gaming since 1997

Blitzkrieg

1. Tell us some about yourself, your job and the work you’re doing on Blitzkrieg

Hi, I’m Martin Deppe, producer of Blitzkrieg. My job’s to coordinate the work of Nival Interactive (developer) with CDV (publisher), co-designing the game and doing all the little puzzle stuff for a good game – like voice recordings and ingame texts.

2. How historically correct are the battles in Blitzkrieg and will we be able to play as Rommel?

Our 3D units have correct weapons and armor data – just some weapon ranges have been decreased, because it’s no fun to be hit by tanks several “screens” away. This means a Tiger is really a Tiger – huge, deadly, nearly indestructible. You’ll fight famous battles like Normandy, Battle of the Bulge or Stalingrad.
No, you can’t play Rommel – YOU are the general! In Blitzkrieg, you got your own rank. With every promotion, you can carry over more and better units to your core army. The better you fight on the battlefield, the faster you’re promoted and collect awards…

3. How is the storyline set up? Following the real WW2 battles with info on what exactly happened or has a new storyline been set up around the original battles?

The 3 campaigns consist of 7 historical battles, plus more than 20 random missions in the same area (not map!) as the historical ones. The historical battles are huge fights, like Tobruk or Berlin. In the random missions, you will operate with smaller armies – so your core units are quite important through the whole campaign. By winning those random missions, you get better weaponry – for example, you can kick your old Panzer III and get a brand new Panzer IV. You have to play at least one random mission to “unlock” the historical ones – but you can play more of those random scenarios to gain more upgrades and experience.

4. There are really loads of different units to command. How do you make the engine cope with that, knowing that there’s hundreds of units to be rendered at the same time?

Blitzkrieg manages the vehicles (tanks, artillery, planes, trains, ammo trucks etc.) one by one, while the infantry is pooled in squads. This helps a lot – 10 squads are easier to compute than 100 single men. You can, however, disband a squad to command a single soldier, e.g. an AT specialist.
This is just one example for the performance tuning, of course =)

5. How do you manage to create an AI which is strategically rather than that it just creates more units than the player?

Our AI is a mix of scripted strategic decisions (e.g. “attack this town”) and tactical actions (like “try to hit hostile tanks from the weaker side or rear”). For example, the enemy’s attacking your frontline (scripted), but the AI determines how and where exactly he will do it. Just leave your artillery unguarded, and you’ll know what I mean 🙂

6. The minimum specs aren’t too high, but what will be required to play the game in its full glory?

My working station’s a Pentium III 1000, with a Geforce 3 and 256 MB RAM. It’s perfect for running an 1152 resolution with all details. I can even switch to 1600 x 1200, but the beautiful 3D tanks look too tiny then 🙂

7. How will the multiplayer part be set up? With central servers or will anyone be able to set up a server at home to play against friends? And how many players will be able to play against each other at the same time?

With the current version, Blitzkrieg is played via GameSpy. But we’ll offer a direct connection with release, so you can set up your own server as well. The maps range from 1 on 1 to 8 vs. 8 players.

8. Will Blitzkrieg have more Command & Conquer gamestyle which appeals to the general public with relatively easy difficulty, or will it be more for the die-hard strategy lover who loves a challenge? What’s the target audience?

WE WANT YOU ALL! No kidding, we got 4 difficulty levels. In easy mode, you can nearly overrun your enemy, since your weapons and armor are better. On normal level, there are those mean things like track hits immobilizing your vehicles, enemy counter artillery or superior enemy tanks. Experts will play on “hard”, with better foes in general – their armor is thicker, their weapons are stronger. And the “suicide” level allows no saving during a mission played on “hard”. So don’t cry when your elite Tiger loses it’s turret…
Since Blitzkrieg offers a lot of strategic options (ever sent six ground support Mustangs hunting down a Panther group?), we’ve got six tutorials and one for each campaign, giving even experienced players useful hints.

9. If there was one thing you would point out for showing people that Blitzkrieg is the best strategy game they could ever buy, what would that be?

The 200+ detailed 3D units rock! Especially when they explode in numberless special effects (c:{

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