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Men of War: Assault Squad

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Interview With DMS.Instinct

By BrandenburgKommando - 12th September 2009 - 00:01 AM

The team of Men Of War staffers here at Gamereplays.org had the privilege of interviewing one of the developers of Men Of War, DMS.Instinct

Gamereplays.org: Well a hello from the community over here at Gamereplays.org, we would love it if you would answer a few questions for us.

DMS.Instinct: Hi there, nice talking with you!

Gamereplays.org: To start Instinct, how did you get into the gaming industry?

DMS.Instinct: In fact this was more of a coincidence rather than planned. Games followed me my whole life over, so I also knew the basics around the business but I also have the soul of a gamer. Never the less, games never had the serious business image to me, so I tried looking forward into other directions. Soldiers however, the first part of the serious brought me into modding as I was totally impressed by the level of detail the game delivered. The mod became very popular and was the mod for single player back then. Best Way figured this and started cooperation with me. That is how it became business to me.

Gamereplays.org: Interesting start to your development career. As you were a modder before a developer, would it be safe to say you enjoy your job?

DMS.Instinct: Yes I do. I follow the rule that you can only create unique and fantastic games if you enjoy them yourself, however I also have to feed my family with this work. So you aren't going to enjoy this work all the time with the pressure around you. But in the end, it was a good decision and I also understand the needs of modders and the community very well since I was once one of them.

Gamereplays.org: That is always a good rule to follow, and if you can feed your family doing something you love then why not? Anyways, how did this modding and partnership with Best Way lead to you being a part of DMS?

DMS.Instinct: Well, I took all the financial risk and built up DMS step by step. It wasn't an easy decision because I had to stop studying and focus all on the work and company. But by now the company is doing very fine and I hope we can expand very soon. So in other words, someone had to raise this company to make Men of War happen and this was me.

Gamereplays.org: Really? So everything DMS has worked on has been based on World War 2 as far as I am aware, is this because itís what the public want or is it something you and the other developers are interested in?

I'm an economist, I create what customers demand and there is still a big demand for World War II games. I personally would enjoy doing a different scenario with one of our other partners in near future. However we aren't working against the market and not my personal taste matters but those of players. Still there is enough room for other types of games and you will surely see DMS producing other kind of games with different scenarios as well, but still we think the Men of War brand can also do well in the future and we are not going to drop it easily.

Gamereplays.org: As you arenít going to drop the Men of War brand easily what are your plans for the future of the game?

DMS.Instinct: We are currently developing new business models that will serve the gamers much better service but also increase our rate of return of investments. The current PC games business model is sadly not powerful enough to create big titles exclusively anymore and thus we can't invest so much as we wished to do. I hope we can fix this in near future. For now we are going to get everything out of Men of War in terms of game play and game value. The new expansion is not just going to be a sloppy sequel but a redesign of the game play. But don't be afraid, we keep the good, but change the bad. You will be surprised how much more fun it's to play Men of War in single player or co-operative play with the new skirmish mode.

Gamereplays.org: What is good for the game is good for the community, and we are happy about your dedication to the game. The game is excellent and very popular but how did the design change from concept to release and how big is the development team?

DMS.Instinct: For Best Way, around 30 developers worked on the game and for DMS, fifteen. We allowed gamers to take part in beta tests very early and thus gave them the opportunity to input their ideas and wishes during development. The basic concept was to take Faces of War and get rid of the issues it had, so we were very flexible.

Gamereplays.org: Sounds like everything went well and smooth and it is always nice to hear developers being so tight knit with a community. Well since you cannot be developing games all of the time, what do you do when you are not working?

The development didn't go perfect, but Iím still quite happy with the end product. For now it's about making the game even better. The little time I have available I'm spending with my girlfriend who is seeking more attention. Sadly, I don't have much hobbies left that fit my tight schedule, so I prefer going out eating or drinking a beer rather than having an action filled free time. Overall I'm very interested in cultures. Thatís helping me well when working foreign companies, sometimes maybe, I'm a little bit too organized.

Gamereplays.org: well with all this time spent developing and working on the game you must have played every faction a lot. So what is your favorite faction and unit in Men of War?

DMS.Instinct: I do like the Germans most; simply for their equipment it fits my taste quite well. I also do like British for their early war tanks that can take a lot of beating. In the new expansion I also enjoy the Americans a lot, they have some nice infantry fire power now. (I like automatic rifles a lot) As for my favorite unit, it would have to be the Panther I enjoy the sound of the vehicle. Speed, gun power and amour have a very good balance and in my opinion it was the most advanced tank during the war.

Gamereplays.org: Well that is a fine choice of faction and unit, but with the unofficial patch, how do you feel about the Japanese and their implementation into the game?

DMS.Instinct: There are still some tweaks needed, however we achieved that they play differently to other factions without unbalancing the game too much. I hope we'll get rid of the remaining problems soon. We also have some nice plans for them in the expansion.

Gamereplays.org: And you guys achieved this extremely well can you give us some insight on what measures DMS and Best Way take to balance Men of War and how they achieve such great balance?

We created some balance tables taking most values of all vehicles into account. But the game itself is favoring balance a lot, no unit is unbeatable and thus slight unbalance can be fixed by player skill. You won't loose the game because you bought a wrong unit like in most other RTSís, this gives a different sense of balancing to the player.

Gamereplays.org: Where are you from and where do you spend most of your time now, also it sounds like you know many cultures what place in the world that you have traveled to has inspired you the most in your life?

I'm born in Ulm and now live on the Bavarian side that is called Neu-Ulm. Unsurprisingly I'm spending most of the time in front of the PC working. In fact I'm not travelling very much but I try to understand many cultures by talking to natives and informing myself about their culture. This way I try to gather the good about cultures and make it part of my life, however when it comes to work routine I'm quite classic German. I couldn't say that a special location inspired me, but I'm very interested in the Asian cultures as they work counter clock wise in some aspects to our culture but still are doing well, especially when talking about Japanese and Korean. We have some business partners in Korea as well and most likely I'm going to visit them soon.

Gamereplays.org: Well it sounds like your current life is consumed by work but this is always the case with new companies and a company if only as good as its leadership. Was there any company growing up that made games you really enjoyed or company you modeled DMS business model after?

DMS.Instinct: I do like Valveís understanding of delivering a service to customer; I also enjoyed games of Epic at least the first ones for the quite innovative game play. For the business model, it's good to orientate, but copying will make you just a bad copy and thus we need to find our own way to succeed, success is something that can't be copied.

Gamereplays.org: Seems like you have a very good grasp on success. Could we get picture of the man who slaves away at the computer for the good of his great company?

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Gamereplays.org: Well you can't spend all that time working without a little entertainment what is your favorite genre of music, and who is your favorite artist?

I'm more of a rock and heavy guy, but I do enjoy classic sometimes as well. However, my head is filled with media entertainment all day, so I'm happy about silence as well. For music I don't have a specific artist I enjoy most, when it comes to art I enjoyed the works of Giger quite much for their unnatural way. The design of the Aliens universe (the movie) is very inspiring.

Gamereplays.org: Well for someone from Germany you must be surrounded by great restaurants and food. What is your favorite dish and could we get a picture?

Wow, my favorite dish is hard, because I enjoy lots of stuff and yes, you find pretty much everything here, from Japanese to African food. But I will show you my favorite German dish.

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Gamereplays.org: Well that does look great and I will have to try some Zwiebelrostbraten. Thanks for your time Instinct and good luck with your career and we here at Gamereplays.org appreciate your time and work and are glad to get to know you even more!

DMS.Instinct: Thanks for your efforts and see you on Gamereplays.org!

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