Gradually we will be introducing the whole game as well as the team working on it. And right now you can find more information about ESQ's game builder.
Hello, could you please introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Zbyněk Juračka, I’m thirty two years old, I like photography, playing MMO games and my role in ESQ development is level design. Computer games have been my love at the first sight for me. Even at the sweet age of six I persuaded my parents to buy me Atari XE 800 and we were playing classics like River Ride and Donkey Kong. Gradually I moved to PC games and spent childhood playing Doom, Duke Nukem, Might and Magic series and many others. Then one day one evil guy gave me a CD with Ultima Online – it was like entering a different world. As time went by there were more MMO games launched e.g. SWG, Anarchy Online, EvE, WoW, Vanguard, Wurm, etc. But Ultima Online was the only one. For a while Darkfall tried to replace UO and its world and was close but in the end it didn’t make it.
How did you get into the team?
Jiří Wallenfels, our glorious team leader, introduced me to the world of ESQ. Back then when it was called Endor. The team worked on the free UO shard of the same name. I knew him mainly as a really nasty PK from a UO shard however we had a common friend. One day I got a call from this murderer of people and horses whether I would be interested in building this new world for Endor. So I said ok, not sure how to do it, but I’m in. I was given an account, rights and a quick guide to building and hence I was on my way. I built a desert city Alcarinque on the ocean shore and thought I did a lot of work. Then came Jirka moved me to the middle of a map and huge areas between rocks and said that some megalomaniac made this the base for a town called Daugas and then left it so I have to build it… So I had something to do for the next several months.
What were your beginnings like?
It was fun, good experience and great satisfaction when the server started and players were running in places that I created. It was so worth it, Endor is still going on and it has been over 10 years already. It is so long ago, we are not really sure, when exactly did it start.
Few years went by and I gradually drifted away from Endor and the team. I moved to another town, changed the community and practically my whole life. One day my phone rang and on there was Jirka Wallenfels on the other side again and asked me if I want to do it again. That we will be building a new world and this time in 3D of course – I said ok, but I'm not sure how to do it but I’m in. I got the rights, quick introduction into building and was building again. Back then we were working on Unity 3D and Jirka put me straight into the middle of his unfinished version of the desert town Alcarinque. For a while I was walking around and then took the whole city, raised it by half a mile above the surface and started doing it my way. A week later I took his version and moved it about a kilometer to the right and then another week later erased it all together. I took few pictures of the process at the time which you can find posted below.
Gradually I rebuilt a big part of the central town Daugas into 3D but the city got really huge and we started to have bigger and bigger problems with Unity engine, its performance and stability. We found out that Unity was not the way for us because it is really not suitable for any bigger project. After trying out few alternatives we switched to Unigine and we are happy with it and it serves well our needs. Even though the switch sounds simple, it hurt me as a builder – everything that was built on Unity during one year had to be rebuilt on Unigine, ouch…!
Sometimes I must also create some simple sketches to get better idea how to build it in the game.
So this is how it all happened… That's why I spend my evenings doing this job while listening to the tune of Age of Conan, Bree or Justin/ Massively's (OP) podcasts. Building another world.
The limiting factor for me and the rest of the six man team is the fact that it is all done in our spare time and with our own funding. In the not so distant future by we would like to try community funding to be able to fully concentrate on finishing the game on full time and ideally hire more team members.
Thanks! Is there anything you would like to tell to our readers?
Thank you for your interest. It motivated us a lot into the next work!