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The Interview with Lead Producer of 1CGS Albert `LOFT` Zhiltcov


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The Interview with Lead Producer of 1C Game Studios  Albert `LOFT` Zhiltcov

 

Obilich: - Albert, we're aware of your past experience as an active participant in a variety of cyber-avia tournaments, and we would like to ask to share with us your impression of such tournaments.

 

LOFT: - I’m glad to point out, that recently this sort of events reached really modern scale. It’s really nice that I can watch the broadcast or even take active part in an event like this without leaving home. Just a few years ago we had to go to another city to gather all of us in one room for such event. It required sufficient effort for most of the competitors. Sure there is also certain advantage in meeting people in person. One will make close acquaintance with people that he knew before in virtuality only. This was the way to develop a real-time friendship, unique and sincere.  And this was the way that started our Team that is now working on the new project IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad.

 

The advantage of what happens right now – it’s the scale. Now it’s so easy accessible. As a result we face the intensive growing number of the fans and participants to the level of a true sport event. And this is great. It produces positive emotions due to the fact that it happens in real time – here and now, in front of your eyes. And in the same time you are staying in your room, enjoying the home comfort.

 

Squier: - You mean you used to meet your friends rather often during such events? As they call it now “LAN” tournaments?

 

LOFT:  – Not only during tournaments. We met each other in a social informal way. Just for a cup of beer and entertainment. Despite the distances we had to cross, I never felt any regret for the time spent to reach my friends and to meet them in person. And I wish to say to those that are complaining that it’s quite a long distance to go, and knows his mates only by chat and TS contacts: “Get rid of these ill ideas -  the feelings, the emotions and the experience you gain from such a meeting are unique and definitely outweighs the costs. In future you’ll recall these meetings with a warm and happy feeling.”  

 

In that period we were younger. And the passion for flight simulators made us differ from other youth groups and movements, for instance – from Tolkien fans. We never sought to escape from the real world into imaginary one, instead we were actively investigating it, we were interested in history and other matters related to aviation. This was quite serious, and this was a living process of communications and information exchange.

 

Obilich: - Next question may be an unpleasant one: if we compare the genre of Flight Sim to a plane – we’ll notice today the two quite different wings – 1-st is MMO F2P, who’s future is yet uncertain. This genre is hardly compatible with flight sim; this is why we can watch over its crisis. And the second wing – this is flight simulator in its classic form, as the IL-2 Sturmovik used to be. Our beloved “Forgotten battles” are still unexcelled.

 

For your project IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad your team chose the second direction – pure flight sim. Do you realize the responsibility? “There is no land beyond the Volga?”

 

LOFT:  – Certainly we do understand the responsibility. But don’t feel suppressed by it, the opposite is also true. We feel a sort of elation because of so many mates are eagerly waiting for the results of our work, and these results are so important to them. This knowledge inspires us and provides us with a new energy for a new working day.

 

It’s a great luck that we have a job like this! It’s a blessing – to be busy with the matter you really love. But it’s still a working process, and sometimes you face difficulties in it. The feeling, that your work is so important for so many people provides us an ability to overcome those difficulties. This is why we see the responsibility you were talking about as a positive and inspiring factor.

 

Thank you for your relying on us! Thank you for your support! We are grateful and proud that you encourage us to do this project. We’ll not disappoint you!

 

All of the team members deep in their souls adsorbed the spirit of those events and the historical period that will be a subject of the future game. All of us studied a lot of resources. Many hours we spent in archives and at places, where the battles took place. This is why the sentence – “there is no land beyond the Volga” for us sounds as a slogan and an imperative.

 

In addition to what I said above and except for the moral satisfaction I as a general producer of the project have to care for a profit.  It’s important for me to make everyone to understand it. As a general producer I am worried about the profit first of all. I’m guided by the two iron rules I’ve inherited from my Grandfather, who served on a submarine. First rule is the Sea Order – nothing is a trivia – each and anything is important. And the second thing he used to repeat to me: Alick, you must make things move THE BEST WAY. In the usual way they can move without you.” Now these two rules are adopted by the whole team. Anything we are doing we try to make perfect way immediately. Because it will be quite difficult to notice little bugs afterwards. And now I can promise that anything that we will do during this project will be done in the best possible way - fixed and perfect, as good as we can. We study and process any feedback or challenge that we overcome during the discussion of our work over the Net. And we are always opened to a dialog.

 

When I work on the project - my greatest dream is to come sometimes to a museum, and to see a person pointing on La-5 and telling quietly to his mate that he learned about this craft from our game. 

 

The path we chose is a complicated one, because the target audience of our product is quite limited. It’s not enough to love planes and to have an interest in history. You need at least to buy a joystick. But we’ll try to attract new players and to expand the interest in the gamer community. Always and anywhere when one really tries a simulator – not only flight sim – but any simulation – he gets immediately fascinated by the game process and becomes a real fan of the genre. Our goal is to make the first interest to motivate his first step in a proper direction. And we’ll sure work hard on it! I mean such things as the comfort of usage, game interface, and the other sides of the game.

 

And to the experienced avia-sim players I want to say: “Don’t worry! We know how to make our sim the way you’ll like it!”

 

Squier:  - A gamer will buy simulator exactly because he wishes to know the real plane behavior in a real battle situation. He wants a plane not only to look like his real prototype, but also to behave exactly the same way. And in this context we want to ask about your attitude towards cybersport. This is one of the rare cases where there is nothing accidental. Everything is planned and calculated – each gunshot, each hit and each trajectory change. That’s why the history realism is so important for us.  How precise are these effects? How historically true? What about the ballistics, bullets and plane behavior in general? And will we have test tournaments?

