Vladimir Zivkovic felt very strongly about building immersion into games during his session at Casual Connect Eastern Europe 2014. “Just because we can make a game without immersion doesn’t mean the game will benefit from it,” he warned the audience.
Since 2010, Vladimir Zivkovic has been “Creating Worlds” as the director of premium at Eipix Entertainment. As an independent game developer, Eipix Entertainment is building connections and interactive play through developing casual games. Their goal is to create immersive and new worlds for any gamer to enjoy. Through Vladimir’s work, he has helped make Eipix Entertainment among the most productive and influential companies in hidden object puzzle adventure game development globally, personally producing five games through HOPA tools.
Beginnings and Building a Career
Vladimir primarily plays games on the PC to have fun, explore, or do research. This began in childhood when his parents wouldn’t allow him to play video games but viewed the PC as “a machine of the future and something we can use to learn”. Through this loophole, he became a tech buff and a lover of games. As for consoles, he admits he only owns a PS4, which he bought solely because of a documentary about The Last of Us remastered game.
Vladimir started his career during high school as a 3D artist and an outsourcer. After school, he continued climbing from position to position, eventually becoming the lead artist at Eipix. Although he jokes that he would have a career outside of Eipix, he knows and understands the many pieces that go into making a game. Because of his deep desire to create artistically, lack of “talent” to draw and paint by hand, and love of video games, he worked hard to master programs like Photoshop and 3DS Max. Now, he calls himself “a jack of all trades”. He works closely with all departments in order to optimize production.
He has been a part of the creation of over 20 HOPA games. In fact, the proudest moment of his career was when he and his team finished their first HOPA game. “We had no idea what we were doing, and the hardest part was not to underestimate the genre and make a half-baked product. A lot of hard work and research led up to that moment and because of that, today I work in a company that has 250+ employees and go to work with a smile on my face.”
Vladimir envisions the development of episodic HOPA games as the agent that will push Eipix forward in the next 2-3 years. He states, “In the HOPA world, it can become a thing soon, and I would like to try and experiment with it because the HOPA form of gaming can handle it without losing a lot of funds.” In order to implement this new trend, Vladimir believes that the HOPA model will enable episodic gaming more easily (such as what Telltale is using). He says, “We can slowly make every game in the franchise a bit more connected”.
Other emerging trends in game creation include meta gaming on a higher level (like Steam). This is where the services themselves “are the games and the games are just in app purchases or chapters within a larger game.” The biggest impact that Vladimir foresees in the future is TransGaming. It is just getting started and is emerging. Vladimir states that it is shy and slow because the biggest projects were DUST 514 and EVE Online which, unfortunately for TransGaming, flopped. Despite those failures, TransGaming is reemerging, slowly but surely.
In the future, Vladimir sees meta gaming, episodic gaming and TransGaming connecting Eipix Entertainment with other gaming creators and companies to the point where “games are just-in app purchases or chapters within a larger game”.
Emily Baker is the Production Supervisor for www.gamesauce.biz. Emily loves learning about cultures, taking care of her hobby farm and spending time with her two kiddos.