Tibia Wiki:Interview with Delany
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This year, Tibia Wiki interviewed the leader of CipSoft's Product Manager team, Delany.
Have a nice reading!
Tibia Wiki: Thanks for accepting an interview with the Tibia Wiki. We know that the Tibian community already knows a little bit about you, but who is Delany? I would like you to share information with us, like as your name, age, hobbies and who knows a mania or interests beyond Tibia?
Delany: You're welcome. I'll gladly try to answer all of your questions. My name is Martin and I am 33 years old. My favorite hobbies are playing computer and video games (what a surprise!), music (especially playing guitar) and cats (I have two).
Tibia Wiki: How did you start working at CIP?
Delany: I started at CipSoft as a software tester, right after I had received my final degree in informatics. I already had some experience in testing as I had worked at a automotive supplier during my studies, where I was responsible for testing car navigation software.
Tibia Wiki: What was the company like at the time?
Delany: First of all it was located in another building. Currently we are in a "real" office building, but back in the days, the office was located in an old art nouveau villa. There were far less employees than today and since the office was so full of nooks and crannies the company seemed a lot smaller than it actually was. The ambience, however, has been very comfortable and friendly right from the beginning (and it still is).
Tibia Wiki: We know that you are currently Product Manager, but before that it was Tester. What was this transition like? What position gives you more job satisfaction?
Delany: Both jobs have very interesting fields and I don't think that one of them is more or less satisfying than the other. Being a product manager definitely gives more room for decision making and thus more influence on the game. On the other side, being a product manager comes with a dramatic increase in deciding that things can't or won't be done. That can be frustrating, but after some time it feels reasonable. If there are not enough resources to try out every idea or feature that is brought up, you finally have to make decisions about what you really want to pursue. All in all I feel more comfortable in my current position, because I think I can apply myself more than in my former position.
Tibia Wiki: Are there any interesting stories or curiosities about the work within CipSoft that you would like/share?
Delany: There are a lot of stories. Working here comes with many nice experiences and fun facts. Especially in the Tibia team. After the game has already existed for more than 20 years now, we regularly stumble across little things that either almost everyone has forgotten after all this time, or we also notice things that nobody really knew about in the first place. Remnants of past times. Also, besides the hard work everybody in this company is doing, there are also opportunities for fun and relaxation. Sometimes this leads to strange situations. I once was leaving my office room only to find some of my colleagues starting a Nerf gun fight all over the hallway - one of them actually had a battery powered fully-automatic Nerf rifle!
Tibia Wiki: What was the most difficult decision you had to make (in relation to working with Tibia)?
Delany: As I mentioned before, being a product manager comes with a lot of difficult decisions. I think the hardest decision so far has been an appraisal interview of a former colleague, where I had to decide that the performance is not sufficient for working in the team. For the game itself I cannot think of one particular hard decision, but it occurs regularly that we have to turn down some very interesting and good ideas because we have more urgent and important matters on our list - and all these decisions are tough.
Tibia Wiki: Is there any particular project or proposal you would like to insert within Tibia?
Delany: We regularly evaluate and choose proposals and ideas for feature additions. I always try to make such decisions based on facts and estimates of our inhouse specialists (e.g. the Community Management). Besides that, there are always projects I like a little better than others, but I try to prevent choosing a feature only because I like it personally. After all, this game is not meant for me but for the Tibia players.
Tibia Wiki: Have you been at the forefront of South American server research, development and deployment? Tell us a little about it.
Delany: A lot of research in this matter was done during the time before I joined the product management, so I do not know all the details of former evaluations (especially concerning Tenebra). For the more recent set up of servers in South America I can say, that it was a change of our technical infrastructure, as well as new business partners with additional technical solutions in their portfolio, which enabled us to make another attempt in this direction. Currently we are in close contact with our partner for DDoS protection to make sure that the location South America gets the best possible protection. If this can be ensured we will evaluate how to proceed consolidating the location for further new or existing game worlds.
Tibia Wiki: Now we would like to ask some questions about the game... All right? Can you tell how many unfinished quests there are in Tibia?
Delany: That depends on the definition of "unfinished". ;) I'm afraid I cannot give you a specific answer to your question.
Tibia Wiki: There are players waiting for Tibia to enter Steam since Greenlight ... Does this project exist? Is it in progress?
