Interview: The Blitz Framework Team
We'd like to introduce you to the Framework team. These folks 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. And they're completely sure World of Tanks Blitz is 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 of the 3D content editor, UI editor, and a few console utilities used to export and convert resources for mobile devices.
“As a colleague, not just 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 the Art department. They often consult with me on the Android OS builds.”
“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 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 about their game experience, Olga and Victor are excited and unanimous: they love it and even get stuck in the game occasionally.
At Wargaming, it's common to call one other by their online nicknames rather than real names. The Framework team is not an exception. “We have a tradition of addressing each other by our nicknames that traces back into the times of the good old online shooters,” explains Victor. “The guy we call Smile sits just next to me in the office. His real name is Sergei Zdanevich. Some guys have such imposing real names that we don’t need to make up anything else: just take Solovei [Russian for 'Nightingale']. 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 looking to be called Volga, but when she says that, she gives you a big grin.
Sleepless nights aren't uncommon. “It’s hard to remember the weekend without resolving a task or two,” says Victor. “I wake up and the next minute I get a message in JIRA [our company's collaboration software]," says Olga. "Then I see that the guys have been working all night and it calms me down," she jokes. But suddenly she 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 great 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.”
Olga enjoys working in a predominantly male office: “Everybody listens to you attentively, treats you well, and all the compliments go to you only.”
Victor claims Olga gets no privileges being the sole woman among men: “When it comes to work, everything is quite strict and tough. Otherwise, Olga gets all the perks. I rummage around the offices and bring back 'the tribute' -- a lot of candy for Olga.”
When it comes to complimenting their team, Olga and Victor are unstoppable. They are grateful to each and every member of their Framework coterie. They all have clear goals, do a great job to achieve them, and working shoulder to shoulder brings the team an unparalleled drive and satisfaction.
As for the friendly departments, the group singles out the Client team. “We are great friends with designers and all the guys from the Client department, and we’d like to thank them for their patience!” Olga pays tribute to her coworkers. “We build the mobile engine of Blitz, and the Client team uses 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'll make the celebration one to remember!”