Time of Fury - Developers Diary Part 329 Mar 2011 0
Part 3 of this developer diary comes straight from our friends at Wastelands Interactive in Poland, so English is not their first language, so please excuse any confusion. Enjoy!
Wastelands Interactive is a company that has been formed and is operating in Poland. When the older part of our dev team was still young we have been playing a lot of board games. And I don?t mean Monopoly (which is a great game), only the real wargames. As we have been living in the country behind The Iron Curtain, only couple of chosen people had possibility to play the original Third Reich. Many of us draw a copy of it as there was no option to buy it*. When we become teens, things has started to change, and the number of official and unofficial convents has raised. I still remember two nights in a row, spent over the Ardennes map, during the team play 5vs5 on 8 boards, when we were trying to simulate Chain of Command and Fog of War. That was hard, but that was also a lot of fun.
AI's paratroopers are closing the pocket.
During those wonderful times I remember such games, like Kircholm 1605, Vienna 1683 or Grunwald 1410**. Poland has got a long history and lot of that time was spent on wars with almost all of our neighbors. Thanks to those games, wargaming became our beloved hobby and when the first computers started to appear with the Desert Rats or Tigers in the Prowl, we have been more than happy. Thanks to ZX Spectrum we had possibility to play our games without human opponents. Then things has changed very, very fast. New hardware and new software means many great titles. From East Front, through Panzer General and Steel Panthers, to the latest productions.
Sprites skin for units and natural skin for map.
Wastelands Interactive has started to team up something like 5 years ago, and most of us has been raised playing wargames of different kinds. The love to board games is still in us, but the college, work, kids and dogs were always enemies of boards spread on the floor. When we started the development process of Time of Fury, all of us agreed that this game must have got possibility to look like a real board game. Take a look by yourself what we have achieved.
Of course all of that wouldn?t be possible without the great support from modders and betatesters who started to create content for the game just after betatests started. Nice chunk of the map and units skins has been made by them. There are no words that can express my gratitude for them for the support they are providing and enthusiasm they are bringing. Thank you all from the deep of my heart, especially that many of those people are with us for a very long time.
Counters combination mod skin for units and modern skin for map.
The beta testers are continuously and enthusiastically are raising the bar for us. I?ve got the feeling that they want the AI to play at least at the same level as humans does. Most of the time we are spending right now has been devoted to improve AI behavior and to make it more challenging and surprising. I think I have already mentioned that the AI is able to capture railroads to cut off supply lines and knows how to use paratroopers for crucial operations. Here is screenshot that has been posted by one of the betatesters. I think it clearly present that the AI knows what is doing.
During the last time we are focusing on the Naval AI, trying to make it act and not only react. So after long consideration we have decided to write a huge chunk of code that will let the AI recognize possibilities and dangers. Right now it should use its naval forces based on some predictions where and when the opponent might strike to block his moves and to take advantages over weaknesses and defense line gaps.
NATO skin for units and B&W skin for map.
Another improvement that we are happy with is that AI recognizes dangerous areas with too many enemy air forces that are threatening the Sea Zones. So if there will be possibility that the fleet will be attacked with too many bombers, the AI will leave the dangerous area. Another thing that will help fleet to defend against enemy bombers is the fighters? air cover provided from land based units.
Stylized skin for units and normal skin for map.
During last week I personally spent a lot of time to improve the part of the game that is responsible for the AI?s technology improvements. It should not lead to weird outcomes anymore and allow the AI to be much more challenging for the human player in the tech race.
The latest feature we have implemented for our betas was split/merge units. For a very long time we have heard voices that there should be possibility to easily change division into corps and corps into division or to easily reinforce unit with the forces drafted from another. What we had to do was to think about how does it works in the real life. Among all possibilities we have decided to base those features on the German Kampfgruppen*** tactic and also on a much more common creating new units by withdrawing some soldiers from other. For example one regiment is detached from a division and is forming up a new division. Later both divisions are reinforced with fresh recruits. This allows to distribute available resources more rationally and proportionally.
Figures skin for units and normal skin for map.
I?m hoping that you will find this feature easy to use and very useful during the game.
Until next time. Cheers!
*The average monthly wage in Poland before 1989 was equal to 20$.
** Known as Tannenberg, but as it was Polish-Lithuanian victory we prefer to use Polish name for it.
*** Of course other than German armies also used expediently combined units, but I think that during the later stage of the war, we have heard about a lot of Kampfruppens.
Time of Fury was announced back in January and is aiming for an April 15th release this year. The price is still TBD, keep an eye out on Wargamer for news!