Interview with Davor Hunski, lead designer and application programer of Croteam.
1. Say something about Yourself. What do You do in Croteam?
DH: I am Davor Hunski, I am 29 years old. I serve as a lead game designer and application programmer in Croteam. I am also one of original Croteam founders. I allways had a dream of creating games for a living. There is nothing quite like it. I would never change this job for anything else. Trough time I work on few areas of development. Most of the time that we spent working on Serious Sam: The First Encounter I was programming editors and helping Alen and Dean with engine code. But I also did some work on level design (especially terrains and backgrounds) and effects (allmost all effects are mine). I like designing, but I also like technology programming and assisting Alen in realizing his visions.
2. How long did it take for the Croteam staff to make Serious Sam 1?
DH: It took more than 4 years, if you count all the previous engines and game content. Final preparations (including demo) took little more than a year. So, first 3 years seam to be thrown, but that's not the case. We learned a lot, and each developer will tell you that these prototyping times are the most important part of project development. Finishing part is based upon producing, you concentrate solo on creating content. By that time you know
what to do, there is no more wandering or prototyping.
3. Was it very difficult?
DH: Yes, it was. Since most of the work on Serious Sam: The First Encounter has been performed as garage development, it was incredibly tough. It is tough enough to be self-founded, but if you add lack of people, faculty and army obligations, it gets even harder. Can you imagine 12-hours work each day for three years without a single day of vacations or break? I mean each saturday and sunday, every day. I think that only New Year's day wasn't working day for us. I remember working on 31.12. until 21 at night and then
going onto New Year's party. Is that difficult or what?
4. Which part was most difficult while making first part of Sam, with what did you have the biggest problems (modyfying engine, modeling, etc.)?
DH: We didn't had too much problems with single certain area of development, we had with all of them :). We were a kind of short with texture artists and models were redone at the last moment. Engine has been rewriten few times. Also, gameplay search and overall game shape has been tough to find. But I wouldn't change a single bit. I always think that we had to make hundreds of decisions of where to go next, and we were deciding right. Now I am very
satisfied with the result. I am proud on our games and I enjoy them playing.
5. How many people were involved in creating the first part of the game and how many people are working on the second part?
DH: It is hard for me to define how many people worked on The First Encounter because it has been most of the development time garage development project. That means that from time to time there were from 4 up to 8 people working. By the end of the project, Dinko, Damjan and Petar joined and then it was much easier to work. Since that time we grew a little bit and now we have few new guys working in Croteam. Some of them are not involved in game
content creation, some are responsible for technology, some for design, some for business. But the whole team is great. Guys know their job and we are all having fun, we enjoy developing. There were overall 9 people working on Second Encounter content, and they did marvelous job in very short period of time. I don't remember when certain developer published two titles inside one year. That's great.
6. What was the feedback from the community for Serious Sam 1?
DH: Feedback was incredible. Especially for demo release. We were overwhelmed with thousants of mails containing compliments. Some of mails were deliriuos, claiming that we are gods and that they will never play another game until end of their lives. We were laughing like mad. Those days can't be repeated. We were so happy, finaly our hard work has been recognized by gamers arorund the world. Up to that time, only we belived in our project, we had no encouragement from anyone. But after souch a feedback we were sure that we are on the right track. Even guys from some respectable development companies congratulated us, which was so encouraging.
8. What was Your reaction when You were informed that Serious Sam won the Game Of The Year competition on GameSpot?
DH: That's unspeakable. Like you won jackpot on lottery. We didn't expect it in any way. There is no way to describe joy and happiness that this brought to us. That's like dream come true. There is nothing above this. This is top. How can we ever thank all you gamers outhere (and Gamespot also!) for support and souch an honor? Maybe with a great new game. That's all what we can do. And be assured that me and my Croteam colleagues will do all we can
to stay true to our vision, trying to bring joy to gamers, try to build better games. How we will perform, we will see. But we will do our best. I promise you.
9. What games will be the biggest oponents for Serious Sam: The Second Encounter?
DH: Huh, tough one. I played trough some FPS lately and I like them. Since they are out for some time now, I don't know if they will be fresh enough to compete with SS:TSE, but we will see. I expect next SOF to be great, but we will see. I don't have to mention that I as a gamer can't wait for the great three to happen, can't wait to play Doom3, Duke Nukem Forever and Unreal 2. I just hope thet they won't disappoint me. I expect much from these games. Can't wait to play. But there are also some other great titles coming next year. I feel that 2002 will be a great year for gamers.
10. Do You plan to release SS: The Second Encounter for XBox or Play Station 2?
DH: Yes, we do. Note that we as a team love arcade way of gaming and that console audience should love us. So, we hope that Serious Sam would be great on consoles. But that's still in front of us, to prove ourselves yet. I would like to see Sam doing well on XBox and Play Station 2.
11. Will SS: The Second Encounter contain much multiplayer gameplay modes?
DH: Yes, multiplayer aspect is heavily increased in SS:TSE. We included Seriously Warped Deathmatch MOD from Few Screws Loose. It supports three new styles of multiplayer play (including CTF) and some great levels. We as a Croteam also participated in multiplayer aspect by adding something like 10 deathmatch maps for gamer's plaeasure. I didn't have time to test them myself, but Tome and other CT guys assure me that they offer some great
12. Have the AI of computer oponnents changed a lot?
DH: No actually. We added some tactics to enemies and that makes them harder to kill, but we simply can't do much more. Because if we would, we would have to cut down number of enemies, and that wouldn't be real Serious Sam any more. Would you be able to survive attack of 30 smart enemies? When you have more than enough problems with 30 stupid ones. We will do something about it in future project of ours, but we will have to invent new ways of using it
inside Sam gameplay.
Thanks for the interview and I wish You to release fast The Second Encounter!
Thanks a lot for great questions and please be kind enough to deliver my best wishes to your readers and their families for upcoming hollidays. Marry Christmass and a Happy New Year to you all!
Aktualizacja: 03·11·2000 - 03:02