Thank you very much, I'm doing fine! I'm looking forward to answering your questions.
Would you tell us more about yourself, when did you join CipSoft? What were your expectations for the job?
I've turned 40 in the meantime, I'm married and in my free time, I enjoy playing table-top games, as well as video games. I started working for CipSoft in autumn 2013, so I've been here for about 6 years now. I started here as a programmer and then kept working in that position for about a year before I became the team lead of the programming team. In May 2017, I changed to the product management team of Tibia, with the focus being "development".
My expectations have of course changed from position to position. As a programmer, I wanted to refine my programming skills on the one hand, and on the other hand I wanted to develop exciting features for Tibia. As team lead, my priorities changed to being a fair and just superior and to make use of my organisational skills. When I became product manager, I knew what I could expect from the position, since I had worked together closely with the product management during my time as a team lead. And my expectations in that regard were not disappointed. Nowadays, I have a very divers job. When I get to the office in the mornings, I usually do not know what will happen during the course of the day. Many of my tasks depend on what happens in Tibia, what is on the mind of the community and what technical problems we are facing that day, or what problems have happened over the night that need to be worked on, too.
As a Tibia manager, what is your management style?
It is part of my job to work on many tasks simultaneously. Some projects are very urgent, they only last a couple of hours, and are often completed in less than just one day. Other projects can be going on for months, or even longer than a year. So I have to prioritise work and different tasks constantly to make sure that the urgent matters are dealt with in time and that projects that have a deadline that is still in the future do get done in time as well. In general, you can say that the Tibia product management team (the team consists of 4 employees), tries to include ideas and wishes of all colleagues who are part of a project, regardless of their role inside CipSoft.
What experience do you have with respect to this particular position?
This is the first time that I am holding the position of a product manager in my working carreer. I could already put many of the necessary organisational and self-management skills that you need in order to be able to handle many simultaneous tasks to the test in my previous position as team lead, and I could also expand my experiences in that regard further in order to be able to fulfill the role of a product manager.
So how do you test your ideas to make sure they will actually be fun and engaging?
The best way to do this is to include the community. Of course we also have feature ideas on our own and try these, too, however, feedback from players is definitely the more important factor here than our own wishes. The feature should be fun for the players in the end. To collect feedback, we use surveys and Dev Notes, for example, whenever we feel it is necessary. We have even already quit planned projects alltogether due to feedback we have received from the community. You might recall the Dev Note concerning reaper weapons. These did not get implemented, for example, after the discussion with players. Surveys are really helpful in order to optimise a feature. This is currently happening with the tournament system, for instance.
Tibia is always changing. As such, what have you done with regards to personal development when it comes to an update?
I understand your question in a way that you would like to know which development tasks I personally do when it comes to an update. As a product manager, I write many of the design concepts for new features in the two big updates, I coordinate the work of the programmers with the work of the content design team, which do depend on each other often, and I also keep an eye on the resources that we are using for the features overall. I'm also involved at all times in bug fixing when there are bugs ingame, especially after an update.
What is most challenging about job?
I mainly think of two seperate things here: As described already, it's a big challenge to be working on several projects at the same time, and it involes re-prioritising my own work as well as the work of other employees, often several times during a day. The second challenge I think is the task to integrate completely new features in a game that has grown for over 20 years. We often face the situation that we cannot rule out completely that a feature we plan to integrate might break or affect something unexpected at a completely different part of the game in the end. That could be related to technical reasons, as well as game design reasons.
Why are being tolerated the macro users for cassino games around the depots?
The fight against botting is not part of my field of duties, I will try to give a short answer on that topic nevertheless. The most important thing first: We do not tolerate the bot users that run casinos in the depots. Many of them are deleted. It is a bit like tilting at windmills, however. We delete them, new ones are created, some find new ways to hide a while from us, till we find them again and delete them, too. The detection of bots, not only casinos, is really an ongoing constant process.
We don’t expect you to go into too much detail – but what do you think about the current status of tibia, what’s more needed to be changed or improved. What can be done for the next update?
Tibia has developed quite well during the recent years. We could improve quite a bit on the botting topic and also connection problems have have been reduced. Apart from the winter- and summer update, and the implementation of new features in the client, we have spent quite some time focussing on Tibia's economy, too. We have analysed and will also continue to analyse how much money is created in Tibia daily, and also where it is created, for example. We are also taking a closer look at how much XP characters generate, and where they do that. We'll ask ourselves then if these situations are the way we would like them to be or not. So further changes might result from that. I can't really disclose any details yet about the next update however, I hope you understand. We are still in the course of an evaluation currently.
Can we expect an automatic delivery for the Recovery Key in the near future?
I'm afraid, there's no concrete plan to change the recovery process, yet. Using a postal service is still considered a very secure way to protect a Tibia account. However, we are aware that there are problems with postal services in some contries. It's still a matter that has to be discussed, though.
Why Cipsoft do not offer servers in Asia or Oceania? Don’t you think that this may attract new customers for those regions?
We have actually analysed the situation in quite some detail. Unfortunatley we do not have enough players in the countries that would profit from such a server location to fill a game world sufficiently. This would be necessary to justify the new server location.
Don’t you think that tournament rewards need a revision? In our opinion we think that those servers needs a different style, new maps, new challenges and unique and very valuable rewards. Please share your opinion in this matter.
As mentioned above, this is currently happening. A survey for feedback on that topic was already conducted mid July. So the tournament system will receive a make over, which will most likely include the reward structure. This is not planned to be happening in 2019 anymore, however.
What do you see yourself doing in 3 years for CipSoft?
I really don't know. I'm happy in the position I'm in. I like the different tasks, since I can use my personal strengths and skills well. However, I will of course check out new possibilities for my personal development that might come up. In CipSoft, something new and interesting can come up quickly. So I will keep my eyes and ears open, and I am curious myself what the future will bring.
Thanks a lot for dedicating time for this interview. We wish you all the best in your job in CipSoft! Thank you very much for your interest in my work! It was a pleasure for me to answer your questions, and I hope that I was able to give you a bit of insight into my daily work. I hope to see you around for many years to come. Thank you very much for you dedication and your support! Hail TibiaLatina!