Rasmus Rasmussen is a self-described “storytelling nerd,” a native of Denmark who came to Seattle in 2005 for a photography workshop, unexpectedly fell in love, got married and ended up moving to the United States permanently.
An experienced web developer and media producer, he has returned to his first love, video game development — launching a Kickstarter campaign (pitch video above) to fund the final development of Salvage Trader, a 2D space adventure game initially for Mac OS X and potentially for Windows 8.
He’s also a writer and photographer who has been involved in a wide range of projects, from donating head shots to job seekers to producing a video series featuring local poetry slam performers. (Yes, he has even written for GeekWire!)
After moving to Seattle, he launched the site Another Passion about local artists and creative people from the community, running the site for three years and “meeting tons of talented people in the process,” as he explains.
Meet our new Geek of the Week, and continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.
What do you do, and why do you do it? These days, I am working on a video game called Salvage Trader [http://salvagetradergame.com]. It’s a 2D game that pays homage to some of my favorite genres like adventure, strategy and arcade. The project just launched on Kickstarter, and I’m hoping the funding will allow me to create something awesome, and get as much talent involved as possible. I have small team on standby, but I don’t want them to do all that work with no compensation. So, we’re waiting to see how the Kickstarter goes.
I make things that entertain or inspire people — if I’m lucky. That’s the goal with pretty much everything I get involved in, and nothing makes me happier than achieving this goal. I tend to approach new projects by breaking the big picture into building blocks, then prioritizing, tweaking and structuring those blocks to get the result I am looking for.
What’s the single most important thing people should know about your field? The variation of tasks involved in making even a small indie game often surprises people. There’s the coding of course, but also artwork, foley and music – hopefully coming together in an overall design aesthetic. And let’s not forget QA testing, constant revision and a ton of writing, from in-game story lines to marketing copy, emails and so on.
I still encounter people who think games are made by socially challenged, pale, junk food munching dudes in their mom’s basement trying to escape the Real World. It’s a stereotype of course. In reality you need a wide range of things, including people skills, to get the job done. The Mountain Dew and Doritos are optional.
Where do you find your inspiration? Ideas are a dime a dozen. There are more ideas than I know what to do with. Inspiration is a question of keeping yourself open to it, and you can train yourself to spot ideas anywhere. I think it comes down to questioning the world around you. The hard part is sorting and picking which ones to run with, and which ones to scrap.
What’s the one piece of technology you couldn’t live without, and why? I love technology. That said, I think of technology as a facilitator. If I’m using a gadget, it’s a tool – so my pick would depend on the situation. I love my Mac for many things, but my DSLR is what I use for photos and video. At the end of the day, it’s not the tool but what you make with it that matters.
Your best tip or trick for managing everyday work and life. (Help us out, we need it.) I’ve tried so many productivity techniques it’s not even funny. What works for me is a combination of structuring my time to specifically prioritize stuff I am not super excited about, and keep the exciting things as sort of a reward. Lists work to some extent – I’m a big fan of Trello as a simple productivity tool.
Mac, Windows or Linux? Whatever works for what I need.
Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? Admiral Ackbar.
Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? I’ll take a TARDIS, please.
If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would … Hire the most talented people I know and make the Most Incredible Thing.
I once waited in line for … Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The waiting in line was more fun than the movie.
Your role models: I think having role models is important. It keeps you inspired and humble. I have many, but let’s go with Frank Zappa. Not only was he insanely talented and smart, he also stood up for the things he believed in, took creative chances and never stopped working. As a creative person, Zappa continues to inspire me.
Greatest Game in History Dice, playing cards, chess, backgammon and D&D. To me this small collection represents the best of all games. If we are talking video games, I’d have to say Tetris, WoW and Minecraft.
Best Gadget Ever: As low tech as it is, I still think the pen is the mightiest of all gadgets.
First Computer: Sinclair ZX-81 with a casette tape player and an old black and white TV for a monitor.
Current Phone: iPhone 4
Favorite App: Nebula Rescue (my first game, shameless plug, I know)
Favorite Cause: Anything that aims to beat the crap out of Cancer. Too many people I love have suffered from this terrible disease.
Most important technology of 2013: Though not from this year, my vote will have to go to the Curiosity rover on Mars.
Most important technology of 2015: The next Star Wars movie.
Final words of advice for your fellow geeks: I’d encourage geeks to be more tolerant of each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Mac or a PC. It doesn’t matter if you prefer XBOX over PlayStation, or Android over iPhone, or Kirk over Picard. What matters is whether it works for you, and that you have something to be excited about.
LinkedIN: The Print