Hey, Baty. Please, tell us a bit about yourself...
I have loved video games since I was a child. My dad bought a PC where we played games on DOS together. He taught me how to turn on the computer and that was how I became a gamer.
After veterinary and animal specialist school, I worked with animals, but ended up not pursuing a career in that field. So I joined the gaming industry. Before joining Bohemia Interactive, I had five years of professional experience on the gaming scene, in several roles — journalism, PR, marketing, and community management. I worked on communities for the Czech region of Ubisoft (Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Rocksmith, Rayman series, etc.), and with Codemasters and SEGA franchises for 4 years. But I wanted to try something else and because I had played a lot of DayZ, I sent my CV to the QA department of Bohemia Interactive and became a QA tester. I tested DayZ, Arma, and mobile games for almost a year, then was offered the role of Community Manager, as Michael — the previous Community Manager — moved back to his home county. And, of course, I said yes and have been a proud part of the DayZ dev team ever since.
Can you tell us a random fact about yourself...
My most favorite animals are snails.
What was your first positive interaction with video games, that you can remember?
I was five years old when I played my first game. It was probably Jill of the Jungle. The truth is I first tried game- and level-design when I was playing Prince of Persia and was drawing new levels for the game on paper. But that was a long time ago and I never thought about game or map design as a job, but being a game Community Manager was something I wanted to do for years.
And your most memorable video game moment?
I have many of them and each one that I can think of is from DayZ. I remember when I was kidnapped by cannibals and, just when I thought I will be dead in few minutes, one of them killed his friend and fed me his meat. In the end he killed himself and left me restrained with a Kuru disease and all their loot.
What's your all-time favourite video game? And what sort of game do you like to play generally?
DayZ. And no, it is not because I work for BI studio. I joined the company because of DayZ. My most favorite genres are survivor games, RPGs and FPSs. But as a role-player I can appreciate any game where there is not a main narrative and you can make your own stories. Games that will stay in my heart forever are Doom (the first one), Journey, Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, The Witcher, Titanfall, Assassin’s Creed, ARK, and Grand Theft Auto V.
What’s the worst — or most memorable — bug you’ve come across in a video game?
Of course, I remember such bugs that stopped me from playing the game. I remember the first Assassin’s Creed — I installed it after years and there were so many bugs that it was impossible to finish the tutorial and start the regular game. But I love funny bugs. Skyrim has them a lot, such as creatures flying into space after being hit, and a whole lot more. But I remember a really scary one in DayZ — moving stumps. They took the physics of the wind and moved like grass. Creepy.
What's your favourite movie, TV show, and/or book?
It is impossible to tell you only one. My most favorite are the Star Wars movies (4-6), The Lord of the Rings movies, and Black Hawk Down. And I am a big fan of the old Disney fairy tales like Pocahontas, Mulan, or The Little Mermaid. I can sing all the songs from these lovely movies because I am a Disney princess in my heart!
I am simple with TV shows. I really like Game of Thrones and the original animated micro-series, Star Wars: Clone Wars, from 2003 (not the new one from 2008 — there is a big difference). But I can watch almost anything because I don’t watch TV series like a normal person. I clean, work, or do other projects when the TV show is running. So, most of the time I don't know what's happening in the show. Yeah, that's me.
I am a bookworm. My bookshelf is too small for all the books I have. I have been trying to buy a new one for more than a year, but I haven't yet found “the right one” for my lovely books. The best books for me are from the Warhammer lore — the Slayer and Malus Darkblade series. Sapkowski’s The Witcher will always be in my heart but the best book I’ve read recently is Ready Player One — what an amazing story!
And your go-to music playlist is...?
It is really hard to say, because I am unstable with music styles and such. But the playlist that I've managed to listen to almost every day for more than 7 years is The Elder Scrolls soundtrack. It contains music from Skyrim, Oblivion, and Morrowind, and I need this music every day because it is relaxing and it calms me a lot.
So, as a Community Manager, what do you do?
I take care of the people who have already bought DayZ. The main thing I do is facilitate communication between the community and the developers, as I am the person who sits between them. I check out and monitor all the social networks we — or the community — have. I am always trying to explain to the developers how the community feels about various things.
I also prepare texts for websites and social networks, help with marketing, try to help out people who have issues with the game, and prepare streams and events. And, of course, I check out all the amazing content from the community.
How do you deal with the negativity that can come from players criticizing DayZ and the developers? Does it impact your personal life? (@lucemfrr)
How I deal with it? I don’t take it personally. I did years ago, but I filtered it out. And I do not work in my free time, which helps a lot. And yes, my work does impact my personal life. People write to me on my own social networks and attack me every day, so I stopped adding people I don’t know in real life to my friends list. I am more careful about my private life now — I separated my work and private life. The community taught me a lot. :D
If you were allowed to do anything to help DayZ’s image in the public eye, what would you do? (@boydy_73)
Keep everyone from the community in the office for a month so they can see how difficult it is to make a game like DayZ.
What do you think are the most important skills / traits to have for someone in your position?
I think you need to be kind, patient, understandable, and sympathetic. People you communicate with are people who care about the game, even when they are not being nice.
What do you enjoy about your job, and game development in general?
I get to do something different almost every day. And I like our team. The DayZ dev team is full of nice people who have the same bad sense of humor as I have.
And what do I enjoy about the game development? I finally know how hard it is to make a game, and just how much work goes into it.
Cats or dogs? (@KNDAa100)
I am a crazy cat lady so this is simple for me — cats. :)
Is there anything else you're currently working on in your spare time?
I have a lot of side projects now. I am a partnered Twitch streamer and YouTuber and it takes up a lot of my spare time. I also work as an editor for a gaming website and gaming TV show. And I am preparing a new cosplay right now — Ash from Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. I wish a day had more hours in to do it all…
To finish, tell us one of Baty's Top Tips...
Use a microphone in DayZ — you can experience so much more!
Our next Featured Bohemian is right around the corner, so keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest updates. But until then, feel free to learn more about working at Bohemia Interactive by checking out our Careers Page – we may just have the perfect job opening for you. Until next time...