Petr “Pepe” Pekař was born in Prag, Czech Republic and joined Warhorse Studios team a year ago in 2015. He is a Cinematic Designer and therefore his job is to create cutscenes for Kingdom Come Deliverance.
Do you have any additional questions regarding him and/or his work? Just ask here!
1) Where can we usually find you lurking around in the holy halls of Warhorse?
Crouching behind the monitor in one of the blindest spots in our studio. This spot allows me to stay focused on my tasks without much distraction. I can also pretend to work without worrying that someone will see my facebook account opened on my screen.
2) How did you hear about Warhorse? How/When did you join?
I believe it was in some pub. My friend told me about this super-realistic, historically accurate independent Czech game taking place in the Czech Kingdom during the medieval ages, which naturally caught my attention. When I started working in the gaming industry, I logically started to pay more attention to this project, gathering more information, discussing it with friends, wondering if it will be fun to work on such an original concept. Once I received an offer from Warhorse to work there as a cinematic designer (about a year ago), I was already decided.
3) Describe your position. What is it about being a cinematic designer?
As a cinematic designer, I´m creating cut scenes - short cinematic storytelling sequences. It´s a unique combination of filmmaking and game development. I´m applying my filmmaking knowledge and experience while working on the game engine - creating cinematic shots and editing them together to create a whole coherent scene and after that, implementing the scene into the game system. In some ways, it´s far more stressful than classical filmmaking, mainly because the process is a lot more fluid than a movie production. In comparison to film, there are no exact methods of creating cut scenes, mainly because every video game project has its own technological workflow. Within the project, you´re working on a platform that is constantly developing and changing and you must adapt to new conditions and procedures very frequently. However, the bright side is that you have almost unlimited options while
designing your scene. You can create almost every type of shot you want - crane shots, aerial shots, and complex dolly shots; shots that are very complicated and expensive in real life that can be achieved in a cut scene in few seconds. You can build a house, tear down a tree, add extras, create epic shots, battle scenes, huge crowds, various effects, and anything you need to create a dense or a cinematic scene that can be easily compared with a high-budget Hollywood blockbuster flick. Clearly there is a lot going on behind the desk. For me, this is one of the most interesting experiences of my whole career.
4) Did you ever work on Videogames before?
This is already my third video game project. I worked on Mafia III at 2K Czech with a similar position. Before that, I was gathering experience at a small Prague game development studio: About Fun, where I was working on a mobile game as a level designer.
5) Which job would you not want to do?
A Cook. I´m terrible at cooking - it´s boring, complicated and I hate the fact that the cooking itself takes a lot more time than the actual eating does. Also, I´m afraid that I would accidentally poison some consumers.
6) Please describe one of your colleagues or your department:
One colleague put a large tripod and some trash on my desk when I wasn´t in the office. So, another colleague displaced his monitors and spilled his salt all over his table in revenge. One colleague makes strange noises all the time, even though it is annoying. Another colleague has a really squeaky sneeze and one colleague acts like a dinosaur from time-to-time. The world is very strange.
7) Describe your usual day at the studio?
When you are editing, you really need a calm environment to work in. You need to pay attention to the scene pacing, you need to focus on a large amount of details such as an actor´s movement, the dialogue, the camera movement, and you need to experiment with the shots when trying to get the perfect montage. You need peace and quiet to feel the rhythm of the scene and go with it and you don´t stop until you get it right. Unfortunately, I work in an office mainly populated by the PR department. That means the type of people that are paid to talk. So, my usual day is to get up early, try to arrive in the office as soon as possible, so I have at least an hour of peace until the whole squad arrives. After that, I´m practicing self-control when trying to focus on minute scene details while ten people are having a loud conversation about the newly released video, misunderstood email, or what they will have for lunch. If my concentration fails, my main goal is to balance the music volume in my headphones so that it tunes out the office noise, while at the same time it doesn´t disturb me from focusing on the scene. I should be careful because when my music is too loud, I get scolded as it disturbs my dear colleagues from their work
8) What are you currently working on?
Right now we are in the finishing phase of editing cut scenes - creating a scene in an existing environment, adding motion capture performance of our actors, setting and scripting virtual cameras, and editing them together to create the entire scene.
