It’s not an easy job to find the right balance between the art and tech in game dev. We have a guy who masters both. Ján is famed for his diligence. His work won’t stop amazing us.
He’s been with us since the early days, having broad experience from our days of Unity and current Unreal Engine development. For sure, without Ján, Citizen Conflict wouldn’t be the same.
Hi! Right from the start, tell me how did you get into 3D art.
It’s hard to define a certain point when I started to develop my skills toward the position I work at now. I could perhaps start with that I liked drawing and technology since my childhood, which might be a trait to kickstart what I do now.
To warp it up, I managed to put my hands on the first 3D graphics software quite early in my life. It was called Cinema 4D, and it opened the door for me to enter graphics design.
What steps did you take to make a living out of it?
From a more practical viewpoint, it makes more sense to start with 2D graphics since it’s much easier to enter the job market with it. Hence, I started to hone my skills in Photoshop and Illustrator, etc. which resulted in opening a press company with my friend at the University.
We were doing various graphics work, from posters, roll-up walls, and banners. Along with that, I led University courses in Photoshop, Illustrator, and 3D Max. Unfortunately, my press business fell short of long-term success.
What followed next?
Afterward, I got my first job — it was a technical field. I started to work as a System Administrator at IBM. From the technical perspective, it was quite satisfying, yet I could swallow the lack of creativity and the insufferable repetitiveness the job of System Administrator entails.
Therefore I started to meddle with Unity, which helped me to skill up in 3D creation. I was finally able to bring movement to the static 3D design. Soon enough, I began to develop my first video games.
What were they like?
The first game I tried to bring to life was a simple mobile game titled Helix Jump right after I passed through a tutorial. The more interesting game title was a 3D building game, sort of a factory simulator. Thankfully, my experience with Unity, along with my personal projects, opened my door to the game development industry.
How did you get into it professionally? Did you have a clear vision of what you wanted to do specifically?
I didn’t have a specific position within the game industry I wanted to fill. I was open to everything and ready to adapt to anything. I was considering anything from Game Design, 3D Art, and C# dev, which I learned along my Unity journey. Ultimately, I applied for QOPRO Game Studio and was hired only based on my CV and portfolio.
What did your beginnings at QORPO look like?
From the day first, I was creating map design in Unity for our initial project called TRM. However, right from the beginning, I knew that I’m going to be more focused on the technical side of the environment art.
Soon enough, though, we shifted to Unreal Engine, which was challenging. I had basically no hands-on experience with Unreal. On the other hand, just like all the graphics design programs tend to be highly similar, the same goes for game development engines.
As of now, I have my hands full of Citizen Conflict, tackling all various tasks revolving around the environment design both from artistic and technical perspectives with significant overlap to game design and development.
What do you consider to be the most interesting project you have worked on yet?
One of the most interesting projects I worked on might be a VR-based game called Plane Defense. It was all about defending a certain spot in the 3D space against attackers, such as war transporters, tanks, etc. The point was to navigate the attack vectors of the plane to hit the tanks and protect the strategic location against the invaders. The high point of this game was its virtual reality nature which omits any gamepads or joysticks, which; the player navigates the missiles by virtual targeting in 3D space.
Lastly, tell me something about your hobbies.
I have a family, so besides my job, it’s quite challenging to nurture some hobbies. I’m trying to do sports, but most of the time, I’m also meddling with technical art and game design in my free time. As I mentioned, for me, it’s essential to work on something I can be passionate about also in my free time.