Blitzkrieg 2 : Interview (Fev 04, en Anglais)
Edition du : 19/2/2004
Auteur : Scherlock
Blitzkrieg 2 : an exceptional interview !
George Ossipov, project manager Blitzkrieg II, agreed to answer a long interview exclusively for our site. Going farther than the revelations communicated until now, Nival gives to the readers of jeux-strategie and 39-45 jeux-strategie a global vision of his future hit. A scoop to be discovered without waiting !
George Ossipov, project leader, Blitzkrieg II.
1) How much persons work on the development of Blitzkrieg 2 ?
The Blitzkrieg II development team consists of over 30 men and women – programmers, artists, modelers and designers. The majority of them have the experience of the original Blitzkrieg, and some have participated in development of more that one full game project. We also had military historian consulting us in WWII aspects so that all weapon characteristics, uniforms, and gameplay balance will be very close to reality.
2) At what stage of development is Blitzkrieg 2 ? Do you think that the date announced by release of the game will be respected ?
Right now the game is in early development stage, very close to alpha-version. So some issues have not been decisively set yet and are quite flexible, that’s why some of my answers start with “As for now...” or “We are planning…” J This is normal practice for every large project, especially when creativity is involved, be it a game, a movie or a book. That’s why we are not ready to announce the exact release date for the project – now I can only tell you that the release is planned for Q1 of 2005 and at the moment we are moving towards it according to our schedule. (As you can see we are taking some time, this is to polish everything to the notch!) Once everything is settled, we will announce the exact release date – and will do our best to keep our word.
3) With regard to the first episode, what will be the major evolutions ?
It would probably be better to say that will be kept unchanged: the historical accuracy. J Other than that almost every aspect of the game will be enriched.
The major changes are the ones in the gameplay, and they are aimed at our main goal in Blitzkrieg II - to deepen the strategic level, providing the player with maximum abilities to wage the war the way he/she likes. We are including not only primary but also secondary objectives to the missions that are connected to other missions in the tree-like structure providing the player with unlimited choices. The success on the battlefield results in the advantages the player may get in the future missions. There is also the ability to call for reinforcement, the amount and composition of which depend on the player’s actions. As in the original game the more the player uses particular units the more experience they receive. In addition to that they get new abilities with the experience.
To implement new strategic possibilities the player will be given a greater variety of units and more space to fight on, as the geography of Blitzkrieg II reaches the Pacific islands. Totally new 3D engine adds to the visuals of the game. The enemy acts smarter and rougher offering a solid challenge. And of course certain small but still important issues, such as path finding and others of that type will also get improved.
4) What will be the new units of the game ?
There will be a number of new types of units added to Blitzkrieg II: ships and motor boats (as some missions include inshore warfare), new types of infantry, new tanks and artillery modifications and new airplanes which haven’t been covered before.
And surely, you’ll see the majority of the units, presented in the original game, but some of them will get improved – they will change their abilities or will get some additional skills: engineers, for example, will be able to build bunkers and planes will do various maneuvers.
So all in all the game features over 300 different combat units and 60 types of infantry, but it is quite impossible to tell you what part of it is “new”, because even “old” types will often be “new”. J
5) Could you clarify the notion of héro introduced into Blitzkrieg 2 ?
“Heroes” are special types of units with specific abilities. They can be real historical leaders, such as Pokryshkin or Peter Churchill, and there are also real elite forces, Commandos being one of them. The abilities of these units are more advanced than what regular units have, and all are based on the real events. Say, having one of the best Soviet war pilots Alexander Pokryshkin among your air forces will greatly increase your chances of success. Of course, to make them completely “special” we had to make them a little rarer than regular types of units. Some heroes are an additional bonus for the previous success on the battlefield; others will be available to you only in certain missions.
6) Blitzkrieg 2 will integrate an editor of cards and scenarios ?
Yes, there definitely will be a map editor, as we believe it to be an important tool that can give players a lot of additional fun. Actually, the Map Editor included in Blitzkrieg II is the one we are using in the development process, so your fantasy is totally free to express itself. You can create your own battles and missions, develop new modes, and completely remake the game if you desire so.
7) What are nations represented in the game ?