9) What are some of your notable accomplishments?
I can´t speak as an individual because we are working as a small team, doing practically everything together. As a team, I believe that our greatest accomplishment is that we’ve processed a really large amount of cut scenes and we’ve invested a lot of creative energy into every single one of them. We want every cut scene to be entertaining, to have high-quality cinematics that will be (from the filmmaking perspective) superior to the better part of our competition. And so far, I believe we are pulling this off.
10) What do you like the most about Kingdom Come: Deliverance?
There are many things to like - graphics, environment, combat, story… but what I personally really enjoy is our artwork - beautiful loading screens, original GUI, a stylish game map with many details and interesting ideas, funny indication icons, and the wall paintings in the game interiors. Even the game logo or the company merchandise - it´s something that is not very common in the gaming industry and I really appreciate that we’ve made so much effort to make the game look even nicer than it already is.
Also, our female characters have bouncing boobs, which is nice.
11) What was your best/saddest/happiest, most touching video game moment?
I don´t recall a single moment, but I believe that I had the most emotional experience while playing the Mass Effect series. Even though the third entry was torn apart by the fans, I really enjoyed the whole trilogy, even the ending. I truly lived through every decision I made - I watched interplanetary conflicts in suspense, I was living and breathing with every character, I had fun watching their development through the game, and I enjoyed their stories until the bitter end. If we are talking about the most “touching” moment, it would be an eye-probing scene from Dead Space 2.
12) Which video game character or figure is the best?
Gordon Freeman. This guy never said a word and still, he´s one of the most interesting characters in gaming history.
13) Which video game character are you?
Sometimes I feel like Stanley from Stanley Parable. I blame the office work for that.
14) Are there any video games you repeat playing over and over again?
15) How do you relax after a hard day at work?
It used to be gaming, but after two years of working in game development, I got a little sick of it. So now it’s mainly sporting - running, bike riding, climbing, everything that involves fresh air, calm nature or physical effort and doesn´t contain a computer screen.
16) Your favorite music/Spotify playlist
Everything in between Rammstein and Stellardrone.
17) Your favorite movie or book?
Regarding literature, I don´t have a favorite piece, but I do have a favorite genre - science fiction. That means I like almost everything from Clarke and Asimov, especially Rendezvous with Rama and The Foundation series. In regards to movies, my taste depends on my mood. Basically, I can enjoy everything from horror to social drama. What matters to me is fresh ideas, originality, and a character based story. What I love the most are the types of stories in which a man recognizes how pitiful his life has become, how all his dreams have become vague images of the past, and after all those years he decides to do something about it. Eventually, he finds out what his life is all about. Or, he dies, or something. So, if I had to choose, I would pick Waiter, Scarper, and American Beauty.
18) What species is your spirit animal?
A seal. Don´t know why, but it’s definitely a seal.
19) What’s your guilty pleasure?
90´s Hollywood action blockbusters
20) Is it possible to buy you with candy?
No, but it’s definitely possible with beer
21) What is your kryptonite?
Used to be women, now it´s just one woman.
22) Who is your favorite historic character?
Odysseus. He was one badass sailor, even without rum or an eyepatch.
23) Which is your favorite historic event?
The end of the Ice Age. If the Ice Age never ended, I probably wouldn’t be working in the video game industry at this moment.
24) You must fight in medieval times… who are you?
I´m not a fighter, so I probably would be operating a catapult or something. However, I would be sorry for the guys who are stationed at the castle walls, so I would probably miss on purpose, get fired and then spend the rest of my life singing, dancing, drinking and not waging war.
25) Knights or Samurai?
26) What was your favorite subject and what was your most hated subject at school? What were your grades in history?
I´m bad at memorizing stuff, so history was one of my least favorite subjects. Ironically, I was kind of a nerd, so my grades were great despite that. And despite being a nerd, my favorite subject was Physical Education.
27) If you could say something to the fans of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, what would it be?
Be patient. If everything goes as planned, the wait will be worth it.
Do you have any additional questions regarding Petr “Pepe” Pekař and/or his work? Just ask here!