing the best possible experience?

Great question! And my answer would be to build the Hoe as soon as possible (need Workbench and some Stone and Wood). It will allow you to flatten the ground and make house construction much more enjoyable! I couldn’t live without it.

The map is huge in Valheim! Why such a large map?

To have lots of space to fill up with interesting locations 😀 As they say; it’s about the journey, not the destination. Also, here at Iron Gate we are very big fans of Daggerfall, many a beer has been drunk while extolling the virtues of that great white whale.

Personally, I really enjoy the music in Valheim. Could you please tell me more about the inspiration for this music?

Well, the music has been composed by a very talented musician by the name of Patrik Jarlestam. We have worked quite closely with him in order to get just the right sound. It’s hard to talk about specifics, there really is a lot of inspiration from all over the place that has gone into it, I mean there are obvious points of inspiration such as Wind Waker for the sailing music (the gold standard), but in general we just wanted a ‘vikingy’-sound without it being too ‘folksy’. Valheim is inspired by Norse mythology, but it is not directly related to it. Therefore we felt that a bit of leeway in the musical stylings would be just right for it.