ANS Stolyarov, President of the International Public Organization “Federation of Tank Biathlon” answered the questions.
What is the significance of cooperation with Wargaming for the Ministry of Defense? Military-patriotic education, PR military theme in general, something else?
The modern world can not be imagined without technology. Gadgets and communication tools are firmly established in our lives. Warfare involves the use of innovation in the first place.
The creators of World of Tanks are going the right way. For young people, whose time in large part, is taking place in the virtual world, this is also a whole range of educational opportunities. The company holds open doors in military museums, participates in the restoration of rare technology, publishes special literature. This brings up patriotism and develops moral values. In our time, such methods of personality formation in no case can not be underestimated. The younger generation must be educated through the knowledge of their stories, for the formation of features inherent to the worthy citizens of their country.
As President of the International Tank Biathlon Federation and as Lieutenant General of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, I can confidently say that cooperation with Wargaming is important to us. We jointly participate in solving all problems, be it "Tank biathlon ”, patriotic education of youth, or other events that go beyond the scope of the game.
Do you think that some of the goals pursued by the Ministry of Defense can be achieved in cooperation with Wargaming? For example, military-patriotic education.
Yes. Military-patriotic education is not the only direction that is carried out within the framework of our cooperation. This includes the study of the most significant events of the Great Patriotic War, the initial issues of technical training, familiarity with the history of the development and modernization of armaments. The game motivates young people to search for new sources of knowledge - the younger generation takes up the book to learn more about the tank, which won in one of the virtual battles, online battles act as an interactive tool of a certain interaction.
Are prospective cooperation formats considered? Should we wait for the transition of games to something more? Creation of tactical combat simulators of a new generation for training military personnel, including collective ones, using technologies of augmented reality, virtual reality?
The combat readiness issues of the Armed Forces would not have been resolved so effectively without aids and specialized simulators. It would be absolutely wrong not to use the opportunities that technological progress gives us.
Using technology, it is possible to prepare well and competently not only one person, but entire crews, subunits and even formations. Simulation of combat and special missions with any set of source data allows you to do this. This is a step forward, and innovation in the military is the future.
Already, in the Armed Forces, we fully use tank and air simulators, with the help of which training is conducted. Just on the “Tank Biathlon 2014” everyone could try their hand at the levers of the T-72B virtual tank.
If we talk specifically about the transition of games to something more, then such projects as World of Tanks make it possible to study the technical characteristics of armored vehicles, tactical teamwork, the battle plan — all this lays a kind of base and is a starting point that can really be useful in real conditions .
In Alabino, in the days of the World Cup 2014 in tank biathlon, an exhibition of innovations was held, which demonstrated that we are keeping up with the times and are introducing the latest technologies in the process of training military personnel.
How do you evaluate the technical equipment of virtual simulators in the Russian Federation?
We have something to work on: there is no limit to perfection. This is the spirit of the times, and the army, which does not keep up with the times and does not rely on modern technology, is doomed to at least fail. This is not typical for our Armed Forces: we are introducing, using and constantly improving everything new in this area.
Tank biathlon as a competition: what to expect from TB-2015? How will the list of participants change?
In 2014, 12 countries took part in the World Tank Biathlon Championship. Initially, there were more applications, but for one reason or another they were unable to qualify. I am confident that the upcoming 2015 competitions of the year will show significant improvements in both the organizational and competitive parts.
First, we expect an increase in the number of countries participating in 2015 competitions of the year.
Secondly, we are considering making some interesting changes to the rules of the competition, as well as the possibility of minor adjustments to the equipment of the tracks themselves, which should give more entertainment to our competitions. And of course, we will not forget about the show component. In 2014, over 50 thousands of guests attended our launches. We will do our best to make the 2015 competition of the year even more interesting and larger - in the spirit of fair-play rivalry, where the strongest wins.
Every year in the army there are more and more officers and soldiers from the "generation of computer games." How does this affect the processes of preparation, combat reconciliation, command and control? Is it possible to say that there is some kind of sharp psychological leap, or is this a more evolutionary process, and the transformation is no deeper than between officers, conditionally, 50-60-x and 70-80-s?
Of course, this is an evolutionary process. The current generation has grown up in the period of active development of electronic technologies, in a few seconds it can even sort out the most sophisticated gadget. However, there is little difference in practical and theoretical training between different generations of the military. It may be noted that now some knowledge base (weapon, technique, tactical actions) is already present. It is possible that it appeared just in the process of virtual battles. Games are an interactive, modern way of communicating and transmitting information, and speaking of war games, it is also an excellent motivation and powerful incentive to love military equipment and protect the Motherland, which has a positive effect on the state of the army and the country as a whole.
Can we say that the people who are now becoming officers are better prepared than those who have never played games and have not used training simulators?
As soon as a soldier on the battlefield began to think about how to charge the store for him - his first bullet. Everything should be brought to automatism. This is achieved only by constant and assiduous training, including with the use of modern devices and techniques.
That is, the game can be no more than a theoretical basis?
This is the most powerful theoretical training. Even more - games give useful mechanical skills. Let's say tank control. The gamer does not think for a second about where to click: everything is perfected and embedded in the head. If he starts to remember how to turn and how to send a gun, the risk of defeat will jump many times.
