Interview mit Tomislav Uzelac (Unity of Command)

Wir hatten die Chance ein kurzes Interview mit Tomislav Uzelac, den Gründer von 2x2 Games und Entwickler des Spieles Unity of Command führen zu dürfen. Tomislav gibt uns die Möglichkeit einen Blick hinter die Kulissen zu werfen.

1. How you become a game producer in general and what is your personal history?tomislav

 My background is in computer programming. I've had a nice career in programming, among other things I wrote the original MP3 decoding engine that powered the popular "Winamp" player in the 1990s.

At some point though, I had a bit of a personal crisis moment and I decided to try something completely new and then I started working on Unity of Command.

2. Where and when do you got the idea to found 2x2 Games and how did you come to success?
I really only wanted to make this one game. This is a result of my love for Panzer General series of games, and later Korsun Pocket and other games from SSG.
From a programming standpoint, it was possible for me to create the entire game by myself, which suited me perfectly at the time. Later on, when it looked like the game had merit, I asked other people to join: Nenad (graphics), Bruno (sound) and Ante (AI programming).

3. How free are you with the implementation of a game and how strong you work together with the publisher?
We are an independent studio. We make all decisions by ourselves and are independently funded. There is no publisher, we deal directly with distributors like Steam, Amazon, Matrix Games etc.

4. What were the first steps you did to create a game?
I created a prototype with graphics taken from Panzer General. This is a simple way to try out your ideas even if you don't have a graphics artist on the project.

5. Would you use inspiration/ideas/concepts of third parties and how strong flows the personality of you as the producer into the game if you do?
I'm primarily the game designer, and a producer only by necessity because we're an indie studio. As a designer, I have very precise ideas on what I want do with the game, but I listen to other people too. For example, I regularly follow the very popular Suggestions Thread on our forums.

6. Why a strategy game and why WWII eastern front?

I wanted to make a game that I wanted to play myself, which meant a wargame about WWII. For the first campaign we chose Stalingrad Campaign because, out of all campaigns, it provides for the most exciting gameplay.

7. Do you create the ingame graphics by yourself too or do you work together with other (maybe in future)?
Nenad created all the in-game graphics. You can see that the project is not very expensive in terms of graphics, but his style is very neat, compact and functional. I think the graphics are just perfect, given what the game tries to do.

8. Please describe your most favourite graphic style for your games in a few sentences.
For strategy games, I think the graphics designer faces the dual challenges of communicating the game information ("communication") and creating an emotional response ("immersion").
I don't have a specific style that I prefer, but I like it when the graphic design of a game properly addresses both communication and immersion, in a balanced way. A good recent example of this is FTL, which is one of my favorite games of all time anyway.

9. What is your opinion about game modifications and how strong do you see the influence of the community?
I think modding, and user-created content in general, is awesome. Unity of Command has a lively community designing new scenarios for the game. You can check their work at:

10. How satisfied are you with Unity of Command and Winamp today?
I am very proud that Unity of Command was a hit with the players, there's a real sense of accomplishment there.
In terms of game design I was never completely satisfied because we couldn't put everything we wanted in the game before the release. I regret that less and less though, as it appears there will be a new game and a new chance to do these things right.

For Winamp, I'm happy that I took part in making it - I only did a part of that project but it's very cool that I did nevertheless. I am somewhat disappointed by the inability of the music industry to take advantage of these new technologies available though. There are a number of good ways to buy computer games online, for example, but very few to buy music with the same quality and convenience.

11. Do you already have plans for future projects and if yes can you tell us something about them?
There is some preliminary work already being done on the new game, which will explore several new mechanics (air, naval, etc.) I don't know yet, which campaign we will do first; frankly, that will depend on which campaign works best with the new mechanics.



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