This article was prepared during the development of the Corsairs Legacy pirate life simulator game in order to popularize the marine theme in general and games about pirates in particular. You can follow the project news on our website, YouTube channel, and Telegram.
Volodymyr Bondarenko, head of the Ukrainian Mauris studio, is interviewing Alexei Bobrovnikov (ALexusB), the founder of the Russian-speaking community Seaward.RU, which independently developed the Sea Legend is Back addon, the game Sea Dogs: Return Of the Legend, and Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships. You can also watch this material on YouTube using the link provided.
Volodymyr: Alexei, hi.
ALexusB: Hello, Vladimir.
Volodymyr: As the author of the first mods for Pirates of the Caribbean, please tell us the story of how you started to create them. What were the challenges and how did you distribute your modified versions of the game to fans?
ALexusB: The question is a good one because initially, I was just a player. I mean, I waited a very long time for this game, here. And then, in the end, on the second day, I went and bought it, got it, everything - the cherished disc. I'm very happy with it. There. But I played it, and it sort of worked, it kind of worked. It was also weird, why it was Pirates of the Caribbean with a "Pirates of the Caribbean" sticker, so it didn't pass me by. Somehow the whole thing felt weird. Well, I ended up playing and playing and got halfway through the game there. Because something started to happen to me. I kind of wanted more.
I used some forums, so, "Akella", there was a forum "PiratesAhoy!". There, too, is a fairly serious community. Then I look - they are doing some mods. I thought: "Oh, I also want to". Tried to build as they did according to the instructions - and something does not make sense, nothing works. I have a folder with scripts, but nothing works. Then it turned out that our version is quite different from the western one, as all this stuff is star forcing closed in Russia. The folder Program is there with the scripts, but it is fake. In the end, get the whole folder from these mod makers - I spent some time there, I sat there comparing it, and rolled it. I got it all in English. Then, so I partially moved back that folder, which was Russian. In general, I assembled and launched it. The mods began to appear, and everything sort of worked. And then I shared it with someone. I ended up on "The People'' created a website and made a design in the form of a menu from the game. That is, I just sketched it out and put it together to make it look like that. And that's where it all appeared. And the links went on the forums. There was also a forum for that game. It was called "PotC.ru'' just like Pirates of the Caribbean. That's where all that stuff was happening. In fact, that's where the addon was created. The administrator gave us a closed resource for the community. Well, that is, the community was right there.
Originally all the mods were made for my beloved. That is, so that I, as a player, could more comfortably play with it all myself. And then somewhere in August... I mean, if it started as soon as I got the game in my hands based on those modifications... It was in August that I was on holiday. I sat back then and had a lot of fun, so I played the game out loud. I had actually already finished it. I faced the fact that some mods did not work, because it was necessary to start a new game. At that point I was not ready to rerun the whole thing, that's it. And at that point. Just, there was v1 mod, v2 mod, and v3 mod, which, here, v3 mod - it's been like a patch on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" disc and it's been spreading for a very long time. And it's actually on torrents. Here. And then, sometime later I passed the game. I kind of calmed down after that. I have this site on which this mod v3 lay. On the basis of it appeared online community, someone was trying to do something of their own. Morgan appeared. We then somehow cooperated with him. Corsairs A&M started to appear. Because I'd already finished the game and it was interesting to do something on my own. And the community was getting bigger and bigger, and A&M became such a serious addon. At first, we had been working on it privately for 3-4 months. And then it became independent, and even Igromania started to publish it on CDs. That's how it even got on the discs as a distribution. Otherwise, it was a website, a sub-forum. At some point, we were kicked out of there. It was already in 2005. That is to say, Seaward was created as a separate resource in about 2005, but as a domain, I bought it after the addon was released a few years ago.
Volodymyr: As far as I remember, narod.ru had a limit of 100 MB. And it turns out that this version of the addon was up to 100 MB, or did you have to divide it somehow between different repositories?
ALexusB: No. It was in the 100 MB range quite well. I mean, it generally, sort of, fit in there normally. Initially, it was scripts and small resources like that - well, retextures and so on. That is, it all weighed quite a little. Not only that, at the time 100Mb was just, well, something out of bounds. I didn't even have a modem Internet, I had a mobile GPRS Internet. And 100Mb was just something out of the question. It was unreal to download anything.
