“Meet the Team: Janis Baumeister”
WANTED: Dead Men Walking would be only a dream if it weren’t for the people who’re actually bringing it to life. We’re proud of the team that’s assembled behind our rough-ridin’ battle royale, and we think you should get to know them a bit as you start to fall head-over-heels for what they’ve created. This is MEET THE TEAM.
We’re headed all the way to Germany to meet our first featured team member, Janis Baumeister. Janis is W:DMW’s lead programmer, which means his cowboy hat is the full 10-gallons. Hell, everyone working on W:DMW wears the full 10-gallons, but Janis makes it look good.
This esteemed editor had the opportunity to speak with Janis about what gets him up in the morning and why WANTED: Dead Men Walking is the next big thing. Here’s what he had to say.
Janis, tell us what being the lead programmer of W:DMW entails.
I’m responsible for a lot of things during development, but these early days involve working on the Steam back-end. After our latest server test had nearly 70 users connected seamlessly through Steam, it was proof that our performance was up to the task of hosting 100 users in an instance. It’s a good start!
Riding that success, myself and other members of the team will be working very hard on voice chat functionality, the lobby, and integrations with Steam’s Friends list so your friends can hop in and enjoy WANTED alongside you. Our next test will be to show off some of these new features, so make sure to sign up!
What drove you to work on a project like W:DMW?
Game development is a deep passion of mine, as well as my career. When I’m looking for the next adventure, I need to know the game will be appealing to an audience, but I also need to feel the soul of the project. When a promising game is being made by passionate people, you can feel that soul. There is so much soul within W:DMW–it wasn’t a hard decision to know this is the project for me. Of course, working with such an experienced and engaging team is a definite plus.
What games influenced your pursuit of a career in game development?
Actually, it wasn’t a specific selection of games that influenced me. The inspiration came from playing so many games for so long that my mind began to focus on a game’s potential rather than the final product. Sometimes games reached or even exceed their potential–but when they didn’t, those were the games that made me think of what could have been, and how I could have helped that game reach its potential.
I soon started developing simple, single-player games. In those days, it was only a hobby–but also a challenge to learn this craft as best I could. It was a long road, but I was able to hold on. I’ve learned so much and had the opportunity to work on many amazing projects, W:DMW included! The game development community is filled with people I’m glad to call my friends. It’s a very important part of my life.
When will you reveal some of your early games to the world?
Oh man, you do not want to see my first ‘games’.
Outside of working on W:DMW, how do you like to spend your time?
On so many things! I love to snowboard, but my friends and I can’t get to mountains as often as we’d like. Thankfully, there’s an indoor slope nearby in Landgraaf (Netherlands).
Competitive games are a favorite of mine. I’ve been really into Rainbow Six Siege since launch. And I also love music. I come from a musical family, so I think it’s in my blood. Much of my free time is spent playing guitar or piano. Music is another important part of my life.
Before you go, what’s one thing the fans should look forward to about W:DMW?
It’s battle royale gone Wild West, which may be the best genre combination ever. It’s going to be incredible!
Janis is helping to make our dream possible, and having him around makes the road ahead seem like a walk in the park.
Sweet molasses, how I miss parks! I’ve barely seen a blade of grass since I made my way to the frontier. Maybe I’ll build one.
Inkblot Brewster’s Memorial Park: The only park in all the West. No snakes allowed.
Why yes, I quite like the ring of that.
Ike “Inkblot” Brewster
Editor-In-Chief, The Pony Express