I’ve got a good grip on the Wang, I mean Lo Wang. So for me it was like, yeah it was a dream come true working on that game. Itís not good fun, itís awesome fun. When you say Poland, you think video games, I would like to have that happen. When I was playing I felt like, my god, I mean, weíve made such a huge step from Shadow Warrior 1 to Shadow Warrior 2 that itís just amazing. So this is it, weíre in Warsaw, Poland. This is the physical home of Flying Wild Hog. This is Artur, one of the top dogs, or the top hogs, and this is of course also the spiritual home of Lo Wang. Although I donít know what Lo Wang would have made of a building like that. Thank you Mr Stalin. Yep. Iím ready for Wang. This is it, this is Flying Wild Hog, Warsaw, Poland. Look at this stately entrance. This is a palace of development kings. OK so we are going to the sixth floor which was built on top of the building. Itís the programmersí room, so they do programming. So we shouldnítÖ I think we shouldnít go in. Theyíre super busy programming. Everyone is working actually, look at it. They are working really hard. Hi. Artur here, come on., you have to film it here. We have Artur here. This is Artur in his native habitat. Yeah. One of the guys playing yesterday askedÖ he said, does everything explode?
– Everything explodes. This is a test map. Itís a good question actually because there was an achievement in Shadow Warrior 1 for destroying thousands of items, I canít remember how many, but I think like 100,000 items or something like that. So yeah we are going to go that direction again. One of the biggest benefits of working for Hogs is of course the view. Itís the most central part of Warsaw, like you are in the actual middle of Warsaw I would say. We are standing in front of the entrance to the Palace of Culture, so yeah it canít get any better. How did the opportunity come up to remake it, how did that actually happen? That was actually the guys from Devolver Digital. They played ourÖ the first game of Flying Wild Hog, which was called Hard Reset. They played this game, they loved it, And that was the time when theyíd been searching for some studio who couldÖ because they owned the IP, they had the rights to the Shadow Warrior IP, and theyíd been searching for a studio capable of reimagining that game. So they called us. From what Iíve heard they tried to reach us a couple of time before actually our boss read the email. Was that Michal?
– Yeah, yeah that wasÖ So he ignored them, said thereís some guy here talking about Shadow WarriorÖ Yeah, yeah something like that, butÖ I mean, finally yeah, yeah we contacted with them, they came here, we discussed, you know, how we could actually reimagine this game, and that was it, I meanÖ We were so happy, I was so enthusiastic about that, you know, especially that it was not only the old school FPS game that I loved at the time, Iím also a fan of Japanese culture and pop culture. It wasnít even a remake, it was more of a re-imagination of the original game because, well, as much as I love the original, I grew up in the 90s so along with the King, Duke Nukem, you know Lo Wang was somethingÖ the story of Lo Wang was something I loved to play. The original Shadow Warrior, the very, very first one was an important game obviously for you guys because you decided to revisit the world of Lo Wang. What was it about that very first game that made it stand out for you and made you want to do that? Well you know we, in Poland, as you probably know, back in the day console gaming wasnít very popular in Poland so we mostly played on PCs, so all of those old school FPS games like Shadow Warrior, Duke Nukem, Heretic, Hexen, BloodÖ Weíve been raised on that kind of game, so Shadow Warrior had that special place in our hearts. So when we got the chance to remake this game it was like a dream come true. We knew that game, we knew how to, especially after Hard Reset, we knew how to adapt that old school element to the new game. So this is the new town.
– Yeah. The new town is also part of the old town. The new townís part of the old town?
– Yeh. Thatís confusing. But do you actually every come down here? Yeah I was working here.
– Oh really? Yeah in a bar
– Ha cool. before I started working in the game dev industry. What happens there? This is the national stadium. Is that football?
– Yep, football and all the other stuff. Is football big here? Yep, itís the main sport. OK. I didnít know that, I never thought about what sport was big here. These fountains are like a multimedia installation, they are using lasers and projectors to run some artistic stuff here. Like Jean-Michel Jarre?
– Yeah, yeah, yeah. Jean-Michel Jarre actually did some music especially for this place. No way.
– Yeah. So you say youíre proud of what Polandís becoming, what Warsawís becoming, youíre a part of that, right? I mean youíre helping transform the economy with what youíre doing right? Yeah we have like over 400 companies, game dev companies in PolandÖ
– 400? 400, all over Poland. The largest hub is here in Warsaw, the second one is in Krakow.
– Yeah. Weíve got really good technical universities and all the programmers, the programmers at our office, most of them finished the Warsaw University of Technology,
– Yeah. Itís really a booming sector now. Someone said it earlier today, that sequels are an opportunity to do all the things that you couldnít do in the previous game, but when I look at Shadow Warrior 2 compared to Shadow Warrior 1, it seems like youíve not just done the stuff you couldnít fit in the first one, youíve gone all the way up here.
