David Klingler

President, Solanimus Inc. & NonZeroSoul LLC

Hi I'm a game developer named David and as you can see, I don't write about myself in third-person. I consider myself a ludician, musician, soul-searcher, and a friend. I founded Solanimus in 2011, and founded NonZeroSoul in 2019. I used to officially hold 64 video game world records, but now just 63, and have either won or placed in numerous tournaments for several competitive games of multiple genres over the years. Outside of games, I also play Scottish fiddle music, and I won the Niel Gow Fiddle Award the only time it's ever been given at the National Championship in 2010.

I started Solanimus in 2011 during a personal challenge I gave myself to make a game. Specifically, I wanted to teach myself how to make all aspects of a game by doing it all myself: all graphical assets, audio, game design, testing, and programming it in an engine of my own creation using a programming language I was to learn along the way. That game was my first release, Cool-B in Search of Floyd. After that, I designed and programmed Crashland for which my father created the graphical assets, and later built up a team of new developers that created Signal to Noise, the realtime music driven rail shooter. Besides these games, I've made some other small games along the way such as Unseen, I Went Home, and unfortunately, Flappy Yee.

I love mentoring other creators because my own mentors (in games, business, music, etc.) have had such a profound impact on my life. My favorite game is still Earthworm Jim, the first video game I played with my late brother, the very first person to encourage me in games.


In a new albeit odd format, I'll be demonstrating a new process for developing a tiny and personal game in which the game itself not only reflects its own development process but also how that process was determined. Along the way I'll talk through the parallels of game design and development with my personal journey so far as a game developer (and gamer), focusing specifically on the existential question of "What's the point?" that all of us flawed creatures inevitably encounter throughout our careers and our lives.

Expected takeaways: a clear approach for being open and honest with yourself (and those around you, kindly) about your own "Why," a newfangled organization of tools demonstrated with my personal workflow to rapidly make an expressive game, and of course an exceptionally fantastic understanding of how those things directly relate to one another.