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Thread: PON dev diary #3

  1. #1
    Major PhilThib's Avatar
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    Thumbs up PON dev diary #3

    Pride of Nations – Developer Diary 3 – Battle Scenarios

    Most big strategy games now usually have one grand campaign scenario to play, and that’s about it. All the designers' efforts go into the “big one,” and the team's efforts focus almost exclusively on that scenario and its balance. Well, we have – almost – done the same in Pride of Nations.

    But we also realized that our grand campaign is a huge endeavor, taking 1,680 turns to play, which is a huge amount of time, and that presents a challenge to the players. We are aware that quite a lot of players do not have that kind of time at their disposal and could feel frustrated by not being able to get into the game for a quick, interesting, and challenging session.

    Similarly, we knew that there are a lot of small conflicts in the era covered by Pride of Nations that are quite unique and interesting to discover just for themselves. And we also wanted to tell those stories!

    Last, but not least, it is always important for a development team to have a set of smaller scenarios available to run for quick testing or for checking whether new and old features alike are still running smoothly with the engine's ongoing developments and additions.

    So we have decided that Pride of Nations would come with some battle scenarios to answer all the above questions and needs. They will be much shorter to play, between a dozen turns for the shortest to up to 100 for the longest. And we set our historical team on the tracks of which battles could be in the game…

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    In theory, there were dozens of potential candidates. But we had to select only a few, based on simple criteria: could we get accurate data for them, would they present an interesting and challenging scenario, would they become popular, had they been chosen for other games before, etc…?

    After a few months, the list and team was almost complete: for original subjects, we chose the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 to tell a story of revolts and colonial battles from a theater of operation with exotic appeal (India). In addition, the game is short and quick, a good introduction for trying the land operations and military part of the game.

    We also chose the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 (71 turns), as in addition to not being dealt with before, it offered the additional challenge of naval operations (combat, naval transportation, and amphibious landing). That one scenario was just great, especially when it came time for us to adjust battleship combat and combined operation AI. In the same spirit, we planned to have the Spanish-American War of 1898, but a lack of time for proper testing makes it doubtful that it will make it in the initial release; however, it will most likely be included in a future expansion. A work in progress is also well underway on the Second Boer War of 1899 and on the Nile Campaigns 1885-1898, but we are not certain that they will make it in the final version.

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    Among the ‘popular’ category (i.e., well-known battles sometimes already in other games), we have the infamous US Civil War. Of course, this one will never be as detailed or as precise as a game solely dedicated to the subject, but it is still a tough challenge; for players who will tackle the USA in the Grand Campaign, it might prove to be a very interesting training ground. In the same spirit, we have added the Austro-Italian War of the Risorgimento 1859, the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877.

    One last ‘monster’ battle scenario has been prepared (and we use it extensively for engine tests) on the Guns of August – WW1, 1914-1918. This is probably a challenge equivalent to the game’s Grand Campaign, so full it is of armies. At the moment, there is intense debate within the team to see whether we will make this one a short scenario on the war’s first months, or if we will try to recreate the whole conflict. Typically, this is the kind of critical decision a development team has to make rather early, as such a project is bound to consume huge human resources and blocks of time, and we may never be sure in the end that the result meets the challenge.

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    Anyway, news will be regularly given on our progress on all of the above in order to get our community’s opinion!
    Stay tuned.

    Philippe Thibaut
    Philippe Thibaut
    Paradox France
    Producer

  2. #2
    Rōnin and Caput lupinum Anguille's Avatar
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    Excellent!

    For my part, i really hope to see the full WW1 conflict included

    Anyway, 2011 will be a great year...the full campaign will take most of my gaming time next year..
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    Second Lieutenant Yoshino's Avatar
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    Looks promissing! XD
    The Sepoy Rebellion is very rare(I don't know any games which deal with this war except a scenario of Age of Rifles) and interesting choice.
    This will be the top of must buy game for me on the next year.

    By the way,is this game moddeable as easily as with Paradox games?
    I would like to make a mod for this game(maybe the 1st Sino-Japanese War(1894–1895) or something).

  4. #4
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    Make the Spanish-American War. I want to beat these "yanquees armed with electricity", as some priest here said during the war.
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  5. #5
    I just discovered this turn-based jewel. My hopes are high. I always dreamed of a turn-based Europa Universalis / Victoria... Maybe the time has come!