– Oh yeah. Of course weíve put a lot of heart into this game. When I was playing I felt like, my god, weíve made such a huge step from Shadow Warrior 1 to Shadow Warrior 2 that itís just amazing. To start on the second one, on Shadow Warrior 2, was that a mountain for you to climb, was it, ìoh god where do I go now with this story?î Or was it easy? Well actually I had a few ideas and, well, I still need to go back and look at the first script I wrote. Iím pretty sure there is not much of it right now in the game. So youíre a man who iterates then? Oh yeah, of course, of course. Well, I think itís the only good way to write a story, iterate, iterate, iterate, you talk with people, you show it to people, you ask them if they like it or not. I like to go deeper to see what they really donít like, what really bothers them. We are currently going to a nice little Japanese, well itís a fusion restaurant, not entirely Japanese. They have awesome ramen. So we came to Poland and weíre going to a Japanese ramen restaurant? Hell yeah. OK so we finally made it. Itís, well, personally my favourite ramen restaurant in Warsaw right nowÖ I like that, your favourite ramen restaurant in Warsaw. How many ramen restaurants are there in Warsaw? – A lot, recently a lot. There is another one which is really good just over the corner from here, and thereís plenty of others. Right now generally Polish people they like Japanese cuisine, especially in Warsaw. I donít know why, but we dig it.
– Who knew? Itís an education, but itís Shadow Warrior 2 so we can do ramen. Come on, we have to eat Japanese, we make a ìJapaneseî game. Come on. Weíve got randomized, random generated levels, each time you play the game the level you will be playing will be different, we have loads of monsters, loads of guns. Also each fight on the level will be different, you will find different loots, you will be able to play in coop mode up to four players. Do you think there might be some players out there who will miss the linear nature of the first game? Is there less chance to learn the game if youíre changing it every five seconds? I mean, you can learn the game because whenever you start a mission, even if you die and you respawn at the nearest checkpoint, the layout remains the same unless you quit the mission by your own choice.
– OK. Then everything will be loaded in a different configuration. But I think the game that is focused on upgrading your character through combat requires a bit different approach to the level design. Whatís the name of this square? This is the New Town Square. New Town Square. In the old town. Near the old town. But itís also part of the old town
– This is the new town? Itís really difficult. We have these old town walls
– Yeah Iím confused. and everything outside the walls is called new town. But itís old. But itís old.
– OK. So this is the bar you worked in before you smashed into the games industry right? Yeah I worked here for over a year. Itís called Polyester, and itís on Freta Street in Warsaw. Everything I know as a bartender I was taught in here. I had a great friend called Domenic and he taught me everything about drinks. Oh really?
– Yeh. So you can mix a mean cocktail then?
– Yep. Yeah? Whatís your number one cocktail? Long Island iced tea.
– OK, OK. So this is Polyester bar and we are here to find out if they can still make Long Island iced teas as well as Arturo in the day. Yeh, pretty good. You should try it.
– Good? OK. Itís good. But I donít have anything to compare it with, Iíve never tasted yours. It doesnít taste of alcohol at all. Ah thatís the trick. Weíre pushing the limits of really what we should be doing in a bar on an afternoon. And this is Kahlua and absinthe. So yeah, I like Kahlua, Iím a Kahlua kind of person, but absinthe makes me a little bit nervous. So come on, what do I do? First you put this finger only into the absinthe, so only the green one, then the middle fingerÖ Both at the same time? No no no, first this one then then that one,
– OK. you drink it fast, yeh just go down.
– And then out again? Out. The middle one, yeh. Drink it. All at once?
– Yeh. Put your fingersÖ Oh wow. Yeah, OK. Mo-cap. Why? Why not? Good answer. You did some mo-cap work with rabbits as well? Yeah of course. We did the flocking system of rabbits. How do you mo-cap rabbits? Hi, Iím Michal from Mocap.pl. Today we have a very difficult task ahead. We are mo-capping rabbits for the way of the Wang. How does the American spirit of ëawesomeí fit with the Polish approach to life? Is there a clash there? We are vastly different from Americans. Iíll give you an example of how different Polish society is and American. So if you ask a person in America ìhow are you?î the normal answer is ìIím fine thank you, how are you?î In Poland there is an expression ìStara biedaî. The literal translation is, ìhow are you?î ìWell, as bad as always.î Youíre part of a boom, youíre part of aÖ Youíve got a great company making great stuff, thereís a lot of amazing stuff going on in video games coming out of Poland generallyÖ We are happy. Thatís good right?
– Oh we are happy. Is this challenging your Polish spirit of disillusionment? My spirit is actually not that much Polish because Iím an optimist. I donít drink beer, I donít like football. But answering your question, I would say that yeah, yeah we are trying to promote the Polish game dev, show that we are good at it. Gaming is the best thing that happened to Poland. Itís an amazing thing to enjoy so much playing your own game. I love just to get into it and have this complete, likeÖ lose myself in the game. OK, itís not good fun, itís awesome fun. Coop is always amazing. Coop for me as a player is a synonym of amazing. You should play Shadow Warrior 2. Keep your eyes on Poland. Keep your eyes on Shadow Warrior 2. And on Flying Wild Hog.