Eurogamer: How many people play Love?
Eskil Steenberg: I don't know, but there's usually at least... There are hundreds of people on right now.
Eurogamer: And how many people pay?
Eskil Steenberg: Right now it's somewhere around there - a few hundred.
More is always better, but I don't think in terms of projections. There are two important things: I want people to experience it because I built it, and I want it to pay for the servers so I can keep running it for the people who want to play it. That's my main concern.
I've worked seven days a week for the last four years. I live in a tiny apartment that's really cheap. I don't want a penthouse, I don't have a driver's licence so there's not going to be any Ferraris. I really don't have any interest in money. If you're a programmer and you have a screen a computer and a keyboard, you can make whatever you want. You can't buy anything that makes you a better programmer. It doesn't matter.
It's an amazing community. When you get a new player in, you don't want to kill a player, you want to help him get more tokens - you want to teach him, be nice to him, because the better player he is, the more stuff you get. That means the community is incredibly nice and friendly. The community is pretty amazing that way. But it is my design I have to say.
Eurogamer: How long can Love go on for?
Eskil Steenberg: It can go on forever. I make enough money off of it to live off of it.
Eurogamer: And are you happy, creatively, working on one project?
Eskil Steenberg: No. Not at all.
Eurogamer: Are you making anything else?
Eskil Steenberg: Yes and no. I'm probably going to start a new project and it's probably going to be an RTS game.
Eurogamer: Will it be radically different to Love?
Eskil Steenberg: Yeah it will be. The thing about Love is it's so expansive it's very hard to think of games I can't do in Love. It's a shooter, it's an adventure game, it's a building game...
Eurogamer: Is there an element you'd like to take further?
Eskil Steenberg: Actually no. Here's how Love is going to develop: the idea right now is not to make it larger but to make it finer and add small things, details, polish. There are so many systems in the game already it's enough for sure.
Eurogamer: Will Love ever be complete?
Eskil Steenberg: That's tricky. In some ways it is complete now. In other ways it's never going to be complete. There's always another stage, there's always more you can do. I'm pretty happy where it is right now.
There are some things that make me sad about the game. The saddest part about the game is I don't know how to make a new game. I've done something so complicated, I've gone to the bleeding edge of what is possible, and I can't think of a way to do it better. If you build an aeroplane and you try to make it go faster, eventually you're going to realise that propellers just won't do it, because propellers break when the tips go faster than the speed of sound. And then you have to go to a jet. I've reached the end of the propeller and I don't know what the jet is. In order to go to the moon you need to go to the jet to the rocket and then to the moon.
There's a good bit of propeller left so I don't need to throw it out yet. Somewhere out there, there may be a jet. It may not be there, but if it's not there than that's a really scary thought. I'm scared because I don't see anyone else following me. Blizzard isn't doing the game that is going to make Love look like ancient technology or crap. I don't see anyone else doing it. I look at all the games out there and they're not pushing the envelope further. That's kind of sad.
Eurogamer: At what point in your career do you think people will call you a genius?
Eskil Steenberg: I think they've already done that, unfortunately.
Eurogamer: Do you think you are?
Eskil Steenberg: I don't know. I don't believe in that. I don't think it works like that.
I don't understand IQ, because whoever thought that the entire brain could be summed up by a number - that person shouldn't want there to be a way to measure intelligence. I don't like that term about anybody. Somehow it feels like simplifying the world a little bit.