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Soldat Interview with Michal Marcinkowski

Feature; Sep. 4, 2010; Channels: Video Games; By Charles Rector
Subtypes: Interview

Thank you, Michal Marcinkowski, for agreeing to do this interview with OMGN about Soldat.

OMGN: Let's start with a self-introduction, the person behind the Game Master.

MM: My name is Michal Marcinkowski. I'm a one-man team game production company based in Poland. My best known work so far is the online multiplayer mayhem Soldat.

OMGN: Were you a soldier before Soldat

MM: Nope. I think being a real soldier is much more boring than video games.

OMGN: What was your experience as a gamer before Soldat?

MM: I've basically been raised by games. I played them since I was 4 years old. Never got professional; only had a brief period with Quake 2/3. I was mostly hooked on Day of Defeat at the time I started making Soldat.

OMGN: What was your inspiration/motivation for creating the game?

MM: I had two motivations. First, I wanted to play a game over the LAN with friends that would be simple, action-packed, funny and with lots of gore. I searched and searched and never found anything besides Liero, but it did not have an online component. So I decided to write my own game. The second motivation was that I wanted to show the world that I can do this task completely alone.

OMGN: Is Soldat based on/inspired by any BBS games? 

MM: What's BBS? Is that, like, the pre-internet? :D

OMGN: Why was Soldat created as a downloadable game instead of, say, a browser-based game?

MM: Because, at the time I started making Soldat, there wasn't even a term invented like browser-based game. Browsers were used to open online webpage catalogs to find interesting things and share information.

OMGN: What was the situation regarding online combat games before Soldat was created?

MM: The only online action games back then were FPS games. There was nothing simpler. I wanted to incorporate what worked good in games like Counter-Strike and ragdoll physics like in Hitman and put that into a 2D game.

OMGN: In what ways has running a game enhanced your gaming enjoyment?

MM: Good question. It has drastically decreased my enjoyment of games. Everytime I play a new game, I think, "I would do this better," or "This sucks; why didn't they think of..." and I stop playing the game because I think my games are better.

OMGN: Running a game is often a labor of love as opposed to being a money maker. How active is Soldat's community in helping to promote the game, creating fansites for the game, making suggestions for new features and ways to operate the game, or other help with the game?

MM: Soldat's success is 50 percent me, 50 percent the community. I just made the game and was leading the project for a few years. All this time, my fantastic community helped to do everything, including web hosting, promoting, map making, mod making, forum managment and moderation, fansites, leagues. Today Soldat is run entirely by the community because coding has been taken over by EnEsCe a community member. I'd like to thank everyone involved for making Soldat with me!

OMGN: How much influence has Soldat had on other games?

MM: This is something I am most proud of. One of my motivations to do Soldat was to inspire others, so that they can make a game like this too. On my Youtube channel (vidmm) there is a playlist called "Soldat clones." I collect there games that, in my opinion, were inspired directly by Soldat. Besides that Soldat has 2 commercial clones available on XBox and Steam made by proferssional game companies. I won't tell you their names 'cause I'm not their marketer. :)

OMGN: What has the response to Soldat been like?

MM: Awesome.

OMGN: Some say that Soldat is just another online game. How do you respond?

MM: Nobody that played Soldat can honestly say that.

OMGN: There are some who believe that innovation has disappeared from online gaming. In what ways does Soldat break the mold?

MM: It's not an FPS, not an MMO, not a strategy. It's something completely different. Like Worms but in realtime. If you want to break the mold, you should look what games are currently on the market, and then think very hard on what game there isn't on the market that you would enjoy. Then make that game!

OMGN: How many play Soldat?

MM: I can see at this moment there are currently playing over 900. In the history of Soldat, it has been hundreds of thousands.

OMGN: How many different languages does Soldat accommodate?

MM: All translations are done by the community. Website is in 17 languages, and the game is in 23 languages.

OMGN: What do you think the future holds for downloadable games?

MM: I think it is the future. In 10 years, nobody will know what a CD was.

OMGN: If you could go back in time and start all over, what would you do differently?

MM: I would make Soldat pay-2-play. :D Just kidding, although probably I would be a millionaire.

OMGN: Where do you see Soldat a year from now?

MM: I see Soldat tightly integrated with what I plan with my new game Link-Dead. We're currently building a multiplayer backend. This means player accounts, ranks, and statistics. This is something I always wanted to have in Soldat. I want the Soldat community and my other game communities to become more integrated, so that playing and finding equal opponents is easier. Wait and see...

OMGN: Finally, would you like to add anything?

MM: Yeah, watch out for my new game Link-Dead and follow my development blog!

Michal Marcinkowski Facebook:



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