GSC GameWorld already has a hit historical RTS game in Cossacks and now the developer is focusing on the the American continent for their next strategy game American Conquest. HomeLAN got a chance to chat with Oleg V. Javorsky of GSC GameWorld to find out more about the game which is already out in Germany and Russia and will soon be released in the US via publisher CDV.
HomeLAN – How did the idea for American Conquest come about?
Oleg V. Javorsky – American Conquest seems a next logical step on the way of Cossacks. We wanted to touch the topic of new world exploration as early as in Cossacks add-on, but the study of materials went on, we realized the topic is enough for a separate game. The events in America were different from the military and political conflicts in densely-populated Europe. Also, while working on Cossacks, we had gathered quite a stock of new ideas and possibilities to implement them. American Conquest will include the events from Columbus¡¦s discovery of America and up to the forming of a new US state in Northern America, as well as war for its independence. The player will be able to participate in numerous events basing on America exploration: fall of powerful Native American empires, colonial wars and so on.
HomeLAN – Did the development team do any historical research about the period for the game?
Oleg V. Javorsky – Yes, we have a staff historical advisor working with us. He collected a large bibliography of reference literature on the topic. We did our best to provide sets of units, weapons, clothes architecture, game nations¡¦ way of life historically correct. Prior to each game mission players will find an extensive voiced introduction, giving them an insight about the historical events they are to immerse in. There has been done a profound research into the history of the continent and its explorers, and we are sure players can find out a lot of interesting facts about the period – for instance, how much gold did Pizarro and his companions brought from their American campaign.
Words of credit here should also be given to the community who helped us out in time of trouble ¡V certain information about Native Americans (2/3 of game nations they are) was quite problematic to find.
HomeLAN – What can you tell us about the playable sides in American Conquest?
Oleg V. Javorsky – There are 12 game nations in total. The European ones are Spain, Britain and France, and the rest are Native American factions ¡V Aztec, Maya, Huron, Delaware, Pueblo and more. The USA will go as a separate playable nation too. Each of the nations has a unique set of architecture and 3-5 unique units. The development ways, and even sets of resources for each faction differ too, so we expect players try all the nations and then select their favourite one(s) to play, depending on the style of play they prefer. Native Americans generally excel in speed and numbers (with some of the nations you can have a couple of thousand units after 10 minutes of play), while Europeans are better at technologies. Despite the considerable differences among the nations, we believe, they are all balanced, so each of the playable factions stands a chance to win and interesting to play.
HomeLAN – What are the single player campaigns like in the game?
Oleg V. Javorsky – There are 42 missions in 5 single player campaigns in American Conquest. The campaigns have been based on the milestones of the historical period described and feature Columbus¡¦s voyage, Pizarro¡¦s expedition against Incas, the 7 Years¡¦ War, The War of Independence and Tecumseh¡¦s rebellion against US. Some of the campaigns, for instance, the 7 Years¡¦ War can be played for both warring factions, i.e. for the French and Britons. Here we decided to step back from history course a bit and give each of the sides a chance to win (a possibility to change history up to the player¡¦s liking is the leitmotif of American Conquest).
As I already mentioned, we will introduce the time and circumstances to the player prior to each mission he plays. This way he can get a better understanding of the mission, and maybe brush up his history skills tooƒº. Conclusion is given after the each campaign completed.
HomeLAN – What locations and missions will players have to accomplish in the game?
Oleg V. Javorsky – We wanted to bring the player versatile missions, so his tasks in missions will vary from mere territory exploring and development-based missions to tactical warfare and city sieges. The complexity of missions will grow slowly from the first campaign on. Initially, for instance, the player will act as Columbus: build a fort, go to see the Natives living in the vicinity and explore the area on the new continent. Further on in the game, there are missions, as Battle of Lexington, siege of Charleston etc, where the player will frequently have a certain limited amount of troops and where he is to act strategically and tactically, using all the advantages of troops under his command.
HomeLAN – What are some of your favorite units in the game?
Oleg V. Javorsky – I especially like how the mounted units look and act ¡V idle animation, weapon reloading and riding is a pleasing scene to speculate. Spanish rider of the 17th century, for example, is armed with two pistols and a saber, so you can use him both in melee and ranged attacks. Units act as if they would in reality ¡V riders produce a shot from each pistol and then head off for melee combat; another example is spearman ¡V this unit throws several spears, and when he has only one left, he dashes into hand-to-hand fight.
One of my favourite units is warrior with airgun. This guy spits poisonous darts into enemy. The damage inflicted is negligible, but unless the opponent heals his poisoned units, they soon lose up to 90% of their life, which makes fighting with them a walkover.
HomeLAN – What are some of the other unique gameplay features in American Conquest?
Oleg V. Javorsky – First off, it¡¦s a possibility to stage battles in their true historical scope ¡V the unit limit of 16000 units is pretty enough for that. Secondly, American Conquest introduces a system of combat experience, unit morale and diplomacy, which all highly influence the gameplay. The more enemies has a unit crushed, the more courageous he is in battle and the higher is his morale. Morale is a complex indicator compiled of multitude of factors (proximity to unit¡¦s base, experience of the commander, fear of battle, whether comrades nearby die or not, enemy salvo to name a few). Morale factor may change considerably in the course of battle, and if it gets extremely low, the units may become uncontrollable and flee the battlefield. Diplomatic possibilities allow various alliances with neutral tribes on the game map. Having established good diplomatic relations with neutrals, you can get an extra supply of troops, resources and other bonuses.
HomeLAN – What can you tell us about the graphics engine in the game?
Oleg V. Javorsky – We have been obsessed with the idea of bringing as much realism into the game as possible. The original Cossacks engine has been hugely modified, and now allows mapping up to 6 textures on a face, so that the landscape graphics could acquire a photo-realistic quality. To provide more eye-candy, we created four different climatic zones for the game, reproducing the typically American settings ¡V the player will feast his eyes on dense forests, mountain rivers, canyons, waterfalls, deserts, tropical greenery etc. Other engine improvements enable 10 different unit animations in 64 directions, unit reflecting against water surfaces, cannonballs ricocheting against the ground and smashing units on their way, real bullet physics, unit view angle and more.
HomeLAN – What multiplayer modes will be available?
Oleg V. Javorsky – American Conquest will offer quite a few of multiplayer modes to choose from. Firstly, the player will have our standard deathmatch and historical battle modes. Additionally, we left the system of global player rating, introduced with Cossacks: The Art of War, automated championship system and VIZOR game viewing mode provided with Cossacks: Back to War. An absolutely new mode of on-line play in the game will be War for America. This mode offers players to join one of the 12 game nations, and then, fighting on its side, attempt capturing the land of the nation¡¦s neighbours. Both American continents have been modelled and then split into tiny pieces of land players fight for. The only way to capture a part of enemy¡¦s land is through winning a game of American Conquest.
HomeLAN – At the moment, what is the current status of the game’s progress and when will it be in stores?
Oleg V. Javorsky – Currently the game has been released in Germany and former USSR countries. The upcoming releases are in France, UK, the USA and other territories.
HomeLAN – Finally is there anything else you wish to say about American Conquest?
Oleg V. Javorsky – American Conquest will appeal to players who like large-scale strategies and the feel of commanding armies in the broadest sense of the word. The game can also be used as a good supplemental source for the historical insight into warfare, lifestyle and culture of the time and nations depicted in the game. You can always find the latest information about the title at its official web-site: www.americanconquest.com
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONTENT:
Date of publish: 08.12.2002
Author: John [JCal] Callaham
Language of publish: english