Mikhail Smachev, Lead Project Manager from Playrix Entertainment, is a fan of Russian rock music but he’ll embrace a good marching song to keep his team on track, especially during the development of 4 Elements II. In this week’s Developer’s Corner, Mikhail shares details on how the Playrix team worked together to develop an exciting casual game that combines Match 3 and Hidden Object genres.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into game development.
I used to play computer games a lot and during my fourth year at the university I had to find a job. I found Playrix and applied for a programming position. Gradually, the process of game creation enthralled me so much that I started to get into the process of game design and running the team within the project. I soon became the manager of the project that I was initially programming. That is my path to game development in a nutshell.
If you had a “theme song” that played when you walked into a room of people, what would it be?
As I am a project manager, I think people would hear a march song as I walk into the room. It’s not that I am a strict leader, or a pathetic person, it’s just I like things to be well organized. And seriously speaking, I like Russian rock music very much.
What was your favorite part about creating 4 Elements II?
I liked the final stage of the game creation the most. The deadline was approaching and the whole team was very efficient and excited about adding the final touches and polishing the product. Plus, the game turned out to be great in the end!
What tips and tricks do you have for WildTangent players who are playing 4 Elements II?
- Try and collect the longest possible chains of gems.
- Use the power-up feature “magical fire” correctly – many players underestimate it. It’s better to use it for destroying ice and stones; that’s when it’s the most effective.
- The best way to build a pipeline is to start from the edges, not from the middle.
What is your favorite level of 4 Elements II?
Oh! I love all the levels. They are unique and interesting: some levels are against the clock, some are about solving tricky puzzles, and all of them are beautifully decorated and have a very whimsical feel about them. We carefully approached the game design of each level and they all have zest. The 64th level comes to my mind. It’s the last level in the game, not counting the bonus levels, and the map is dragon-shaped, like the logo of our company.
In 4 Elements II, the four fairies of the elements are trapped in the Book of Magic. If you were one of the fairies, would you be Earth, Water, Fire or Air?
Umm, a funny question. Each of the fairies has a unique personality. I think the Fairy of Earth is the most similar to me.