When do you plan to release the game?
We plan the game to be released in the third quarter of 2004.
What is the plot of “Cossacks 2” in brief?
The plot of the game is based on establishing, prosperity and downfall of Napoleon’s carrier. Missions will illuminate the most famous of Napoleon’s battles and conqueror campaigns: the players will witness … and many other known pages of the military history.
Why is it the Napoleonics period that was chosen for the game?
The game “Cossacks 2: Napoleonic Wars” is a logical continuation of the first part of the series. Events of the preceding game had finished in the 18th century. That’s why the beginning of the 19th century is extremely suitable period for the sequel of the game. Certainly Napoleonics is a very interesting historical period and we believe that the players will be interested to know more about it.
What nations are to be presented in the game?
There will be 6 nations: France, Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia and Egypt. In each of them you will find up to 7 types of infantry units, up to 10 types of cavalry and 3 types of artillery. In general the number of units in the game exceeds 150.
“Cossacks” are famous for the huge armies and enormous battles… What is the new population limit in “Cossacks 2”?
In the second part of the game the maximum quantity of units on the map is 64000. At the first sight it seems to be extremely difficult to control such huge armies, but control system by means of fighting formations, developed by us, enables the players to control enormously numerous armies easily. Besides, by means of unit-characters, such as Napoleon, famous generals etc., one can control the army as a whole, when the possibility of step-by-step moving the map away lets you see the battlefield spread before the eyes.
You have increased the number of forces in the game till 64000; you suppose more means better, don’t you?
We want to give the players full freedom regarding sizes of their armies, especially because, when playing another games, they used to complain of the limited possibilities in army size. Due to huge number of units the players can achieve unusual gameplay, when one hasn’t to worry about each single unit, but can think about the army as a whole. Besides, the possibility to restore historical battles on a real scale looks very attractive.
What are the main differences between “Cossacks 2” and the first game?
The scale of the battles grows larger (up to 64000 units, more types of units per one nation, larger sizes of town architecture); the fighting spirit, experience and fatigue influence the fighting units; there appear special unit-characters (Napoleon, the generals etc.); landscape (heights, forest, swamp etc.) influences the result of the fighting; there will be canoniers at the cannons and the guns will be transported with horses; there will be a possibility to lead the forces into the buildings; the towns will live their own lives; a system of roads and resources’ transportation will be introduced in the game. The list can be continued.
You have concentrated on isometric 2D type. What are the advantages of it comparing with 3D?
Unfortunately, by nowadays 3D technology hasn’t yet achieved the level suitable for the creation of really mass military strategies with an expectable for us graphic quality. The advantages of using 3D in strategies are also doubtful, since very often it leads to a complication of the game, but doesn’t make it more interesting (e.g. map rotation). That is why we prefer to stay in 2D. In spite of this, the new engine, created for “Cossacks 2” uses 3D accelerators and will maintain the full range of special effects (e.g. explosions, smoke over the battlefield), wide colour palette etc. Some separate units will probably be created fully in 3D.
What new units and buildings are going to appear in the game?
As the period that is spread over by a second part of a game is different, all the units and buildings will be a hundred years ahead comparing with their precursors. Many of them have the same name, but functionally all is different. Aiming to present 19th century as technologically more developed epoch, the player will see such kind of buildings as manufacture, sawmill etc. The players will be amazed by the grandeur of such buildings as academy or city center. When working on the units, a step forward was made. Grenadier, for instance, will as earlier shoot, stab with a bayonet and throw grenades. The difference is that now he has only some limited number of grenades (and not the infinite one). When thrown, the grenade flings the splinters wounding close-by soldiers. One more example, realistic physics of the bullet and “firing one’s own people ” don’t allow fusiliers to kill the enemy from a far distance while ordinary infantry covers them from front.
What tactical elements are introduced in the game?
“Cossacks II” possess a significant tendency to the tactics what is dictated by historical period of the game. Consequently, the game provides rather big set of tactical techniques for the player. First of all, even a single unit is influenced by parameter of fighting spirit, which decreases or increases depending on ten different factors. For instance, the fighting spirit decreases, if the unit notices his comrades’ retreat, if his commander, drummer or standard-bearer is killed, if the enemy takes in a rear or on the flank etc. And on the contrary, if your units succeed in fighting against the enemy, don’t receive a fire in reply etc. their fighting spirit increases together with their experience. Introducing a fighting spirit enables us with a definite step-by-step element to be introduced in the game. The fatigue works much alike the fighting spirit, i.e. it may increase or decrease depending on various parameters. The players should watch their units not to be tired and to be able to fight. E.g. shifting units along the battlefield at far distances will exhaust your army, while moving along the road will not. Units fight in military formations and each type of the formations gives certain bonuses to units. The fighting system in “Cossacks II” is practically fully built around military formations; it made us to remake AI in the game completely.
How the AI system was improved in the game?
As the gameplay was displaced towards tactics, it was necessary to carry out proper changes in AI, or to be more precise to rewrite it completely. First of all, main changes in AI concern ability to fight in formations: instead of simply finding drawbacks in enemy’s defense, the computer players will be able to lead a tactical struggle, apply maneuvers, use the most efficient distance of fire, as well as to worry about fighting efficiency of their army, to maintain its fighting spirit. The second, we developed two-level AI system, where the computer may fight not only on the level of a separate map, but on a global level, on a whole European map scope as well. On a global level AI can skillfully distribute and shift forces to achieve strategic goals, and on a local level it will create a worthy opposition for the player.
What kind of new 3D engine is used for the game?
The game is based on a specially designed 3D engine allowing to use possibilities of 3D accelerators, to introduce coloured dynamic lighting, transparent water, through which a bottom is seen, waves, reflections from the water surface etc. Sprite units and objects of flora and fauna as well allow solving the problem of existing game strategies, and namely angular units with blurred texture, awkward animations and a very low population limit. Sprite units will boast of photorealistic graphics quality and vivid smooth animation. 3D landscape provides the gameplay with lots of innovations.