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Ben Stein, Content Manager

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I’ve been playing videogames since I was old enough to angrily smash a controller. A former intellectual property attorney, I’m a passionate follower of new technology and am constantly trying out new gadgets and games. I joined Wargaming in 2013 and have been developing creative projects and articles for all of our games. All the while, I’ve been working alongside the North American World of Warships team and eagerly awaiting its release!

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Pavel Binukov, Artist

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I was a sailor, and a mechanic also was  building and repairing ships. By education I’m an industrial designer. I consider myself an artist. On the project I create small and big pictures (images), where there are always boats and waves. So what unites these different points of my biography? Sea love and everything what is connected to it.

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Oleg Chura, Lead of Performance QA

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Born in Vladivostok on city Day. I cannot live without sea and wet weather, so when people complain about rains, I straighten my gills. Previously I worked as PC assemblers, sales man, owner of an online store and translator of comics, but passion for games won. At first I worked in casual games studio and now in Wargaming. On this project World Of Warships I supervise department of Game Performance.

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Aleksandr Shably, Lead of 3D Artist group

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I’ve been in love with computer games and technology since childhood. I took 3D-modeling seriously during my third year at the college. I first came to Lesta Studio as a trainee modeler in 2012, and now I’m head of group that is responsible for producing ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

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Jan-Willem “JeeWeeJ” Captijn, Alpha Tester

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Hey, I’m Jan-Willem Captijn, better known as JeeWeeJ, one of the NA forum’s regulars. In real life I’m a software tester of office systems and love to put that knowledge to work on making better games!
I’ve been a gamer since I got my hands on a computer back in the eighties and have been playing WG games since the closed beta of World of Tanks. While I like tanks and, in a lesser degree, planes, there is just no substitute to a warship of over 30,000 tons armed with guns an E-100 can only dream of.

These days I spend most of my forum activities on writing “dailies” together with a few, very knowledgeable and when the call for testers came along, I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

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Kirill “Verich” Sukhov, Alpha Tester

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I have always been keen on computer games, especially games that involved any sort of vehicles. The first Wargaming project that I came across was World of Tanks. The tanks inspired me not just to play, but also to learn how games were actually made. The tests are a unique opportunity to see a game that hasn’t gone live yet and take part in the process of its creation. So that’s how I got involved – beginning with the World of Warplanes Beta Test, then writing guides, and ultimately joining the World of Warships Alpha Test. And I must admit — this game is worth the effort.

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Development Team

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We are World of Warships team, a group of representatives from various departments that contribute to the game’s development. Together we work to ensure that this long-awaited project will finally see the light and become a real event in game industry. And on this blog, we share news on the process of creating World of Warships, and reveal its features one by one.

We are ready for a free discussion about typical issues and would like to invite everyone to participate. The blog won’t be solely limited to posts from the development team – if you have something to share with like-minded people, or if you, as a member of the game community, have facts and materials that everyone would be interested in – feel free to contact us, and we may provide you with the opportunity to post your articles on the blog.

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Alexey Krasnykh, Alpha Tester

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Active member of the World of Warships community.

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Sergey Markov, Alpha Tester

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Greetings, ladies and gentlemen! My name is Sergey Markov and I’m only 42 years old. It’s said that when a man stops playing games it means that he is getting older… So I can easily admit that I feel like I’m 17. I was born in Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg), and this is probably where my love of the sea comes from. I went from school to the army, but before that I managed to spend some time on the sea. Then the military, and again on the sea, dealing with freight cargo. Then, a trip around the world. After this was lots of studying at university. Computer work, office work… But still, the sea… it doesn’t let me go. In the end, I left the office and went to live by the sea. Now I’m trying to acquaint you with a small part of its secrets.

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Sergey Tikhonov, Alpha Tester

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I have been always fond of foreign languages and war history, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I ultimately ran into World of Tanks. After that, tests of WoWs were initiated, and that preceded the World of Warships announcement and first runs. The game matched my expectations.

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Nikita Panin, Alpha Tester

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The community may know me as Zamuchryshkin. Curently I’m the youngest World of Warships blogger. I’m also an admin on the VK social network and also moderate game’s forum and my own creature, “Navygaming” magazine. I am still a pupil right now. I like swimming and foreign languages, and trying to distribute time among my hobbies so all of them won’t be forsaken. I hope that I’m really good at it.

