Award winning art director, digital artist, and conceptual designer; his many projects include: Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer; Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures; Dreamfall: The Longest Journey; Anarchy Online: Shadowlands; and Anarchy Online: The Notum Wars
Didrik Tollefsen was born in Oslo, Norway on a hot midsummer's eve in 1971. He grew up in a little village on the countryside, with easy access to vast forests, lakes and fjords. As a child, he often explored this wilderness on impossible quests, either butt naked in mossy pine jungles, or up to his ears in snow.
He also appreciated many hours of solitude in his room; daydreaming about integrating mythical creatures, freaky monsters and mutated abominations into the wilds of his environment.
The directional choices of Didrik's education were greatly influenced by his parents. His father (an art director and illustrator for a Norwegian publisher) encouraged young Didrik and his brother to draw and use his drawing equipment.
"I think both my father and mother at some point hated games, simply because of my total addiction. Yet, they supported my dreams and thereby played an important role in my choice of a career. They also taught me about esthetics in art and design, and the shallowness of pure inhibited regurgitation within trash culture. Hence, bringing esthetics into the art of creating games is incredibly important to me."
Didrik's formal art education focused on the classical drawing techniques of rendering shape and colors, combined with several years of traditional sketching and drawing in the style of realism. From there, he began experimenting with various digital art programs including Photoshop, which significantly enhanced his understanding of light and shadow, texture, design, and color.
"Doing a Conan game has been a dream since I was a teenager and read the comics for the first time. I've gotten to know some fantastic, extremely talented people. And we are all doing our part in something that is more than a massive multiplayer online game - it's a living breathing, parallel universe! Always changing - never the same - a unique project."
Didrik began his seventeen-year career with Funcom in the early nineties, and his current professional undertakings include digital painting, designing, and art directing. In 2003, he was presented with the Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction award for the Shadowlands expansion to Anarchy Online.
Funcom is an award-winning developer of electronic entertainment; in addition their team also works with international companies (such as Disney and Sony Computer Entertainment) to develop games (including Pocahontas, Casper, and Speed Freaks).
"As an artist, I've very much enjoyed being a part of the digital revolution and seeing the birth of so many great new tools and mediums, opening up endless new possibilities for human creativity!
I've helped develop big and small games on all kinds of platforms over the years, but most of the focus recently has been on massive multiplayer online games - virtual worlds where thousands of people can meet up and go on adventures together.
It's all been very exciting and I've had enough challenges for a lifetime!"
Read Didrik's full bio (PDF format).