By the way, it was also very difficult to download anything. That mobile Internet... You had to keep your fingers crossed there, so you had to look at the progress bar. A lot of people don't understand how it all works now. The whole addon, in general, the whole thing weighs less than 100. 50-60, I guess. Here. That was enough of a limit. When we started doing the "Sea Legend is Back" addon in earnest, the limit was serious. There zipped resource files that weighed 700 megabytes at some point. If they are with retexture cities, even more. That is, if the folder with the game could fit on a 700-megabyte disk, it was, I think... It was all something in the region of 4 GB. I mean, it would unzip and it would fit right in. But with all these mods, addons and so on it all started to weigh, well, decently more. That is, plus 1.5 gigs. It did. And in connection with that. So, I wrote a program in Delphi, which took, copied the models that really weighed a lot, and rewrote their texture to the one I wanted by bytes.
Volodymyr: You are a programmer by profession, no? Because you talk as if you understand programming very well, you know a lot of things. Because of that, you were able to, in fact, implement the addon.
ALexusB: Well, it's clear, yes, that, of course... I mean, let's say I'm not called a programmer now. Sort of. There, the evolution of careers - it's different. I'm more of a consultant now, but at that time, yes, I was a programmer. I mean, like, I wasn't working in pure C or C++, I was working in other systems. Well, in Delphi I had no problem writing the programs I needed. Well, there, in different languages.
Volodymyr: "Corsairs A&M is the project that you started with Morgan and then you went your separate ways. Why did this happen and what, I wonder, did Morgan do next?
ALexusB: Yes, so there was quite a fruitful collaboration at first. There was a very serious version of Corsairs A&M. There the main problem for all modders is to see the game through to the end and release it as a whole. I mean, at that time I was involved in software professionally, and I kind of understood... I didn't know such words as "angle", "delivery", or some kind of "sprints''... But in essence, we were doing all that. I mean, I don't read books about it, like this whole methodology was used and the product after all the revisions - it has to be complete, and we had the delivery at about 2 weeks when the release came out. And it was very hard to maintain it in a coherent state if there were any shake-ups and rampant flight of fancy and bugs - it added a lot to it. That is, I was engaged in merging the code. First of all, there were... There were two of us, who were coding, yes, but later it could be a rather large team. That is, there ... Let's say, 5-6 people could code and I would merge all their scripts. I have it as a professional thing because I know how to do it. Я. Like, well, in my impish system I was merging too, and like, in charge of how to merge a few people's developments. Here. And that's where the problems started. We couldn't agree on what to touch, what not to touch. And there were some moments, I don't remember it now, there was a storm in a cup, some emotions and I was going through something... I must have calmed down now and I don't even remember all the bad things, I remember only good things, right?
Well, at some point we. There, we had a falling out, so... He went his own way, making the game the way he sees it. Just Morgan - he's an artist really, he's not a professional developer. And discovering scripting code is what made him a good programmer. I mean, as it is, he was retexturing in the beginning, and, in general, he drew well there. Here. But when he started coding he got good at it, and he had great ideas. And, like this, too, in the beginning, was included in the addon, after that at some moment the version became unworkable and we stopped gluing this code. I mean, I couldn't put it in simply because it wasn't working. As if seriously doing such a project - it's very difficult to bring it to an end. I mean, if you take a big swing there... Actually, the example is not just Morgan, the example is just New Horizons, it's the Pirates... PiratesAhoy! The Western community. They never got around to it. They had a build there that included my mods. I mean, we didn't really have any special tools. And this toolkit, it was made by western players, and thanks to them their community is probably more powerful than our modding community. But ours, represented by myself and the team, yes, brought some things to their senses and made the release, and even made friends with Akella, but it's also in Russia, we're in Russia. It was somehow easier for us. They never did, although they are still trying to translate it all into Unity.
The community of the game is serious, and it, there, is already twenty years old, yes, like, back in the first Sea Dogs. I just took advantage of some aces and my imagination and my competence to, most importantly, make some kind of coherent project. It is the integrity that is needed to get to the release. That is, you don't have to chase some super-ideal, but let's make it bigger. No. That's unnecessary. I was once presented with it by a classmate when he found out there was a release if you can see it here.
Volodymyr: Yes, you can see, you can see.
