Benjamin Vehling

Game Producer / Indie Game Developer

I love game development because it is one of the few careers where you create beloved worlds and experiences out of thin air!

  • About me
  • People Skills
  • Software Skills

Hej, my name is Benjamin Vehling. I come from Germany and I am currently working as an indie game developer in Mariefred (Sweden).

As an independent developer and educated game producer, I have an excellent understanding of every aspect of game development and I manage everything from coding, asset creation, user interface and audio to marketing and organising. But only in a crew you can specialise and reach true excellence in creating games.

My goal is to give teams the possibility to develop themselves to achieve true perfection.

Integration
Feeling part of a team is more important than being part! I believe that you have to be accepted and respected to develop yourself and perform at your best in a group.

Individuals
Teams are always a sum of different people with different motivations and characters. I believe that listening to and approaching the individual is the best way to lead a group of people.

Communication
Communication is the most critical aspect of a team. Verbal and non-verbal communication, conflict management and team development are my key social skills as a project leader.

A shortlist of software I set up and worked with professionally.

Management:
Jira, Hansoft, Trello, Favro, Wekan, Nextcloud

Documentation:
Confluence, Wikis, MS Officer, GSuite, Nextcloud Suite, WordPress

Communication:
Slack (with Bots), Discord (with Bots), Jitsi, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype4Business, Teamspeak

Creative:
Photoshop, Aseprite, Inkscape, Blender, Audacity

Game Engines:
Unity3D, Godot

Project Management
Organization / Sprint & Backlog Planning / Agile Management / Prioritization / Pipeline Optimization
Documentation
GDD / Business Plan / Wikis / Presentations / Postmortems
Communication
Conflict Management / Presentation / Team Building / Team Meetings / Leadership
Problem Solving
Motivation / Impediments / Asset Management / Risk Management
2020

Endless Ocean Cleanup - Ludum Dare #47

Solo Dev. - Compo
Endless ocean cleanup is a project developed for the 47th Ludum Dare game jam COMPO where you get 48h time to create a game from scratch. I took this theme to raise awareness of our polluted oceans and to credit the work of the ones who daily go outside to clean up the mess other people left behind. Try to avoid plastic and start recycling your trash!

Everything... A Post Mortem about this game will follow up shortly on my blog site.

My Little Sunshine (iOS / Android)

Solo Dev.
My Little Sunshine is a casual-micro game where you help your little sunflower to survive and protect her from nasty bugs! Nourish your flower by providing her with rain and sun, but too much is too much.

Everything. My Little Sunshine is my first proper released game for iOS and Google Play Store. It also contained advertisement and analytics, mainly to gather some first-hand experience. This game features everything a typical game shipped with, from save games and progression to a smooth UI and a full-blown sound manager. After the game jam version, My Little Sunshine is also the first game that I released as the sole developer.

My Little Sunshine - Ludum Dare #46

Solo Dev. - Compo
This is not just the first game project for the LDGame Jam but also the first game I ever release and the first game I showed to the public, made entirely by myself! The theme was Keep it alive. You have to nourish the little sunshine with water and sunlight while defending against hordes of evil bugs! Stay alive for two minutes to bring your sunflower to shine!

I always wanted to participate in a Ludum Dare Game Jam. But I never felt like I had the skills while learning the "Producer" trait. Sure I can code a little and know almost everything about the production pipelines. But its something entirely different to also do these things yourself. This year after working for weeks on a little game project, I felt finally ready to join the COMP with my first entry entirely made by myself. You can read more about it in the post mortem!

2019

A Song for Viggo - Kickstarter

Assistant Producer - Team: 4-6

A Song for Viggo is an adventure through a world which, after a terrible tragedy, is revealed to be as thin as paper. You play a father who accidentally kills his son and then has to keep on living, even though everything crumbles around him.

Between late 2018 and late 2020, I joined the team from A Song for Viggo created by Simon Karlsson. He started this Kickstarter project in 2014 and I helped him establish workflows for a remote team, introduced tools like Trello and Google Drive and organised workloads. After managing the team meeting for most of the time, taking care of stable build at all times and a little bit of QA, I withdrew myself from the project as everything went smoothly again. The game is on its way to completion and will be released sometime 2022.

2017

Last Lights (Windows)

Producer - Team: 5

Last Lights is a 2.5D sidescroller game for Windows. It plays in a melancholic and beautiful destroyed world in which you, the last firefly and thus the last hope to save the world from the never-ending machinery. This project was one of my final group efforts during my time at Games Academy Berlin with a fantastic team of talented people.

Last Lights has been one of my favourite projects during my time at Games Academy Berlin. I worked as a producer in a team that was flagged as challenging, but we ended up creating the best game of the year! I used a lot of team-building techniques and focused on a clear game vision. The team enjoyed the time and highlighted the excellent communication and conflict solving.

