Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

[WoT] Dusty Shelves: How Tanks Were Born

Below is the ICQ log dating back to December 2008, featuring the conversation between Slava Makarov (currently lead producer of Wargaming.net), Peter Bityukov (hisrorical consultant),  before their meeting with well-known Victor Kislyi (CEO) - "fathers of tanks". That's probably the moment when WoT has been born. :)

So let's get to it. :) My comments are in italics.

Slava Makarov (15:48:37 10/12/2008)
Let's suggest WG to make a mech game on their engine :)
Gigantic androids! that will guard the borders of Russian Federation :)

Peter Bityukov (15:49:16 10/12/2008)
:) btw, have you seen their engine? I mean Bagration (also Order of War - Overlord)

Slava (15:50:39 10/12/2008)
Not yet. I have seen only Inhabited island (another WG's old game, see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_of_Power - Overlord)

Petr (16:07:51 10/12/2008)
The current engine is much better. It does look modern. http://www.bagration-game.ru/ You can check the screenshots here (unfortunately, not anymore :( - Overlord ).

Slava (16:08:23 10/12/2008)
Found it, yup, looks good.

Petr (16:08:33 10/12/2008)
plus it's not the only their engine :) they have got a few more :)

Slava (16:08:51 10/12/2008)
O, yeah! About mechs, huuge, human-like, steam! In the setting of the 30ies!
The Whites (see Civil War in Russia, eg here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_movement - Overlord) won and began to produce motorcuirasses instead of tanks!!!

Petr (16:09:36 10/12/2008)
will try to talk to him now

Petr (16:11:14 10/12/2008)
they have got a few ideas on the new project, Victor said we would discuss it in person. Personally I'm thinking of high-quality navy (Navy Field like game - Overlord), but there is a problem because of NF2.

Slava (16:12:46 10/12/2008)
will have to do it about WWI

Petr (16:14:15 10/12/2008)

NF2's timeline is rumoured to begin since the early XX.  :(
Already thought of that.

Slava (16:14:29 10/12/2008)
one more option is navyfield about tanks

Petr (16:14:44 10/12/2008)
squadron battles would be even more realistic there
I suggested navyfield with tanks to them like one year ago :)
MMO based on Order of War engine
with progression and upgrades
well, we can discuss it during the meeting anyway :)

Slava (16:16:55 10/12/2008)
it sounds nice - we have already got the models
progression scheme would be - lights-meds-heavies

Petr (16:17:14 10/12/2008)
i like it too

Petr (16:17:16 10/12/2008)
yup, plus we can make some lines / branches

Slava (16:17:27 10/12/2008)
yes, side lines like - spgs and rocket launchers

Petr (16:17:33 10/12/2008)
tank destroyers or even infantry

Slava (16:17:46 10/12/2008)
nope, infantry would only complicate things. totally different setting

Petr (16:17:59 10/12/2008)
full of heavy armament

Slava (16:18:21 10/12/2008)
APCs as aircraft carrier? :))) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armoured_personnel_carrier - Overlord)

Petr (16:18:43 10/12/2008)

Petr (16:20:05 10/12/2008)
some more to the tank idea - additional armour plates, engine upgrades, guns
what's your opinion on navyfield with sailing vessels? does it make any sense?

Slava (16:26:10 10/12/2008)
won't work out because of the wind

Petr (16:26:11 10/12/2008)
with winds and currents
too much for players?

Slava (16:28:32 10/12/2008)
yup, plus we will have to compete with corsairs (series of naval games for PC, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Pirates:_Caribbean_Tales as expample - Overlord)
tanks sound more promising
plus we have got a set of models

Petr (16:39:02 10/12/2008)
I like the tank concept as well

Slava (16:49:10 10/12/2008)

SuperHeavyTank - Maus, IS-7, Conqueror, M103

Petr (16:49:50 10/12/2008)
aye! and Т-27 too;) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-27 - Overlord)

Slava (16:51:28 10/12/2008)
no, Renault FT
everyone used it
and it was a piece of crap

Petr (16:52:44 10/12/2008)

Slava (16:53:38 10/12/2008)
don't like the idea of APCs as aircraft carrier since if scouting depended on such small fry, navy would be totally different, but interesting

Petr (16:54:12 10/12/2008)
artillery as aircraft carrier

Slava (16:54:24 10/12/2008)

this is!

Petr (16:54:26 10/12/2008)
probably even heavy self-propelled guns

Slava (16:54:35 10/12/2008)
different self-propelled vehicles and rocket launchers

Petr (16:55:39 10/12/2008)
Priest, Hummel
as for the Soviets
SU-122, SU-152 and ISU-152
could fire being in defilade position
but had little ammo and excess armour
though it might even work well as a unique feature of the faction

Petr (21:00:26 10/12/2008)
Victor will be in Moscow on Friday

Slava (21:00:35 10/12/2008)

And that was only the beginning. :)

[WoT] Serb's Interview to Balkan Community

Q: Hello Sergey Burkatovsky, can you please say something about yourself, it will be nice for our players to know who is this man and what he doing in World of Tanks?

