Nickflas Nygren
Nicklas Nygren
Location Umeå, Sweden
Genre(s) Platform, Adventure, Arcade, Ambient/Atmospheric
Worked with Bautafilm, LPChip, Nicalis Inc., Sara Sandberg, and others
Website Nifflas' Games

Nicklas Nygren (born 6 January 1983), better known by the handle "Nifflas", is a Swedish indie video game developer and music composer. He is known for his freeware games Within a Deep Forest (2005), Knytt (2006) and the #ModArchive Story series.

Commercial games include Knytt Underground (2012), which is the second of his games to appear on gaming consoles.[1] Nygren has stated game development to be his biggest passion as it lets him work with almost every interest he has and combine that into a single product.[2] Most of his games are made in Multimedia Fusion 2.

He lives in Umeå, Sweden.[3]

Games Edit

Main article: List of Nifflas games

Nygren's career in game-making began with a number of small games he released as freeware. Many of these games were extremely simple - consisting of little more than a physics engine and a single level on which to test it, however it was in developing these games that several themes would emerge that would later come to characterize Nygren's work.

Among other themes, the concept of the ball as a hero originated in these early games and the games became increasingly more atmospheric and ambient in nature. Notable titles include:

Common themes Edit

Most of the games are flip-screen platformers in which the player controls either a bouncing ball with variable physics or a humanoid (usually called a "knytt" or "sprite") with the ability to climb walls.

The games usually include many areas (like Figure Space in Knytt Underground) which require rapid reflexes in order to maneuver the character through obstacles with pixel-perfect precision. This has garnered the games a reputation for being very challenging despite appearing seemingly casual.[4]

Each game allows 3 different "save slots" or player profiles, as well as "warp points" spread throughout the worlds which allow the player to respawn at the last visited point after a death or resuming the game at a later session.

There are also elements of the "Metroidvania" genre, such as gaining new movement abilities which enable access to different areas, as well as some freedom and replaybility depending on the order in which those abilities were found.


A scene from Knytt Underground.

Visually, almost all games (with the notable exception of Saira) have 2D terrain represented as a solid black silhouette in front of photorealistic backgrounds.

Music Edit

Nygren has been engaged in music creation for the past ten years,[5] composing most of the soundtracks for his own games, as well as collaborating with D Fast, LPChip and others. The game soundtracks, along with collections of sound effects, are available for free on his website.

He claims influence from jazz records among others.[3] Aside from composing music to go with the locations in his games, he sometimes designs game areas specifically around the music.[6] Nygren's early works were primarily composed using Fast Tracker 2; however, his later works often use non-computer hardware.[3]

For Nicalis, Inc. Nygren has contributed to the enhanced soundtrack of the WiiWare version of the indie game, Cave Story.[7]

Nygren has also created seven standalone albums of ambient music:[8]

  • Cityscapes
  • En skog, märklig och djup
  • Lunarscapes
  • Uncategorized
  • Winterscapes
  • One Hour Compos of Nifflas
  • Forgotten
  • Bonustracks
  • Kartoffelsessions

Additionally, he has released an album of bonus tracks intended to accompany four of the seven albums by providing stylistically similar extras.

Trivia Edit


Geoffrey the Fly, an early Nifflas game.

  • He bought a Pocket PC in order to compose music on trees.

Nifflas and his rugged beard.

References Edit

  1. "Knytt Happens: Knytt Underground Rolls to PS3, PS Vita Today – PlayStation.Blog". Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  2. Knytt Underground Press Kit
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Interview with Nifflas - CTG Music Community
  4. Within a Deep Forest review on, May 27, 2006
  6. "Re: (Another) wordy thank you for making Knytt Underground" on the official support forums. August 11, 2014
  7. The Cave Story interview - we get the full skinny from Nicalis frontman Tyrone Rodriguez, and Pixel himself
  8. "Index of /files/Music". 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2013-08-17.

External links Edit

Interviews and lecturesEdit