Check out an interview with Survarium level designers!
We continue introducing our players to the developers of Survarium and their specific roles. Read our interview with the project’s level designers Vasiliy Prorok and Oleg Golubovsky.
Vasiliy, you’ve returned to Vostok Games after some time away. What did you do during the break? What were your tasks before and what are you now responsible for?
Well, I’ve spent some time just living in China and playing video games. As for my duties, I used to have to do everything at once: game balance, maps, implementing new game mechanics etc. Now I'm only working on level design.
Oleg, tell us, what did you do before Vostok Games and how did you join the company?
Hi! Before Survarium I used to work on casual mobile projects as a level designer. However, I’ve always dreamed of working on a big project — a shooter or an RPG. I’ve spent a lot of time studying game design and 3D modeling. After meeting Oleg Yavorsky at the Games developers' conference, I got a chance to join the team working on a game, the poster of which I had hanging in my house’s "gamer’s corner".
Vasiliy Prorok and Oleg Golubovsky
How do you think an Asian location would fit in Survarium? Would it differ much from those already present in the game?
Vasiliy: I doubt it would fit in the world of Survarium. It would be hard to convey that Asian feel, since lots of buildings and structures are ruined and desolate in our post-apocalyptic universe. On the other hand, it might turn out overly Asian, standing out too much from the general atmosphere of the game.
Oleg: I think an Asian location would fit well in Survarium universe, even though the main story’s events are taking place in the post-Soviet space. We’ve already found out there are survivors in Germany and in London. The Forest, as well as The Pandemic, has changed the world in many ways, differently in each part of the world. I believe the Chinese are so enterprising and purposeful that even if Beijing was overgrown by The Forest, they would find a way to power the whole city from an anomaly.
In Survarium 0.46, alternative versions were added for the following game locations: ‘School’, ‘Rudnya’, ‘Mamaev Kurgan’ and ‘London’. Which location did you like the most? And why?
Vasiliy: My favorite one is that version of ‘Rudnya’ where we moved the capture point to the swamp. It changes the gameplay significantly on a map that the players have already grown accustomed to. I also like the new variations of ‘Mamaev Kurgan’ where we’ve fixed the base on which players used to lose more often.
Oleg: Can’t comment much on ‘London’ and ‘Rudnya’, since those are the ones I worked on myself, but I’ll be glad to hear the fans’ opinions. Please, leave your feedback on forum in ‘Locations’ section. I know a lot of players have been waiting for changes to ‘Mamaev Kurgan’ map, and this is the one my colleague Artyom has been working on. Perhaps, that’s the location I’d like to comment on. You might remember the issue where the team located near the strategic height used to have the upper hand. Well, now it’s fixed, so that both teams have equal chances. We’re glad the players have appreciated our efforts.
What is the next location you’re going to change? And how many variations for each map are you planning to create?
Vasiliy: The upcoming ones are ‘Vostok radar station’, ‘Chemical plant’ and ‘Cologne’. Currently we’re planning for each map to have three versions.
With the latest update, many players have noticed such new features as whirlwinds and cars giving off radiation. So, come on, who did this? :) Also, are those purely visual effects, or they’re going to actually affect the gameplay?
Vasiliy: Yeah, that’s my doing. For now, those are just visual enhancements, something to make maps more atmospheric. Are they going to affect the gameplay? Time will tell.
I guess we all agree these improvements affect the atmosphere of the game positively. Any other thoughts on making Survarium more immersive?
Vasiliy: It’s hard to talk about the atmosphere in PvP battles where the players are more interested in their kill count rather than the environment. I think we should talk about the immersion with the PvE introduction.
Oleg: We do have some ideas though. One of the tasks we have set for ourselves is reworking the anomalies and the artifacts. We want them to be more responsive to the environment, not only deal damage to players. We would also love to see certain events in the game that would change the levels’ topology and gameplay. We’re currently discussing the possibility of their introduction as well as some other ideas with the programming team.
Do you have plans for new PvP locations?
We’re currently hard at work making variations for existing locations. When this task is complete, we’ll be able to say more about new maps.
Let’s fantasize a bit. Describe in details, how do you see the future Co-op locations?
Oleg: We have quite a voluminous world, so we’d like to see some places and environments in the game known to us from Survarium book series. We’d also love to introduce the players to the Forest’s flora and fauna. I don’t want to ‘fantasize’ too much. But I can tell you the next game mode is something the developers look forward to as much as the players. Right now we have PvP locations telling us the story of the places where The Forest ‘allowed’ humans to exist. In my opinion, it’s time to tell the players more about the history of anomalous zones.