Following the announcement of our first title, The American Civil War (1861-1865), there has been quite many questions being thrown around and discussed on different sites and channels. Here are the first answers to these questions by the Engineer Corps Staff:
1) When will the game be released?
Currently we do not have a release date, or even a candidate, as the development is still ongoing and we’re deep in pre-alpha stage. Writing this, we are reaching the final battle features, before moving on to the campaign layer. Our aim is during 2019.
2) Is there a Kickstarter campaign or similar?
No, we don’t have such campaigns at the moment, and none planned, at least for now. Currently, the biggest challenges we face are time related, as we all got our day jobs, studies, and families to attend to as well.
3) Will there be a multiplayer option?
Not at release. We have not ruled out the possibility to include this post-release. Going from single player game development to multiplayer is a world on its own, and if we take that route, we’d like to do it properly with time.
4) Do you need testers or other help?
Right now, we are quite comfortable with the staffing we got. The need for testers will become relevant closer to release, and we will of course let you know! Before that though, there will be a couple of features where we would require some help with – and then we will reach out with more specific information.
5) What scenarios / battles will be included?
The details are not yet finalized, but the game will cover the whole war. Campaign will have certain starting points (scenarios) in addition to the full campaign. There will also be historical battles from throughout the war, but details about these will follow later.
6) The game is real time strategy game. Why, and what does this mean in practice?
We have chosen real time game mechanics because of realism. While We-go and Turn based games are also enjoyable for us, these approaches simplify the core elements of warfare, space and time, too much in our opinion. So as the Grand Tactician, you will also have the challenges created from time running constantly.
But: When we say “real time”, we don’t mean a turbo boosted click-fest. On the contrary, the game will be quite slow paced. This is because of the realism approach, which includes features such as realistic order delays on campaign map and battles. So having quick reactions will not most likely help you as much as proper thinking and forethought. Your job as the Grand Tactician is to think ahead, and give well thought out orders to your sub-ordinates, who will be better equipped to handle the quick reactions as situation requires, according to your instructions. The game can be paused and accelerated at any time if the player wishes so.
7) The units shown in screenshots and video don’t look very detailed. What’s up with that? Will there be 3D units etc.?
In Grand Tactician we have chosen to portray the battles with proper sized armies and with a good overview of what is happening. This allows the player to follow the battle better, but creates performance issues with the amount of troops shown. This comes down to VRAM and the size and amount of sprite tables. We tried lo-poly 3D models too, but the hit on performance was too much. But we will try to improve every aspect of the game before release, and this includes also visuals!
8) What are the main differences to other similar titles, like Total War, Scourge of War, HistWar, or Ultimate General?
We decided to start this project, because we thought the computer wargame scene did not have this kind of game yet. That said, all the above are very good games and also enjoyed by the development team. But there are a few important differences:
- The general approach: we are not aiming at breathtaking visuals, stunning action or beer and pretzels game play. Instead, we try to make everything with realism in mind – not forgetting the player’s ability to handle the information. This means for example, that the battles will not be over in few minutes. And that the campaign will not be a simple rush to build more and better troops and then steamrolling the U.S. We imagine the player, the Grand Tactician, not in a hurry, whacking his mouse like a maniac. Instead, we see him/her sitting back, maybe a coffee mug in hand, scratching his/her forehead about the next move he/she should do.
- There will be not only battles or only campaign, but both. And these will be intertwined more closely than in other similar titles. We are aiming for a comprehensive game about the Civil War, telling the story of the war in a different way it has been done in computer games before.
9) What kind of DLC or Sequel plans do you have?
We planned Grand Tactician to be a game series, and have been tossing around a few ideas about possible other conflicts to cover. But currently focus is 100% on the Civil War. We do plan on making this one as good as we can, and this includes plans to implement new features that simply cannot make it for initial release, in patches post-release.
10) The French in one of the old screenshots… What about them?
- Only a fool would rule out the possibility for a foreign military intervention. ;-)