You may know this gentleman from FarmCon, as Lead Integrator and Gameplay Programmer Stefan Maurus is one of our talented stage presenters. If you're a long-time fan, you may even know him from his modding work back in the day - before he got on board at GIANTS Software to oversee vehicle integration, among other things. Want to know more about him? Get to know Stefan in our new Employee Spotlight!
Can you explain what the role of Lead Integrator entails?
The integration team is responsible for the functional integration of all vehicles and placeable buildings in the game. We get the 3D models from our Art department which have no functionality yet, and then our department integrates them step by step into our game to ensure they work as they would in real life.
As lead, you’re overseeing the team, but what about your role as a programmer?
As lead, I am coordinating a huge amount of vehicles we have in the game. However, as a programmer, I'm also the one that adds new functionalities to the game if we get a vehicle with a brand-new function that has never been in the game before. For example, the stationary balers of the Göweil Pack.
Stefan at FarmCon, bewitching his listeners with the essence of vehicle integration magic.
You were a modder in the Farming Simulator community before joining GIANTS, right?
Yes, indeed, I joined GIANTS after I was a modder for the game. So I already had quite some experience with the programs and also how things worked in the GIANTS engine. My job before GIANTS was very different to what I’m doing now. I worked for Siemens as an electronics technician, but I was modding in my spare time.
What brought you to the modding community?
I grew up near a farm, where I spent pretty much all my childhood. At some point we discovered Farming Simulator and spent quite some time playing it. It was Farming Simulator 2008 at the time - quite a while ago. With the releases of Farming Simulator 2009 and 2011, I started with editing some existing mods to my needs and shared them with my friends.
Did you have a favorite from your creations?
I started to build the machinery we had on the farm to see it included in the game. I’d say half of the mods I created came from a real reference within a 10 km radius from my home. I’d say my favorite is the popular Mengele Garant 540/2 forage wagon, which was released for Farming Simulator 15.
And do you have a favorite machine included in the game today?
It's quite hard to pick just one as we have so many vehicles in Farming Simulator 22. If I had to pick just one, it would be the Fendt Vario 942. It’s a beautiful looking tractor. I actually had a chance to drive it in real life. Only for like 5 minutes, parking it in a shed, but it was still a highlight for me.
What would you say is the highlight of your role at GIANTS?
Definitely working with the variety of vehicles we feature. It's like getting a birthday gift every time we receive a model of a vehicle, especially when it’s a vehicle I’ve wanted to include for a while. It’s great to be challenged, too. Some vehicles are quite challenging to integrate and have them working as they would in real life. One example would be the huge machinery of the Bourgault DLC in FS19.
"Like getting a birthday gift." Look at him - all happy about his latest present.
As someone from the modding community, do you have any advice for players who are considering making a start as a modder?
I think the best way is to start step by step. Maybe start with editing some vehicles that are already in the game. Perhaps you want to add a color configuration or adjust the engine horsepower. Start small and begin to build up on this if you’re enjoying it, then absorb as much information as you can. There are also lots of tutorial videos online nowadays as well as our modding tutorials. Hint: the older Modding Tutorials and FarmCon videos are for free on our GIANTS Developer Network.
There you have it - the guy responsible for proper integration of a wide variety of assets. We continue our Employee Spotlight series, soon! Stay tuned for the next one in line.
Until then, check out the official Farming Simulator Magazine for even more interviews, insights, and information about the latest Farming Simulator products. Issue #4 will be available January 23rd.
This interview was first published in the official Farming Simulator Magazine.