ALexusB: It says: "And that's where it all started. Keep it forever." It's a Sea Legends CD. It was licensed, in a box, with a book. I took it from him to play. A game like this. When I was a student, I almost failed a session because of it. Well, I did all right in the end, it all turned out well. Well, it's just that this game, of course, it's imprinted on me. That's why I didn't even start with Pirates and Sid Meyer, I guess, but with Sea Legends. Why “Sea Legend is Back”, why “Sea Dogs”.
Volodymyr: Well, Sea Legend is Back is considered by CIS users to be the true version of Pirates of the Caribbean and I think deservedly so. And I wonder, how did the partnership with Akella work out, and did it work out? And how was the interaction with the official representative and the official game conducted in general?
ALexusB: The addon itself - it took quite a long time to develop. That is, if it came out in 2004, then probably the whole 2004, the whole 2005th it all went on until the beginning of 2006, when "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales", they came out at the end of 2005, I think. The community in the addon was already quite strong. So, the "AddonTeam'' team, as they call it, is pretty big too. That is, there could have been 20-25 people there. There were enterprising guys who, first of all, also did the scripts, and changed the balance. Most importantly - quests began to be written. That is - "Sea Legend is Back", these quest legends are scripted by Eduard Zaitsev, aka "Eddy". He ended up coding them himself. I did some quests, here's "Isabella '', I wrote the script, and... Well, I mostly dealt more with generators, so that the game was alive for the user. I mean, a lot of players would then write, "Wow! It's right there... It's right there..." And I understand that there are some forums under the bonnet, right? And I kind of find it funny how they perceive all these NPCs really as living characters. And there's a certain trick to that. The way games are made. And knowing that, it's really hard to play something afterward. I mean, it's Cyberpunk, right? Fancy. I understand what's under the bonnet. But still, like, the guys are good. The way they've done it and they're good at it.
By the way, also with this kind of fun: the mini-games. Whereas originally in Sea Dogs it was text simple dialogue: "Let's roll the dice. I got there, 6+6. I won, didn't I? And you got, like, 2 and 4. You lose." That's it. So I made this minigame. It was just amazing to me that on interfaces... I mean, on... How shall I say... On a 2D interface engine, it turns out you could make minigames. How amazing was that! I mean, I just even for the sake of interest... I don't remember how many evenings or weeks it was, made this game. There's a basic logic to it, it's how the dice are played, right? So that it's there... Well, a little artificial intelligence has to decide how to roll it all. There you go. And the funny thing here is that I didn't look up all the dice and, like, I... From my own memory, I did it. Well, because pirate dice, right? The rules are known. Poker Joker on dice. And then I see they appeared in the first The Witcher. I mean, The Witcher came out later than the addons. The dice came out earlier than they appeared in The Witcher. And then they went to the second round with the dice, so the first one... so who peeked at who.
Volodymyr: So how did the partnership with «Akella» eventually start?
ALexusB: Ah, yes. I got carried away. So, in the story, when Eduard Zaitsev came along, he was so keen on it all and he had this, like, idea that, well, he and I discussed. And he said: "Let's try it. Why are we beating around the bush? Let's move this engine to Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales." Well, not like that. There, at first, not even on "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales": "Let's have a chat with Akella". And so he spoke with Dmitry Arkhipov, I found the contact and we went there. Before that, there was no talk about "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales". We said: "But maybe we'll release this addon? We still have a lot of ideas there. I just wish we could release it on CDs officially. Here. To which Dmitry responded, "No. Let's, here... First of all - "Corsairs 2" and these "Pirates of the Caribbean" - are not even Akella's copyrights. It's there, Disney, back and forth... There's a whole system, so, with the publisher. You can't even take art and resources from there. Why don't you guys take "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales", it's completely our project, and finalize it all? There you go. Well, that's what we thought... Well, come on, yeah. And why not? Well, the art was really different in terms of the quality of the urban models, at least Pirates of the Caribbean, then the Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales. There we really had to redraw everything, and, how should I say, the price-quality of models - they sagged. And we had already signed the contract officially, as it were. And we had a deadline of December, but... Taking into account that we started doing it in February or March - the deadline was kind of realistic, because we already had everything, right? Addon to postpone. But at the same time, we wanted to make the lines that were on paper a line of quests all, a more coherent game, that's it. Well, the problems with the transfer were serious. Very serious. I mean, it's not that simple.
