AGEod sits down to chat about Wars of Napoleon09 Dec 2015 0
AGEod’s release of Wars of Napoleon thundered into the wargaming community last week. The company tells us that it’s too early to gauge the success of the highly anticipated release just yet, but “the start is promising.”
The company’s games have not historically been big day-one sellers, but Philipppe Thibaut, director at AGEod, says the first week of sales is important mostly for the sake of customer feedback. “If you take Civil War II, for instance, we had a similar pattern both in sales and feedback in the first few days and it ended up being one of our most successful games ever over time, so we are confident Wars of Napoleon can match that success,” he said.
A look at the company’s official Wars of Napoleon forum shows a bustle of activity and feedback—AGEod clearly has its hooks in wargame consumers with its game of all-out war in the 1800s. Thibaut caught up with us via email to elaborate on how things are going in the wake of the game.
How long did Wars of Napoleon take to develop, from conception to launch?
This game almost “started” in 2009, just after the release of Napoleon’s Campaigns. We started to collect the requests of what players felt we had missed in the first game, and we tried to keep what they liked. Then, during the years 2010-2014, a lot of features were added inside the game engine, some of them in a view that they would be useful for WON. At the same time, the work on the new large map (with more than 5,000 regions) started on our forums, and over time it progressively took shape.
In parallel, the artists (Nicolas and Massi) were commissioned for their respective works, which took almost a full year for each of them.
What kinds of cool historical accuracies were implemented into the game? Surely the soldiers’ dress and weapons, but what else?
A lot of historical events were added to bring up the extra flavour for players. The trickiest part was to prepare events for a 10-years campaign while having no clue of how the flow of ‘events’ in the game would evolve. So a lot of thinking went into working some paths that would trigger events that would sound (or be almost) historical.
For instance, the whole ‘Spanish Ulcer’ chain of events could not be forced as it happened historically (and on those dates, so the ‘Dos de Mayo’ uprising would most likely not occur on May 2, 1808). So we devised a chain of events and options that would ‘lead’ the French player/AI to make choices, all with nice rewards and potential pitfalls that would lead to more and more meddling into Spanish affairs. At any point, the French could opt out of the choices offered (and thus loses the bonuses linked to them), or he could follow the historically-plausible track…and find himself involved at some point – sooner or later – into an attrition war over the Spanish Peninsula (that he could win or lose depending also on his other commitments and responses to other chains of events in other locations of Europe).
The whole idea is that the player has to make decisions based on potentially realistic situations and live with its consequences, whether known, anticipated, or unknown. In such a way we remain historically compatible, but not utterly predictable.
If you’re brand new to wargaming, will WoN be a good place to start?
The game offers a small start scenario (Waterloo) and two ‘minor’ campaigns of limited duration, in order to grasp the game’s mechanisms and gameplay style and tricks. Also the tutorial videos really help you to understand the core mechanics, so players can have fun very quickly even if they are new to the genre. Then by experimenting various strategies on the short scenarios, they will understand better how to handle armies during the Napoleonic era. This is clearly a must before jumping into the monster 10-years campaigns that introduces new features that may be overwhelming for someone who has never played a short AGEod campaign.
Any expansions already in the works? What’s next for AGEod?
We have plans for the future, but we cannot reveal them yet. At the moment we are really focused on players’ feedback about WoN in order to quickly provide updates that will make the game even better.