Prokop "Proky" Filcík was born in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic and joined Warhorse Studios in 1st of April 2016, but this was no joke. Formely an enthusiastic community member now a loyal bug hunter! Beeing Part of the QA-Team, he is reviewing the latest builds of Kingdom Come Deliverance and constantly on the go between different departments to assign the spotted bugs (when he is not on the hunt for Him-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named).
Do you have any additional questions to Prokop "Proky" Filcík? Just ask here!
You can find a Spanish translation of this interview here.
1) Where can we usually find you lurking in the holy halls of Warhorse?
My workplace of course. It was previously called “cinema” because it was a big space in the hallway with projector. Well… now it 's the QA department.
2) How did you hear about Warhorse?
I first heard about the game on Facebook from a local game magazine that published a video from “new Czech historical game”. It was sometime before the Kickstarter campaign.
When Warhorse showed up on Kickstarter, I immediately backed it (I think I was among the first hundred backers)
I joined the studio this year (2016) on April 1st, which made me really nervous. However, I was active in the community since 2014 (I even became a forum moderator and I am still very active).
3) Describe your position. What is it about being a QA tester?
As a tester, you play and test the game. The game consists of several main parts: Features, Quests (and dialogues), graphics and animation. The QA department is testing all of these things. At the moment we are focused on finishing quests, which is probably the hardest thing to test.
We have a reporting system through which we can mark which objective is working and which is not. We can even link the objective with a corresponding bug.
We also have to our use a program called Skald (some might have heard about it from Dan Vávra) which is used for writing the quests and their dialogues. As testers, we use it as an ideal state for the quest and we compare it to the reality of the actual game.
The work itself consists of:
1) Learning how the quest/feature should look like (either through Skald or talking with designer/scripter/programmer)
2) Testing whether it works as intended
3) Reporting any found bugs or writing feedback if you think it should work differently.
4) Have you ever worked on Videogames before?
My last job was not in a videogame company, but in a company which specialized in producing devices for trains, trams, underground and buses. I was in charge of customer documentation. Strange how similar that job was to my current occupation.
5) Please describe Warhorse Studios:
Working at Warhorse is amazing. In my previous jobs I could barely talk about games with anyone, but here everybody plays something so there is a lot to discuss. Everyone is friendly here, except before some important dates when some things just HAVE to be done, then some people might start losing their nerves (like me).
6) Please describe one of your colleagues or your department:
There is this one guy who watches youtube videos all day. and it’s even part of his job! Fuck that guy, right?!
7) Did you enjoy the Community Event at Battle of Nations?
How could I not? We had a nice evening in a pub before BotN, where I got decently drunk (as always) and then we had great time the next day walking up that mild hill together with @Urquhart, @Wenceslaus, @Waldkauz, @tomtom and others, where BotN took place. We ended up surviving the slope (and the heat) and the reward for that was another pub where I got... you guessed it… “decently” drunk.
I’d like to thank everyone who participated and especialy to @Blacksmith who brought me some Bavarian beers. I have drank them all and the empty bottles now stand on my shelf.
8) What is your favorite team activity?
I think you will guess this one too: it’s beer activity. You can try out our own brand, I especially recommend the Knecht one!
9) Describe your usual day at the studio?
I wake up at 7 am and I arrive to work by 8 am. By this time, there is a new build downloading on my PC and then I make my way to breakfast. Did you know?! We have a breakfast every day paid by the company!
After breakfast I sit all day and test things with a (short) pause for lunch. I leave work sometimes around 5-7 pm or sometimes even later.
10) What are you currently working on?
Right now the QA department is focusing on finishing what we call the, “internal beta”. It basically means that every part of the game (features, quests, graphics, animations and cutscenes) should be in the game.
As I mentioned earlier, the main focus right now is on quests because quite frankly, we are a bit behind with some of them. That puts a real strain on the script department and us, but we are advancing in steady pace.
I think it was two months ago that we officially went into crunch mode, which basically means that the studio highly encourages people to stay longer and do more work. Because of that, we needed to upgrade our work mechanics. Now we have more strict rules for what to work on and for how long.
Anyway, I think we really did a big chunk of work in those two months. Beforehand, we had these separated parts of the game which were not even on the same level - the optimization was really bad. I was testing in 9fps max for several months and the game level was not even complete.
Presently, when all the parts have been put together, I have even seen the battle of Pribyslavitz in 30fps now... and we are still reaching higher! It is amazing to see this progress.
As for me personally, I have been testing the Sasau monastery for several weeks now. Let me say that monastery is even prettier now than when it was presented at E3. But otherwise, the monastery is very difficult for us testers, because it is a cluster of several different quests that are interconnected with each other and some even share several NPCs. So if you piss off one NPC in one quest, you won’t progress in another quest because the pissed NPC won’t speak to you anymore. So be careful when you get there!
Other than that, I am also the guy who disappoints anyone who decides to write a report on our support page, because many of the reported bugs are either known or fixed and aren't relevant anymore. The hardware problems people keep reporting are often unsolvable since the Beta will not be updated anymore and some systems (like save/load) are obsolete.
Ceasing the updates was really necessary as every update was like a little release, which meant long nights and many lost nerves. Thank god I was not here for any of those updates (I joined a month after the beta).