The questions were answered by the head of the publishing division of Wargaming, Yarantsev A.D.
How was the game invented? Was there any starting idea, starting point?
The idea came to mind immediately when I saw the first release of "Tank Biathlon" on the TV channel "Russia".
The next day, we contacted the organizers of the event and agreed to participate in 2014. We discussed the format: we were allowed to install two game zones - with PC and mobile devices - and make branding of stands and tanks.
We understood that the event, in addition to the staff of the Ministry of Defense, would be attended by ordinary visitors, our target audience. We began to think how to lure her to the stands of Wargaming. Here the final idea was formed to create a mobile game, so that anyone could try themselves and go through all the tests of Tank Biathlon.
What is a "tank biathlon"?
In the game we tried to reproduce the atmosphere of the competition as much as possible. The player can pass six key tests: three types of shooting (guided missile, machine gun, unguided projectile) and three types of riding (snake, rut bridge, escarpment).
As in the television version, where the general tone is largely set by commentator Dmitry Guberniev, an organic voice was created in the game.
Also, “Tank Biathlon” allows you to study the tactical and technical characteristics of the T-72 tank in the virtual encyclopedia and answer the quiz questions. The best results of the disciplines are published in the ranking, respectively, millions of virtual tankers can compare their achievements with each other.
The game is absolutely free and available for owners of iOS and Android devices. I would also like to note that Wargaming takes a very responsible approach to the issue of educating the younger generation, so you will not find blood, toughness or propaganda in this or our other games.
What prompted Wargaming to make a new mobile project?
Firstly, for Wargaming, this project is a great way to reach the target audience, which is interesting for the Tank Biathlon international championship. In addition to the million army of spectators of the television show, there is a large flow of visitors at the event itself (this year it was visited by about 50 thousands of people). And we would not like to miss the opportunity to offer them something interesting from the set of our projects. For us, this is a special way to communicate with the consumer through entertainment.
Secondly, mobile games are one of the key areas of Wargaming. We are not just working on the creation of various mobile applications, but also experimenting with the feed and format. “Tank biathlon” is another experiment that increases the amount of interesting tank content on popular iOS and Android platforms, and also creates for us an interesting business case for the future that will help attract major partners.
Is there no direct conversion from “Tank biathlon” to other projects of the company? It is indirect, it is at the level of general subjects, right?
At the moment, direct conversion of players from “Tank biathlon” into Wargaming projects is not provided. The goal was different - to make a game for the international tank championship, in order to entertain all those who are close and interested in tank themes.
The game is not monetized. What is the benefit of the appearance of this game for the company?
Wargaming was created by a group of enthusiasts united by a common passion for military-historical topics. Over time, this has become one of the cornerstones of the company's philosophy: we consider the preservation of memory and the revival of interest in history really important and do it in all modern ways. First of all, through games, as well as video, transmedia and other channels. "Tank biathlon" copes with these tasks.
Moreover, Wargaming is not just a leader in the gaming industry, but in a certain sense sets the example for other gaming companies.
We were the first to help military museums, hold various events in them, open computer classes, search for and restore unique equipment. As a result, starting with 2010, the attendance of museums and places of memory has grown several times.
Mobile game like “Tank biathlon” is another small step that the game industry takes towards social demands. I am sure that Wargaming will have followers in this direction, as well as in everything that we have been doing and are doing now.
What do you think about the World Cup Tank Biathlon event?
The International Championship “Tank Biathlon” unites nations and develops tank forces of the participating countries. We are very pleased that the Minister of Defense of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, initiated such an event. Few places in the world would be possible to hold international competitions at such a high level. Let better military equipment will compete in sports events than in real events.
How much did the development of "Tank Biathlon"? Which team worked on it?
The whole development took about four months. A small team (up to ten people) worked on the project. In fact, when we got the go-ahead to participate in the World Championship "Tank Biathlon 2014", we immediately started making the game.
What participation in the development of the game took the Ministry of Defense?
The Ministry of Defense provided full information and consulting support. At the start of the project, we were provided with various materials on “Tank biathlon” (rules, map, visual information). In the course of development, the responsible persons gave feedback on the key versions of the application and answered our questions.
You have been cooperating with the Ministry of Defense for a long time. Tell us about the details of the affiliate program with him?
For the first time, we started holding joint events with the Ministry of Defense of Belarus back in 2008, after the launch of the game “Operation Bagration”. Later, we also established excellent connections with the military departments of Russia and Kazakhstan.
The main format of our cooperation is eSports and cultural events. A striking example is the annual international e-sports tournament "Ural Steel".
The Russian Ministry of Defense also helps us a lot in getting access to museums and archives. There is a lot of information there that we can then bring to the attention of our players in the form of articles, documentaries, commercials or books.
How will the project develop in the future?
Our primary task is to leave the game as realistic, fascinating and as close to the Tank Biathlon discipline as possible. Specialists from the Ministry of Defense help us with this advice, because only they know how the route and tests will change in the future, which equipment will take part.
