413 - Michael Flarup

Michael Flarup is a Designer and a Game Developer from Denmark

Michael Flarup is the founder and CEO of Northplay, an independent game studio founded in 2016. They are currently developing Dinolords, a realtime strategy game where you gather resources, build fortifications and command units in defence against the invading Danes with their arsenal of fierce dinosaurs.

He is also the author of The App Icon Book, a book that celebrates the best app icon designs.

Looking for the perfect coffee table book? Grab one before they're gone.

Twitter (X) → twitter.com/flarup

Michael's Workspace Tour

Workspace Items

  • I do my work on a Cheese Grater Mac Pro with an XDR and a Studio Display
  • I play games on a custom built Windows PC in a Mini-ITX case
  • My keyboard is a custom built Mode Sonnet and I swear by the MX Master S3 Mouse


  • Trello
  • Things
  • Photoshop
  • Unity

What is the most useful item in your workspace?

While I love the keyboard and the many gameboys I have built and modded, the most useful item is probably something boring like my notebook and a pencil. I do a lot of sketching for my design work and nothing really beats doodling on a piece of paper.

How do you spark creativity?

The world is a museum of passion projects and whenever I’m stuck I like to immerse myself in something other than what I’m currently staring at. I play a lot of games and read a lot of books. I’m a dad to two wonderful little humans and they keep me both exhausted and inspired. I also like going outside. As a scandinavian I enjoy winter bathing and sauna on a weekly basis and I feel like it helps keep me grounded.

What is the most challenging aspect of publishing a book? The most rewarding?

There’s of course all the boring stuff, like finding the right partners to produce the book. Color accuracy. Paper types. Book Binding. Packaging. Inventory management and the logistical hurdles of shipping stuff worldwide. There’s this whole category of tasks that has to be handled that has very little to do with why you wanted to make a book in the first place.

As someone who has worked with software and games for several decades, the hardest thing about publishing a book is the fact that it’s incredibly hard to iterate on. Once it’s printed, it’s done. There’s a finality to the work that’s counter to everything else I do and that’s both scary and liberating.

The most rewarding part is of course seeing thousands of people receive and proudly display this physical piece of art that you’ve helped bring into the world.
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