Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Saturday, February 1, 2014

[WoTB] World of Tanks Blitz: Tanks and Tablets

Popularity of the original World of Tanks did not leave aspiring game development studios indifferent. Since 2011 WoT-resembling (in terms of gameplay) products started to rocket on different platforms including mobile - smartphones and tablets. Naturally Wargaming.net is not going to disappoint their customers and is going to come up with their decent version of tanks for tablets.
Developing games for iOS and Android platforms is a very special case that requires very dedicated and focused professionals. Wargaming didn't have that kind of expertise until recently.

DAVA, a Belarusian development studio, was founded in March, 2008 in Minsk. The guys chose their specialization right away. They decided they would be developing apps for iOS. The date of founding the studio is close to the date of App Store creation (July 10, 2008). So, we may say that DAVA is a peer of the most popular iOS apps store.
While others were examining the newly appeared service, the young studio was already developing products for it and was among the pioneers on the newly-formed market.
DAVA had for co-founders: Andrew Karpiuk, Vitaly Borodovsky, Dmitry Bobrovnichiy, and Alexander Fomenko; as well as six key soldiers: Ivan Petrochenko, Alexey Prosin, Stepan Drozd, Kirill Poliakov, Victor Kleschenko, and Alexey Alexeev. This were the “bones” of the young development studio. Nobody in Belarus had developed anything for iOS befor DAVA was founded. And obviously WoT Blitz is not the first product the team has worked on. They had produced quite a few games and apps (with over 10 mln downloads and over a million purchases) before they started working on WoT Blitz. The team used to work as a subcontractor for Electronic Arts, iWin, Freeverse, and other publishers. The audience of DAVA own product users is about 9 million with a lot of apps and games to appear among TOP100 in free and grossing charts.

Some of the DAVA products include:

Modern Weapons: Small Arms (encyclopedia)

Jewel Quest Mysteries

Space Storm

Wargaming has been in touch with DAVA for quite some time. There even were a few ex-Wargamers working for DAVA. The acquisition finally took place in 2011. The first major game project - World of Tanks Blitz - was started in spring 2012 (first prototype) and officially greenlit in December 2012.

The mobile department of Wargaming currently consists of 3 independent teams:
-       The WoT Blitz team distributed in Minsk and a few Ukrainian cities.
-    Framework team (cross-platorm game engine development)
-       The Service Apps team developing apps assistants World of Tanks and World of Warplanes

Vitaly Borodovsky - tech director
UX/UI design in progress
Designing maps for Blitz
GD is thinking over a new feature - agile board in the background
As for the game, WoT Blitz, it has been demoed at multiple gaming shows throughout 2013 and early 2014, including public gaming areas during G-Star 2013 in Korea and Taipei Game Show 2014, which means that the game in nearing closed beta with iOS release scheduled for first half of 2014.

A couple of new screenies below.

The map is called "Mines". Should be recognizable 

From another perspective with HUD

Another map - Copperfield

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

[WoT] 0.8.11 is Coming

How do you like the upcoming 0.8.11 update for World of Tanks?

Any major concerns or ideas?

WT E100 will lose 200HP btw. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Erfolgreiche Flucht!

On September the 5th, 1940, a ME109 was in a dive over England, with a Spitfire behind it. The ME109 pilots name was Franz Von Werra, and things were going badly. Just a week earlier he had returned from a sortie and claimed 9 RAF kills in that single mission, even though he hadn't a shred of proof. He'd been lauded across the German press for this feat. The fame had been welcome for Von Werra, who had been born in Switzerland to an impoverished noble family. Now he was about to start a true adventure which would rightfully make him famous, not the imaginary one which he had relied upon until then.

Escorting a bombing raid against Croydon, Von Werra had seen RAF fighters attack the bombers, and following the lead of his squadron commander they had prepared to dive on the RAF. As they committed themselves another flight of RAF Spitfires bounced them. In the ensuing dogfight Von Werra's ME109 had its engine damaged (some sources claim by frenziedly fire). As he dove away one of the spitfires latched onto his tail and followed him down pumping bursts into his stricken plane. As he roared over searchlight detachment the British soldiers had joined in firing Lewis guns at the ME109. Von Werra arrived in England, unhurt, only a few fields later, near a place called Loves Farm.

Von Werra's ME109
He was quickly taken prisoner by local farm workers and the cook from the Searchlight detachment, and was handed into the police force and then the army. He joined the rapidly growing umber of German airmen who were POW's of the British. During interrogation the British checked the details of Von Werra's story, and found the 9 kills to be false. The BBC made great work of the propaganda victory. However in an oddity of life, the Germans hearing the denunciations against Von Werra's tally thought it must be true and so he was credited with all the kills, this action got Von Werra awarded the knights Cross.

