Interview: Blitz Framework Department
Please welcome the Framework team. These guys are working on the development of the Blitz engine — the low-level part of the game responsible for graphics, performance, and sound. Victor Kleschenko and Olga Mamul believe their team to be the friendliest around. As for World of Tanks Blitz, they are completely sure it’s going to be a great success.
“I’m the head of the Tools Team within the Framework department,” says Victor about his role in the company. “Tools is actually the name we use for the 3D content editor, the UI editor and a few console utilities that are used to export and convert resources for mobile devices.
“For me as a colleague, not just as a professional, I’m sociable and always ready to help people around. Moreover, I totally enjoy working not only with the Framework guys, but also with the Art department: they often consult with me on things.”
“I’m a Project Manager Assistant,” continues Olga. “My responsibility is to ensure that all the things we create for the game roll out in time and meet our quality standards. By “things” I mean graphics features and all the possible improvements for the editors used by the team.”
“Despite all the responsibility, I’m always friendly and willing to help my colleagues.”
When it comes to the question of their game experience, Olga and Victor are excited and unanimous in their views: they love it and even get stuck into the occasional game.
It’s a common practice in Wargaming to call each other by online nicknames rather than real names. The Framework team is no exception.
“We have a tradition of addressing each other by our nicknames that traces back to the times of the good old online-shooters,” explains Victor. “The guy we call ‘Smile’ sits right next to me in the office. His real name is Sergei Zdanevich. Some guys have such expressive real names that we don’t need to make up anything else: just take ‘Solovei’ (Russian for “Nightingale”) for example. As for me, people call me ‘Mite’.”
Olga’s colleagues call her ‘Volga’ (same as the Russian river)—that’s how her name was playfully adopted from Volha, the Belarusian translation of her real name. She’s not really fascinated by being ‘Volga’, but when she says that, she gives you a big grin.
Sleepless nights are usual practice for the guys. “It’s hard to remember the weekend without resolving a task or two,” says Victor.
“I wake up the next minute I get a message in JIRA. Then I see that guys have been working all night and it calms me down,” Olga keeps on joking but suddenly gets serious: “All the departments developing World of Tanks Blitz depend and rely on us and missing a deadline means letting them down, which we can’t afford.”
It’s hard for Victor and Olga to recall funny professional stories. “I’m afraid there cannot be any fun in what we do,” explains Victor. “We either do it well or screw it up.”
Olga agrees: “If we have a laugh about a blooper in our task, the next minute we have people storming in and crying that they have tons of problems. This is where all the fun ends.”
When it comes to complimenting their team, Olga and Victor are unstoppable. They are grateful to each and every member of their Framework crew. They all have clear goals, do a great job to achieve them and work shoulder-to –shoulder, bringing the team unparalleled drive and satisfaction.
As for other friendly departments they get on well with, the guys single out the Client team. “We are great friends with the designers and all the guys from the Client department and we’d like to thank them for their patience!” Olga pays tribute to her co-workers. “We build the mobile engine of Blitz and the Client team use it a lot. Whenever the goofs happen on our side, they are always understanding.”
Both Olga and Victor are sure World of Tanks Blitz will thrive. There’s still much to be done but they are already planning how to celebrate the game’s success.
“It’s not the time to discuss celebrations. We need to release it on time, check how it all works and only then we will have a right to relax,” says Victor. “When the time comes, though, we will make the celebrations a day to remember!”