James Cobb sits and chats with AGEOD15 Mar 2016 2
AGEOD remains one of the most active developers of serious wargames. In the last six months, fascinating new games such as Wars of Napoleon and Thirty Years' War caught the eye of James Cobb who had some questions for them about this latest batch of games, as well as where they've come from and where they might be heading in the future.
James recently had a chance to chat with AGEOD and get some answers to those questions. Lucky for us, he decided to share.
James: Recent games such as Wars of Napoleon and Thirty Years War have received innovations such as regional decision cards and deeper diplomacy options. What inspired this?
AGEOD: The feature was introduced in some of the previous AGEOD titles, such as Rise of Prussia, Alea Jacta Est, or Civil War II. It’s an evolution of the system initially conceived for Pride of Nations’ colonial system. It allows for a lot of variance and replayability and most our newest titles use it. In particular our main modder, Miguel, has made great use of it in the titles España 1936 and Thirty Years Wars. And same thing in To End All Wars. For the sake of history, I had used a similar concept in my old designs back in the 2000’s (in Pax Romana or Great Invasions)
James: Wars of Napoleon came out about eight years after Napoleon’s Campaigns. The subject matter and graphics for both are the same. Were you thinking of Wars of Napoleon while you were doing Napoleon’s Campaigns?
AGEOD: No, the graphics are quite new in this title, the map and all units have been redone to match with our most recent style (as in Civil War II for instance). When we released Napoleon’s Campaigns, the AGE engine was not able to handle sufficiently the production and diplomatic aspects, as they were still non-existent or under development (they appeared in Pride of Nations). So we knew, and said to the crowd, that a Napoleonic game with a grand campaign scenario would come one day.
James: Earlier games such as Rise of Prussia, Revolution under Siege and Civil War II seem to be good fits for regional decision cards. Do you plan to update them or release new versions with them?
AGEOD: Two of them already have the cards. Revolution Under Siege uses a slightly more generic decision system (as in the first version of Civil War). At the moment however, there are no plans for updates from us. But this can easily be done by modders and they are most welcome to do it.
James: Rumor has it that you plan to replace the AGE engine. Is this true? If so, what will the replacement be?
AGEOD: More than a rumor, as it was announced in the Home of Wargamers 2015, which is the Slitherine Convention! Indeed, there is a new engine in the making that we are developing in-house with several Slitherine developers located in Canada. It will be a turn based (WEGO) engine that strives to be the best of both worlds, between having modern graphics while keeping the innovative gameplay of Ageod.
James: What topics are you planning for the future?
AGEOD: Everything is still open, including non-historical games. But we might have some surprises for Ageod fans this year, as the Ageod engine is still well and kicking, stay tuned!
James: You seem to have replaced the in-game tutorials with YouTube tutorials. How is this working for you? Do you plan to continue this system?
AGEOD: We noticed that people have more and more troubles finding motivation in playing ‘traditional’ tutorials. Live tutorials are great because with a good teacher/player, as we have found with the videos made, it becomes easy to understand even subtle game mechanics.
James: Are you considering adding a server-based multi-players system?
AGEOD: Not really, we are considering using an improved PBEM by server system for the new Ageod engine though.
James: The wargame community is “greying”. Are you considering options for larger fonts?
AGEOD:Actually we already did some significant improvements with Civil War II, if you check American Civil War and Civil War II, you’ll see the fonts are much bigger. It becomes difficult to continue increasing the size of the fonts when you want to provide all kinds of information to players. One solution is to play with the game resolution, so that it remains detailed while presenting bigger texts, if you encounter issues reading game info.
James: AGEOD has concentrated on historical games and the wargaming community is thankful. Have you considered other genres?
AGEOD: Yes definitively, we would like eventually to do a sci-fi game, but that’s more along the lines of ‘personal motivations’ though, as we are not sure if our community would follow us along these lines. Also these months there is a strong competition incoming, with the return of Master of Orion, some very good titles at Slitherine such as Polaris Sector and also this Paradox game named Stellaris…
James: Have you considered developing games for tablets?
AGEOD: No, that would stretch our limited resources beyond their limits, plus it means considerable simplifications of our core game systems. Two things we are reluctant to do!
James: Thank you for your time and efforts!