A: Greetings! First of I’d like to apologize for the delay with answers. We are currently working on three major projects in three different cities of three different countries (that’s not including a number of small projects) which means I, as lead game designer and producer of Wargaming.net, have to travel a lot, visiting all our studios.

Thus through asking for apologies, I have already introduced myself. J I can only add that my main responsibility is to define the vision of all our games, starting with World of Tanks.
How did you get in Wargaming.net especially into World of Tanks? 

Q: What was your first position in this company?

A: I joined Wargaming.net as lead game designer when the team had been working on WoT for half a year. At the time being, as I have mentioned it above, I am responsible for game design of all our projects (of course each game has its own lead game designer, while I merely share with them the successful experience of WoT)

Q: You are like a boss of World of Tanks and your position is very important for all players, because you makes decisions for developing. Is that hard and stressful work?

A: Well, I’m not quite a boss, my position is definitely not the highest. :) I just communicate a lot with RU players. As for the work, yup, it’s rather hard. I’d say, sometimes it’s really mind-blowing, and I’m that tired that can’t even make to my bed, especially after 2-3-4 train trips or flights in a row.

Q: How long time you work during the day? Please describe to us you day on work.

A: Our working day is not strictly limited, and my job is not a routine, but related to decision-making in various spheres, mostly gameplay issues. That’s why one day in not like another one, they all are unique. I think, the most ordinary are business trips, though it may sound odd. I arrive to Kiev or Saint-Petersburg, where are studios are located. By the way, I prefer to travel by train, spending less valuable night time, since trains from Minsk to these two cities go exactly one night. In Kiev or Saint-Petersburg I take part in 2-3 meetings with local game designers, voice my opinion and give recommendations, then go to the hotel or back to the train station. 

In between those meetings I play WoT or WoWP to be aware of how things stand in both games.

Q: How much you play WoT during the day?

A: About 20 battles a day.

Q: What you don’t like in the game?

A: The lack of team play. 

Q: Where and what are you worked before Wargaming.net?

A: Long time ago in Moscow I. V. Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (or The Kurchatov Institute. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurchatov_Institute - Overlord). After that - there were lots of places, including game industry in Russia. However, I didn’t have any project that could be compared to WoT. 

Q: Before World of Tanks, your company had around 150 people, now you have over 800 developers, designers, producers, managers, supporters and many other workers. Will you move all your man and girls into some more bigger building? Can we expect that Wargaming.net work space looks like Blizzard’s buildings?

A: Office space is our sore point. Unfortunately I can’t give any ETA on this, but some day we will have our own skyscraper, I hope. :)

Q: You are very active on RU forum, how you can find a time for discussions on forum? Have you in plan to create account on EU, and start to discussing on EU forum?

A: Informal communication on RU forums is a part of my job, it helps me get better understanding of what is on the players’ minds. However, to make the communication truly informal (otherwise it’s useless) you have not only to be perfect in with language, but know the cultural background as well. And I’m far from that point, by the skin of mine I can communicate in German and English, but that’s really is heart-tearing, I must say. And for sure my knowledge and understanding of both American and European cultures are limited.

Q: Which servers will get new Chinese tanks and will we get full tech tree?

A: Sorry, no comments on this for now.

Q:When can we expect new parts of Clan War Map for EU server?

A: After the RU server. Sorry, but the density there is much higher, that’s why the expansion will take place there first.

Q: What is the future of Clan Wars, when you release this very popular part of the game, what can we expect new in final version?

A: There won’t be any final version of the global map until the project is alive – we will always come up with something. In the near future we are planning to introduce several features that will limit the possibility of taking control over certain territory and safe long-term farming. Details will follow via official news, but the common trend is to make the CW battles more dynamic.

Q: How many maps you will add in 2012.? Can you tell me something about that maps?

A: On average we add 2 maps per update. Assuming we get 8 updates annually, it makes 15 maps all in all.

Q: Will you add tier X for Tank Destroyers and Medium tanks? Also will you grow up lines for Heavy tanks and artylery?

A: Sorry, I was slow. Tier 10 TDs and MTs are already available. We are not planning to extend HT lines, as for SPGs we are going to stretch it out, thus, current tier 8 SPGs will be at tier 10. 

Q: When can we expect British tanks in game? And what will happen with some premium British tanks in Soviet tech tree?

A: Brits are expected to arrive at the end of the year, the first British premium tank (Matilda Black Prince) is currently in testing.

Q: Will you post some news about Japanese and Italian tanks? When can we expect that tech trees?

A: Sorry, can’t say anything certain on this. The work on the trees is in progress.

Q: Players can see on World of Tanks site full release of tech trees for all nations, but will you make some changes in tech trees?

A: Tech tree changes will be carried out as long as the project is alive.

Q: Which nations you have in plan to add in the game? And can we know when that will happen?

A: Great Britain and Japan – for sure, the rest is uncertain. 

Q: Players are very interested for physics? Can we expect physics before end of 2012.?

A: Yes, physics is highly-anticipated. We hope to release it in early autumn.

Q: Is there any chance to find out will you ever upgrade game engine for multi core support and when will that happen?

