Jaroslav “Jantoš” Antoš is the big brother of Martin “Athert” Antoš and one of our testers here at Warhorse Studios. He was born in Ústí nad Labem, in northern Bohemia. He joined Warhorse around half a year after his brother in the end of 2014 to become a tester.
Do you have any questions to Jaroslav “Jantoš” Antoš? Just ask here.
You can find a Spanish translation of this interview here.
1) How did you hear about Warhorse?
I first heard about Warhorse in 2014 from my brother Martin, during the Kickstarter campaign. He decided that he wanted to work for the company at any price. I told him that I have also tried to become a Warhorsian. After a few emails and a job interview, I got the job.
2) You are the brother of Martin Antoš, how is it to work with your brother at the same company?
As I answered above, my brother got into the company around half a year earlier than me.
I´m in the position of a tester while he is a scripter. So if he implements something into the game, I am allowed to check and criticize his work, knowing that I have nothing to fear because he acts professionally and he appreciates criticism. After all, we all want the game to be as perfect as possible so that players will like it in the end.
Even though we are quite different in behavior, our years of cohabitation have taught us to communicate with each other so that there are no major conflicts. However, that does not mean that there can´t be smaller disputes about minor topics (nothing serious though).
It is great to have him here nevertheless.
3) Describe your position. What is it about being a Quality Assurance?
I didn´t know exactly what a tester had to do until I had the job interview. I would like to thank Martin Klíma, our big mentor, for preparing me mentally for this position as a tester. I didn´t think it would be a cakewalk for sure, but in the end it was very different than what I expected.
I knew very little about Kingdom Come in the beginning. Most of the time I had the debugging tool open in one monitor while the game was running with some debug listings (in the editor) on the other monitor. In the first year, there was only one village with almost no content!
What really surprised me was that the position of a tester is mainly about communication and figuring out how the stuff works, especially how it should function (in theory).
Game development is not like opening a cooking book and follow the recipe, it is more like you have an idea and then you have to find out how to get to this goal and figure out how it really works. And if it doesn´t work as it should or if you don´t like it, you have to remake it again. Making changes to one little spot can change the entire game on another spot, along with all the other systems. It is not easy to maintain an overview.
What works on one day can be totally different on another day. Then you have to stand up and talk to the developer who changed something and ask him if this behavior is expected or not. At this time, you can express your own opinion about it.
This is particularly important in quests, because you (as a tester) are the only person who plays the game thoroughly. If there is something wrong or if something is not explained well enough or if it doesn’t make sense, it is very important to forward this information to try and get the problem solved.
This is actually the nicest part of the work as a tester, as you have the opportunity to influence a lot of the resulting quality and entertaining part of the game.
4) Did you ever worked on Videogames before?
Yes! And because of that experience, I knew that I wanted to work in the gaming industry.
By the end of 2012, my friends and I decided that we would like to develop a game for mobile phones. At the time there was a big boom of games and many small projects were able to succeed, so we tried it with three friends and we wanted to make the graphics later on. But as it is so often, the ambitions were immense and we were just amateurs.
We worked intensely on the game for a year-and-a-half and in the end, we managed to get it on Google Play. It was called OVOpet Village Life. It is a basically a reproduction of Tamagotchi with more options. You have to take care of your creatures and visit different locations where you have a garden, tasks, and minigames.
Unfortunately, this game was really too big for us and we did not had sufficient gaming quality. On top of that, we made it too complicated, so we didn´t have any success.
It was a great experience nevertheless and I would evaluate it as a positive in the end.
5) Please describe Warhorse Studios:
I would like to sum up the studio with one word: Incredible! You meet people every day who’ve influenced your gaming childhood.
Whether it´s Draci Doupe (The Czech version of Dungeons & Dragons, done by Martin Klíma) or Mafia - The City of Lost Heaven by Daniel Vávra, we have really great people on our team. Not only because they are often the leader in their fields, but also because they are all very friendly. We often meet after work as well.
For example, every week we go to play football, or we go to play Laser tag, or we play games and of course, we also like to meet in pubs.
