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Nicklas Nygren is a music composer and game designer best known for his work as the developer of Within a Deep Forest, Knytt, and Knytt Stories.  He creates his games using Multimedia Fusion 2, software that allows someone with no real programming background to design a game.   Nicklas lives in Umeå,Sweden and develops his games and music under the screen name Nifflas.

Themes and Trends

Nifflas' games feature lots of atmosphere, which he creates with a mixture of ambient sound, music, and graphics.  The ambient sounds in the game include dripping water, swooshing wind, and a variety of other real world sounds that give his games a grounded sense of reality.  Music tends to be used sparsely for dramatic effect and can range from soft pieces to pounding techno beats.  Nifflas composes much of the music in his games along with the help of contributers.   Graphically speaking all of his games are 2d games with a number of tell tale features.  The landscape is almost always composed of blocks.  Textures are used sparsely and the backgrounds tend to be gradients that help to create a time of day, mood, or setting.  Most signature of all though Nifflas injects his games with a variety of, often silent, characters and creatures of all shapes and sizes.

Nifflas' games range from hardcore platforming challenges (Within a Deep Forest) to simple games that almost anyone could finish (Knytt).  One thing that all of his modern games (starting at Within a Deep Forest) feature is a focus on exploration.  Indeed Knytt is almost entirely exploration.  Players can finish these games with a minimal of exploring if they wish, but will not get the full effect of the games.  Nifflas has named a number of influences for his games from well-known games like Ico ranging to small indie hits like Samorost and Cave Story.


All of Nifflas' games have been released as freeware, but starting with Knytt Stories Nifflas began exploring various possibilities for how to make money from his games.  For much of the development cycle of that game he maintained that the game would be free, but he would sell the expansion packs.  In the end he decided not to pursue that angle, due to complications with starting a business for the purposes of making money.  For the moment the only way to support his games is to donate money at his website.  For future games Nifflas has acknowledged that he may someday try to find a way to make money directly off his games.

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