  6. #6
    Lt. General Beleg32's Avatar
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    Great ! I love that there are many battlescnearios, as probably I wouldnever complete the Grand Campaign Love the graphics, defintely this only sold me
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  7. #7
    Good decision to implement battlescenarios. I always like to play some "short" games when I don't have that much time. And Can't wait to conquer port arthur!

    Btw, may I ask here why there is no RuS Forum @ Paradox??

  8. #8
    General ashbery76's Avatar
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    I think the correct thing was to scale the grand campaign to a more feasible turn number rather than make battle scenarios hardly anybody would play,ala hoi2 battle Scenarios.

  9. #9
    Lt. General ashandresash's Avatar
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    I do support the battlescenarios feature rather than scenarios -that's my main criticism about ROP.

    Ageod resources should be invested on great campaign and short or medium battlescenarios, as you've stated. All conflicts you have told about look great, but if I had to choose one, American-Spanish war would be my option ;-)
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  10. #10
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    I never do a "non-initial" start with Paradox game, but I like to play limited scenarios with AGEOD games, so it is a good thing you added this.

    I thnk WWI will be too time consuming, and the scale might be too different from the "limited" Victorian Age wars, so I would prefer a "complete" WWI to be the object of an expansion.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshino View Post
    Looks promissing! XD
    The Sepoy Rebellion is very rare(I don't know any games which deal with this war except a scenario of Age of Rifles) and interesting choice.
    This will be the top of must buy game for me on the next year.

    By the way,is this game moddeable as easily as with Paradox games?
    I would like to make a mod for this game(maybe the 1st Sino-Japanese War(1894–1895) or something).

    The game is very easily moddable, although there is no in game editor. You first start by adding your commands in Excel format (very handy for the formating possibilities, like putting colors etc.) then you use a small utility to generate the final script files.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattvas View Post
    Good decision to implement battlescenarios. I always like to play some "short" games when I don't have that much time. And Can't wait to conquer port arthur!

    Btw, may I ask here why there is no RuS Forum @ Paradox??
    RUS is not done by Ageod, but by a team of people who got the right to use our engine (AGE engine). It is so close to what people have done with the HOI2 engine.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ashbery76 View Post
    I think the correct thing was to scale the grand campaign to a more feasible turn number rather than make battle scenarios hardly anybody would play,ala hoi2 battle Scenarios.
    Each turn lasts 15 days, we could not have done longuer turns, if we wanted some level of details in military operation. Don't be frightened by the number of turns, unless you are also frightened by the fact that Victoria is played in 21000 or so turns of one day

  14. #14
    Lt. General Narwhal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocus View Post
    Each turn lasts 15 days, we could not have done longuer turns, if we wanted some level of details in military operation. Don't be frightened by the number of turns, unless you are also frightened by the fact that Victoria is played in 21000 or so turns of one day
    On the other hand, I dont have to hit the "next turn" button 21 000 times in Victoria

  15. #15
    Major PhilThib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barón Rojo View Post
    Make the Spanish-American War. I want to beat these "yanquees armed with electricity", as some priest here said during the war.
    A group of Betas is working on this one. Don't know if it will be ready on time yet, but if possible we shall include it in the beta testing programm
    Philippe Thibaut
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhal View Post
    On the other hand, I dont have to hit the "next turn" button 21 000 times in Victoria
    And what about the Pause button?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocus View Post
    And what about the Pause button?
    Exactly.
    For example, everytime you are at war, you HAVE to pause the game to plan your strategy... you just can't move everything on real time.
    That's exactly why in many MP games, there are rules about the use of the pause button and how it is allowed.

    In th end, it is just a matter of taste... I think anyone can play both games with their own different styles... the change from RTS to TBS is not that hard after you have played a while.
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  18. #18
    Lt. General ashandresash's Avatar
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    If I had to choose, I'd go clearly for TBS... in fact, what I like of Europa/Clausewitz games is that they're closer to TBS than to RTS.

    What I find really encouraging in PoN is that an awesome wargaming engine is evolving to taking more and more issues into account (economy, diplomacy, politics, research...). A risk that I consider to deserve prize (my purchase, preorder even, is granted).

    Coming back to the topic, one interesting point of such different battlescenerios on duration, context, size... is that it'd work like tutorial (if different features are activated) and will avoid the alienation of grognards, used to ageod games,
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  19. #19
    great update, keep up the good work!

  20. #20
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    I am a bit worried by the number of "boarding losses" in a 1904 naval battle. Boarding were more than exceptionals by 1904...

    Also, please tell me you will improve the picture of boats. The units looks great, but the boats... don't. I hope it is a placeholder.

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