Meanwhile in the UK Von Werra was now at Camp No1 near Grizedale Hall in the Lake District. Where he hatched the first of many escape plans. The POW's were exercised outside the camp each day, and at the same point in the route the excursion party would pause to allow the POW's to rest. Von Werra proposed to simply slip over the wall at that location and escape. With the support of the camp he started making plans. First the senior German officer in the camp asked the British to change the time of the exercise period. With the excuse it was interfering with the German's educational activities the walk was dropped from the morning to the mid afternoon. This would mean Von Werra would only have to avoid capture for a few hours before night. Secondly a German was appointed to cause a small distraction amongst the guards.

On Monday the 7th of October the plan was put into action. The roads in the area were utterly deserted, but as fate would have it a Greengrocer's cart was approaching the corner when the Germans arrived.
The plan was put into action, as the German selected for the Decoy stepped out of line to talk to the British NCO leading the party, he was immediately yelled at and told to return to his place. Von Werra's plan was failing, as he didn't have distraction, and soon they'd move off again. Then the cart and horse passed by, and Von Werra spotted it would block the British guards line of sight to him and at the right moment he rolled over the stone wall. Lying in the shade of the wall he waited for yells from the guards. None came, eventually the party moved off with him unmissed! He was free!

Von Werra was however free in in the Lake District in Autumn. Three nights later he was sheltering in a small stone shed on the hills when two Shepard's in the Home Guard found him. As he was led away in captivity Von Werra suddenly threw his weight about and knocked the two men over and took off into the darkness. He easily outdistanced the two old Home Guards. With a rough location the net tightened, and eventually on the night of the 12th Von Werra was recaptured by a search party whom had just retired for the night to the local pub. When one man saw a lone figure in the distance, the party turned out and combed the area. Eventually Von Werra was found lying almost totally submerged in some mud.

After a period in solitary confinement Von Werra was transferred to a new camp, Hayes Camp, in Swanwick, Derbyshire. Here he worked with a number of other prisoners to dig an escape tunnel. On the 20th of December Von Werra and his fellow escapee's broke out. A diversion was provided by Germans singing loudly. The song they chose was a German folk song "Muss I denn, muss I denn, zum Stadtele hinaus", which translates as "I must away into the great wide world".
The next morning wearing his Luftwaffe flying uniform he claimed to be a Dutch pilot whose bomber had been shot down at a local railway station. Eventually through guile he managed to convince the station staff of his identity. After a phone call a car was dispatched from the local airbase, RAF Hucknall, to pick up Von Werra. When he arrived on the base he was questioned by a very suspicious squadron leader. While the Squadron leader attempted to contact Von Werra's invented unit and airbase, Von Werra excused himself to visit the toilet. Once out of sight he made a break for it, looking for a plane to steal and fly back to Germany! As luck would have it he climbed over a security fence and ended up in a Rolls Royce factory. A group of civilian mechanics approached and assumed he was an Air Transport Auxiliary pilot here to ferry a fighter plane to a front line unit. So after getting him to sign into the visitors book he selected a fighter.

But the engine wouldn't start. The mechanics went away to find a starter trolley to get the Merlin engine to turn over, while Von Werra sat in the cockpit, head down, familiarising himself with the controls. When he looked up he saw the squadron leader with a revolver aimed firmly at his face.
In January 1941 Von Werra was moved to another camp. This one was quite a bit further away, in Canada. The British assumed it would be extremely difficult for a German POW to escape across the Atlantic.
The Germans were shipped safely with a large escort, and when they had been disembarked they were placed upon a train. Each carriage had a couple of guards in it, but was otherwise a normal carriage. As the train moved across the Canadian countryside Von Werra worked at freeing the window he was sitting next to. It had been iced up by the harsh Canadian winter. Eventually he had it free, and at an opportune moment he signalled one of his fellow Germans, who stood up and started to fold his coat, blocking the guards view. At which point Von Werra went out the window of the moving train. After trudging through the snow he came to a river, which was partially iced up. The centre of the river was still flowing water. To get wet would have been deadly. Luckily Von Werra managed to find and steal a rowing boat and so crossed into the United states. Which at that time was still neutral.

Von Werra turned himself into the US police and was charged with entering the United States illegally. He contacted the German consul in the US, and while the Federal government was deciding what to do with his case, Von Werra had been smuggled out of the country, and through several other neutral countries until he returned to Germany.
Publicity photograph taken by the Germans of Von Werra and his pet Lion cub Simba
For his exploits he was awarded the Iron Cross. Von Werra was also asked to inspect the German POW arrangements for the British. He said upon viewing the conditions "Better to have been captured by the British than the Germans!". It was his comments that lead to the massive improvement in POW conditions for Western allies.
Von Werra returned to flying, and was lost over the North sea to mechanical failure on a training flight.