As you might already know, I was part of the core Darkest Hour team which first started working on an expansion for Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday Armageddon back in 2009.
This small project of ours soon grew both in ambition and resources. New developers joined us as we aimed at releasing a full stand-alone game based on Hearts of Iron Europa engine.
Since I already had a modding experience from the Hearts of Iron II ‘World in Flames’ mod, I imported some parts of it to the Darkest Hour ‘Full’ game. However, being a Darkest Hour developer opened up many more possibilities than I could ever wish for as a modder.
As Martin rapidly expanded the scope of moddability, I played with new toys for quite some time, and we even created a long-awaited World War One scenario, as well as the entire database it required (with database I mean minister, leaders, tech teams, scenario set ups and events).
Since the game was released in April 2011, we tried to keep some time aside from fixing reported bugs, to implement new features and improve the database. This 1.03 version was no different. It went from fixing obvious mistakes in leaders’ dates, to putting in use new features, such as the casualties’ losses reports and equipments statistics.
In v. 1.03, we also sought to fill up some gaps in the database and give players a renewed sense of historical immersion and flavor. Following this principle, we fixed and enhanced existing events or decisions and added new ones. We will not provide an exhaustive change-log yet, but some of the changes include new historical chains for 1933 scenario such as passing new laws as the United States, or new decisions to fund and train resistance movements as Free France against Nazi Germany.
I also took some time to address balance and AI performance. Based on your reports as well as on our own testing games, you should now experience a more balanced and more challenging game, especially when playing as Germany on the Eastern front or in 1933 scenario, which was slightly unbalanced in v. 1.02.
Generally speaking, v. 1.03 plays very smoothly and adds enjoyable features. The game has not radically changed. Yet the improvements added over the patches make it an even better game than at release. I am also happy and proud to say that development will still continue after v. 1.03.
Here are 3 screen-shots to end this short development diary. Feel free to speculate!
Note : The interface changes will be available in an Official Graphic Pack released a few days before the beta.