The Wargamer

22 December 2014

Developer Feature: Supreme Ruler 2020 part 2

Attention all recruits! Paradox Interactive has been authorized to debrief you with the latest developer diary from Supreme Ruler 2020 creators BattleGoat Studios. Read on to discover the operational situation on his trip to last month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Published on 27 MAR 2008 12:00am by Scott Parrino
  1. turn-based, real-time, strategic, online or multi-player, single-player, empire building, present day / near future

Supreme Ruler 2020 Developer Diary #2: The Goat goes to GDC Version 2 and other stories…

Recently George Geczy and myself made the trek to GDC in San Francisco to actually have some face-to-face meetings with our publisher Paradox interactive (they’re in Sweden, we’re in Canada – so we don’t often meet on street corners), attend some seminars, and meet with some interested press types. Let’s face it; Game Development can be a pretty impersonal business. It’s always nice being able to actually put faces to the business partners we deal with everyday through email.

We were also able to participate in a special offer that the Ontario Government made and we actually had access to a table within the Canada Games booth at the show. It was here that we met with some interested members of the press to give them their first look at the new game.

I definitely enjoy meeting with the press but it is a challenge to show them a game as detailed as ours in the 20 minutes they usually have allocated for us before their next appointment. I was quite pleased when most of them took the extra time to really get a good grasp of where we were taking the game and all that it included. Of course as one reporter pointed out – it’s easy to show more than average interest in our game because we’re definitely not the 40th iteration of the same first person shooter game they’ve seen that day. During one preview session, the reporter’s blackberry would beep every few minutes and he’d cheerfully tell me; “that’s another appointment I’m missing to really learn about your game!” I think I counted five missed appointments…

Probably the enhancement that the reporters at GDC were most excited about was the Super Sandbox Mode. In Supreme Ruler 2010 we allowed for scenarios to have a maximum of 31 regions and most of them had far less than that. The feedback from players was generally the same – more is better! So I’m not sure what our actually region limit is for Supreme Ruler 2020, but in the world maps that we are including, there are between 180 and 200 different regions and you can play from any one of them. (We sort the regions by continent so don’t worry – you don’t have to look through a list of 200 regions to find the one you want to play as long as you know what continent it’s on.) Once you’ve selected which region you want to start as, you will then be able to jump right in and try and take over the world, or you can set a different victory condition, one that might not take as long to achieve (although the Dominican Republic is a nice place to visit – I really wouldn’t want to try and take over the world from it). As I mentioned earlier, I spent this past weekend doing the region briefs for each of the regions you might play from. This is a brief synopsis that will give you an idea about the starting conditions of the region. Does it have a good economy? Has it just discovered new oil reserves? Or do its neighbors all want to annihilate it? You can review this brief in the lobby for any of the regions so it can help you decide where you want to play from. If you’re wondering how accurate our briefs are, all I can say is thank goodness for the CIA Factbook!

Once you’ve selected a region and adjusted the victory conditions to your liking, you can decide to change the difficulty level. In Supreme Ruler 2010 we had five difficulty levels (Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard). Instead for 2020 we’ve decided to separate various aspects of the game and allow you to change each one’s difficulty level. You can now set separate difficulty levels for the Military, Economic, and Diplomatic elements of the game.

The bottom line is that we’ve added a lot more choice in Supreme Ruler 2020 to allow players to customize game-play to what they want. Once the game goes gold and the marketing demands have all been met, I think I’m going to take a month off and I think I will play a game as the Dominican Republic. Of course all I’ll want to do is lie on the beach – hope it doesn’t rain!

In our next developer diary… Details about Espionage in the world of 2020 and likely some more complaining about deadlines and workload!

David Thompson
Lead Designer / Co Founder
BattleGoat Studios

About Paradox Interactive

Paradox Interactive has been a leading publisher and developer of strategy games for the PC platform since 1999. Well-known worldwide for their strategy titles, the company has a particularly strong presence in Europe and the US. The steadily growing publishing portfolio includes in-house developed titles such as critically acclaimed franchises Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron; as well as an extensive third party line-up of titles that include Tarr Chronicles, Penumbra: Black Plague, Supreme Ruler 2020 and Lost Empire: Immortals.