Jakub Rous was born in Stod in Czech Republic and he is one of the newer members of Warhorse Studios. He joined quite recently in November 2016 and his main job as an Environment Artist at this stage of the development is optimization and bug fixing in the World of Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
Do you have any questions to Jakub Rous? Don´t hasitate and ask here.
You can find a Spanish translation of this interview here.
1) How did you hear about Warhorse?
I first heard about Warhorse sometime before the Kickstarter campaign. I was still in university at the time and although I did do 3D modeling back then, I wasn’t really seriously planning a career in the game industry just yet. It all changed during my 2016 year-long stay in Australia. There I enrolled in an intensive course about game asset creation with industry veteran Brett Briley. That really helped me to embrace all the different workflows and I learned a ton of new things. When I got back to Czech Republic, I tried to get a job at Warhorse Studios and joined the team in November 2016.
2) Did you ever work on Videogames before?
Not professionally. I did some “projects” in Unreal Engine, but those were basically game ‘doodles’. I was always interested in the technology to make interactive stories, so I experimented with it. That’s also why I got into 3D modeling some 10+ years ago, that way I didn’t have to only use models included within the engine for my experimentation.
3) Describe your usual day at the studio?
Usually I arrive at 8am, turn on the PC, start to sync and update processes and then enjoy our excellent (and free!) breakfast. After that I work on bugs and other tasks for another 9-10 hours. We are now heavily focused on optimizing the game as much as possible, so the majority of the work is about tweaking stuff which was already created. It’s not as exciting as creating something new, but the result are worth it.
4) What are you currently working on?
Right now as the rest of the 3D graphics team, I’m working on optimizations. We want you to have the best experience possible not only on PC, but also on consoles. So we are working really hard so the results play as smoothly as possible.
There are also some places that still need a bit of work graphics-wise, so everything will look better than life (of course).
5) What do you like the most about Kingdom Come: Deliverance?
The fact that you’re not an all-powerful hero that can one-hit most of the enemies. In other RPGs you also start weak, but the sense of real danger usually diminishes over time as you become more powerful. KCD delivers you the feeling of being more powerful than you are too, but you are still in danger of being (very rapidly) dead if you act too hot-headed. You still need to use tactics and be aware of your surroundings even if you have “the best" weapon and armor in game.
6) How, when and with what platform or game did you first get acquainted with videogames?
I first began gaming on Commodore 64, thanks to my older brother who introduced me into it. However, my memories from that time are very fuzzy since I was like 5 years old. My first strong gaming memory is from Wolfenstein 3D and Mortal Kombat (yeah, I played it when I was about 7, loved the fatalities, and didn’t grow up to be psychopath. Lucky me!).
7) What was your most touching video game moment?
The saddest was probably the scene that plays after the death of certain someone in Metal Gear Solid 2 (not gonna be spoiley, players of MGS2 will know which scene it is).
Unfortunately, I cannot pick the best scene, there are so many competing for that title. One of the most memorable scenes for me is also in Metal Gear Solid, specifically the boss battle with Psycho Mantis where you had to switch controllers to beat him. It was the first time that I experienced a game breaking the fourth wall. Psycho Mantis reading my memory card, that scene really imprinted into my mind.
Also, I must at least mention Undertale since it’s my favorite game of 2016. One scene especially caught me off guard. It’s during the genocide route. I didn’t really have the skill (and heart) to clear the game this particular way but couldn’t resist to at least look up some let’s plays. Near the end of the game, our fellow yellow antagonist will comment not only on the character we are playing as BUT also its player (breaking the 4th wall again) as well as people who rather watch it on YouTube than to have the guts to play the genocide route themselves. I guess that counts as breaking the… 5th wall? Mindblown.
8) Which class, gender, or type do you usually pick?
Stealth ranged type. Also, if I have that option, I play with female character rather than male.
9) Are there any videogames you repeat playing over and over again?
Skyrim, Unreal Tournament, Zelda series, Anno 2070. Skyrim mainly because of the extreme number of mods that really prolonged the game life into infinity. The community around that game is absolutely awesome and I love it to death.
10) What game have you been really looking forward to but turned out to be a total disappointment?
Crysis 2. It just wasn’t memorable experience for me at all.
11) How do you relax after a hard day at work?
I usually relax by playing my favorite games or watching silly animal videos on YouTube.
12) Your favorite music playlist
These days my favorite music is soundtrack from the new DOOM. I listened to it at least 50 times now and it still doesn’t bore me. Other times, it heavily depends on mood. I can listen probably to anything except for hip-hop and country.
Some of my other favorites are soundtracks to Legend of Zelda, Age of Wonders, Unreal Tournament, Starcraft (first one only), Silent Hill (Akira Yamaoka is freakin’ genius!)
13) Your favorite movie or book?
One of my favorite movies of all time is definitely Noriko’s Dinner Table from the director Sion Sono. Although it may be a bit unusual, it has a special place in my heart.
As far as books, that would be Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
14) Your travel tip?
Scotland. Especially north east part. But if you’re not fond of chilly weather, then I would recommend Cairns. It’s a beautiful small city on the eastern cost of Australia. Warm sea, tropical islands, coral reefs, yummy seafood. What else do you want?
15) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Topokki or sometimes ‘Tteok-bokki’. It’s a Korean spicy dish that became my most favorite food beat only by sushi. It’s basically fast-food, nothing you would put a ‘quality’ sticker on. But I just love it. I always annoy my girlfriend when I ask her day after day “Can we have topokki for dinner?”
16) What was your greatest mistake?
I had an opportunity to take a big step towards my dream at young age and I didn’t go for it.
And also that I didn’t shave for the photo in this interview.
17) What will be your famous last words?
“The experiment was a major success!”
18) Is it possible to buy you with candy?
With this, absolutely:
19) What is your kryptonite?
Onion. And that’s a bit unfortunate since many Czech foods have onions in them.
20) You have to fight in medieval times… who are you? Which weapon do you choose?
That depends on what kind of fight it would be. I’m usually fond of ranged weapons such as bows, but if that would not be an option, then a spear probably since it can still be considered as ‘kinda’ ranged.
21) Knights or Samurai?
Samurai all the way!
22) What was your favorite subject and your most hated one at school?
My favorite subjects were IT and English. The most hated was physics, which is a bit strange considering that it is my favorite subject to self-study now. I guess priorities do change over time.
My grades in history were just good enough to not fail.
23) If you could say something to the fans of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, what would it be?
Let the hype continue, the result will be worth it!
Do you have any questions to Jakub Rous about him or his work? Don´t hasitate and ask here.