Tobias "Tobi" Stolz-Zwilling
has evolved very quickly from the Community Manager when he started in the summer of 2014 to the PR Manager in 2015 and has since become the face of Warhorse Studios. Born in Offenbach am Main he is known as the German intruder in the office.
He just came back from E3 in Los Angeles, and left the beautiful Californian sun behind, just to answer the call of the Weekly Torch for you.
Do you want to know more about Tobias "Tobi" Stolz-Zwilling
and his job as a PR Manager? Don´t hesitate and ask here! You can find a Spanish translation of this interview here.
1) You just came back from the E3 in Los Angeles. How was it there?
Extremely exhausting. People tend to believe that I am going for a fun trip whenever I am attending a convention. However, in reality it’s tons of hard work, from building the booth, fighting with hardware and software problems, buying last minute stuff because everything is broken, to presentations every 30minutes to a new bunch of journalists. I think we did 36 presentations to over 150 journalists in 3 days. In the end of the day I am always so tired that I skip all those fancy E3 parties. But to be honest... it’s still kind of a fun trip!
2) What exactly did you do on E3?
At E3 we were a team of 7 people. While Rick Lagnese and me presented the game the others either helped with technical problems or guided journalists through their hands on sessions. Before E3 my core job is to take care of journalists appointments and while E3 of course presenting the game to them. It’s pretty tough if you consider that you have to present the same thing, with the same enthusiasm up to 16times per day (8h), but I love my job and love to be in contact with the people. The best moment is when I hear those whispers of “wooooow”, “no waaay” or “cooool” while I present my stuff. Always makes me smile!
3) What was your personal Highlight on E3?
Unfortunately, I can’t leave my E3 booth, that means that I almost never see anything else than our own game. Therefore, my highlight every day was when Jiri Rydl came into the booth each evening saying “Done! That was the last bunch for today!”.
4) Where can we usually find you lurking in the holy halls of Warhorse?
I am almost always at my desk in the Marketing and PR Office. And yes! I will forever call it like that even though we share this office with Scripters, IT, Testers and other. However.... WE WERE HERE FIRST!!! (and are the only ones who didn’t move back and forth)
5) How did you hear about Warhorse?
I was watching my favorite gaming show back then called “GameONE” and they were talking about “Hardcore” games. So while I was munching my breakfast they introduced Kingdom Come: Deliverance and some bearded Hobo who was presenting it. In the same week I was taking the elevator to my flat and another bearded guy shared it with me. I saw the guy several times and always asked myself who this burglar is. When we shared the elevator, he looked at me and said “Hey I am Dan, do you also live here?”. That was the first time I looked into his face – I had this sudden feeling that I know this guy. I went to my apartment, tried to google him and boom..... Daniel Vávra, creator of Mafia and founder at Warhorse Studios – the same guy I saw on GameONE. I tried to sneak on him somehow, wanted to pass my CV to him, but WHS only searched for programmers and alike. I even tried to look out the window to see if he is going on a walk with his baby and/or dog. Didn’t work out. But then one day... I think it was Thursday evening 9pm, I checked the WHS job page and they were looking for a Community Manager. I dressed myself, printed my CV, went down the stairs, knocked on the door. Dan in shirt and his undies opened the door and I said: “I know who you are, I love what you do, here is my CV”. He laughed, said that it was shitty payed, but that he will look over it. Right day, right time I guess.
6) Describe your position. What is it about being a PR Manager?
Whatever job at Warhorse Studios you’ll apply for, be sure that you most likely will do several other things in addition. So as PR Manager I should do strategical planning of our entire communication including media relations. However, I also do press speaking (presentations, interviews, streams and shows), organization of events, supervising our Community Manager, media/community monitoring, organizing team activities like our annual Secret Santa or Team Building, being the captain of our Warhorse football team (the European one.... the only real one!!!) and running a very successful business, we call TobiShopTM. In the end my job is all about communications, either to the outer world or to the inside of the holy halls of Warhorse Studios. And hell... I do talk a lot!!!
7) Did you ever worked on Videogames before?
Not at all. I always played a lot of videogames, but I worked as a freelance journalist before. I always thought that I am very good in asking questions and writing. At WHS I found out that I am even better in answering and talking.
8) Which job would you not want to do?
In Sims 3 there was an ability you could add that was called something like “Enthusiastic” or so. I always took it because this describes me pretty well. It said that you are happy about all the small things in life - I think I would try all jobs and would give my usual 110%. However, I really sucked at programming at University... almost break my neck... I am almost sure... it would break my neck for sure if I had to do this as a living.
9) Please describe Warhorse Studios:
Warhorse is a great place to work! It surely has its flaws and tends to be a bit too punk rock from times to times, but on the other hands it gives a chance to proof that you are worth it. It gives you the freedom to develop your skills and pitch new ideas projects that might or won’t find its way into the project KCD. One moment everyone loves each other the other one everyone hates each other. It’s almost like working with friends rather than with coworkers.
10) Please describe one of your colleagues or your department:
Jiri Rydl is a great guy.... in his own weird, crazy, annoying, hateful, dick-move way. He really is... trust me... like for sure!!! Ooooooookay it might be true that whoever meets him for the first time thinks that he is a total unfriendly douche... but that’s only a facade. If you are able to look through that you’ll meet one of the most loyal and diligent persons at WHS. He was my tutor and coach when I started here and turned out to be my best friend at the studio.... in his own dick-move way :). He didn’t get me a birthday present.... DOUCHE!
