Today we will talk with Dmytro Lukash, CEO of Fishing Planet LLC. Before We moves on to talk about fishing Planet, could you tell us a little about your company?
We are professional programmers and game developers with a lot of experience in the field. Our team is not big, but too small either – programmers, 3D artists and game designers. Projects in which members of our team were involved before – GO FISHING game on Facebook, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, Metro 2033, Metro Last Light, Crysis and more.
I see some nice titles here. So as a team, FISHING PLANET is your first big project?
As a new team – yes. But the team members worked together before in different projects. So we started working on this game two years ago.
And what prompted you to create a fishing game?
I am a huge fan of outdoor activities – fishing, skydiving, surfing, etc. And I always wanted to create a game with stunning and vivid graphics. After giving it some thought, I chose fishing. It’s quite strange, but in the 30 years of gaming history, there were very few (if any) worthy fishing simulators.
As you wrote, there were just few worthy fishing simulators. But that was long ago, so graphic and gameplay don’t still make on players stunning effects. Also we have to notice that most of them weren?t a simulator but an arcade games. Fishing planet is a simulator – fishing simulator, am I right?
Whether it’s a simulator or not… Good question. Do you know the fishsim2? This is probably the most detailed fishing simulator. We try to avoid such level of realism in our game.
Yes I have been playing fishsim2 as a kid. I spent a lot of hours in this game.
So when we think about the Game, we mean a lot of details and realism, but this must be a game in the first place and a simulation in the second place. So basically it must be easy to learn – hard to master.
I see – that everyone could play it. Not too hard and not too easy. Going back to the realism – will there be levels of difficulty? You know, easy, medium and hard. At easy we can catch fish very fast but they are small, and at hard mode fish will take our lure from time to time (rare) but they will be larger sizes?
Nope, not exactly. We are trying to get the best of two worlds – the leveling system, money, trophies and achievements, tournaments and quests, and even boats and kayaks from games, and the detailed physics, hydro and aero dynamics, real flow calculations, day/time change from simulation.
About difficulty levels – The player’s interest and attention are very hard to catch and hold on to for a long time. So, basically the game must keep the player on the edge of his abilities and teach him new tricks or game features, keep him learning something new for a long time. And, the main idea is to let the player use his real world knowledge about fishing in the game and vise versa – let him use the techniques he learned in the game in the real world.
So, the game will be easiest for real-life anglers?
Yes, but considering the number of different fish species, it’s very hard to master them all 😉
Alright, that sounds great! And the game is created on the basis of your experience or you have your advisors?
We have quite a number of fans, plus fishing pros and champs on our team. I would never trust just one person’s experience in creating such kind of a game.
So most of you are anglers in real life! That is amazing! True anglers made game for true players!
We are also member of American Sportfishing Association 😉
And that is why this game is so great! So let’s talk about game equipment. Does the game features fishing equipment from famous companies? And how very varied will be available fishing gear?
Big equipment companies don’t like small indie teams. So we have created our own in-game brands and technologies, which are very similar to real-life analogs. Probably, when we will be bigger, the real tackle companies will be widely represented in our game.
So in-game equipment probably will be as big as these ones in real-life. That is crazy! So many things, it required a lot of work .
In-game equipment selection is already huge, about 700 items, and a millions different combinations.
And what are the methods of fishing? Spinning, fishing-fly, fishing-float, deep-ground or other one?
As for the fishing methods – at this point we have float fishing, spinning and bait casting. And we are planning to add feeder and fly fishing along with bass boat and kayaks eventually.
And we will be able to lure fish? For example, we will put the lure for a few days and after some time, in this place there will be more fish?
You probably mean chumming? It’s mostly used in feeder fishing, like carp fishing. And we plan to do this stuff along with holders for fishing rods and different kinds of chums.
Yeah, I was talking about chumming. Alluding to carp fishing and rods ? are players able to fishing with a few rods in same time? Ex. carp fishing?
Not for now but we are planning to add this feature along with feeder rods, rod holders, other tackle and chums.
I see a lot of cool features in future! I?m really, really excited, as well as players I guess. And what are the types of fisheries? It will be the sea, lakes, rivers or the streams?
For now, we have shore fishing on lakes and rivers. We also have a delta – the Everglades. But we are currently working on bass boat and kayak fishing. To do this right, we are going to create huge waterways that will engage players for many hours just to explore them. We also have saltwater fishing in plan.
So kayaks and boats? Players can explore the available locations?
Players will be able to ride kayaks and boats (and use sonar, gps, spend gasoline) as in the real life to find the fish, and try to catch them. You will see the trailer soon!
Great! New trailer! We could see in first one, some gameplay. Tell us will be there available story or the career mode?
What we are currently doing is a mix between story and career mode. But we also plan to add arcade mode in the future. Our approach to the game is similar to the one taken with Gran Turismo 3.
So, all in one. If you want to test your patience or if you want to test your skills! Great! We have talk about everything but we didn’t mention fish species! What species of fish we will see in the game? You have focused on a specific region or fishery will be from every corner of the world?
For now we have over 30 fish species that inhabit the waterways of North America. Bass, numerous panfish, pike, catfish, salmon, trout, and so on. A whole lot of them. And as you might tell from our game’s name, we plan to include fish from every corner of the world.