 

LOFT:  – Certainly will be! I understand perfectly well – this is a very important part of life of the entire community! We try to be updated concerning the recent aspirations of the community. I even practiced myself in organization streams for my friends. So this matter is familiar to me. And we’ll try to integrate it to our project. To make the direct broadcasts from the game to internet possible and comfort. But I would prefer not to make certain promises right now because the firm timeline of release.  

 

I think that your question concerning cybersport might be divided to two parts: the technical one and the administrative one.

 

For instance – my visit here is a part of an administrative work. We’ll devote to the work with the community much more time than anyone used to do in IL-2 sim series. In the past the community was on left alone, by its own. And was handling many issues (include organization) without any help or partnership or supervision of developers. We’ll change it over. We won’t stand aside. We understand that it’s extremely important for the community to have close dialogue with us. We’ll try to be as opened and accessible as possible for the tournament    organizers and common players.

 

This is from the administrative point of view. As for the technical one – I’ll prefer to abstain from commenting as for now.

 

Obilich: - So you mean – we might expect a tournament already during beta-testing stage? As for us – we can organize and hold any kind of tournament.

 

LOFT:  – If so – we’ll have it! May be even before beta-test! I can see in it as a way to tell about our project – a sort of advertising, as well as video clips, teasers, developers’ interviews. I’m sure that we are going on the right direction – that’s why I can’t see why we might object to the actions like this.

 

On some early stage we’ll invite you to see everything with your own eyes. For example – we the first pair of fighter planes almost finished. And the rest we’ll appear without delay, I hope. Because the timeline is really very firm. And we make our best to do everything in a final, ready-to-release form. To make future bug-hunting, tuning and polishing unnecessary. And to this extend we plane to invite soon the participant and organizers of cybersport disciplines to watch and to estimate our project – The Battle of Stalingrad – as an instrument for cybersport tournaments. We are quite sure that the sensation of the flight and fight in the air we’ll be quite different, new, more perfect, more realistic than we ever experienced.  Anything that a gamer will have is his personal knowledge and his skills – nothing else. This will be a real sport – where only personal level and a talent of a competitor is sufficient – not some technical advantage that he reached by paying for a better unite or earning unit skill.

 

We made the physical model in the project as realistic and detailed as possible. This relates to aerodynamics, ballistics, and all other aspects. Sure there is the same physics for the whole world and we don’t break its rules, but the depth of the realization and the detailing are on a quite new level. How the dogfight will actually look, what will be relevant and which way will work – we’ll see together as soon as the first fighter pair will be ready. And on a beta-test stage it will be already possible to hold a full-scale tournament. This is already a tradition in IL-2 sim series. I participated myself in such a tournament during avia show MAKS when I met my future friends and mates for work in 1C Studio. It’s for us a symbol and a good sign, and I believe that we also have to hold such tournament in the new project of this series.

 

Squier: - I like the way you build your communication with the community. In particular your initiative of Developers Diary with its regular updates.

 

LOFT:  – Yes, this is really important for us. We're young developers and this is our second project. I was always disappointed by those of our mates that didn’t want to waste their time on a community relationship. As for us, we don’t understand this approach. It’s important for us to involve our future users in the development process. We want them to share our success, we want to heir their advices when something is not properly as they whish. After all it’s they whom we make the game for. And it’s very important to remember this to all of our colleagues. Because the information collecting process is a very complicated one. It requires the study of archive documents, blueprints, finding photos, numbers, reports and memories. Verifying all this. Inside the simulator we build an environment, very certain objects perform their transactions. And sometimes the information of the highest value can come from those, who see these objects and their transactions in reality. We're just planning programs and mathematics.  Make computer models of planes and people. But just imagine – may one of our users somewhere have a neighbor next door that witnessed all this issues when they took place, participating in this war. The things he can tell us, the information he can provide – we’ll not find in any place or document.

The original interview on Russian

 

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word that's awesome. I like the philosophy of do thing right. A wood worker friend of mine always said, measure twice, cut once . . .

 

and the devotion to quality and forging the development with the community and involving them is great

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Thanks for the interview.

 

It's good to see the producer is as excited about the genre and this product as we are.

 

I'll be looking forward to seeing the video's of people going head to head in the beta!

 

Cheers!

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We all understand the profit motive: no profit - no mission!  So we all hope you produce a winner for flight simmers and the general public.

Would be interested in hearing what the pricing model will be?  

Overall, communication has been encouraging.

Good luck with the project.

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ACTUAL SKILL!!!!  Not some fancy leveled up gimmicky gameplay trick.  This is why WT fails so hard for me.  Im tired of fighting ME262's with an  I53.  And then waiting 20 minutes to play another round.  I want to be able to pit my skills in one aircraft against a relatively equally matched opponent and see who knows more about their machine to become the victor.  Not because he paid 200$ to go straight to the top aircraft.  This attitude from 1c/777  is EXACTLY while Ill do anything to support them! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah but I think that WT passes itself off as a sim as well.. or tries to...  Something that can go either way.. appeal to the hardcore guy and the gamer guy.. but t doesn't. I've said it once I'll say it a thousand times.. IL2 got it right.. if you start with that as a base and even if you deviate slightly in other areas .. but in terms of features and scalability, playability..etc starting with IL2 as a base and building up from there... like it looks like 777 is doing .. at least in part.. is a win win. There is a reason why IL2 is still the best overall WWII flight sim on the market regardless to other sims that do some things way better.. I am looking forward to BoS.

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