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Ariecho, Alpha Tester

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Hi. My forum name is Ariecho (Ari-ay-ko), but most people call me Ari.  I’m a retired Air Force veteran, having served for 20 years, including a few foreign conflicts ranging from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.  I love military history and I have found a niche in naval history on the forum, where (with a very few others) I created a daily thread on warships that were present during the period covered by the game.  It is my main contribution nowadays, with the help of a very few other forum members.  I am also the resident lolcat, which puzzles my two daughters.  I have been lucky enough to be selected as both an alpha tester and a blog writer whenever Wargaming requires my services.

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Michael Nelson, Manager of Community

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Michael Nelson has been working in the video game industry since 2006, starting out by writing for games media sites like 1UP, IGN, and GameSpy as well as managing the cheats and strategy site MyCheats. Making the transition from games media to game publishing in late 2012 to Wargaming America, he was recently promoted to the role of Manager of Community and now oversees all of the efforts that take place in North America to support Wargaming.net games. In his free time he plays bass guitar in a band comprised of other Wargaming employees and taking his dog to the local park on the weekends.

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Vladimir Makarychev, Vice President of Global Operations

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I joined the game industry in 2005 and paved my way from game developer to Director of Global Operations. I took part in the creation of the following games: Blitzkrieg 2 – 3, Heroes of Might and Magic V, Allods Online, and supervised a number of other online games, with Perfect World and Forsaken World among them. Currently I coordinate the work of the Wargaming global operation team, which is responsible for all projects.

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Anton Andreev, Head of Art QA

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Our department is responsible for quality control of the 3D models — their accuracy and compliance to our requirements. I have never been an obsessed gamer, but life is unpredictable, so today I’m a part of World of Warships team, and appreciate this fact very much. Great company, team and project itself – what more do I need?

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Nicholas “The_Chieftain” Moran, Militaria Relations

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1.98m. Blue eyes. Brown hair with touch of grey. Devilishly handsome. Born in the mid-1970s in San Francisco, California of relatively well-to-do yet humble parents — one from Dublin, the other from Thessaloniki. Father was a diplomat who spent a lot of time travelling. Primarily raised in Ireland, obtaining a degree as a Bachelor of Business and Legal Studies. Promptly ignored this degree and started working in IT. Shot competition rifle in college, and also started wargaming — the proper sort of wargaming, involving a table, tape measure and dice. Was convinced to join the Irish military reserves by a friend, and was a cavalryman. Also did the jumping-out-of-airplanes course, which I’m never doing again. Emigrated back to San Francisco in early 2000, continued working in IT, whilst also joining the US Army National Guard (American reserves). I guess I didn’t learn my lesson the first time. Commissioned as an armor officer, and promptly deployed to Iraq in 2004/2005 as a tank platoon leader. Continued balancing military and civilian careers, picking up a pilot’s license along the way, and deploying to Afghanistan in 2009/2010 as a squadron staff officer. Was found by Wargaming in a tank museum where I volunteered my time. Since I apparently knew one end of a tank from another, how to fly an airplane, and I was OK at swimming, they decided I was a good fit to become a military chap in the San Francisco office for all three games. I immediately ceased my IT career (which was getting a bit rusty due to all the military time), and came to Wargaming America, where I’ve been happily digging into the archives and visiting musea ever since. Hobbies, other than gaming and flying, include shooting and modeling. (Scale modeling, not clothes/photographs). I keep tropical fish, and am highly suspicious of cats.

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Ivan Moroz, Director of Global Operations

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I joined the development team in 1998, being initially just an external tester. In 2012, I was invited to World of Warships, which is, by the way, not my first project with the team. Now I’m coordinating all public activity in all territories where Wargaming projects are present.

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Anastasiya Balueva, Project Manager for Video Department

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I work on video for World of Warships. I admit that I like doing that, together with the team that I like. I like everything that implies positiveness, people and creativeness. I think that even stupid things should be made creatively. I was occupied in lots of things, with cinematography on top. I have decided that it would be my future profession when I was only 11. And so it happened!

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Danny Volkov, Development Director

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I was invited to Lesta Studio for a week in 2006 and since then, never left. :) In spite of this obvious luck, I should admit that games always interested me: I took part in professional game tournaments, in the times when the term “cybersports” was only about to appear, and always wanted to join game developers. World of Warships is a huge part of my daily life. Now I have family and the game, and that’s all I actually need.

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Alexander Bogomolskiy, Publishing Producer

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Historian, philologist, teacher, gamer (I’m keen on war strategies; the harder they are the better, and non-hardcore flight sims), specialize in history of British Commonwealth of Nations, and produce methods of Alpha test arrangements for online games. I’m a nasty Nordic character.

