This is the part 2 of our 4 part interview with Oleg Javorsky concerning GSC Gameworld’s new RTS, American Conquest.
Gameplay: Part 2
GWN: What resources will need to be gathered during gameplay?
GSC: There is a total of six resources in the game – wood, food, gold, stone, iron and coal. Wood and stone are needed for construction of buildings, food is essential for keeping units nourished, gold secures the upkeep of some units, iron and coal will be consumed for making shots. You chop wood, collect food from the field or hunting and mine gold, stone, iron and coal. Special trade posts will enable exchange of resources for players. It is also possible to trade resources with neutral tribes on the map. The point is, each nation has it differently with resources – some of them require the whole spectrum of resources, while others can dispense with up to half of the set. This was done as for the sake of historical realism, so as for the benefit of players – they can choose between more or less of resource micromanagement, up to their liking.
GWN: Will buildings be able to be damaged, and show damage?
GSC: You can judge the extent of building’s damage by how intensely it burns. To destroy a building, you can set it on fire (using artillery or fiery arrows), or capture it and press on “destroy” button. You will not be able to get rid of an enemy building by having swordsman smashing vehemently on the building with his sword. So, when a building is set on fire, you will see black smoke coming out of its windows first, and then it turns into flames. Unless you repair the building fast, it will burn down to explode finally. When hitting a building with cannonballs, for instance, you will see debris of the building scattering around. The debris can kill units standing nearby. When a building explodes, it may kill many units standing close to it.
GWN: What sorts of things will diplomacy be necessary for?
GSC: Proper diplomacy can simplify many things for you in the game. For instance, it can secure an additional supply of troops for you, attacks with your and ally’s forces combined, resource exchange, when in need, and more.
GWN: What are the details of the diplomacy system?
GSC: In American Conquest you establish diplomatic relations with neutral Native tribes located on the map. Specially for the occasion, you need an envoy, a sort of ambassador, who will represent your nation in the tribe (an officer/chief or priest/shaman can serve such an ambassador). So, you send the guy to a tribe you discovered, they negotiate with you, and in case of success, you establish your “representative office” in the tribe. After that, you can have the tribe’s assistance for pecuniary reward – hire troops, scouts, sabotage group, exchange resources and so on. In case some of your opponents had established alliance with the tribe before you came to negotiate, the tribe may offer you to pay extra for them to sever diplomatic relations with the opponent and cooperate with you. If you agree to pay, they kill the previous ambassador, and let your one in.
GWN: Will outside events affect the morale or other stats affect your army? (News of other defeats, etc)
GSC: There is a whole array of factors impacting your troops’ morale, as it’s a truly complex notion, including parameters like units’ experience, proximity to your own base, fear of battle, horses, famine in your settlement and many more. Morale of your troops will lower when they see many of their comrades die nearby, or for instance, they may panic after enemy riflemen produce a salvo. Apart from that, units in formation fighting under command of an experienced officer will have a better morale than those controlled by commanders inexperienced in battles. Standard bearers included in a formation serve a good morale booster. Players can easily track the condition of their units’ morale by hitting a special button in the game.
GWN: Is there a main static storyline that the game follows through each mission, or is it quite dynamic, or is each era a very different situation?
GSC: The storyline is based around 5 major milestones of American history we highlight in the game – Columbus’s discovery of the continent, Pizzaro’s gold expedition, 7 Years’ War, War of US independence and Tecumseh’s rebellion. All the missions are built in a way that they stick to the timeline of events to have happened within each particular milestone. On completing one campaign, the player will be moved in time and location to the next milestone mentioned. Each mission will be preceded by a voiced briefing, which will put player in the picture of the historical events the mission will disclose.
GWN: How does the religious side of war come into the story?
GSC: We want to be impartial in the game, so we don’t focus on religious or political side of warring whatsoever. There are some well-known historical facts though, such as Pizzaro and his companions trying to make Natives believe in Christ, and this naturally, causing their anger and opposition, so, we used such facts extensively in American Conquest.
GWN: Are there a lot of points to this game that could be marketed as a historical learning tool, or is it very much more geared toward pure entertainment?
GSC: We strive to have it both ways. On one hand, players will find multitude of true-to-life historical information in the game, such as dates, names, personalities, events and so on – and this makes American Conquest match edutainment software standards. On the other hand, we all realize it’s still just a game, so it has to be fun to play and we simplify much in order not to make it overloaded with information.
GWN: Will players be able to design their own missions?
GSC: The release version of American Conquest will include map editor for players to be able create their own single- and multiplayer maps. If the community feels really up to mission-making, we’ll probably release mission editor afterwards.
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONTENT:
Date of publish: 10.11.2002
Language of publish: english