Welcome to another installment of Meet the Team! You know that nasty bug that got fixed or that super-cool feature that was implemented? Well, we have our developers to thank for that. This time, we meet Denis, our Senior Developer and member of the Code Wizard Council (okay, I made that up – it doesn’t really exist, but it should).
Hi Denis! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where you are from and how long have you been working at Travian Games?
I’m originally from Russia, which I left more than 5 years ago. I lived here and there, but I’ve now finally settled in Travian Games, where I have worked for almost three years.
I’ve always had a passion for web programming and computer games; so, Travian Games is like the holy grail of workplaces for me. Surprisingly, I joined the company by pure accident: I never thought I could combine my two passions for programming and gaming. I was always working as a web programmer or a general software engineer in some boring companies like banks or satellite TV providers, but now I’ve found myself here and have never been happier.
What does a typical day at Travian Games look like for you?
Well, all good things start with coffee, I’d say. So does my typical day – I especially like how working days work in companies that are into games. You can’t really distinguish a working day from a good party day on average, judging by the amount of fun you have. Except on a good party day, when you want to sit behind a computer and program a little, everyone would think you are boring, but on a working day, it’s alright. =D
So this is how it is: I drink coffee, I chat with people, and I program stuff that is written in my tasks. Absolutely awesome activities that I would say suit me perfectly.
What was the most challenging bug that you have worked on?
This is a tricky question since you cannot really measure them like this. Sometimes, something with a really low priority at the bottom of the list that affects one-and-a-half players, and is a purely cosmetic, can lead to hours of intense work. In the end, it could be that you still don’t learn anything interesting. I usually need three times the amount of coffee for these ones!
I think all bugs that prevent players from enjoying playing are challenging and have to be fixed. Especially bugs that affect balancing in the game. Trust me, every time something that gives an unfair advantage is discovered, it’s all hands on deck.
Which feature you developed were you most excited to see players use?
I’m not really sure what players actually use most; I don’t personally have the data but we do care about all features, big or small. We want them to be implemented as well as we can. There is one thing I’m personally proud of, which is the event system that processes events for players. It’s the thing that does the job when you build, attack, trade, or go on an adventure. I wasn’t the guy who built the base code, but I’m proud to be the one who perfected it. Right now, if there are no interruptions like a hardware failure or infrastructure issues, all the events will be delivered as smoothly as possible, all in their time. I think this is one of the most important parts of gameplay, and when players can trust that the attack they launch is going to land at the second it is displayed, this is great.
What makes Travian Legends such an interesting project for you?
As I’ve said, this is like a fusion of things I love in my life – web programming and games. This is the best project I’ve worked on so far; it’s the most fun and most challenging because of the scale of how many players, and because of how important Travian is to everyone. Also, the people I work with are really great. I like being here with people around me, including the guy who’s going to edit my answers before posting them. 😉
So, you mentioned you’re a gamer… What games do you play?
Travian Legends for the win, of course! I have to hide my identity in the game, but who knows? Look around you; maybe one of the guys in your alliance is me. =D Every time you write in the alliance chat that the game is full of bugs, I shed a tear.
Besides that, I play the big-name games on a gaming console when I want to relax at the end of a day. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time now to really dive into it like I could 10 years ago. I used to play WoW whenever I wasn’t sleeping (back then, I managed to attend a dungeon raid on Tempest Keep while switching apartments). My friends who helped me move apartment had to carry me and the table as I was playing on. So yeah, I can consider myself an average gamer now, who follows all the news on the market. But I don’t really have time to try every game.
Last question: Do you have a message for our players out there?
Guys, I’m really proud to know that all you play this great game. I really do read the stuff you write on the forum and seriously think about what could I do to make your gaming experience better: So that you can enjoy the game as you expect! Keep playing and keep rocking!
Thank you all for reading! I hope you all enjoyed meeting Denis. If you have any questions for him, feel free to leave us a comment below. Otherwise, stay tuned for next month’s installment of our “Meet the Team” series, when we meet Miguel, our Senior UX Designer!