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Eskil Steenberg talks LOVE, progression, and making indie MMOs

Jef Reahard

Eskil Steenberg's LOVE has been flying well under the radar of late, even more so than is usual for an indie MMORPG. A little phenomenon called Minecraft happened over the past year since LOVE's launch, and while both games hail from Sweden, that's about where the similarities end. In fact, comparing LOVE to any other game is rather challenging (but also instructive), as evidenced by a new Eurogamer interview.

Steenberg is literally a one-man development show, and the piece covers a lot of fascinating ground including everything from how you measure the title against more traditional fare to how players react when confronted with LOVE's open-ended paradigm shift. Gamers will "play a game like mine... and they'll go back and play something scripted and say 'oh my God this is so archaic.' It's like if you play Dragon's Lair today. I'm not controlling it, it's all fake," Steenberg says.

The interview also touches on why Steenberg opted for a non-traditional approach to massive development, or put another way, why he didn't fall into lockstep behind World of Warcraft (and EverQuest before it) as the vast majority of the industry has done. "I'm trying to do something completely different," Steenberg says. "What they're doing is limiting what you do. You follow, you grind upwards. [Progression] is something you should do if you want to make money because you get that hook. But I was never interested in making my players addicts."

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