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Malik Khatazhaev, General Manager of Wargaming St. Petersburg

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In 1991, when modern PCs provided only 256 colors and the first 3D graphics packs only appeared on store shelves, I decided to found Lesta Studio. Having gathered a team of video production professionals, we decided to take a shot and create “Antanta,” our first project. We didn’t consider the game industry as something serious until it started to develop rapidly, both in Russia and the world. I consider PC games as a compromise between art and high technology. We prove this fact every day, creating our dream product, World of Warships.

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Anton Oparin, Art Director

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I ran into computer graphics in the beginning of the ’90s. That period, I spent working on special effects and got a distinct feeling that this was the occupation I liked the most. I entered the game industry a long time ago, but ran across Lesta Studio only in 2012. Now I’m focused on the game’s environment, 3D content, visual effects and ship models themselves.

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Andrey Lisak, Head of Gameplay Department

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Computer games became a great occupation for me in the past several decades. With credit to my other passion, science, I became a programmer rather quickly. My job at Lesta Studio proved to be the best place for the juxtaposition of those two interests of mine. Currently I’m busy with helping my team with creation — not only of mechanics sets, but rather a final and accomplished masterpiece that World of Warships will hopefully become.

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Ola Chmielewska, EU Community Product Specialist

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My name is Ola Chmielewska and I’m the EU Community Product Specialist – this ‘sophisticated’ title means that I’m here for the community of future players to make sure that they are informed about everything on our forum, blog and other social media — some of you already know me as “sabiha”. Once the game is at a more advanced level, I’ll also be making sure that you get all the information related to upcoming game updates, as well as collecting your ideas and feedback related to the game. I joined Wargaming in 2012 as a Customer Support Representative, but a few months later I was moved to my current position. Before Wargaming, I did a lot of different jobs – I used to work as a freelance translator and interpreter for TV and radio, and I have some experience in project management and public relations (I also worked with another video game developer), plus organizing mass events (concerts, conferences and trade fairs). I’m a former professional swimmer (read: I’m addicted to water), I’m in love with sailing (so far only an inland skipper; I’ve organized amateur regattas twice) and I’ve tried windsurfing, and plan to try my hand at surfing. I always dreamed of becoming a war correspondent – I’m into history, especially in relation to the Middle East, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. Some time ago when I had more free time, I used to do scale models of WWII planes and ships.

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Sergey Gornostaev, Historical Consultant

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I am a historian, and currently work on my master’s thesis on the faculty. I devote much time to PC and table games, mainly of the military kind. Interests: history of Baltic Fleet, Fleets of WWI, tactical games and war theory. In World of Warships, my purpose is rsearching and processing historical data.

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Pavel Kayun, Game Designer

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Put simply, I’m responsible for ships’ armor. I read scientific and technical literature and compile technical requirements for ship models. I actively play games since 1997. I used to be a gamer, but then decided to take part in game development.

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Pavel Ksenzov, Game Designer

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I’m involved in development and tweaking of game mechanics in World of Warships. I became interested in fleets since childhood, and the years spent in this occupation turned out to be productive, as I learned many things. This knowledge, coupled with interest in computer games paved my way into the World of Warships project.

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Alexey Levakov, Producer

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I’m 29 years old and I was born in a closed city in the Urals. Since childhood I was fond of shipbuilding and its history. My other hobbies are air gun shooting, photography, guitar playing, and LEGO. I have been in the game industry since 2004, and in 2011 I came to Wargaming. Apart from coordinating the work of our company’s historical advisors, I’m in charge of historical consulting for the World of Warships project.

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Vladimir Gremitskiy, Head of Art Department

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I was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1964. I graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute, Faculty of Weapons, Weapons Systems Efficiency Department. I worked for 13 years in the design office “Arsenal” — during this period I worked as a designer, engineer and lead engineer. I participated in the design of satellites. After I became a part of the Lesta Studio team, I worked as a 3D modeler and, after a while, also as a full-time military and historical consultant and supervisor for the “Entente” project. I worked on projects like “Steel Monsters” and “Pacific Storm: Allies” as a chief designer.  I led development on the project “Elements of War”. Currently, I am the Head of the Art Department at Lesta Studios on the World of Warships project and also the custodian of its military and historical traditions.

