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MADFINGER Interview: Konstantin Torkhov

MADFINGER Interview: Konstantin Torkhov


Hello! Could you tell us who you are and what you do at MADFINGER Games?

  • Hello everyone! My name is Konstantin and I am Senior UX/UI Designer at MADFINGER Games. I am responsible for the game interfaces (UI) such as menus, HUDs, buttons, panels, scrollers, interface animations, etc. Also, my responsibility is the user experience (UX) from interactions with the game interface, and how to improve it.

And how does one get to do something like this? What’s your background?

  • It all started in 2008 with covering up acne in Photoshop for social networks and creating business cards for local businessmen :D. My official education is "Business economics and management", and at the beginning of my career, I worked in finance, but in the evenings, I was making UI (User Interface) of web pages and other business 2D graphics for private customers. Step by step, I was learning software, watching tutorials and practicing. After some time, I realized that creating web interfaces is what I like to do and where I want to go as a professional. I left finances and started working as a freelancer, developing UI for websites and applications. I used to play a lot of various PC games. It's my passion... and when a friend showed me a vacancy for a UI designer at MADFINGER Games, I did not think for a second and sent a resume with my portfolio. After the test assignment and interview, I was hired into the team.

So what does your typical day at work look like and what are you mostly working on?

  • Most often, I come to the office, and it all starts with a mug of coffee. My day mostly depends on the product development stage. It can be familiarization with design documents, and synchronization with game designers about some game features, creation of interactive wireframes based on the design documents (interactive UI prototype), testing user experience based on that prototype, creating graphic mockups, interacting with the Art Director and Creative Director, implementing mockups in game engines in cooperation with programmers, getting feedback from QA and fixing bugs, or writing documentation for the interface. The big plus of working in the gaming industry is that mostly I don't have a monotonous everyday routine.

What would you say are the tools that you use the most for your work?

  • I create interactive prototypes and mockups in Figma. I use Adobe Photoshop to create more complex 2D graphics and image processing. Animation of interfaces in Adobe After Effects (although I often make interface animations right away in game engines since it saves development time and has functional and optimization limitations). I implement the interfaces in game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine. I also use PureRef for collecting references, Miro for creating flows and Notion for recording various notes.

Since you’re not originally from the Czech Republic, I have to ask: What made you decide to leave Russia and move over here? How was it to suddenly work and live in a different country?

  • Originally I am from a small (for Russia) city of Izhevsk, and I came to the Czech Republic to study for my master's degree. During my studies, I met my current wife (she is Czech). We tried to live in Russia, but she turned out to be allergic to winter, and we decided to move back to the Czech Republic =) There are other reasons as well. It is much more convenient to travel around the world from the Czech Republic than from Izhevsk. The climate is very pleasant for me, and I get to ride road and mountain bikes without fear of being knocked down by a car, better social guarantees from the state etc.
  • It was a big life challenge for me to start working in another country and learning a different language. But it turned out not so bad, because the better you know foreign languages, the faster you adapt to everything and find friends. An advantage of working abroad is meeting people of different nationalities and cultures and getting a completely different life experience which opens up new horizons and helps you grow as a professional.

What would you say are the biggest differences between Russia and the Czech Republic that you noticed? Are you enjoying your stay here?

  • I have been living in the Czech Republic for over 6 years now, and the city of Brno has become my home. I really miss my family and friends from Russia and the beautiful snowy winters. Everything has its pros and cons. It’s really hard to compare the Czech Republic and Russia because Russia is so huge and has big contrasts. But for sure I can say that the Czech Republic has better beer and wine. =)

You’ve already mentioned playing a lot of PC games. What are your favorite games, both new and old?

  • Yes, I play quite a lot and mostly on PC. I played a lot of MMORPGs: Lineage II, World Of Warcraft, Aion, Archeage (What else to do in Russia in the winter during frosty evenings? :D). I really love all the Call of Duty, Age of Empires, Witcher, and Quake series. I played the original Warcraft III, and then DotA Allstars and a little Dota 2 as well. I like to drive in a gaming chair with a steering wheel in F1, Project CARS and Dirt rally. But most of the time, I played Counter-Strike. We started with friends from version 1.1 in computer clubs, then in CS 1.6, we participated in offline tournaments (not that successfully :D). In the last couple of years, I was playing a lot of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and I managed to get the Global Elite rank. I love co-op shooters, and this is another reason why I work at MADFINGER Games.
  • I should say it is important for my profession to play and watch what competitors are doing. Take the best ideas and learn from their mistakes.

And what about your time outside the studio? How do you like to spend it?

  • In my free time, I play games, read books, watch webinars about UX/UI, watch shows on Netflix, and learn to program in JavaScript (this does not apply to my work in game development, but it is very important to be able to switch from creative work to something else to not get burned-out). I really enjoy cycling. My wife and I have road and mountain bikes, and riding a bike helps me to forget about everything and simply enjoy the speed and all the nature around. Also, I follow F1, NFL, all big cycling competitions and the main cybersport events.

Thank you for the interview!

  • Thanks to everyone who managed to read it to the end, and hello to all my friends. =)
MADFINGER Interview: Konstantin Torkhov

All rights reserved. “MADFINGERGAMES”®️

MADFINGER Games, a.s., principal place of business at Škrobárenská 502/1 617 00 Brno, Czech Republic republic, Company ID: 29217008
registered at Regional court of Brno, section B 6093
Mail: contact@madfingergames.com
Company
All rights reserved. “MADFINGERGAMES”®️

MADFINGER Games, a.s., principal place of business at Škrobárenská 502/1 617 00 Brno, Czech Republic republic, Company ID: 29217008
registered at Regional court of Brno, section B 6093
Mail: contact@madfingergames.com