And then there is this annual weekend were we meet each other in a castle near the river Sázava, close to the area where Kingdom Come: Deliverance takes place.
6) Describe your usual day at the studio?
Normally, my working day starts with me coming into the office and pissing off colleagues by turning on the lights; they are like nocturnal animals. I start with the download of the latest data and then I jump into the kitchen to eat some breakfast. It´s difficult to be popular in other departments when you’re a tester, especially when you are sending them information about what they are doing wrong. And because I turn on the lights, I am not even poplular in my own department.
Then the daily routine begins. I check what has been corrected from the previous day and I test it out to see if it’s been resloved. Then I check into the quests that I have just assigned. If the features works as they should, eventually someone comes to me and says that they have a new feature that needs to be tested.
If any bug accurs, we try to reproduce it and at best create a small level at which the error is isolated so that people from other departments will have it more easy to evoke and repair it. Reproducing a bug is a beautiful thing, especially when the the game bahaves very strangely for hours. Once we reproduce it, we can call the right person who will say very quickly, „Oh I just forgot about this crazy stuff,“ and five minutes later, it 's fixed.
7) What are you currently working on?
Currently, I am mostly concerned about quests because they are a top priority; they must be playable and fun. While they are tested, we also test the game mechanics because the quests contains nearly everything about the game.
Daily cycles for NPC, RPG system, crime system, combat, GUI, animations, graphics… everything.
However, sometimes you need to take one feature of the game and test it more by itself.
We will pay more attention to it and we will try to break it in every way, like the crime system, which is very complex and there are still improvements to be made.
But I like all the possibilities, of course, more as player and less as a tester.
Many states influence how an NPC sees you or not. You can dress as a Cuman or an NPC soldier and you can stay undetected, or you could try to use shadows to stay hidden. You can rob people by pickpocketing them or you can beat them up and steal their things.
It just depends if there was an NPC which saw and reported you after the crime, or they will come for you. You are able to steal from a NPC’s house. The more value it has, the higher the chance that the NPC will notice it (something more important than an apple, for example). There are also several crime levels and the NPCs react to them differently.
All these things have to work together and if that is the case, then the player can come up with his own solutions to solve quests.
8) The quests in Kingdom Come Deliverance are very complex, testing them is not an easy task. What is the biggest challenge about it?
Testing open world quests is one of the worst things to do! Not only can the players come-and-go on most quests, they can also do it in any way they’d like. This means that it is difficult to predict what the player will do to perform tasks and also how the NPCs will react to him with different clothes, equipment, and more. You will need to know these things and try them all out, depending on the complexity of the quest. It´s nice when you have a task in the game that can solve be solved in several ways. Somewhere you can persuade or help someone and he will help you in return too. Sometimes, you can even help someone to die.
There are really a lot of possibilities and now imagine that you are testing a quest in which there is a problem and you have to fix it.
The problem influences five different solutions where each dialog option leads you to another outcome. So then you have to play the quest and choose a dialogue, and then you come back and try another option. Your decisions will open up other possibilities when other quests present itself.
With each new option, you must try all the previous ones because you never know which way the player will choose and therefore, we need to be prepared for every outcome because every outcome needs to work. Unfortunately, with the way the game is constantly in development and everything changes quite often, all these options must pass through at regular intervals. It’s like hell!
9) What do you like the most about Kingdom Come: Deliverance?
It´s a cliché, but I prefer games games with our mother nature. Once I started working here, I remember that I had a half working day where I traversed the woods and meadows in Kingdom Come Deliverance. I was very impressed at how realistic the nature in the game was. And you can compare it, because the river Sazava was a place I traveled to when I was a child. It was beautiful to be able to return to this moment.
10) How, when and with what games did you first get acquainted with videogames?
It was the old i386, which we had at our summer cottage. I spent my childhood playing with it. I’d spend the long rainy days by playing classics like prehistoric, the cycles, wacky wheels, prince of persia and my favourite Dyna blaster.
11) What was your most touching video game moment?
I got very emotional over Mafia. We played on our grand dad’s computer, as we did not have a powerful machine at home. We had some up and down emotions with Mafia.
