Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm Michal Marcinkowski, the creator of Soldat. I'm 18 years old and I'm in the last class of my high school in Warsaw, Poland.
How big is your programming experience? When have you made your very first game and what was it?
- I'm not a good programmer, I just know how to make games. I started making them when I was about 7 (?). I played with Microsoft QBasic a little, then learned Turbo Pascal, now I'm using Borland Delphi.
I made lots of crappy text-mode games. When I discovered graphics mode I made tons of tiny little stupid bloody games that only me and my friends played (I don't have them and don't remember them:) ).
I made one game after another every time when I found a new function in Turbo Pascal. For example I made a series of games just after I found out what GetPixel does and how to use it in 13h mode. I don't know if any new DirectX programmers know how much there are possibilites in a game in that small function. I was always making something out of nothing. Soldat is like that too.
Is game programming your hobby or a profession? Are you going to join some game developers team or create one of your own in future?
- It's my hobby and I hope it will become my proffesion. I would love to hire somebody that would program for me:) It's hard work:(
What programming language have you used to create Soldat?
- I used Borland Delphi 6 to do Soldat. Because I know how to use it. Never had time to learn C:)
Little guys look nice and move very smoothly. Were all graphics and animations made by yourself?
- Everything is done by myself. I made skeleton animation in Soldat because I was too lazy to draw all the animation frames in a paint program.
So I made it simpler. I made a skeleton animations editor. Drawed only the body parts and then placed them on the animated skeleton.
Special thanks to the guys that made Hitman from IO. They gave me the inspiration and description how to do body animations.
What major problems have you met while developing Soldat? How long did it take you to complete the project?
- The project isn't complete and probably will never be due to the demand of the fans. Thanks people!
I released the first public beta 6 months after starting the project. The biggest problem was the network code.
I never had any bigger experience with network programming. First I used DirectPlay because it was "simple".
Well, it was a nightmare. DirectPlay is the most horrible API I've seen - slow and unpredictable. Then I used UDP and everything was working... on LAN:). Internet bandwith was a problem. And still is but I have learned very much and today I'm happy with the Soldat internet protocol. But I'm still searching for ideas to make it better.
Have you got any offers from publishers?
- I got some offers from publishers. From Poland and Germany but I don't want to sell Soldat in a box. Soldat is a small multiplayer game and it must be distributed through the internet to be popular. The only way I can think of selling Soldat in shops is a Soldat Special Edition or something.
What tips can you give to people, who make their very first steps in game programming? What should they begin with?
- Never start making a game that you can't accomplish. If you're starting to write games, write the ones that you can handle.
Learn programming by steps. For example: if you learn how to make sprites in DirectX make a simple game with that. If you learn how to draw polygons, think of a game that would be fun with just polygons. Always be creative and learn how to use what you know.
When you've learnt all the steps you can start making a big game. Think of a game that you would like to play and start making it.
Oh, and you must be patient. Nobody would know what Soldat is if I wasn't:)
Thank you for your answers!
— Thank you very much!