11) What is your favorite team activity?
I am proud to call myself the founder of the WH Soccer team, the teambuilding at fortress Malesov, the Secret Santa Christmas Party and dealer of sweet treats at TobiShopTM. I love my baby’s equally!
12) Describe your usual day at the studio?
My work varies strongly from day to day. Usually I start my day with our free breakfast and a cup of coffee and go over though monitoring the internet, searching for articles, tweets or general mentions about the studio or the game. However as I said, since my job changes every now and then there are always different challenges.
13) What are you currently working on?
I just finished some E3 paperwork, internal reports about our performance. My next task is a live stream we are going to have today, on this Friday 23rd at 6pm CEST. But to make things a little trickier, I also have to welcome ESO today, a YouTuber from UK at the WHS who will get my full attention. But he agreed to join me at the stream which could be really great. I am looking forward to it.
14) What are some of your notable accomplishments?
Well, whenever I prepare myself for a big show I play through the presentation build and start my usual hate speech about how I dislike this and that. Our devs hate me then thinking that I hate our game which is not true at all. I love it... I am just really nitpicking when it comes to the stuff I am presenting. In the end this potentially benefits the bug hunting and optimization since I have a different view on the game. And then my biggest fail – I have a small voice over role in the game... and I hate it
15) What do you think it’s the most important part or thing in the game?
Every department thinks that their feature is the most important one in the game. However, I really like the combat. I know that some might have issues with that... but hey... I finished DarkSouls 1, 2 and 3 :). I really love the way it is. Hard, tactical and technical. Even after 3 years of fighting, I still feel great after each fight I win. And this really is something special!
16. What is the most important characteristic a PR Manager must have?
Being a PR Manager at WHS requires you to be an extrovert. You need to be able to present the game, yourself and be full of enthusiasm.
17) How, when and with what platform did you first get acquainted with videogames?
It was a Atari 2600, but I went to many platforms. Sega Mega drive, DOS gaming, a Gameboy... but the one that I still play today, and consider the best platform ever is my SNES. I love it... and it’s actually in the studio. We even had a Tetris league once... I think we never found the true master of blocks.
18) What was your most touching video game moment?
Finishing Final Fantasy X.... I thought I have nothing to accomplish anymore in life... I didn’t know what to do next... it was just such a great game. I finished it another 5 times later
19) Which videogame character or figure is the best?
Tobi in which ever I can create and name my own character!
20) Which class, gender, or type do you usually pick?
I almost always play as a mage with fire attacks.
21) Which videogame character are you?
Tobi from the character editor.
22) Are there any videogames you repeat playing over and over again?
Well I finished Final Fantasy X 6times, I play my Snes over and over again (preferably Super Mario World) and I really love Xcom 2. Hmmm... I also play those games no one understands... like Football Manager.
23) How do you relax after a hard day at work?
I keep telling myself... today I am going to plays some games...... end up sleeping on the couch... DAMN!
24) Your favorite music or Spotify playlist
I like electronic music but I am able to listen to all kind of stuff, so it really depends. I found an old Offspring CD yesterday... so guess what I am playing on full Volume when driving to the studio.
25. Your favorite movie or book?
To my shame I must admit that I am not a great reader. I read the Harry Potter books before the 1st film was aired. It was great but nowadays I almost only read news.
26) Your travel tip?
You’ve never been to Prague? Do it! There is tons of great food and beer... which is pretty much the only thing you can get cheap in Czech Republic.
27) Sport is..
The greatest thing on earth. I played Handball for 19years and made it even to contracts. However I have a bad luck for injuries, so after 9 surgeries my career ended. But on the other hand, if I stay fit and made it to be a professional. I most likely wouldn’t ended up at WHS.
28) What’s your guilty pleasure?
I love cookies... and everything that is baked like cakes and stuff. Hmmmm..... CAKE.... wheeee....
29) What was your greatest mistake?
My greatest mistake is about to come... and I am still waiting for it.
30) Do you have a Bucket List?
Well actually... I could imagine myself living and working in USA or Canada. So maybe that might be something?
31) What will be your famous last words?
I actually hated all of you.....
32) Is it possible to buy you with candy?
Sure, I mean one hand washes the other... right?
33) How do you like living in the Czech Republic?
I had the advantage that I was able to talk Czech since my mum is from Czech Republic. So when I moved here in 2012 I had an easy start. But my plan was to finish my studies and return to Germany... but then I worked as a journalist... and met that bearded dude... well and now I am here. But Czech Republic is great... the Texas of Europe!
34) What is your weakest trait?
I am not patient at all. And I tend to be really pissed and angry if things are not going the way I imagine it. I mean... let’s talk about stuff... but I am too German to miss deadlines!!!
35) Who is your favorite historic character?
I liked Alex the Great when I was younger... I don’t even know why.
36) What was your favorite subject and your most hated one at school? What were your grades in history?
I was pretty good in all “talking” subjects obviously like history, politics and alike. I was pretty bad at Maths and Physics. There was only one way... become a Journalist... .... or PR guy.
37) If you could say something to the fans of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, what would it be?
I know many of you people for a long time. Back then, when I started as a Community Manager I was closer to you, but I always like to remember the goofy discussions we had at the forums. Well, we came a long way together and we are almost at the finishing line. I hope, and know, that you are as excited as I am so let’s bring that baby home!
Do you want to know more about Tobias "Tobi" Stolz-Zwilling and his job as a PR Manager? Just ask here!