Hey, Filip. Please tell us a bit about yourself...
I'm a male human being (as I'm told by most other human beings) born in 1993 in Brno. → SKIP → graduated Interactive Media Studies at Masaryk University in Brno. Then I got into game development thanks to the perennial supporting guidance of my university teacher I met there. Apart from school and profession I'm quite an artsy person. I'm an actor, singer and play a whole bunch of musical instruments. Basically anything creative interests me (maybe more than it should).
Can you tell us a random fact about yourself?
I sang in front of a hundred thousand people with a metal band on a metal tour around European festivals. Sabaton - The Great Tour. Fun as hell.
What was your first positive interaction with video games that you can remember?
I'm fairly sure it's not the first one but the first big one was getting a grey Chinese NES clone for Christmas. You know the one that had two wired controllers and the buttons "play" and "restart" and a lever to "eject" the cartridge from the slot. The one where you had to put the plastic cartridges in the slot at the top. When me and my brother got it for Christmas we went absolutely crazy. You know, running around screaming and jumping for joy crazy.
And your most memorable video game moment?
I guess I don't exactly have a specific "single" moment. But I remember beating Neverhood for example. That was big for me. I never finished it as a kid but got back to it a few years ago again and beat it without any help or guide. I was really proud of myself. Maybe it was because the process of completing it began many years ago. But not that the puzzles were easy. Quite the opposite actually, even after many years and more gaming experience. If you don't believe me try it yourself. Huh? Go on. I dare you, I double dare you!
What's your all-time favorite video game? And what sort of game do you like to play generally?
Generally I'm an RPG person but I hate to "label" people including myself and therefore I have to make it clear that I'm always open and eager to try anything new.
I cannot name just one game. That just wouldn't make any sense to me. But the most important to me I guess would be: Mount&Blade: Warband, TES V: Skyrim (not modded!), Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Diablo II, Desperados (1 and 3), Mad Max, Gunpoint, Heat Signature, HackNet, Mafia, Papers, Please, The Long Dark, The Witcher (1 and 3 - the second one was kind of "blech").
We always ask about favorite games but what game is totally boring/unexciting for you and everybody loves it?
I'm kind of ashamed to say but Dark Souls. I know I know, I'm basically an RPG person and yet I didn't like Dark Souls. There is a "but" in here however! I played it quite briefly - didn't give it a proper playtime to get hooked and above all I played it on keyboard and mouse. I didn't have a controller back then and yes I knew it was designed primarily for controller. Even the in-game layout indicates it. But I really wanted to try it and I still really want to. I'm definitely going to give it another chance in the future. I'm not holding a grudge against it or anything. I respect Dark Souls but we just didn't click yet. You may experience this kind of relationship with a person for example.
Tell us, on which difficulty setting do you usually play games?
Well I like to push myself and set challenges for myself so I don't even remember playing something on "easy". That's just *blech*. But on the other hand nor am I any kind of unnecessary hardcore try-hard. Games I know, or played them before, maybe I play on the hardest difficulty to stretch and challenge myself. New games I usually play on "normal" or so. Let's say that basically if there's a difficulty on a scale from 1 to 3 I usually go for the middle option of 2. But if there's a scale of 1 to 4 it makes me go for the slightly harder so then I'd choose 3.
Have you ever met any interesting players in-games who became your friends in real life?
Yeah that actually happened. When I was playing a "Mount&Blade: Warband" DLC called "Napoleonic Wars" which was only for online multiplayer I met a Czech guy on a server and we started talking back and forth and then he invited me to a regiment of Czech and Slovakian players which participated in these weekly battle events online. Full server of 64 people seriously Napoleon-style battling, ranks, rules, serious admin backup, etc. the whole package. Then the community kind of disassembled in a couple of months but I stayed in contact with a couple of the guys from the CZ/SK regiment and we still get in touch from time to time. That was a very pleasant part of my gaming life and experience.
Who's your all-time favorite video game character, and why?
I don't know if I have an "all-time" favorite but one of the most memorable and identifiable ones for me would be Richard Conway from Gunpoint. That type of guy with a distinctively British passive stubbornness who finishes a phone call face down on a concrete sidewalk after falling from the third story of a building before getting up. It hurts but he gets shit done. And maybe partly because the player actually writes his dialogue to a degree.
Which game has had the biggest influence on you during your life?
Hmm that's a difficult one. I doubt there was the "one" game. But I can name several games as influential. I would call the old classics mentioned in one of the questions above influential. But let's say that the biggest influence on me during my life means the most hours played. In that case that would be Mount&Blade: Warband and TES V - Skyrim. I have approximately 5,000 hours played on both games altogether.
We've heard you love board games!
Oooh yes, I am a serious board gamer. I actually also worked as a board game designer in a studio called "Boardcubator" here in Brno.
I generally like strategic games but sooner or later I grow tired of slow players and it's just a matter of time before I end up playing some faster paced games. For example I really like Scythe, The Witcher Adventure Game, Project L (!), Space Race: The Card Game, Stuffed Fables, Treehouse, 7 Wonders, Valeria: Card Kingdoms, Tiny Epic Defenders. And I'm looking forward to the new Witcher: Old World.
