Supreme Ruler 2010
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the development of SR2010
Hi… My name is David Thompson and I’m the Lead Designer for Supreme Ruler 2010. I come from a background in Computer Retail, having co-owned a computer store for 15 years along with the Lead Programmer here, George Geczy. A few years ago we had the opportunity to sell our store and bring to life this project we had been talking about for several years. Supreme Ruler 2010 is actually the re-birth of a game George created and published in 1982 for the TRS-80.
2. Who are BattleGoat Studios ?
I guess I’ve already mostly answered this one. George and I are the principals of the company and we are keeping a small focused team here in Southern Ontario. In fact in the days of million dollar development budgets, we’re determined instead to work with a manageable operation that will retain control over our release schedule and quality assurance. We will not release Supreme Ruler 2010 before it is complete and ‘ready for prime time’, but we also believe that the game will have a long life with its attention to detail and ‘mod-ability’; we are planning to continue supporting the product and future development using the ‘BattleGoat Engine’ well into the future. Of course it doesn’t hurt that we’ve signed with a publisher, Strategy First, who is also providing us with key support and invaluable assistance!
3. Can you give us some insight on the storyline behind the game?
The year is 2010… The nations of the world have largely disintegrated into squabbling economic sub-regions. Various crises have caused the United Nations, NATO, etc to disintegrate. Of course the story-line is more detailed than this, but the basic concept is that you can start from anywhere in the Real World, and through the use of Economic Strategy, Diplomacy, and judiciously applied Military Force attempt to re-unify the world under one banner — yours!
4. What type of strategy game is SR2010 ? With what can we compare it ?
Supreme Ruler 2010 is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Although many other games use similar elements, we have created a combination of features that we feel is completely unique. It is a Military / Economic / Diplomatic simulation that can be played either in real-time, or for single players, in more of a turn based mode. We combine elements of Real-Time Strategy with Civilization Building and sophisticated Diplomacy on a global scale! As well, we use as much reality to the game as we can. Resources are geographically located in the game where they are in real-life, etc.
If you try to compare SR2010 with existing games, you really have to cross many genres… At times we’re a little like the Civ Series, at times we’re like Panzer General, and at times we’re like Master of Orion. Players can concentrate on the areas and play types they prefer or they can dive in and get their hands dirty doing everything!
5. The game is situated in the nearby future. What are the most important changes towards what we know today?
The biggest change to the reality we know is the economic disintegration of the major countries. The U.S. for example has essentially broken down into the State level, or smaller. Should you decide to start a campaign from California for instance, you can start as Northern California, Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area Region, or the Los Angeles Basin Region. Each region is accurately modeled for its resources, economic strengths, and even its population. (Population can be crucial to your success in the game, because after all, that’s your Tax Base!) In a campaign, the storyline for this scenario is that there is a re-unification vote for California (to combine it back into one region) scheduled for the near future. Your goal will be to win that election and move on as the ruler of California. How you do that is ENTIRELY up to you! You might concentrate on your economy and boost your Domestic Approval Rating to the best in the state, but while you’re doing that, you better make sure your borders are well defended. Another region might decide that the best way to win the election is to eliminate the competition Militarily!
6. How did you succeed in getting cooperation of the military and NATO ?
The best way possible… we asked! NATO are very helpful in providing media content etc. Their only stipulation is that you don’t portray NATO itself in a bad light. Since in our game, NATO no longer exists, this didn’t seem to be a problem. As for the cooperation of other organizations, it is amazing how much material is available to anyone that just takes the time to look and provide the opportunity and willingness to accept input! We have several former military personnel giving us daily advice on unit balancing both directly and through our public forum (www.bgforums.com), and even our Producer at Strategy First is a former member of the Armed Forces. And no mention of the help we’ve received would be complete without giving a special nod to NASA. All our maps use the satellite imagery that they have made available.
7. The system requirements are scalable. Can you give us a bit more information about this ? What will people need to be able to play it and what to fully enjoy the game ?
The basic requirements are any system capable of running Direct X version 8.1, which includes any version of Windows from 98 to present, and most 3D video cards. The minimum memory spec is 64 MB with 8MB video. With the hardware scaling we plan to be running well on such systems, albeit with reduced graphics quality. With more RAM and system resources, we can then scale up to using more detailed imagery and units. Our highest rez imagery uses almost 64MB of data per scenario (the raw satellite imagery we start with is over 3 Gigabytes in size!)
8. How is the multiplayer part set up ?
We allow up to 16 players in Multi Player games over LAN, Internet, and likely through a matching service such as GameSpy. We still have some of these details to finalize, but LAN play is already working rock solid! A couple of innovative things we’ve done allow both improving network performance by distributing the processor load, yet also running local ‘deterministic’ checks to avoid multiplayer cheating.
9. What is the current development status of the game ?
We’re busy locking down the User Interface and implementing the AI. As I’ve already mentioned, we’ve had Multi-Player working for a few months now and play weekly test games that help us firm up the unit balancing and the AI rules. The best way to model the AI after-all is make it play like the best human! We feel we are on schedule for a September release.
10. Will there be a demo released ?
There will definitely be a demo of Supreme Ruler 2010. It will allow you to try a scenario both in Single Player and Multi-Player mode. Supreme Ruler 2010 has been designed by George and I to be the game that we WANT to play. A Demo will allow other people to take a look at our vision of “Strategy Gaming” and make them want to rush out and buy it ! A release date for the demo has not been set in stone so I don’t want to say anything just yet.