Volodymyr: Ah, here's a question: secondly, the Sea Dogs weren't real islands, but in your addon, it turns out, they were real ones. Where did you get them from? I mean, were they already in the game before that?
ALexusB: No. It's a map like in Sea Legend is Back was made for Sea Dogs: Return Of the Legend. And the quality...
Volodymyr: I mean, the moderators...
ALexusB: A map was being made.
Volodymyr: Did the moderators do this completely from scratch, it turns out the map?
ALexusB: We did our own map, yes. There was one in the team who could do those models. I mean, he didn't do the scripts. I mean, there was a division at all. By the way, "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales" - it crashed very often in the original, sort of, version. We were tweaking all that very seriously. And when we signed the contract we were given the source code from the kernel, and I remember spending a lot of time on kernel level to put all sorts of patches, memory leaks, there... There were also some problems with sound.
Volodymyr: So, do I understand correctly that mods for "Pirates of the Caribbean" were a fan experience when you did it completely on your own without any cooperation with Akella? Your first official collaboration came with the release of "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales" and the transfer of your addon to the "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales"?
ALexusB: Yes, yes. That's right. We were given some utility kits at the time, we were supported. There, part of the Sea Dogs team at the time were not thirds, and Dead Man's Chest was kind of helping us out a lot. The same Ursus Jura, right? Here he is, as it were, he himself is from Akella. His previous interview was just recently and he has his own side of the story of this development, and I from the moderator's side, the moderator community, so. Yes, it's easier for us there. First of all, I found out that there was some kind of built-in 2D editor. If I pressed any key combinations, I could see the coordinates of the controls. This made the work so much easier that after that I ploughed through all of the interfaces... I ploughed through more than 30 interfaces. And, by the way, they still have all these interfaces, despite the fact that the game has gone on and "Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships" and now, "Sea Dogs", the interfaces are all there. I mean, they're not really being changed anymore. As it is, you can't do any better than that, apparently.
Volodymyr: And from a financial point of view, it turns out that during the development of the Pirates of the Caribbean mod, that is, you had a full-time job and were not paid in any way? Was it purely fan work like that?
ALexusB: No. When I made the addon … That is, not an addon, and when the game was made, I still always had a job. That is, I could not afford to switch there fully, although, here, Eddie, by the way, took a chance and switched. That’s why he dived in there with his head. I was there, like, yes, I took a special vacation, even somewhere at my own expense, I took a vacation to survive all these terms, which in the end we... We did not fit in for a couple of months. It was released in early February, I think, in 2007. Although they wanted it in December. And we really had the game… Well, it was ready in December, but we didn’t pass the ATC. Already inside Akella, there were some comments and we had to eliminate them. And somewhere in early January, we eliminated them, and then there was a month left on the Master disc. And so, in early February this game came out. And there were separate adventures with the development. If we did Sea Legend is Back, it was fun and nobody stood there and kicked – I could sit with my pleasure, there, yes, on Friday night, there, with a beer, there, sit with my laptop and, there, do in the kitchen...
First, the so-called «Feature-cutting» was needed, right? That is, we wanted, for example, much more than we could manage. Actually, that is why Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships then appeared and some ideas were finally implemented. But the game was complete. That is, “Sea Dogs: Return Of the Legend” is quite a complete game, and in fencing, it is probably more balanced to my taste due to animation than the following versions, because the animation– it is, how should I say, it is shorter, maybe it is more clumsy. Well, there, it is from the point of view of fencing that all these things are very clearly displayed.
Volodymyr: And you, by the way, were the person who added acceleration? I understand, 2Х was immediately there?
ALexusB: That’s how it all started. I actually went on. This is the code that probably made this whole story a reality because I realized that I can’t do that in real-time. I’m, like, I have a job, I’m busy, I want to play... Well, damn, well, swim somewhere out there, right? Perform the maneuver in real time for 20 minutes… I… I just don’t play games like that right now. That is if there is something you can not do – well, as it were, then the game is not for me. That’s it. And then, well, how so? This is the “Sea Dogs”, there, this, and… I look – oh! Yes. This is one of the first mods. The mod is not mine. That is, in fact – I didn’t do that. I found it. I don’t remember the name of this fellow western mod maker. It was he who did that. I even left it in the scripts whose mods it were, left nicknames. There, if it’s mine – it’s signed, and if not – then, it’s, well, signed by someone. That is, all the mods – they are, well, with copywriters, relatively speaking. But here it was just not embedded, that is why I had to adapt all these scripts to make it work.
