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Get to know - Ondřej Martinák - Lead Programmer

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▶ What do you do on Vigor?
I'm the Lead Programmer on Vigor which basically means that I work with my team to bring all the systemic features which lie under everything else to the game. 

 

▶ What is your contribution to the Vigor Team?
Nowadays, I contribute to the game mostly by enabling my team to work efficiently and without unnecessary hurdles. We discuss technical solutions together and choose the direction for individual features in the game. I'm coordinating our work with other departments, like scripters, because it is closely tied together. And I also write smaller pieces of code when I steal some time for myself (usually during the night when everyone leaves the office 🙂 ). 

 

▶ What do you like about Vigor?
I'm not very proficient in using a gamepad for shooters so I usually prefer to take a safer approach. This gives me a great opportunity to explore areas of our maps that are not frequently visited by other players and enjoy the nordic nature. That's probably what I like most about Vigor - the environment. Be it sunny forests, silent wilderness covered in snow or muddy hills under the storm clouds. 

 

▶ What do you want to see in Vigor?
When we first started working on duos it felt to me like we were able to reinvigorate the game with something new and interesting. I'm really happy we are following it by bringing other game modes focused on team play and cooperation as it brings deeper game experiences. I would like to see a bit more in this regard and it so happens that we have some additional ideas. 

 

▶ What do you do when you are not making Vigor?
I usually sit in my apartment, everything dark, computer screens slightly illuminating the surroundings, another bit of light coming from the streetlamps outside, calm synthwave playing from the speakers, writing experimental code in whatever programming language I fancy at the moment.
The other half of my free time is consumed by social dancing. I mostly focus on Tango Argentino and Zouk but I might be able to remember one or two steps from a couple of other dances as well.
I must say that social dancing is in fact an activity very well suited for (software) engineers 🙂 

 

▶ Did game dev change your view on the games and how?
Well, yes and no. Creating games and playing games are two different things for me which don't necessarily overlap. It's true that when I play a game I notice interesting technical solutions here or design decisions there and I might end up with a page full of notes. But I mostly try to let go, enjoy the game and immerse myself in the artificial world. On the other hand, when I'm creating a game my day to day motivation comes from the process of creation itself. I like to write code for the game, I like to help iterate individual game mechanics and I especially love putting release builds together. Even though it might come with some crunch time it's the time when everything falls into place and you finally see the game that was only in your head so far. 

 

▶ Your favorite games and why?
UFO: Enemy Unknown - This is where I learned my h4x0r skillz cracking save games to get a ridiculous amount of money (Pro tip: the difference between signed and unsigned long int does matter 🙂 ).
Baldur's Gate II - Are any words necessary?! Go play it!
Ghost of Tsushima - Beautiful visuals, wonderful stylization, and very well designed game mechanics that take advantage of both. 

 

▶ What's your favorite music, movie, show, book, and why?
Ahh, there's too many, let me pick some in random:
Music - Silueta Porteña performed by the Juan D'Arienzo orchestra from 1936 - listen to the bubbling piano underneath the main melody.
Movie - Star Trek (2009) - I really liked the pacing of the movie, there was always something interesting going on (and yes, I also like all the lens flares :))
Show - I mostly hate shows so I don't watch them much but I liked the first few series of The Big Bang Theory.
Book - Magician by Raymond E. Feist - I grew up reading all the high fantasy books I could. 

 

▶ Is there something that you want to say to our community?
Please don't be too harsh with us because of the bugs. If there are bugs it means we've also (hopefully) added something new and fun into the game :). 

 

▶ You are Outlander; humanity has fallen. What would you do?
Finally time for a vacation! I would move to a tropical island, build a small straw hut and spend the rest of my days watching the sea. Nah! I would get bored quickly and start looking for electricity. 

 

▶ Bonus question from Martin
What do you find different about game development, compared to other kinds of software development?

It's definitely the mindset of people, their interests, and the overall atmosphere in the team. In gamedev, we are all "weird" in the same way and I sooo love that. Basically, everyone here is playing computer, console, or board games, everyone is brewing a fantastic or sci-fi world in their head or is otherwise taking part in our sub-culture. We all want to play and we all want to create. And we all fit together. 

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