Could you show us some of them?
I see here pike and some bass! They look so realistic!
This is in-game graphics 😉
That is amazing! And tell me – Can we do something with caught fish? For example: sell them and earn virtual cash?
You can release fish, keep it and get some reward at the end of the day. But which fish to catch, keep or release you must decide, based on the available fishing licenses, which basically correspond to the current States licenses.
So there will be caught limits?
Not quite like that – we have restrictions to either catch, release or keep different species. And these restrictions vary from state to state
I understand that it will depend on size or weight of fish? And whether the species is not protected?
The licenses concern only certain prohibited fish species. Not the size or weight. And about landing net – we are implementing it now for catching bigger fish.
And if we will catch some big fish, will be there a landing net? Or maybe we can go into the water and take fish from it?
And that footage from game? This graphic…it?s so, so excellent!
All our screenshots and graphics are taken directly from the game.
I am really impressed! Slowly we are approaching to the end of our interview, but the most important questions I will leave at the end.
Tell us what character will have a production? This will be a single purchase or perhaps in the form of a subscription?
Fishing Planet is available to everyone for free. All it needs is an internet connection and a downloaded client. Our game is based on free-to-win principle, which means you can fully enjoy the experience, get achievements and win tournaments by relying exclusively on your personal skills without spending a dime.
So will be there in-game payments for real cash? For example: extra rods?
We are looking at World of Tanks as an example of an appropriate payment solution. And we don’t like theHunter approach. Let me tell you a bit more about the in-game currencies.
These two titles already told me a lot about them. In World of Tanks – you can play everything from 1 to 10 levels without spending real money. But by paying you can get extra tanks and premium, which will give you more money after battle.
However theHunter is typically pay2play. We can hunt only 1 species and we have very, very limited equipment. For other items or license we have to pay a lot of money.
For my bad, I have been playing theHunter since 2009 and I manage the polish community so we know how bad theHunter marketing is.
We have two currencies in the game – cash and gold. Cash is more useful and you can obtain it as bonus for caught fish or an achievement reward. Also you can refill it with real money. And the second type – gold. You can only get it by doing something big in the game – like a rare achievement, a trophy catch, or win a tournament. And you can’t buy it.
So that means that the players who were in the game for a longer time and spent more time playing will have a certain advantage (will be protected) over those, who just joined and spent a lot of money.
That is a very good way, to honor long-time players. And I?m very happy of pay system that you just saw us. This will be top #1 in the fishing simulators! After the release of the game, are you planning to add the DLC or other additives?
We plan to add one or two new waterways every month, not to mention new tackle, fish etc. However not in the form of DLC, but as an update.
That’s sounds great because players love updates. New content bring more players.
Now tell us about this cool feature! In the Fishing World you?ve used this technique, but many people have no idea what it is. Could you say a few words about photogrammetry technology?
Indeed, we are using a new type of environment creation technique called “photogrammetry”. It gives us a big advantage and great possibilities then we try to visually recreate the natural objects and make realistic assets for the game. This is a very complex process that involves creating a lot of 3D objects that have to be identical to their natural models. We already have about 200 such assets in our game.
Is photogrammetry a complicated process? How many games studies are using it?
A lot of big game dev companies are using photogrammetry, in most cases it?s used for small objects, like cups, books and some textures. But creating complete environments made of photorealistic assets remains a challenge for the majority of developers. The first team to use such an approach on massive scale was the Polish guys (The Astronauts) in their project the Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
We?ve spent about 2 years to create the majority of our assets using photogrammetry, we did that because we believe, that you can’t make a good fishing game without photorealistic environment that would get you completely immersed.
I see, I will read it precisely later, but that looks and sounds really, really good. Now let’s get to the most important question for many players – Will there be a multiplayer? And if so, whether we will be able to fish with our friends from one fishery?
Currently we have isolated the personal space of each player and your actions will not influence the other players result, but you can chat being on the same lake and location. In future you will be able to co-angle on a nicely done bass boat we are finishing now. In tournaments you can compete with dozens of other anglers, will be able to qualify as a pro-angler and will need to support the rank and qualify at least once a month. This will let you participate in elite series and so on.
It sounds great and it seems that we will all have fun! Now question especially important for players from Poland, whether the game will be available in our native language?
We are indeed planning to create Polish localization among others – German, French, and Spanish. So fishsim fans will be pleased 😉
That is good information for mono-language people. A lot of players don’t play games because they don’t understand it.
At last I would like to ask about hunting. If you have done such a fantastic fishing game, maybe in future we will see some hunting games? Hunting games market is really small, but has great potential. Maybe – Hunting Planet?
The Outdoors niche is a really huge space for opportunity and we may be looking forward to other types of gameplay, but currently fishing is our top priority.
And this is the reason why everyone should keep an eye at your Twitter, Facebook and your site (I will give links).Thank you very much for exhaustive interview. I hope we didn’t ask too tough questions!
Yes, we post news often, and most of them have a good pictures or videos! Thank you for the good questions. They are quite deep. You have a clear undertstanding of what you want from a fishing game.
Once again, thank you for your time.
“Fishing Planet is a unique and highly realistic online first-person multiplayer fishing simulator developed by avid fishing enthusiasts for anglers to bring you the full thrill of actual angling!”