Volodymyr: In the end – you mentioned such a moment that you agreed with the release for December, and as a result, you were finalizing it for a few more months. I wonder, what conditions did you have then? That is, you had a fixed price, and then in January, February, you worked there, at your own expense? Or did you have a percentage of the sales? How, how, here… What was the scheme of agreement with the moderators of “Akella”?
ALexusB: Quite serious risks, including, there, conditionally, apartments, yes, were at stake. Here. Because if it all didn’t work out and there was a fuck up, and we left in the dawn, yeah, then it, there, was already… Well, like, motivation… Such a financial interest, such funky enough for us. That is. There was funding because there you had to take something for freelancing, buy some art and something else. Naturally, the money was given, as it were, on credit to the company “Akella”, after that they fought off royalties from this percentage. The percentage was typical for them, as it were, for such projects. Well, it was really very small. As if… And, there, for the money, it was not super profitable. And I, so I kept working, like, background, right? Although, I took a vacation somewhere, there… This… It was a commercial product, a project, but not even for everyone. That is, many still did it on the fan and in general nowhere and did not earn much. We then put it down, conditionally, when everyone gathered at the end of October. That is. And no more than that. I mean, people there just liked to do that and see it through to the end. In general, just get the disc, right? With recordings, participate in the same… Already. It was still a certain fun. That is, it was not done for the sake of money. There. Just due to the fact that there was coverage, but there was no “Steam”, right? We did not go into such logistics. Normally, we could only reach the people through the discs, and it seemed to us that since we had spent so many years, let’s finish it all up before… Before the release.
Volodymyr: How was the Seaward created? Because we, here, say: «People, people did this particular addon, did that addon. Someone got the money, someone didn’t.» Was it a legal entity or was it just a community of people who just registered on the forum? How did you get the idea to create? Why such a name? And such a logo?
ALexusB: This is the community of the people who have registered on the forum. Initially, we were like orphans on someone else’s forums, then there was Askold who sheltered us, so… He had a hosting service and a domain… Kerk.ru, I think, it was called, and we lived on it. There was an addon.kerk.ru, some there… And, at some point, he, there, left the team and he could first provide us with hosting, and I was administering it, doing it… Then he runs out of hosting and he says: «Well, listen, let’s make your own». And so, really, it was just, well… I started sorting through: yeah, PotC, like, already occupied. In general… Sea Dogs are somehow also unclear.
Why Seaward? Seaward – this is, in principle, such, in the direction of the sea. Clearly, straight, thematic everything, right? The domain is free, I’m regaining it quickly. And now, after that, here is this forum, it has been living for 15 years now with its community. So it all stayed that way. And it was all legally formalized relations. Just under the contract with “Akella”. They did not start to communicate with unclear people, it was not clear how to pay the salary. Therefore the studio appeared as a legal entity but like the site namely seaward.ru. It is, after all, a website. Well, and the community, respectively, it is different. That is, there were a lot of people there, up to 5000, I think, the attendance reached, and real people. In the community and the main veterans – it was somewhat 600 people. Of these, at different times, the addon team included not a hundred, but about 50-60 people probably. That is, there was such a backbone, 25 people, 20… So, exactly. It was very difficult for us to test it. When we started doing it – the deadlines were very tight. I mean, how? Here, take “Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales”, generally imagine the format, right? Take “Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales”, there is some kind of world, some heroes, some islands. And the map wasn’t real, was it? There, some cities… That is, we had it at the level of schemes. Moreover, the Sea Legend is Back and the schemes were incompatible with the new game because we added main. That is, the cards are incompatible there. And, by the way, on the engine “Pirates of the Caribbean”, it was not possible to do it fully. It’s an island system, isn’t it? We added Jamaica, Cuba, there, that’s it. But their main was in the form of islands anyway. That is, there is a piece of land, that this big continent didn’t work out. And in the “Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales” we managed to make most of South America, and, as it were, the game, here, became this square of 2000 to 3000 kilometers. The geography is broken, there, of course. And the islands are not all there, too. Left some selected, that is… Well, after all, it’s based on reality, yes. Well, Cuba is there, Curacao is there, everything is in place there. Still, these are slightly filtered things. Here.