I can identify two key areas in which we would like to develop the game further. The first is to add more mini-games that make up the passage of the biathlon track. The second is to add beautiful and spectacular moments: the destruction of a tank building in motion, large shot gun barrels at the time of the shot and flying apart on the target in slow motion, shooting a panorama of the landfill from a flying helicopter.
Has Tank Biathlon taken something from World of Tanks Blitz or is it completely independent development?
This is an independent development. Moreover, the team had completely untied hands in terms of technology selection, design of interfaces, game design.
How long has the control system been developed in the game? Will it change and improve?
At the moment there are two types of control in the game - arcade and simulation. Depending on the stage of the game and skills, the player can choose which type of control to use.
Developing convenient controls on mobile devices is a difficult thing, as we saw when we were doing World of Tanks Blitz, but with the Tank Biathlon it was all a bit easier. When creating a project, priority was given to the promotion of the very idea of a military-sports event and acquaintance with the tactical and technical characteristics of the machines, rather than the need to teach a person a virtuoso to drive a virtual tank.
Ratings in the game are built as follows. In the game center of the game there is a rating plate in which you can compete in absentia with your friends. Do you plan to introduce the ability to share a rating with social networks?
We have a ready-made solution for integration with social networks and a game center, created for World of Tanks Blitz. But the decision to enter it in the "Tank Biathlon" has not yet been made.
Do you plan further cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Defense? In exactly which direction?
The direction we have identified for a long time. As I said, these are, first of all, cultural (cyber-sports) and military-historical (museums) events.
Wargaming is also working on creating a patriotic web service with a map of memorable places and a mobile application to it. Details we will announce very soon. In the meantime, we can announce that it will cover not only the whole of Russia, but also countries of near and far abroad.
Why do we need social games?
In addition to the functions of entertainment, learning and communication with like-minded people, the games should give humanity an experience that cannot be obtained in ordinary life. In fact, a person should receive new sensations from immersion in the virtual world. For example, the ability to manage modern technology or technology of the future, the ability to explore or even create new worlds, in the end, the ability to express themselves and realize their creative potential. The main thing is not to abuse and not to forget where the games end, but the real work begins, real life.
And finally: why should I download this game?
If you have seen the Tank Biathlon Championship live or on TV, then after downloading the game, you will be able to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of competition at any time, walk again and practice shooting.
If you have never been a tank fan, then "Tank Biathlon" is still worth downloading. The application is free, available in the AppStore and Google Play, contains a lot of interesting information, and mini-games will help to pass the time interestingly.
Good luck to tank biathletes and new victories!
A new mobile game company is already available for download in the AppStore and Google Play
27 November 2014 - Wargaming today announced the release of Tank Biathlon. The new mobile application is an experiment of the company in the genre of mobile entertainment and is aimed at the audience of the military-sports discipline "Tank Biathlon", as well as all those interested in modern armored vehicles.
“Mobile games are one of the key areas of Wargaming. We are not just working on the creation of various mobile applications, but also experimenting with the feed and format. - said the head of the publishing division of Wargaming, Andrey Yarantsev. - “Tank biathlon” is one more step in this direction, which increases the amount of interesting tank content on popular iOS and Android platforms, and also provides an excellent opportunity to plunge into the atmosphere of the world championship among tank crews.
The game is based on the principles of the Panzer Biathlon - 2013 all-army competition and allows you to practice high-speed driving and aimed shooting at targets on the T-72B tank, as well as test your knowledge by answering quiz questions about this car.
The best results of discipline are published in the rating in the game center of the game, and virtual tankers from around the world can compare their achievements with each other.
"Tank Biathlon" is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play.
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About the game "Tank Biathlon"
"Tank Biathlon" is a mobile single-user action.
Players can choose one of four tank crews (Russia, Belarus, Armenia or Kazakhstan) and compete in three types of shooting: guided projectile, machine gun, unguided projectile. Driving disciplines of the mobile game include snake, minefield, rut bridge, scarp and drag.
"Tank biathlon" provides the ability to select the type of control. Arcade - is more simple, but with less control of the tank. The simulation is more complicated, but it allows you to fully unlock the potential of the T-72B tank and control the rotation speed of the left and right tracks separately.
Details on the website: http://tankbiathlongame.ru
Wargaming is one of the world's largest publishers and developers in the free-to-play MMO market. The company was founded in 1998 year and during this time managed to develop and release more 15 projects. Wargaming is currently working on a military series of MMO games dedicated to mid-XX century tank, air and sea battles: World of Tanks, World of Warplanes and World of Warships. All three projects will become part of the unified MMO-universe of Wargaming.net (www.wargaming.net), which unites millions of players in the global wargamer community.
In 2014, Wargaming launched two new platforms, releasing World of Tanks: the Xbox 360 Edition and World of Tanks Blitz.
Wargaming is one of the first companies in the game industry, which established cooperation with military history museums around the world, is actively involved in the preservation and restoration of legendary samples of military equipment and attracts the interest of other companies to this topic. All actions and projects carried out by Wargaming in this area are taking place within the framework of the Global Remember we All program created in 2013.
Details on the website: www.wargaming.com