You’ve seen him in some interviews here and there giving us some insight into the game but now we get a chance to interview him, on a more personal note. Meet Jake, the game designer for Travian: Legends!
Hi Jake, thank you for giving everyone the chance to get to know you more about you. Where are you from and for how long have you been working for Travian Games?
Hi Jay, thank you for having me. I’m born in Germany, and I’ve joined Travian Games back in 2010 and worked on different titles like Remanum or Travians. In 2014 I joined Travian 4, which then was renamed to Travian: Legends.
How did you end up working as a game designer for Travian: Legends?
Well, I always had deep respect for what Eckart (Game director) and Brian (Product owner) achieved with Travian: Legends. When they asked me if I can help their team to understand the in-depth mechanics of the game I just said yes!
What motivated you to pursue a career in game design in the first place?
To be honest I’ve started as a programmer back in school. I’ve learned quite a lot about that profession, but all the tutorials got boring. So as a gamer, what have I done? I’ve made my own game which was pretty similar to what Travian: Legends was in 2004. My main focus was to learn the coding, but of course, I’ve learned a lot about game design as well.
From all the years which you have worked on the Travian: Legends, what was your proudest moment?
That was pretty recent, to be honest! With the release of the Egyptians and Huns, our team achieved something which was deemed impossible before.
There are many types of design tasks such as game balancing, gameplay mechanics and creating new features to name a few. Which type of task do you generally find most enjoyable to design? What do you love sinking your teeth into?
I love to crunch the numbers. Like balancing, or translating mechanics into formulas and mathematical models. I also love to see Travian: Legends with all its mechanics working together and then asking ourselves “What do we change for the next annual special?”
How would you describe your design process?
We get input from many different sources. May it be a CM who relays players suggestions or a QA who wants to understand why you need 20 catapults to target the second building, besides the commonly known Rally Point level 20.
As a professional, which game(s) would you say inspired you the most?
Phew. I’ve learned a lot about strategy games from Starcraft and Starcraft II, but Gameforges OGame inspired me the most for my own game when I was learning about programming.
Outside of gaming, what do you do for fun?
Caring for my wife, meeting friends… but there is not too much life outside of gaming xD
Lastly, do you have a message for our readers out there?
Thank you very much for your continuous support for Travian: Legends. We do our best to combine both – preserving the best of Travian while moving forward improving the game furthermore.
Thank you for reading! We hope you enjoyed getting to know Jake a bit more. If you have any questions or comments for him don’t hesitate to drop one below, otherwise, see you next month for the new Meet the Team edition where we’ll meet Martina, our Community Communications Manager!