Play Video
Play Video

Olafs Adventure (Android)

Producer - Team: 3
Olafs Adventure is a mobile adventure game for Android in the style of “Tiny Thief” and “Love you to Bits” that was produced during my time at Games Academy Berlin. The unusually small team, containing just three team members and a musician, put together this fun and adorable experience in only three weeks!

I handled the production tasks for this project and organised the music from a befriended musician. I always want to experiment with analytics and think that mobile games are a great platform to reach a lot of players. I agreed to lead the team for this semester, as the programmer and artist worked quite well from home. I could focus on the exhibition of the game, taking care of presentations and paperwork and let the team work mostly independent. Olafs Adventure was my first experience with managing a team remotely via Discord, Trello and Mantis. 

Blood Rush (Android)

Producer - Team: 8

Bloodrush was one of these projects that started in a completely different way than it ended up. It was supposed to be a somewhat educational clicker game but ended up in a spooky, fun and cartoony way. It is one of these times where the vision doesn’t get together with the resources at hand. It was my very first mobile game build for Android. When creating this game, I worked together with another great producer called Phillip Hoffmeister. It was in this project where I got addicted to the numbers of analytics, and I also implemented push notifications.

As two producers on this project, the initial plan was that I take care of everything hands-on, and the other producer takes care of the paperwork and task management. But due to the change of vision and a long storming phase, Bloodrush turned out to be one of the most challenging projects to date for me. I did manage to help implement a tutorial, analytics and push notifications. But know I know that my job would have been to bring the team more together and build up a solid vision. Its definitely one of the projects I learned the most in leadership in the future.

2016

Alpha Neo (Windows)

Producer - Team: 6
In Alpha Neo, is a cyberpunk card game where the players take control of mega cooperations in the fight for power and influence in the city. The movement is represented by a map where the player moves through an isometric 3D City in sequences to remove opposing forces on the way to the enemies headquarters. A unique genre mix between poker, memory and trading card games.

As the producer of the team, I started as usual with an assessment of the workload. Denis, the game designer in the group, already made a paper prototype and mechanic wise the game was well prepared. We soon found a proper art direction and production started. After almost two weeks into the development, we noticed that our programer had huge problems with the unreal engine, nobody in the team used before. We decided to stick with the game engine though as work was archived and because of portfolio reasons. This decision broke our neck in the end. After our game designer got customed to the engine, he asked for an assessment of our code. After we brought support to the team, we noticed the progress we thought we had, was way behind its supposed to be, mechanics were not implemented, but faked to be there. After this project, I understood why its called "trust is good; control is better."

Fencing Friends (Windows / Mac / Linux)

Producer - Team: 6

Fencing friends is an action fencing game targeted at children. The idea came from the programmer, and as a clear vision, we created a coop fencing game that he can play with his younger brother. We took a child-friendly approach in the art style and in terms of violence and oriented ourselves on cartoons like Tom and Jerry.

As the producer of the team, I noticed fast that the best way of communication was the physical instead of software like Hansoft or Jira. We equipped our war room with white and pinboards and organised the entire production manually. It was a challenge for me to keep track of the progress and to prepare some paperwork for our gates we had to pass. But it worked good for the team, and I learned the value of the individual team and that there is no "one size fits all" leadership style.

2015

Guardians of Gaia (Windows)

Producer - Team: 6

This game was the first project we realised during our two years of studying video games. The challenge was to take an old school classic and combine it with something new. We created a mix with the endless runner genre and told the saga of a protector of nature that had to fight corrupted beings. Basically, Pong with abilities.

My first game at games academy to manage as a producer was quite challenging as everyone had different backgrounds and knowledge. Nobody worked before with Unity, the game engine we used for the project. I was the only team in the first semester who used Hansoft, as I was used to the JIRA style of task management. We were well organised and had also plan B and C, but it's hard to assess tasks when nobody has a clue what he or she is doing. A great experience, though!

2014

Asterix and Friends (Browser)

Project Management - Team: 12 Publisher Departments

Asterix and Friends is a browser management game developed by Sproing Interactive and published at the time by ProSiebenSat.1 Games GmbH. It was the first game I contributed by organising the marketing campaign on sides of the publisher. After changes at the publisher, Sproing Interactive took back the rights to the game and it’s now owned and developed by gameXcite GmbH who is still running the game. 

As my first commercial game I worked on, I mainly maintained the roadmap and brought the different publisher departments together to organise a soft launch of the game. Christian Wegler, Head of Project Management at the time helped me a lot to develop and to become what I am now. I recognised my passion for creating and optimising games instead of publishing them and the team effort it brings with it to develop games. I enrolled at Games Academy Berlin as a producer and learned to lead cross-disciplined teams through many pitfalls of game development.