As all of you should know by now, the open beta of Forge of Empires successfully started a couple of days ago. Finally, every single one of you guys is able to enjoy our game, which we are very proud of. We would like to thank you all for the overwhelmingly positive feedback. In the future we will continue to focus on improving the game, fixing bugs and also adding new features. Of course we would not be able to do this without all of our passionate developers. Therefore, I will give you more exclusive insights into how it is like working on Forge of Empires here at InnoGames. This is why I meet with Jan – Lead Developer of the game and talked with him about his responsibilities and his daily work.Hi Jan, thank you for taking some time. Would you please introduce yourself to our readers!
Sure. Hi, my name is Jan and I am the Lead Developer of Forge of Empires. This means that I am responsible for the technology behind Forge of Empires and that I have to ensure that the game is working fine from a technological point of view.
How did you become the Lead Developer for Forge of Empires here at InnoGames?
Like most of my colleagues, I have played video games since I was young. Because I was always fascinated with the technical aspects, I started to develop own games when I was about 14 years old. Despite some ups and downs, my motivation to develop games never faded. That’s why I decided to study computer science in Oldenburg. During my studies, I started to play Tribal Wars and was fascinated by the game. That’s why I did an internship during a semester break here at InnoGames. After I successfully finished my studies in 2009, I started as a software developer for Tribal Wars. In 2010 I began working on WestWars, first as developer, later as the lead developer. And finally in 2012, I became the lead developer of Forge of Empires.
So what are your tasks and duties in the development process of Forge of Empires?
As lead developer, I am mainly responsible for the technology behind Forge of Empires. That means that I have to ensure that the game is running stable and that all the different technologies, which we are using for the game, are smoothly working together. In general, I am also responsible for the development of the game, planning and managing the progress of development in our team. This mainly includes planning our iterations and estimating the required time. Besides that, as lead developer I also have to do some management tasks like optimizing processes and leading my team. Additionally I am also responsible for coordinating our frontend and backend developers. But besides all of that, I still also work on fixing bugs and implementing new features in Forge of Empires.
I have to say the start of the open beta, because it was very successful and we received a lot of positive feedback. I am also very proud that the game is running stable and that besides trying a lot of new technologies like flash, the backend and frontend are working together very well. But of course I am also proud that so far we only had a few bugs and technical problems in the open beta. A special thanks for that goes out to our community and all the players which have played Forge of Empires since the Exclusive Preview started. Without your dedicated help, we would have not been able to track and fix as many bugs before the start of the open beta. So once again thank you very much. If you have found a bug in our game, I would like to encourage you to report it in our forum. This gives us the chance to provide you with the best gaming experience possible.
What advice would you give someone in high school who’s interested in becoming a game developer?
First of all you need to be interested and enthusiastic about games, especially about how they are being developed. Obviously having an IT background or studying computer science is an advantage as well. But you should not only stick to theory as practical experiences, like internships are very important. As you know, practice makes perfect. I would especially recommend an internship in a games company, because it enables you to find out, whether or not this job is suitable for you firsthand. But if you are passionate about games, this probably won’t be a problem ;)
Thanks again for taking some time Jan! I appreciate it.
Is there a specific question you would like to be answered by the developers of Forge of Empires? Is there a specific job you would like to know more about? Let us know in the comments!