Martin Zikmund is a student from Czech Republic and the creator of Counter Strike C4, the app aimed at lovers of desktop mutliplayer game Counter-Strike, allowing them to bring exciting elements from the game to life using Windows smartphones. Last month, Martin was announced as the winner of Mini Mission 2, which challenged developers to come up with innovative uses for Nokia’s NFC capabilities. We really liked Martin’s use of NFC and how this app turns two phones into devices you play a game with, instead of using them to play a game on. We caught up with Martin to find out more.
So, Martin: how did you get into developing?
I’ve loved computers since childhood. We had a good PC for that time, and I played with it non-stop. From that came my first experiments with programming later in high school, and a teacher in my computer class allowed me to advance and participate in a programming course.
We were programming in Pascal and came to Delphi later. With the knowledge I gained, I participated in programming competitions and Olympiads in mathematics and informatics, going on to accidentally (with huge luck) win the national round in my last year of high school.
Because the reach of Delphi is a little bit lower, I started learning C# and also other programming languages, mainly concerning web development. I built a website for rapid foreign language learning Vocableman.com (developed in ASP.NET MVC and C#) and also received some Microsoft Certified Professional certifications.
Apart from that I just love new technology in general, the thing I enjoy the most about coding is the continuous challenge and opportunity to create new experiences, build structured code and discover new techniques and ways to approach different problems.
Can you tell us more about Counter Strike C4?
Counter Strike C4 has a different concept from other games on smartphones in that it is not so much a game on the phone itself – the best way to play it is together with friends. One player hides the bomb and the others try to find it by the beeping sound of the timer. The goal is to detonate the bomb before it explodes.
Where did the idea come from?
The inspiration was the desktop multiplayer game Counter-Strike. The bomb detonation is usually the most exciting part of the gameplay – when the bomb is beeping, you never know if you’ll be able to defuse it on time. From that, I decided to bring this element to real life using Nokia Lumia smartphones, potentially creating a fun and enjoyable experience for Counter-Strike lovers.
Tell us about the update that you did for the Mini Mission. What inspired that NFC update?
For the Nokia Create Contest, I added the NFC feature to make the experience even closer to the desktop multiplayer game. Any other player can use his phone, tablet or other NFC-enabled device to act as a “defusal kit” that makes the defusing process much faster, ensuring that the bomb is defused in time. This feature was originally missing from the game, because it needs to be triggered by an external device to be realistic.
Why did you choose this Mini Mission?
NFC has a huge potential in the future. With time, I see not only great apps using it, but also see NFC becoming part of our daily life for quick payments, device-to-device communication, information gathering and so on. I admire Nokia for pushing NFC so effectively and integrating it into smartphones.
How are you finding the Nokia Create contest so far?
I love it! Sincerely, I never expected to win the first NFC Mini Mission so that was a great surprise. The prizes are amazing, and I really want to thank the whole Nokia team for choosing my app, and even more for their great support for the developers community.
Mini Mission winners become finalists for the Grand Prize. Which of the Grand Prize components are you most excited about?
Like the creators of Pikura, I’m probably the most excited about the various ways Nokia will promote the winning app. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity for the winner!
Will you be entering any of the other Nokia Create Missions?
I’m hoping to participate in one of the Master Missions, but with college commitments I’m not sure my app will be finished in time! Watch this space…
Why did you choose Windows Phone?
Nokia Lumia 800 was my first smartphone and I fell in love with it immediately. The perfect build quality and design by Nokia makes it extremely efficient, and the operating system is safe and easy to use.
I saw the great potential of the Nokia and Microsoft partnership – combining the best hardware with the best software and services on the market. Nokia and Microsoft are two of the best companies in today’s tech industry, and it’s easy to prove it: once you try a Nokia Lumia for even a short time, you’ll never want to use anything else.
Last but not least, tell us: what’s the one dev tool you couldn’t live without?
Well, there are actually two of them – the Visual Studio 2013 IDE for all kinds of development from smartphones and tablets to desktops, cloud and websites; and then specifically for Windows Phone development, my Nokia Lumia 1020.
Martin joins the creators of Pikura and the very-soon-to-be-announced winners of Mini Missions 3 and 4 as finalists for the Nokia Create Grand Prize. And if you want to be in with a chance to win fantastic prizes that will help you and your apps stand out, you’ve still got time to get your entries in for our Do Good and Master Missions. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!