11) What are some of your notable accomplishments?
As a member of QA, I often feel that we are not accomplishing much, but when you look back and remember how things were a few months ago, you realize that much has changed and you were a part of it.
My accomplishment is probably that I was able to stay here without running naked in circles and shouting nonsense like “we need to be able to look back on the horse!”
(that is Stumpy, our MoCapHorse)
12) Why do you think it’s the most important part or thing in the game?
For me it is the story, but the sandbox element makes it a big part of the game and it definitely will be the source of much, much fun.
13) What do you like the most about Kingdom Come: Deliverance?
It would be the idea of a realistic RPG without magic. As for a specific thing I really like our alchemy (nothing is better than brewing yourself some diarrhea potion).
There is a trick for enjoying this feature: just sit back and enjoy the animations, lighting and the sounds of fire and boiling water. In fact, it really is mainly a relaxing feature.
14) How, when and with what (platform, game) did you first get acquainted with videogames?
My father had a PC since I can remember. So I grew up playing PC games. The first game I can remember ever playing was QBASIC gorillas.
I played many classics like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Monkey island and Alone in the dark, which I had nightmares from. Two of my most favorite games are Warhammer 40K: Dawn of war and Start Trek: Deep space nine: The fallen.
At the end of 2009, I got into League of legends (it was not so popular back then) and I ended up playing it till now.
I enjoy action-packed games. I just don’t really have patience for more strategic stuff, even though I try some strategy from time-to-time.
Right now I am really into Warhammer: Vermintide and I am really looking forward to Spacehulk: Deathwing.
15) Which class, gender, or type do you usually pick?
I play almost always a male character (If I can choose) and as for class I tend to go for some kind of support/healer. I don’t really enjoy destroying the enemy but I enjoy keeping my teammates alive and helping them achieve a goal.
16) Which videogame character are you?
I am one of the guys you kill in the first seconds of any Call of Duty game.
17) Are there any videogames you repeat playing over and over again?
Because I like online games, I repeat playing League of Legends and Overwatch. I am kind of a mainstream player. But sometimes I go for Call of Duty 2 and MW in singleplayer mode; these are great shooters. Otherwise I like games with a strong story, but I only play through them once.
18) What would a perfect game according to your wishes look like?
I dream of a Harry Potter MMORPG. Hogwards is a perfect setting for leveling up your character and after you reach the max level and graduate, you go for dungeons and hunting Death Eaters, exploring the world and many other things. However, I am dead certain that if this game ever gets to be made, it will suck badly.
19) Most hilarious bug you have ever encountered or worst video game experience?
Well, it wasn't 'till I started working for Warhorse that I've seen a rotating horse that would launch you into the air when you got too close. That was pretty funny.
20) What game have you been really looking forward to but turned out to be a total disappointment?
Definitely Watch Dogs. The advertisement it got was really disproportionate to what the game actually had to offer. You didn’t even sleep with the girl before they killed her!! Are they even serious?
21) How do you relax after a hard day at work?
Surprisingly, I play games, or watch movies or shows. This Monday for example, I finished Ori and the blind forest and I must say I had a blast, though the levels where you escape the elements drove me crazy.
22) Your favorite music or Spotify playlist
Recently I got into sea shanties. I especially like the versions from Assassins Creed: Black flag...
Or this great playlist:
23) Your favorite movie or book?
I really love Interworld from Neil Gaiman and I am heavy fan of Song of Ice and Fire series.
As for movies, I like Guardians of the Galaxy ,which is better and is the less awkward version of Avengers (which I passionately hate)
24) What species is your spirit animal?
25) Sport is...
I regularly train Iaido, which is a Japanese martial art. And when I say regularly I mean before the crunch time was announced. Now, I don’t really even go to a pub, except on special occasions.
26) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Czech Bohemian chips. I am never too lazy to get up and get one of these.
27) What was your greatest mistake?
Repeating the last grade in secondary school, but it was more of a guided mistake. Because of that I found good friends with which I had and will always have a great time.
28) Is it possible to buy you with candy?
No, but you can buy me with beer and meat.
29) What is your kryptonite?
Beer and meat.
30) How do you like living in the Czech Republic?
Since I was born here, I have no other choice than to like it. Czechs don’t like to involve themselves in other people's bussines most of the time, which is an ideal situation for me. We also have a good beer, I heard.
31) What is your weakest trait?
I am lazy. It’s not that much visible when I am not at home, but when I get there I could be mistaken for a very rude furniture. All I do is sit at the computer and throw curses at my enemies.
32) If you could say something to the fans of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, what would it be?
Many of the active members of our community know me and I am grateful to make their acquaintance. I hope we will be able to organize another get-together because last time was really great.
I would really like to thank to our moderators Blacksmith, Urquhart and Wenceslaus who are a real help on the support page and on the forums. Honorable mention also belongs to McWonderbeast, our former U.S. moderator who can be a sarcastic piece of salty meat, but otherwise he means well
Also, I want to thank our personal trolls which you won’t hear much from for being here with us (because of some hidden feature) and taking our (mostly mine) bullshit.
And lastly, my thanks belong to any fan out there who still has a faith in us (and even to those who don’t).
Do you have any additional questions to Prokop "Proky" Filcík? Just ask here!