First ever fully virtual festival Animayo to feature leading Czech game developers

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This year, the annual Animayo festival, which focuses on animation, visual effects and videogames, is set to become the first ever fully virtual festival in the world. Among the speakers are major Czech game developers and film animators, such as Bohemia Interactive, the creators of the popular open-world tactical shooter ARMA 3, or the artistically gifted studio Amanita Design.

When planning of the 15th Animayo festival began last autumn, the organisers wanted to create a fully virtual event that would enable fans and developers to interact without all having to be in one spot at the same time.

Now, in the times of the coronavirus pandemic, this platform is very much a gift from the heavens says Stanislav Škoda, the director of the Czech Centre in Madrid, which helped secure Czech attendance at the festival together with the local embassy.

“We have been working with the Animayo festival for six years already and during that time we have brought many Czech computer studios there. For example, Amanita Design, or Warhorse Studios, the developer of the game Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

Arma 3, photo: Bohemia Interactive
“When the director of Animayo, Damián Perea told me that he was thinking of trying out this platform I was very excited about a potential collaboration. So, we found Bohemia Interactive, the authors of Arma 3 and DayZ, as well as Anamita Design, a very nice, artistic studio with which we have already worked with in the past.”

Bohemia Interactive, is one of the oldest and most accomplished Czech video game developers. Their most famous title, Arma 3, has sold 4 million copies worldwide, attracting a large audience of dedicated fans who appreciate the game’s realism.

That the studio is serious about attention to detail in creating its virtual worlds was proven in 2012, when two of its programmers were arrested on the Greek island of Lemnos suspected of being spies. It turned out they were just extremely thorough in their mapping out of the local island, which served as inspiration for one of Arma 3’s maps.

DayZ, photo: Bohemia Interactive
Company spokesman Petr Poláček says that one of those two programmers, Ivan Buchta, is now the creative director at Bohemia Interactive and will be speaking at the festival.

“[He] will be having a presentation about making a large game world for Arma 3 and DayZ. It is about the processing of real world terrain and turning it into a large in-game terrain. The talk will explain the methods Bohemia Interactive use to develop large game worlds.”

The Czech studio will also be very eager to see the other contributions at the festival relating to map creation, animation and AI, says Mr Poláček, because Bohemia Interactive is currently developing its own new game engine.

Mr Buchta’s presentation is set to take place on Friday evening. He will be followed by Amanita Design’s producer and PR manager Lukáš Kunce who is expected to give a masterclass on the creative process behind the studio’s acclaimed games such as Machinarium and Chuchel. The final Czech to contribute will be musician Tomáš Dvořák, the man behind the soundtracks of several of Amanita’s titles. He will show some of the methods he uses while making game soundtracks.

Machinarium, photo: Amanita Design