Weiteres Interview mit Roman Hladik (Lead Artist)

Roman HladikWieder ein neues Interview. Heute mit Roman Hladik, dem Lead Artist von 2KCzech. Roman kennt ihr bereits. Denn er ist der Künstler hinter all denMafia 2 Artwork. Er plaudert in diesem Interview über seine Inspiration, sein Fabel für Frank Miller Comics, nackte Frauen und seine Pläne für die Zeit nach Mafia 2.

What were your inspirations when you started creating concepts for Mafia II?
I don`t remember exactly. It wasn`t just one thing. I like the era, design of fifties, old movies. So this all was inspiration. Based on this I made my own vision about Mafia2. Our game won`t be strictly realistic, we want to have strong atmosphere in it so we have to stylize rough facts. Work with them but distill only the important and interesting stuff of them.

Who are your favorite artists? Can be any type of artist…comic books, traditional painters…anything.

I like Frank Millers comic books. His drawings are really amazing and stories are dark romantic and breath-taking. Also I like impressionist paintings and one picture by Amadeo Modigliani, Sleeping nude.

When you’re not creating gangsters and mob boss characters for Mafia, what do you do in your spare time?

When I`m not creating gangsters… I draw naked women. Just for anatomy and drawing study of course. Or I go to pub. This is my the second most favorite activity. Drawing in a pub is fine too. ;-)

If you had to choose a character from any gangster movie, which character would you be?
Sin City isn`t gangster movie, but I like its dark atmosphere and I like Marv character. I don`t want be like him, but his is likable. If I think about the question I don`t want to be as any character of movies. I have my own life. I had never have an ideal or beau-ideal.

What will you do when you finish Mafia II?

I`ll take a long holiday. I have a dream few years already to ride Route 66 by motorcycle. Whole journey from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Kurzes Interview mit Lukas Berka (AI Developement Manager)

Lukas BerkaEin weiteres Interview ist bei DeLucas Restaurant online gegangen. Lukas überwacht die Entwicklung der künstlichen Intelligenz. Hoffen wir, dass er seinen Job gut macht – schließlich war gerade die KI der größte Kritikpunkt an Mafia 1.

What is your role on the Mafia II team?
I am responsible for all AI features to be completed in the proper quality and proper time. This is a good manager-answer, right?

What is your most favorite thing about your job?
It’s great when a person can see how a game gets created from the very beginning and even better is if a person can contribute with his own ideas or feedback. I am really glad that I can be part of this project with all these great people.

What is your least favorite thing about your job?
Maybe waking up in the morning (I find waking up before 9am rather weird) or the coffee machine that sometimes forgets to return the coins properly.

What types of music do you listen to?

I listen to good music but sometimes also to a worse one, so that after that I can like the good one even more. Although there was this one time when I listened to Britney Spears and since then I like generally anything.

Any hobbies? … girls…cars…toy collecting…comics?
I do collect toy figures of girls in cars or something like that.

What is your favorite game?
All right, it is Mafia II. Other than that its DoTa (Defense of the Ancients – mod W3 ), there is nothing like a little ownage after the work.

Interview mit Lubomir Dykast (Lead Mission Designer)

Lubomir DykastEs wurde ein Interview mit Lubomir Dykast veröffentlicht. Lubomir ist für das Missionsdesign zuständig. Also liegt’s an ihm, ob die Missionen spannend werden oder nicht. Grund genug für einige Fans ihm ein paar Fragen zu stellen und das kam dabei heraus:

As a lead mission designer, what is your mission at 2K Czech?
My main responsibility is to ensure that the final look of all the missions of Mafia 2 is as best as possible. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to stick to fixed regulations and, if possible, try to reach all the goals that have been set. In practice this means that I am primarily in charge of assigning tasks to each of the designers from my section, and I also need to make sure the first drafts they create can be used and look as best as possible. Naturally, I take care of what the missions should look like concerning both visual and gameplay aspects. In case any problems emerge, I try to resolve them immediately so that the time spent on production is as effectively used as possible and that the things do not have to be reworked several times. If something is unclear, I immediately go discuss it with my seniors, mainly with Pavel Brzák – the lead designer – and Petr Mikša – the game producer.

When you sit down to create a new mission for Mafia II, what are the first things that run through your head when designing that mission?
First, it is very important to create a list of actions and game mechanisms I would like to use in the given mission. It is crucial to count from the very beginning on using an interactive environment and consider the designed level a unique thing which should attract current modern players (create a diverse environment, try to have some dominant thing in each level, have an animated environment etc).

Next, I need to prepare references and materials in order to create game sketches; in this phase, it is necessary to collect as many photos and film clips as possible as references for the designed location. Then, I create a rough sketch, i.e. a very simple game map including only basic geometry; now, it is good to use art workers and their visions. The last thing to do is to produce a game 3D sketch, which is a rough model containing only a few textures, basic lighting, and several simple scripts necessary to test the primary gameplay. Now, from the perspective of design, the mission should be ready for graphic production. If all this passes through the process of approval, then the 3D sketch goes to the graphic team whose members then only deal with creation of graphics and do not have to invent the game, as it usual in other development teams.

Have you run into any situations in your career where you said to yourself “Mission Impossible”? If so, can you tell us a little about that situation?
As a game developer, I must admit I have to answer this question every single day. It is necessary to realize that even these days there are lots of things that cannot be processed the way we would like to do them in terms of technologies; physics of liquids is a good example. This issue may apply to individual locations and their launching on consoles (PS3, XBOX360), be it connected with the number of polygons in the view and connected FPS, then a number of lights per scene, size of textures and a collision scene etc.

Talking about any game that you have played in the past, has there been any mission you played and said, “WOW, that was a great mission from a design standpoint”?
This definitely happened to me after I finished the sniper mission in the last sequel of Call of Duty. I don’t get surprised very often, but I must admit that this game impressed me very much in terms of its design. The authors managed to implement most ideas and innovative features other games are not able to offer now. Almost perfect.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring mission designers out there…what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to create things on your own. If you think you have some potential, I would recommend that you start with game maps for games and modes with the help of free editors (UnrealEditor, Sandbox). To advanced ones, I would recommend Maya or 3DS Max, and if you succeed, then there is nothing to be afraid of. That’s the way I began.

What is your idea of the term “game”?
Lately, I have found out that each of us has a totally different idea of what game really is; some of us see only a box with a DVD in it, some see nice graphics, others see hours and hours of nights spent playing, lots of people find games relaxing, and some others can see never-ending work and T-shirts drenched in blood and sweat. However, it is also important to realize that it is never-ending fun, and that’s what it’s all about!