A Story About Rickard
Game Developer at Flarie
With his 100+ million streams on Spotify, he is the only Flarie employee with a Platinum Record. This is a story about Rickard Tidén and why he chose game development over a music career in Los Angeles.
Let's start with the office gossip, rumor has it you have a Platinum Record in your bathroom?
Haha, yeah, that’s correct! Ehm.. do you want to see it? It says 50 million streams, but today it’s probably around 100-120 million streams. I’m lucky to have one, since they don’t do that anymore.
Let’s go back in time, where are you from and how did you end up with a Platinum Record in your bathroom?
I grew up in the small Swedish town Oscarshamn with only 17 000 residents. I’ve always been into sports and loved playing football. I was a really happy kid and my mom used to say that I had a smile on my face until I turned 18, maybe I got a bit more cynical then, haha!
I started playing the guitar when I was in third grade and to this day I can still remember the first time I sang in front of others, it was Love Me Tender by Elvis.
But it was first when I was around 14 that I realized I could sing. So I decided to go to a music-oriented high school and then me and a few classmates started the band We Met Tomorrow. That project went pretty well actually! We travelled a lot and met many people from the music industry and that’s how I ended up in the industry. When we decided to quit our band, I got a songwriter contract with BMG [an international music company]. Pretty early on I got the opportunity to work with Marcus Svedin and we wrote the song “All For Love” that’s played by Tungevaag & Raban which I’m featured on. That one is definitely my most played song until this day.. I was very lucky to meet Marcus early on in my music career as the two of us continued to work a lot together during my time as a songwriter.
But, you realize pretty quickly that this career wasn’t something for you?
I worked as a songwriter for one and a half years. I got pretty good at it, but I stopped liking music. In pop music, it’s the same words, same chords. I got pretty down and it was kinda liberating to quit on my own terms. There was something reassuring and reinforcing that I was doing well, they still wanted me - but I realized that that life wasn’t for me. I wish to have a nice, secure and happy stable life. In that industry, there are a lot of expectations on your availability. That you could just be asked to pack your stuff and move from one day to another, but I didn’t want to be alone in a hotel room.
That’s when I decided to study Game development in Stockholm. I’ve always loved gaming and it’s probably been the most stable thing in my life. Music has been up and down - but I’ve always wanted to play games. So it felt pretty natural and I was motivated, I knew that I had to study hard and I was ready for it.
Now when you are a game developer, did it meet your expectations and how is life at Flarie?
It’s the best job I’ve ever had! It feels like I just sit and come up with fun game ideas. I love the freedom, I work by myself but still communicate with others and I get the freedom to decide what projects I want to work on. It fits very well with my strive for creativity that I need it in my life.
If you could give an aspiring game developer advice, what would it be?
You have to show that you want to be in this industry and work for it. Take initiatives and be one step ahead. Do your own projects during your free time, definitely make a portfolio that you are really happy with and find yourself a great internship. Companies look for someone who is interested, invested and willing to learn. But you don’t need to be an expert from the beginning, I wrote my first line of code when I was 25 and I’m still learning.
What’s the most important thing, according to you, when it comes to making mobile games?
You should be able to stand up on the bus and still be able to play the game. Less is more.