Espana 1936 Exclusive Wargamer.com interview25 Sep 2013 0
It would probably be good if we start by asking you to tell us a bit about yourself and the people involved in the development of Espana 1936.
I?m not different to many of the other AGEOD players. I like history and like to imagine I?m the leader of a Nation crushing the enemy. This time I have chosen to develop the game instead of just playing. The first time I saw an AGEOD game was when Birth of America was released, and it is funny to remember that I didn?t like it. After some time I actually tried it and discovered a great game. Then the rest of AGEOD titles arrived and here I am developing a game myself.
I?m guessing that it is fairly obvious why the game?s subject appealed to you personally J, but why do you think that the Spanish Civil War has been neglected by games developers to date? It is hardly an inconsequential conflict and going by the number of page hits the Wargamer news item on the game had, it is clearly of interest to many gamers out there.
I?m not sure why that for so long games developers have never seen an opportunity with the Spanish Civil War. Maybe it was just because they didn?t see market for the title, comparing to other conflicts like the Napoleonic wars or World War I, maybe they didn?t really know much about it. So in my opinion the great strength of España 1936 is precisely that there is no computer wargame covering the whole conflict at this level in the market.
How long did it take to develop the game? Was this longer or shorter than you initially expected.
I started this project just as a mod of Revolution Under Siege (another AGEOD title) around May 2012. After two months, and thanks to the help received from Philippe Malacher and Philippe Thibaut, the mod grew into a stand alone game and the idea of taking up the challenge of developing my first game became real. It has taken around 16 months, but the intensity of work has been variable as I have worked on España 1936 in my spare time, so I am quite happy with the length of the process.
What were the biggest challenges faced in developing the game?
My biggest concern was how to reproduce the air warfare because the AGE engine was designed for an era without planes. But the AGEOD decisions system works fine to represent these kind of features.
For those readers who have not yet read the pre-release information on the game could you give them an overview of what style of game this is, and at what sort of level of command they will be playing.
The style is similar to the Revolution Under Siege one, but with the Alea Jacta Est addition of the Regional Decisions system that is similar to the system we could see in some board wargames with playing cards. The level of command is like in RUS. The player initially has battalions, regiments and militia units formed of several battalions called ?columnas? and as the time passes Brigades, Divisions, Corps and Armies begin to appear.
Apart from its subject matter, what features do you think the game has that will make it stand out?
The design gives the player many options each turn to spend his resources. You can buy decisions, new units, replacements and historical options, however, you don?t have many resources so you have to choose carefully in order to get the best of them. This makes each turn unique and is especially challenging in a PBEM game and gives great replayability.
Are there any features of the warfare of the Spanish Civil War that you were especially keen to model? If so which and what challenges did they pose to the developers?
Yes, the upgrade of the Republican militias into a regular army, and the transformation of the initial war of ?columnas? into a modern war in just five months of warfare. The first was resolved easily using some of the AGE functions that allow the conversion of one combat model to a better one. The second one was solved using the same mechanism plus the appearance of more leaders and lots of units like the International Brigades and the Italian CTV.
Game development inevitably involves compromise, are there any features that you wanted to include in Espana 1936, but that didn?t make it to the release version?
I can?t tell you an individual one. I?ve been studying the Civil War many years so I know lots of details that can?t be included. Many members in the AGEOD forum were asking for some of them during the development. But I had to have clear what can be done within the AGE engine and what was my objective. Maybe in the future we could add some nice features.
Many of our readers are interested in modding, are there modding possibilities in the game, and if so what are they?
Absolutely, like in all AGEOD games. España 1936 is not different and many things can be improved or changed and there are many people in the forums, including me, ready to help to anyone interested.
As the developer, what are your favourite units in the game, and which do you think the players will enjoy using the most?
I like the Basque battalions, maybe because the picture has been made by me, ha,ha..... For other gamers it depends on the individual, but usually wargamers want to play a game and change history. International Brigades are famous units with some romantic taste that could be that special unit for some players.
Lastly, although Espana 1936 is not yet released players are always wondering what the future for a game might hold ? are there any (tentative) ideas for the future, any planned additions?
Some people have already asked about involving France in the war, but as of today I have nothing decided. Ii need some rest first.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions; I?m sure our readers will appreciate it.