This is the final piece in our interview session with Oleg Javorsky of GSC Gameworld. It covers a few random General questions that we had about American Conquest.
GameWatchers: Is the game closely based on the Cossacks engine and system, or is it a major change?
Oleg V. Javorsky (GSC): The engine in American Conquest has undergone considerable changes, compared to Cossacks and is 90% improved. The changes focus both on gameplay and graphical side of the game. Thus units can enter virtually any building in the game and defend it getting an extra bonus to defence. Apart from that, units received a certain view radius (if enemy approaches a unit from behind, he may even not spot the former). Support of up to 16000 units on the map will allow recreate historical battles in their real scope. Use of photo-realistic textures, eye-catching water effects (waterfalls, mountain currents and so on), a rich set of flora and fauna elements (there are 4 climatic zones, typical for American continent in the game) allow bringing the game to a new level in relation to graphics.
As for the gameplay, we consider it 50% Cossacks, and 50% new one. Introduction of morale, combat experience factors for units, structure entering possibility and other game features enabled shifting more into the tactical combat when it’s important not only how big is your amount of troops, but also how properly you can use them tactically. Units in the game possess a certain view radius (approximately 135º), which allows approaching them from the rear unspotted and delivering an abrupt stroke. Least effective are frontal strokes in the game, while flank attacks would be much more effective and allow attaining success with numerically inferior forces than those of the enemy retreating in panic. Possibility to “beef up” your troops will allow you to victoriously parade with small squads across the entire map inflicting ever more powerful strokes on enemy. We are also big adherents of innovative approach, as in economic, so as in warfare model of the game. In American Conquest you will find quite a few of non-standard game rules previously unseen in other RTS games.
GWN: How much has the community already influenced the development of the game?
GSC: Very extensively. I think we managed to set up a good tradition since the time of Cossacks – we always listen to what the community has to say, share with them our vision of the game and listen to their ideas too. The extent of community contribution can be judged at least from the size of “Special thanks” list at the end of game creditsJ.
GWN: Will the community continue to guide development as the game nears completion?
GSC: Only in the way of game balance probably, as it’d be risky to introduce anything new for the gameplay at this very development stage.
GWN: Will there be a public beta testing period, or only private?
GSC: Yes, we already launched an open beta-testing campaign with American Conquest, and it has proved very efficient – lots of bugs reported and fixed.
GWN: How long has the game been in development, to date?
GSC: We’ve been doing it for 12 months. What made it so fast, was the experienced Cossacks team and the engine base we had on hands.
GWN: When will American Conquest be released (Europe and US dates)?
GSC: In Germany the game will hit the stores on November 15 this year, and expect it to be out in US, UK, France and other countries early next year.
GWN: What will it cost when released?
GSC: The kind of question a bit difficult to answer for developers. I think it will be a standard full-game price.
GWN: What about the future of the game? Will there be major addons or map packs?
GSC: Yes, add-on is planned right now. Time will show whether we get down to a sequel or not – it will depend on how positive the players are about the original game.
GWN: Will there be support for mods to the game?
GSC: Again, if community is interested enough, we are ready to provide them with tools necessary for mod creation. Cossacks mod was very successful, for instance.
GWN: What are the details of what is included in the Netherlands addon?
GSC: The add-on will have about 3-4 full new nations, including unique units, architecture, battle tactics and so on. Cannot disclose more on the add-on at the moment.
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONTENT:
Date of publish: 12.11.2002
Language of publish: english