Global Ops: Commando Libya Interview

Conducted By Adam Ames

Radomir Kucharski, founder of Spectral Games, spoke to TPG about his squad-based third-person shooter entitled, Global Ops: Commando Libya.  Here is a snippet:

Where did the idea for Global Ops: Commando Libya come from?

I was always a big shooters fan, I also spent a couple of years in Libya as a kid, it’s a very interesting exotic country, unfortunately very overlooked, so we decided to make a shooter with fictional story in the exotic Libyan environment.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your role with the development of Global Ops: Commando Libya.

My name is Radomir Kucharski I`m founder of Spectral Games and project lead.

How did you get started in developing PC games?

I got together with a couple of friends while in high school and we were doing small games for various publishers. It was very amateur, more fun than money but I loved it. Than after I finished my degree at University of Economics I started looking for real job, send my portfolio to 2015 and got a job as an artist for Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault. That was a milestone point in my game dev career.

What are some of the successes and failures you learned from in developing Global Ops: Commando Libya?

The biggest success of GOCL is that it was actually completed and released, it’s really hard for a small startup game dev to complete a project of that size and scope. I think for a small garage type team this was a huge accomplishment and I`m proud of it. There were to many mistakes done to list but that’s the process of learning. You can only avoid mistakes by doing nothing.

In its current form, how close is Global Ops: Commando Libya to your initial vision?

Actually it exceed our initial vision in every respect, when we started we wanted to make a small budget shooter, I think it’s a lot more than that now.

Some devs admitted their games were too hard upon release because they became experts as they developed the game.  Talk about setting the difficulty levels for Global Ops: Commando Libya and if you faced a similar challenge.

No we didn`t, actually we got backfire for making it to easy and we will make our next game more difficult.

Were there any challenges you faced in ensuring Global Ops: Commando Libya would run on the various PC system configurations?

No, not really, we used proven technology (Unreal Engine 3), we were trying to make it playable on our not so great workstations and at the end it turned out it had very reasonable hardware requirements. There were a couple of levels which needed some optimizations and fine tuning and that’s it. It really wasn`t an issue.

Please talk about developing the art style, level design and music for Global Ops: Commando Libya.

Yeah, well, we didn`t think much about art style to be honest. There were no concepts, just a general idea for levels and the story and the game was organically growing during development. We actually got some feedback from our publisher that what we do is really very upside down.

Outside of creating the game itself, what is the toughest aspect of being an indie developer?

Getting funding.

How did you go about funding Global Ops: Commando Libya and did you receive financial or emotional support from friends and family?

I used my savings and got great financial and emotional support from my parents for the first half of development time and budget, than we had a very solid prototype and a lot of game done so it was easier to get a publishing deal. Also, my wife was very supportive, during the prototype stage we were working in a room at our home. I really appreciate that my wife didn`t kick us all out. Imagine 4 guys constantly running around your place when you have a 2-year-old baby. It was tough.

How much pull do you have when setting sale and regular pricing through digital distribution channels?  Did you research similar titles when trying to come up with the launch price?

No pull at all, it was publishers right to decide. We don`t really want to get involved in marketing, PR or sales. We want to focus on making games.

For the most part, big budget studios no longer release PC demos while almost every indie developer does.  Why do you think this trend is occurring?  Tell us why released a demo for Global Ops: Commando Libya and the difficulties in doing so.

No idea, I guess indies need marketing exposure and that’s what demos can deliver, big budget studios have big budget marketing campaigns, I really don`t know, never thought about that.

How important is it to get instant feedback about Global Ops: Commando Libya from users through online message boards and other social networking sites?

It is very important, but players often miss economical reality aspect when giving feedback. Basically what I mean is that there is a lot of things we would love to add to GOCL, we just couldn`t do to time/budget constrains.

15.  How much value do you place on the opinions of those who review Global Ops: Commando Libya professionally?

A lot, again economical aspect is frequently missing from those opinions, but we still take them really seriously and will keep in mind when working on the next project.

16.  How do you feel about the various indie bundle promotions and the “Pay What You Want” pricing methodology? Would you be interested in contributing to a project like that in the future?

You are asking pretty difficult questions, this is another subject I was never thinking about before. I`d support any indie developer anyway I can as long as there is creative potential, I`m less interested in new sales models, new gameplay mechanics is what I`m looking for.

What are your thoughts on how the PC gaming industry as a whole are dealing with the problem of intrusive DRM and piracy?

I think cloud computing is the way to go, I want to buy cheap terminal and have my games and computing power somewhere in the cloud. This solution is both more economical (cheaper – think about all your unused power of your very expensive gaming PC when you don`t use it) and it will fix piracy issue  once and forever. Of course there maybe fraud cloud accounts business but I think that would be a marginal problem.

Bill S.978 was introduced to the Untied States Senate earlier this year which could make it illegal to post unauthorized copyrighted content on YouTube and other video sharing sites.  How do you feel about individuals posting videos of Global Ops: Commando Libya?

I feel great about them and would like to thank them for their interest in our game.

How do you feel about DLC and its current implementation in the PC gaming industry?

I like DLC, I like buying games on Steam, I don`t like having physical copies of games at home. I have too much things and to little space. I love digital everything, I got audible account and have all my library on me now with my mp3 player a size of the credit card. I think this is awesome. And I love all that downloadable content revolution.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about modding of PC games and the relationship developers have with modders.  How do you feel about the online modding community in general and specifically if mods were created for Global Ops: Commando Libya?

We started as modders and I think modding community is very important for game development industry. As far as GOCL goes we don`t have resources now to prepare tools for public release, so I don`t think there will be any modding community for GOCL at this point but I understand the importance of modding community and we will try to support it more on the next project.

What advice would you give up-and-coming indie PC developers who are trying to break into the business?

Don`t give up. Actually its a lot easier to break into the business now than 5 years ago. There are readily available tools, UDK is basicly free and supports most platforms, there is pretty easy access to digital distribution. Yeah it’s not like the old times when you had to invest years in making your own engine and then if none of the big publishers would want your game you could forget about releasing it. If you have an idea build it using UDK and if its good it will be released on Steam for millions to buy. It was never easier to get your game done and released. -End

TPG sends thanks to Radomir and everyone at Spectral Games.  You can check out Global Ops: Commando Libya on the official site.

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