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Andrey Antonov, Senior Game Designer

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I am 42 years old and although born in Voronezh, I spent my whole life in St. Petersburg (my father is a professional soldier, and the family travelled a lot before my birth). In 1996, I graduated from St. Petersburg State University. I have been working in game development since 2004, and on the World of Warships project since the beginning of its development. My hobbies: family and work, for the rest there’s practically no time. My specialization is in the game design department, where I am a feature designer, dealing with the development of game mechanics for World of Warships.

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Vladimir Grisyuk, Game Designer

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At the moment I’m in charge of 2D art for the game, as well as materials promoting it. When I get a chance, I exorcise pink ponies.

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Polina Malisheva, Creative Director

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I have been interested in ships since childhood. While many children were drawing nice houses with a lake and flowers, I was painting rusty ships and boats. I used illustrations from the book “Listrigons” by Kuprin, featuring brutal fishermen, to achieve my diploma at the Repin Academy. But before that, I was engaged in work with special effects for cinema and a full range of ads. I was full of confidence that I was making something interesting, until in 2009, I came to Lesta and tried my hand at game development. The dangerous morass immediately swallowed me. “Elements of War” was my first project, and later I developed games for social networks for some time until we entered the “Wargaming era.”

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Peter Porai-Koshits, Head of Game Design

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Born in 1969 in St. Petersburg/Leningrad. I graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Lyceum No. 239, and studied physics at Leningrad State University. I am a Sergeant in the reserve (2 years of compulsory military service). I have been playing computer games since 1984 (initially with a school computer, the SM-4) and working in the game industry since 1997 starting with Pacific Storm.

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Evgeniy Zaitsev, 3D Artist

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I was born in St. Petersburg in 1987. I’m fond of everything associated with fantasy fiction and space. The first game that really hooked me was the incomparable “Elite.” I’m a communication engineer by occupation; however, when hobby and enthusiasm grows into passion and becomes work, that is what happened to me. I have always liked drawing, and at some point I became deeply involved in computer graphics. I came to Lesta studio in 2011, where I create models of warships, renders and some illustrations for the World of Warships project. My task list has recently become longer – I’m also involved with writing historical articles about ships as well as creating general developers posts on behalf of the Art Department.

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Sergey Izyurov, Senior Programmer

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I was born in 1979 in St. Petersburg, where I have lived my whole life. Game programming became my hobby at school, and from then on I never lost the desire to become a professional in this field. I graduated from IFMO and have been working as a programmer since 1999. My career began with programming air traffic control systems and aircraft equipment. In 2009, I managed to realize an old dream and got into game development, taking part in the development of shooters. In October 2012, I came to Lesta. At that time, I had an average knowledge of ship-related subjects: I could assemble paper ships, knew the number of funnels on the Aurora, read about the Bismarck on Wikipedia and, in addition, from the navy department I had a B+ grade for knowing the setup of the left amplifier circuit R-12SHI-HCHU of the secret ship equipment UPKR12VNDZ-bis. However, my participation in the World of Warships project has greatly broadened my outlook in this sphere and I hope horizons will continue expanding – but not too fast that my head doesn’t burst.

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Mikhail Merzlutin, QA Lead of Game Logic Group

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I am 33 years old and a native of St. Petersburg (Leningrad). I am interested in fleets, and books about ships and battles, as my granddad’s ship models surrounded me from childhood. In reality, I had nothing to do with fleets and nothing connected me with it. Since childhood, I have been interested in the development of software and games in particular – one of my first programs was a racing game in the text mode in BASIC. In 2012, when browsing on the WoWS forum, I thought “why not try?” and submitted an application to Lesta studio – and with that, I joined the game development team. I’m fond of scale modeling (and dream of gluing and assembling a series of French battleships, including paper ships), particularly 20th century ships with differing degrees of armor and capability to house aircraft. As well, I enjoy books, anime, and I want to visit museum ships around the world. I’m in charge of game logic testing automation and, in between, take part in friendly wars with game developers about ships, tech-trees and interesting books.

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Andrey Gashkov, Lead Producer

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I am 39 years old and a citizen of Minsk. I graduated from the Mechanics and Math department of BSU. I have worked as a loader, bank employee, programmer, and game designer. I have been interested in military vehicles, historical military strategy games, and the cosmos since childhood. My interests grew into a hobby over time and gradually became a part of work, except for the cosmos, though hopefully that is just for now. I have been with Wargaming since 2011, and since 2012 I have been the lead of the World of Warships project.

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