Matt: Hi Ivan, would you like to introduce yourself and say what you do for DayZ?
Ivan: Hello! my name is Ivan Buchta, and in DayZ i am helping as map design consultant. Thats it.
Matt: OK, so what do you really like about the maps for DayZ, What made you want to become a map designer?
Ivan: Well, my path to map design was quite long, but it originates in my fascination (with) landscapes and my studies which were concerning technology, environment and GIS (Geographic Information Systems). And well, the dayz map chernarus has always been my favourite, i was involved in its development for ArmA II and its also the place where i was living for 20 years so i am sort of attatched to it.
Matt: So what percent of the map for DayZ has been revamped, and are you going to leave any areas untouched, if so why?
Ivan: So far we have changed mostly details, we are addressing [PAX??] issues, either asthetic or functional. Of course we are trying to cover specific demands of DayZ gameplay and DayZ players, however its hard to say how much of the surface was changed.
Matt: So what do you think are the main things that impact gameplay with regards to the map?
Ivan: Well, of course, DayZ is about resources, therefore we are trying to address any possible issues with the spread, like it doesnt mean we are trying to offer the player too much, whether placing some resources like water or some other important buildings (in) logical places, for example filling in the areas where they were missing, also adding deer stands or animal feeding [wrecks??] to the forest, this is something we expect, we’ve omited it in some parts. There are many changes like that, we are attempting to change the foresrs, we tried to do something with the coastline, many of the things we have done (and) there are still many things which are planned, its pretty exciting.
Matt: So we went on a trip yesterday, Where did we go?
Ivan: We went to Real-Life Chernarus which is located about 100km north or north west from our headquarters here and the purpose of the trip was to introduce our new map designer to the real life [thing??] to show him around. We were also scouting for possible expansitions or improvements of the map on the spot.
Matt: So why do you think its important to go to the area that the map is based on?
Ivan: Its certainly is, i believe that a field trip can give you insight you will never get from a map, or photos, or even videos. Sometimes it can be dangerous, but the experience you have helps you to create a landscape which is better structured and more logically built which continues and is based on deeper understanding, compared to just ‘ok, lets see some pictures on the internet and make something’. The landspace is a key value both for the ArmA series and for DayZ
Matt: So what are you working on at the moment for DayZ?
Ivan: I’m trying to compare notes with our new colleague and i’m trying to pass the information about technical things which are required to run the project. And i am trying to support the team with my design ideas.
Matt: So, as some people may know, you spent some time in a greek prison, how do you think this impacted your map design knowledge and thought process?
Ivan: Maybe now i think more before doing things, and of course as the landscape, czech landscape in general, was my favourite retreat of sorts, i was thinking a lot of how to improve chernarus, what to do and what particular things might be interesting. I was looking forward to getting on to it, so finally there is a chance and i am really enjoying myself materialising those ideas.
Matt: I would like to tag on to that, that we recieved a letter during that time from Ivan that was about Eight pages long…
Ivan: I was Eleven pages.
Matt: Eleven pages, explaining his thoughts on Chernarus and what we could improve.
Matt: So next, What do you enjoy most about working on DayZ?
Ivan: Its certainly a chance to work on a project with gameplay i really appreciate, i got really hooked on and now its great to build up on my experience with the game and make it better. Also chernarus has (always been) my favourite, i am personall attatched to the place, i was living there for 20 years, i grew up in the forests and meadows or Chernarus, so its quite exciting to be able to revisit out older work and put some stuff we weren’t able to do during ArmA II time, so its beautiful. Also its working in a small team, and now its a fresh new beginning, so i am enjoying my time with DayZ now.
Matt: So, do you have any final messages for fans or players that are waiting for standalone.
Ivan: Well, be patient, let us work. If you have any nice ideas please share them, and i hope to see you on the new version of Chernarus this…
*A Zombie (who happens to be the Creative director for Arma 3) attacks and presumably kills Ivan, R.I.P Ivan you will be missed*