And when we put it all in the game… We had it at the level of schemes at first. It didn’t fit right in there. It’s impossible to test it. It’s impossible to play. And some things we develop need to be tested. I had to write a lot of clean ones. Here is this panel, which is F11, yes, there… Just, here… You start the game – and it, there, for example, does not immediately start at the beginning, and, there, loads some location, and there some kind of quest situation is being built. The locations themselves were almost black and white. Our АТC team just threw up or, there, did not understand what it was. They had to be explained how it is there in the models you need to build light. It is made by the baking method. It is different for every watch. It was necessary to put the sun in a certain place and do, therefore, a bunch of button combinations, there, right in the game, the engine is built in. It recorded these calls in the form of files. After that it was already painted as we see it right now in the game, right? There, are normal shadows, colors, and so on. And so it’s all some kind of gray or overexposed. That is, the grass – is almost white. And baking is… Well, it’s going on long enough. I mean, well there, how would it be… Not possible in real-time. The game did not pull it at that time. That is. And it was necessary to test it all when collected. The game is normal, just it only by December, probably, began to take shape, when we collected all this when everything here became colored when all that stopped falling out. Finally, some started already balancing… In general, it was a very interesting thing, of course, but it was quite difficult for the nerves. Again, some disputes were already beginning on the design: but what next, and how to do, and how to do something? And I, just, probably, already mentally tired and wanted the history with Morgan to repeat, and then I already, as it were, also took a break. So I somehow fell out of the clip.
As a result, I then participated in the City of Abandoned Ships when we did the western release. There it was necessary to raise all the tags in the code and with the scripts, there, it was quite a serious problem to translate Russian into English. I was there, as it were, actively involved in all this. Basically, that is, I didn't work much on the quests. I then released a hardcore edition patch for Sea Dogs: Return Of the Legend and it was then adapted for the City of Abandoned Ships. These are some of the developments that I had. Such, well, as the ideas, right? This, the mines made, can be dropped.
There are a lot of Easter things in the Sea Legend is Back. Also a separate topic. There are still legends. There are these “Danki” there. “Danki” is a model of Danielle from the “Pirates of the Caribbean”. There are three of them. As the officers. These are some of the best quest officers you can hire. And there are certain conditions under which they can be turned into a monkey. A skeleton monkey. It’s really everything coded. That is, there is… I won’t call you what right now. It is there somewhere written in our forum how to do this. The people have already guessed. Well, there is, I mean, the whole system. And it was first a bike. The bike had nothing under it, except that, as it were, the players thought that it really was, right? As a result, I then summed up the real basis for this bike and programmed it all in the code. There is, of course, an Easter thing with the Terminator. Whoever found it knows. This is when the Black Pearl or the flying Dutchman. In Sea Dogs: Return Of the Legend it is also there. The quest monkey, by the way, is not in the Easter Sea Dogs: Return Of the Legend and the Terminator is there. This is when the Flying Dutchman drowns, and it means, you can get a shotgun. That is, you can find a terminator that was turned in at the wrong time. Well, they turned there… A well-known movie is right now shot. Another one with Schwarzenegger, right? There too they missed and threw at the wrong place. Why not throw him, like, back in the 17 century? That is. And you can take away a shotgun from him.
Volodymyr: I was already surprised by the fandom when I saw this shotgun in the list of weapons. I couldn’t understand what it was doing there. Now it is clear.
ALexusB: There was even a team boy. Quite powerful, by the way, turned out to be the enemy. Try to knock him down. That is. And a shotgun can be taken from his corpse.
Volodymyr: The logo, tell us how you came up with the logo.