I would like to highlight these two moments:
1) The Happiest – after many hours of battling (without cheating) that famous race, I was able to finish it after so many tries when I crashed on the last banked turn.
2) The Saddest – “Mr. Salieri sends his regards”
12) Which class, gender, or type do you usually pick?
I don’t like magic - its conjuring, it costs mana, and I don’t like thinking of what type of spell is good against what type of enemy. I just like walking around and solving problems by brute force. So… Dungeons and no dragons AND no mana!!! Weeeeey!
13) Are there any videogames you repeat playing over and over again?
Definitely Mafia. I also like the Gothic series and the first game I played several times again and again is the Polish adventure, Agent Mlíčnak (Teenagent). I loved that game, but after all, it’s just an adventure and it doesn’t have much replay value. Although, I was quite young at that time and I really enjoyed it.
And so I’m thinking, ‘It’s’ been few year since I played it last… maybe it’s time to revisit this gem?’
14) What would a perfect game according to your wishes look like?
Frankly? It would be the same game we were just working on!
15) How do you relax after a hard day at work?
I like almost any sport. After work I like to play football (soccer). During the summer, I like to play Frisbee at a park. I like golf and I play amateur league in floorball. Often after work I play online games like Dota 2, CS:GO and even Rocket League, which we play with a colleague and we exchange many curses and laughs over Skype. Or, I go grab a bite at some Asian restaurant with a glass of wine.
16) Your favorite music playlist?
Chinaski! I love pop music like U2 and R.E.M. and I am also crazy for piano music. I’ll have to learn how to play it sometime.
17) Your favorite movie or book?
My most favorite book is The Martian from Andy Weir. Currently, I am finishing Silo from Hugh Howey (Wool), which I really like. The Martian was already made into a movie and it was not so bad, but the book was much better. Silo is being filmed right now.
From movies I like classics: Forest Gump and The Shawshank Redemption
18) Your travel tip?
If you like nature and cheap beer, definitely go down the river Sazava! It’s beautiful but sometimes there is not enough water in there… but there is always enough beer.
19) What was your greatest mistake?
For this I would turn to my brother. He spent an awful lot of time sitting in front of the computer and did nothing else than “script” his own servers for GTA and World of Warcraft. And I always chided him for not doing something else. I told him that doing this won’t be good for anything. But that was where I was wrong, because that is the reason he got a job at Warhorse as a scripter, where he is (by his own word) happy.
And even though he is my younger brother I feel he overgrown me in many ways and for that I am really proud of him!
20) Do you have a Bucket List?
I have. I need to travel so that I can check off going to Alaska. I can check that I have my own vacuum cleaner.
21) Is it possible to buy you with candy?
I suppose that I could define myself as a bitch for sweets. In my last job where I had a position as IT support, whenever my female colleagues wanted something they “paid” me with a cake or with a candy, which they had a full drawer of. Our boss at Warhorse is constantly motivating us to work overtime by bringing us some sweet or salty delicacies.
It’s really a nice gesture but I also gained some weight over the last half of this year.
22) How do you like living in the Czech Republic?
I wouldn’t change where I live! For example, I help my friend with a web page for his project to help the slow lorises in Indonesia (www.kukang.org). Whenever he comes here and we have pint of beer, he talks about what it’s like to live there. Thanks to that, I know that we are living more than well in Czech. Moreover, the nature here is beautiful and so are the girls, so why should I go somewhere else?
23) Imagine you are a cake, what kind of cake are you?
I would be a jelly cake with fruits!
24) You have to fight in medieval times… who are you, which weapon do you choose and why?
I am Henry and I will kill you with my bare hands! Why? Because hand-to-hand combat deals more damage than a sword. (Oh yes, one of the many bugs I have witnessed)
25) Knights or Samurai?
26) If you could say something to the fans of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, what would it be?
Look forward to our game, it´s going to be a hit! And cross your fingers for us before the release, so we will catch all the bugs in there. They really are some sneaky bastards!
Do you have any questions to Jaroslav “Jantoš” Antoš? Just ask here.