A: Multi-core support depends on some middleware we use (Umbra - Overlord). If we eventually find how to replace it or get a new version with multi-core support – it will be enabled.

Q: When you implement physics in the game, will the game use more than one processor core or we will play game on only one processor core?

A: Physics in game is server-side, it’s aim is not to provide some nice visuals, but to make the calculation of vehicle movement correct. Thus, it doesn’t load the game client. “Nice” physics, something in Havoc-style is likely to be added later.

Q: When can we expect dynamic lighting for the game? Can you say something more about that?

A: Dynamic lighting will be added in 8.0 update in early autumn.

Q: I can see on the forums some posts about EU tech tree? Is that true and when can we expect that?

A: EU tree is not finalized yet. What I can say for sure is that it will comprise Hungarian, Swedish, Swiss, and Yugoslavian tanks. We are still thinking about Italian and Polish trees, if we manage to extend them to tier 10, we will make them separate. Otherwise – they both will be a part of EU tree.

Q: Will you create bigger maps then currently maps which we have in game?

A: Currently we are experimenting with 3x3 km maps with 30-45 tanks on each side. If everything is ok, bigger maps will allow us to introduce bigger battles.

Q: Can you tell me when will you add Brummbär and Sturmtiger in the game and in which line you will put those tanks?

A: We have decided to form a separate subline of assault guns with these vehicles. This subline is not finished yet, as soon it is, we will announce it to players.

Q: Will you really remove T-50-2 from the game? Why, when, will we get some replacing for that tank?

A: Yes, T-50-2 in-game is not like it was in RL, thus we will replace it with a totally crazy vehicle.

Q: Maus has two guns. One doesn’t work can we expect that this little gun start to shoot?

A: It’s possible but not soon. On the one hand – there will be little use of this gun in most of the battles Maus fights. That’s why we think it’s not really a high priority.

Q: Why you changing place of transmission on some German tanks? (You don’t need to answer on this question if you don’t want to do that)

A: We have carefully studied all the documentation related to E-series available. Based on the sketches given in Spielberger-Doyle book, the leading wheel of all E-series tanks was in the front. Mr. Doyle himself thinks that the rear transmission layout wasn’t researched well enough. Thus, for tier 9 tanks – E50 and E75, we moved the transmission to the front, while for tier 10 E50M we introduced rear transmission. 

Q: Can we expect you presence in World of Warplanes or even in World of Battleships?

A: I think so.

Q: Do you know something about WoB? When can we expect start of Alpha version?

A: Yes, I know a bit. :) Two days ago, July 29, we have carried out the second focus-testing of World of Warships, it was successful. However, the alpha test dates are still uncertain.

Q: Will you create 4th game to continue  story of Tanks, Warplanes and Battleships?

A: As of now, we are not planning to expand the trilogy, though it’s possible that there will be some related projects. For example, card game WoT: Generals. 

Q: What is the future of World of Tanks? Future development in few sentences.

A: To be short: we are developing. :)

Q: Can you tell me how many players you have from ex-YU region?

A: Ex-YU accounts for about 4-4.5% of EU players, Serbia and Croatia are the biggest two - Overlord.

Q: Can you please say something to Balkan Community? :)

A: Hm, what can I say. Let our game bring you fun, and real life – no disappointment.

Q: Thank you Mr. SerB for this interview I hope that we will meet once!

A: Thanks you too! Good luck!

Link to the original post

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

[WoT] Dusty Shelves: Concept Art and Some More

As promised revealing some more stuff on pre-WoT days now.

This is the concept art of the game Wargaming was planning to develop back in 2008 before the idea of tanks was brought up. Some of the team are still kinda sad it happened that way actually. Unfortunately we won't be able create a solid elfish-and-orcish MMO in the coming few years (too busy with the current projects). Back in those days it was 100% impossible for us, and players don't need more low-quality MMOs. Sadface.

And the tech tree below:

Дерево стилей - Style Tree.
Новый персонаж - New Char
Маг - Mage
Лучник - Archer
Воин - Fighter
МагВоин - Mage-fighter
МагЛуч - Mage-archer
ЛучВоин - Archer-fighter
and numbers
Расовый сет - Race set

Monday, July 30, 2012

[WoT] Dusty Shelves: First Screenshot and Initial Tech Tree

Getting through the old assets related to the WoT-development, found some curious stuff.This is how the first World of Tanks screenshot looked like.

For sure, there was no intention to make elves fight tanks, their models were used to check the scale of the objects. :)

And that's how the initial tech tree looked like:

That's how it was back in 2008. The tank models are given in RU here.

Will dig up some more.

PS. Latest poll results (votes / %):
Which aircraft do you like best?

Messerschmitt Bf 109  - 713 (35%) it's already in :)
Spitfire  - 418 (20%) for sure, this is a must asap
P-51 Mustang - 385 (19%) it's already in :)
smth else / don't like all / etc - 267 (13%) no comments
Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero - 155 (7%) for sure, this is a must asap
LA-5 - 69 (3%) it's already in :)

The new poll is up.  

Edited. First teaser WoT.