ALexusB: This is my avatar which was from the forum “Akella”, from the forum “PotC”. It was originally a Kinder Surprise pirate. He was sitting on, so… Well, the toy was in Kinder Surprise. Pirate parrots. Here. I really liked birds. I mean, I always had parrots that were blue, pale blue. And when I saw this, it was a pirate. I liked it very much… That is. And it was my logo. The avatar is more accurate. And when it became a question that it is necessary to go to the level of just as a logo, my father-in-law drew it for me. I said: “Here, we need a pirate like this one. A pirate parrot.” Well, there are copyrights at Kinder Surprise, of course, and it can’t be, you need a unique picture. That is. He drew it all somewhere there for half a day, with different sketches. I even have a paper version of this one somewhere. I scanned it for our artist. The campus was engaged in 2D. He somehow converted it into a digital form. When colored. That is, it was originally a pencil drawing. That is. He converted it and got this logo here. Well. Then the background appeared with the frame, right? And so, initially, it was just… Here. I have it right now as an avatar used on the «Seaward» forum.
Volodymyr: Got to the point where you were telling stories. I just wanted to ask at the beginning how Seaward was formed and who were these people? That you decided to leave Seaward and, as I understand it, go on with your project. Can you explain how it happened and what you did after you decided not to continue working for Seaward?
ALexusB: Well, I could not leave Seaward because, like, it’s my site, it’s still mine. That is, I pay for it, prolong it, host it, and so on. But I stopped working on these projects. I was just very, very tired, in fact, when this whole project was going on, the release one. It went on rather nervously. At that time my father died and I had a child. That is, there were such internal, already family things. And in many ways the development was, well, to the detriment of health, so to speak. That is, I held the child in one hand and with the second coded something. Actually, that's why here's one of the stories, yes, the control is so strange by default in the game. Instead of the usual, there, RIDER, yes, there running goes forward with the right mouse, because everything could be done with one hand. When I tested it – it was convenient for me to do it all with one hand, because my child was sitting in the other. That is. Well, it stayed that way. In general, it was originally in some games in such a way. I think, in the same “Sea Dogs” by default it was so. But in the third, it was transferred like this… That’s all. Here. And I’m, like, burned out, actually. It seemed to me that I simply couldn’t combine. Plus I also had some tasks at work. It was very hard to pay so much attention and I decided to take a break. That is.
And then I continued to do it, and I even worked part-time at “Akella” for a while. I was engaged in the pre-production of the project «Disciples Online», while, just here, actually, due to maybe my design… there is a whole bundle of documents, over 100 pages. They were so developed… And at the moment “Akella” supervised «Disciples 3». That is. And they wanted to make a browser game. It was in fashion in 2008, all these browser games. That is. And so they developed this project. Then it was sold to some company, I don’t know, sold, given, there, for sale and so on. But there I was longer able to do this fully, because it was necessary to go there full-time, and I went on to my ERP and also changed the job, already, as a serious project, I could no longer do games at all at this time. I had my own company there, so it was necessary to support it there. It was very hard. That's it. I wasn’t doing games that time. That's it.
There were a few more offers when I took part in some pre-productions and in some MMO projects. So, it was interesting. Then I tried to do my own browser project. And I was doing background work there. They are ready-made on some 2D art such as a strategic engine, tactical and strategic sea battle. Then I tried to port it to Android, but it was hard. It is necessary to fully make such games, multi-level. It’s not that simple. I’ve frozen it till the better times, let’s say so. Right now, I, here again, as a copy, continue now with my son, who is quietly growing with me at the time. Time has passed and he is right now… We’ll be working on Unity together and maybe we’ll be doing some mini-games. By the way, on behalf of Seaward, there is a game in Google Play. This is the ABC for kids. Talking alphabet. I made it exclusively for my children. And I just put it there. It is so that, well the children of my friends and my children grew up on this thing, learned just the letters, how to pronounce it all. That is, so there is even a game from Seaward in Google Play already mobile.
Volodymyr: I will add the link to the description.
ALexusB: I was interested in making it paid because if it is free – of course, it will be put there by millions, and make no sense at all. And adults will also buy it for children... I won’t say that I’ve gotten really rich there. But let’s say, it even paid for the efforts that were made. I mean, I expected it to be worse. It was so good at making money the first year. Right now it is already kind of uninteresting probably. Right now newer such programs have appeared, but when I did it – there were simply no such programs.
Volodymyr: Seaward – these are the people who actually created the story and I’m very grateful to you as a fan of the series.
ALexusB: Thank you for the interview. It was interesting for me to remember too, and maybe something else, some other things were left behind. Well, like, later...
Volodymyr: Bye, everyone and see you in the next interview.
ALexusB: Yes, bye, everyone.
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