What's your favorite movie, TV show, and/or book?
Ahh that's unfair to mention just one so I'm gonna lay out a number of names in random order.
Books: authors Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams. And for specific books: Mainly I'm making my way through all of the books from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. And also like a year ago, I finally read The Witcher series - very nice. And currently, I'm going through a book called "Challenges For Game Designers." Really interesting and "funstrating". Check it out.
And your go-to music playlist is...?
It varies. Time, place, mood, activity - it has a lot of variables for me. At home or when commuting I listen to the things I know and like (Diablo Swing Orchestra, Wolfmother, AC/DC, Blues Pills, Poletíme?, CCR, The Doors, The Fireballs, The HU, Van Canto, The Black Keys, Spooky Folk, Ricsárdgír, Justin Johnson, etc.). When writing something it's mostly classical instrumental music (I wrote both my diploma theses thanks to Antonio Salieri, Carl Orff, J. Soule and many others). And in work I listen mostly to YT channel Stoned Meadow Of Doom and 666MrDoom (stoner and alternative rock and metal) constantly discovering new bands. My greatest discoveries on those channels: Villagers Of Ioannina City, Switchblade Cheetah, All Them Witches, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, The Pilgrim.
Cats or dogs?
I really like both. Almost all kinds of animals. But I always had a better mutual understanding with dogs it seems.
So, as a QA Tester, what do you do? What does your usual day look like?
Well my job basically is to break things in a creative way. A significant portion of my time at work you could see me behind a computer screen, switching controllers in my hands, looking from one monitor to another trying to break the game. The rest of the time is mainly writing reports about how exactly I broke it, finding the specific steps to reproduce the issue and retesting this mess again later on to check if it's really fixed. The more I break it and the more specific the report is, the better for everybody. The more I break it at work, the less broken it is out there.
What do you think are the most important skills / traits to have for someone in your position?
I think the most important would be creativity, openness and the ability to always be able to learn something new and then this strange little mix of precision and punctuality with a hint of pedantry. Stress management is also very useful.
What do you enjoy about your job, and game development in general?
What I love about my job is that I am doing something I love every day. Every morning I stroll off to work like a little schoolgirl. Tending to a digital game project and seeing it grow and improve every day is just great. Game development is interesting in many ways and as a person with a sh**load of active interests I see bits of everything in game development. But mainly I'm doing something I love and to see that people who play it love it too is very satisfactory.
Was your dream job to work in a game development? How did you end up at Bohemia?
Yes it was. I always wanted to be a part of game development. The short version of the story is on the top of this page but to sum it up again: there is a "Game Studies" department at Masaryk university where I studied Interactive Media Studies so I focused on that and then my teacher who also supervised my diploma thesis recommended me for an internship here at Bohemia Interactive. And the rest is quite predictable.
Most people don't know the process behind fixing bugs. How long does it take to fix a bug?
Well that's not exactly a question for me, but I can say that it really depends on the nature of the bug. If there is for example a missing sound of opening a box, an issue like that could be fixed in literally minutes (sometimes seconds). But if there is for example an item that should spawn on a map but doesn't spawn, and everything looks set properly everywhere, it sometimes may take hours or days to find the reason why it's happening, based on the complexity of the bug. It really depends.
What has been your most memorable moment at Bohemia Interactive so far?
I guess I don't have a specific moment I would call "the most memorable". I can honestly says that the whole time working here is the most memorable period of my life in game development.
What's been your greatest personal accomplishment at Bohemia Interactive?
I think that anything specific I would say here would look silly so I'll stick with the simple truth: becoming a part of Bohemia Interactive.
What advice would you give people looking to work in video game development?
Try. And try again. And again and again and again. Take active interest, and go for it. Be patient, everything you do, do it to the best of your ability, set goals and deadlines for yourself and always try your best to finish projects. Oh and don't listen to people giving you a hard time, not believing in what you do and mocking you. People like that tend to notice when you fail but not when you succeed - that is not constructive and doesn't help anyone. Don't read into it too much because you don't need that kind of toxic behavior. If it's something you love then do it and keep doing it. And my final and most important advice above all (from the pen of Douglas Adams): Don't panic. Simple and immensely effective.
Is there anything else you're currently working on in your spare time?
Always. Well right now the majority of my spare time is concentrated on a small human-being that joined us on this planet recently - that is a very complex and time consuming project. But apart from that I'm working on a few board game designs (not consistently), investing some time to staying an active player (I mean digital games now - not gonna give that up) and always practicing with my bands, practicing at home and trying to be active in everything I do.
To finish tell us one of your Top Tips...
Make mistakes. Seriously. I mean it. Don't be afraid of mistakes and don't avoid them. The approach to making a mistake and its effect we were taught is actually the other way around. The more mistakes you make the more you learn. The amount of skill, success or whatever you want to call it is directly proportional to the amount of mistakes that have been made.
And then (and I mentioned that already) "Don't panic".
Our next featured Bohemian is right around the corner, so keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest updates. 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 for you. Until next time...