You will get a chance to fight for Germany, Great Britain, USSR and USA. There also will be some national troops that you will face, such as Japanese for the opposite side in the American campaign or Italian forces as the part of the German army. As you can see the action spreads out to the Pacific and so Blitzkrieg II has all the war theatres of WWII covered.
8) What are the suggestions of the players of Blitzkrieg who go beings integrated into Blitzkrieg 2 ?
Well, the majority of the players asked for “more units, longer campaigns, more theatres, more strategy, more 3D” – all their wishes can be summed up as “more of everything” J The majority of these ideas has matched our vision of the sequel as well, as we wanted to deepen the strategic and tactical levels, providing the player with more different possibilities, including more units, more war theaters and settings and so on. We also considered such wishes as full 3D, zoom-in and zoom-out, and other side issues that are secondary but still important. Some players asked us to include the ability to build units to Blitzkrieg II, but that would destroy the whole concept of the game, taking away its historical authenticity. Real WWII generals couldn’t get more tanks from air (or any other substance) and had to fight with the exact troops they had, and that what real war strategy was about. Yet resource management is a good element that opens more possibilities to the player. So we have included the reinforcement option that keeps the game in its frame of historical accuracy and yet provides the player with new strategic and tactical abilities.
Actually, almost all good ideas of the players were fulfilled in Blitzkrieg II – in one way or another.
9) Could you speak to us about the solo campaign ? Will every nation have a campaign ?
There will be four campaigns: for Germany, Great Britain, USSR and USA. Each campaign will have its own distinctive feature, which is based on the real situations of WWII. While the accent of the American campaign is put on aviation, the Soviet army has the most numerous forces, and so on. Such diversity not only varies the gameplay, making it more interesting but also let you use different strategies in different conditions.
Each mission or series of missions depicts a certain historical battle or operation. Besides primary objectives there also will be secondary objectives in the mission, all closely tied on the strategic level. These secondary objectives are optional, as you may choose not to fulfill them, but if you take the risk and succeed you will be rewarded with certain bonuses or advantages in the further missions. Say, capture of an airfield will give you a definite advantage in the air in all further missions of this campaign, reducing enemy’s air support, and it also will provide you with the option to call in for additional reinforcement.
10) And the game on the net ?
There will be our own stand-alone server with a rating system this time – besides LAN networks that is. In multiplayer each player with equal initial forces will fight for one of the sides and capture different objectives in order to get different reinforcement bonuses and key positions. Of course, the player will also be allowed to choose what type of reinforcement to call for. So as you can see the strategy is deepened in the multiplayer mode as well, as now the player has much more strategic control over the situation on the battlefield.
11) What are the main characteristics of the graphic engine of Blitzkrieg 2 ?
Probably, the main characteristic is: total 3D! All units, map objects, terrains and effects will be completely 3D. The engine also allows for introducing more animations to the game. Every type of soldier will have various animations to express his personality and differ him from his brothers-in-arms All the effects – explosions, dust clouds, sea waves –will be animated as well that would make them more realistic. The new engine also realizes various lighting abilities, so we will provide you with the missions not only in daytime, but in the dusk, down, and at night as well.
12) What will be the truth more this game with regard to the other games of real-time strategy having for subject the second world war ?
Well, the WWII setting is really becoming more and more popular our days. There is quite a number of titles set in WWII, and some of them are really cool. But Blitzkrieg II takes this tendency of WWII interest much further. It tries to depict a picture the closest possible to real war, where the grandfathers of many fought. Even the weaponry characteristics (speed, power, and even the size of the barrel) depict the real models. In Blitzkrieg II you get to fight on every major front of WWII from the heart of Europe to the blistering sands of Africa and the deadly jungle isles of the Pacific. You take command of real life heroes, aces and leaders to give your army the tactical edge in historic battles. You decide what missions to fight, call in reinforcements, and even capture major objectives like train stations or airfields to speed their arrival. With special bonuses for missions and units you are in control of how you win each battle - and the entire war! So Blitzkrieg II offers real war – real battles, real heroes and real strategy! Also while the majority of WWII games show just some part of the war, Blitzkrieg II is a global WWII strategy, where all the war theatres are covered and the majority of the nations involved are presented. Couple it with an addictive gameplay, thought-out design, 3D graphics, as every detail of the game has been meticulously worked through. We are putting a lot of effort to make Blitzkrieg II one of the best games in its genre.