Hi, and welcome to the first developer diary for the Hearts of Iron 3 DLC ”Dies Irae: Götterdämmerung” which features among many other things a German campaign focus. With Dies Irae: Götterdämmerung, you will be able to play Germany and only Germany, but like you never played it before in an Hearts of Iron game.
In this diary, we will talk a little bit about the graphical side of the changes that DI:G brings to HoI3.
The interface and map:
With this DLC we wanted to give the game a different feel than the vanilla version, to make it more immersive. Whereas the vanilla HoI3 uses a few backgrounds to give the country specific feel in the game, we here, due to the Germany only form of the DLC, had the opportunity to go all the way and give the whole graphical interface a Germany WW2 era specific look. The interface has been changed to one of worn wood, worn paper, metal buttons and such, to give it a more “war time” and “being there” feel.
Another thing which adds to the Germany specific look of the game is the inclusion of the Kriegsmarine naval map being divided into squares. These squares have been accurately implemented (with minor artistic license where the HoI3 map required it), and are shown on the ocean on the game map. Furthermore the oceans have been made to represent the Kriegsmarine maps of the era with the jagged ocean depth colour indications.
A major change to the game is the way brigade images are graphically represented. The idea is that one could represent the brigades with more than just a small black and white photo. Wouldn’t it be cool to see a soldier from the brigade? Perhaps have some info text about the brigade, explaining pros and cons? Well, this concept kept evolving, until we managed to implement a soldier portrait which changes clothes with technological advances, changes looks as experience is gained (filthy clothes, worn face) as well as medals awarded with increasing xp. I.e. a panzer brigade will eventually be awarded with wounded badge (black), then panzer assault badge, then wounded badge silver and so on up to knights cross with oak leaves. An infantry brigade will get the infantry assault badge instead of panzer assault badge, and likewise with other brigades. This system varies between land/naval/air to best represent the looks of these various arms.
The brigade representation allows you to follow your troops as time and war progresses, and to immerse you more into the development (or downfall) of your armies, i.e. seeing your 5th infantry brigade start out as young with spotless clothes, seeing them earn the iron cross 2nd class for the battle of Warsaw, getting more and more worn and dirty, ending up with the knights cross for battles during Barbarossa. Then see the once proud brigade again losing its’ decorated veterans as you are pushed back from Russia, ending up with green conscripts again. Ah the circle of life.
So, that was a quick look at the graphical changes of the Dies Irae: Götterdämmerung DLC coming for Hearts of Iron 3. In the next developer diary we will be telling you about a specific change we made to the mechanics of the game: the Operational Feature.
-Danevang and Devildread