My name is Viljar Sommerbakk. I’m a video game designer. I’ve worked in the video games industry since March 2000, on PC, consoles and mobile.

Starting out I did hands-on level design and world building: creating and populating large playfields with art assets and gameplay from start to finish, blocking out levels, visual scripting, events, item placement and enemy encounters.

As time moved on, I got more involved with the wider aspect of game design: core systems, player feedback, controls, player movement, NPC- and boss design, as well as player progression and direction of the player experience. I have written concepts and designs on many projects, providing detailed game-, level- and technical specifications.

I've been part of developing action gameplay on several projects, and have also done game- balancing and tuning, trying to maximize the fun in existing features.

I am experienced as a lead designer and team lead, providing direction, mentorship and management to teams of designers as well as cross-discipline teams, communicating design goals, challenges and solutions.

Currently I am mostly involved with strategy and direction of features and experiences rather than detailed design and implementation.

My all-time favorite game is Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube).

Planner

I’m a “Planner” according to this test on the “What kind of designer are you?” website.

When the details are still fuzzy, you’re great at making a plan that people can understand and implement. Without getting too close to a final solution, you’re able to set the boundaries for a project so that everyone on the team knows what to do and can pull in the same direction.

Key traits:

  • You enjoy making decisions and working towards the end result
  • Your work informs the final design
  • You often want to work alone to think things through
  • You like decisions to be based on data or insight


Watch out for:

  • Have you fully explored all of the possible options?
  • Have you done enough to help people visualize what you have in mind?
  • How could other people build on your work or help you spot problems?
  • Have you thought about the things that can’t easily be measured?