Working on The Smugglers game.
Interview with Project Manager – Szymon Dziedzic
Hi Szymon, can you tell us what you do in your company?
I’m a Project Manager and I manage projects, which means I incorporate the collected ideas into the game, I supervise the team and I lead the project until its release and then some. The main point of my job is keeping an eye on the schedule in order to deliver our game to the audience without unnecessary delays. No one likes delays, especially me, that’s why I’m such a do-it-all guy, balancing the plan of action with the ability to convince the team of the rightness of the actions. It’s my job to know how to work with people and have knowledge about the competences of each person in the team. The worst mistake you can make is to put the wrong person on the wrong task. The key to success is people who have clearly defined tasks. This is my main assumption when working, and it works out perfectly.
It looks like you enjoy your work and fulfill yourself professionally – can you tell us about your latest project?
I can’t hide the fact that work takes up most of my day, catching myself so engrossed in a project that I don’t feel like going to sleep. We are currently working on six projects, but at the moment I can only talk about one, which players can already add to their wishlists on Steam. The Smugglers is a co-op online game where two teams compete against each other on a single map. Each team has different victory conditions, completely opposite. Players can play as a team of smugglers or law enforcement officers. It is a third-person shooter with tactical elements, and each game is started by the smugglers, gaining only a seeming advantage over the opposing team. The game market has shown that the demand for this type of game is very high, so we decided to launch a capture the flag game with character classes for each side.
Aren’t you afraid that players have already had enough of this type of games? What makes your product different?
We are convinced that if you give our game a chance, it will defend itself and attract more and more players. You won’t find another game like this one, in which there is a spy, who is actually a player from the opposite team. It’s like playing in a smuggling gang where you can’t trust anyone and not only do you have to complete the task, but you also have to watch your back while running from law enforcement. I don’t use the word „police” on purpose, because we want to offer players at least six different maps, which are based on modern history. This will include the Wild West and Prohibition era, but we will also be giving ideas to players to vote on what the next map should be. So, for example, you’ll be able to make a choice between playing in a Chinese province or a chase-and-run on the moon. These are future plans, but the team and I are prepared to make changes and improvements to the already released game. Our game will be based on four main tenets, starting with dynamic gameplay with short, compact matches. We don’t assume repetition here, as each match consisting of even the same players will always be different. You never know what kind of merchandise you’ll end up with, or what kind of vehicles you’ll have to use. One of the things we’ve taken into account here is cargo capacity, which means that you won’t carry as much cargo in a horse as in a truck, and you won’t go as fast in a speedboat as in a jet ski.
It looks interesting, but not always the bright side wins, right?
It all depends on where you sit. No one will be able to decide the winners before the last minutes of the game are played. The condition of victory for smugglers is the need to deliver the goods to the designated place on the map or eliminate all the pursuing law enforcement officers. They can therefore win with their ability to sneak across the map, as well as take on opponents in an exchange of gunfire.
What languages will you offer your players?
If the question is about the menu language, for now we foresee English and Polish, but we do not exclude updates with German, French or Chinese. I’m specifically talking about written words, because in the main, players will communicate through gestures and actions or if the group is organized, through external voice communicators. We will intentionally not add an internal communicator to the game, because everyone is a player and everyone will choose what they already know and like. We are not going to impose anything on anyone.
When can we expect the beta and when do you plan to release the full version of the game?
The only thing I can say right now is that we are aiming for release in Q2 2022. We still have months of work and beta testing ahead of us. If we feel that the game is almost ready, we will be happy to get the feedback from players by releasing a beta-demo which they will be able to play.