Giant Norse Elementals & The 80/20 Rule

Why execution matters in game development: the importance of tiny insignificant details.

This week we’ve been working on improving the Winter Jotun boss battle. Following the 80/20 rule, the last 20% is taking up 80% of our time.


We don’t have final art in the game yet, but, mechanically, we’ve found that the flow and overall experience of the fight is highly dependent on tiny details. I recently watched (for the umpteenth time) Jan Willem Nijman’s (Vlambeer) talk on The Art of Screenshake. I think it perfectly illustrates how adding what seem like insignificant details add up to create a satisfying gameplay experience.


Thora and the Winter Jotun


For us, it has meant adding a tiny screenshake when Thora’s attack connects, a slight camera follow when Thora is close to the Winter Jotun, a couple of extra milliseconds to Thora’s attack, a subtle flash to show feedback when the Jotun receives damage, making the health bars vertical instead of horizontal, etc.


These tiny details are the reason execution matters. They are what make a game feel amazing. They are the difference between a good game and a great game. For the next 10 months our job is to keep adding in these tiny seemingly insignificant details to make Jotun into an experience that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.


See you in purgatory,


Will and the Jotun Team


PS: If you haven’t already, make sure to join our mailing list!


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