Pavel Ponomarev – the 1st!

The first elimination round for Yandex.Algorithm 2014 was held on the 1st Ponomarev dominated, walking away the victory!

He elected to go for the riskiest tactic in the competition, blindly sending all his assignments to be checked (this offers the fewest penalty deductions, but each mistake is deadly) at a feverish pace. He was right on the money: they were all very well done, leaving the rest of the participants churning in his wake. There are still two elimination rounds to go, but Pavel does not have to join them, he is already guaranteed at TOP 25 finish that will land him in the final to be held in Berlin.

Tanki Online team comes in Germany

We decided after our successful fall meeting with German Tanki Online players that it’s worth making the experiment as a tradition. The new meeting will be held on June 27-29 at a camp complex in the great city of Wildflecken, and we expect it to be attended by about 40-50 members of the German community.

One important and eagerly anticipated part of the meeting will be a presentation given by the developers in which we will discuss the high points of the past year, what is going on now, and what we plan for the future. In addition, Julia Gilyova (tech support specialist) will talk about the tough life of those who work on resolving player issues. We also have exclusive t-shirts designed especially for this meeting.

The developer team will include:
Community managers Mariya Trusevich, Valery Schumann, and Nikolay Kolotov, in addition to Julia Gilyova, a tech support specialist.

GamesCom 2014

gamescom
Look for us at the upcoming GamesCom to be held August 14-17 in Cologne! There will be a large stand set up with an open gaming zone featuring mini tournaments for anyone who would like to check out the newest version of Tanki Online and learn how the new version was developed. The trip will also include a meeting with the game’s German community.

I will write more on the details of the event as they become available.

Tanki Online in the media

As part of our efforts to promote Tanki in Europe (and beyond), we got together with a PR agency to run two online conferences with foreign journalists. The goal was to meet representatives of foreign gaming media and let them see the game through our eyes. The participants were treated to a short description of gaming opportunities, a live battle demonstration, and the chance to check out most of the guns and hulls in action, after which the journalists decided what they liked most and went to war against each other. The event wrapped up with time for discussion, questions, and answers. All in all, everything went well, and the journalists loved the game and our plans for the future, even drawing attention to the aspects of the game we ourselves have always stressed. As of the moment this note is published we have four publications, all of them good reads.

First experience with remote work

It has been ten days since a small team of server developers started working remotely. We picked a small city called Paralimni on Cyprus where we rented a villa to serve as a work zone.

Alexey Kviring:

— Here is how our schedule works: we get to work at around 8 am every day and stick with it until one or two, taking a break for a small breakfast. At one we have lunch at a restaurant, and then head to the beach for a couple hours for volleyball, swimming, etc. At four we get back and work until eight or nine, after which it’s every man for himself. The upside of working like this is the quiet, as no one pulls you away from your work, as well as the change of scenery and flexible schedule. We haven’t found any real downsides, with the minor exception of how far restaurants are—everything at the main office is very close. We were able to get into a groove with work right away, and there haven’t been any technical issues, seeing as how the company is set up for this sort of thing.

DevGAMM 2014 Moscow

devgamm

We had a great time at DevGAMM, serving as always as a platinum sponsor and handing out t-shirts with the latest (for us) image to all the participants.

Anton Volkov gave a lecture with the shocking title “Think in other way? Good luck then!” that was based on his experience managing in our company.

Anton also participated in the round table entitled “Is it worth creating games if you could do something else and be equally successful?” The discussion also featured Sergei Klimov (founded Charlie Oscar and runs a russian podcast called #КакДелаютИгры), Sergey Orlovskiy (Nival), and Nikolay Dybovskiy.

Vitaliy Semenov spoke about interacting with outsourcers for developing graphic content.

— Unfortunately, I can’t say that there were all that many lectures in the art section, and even fewer were interesting. However, the technical aspect of the issue was examined from all sides. For example, the lecture devoted to the physics in Unity 5 was really great for me, and I really liked the round table (Dybovskiy, Volkov, Orlovskiy) — they contrasted well with each other and discussed both the down-to-earth and philosophical aspects of life as a developer.

Vladimir Kovtun participated in the game design round table.

— I was surprised by the huge number of young specialists putting up respectable results at Unity. They are young and energetic, and already making real money off what they’ve been able to put together, even if it isn’t that much yet. It was great to personally talk with the pillars of the CIS game development community. I was happy to see the large number of lectures on game design and scripting, as well as the discussion on the growing popularity of art games. There was also a wonderful demonstration of indie projects.

I’d like to note that in the last few years DevGAMM (previously FlashGAMM) has become the largest industry conference in the CIS. his year it drew more than 1200 people from around the world.

A report on the event from the organizers

A fun video made at the conference about developers

GamesJamKanobu 2014

gamesjam

AlternativaPlatform was a general partner of #GamesJamKanobu, an open festival in the gaming industry that was held from January 31 to March 1, 2014. The goal of the festival was to help talented artists, designers, and programmers transform themselves into professional game developers, while also helping young existing teams hook into the gaming community. It was the first time such a large and open event had been held in Russia or the CIS.

In addition to the monetary prize we provided, Autodesk and Unity Technologies offer winners licenses for their products (Maya, Maya LT, Smoke, Unity Pro), while Autodesk also offers free access to Maya certification and DevGAMM offers tickets to its next developer conference (to be held in Moscow on May 15-16, 2014).The festival received legal support from Ekaterina Nemova, an independent lawyer in the gaming industry.

The festival got underway with #GamesNightMoscow on January 31, 2014.

DevGAMM 2013 Kyiv

On December 7-8 Kiev hosted DevGAMM 2013, an international conference. This year was record-setting in terms of the number of attendees: more than 1300!

Seven of us made the trip to Kiev: Anton Volkov (technical director), Evgeniy Gilmanov (lead analyst), Vladimir Kovtun (lead game designer), Aleksey Totmyanin (lead game designer), Semyon Strizhak (game designer), Vladimir Babushkin (programmer), and Mikhail Sukhoterin (lead consultant).

Evgeniy Gilmanov and Vladimir Kovtun lectured on “How gamification can help you earn more,” trying to answer questions that, as it turns out, have been on the minds of many:

  • How can I earn more by boosting user loyalty?
  • Why does a game designer’s team need a marketing specialist?

Participants thought our speech was among the top three given at the conference!

Visitors to the AlternativaPlatform stand were able to see a technical demonstration of Tanki Online and CombatSector. To the surprise of many, the demonstrations used Unity instead of Flash.

The conference wrapped up with an award ceremony for game developers. Game designer Aleksey Totmyanin was thrilled to receive DevGAMM’s prize in the best game category for Combat Sector!

P.S.: We went for an evening walk around Kiev on the second day of the conference with some Tanki Online players. What a beautiful city!