Delany: A while ago we learned that unfortunately the goals and wishes for a release on Steam had never been clearly analyzed and evaluated. This is an important thing, though, that should have been done before we went for the Greenlight. The effects and terms of a release on Steam still have not been fully analyzed, yet. That's why we have decided to put this project on hold for now, until we have all this necessary information. Unfortunately I cannot give you a specific estimation on when this will be the case.
Tibia Wiki: How does BattlEye affect your routine on CipSoft? How is your implementation going?
Delany: In the meantime, several game worlds are protected by BattlEye. We are quite open about this process. As of the time of this interview, Honera and Guardia are the most recent game worlds that have received the BattlEye protection.
Tibia Wiki: What is the reason for excessive server creation? Would not it be more interesting to merge the worlds and concentrate the players in a world only to act a greater movement and interactivity between players?
Delany: Game world merges are still actions we plan and execute if we consider them to be necessary. Currently, though, we are gathering a lot of information concerning client usage, as well as effects from integrating BattlEye. That's why we have not merged game worlds within the last months.
Tibia Wiki: How serious should a problem be to the point of having to reset the server to the previous day?
Delany: Generally we try to prevent server resets in all circumstances, because we know that they are very annoying and disruptive for our players. In very critical conditions, however, like gold duping, hardware defects or data inconsistencies, for example, we have to make the decision to reset a game world sometimes, in order to prevent more serious long-term problems.
Tibia Wiki: Some players have reached the 1000 level and many others are close to that mark, it is likely that in a few years we will already have hundreds of level 1000 in Tibia. What are Tibia's plans for creatures, bosses, and hunts for this new level hit by the players?
Delany: We already have some internal discussions about this topic. On the one hand it is amazing that there are players with such dedication. On the other hand, extreme high level players will remain a minority compared to the Tibia player base for the next couple of years. So planning dedicated content for such a small number of players is a difficult topic. I cannot promise that we will address this particular level range before we generally take a look on the higher level segments.
Tibia Wiki: If you had the power to create, destroy or recreate any of the Tibia game engines, what would you do? Why?
Delany: If I had this power, I would recreate the engine in a way that the global state of Tibia is at every single point completely consistent in itself and every single action would be traceable and revertable. This way, no resets would be necessary. On this occasion I would most likely add some other nice features like full 64-bit support, some new and more efficient data structures and a ton of code refactoring of very low-level functionality. Unfortunately a lot of these things will remain a dream with a 20-year old system, but we also reevaluate these things from time to time and see what can be done.
Tibia Wiki: Mounts like midnight panther, crustacea, undead cavebear, are the most desired of Tibia. Do you have plans to launch more mounts of this type, which instigates players to look for them relentlessly?
Delany: We do have a great team which is constantly adding cool and interesting stuff to Tibia's content. I do not want to spoil any of their upcoming plans. ;)
Tibia Wiki: There are also many new items in the Store, especially: mounts and outfits. Do you intend to implement more mounts and in-game outfits? On new quests?
Delany: Besides Outfits and Mounts for the Store, most of the big updates contain ingame mounts and outfits, too. Currently we have no specific plans to change this strategy.
Tibia Wiki: You recently released a dev note saying about summons to help the players, each having their calling, what you inspired to make that change?
Delany: We did several analyses concerning the general usage of spells and runes in Tibia. We compared this to some surveys we made and identified this topic as potentially interesting and a nice feature addition.
Tibia Wiki: In that same wave of tests, there were changes in the spells... In general, the spells of the druids were not changed. Why?
Delany: This also was a result of our analysis as well as our internal discussions with various departments. I prefer not to tie this up on a single reason, it was a combination of various reasons and assessments.
Tibia Wiki: Could you tell Brazilian players, especially those who follow Tibia Wiki, what to expect from Tibia during this year of 2017?
Delany: Currently two of our major projects are to improve the botting situation, as well as the stability and performance of the client server connection. For example, we are in close contact with our partners to ensure enough power and stability to the server location in South America, in order to enable larger parts of the community to use a more efficient connection to play Tibia. The final technical details, as well as the specific process for this project are not yet finalized.
Tibia Wiki: Thank you very much for sharing a little of your time with us!
Delany: Thank you very much for having me! Greetings from Germany!
We hope you enjoyed the interview as much as we enjoyed making it.