TankZone Battle is going to be availble from tomorrow on Steam and it would be a pity not to make an interview with the developer, creator, programmer, graphical designer, simply with Lukas Hanak from Slovakia. Hopefully the questions below will answer you how the game was created and who is the person behind it all.
Hello, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about you?
Hi! I'm a 3D graphical designer and C# programmer and work as a freelancer. I was close to games since Doom and as a keen gamer I spent some time with modification of several games or making new levels. With the availability of modern graphical engines I just decided to make a whole new game.
Of course everyone knows what game you have created. However can you tell us what players is the game designed for and why they should buy it and play?
The game is designed for everyone who likes fast action with some tactics included. As a player you continuously improve and the more experience you get the better you become and can fight harder enemy players.
How long did it take to develop the whole game? How many hours did you devote to make the game per day or week?
The development was quite hectic and took me two years. At the beginning there was only a prototype which I used just to test the gameplay and if it is fun to play. I used the prototype to check the game's mechanisms and there was almost no graphics. The progress at the beginning was slow. Then the second year became very intense in terms of work, almost as a full time job. As time went by the game was getting modern 3D graphics, sounds and music.
What was the most difficult, most challenging things during the whole development?
For sure the biggest challenge was to hold on to the very end and finish the game. It is almost unbelievable but the the difference between making and finishing the game is a huge difference (laugh). Development is demanding not only financially but of course also physically. During the development you easily run into problems which can make you fed up of everything and even the willingness to continue. One must get over it. Sometimes it's also good to switch off for a while and continue later with better mood.
Do you want to devote to the game development also in the future or this project was moreover a single act and a little bit just your hobby?
Creation of games is surely something I want to do fully. I've got head full of ideas and thoughts which I'd like to give to players. It's not my first project. First game which I did was a mini-golf in 3D with fully generated levels. However not very successful and that's why I got away from mobile platforms for now. There is an immense competition and without a big publisher it's hard to break through.
Let's analyse the game a little bit more. As we all know you drive tanks in a simplistic way (could say "arcadish") with easy controls and shoot enemies. Can you tell us more about the gameplay varieties? Current and planned for the future? For example capture the flag or a little copy from World of Tanks like conquering an area? What variants does the game offer at the release date?
At the beginning the game is going to offer modes 1vs1, 2vs2, 3vs3 or 4vs4. Later on and depending on the interest of players there could be more modes like get and hold some places or destruction of a target.
How many maps are currently available? How big they are and where do they take place? Snow, desert, jungle. Are there more environments available?
At this moment there are five maps and others are planned in the future updates for free. Maps differ from a classical forest map, snowy or even taking place in a desert. There are also several ruins which can be destroyed or you can hide in them, use covers and shoot through windows, doors etc.
Are you about to release bigger maps, with deeper strategy and for more players? Or just the current ones where it's not possible to get lost?
You can find small and big maps in the game. The game has similar principles as Counter Strike, time limit for one round is 2 minutes. There are at least three ways which you can choose to go and surprise your enemy. Everything is build for a quick action. Five minutes search of enemies on the map wouldn't be very fun to play. However all the maps provide places to tactically cover so there could occur interesting skirmishes between tanks.
Let's get to the tanks. Players have the possibility to get money through playing and shooting enemies which you can use every round to buy upgrades. Is it final or will the amount of upgrades get more possibilities? From my own experience I know that saving money for the most expensive cannon could take a while and when I die it's lost again and there is not enough time to get another money to upgrade and the difference between the fire power is big. Won't be there a possibility to earn some money for other rounds, games and use it later in other maps? To have something like a garage or purse, where I could give my unused currency?
Rules are inspired by CS and the game works on similar principles. So earning enough money for a powerful cannon is not so difficult for an experienced player just in three rounds. It all depends how good you are. You get money for damaging your enemies and not just for killing blows which seems more fair to me. Therefore even with a weak cannon you are able to earn enough currency. Player with a weak cannon can easily kill an enemy with 88mm cannon or two 88mm. Everything is about the tactics which must be used appropriate to the enemy. While the enemy with big cannon is reloading you can use this time to get behind his back. Every tank is more vulnerable from the back side and it is a fast end for everyone.
There is quite a lot of variants of tanks. How did you invented the variants and how do they differ? Some of them have just one cannon, another have three for example. Is there a difference only in the reloading time and damage or are there some vehicles also with bigger amours and more HP? Do you plan to set different speed depending on their weight and make them more unique?
Tanks differ by the used weapon and damage they do. It is possible to assembly different cannons. General rule is that the bigger cannon you have, the longer it reloads. There is no influence on the tank speed. There is nothing worse than having a powerful tank that nobody wants to play because it's insanely slow. I had the opportunity to check it with testers and all of them played only fast tanks and others were not used at all. Tanks with more cannons forgive small mistakes because there is a bigger chance that at least some of the projectiles will hit the enemy. On the other hand the damage is lower.
Game of this type could be very fun to play on mobile phones or tablets where its simplicity could attract new players and increase sales. Do you want to make it also for the mobile platforms?
At this moment the game is being developed only for PC. In the near future I'm not going to make the game for other platforms. But if there would be a great interest from players, of course I will consider it.
What updates do you plan to release in the coming days? What can the players look forward to?
Players can look forward to more maps and probably also new skins. New game modes are more than probable.
If you want to say something more to our readers then it's the best time to do so!
Thank you that you have read it all! In case the game got your interest then I'm looking forward to see you in-game. It's more likely that we will see each other on the battlefield. We are playing tanks actively together with my colleagues. And if you have a dream about your own game then go for it and at least try to make it true. You will be enriched of a new, very interesting experience :-).