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Knights Of The Cross - Developer Interview

by Rainier on Feb. 18, 2002 @ 8:48 p.m. PST

A few weeks ago we had the chance to preview Cenega's upcoming Turnbased Strategy Game "Knights Of The Cross" and we were quite impressed with the preliminary result that we decided to interview one of the developers. A full review is expected soon. Stay tuned!

Also read our previously posted Knights Of The Cross PREVIEW

1: Who and how many make up the dev. team creating KOTC and what have you created before and what do you believe is the dev. teams speciality in terms of developing games?

The KOTC team has consisted of 12 professionals: two programmers, two graphic artist, two sound makers, one designer and three testers. KOTC is our first joint production. Our experience comes mainly from the earlier projects though. Our team works on different genres of the games, so we cannot point our specialization. Currently we are working on the games of the various genre, subjects and ways of conducting the play. Two of them are 3D and another one is 2D. First two of them will be ready in about half a year.

2: With RTS games in abundance, firstly what do you believe you bring to the gaming scene in terms of KOTC (innovative or interesting features) and do you believe that because RTS fans are real avid players they may only looked towards named and big titles no matter how good your game may be?

There are many interesting solutions in the game, but we are aware that the game may pass unseen by the players and loose to well known and promoted titles. This is our occupation risk.

3: There always seems to be slight confusion when you base a game on real events for the player can change events. So what start up, set up, defaults, to the game makes it a game based on historical facts. To add what marks this event down as special as many of he readers will not know anything about it?

The game is based on historical facts, indeed. However, unawareness of that time events does not influence the game play. Certainly, those who are not familiar with middle age, will need to look into the lexicon, that is included in the game, to find out about weapons and the art of war.

4: Can you expand and explain firstly the main objectives and some sub ones as well?

The main goal in the campaign mode is leading the army to the victorious end of the war. On its way, the hero will have many chances to exploit: rescue the surrounded knight, save the village or conquer the castle.

5: Explain the battle sequences. Is it one long campaign or are they separate single battles?

There are two campaign in the game: Polish army and Teutnic Order. A single scenario can be played as well, although the fashion is slightly different than in campaign. The main difference is that the campaign mode allows the player to lead its own army in the battle, while in the scenario we command the preset set of units.

6: Are there any advantages/disadvantages in selecting certain sides? Do all sides have the same unit capabilities? How do you balance the sides to ensure one isn't dominant?

In that time the weapons were similar all over the Europe. The slight differences didn't effect the battle efficiency. We introduced some features that differ the Teutonic and Polish units. In general, Polish are good in attack while Teutonic are defensive experts. All the differences are made up with modifications on the opposite side. The price of the units are the additional element in the balancing the game.

7: Can units be customized? If so, to what extent? Also, do units increase their capabilities and experience as they win battles? To what level can they advance? Does each unit/formation have its own abilities? What are these? Is there a limit (real or theoretical) to the number of units you can control or have access to?

Certainly the units are featured by number of parameters we can alternate during the game. Every unit is described by 80 parameters, including experience, morale and training level. These three indicators are presented on the info panel. The other are used for internal calculations and are not presented for the player. The weapon and armour parameters play an important role. Some of them can be upgraded, other develop while playing.

8: Does the game take into account the differing environments found and how have you researched the game?

Yes, the environment influences the result of the battle in many ways. The weather, like rains and storms decrease the horsemen's efficiency and the wind is a decisive factor for bowmen and cross bowmen. The terrain is important as well, it matters if you fight in the forest, on swamp etc. I.e. horsemen are not so deadly in the forest while the infantry cannot defend in the swamp.

9: Are units controlled individually or in-groups? Indeed, how are they controlled?

The units can be lead separately or in the group. Some orders are available while single unit control mode, however.

10: Being historically accurate, are you therefore limited to what you can do as regard ideas? (A fantasy/future RTS has no such constraints.)

Certainly, all the games based on historical facts are limited to some extend. The advantage is that the game can be balanced easier, though.

11: Please can you explain the interface and any unusual features?

Although the interface is intuitive, there is no way to describe it in a couple of words.

12: What is the victory conditions for the game? Will each mission (?) have a variety of objectives?

The final victory condition is conquering the capital of the enemy. The particular objectives of the battle are various, however.

13: What kind of multi player support is there? How do you compensate for someone who has minimum specs playing against someone with a top machine?

The network game conditions eliminate the problem of the computer performance. Obviously playing on the more powerful machine gives more pleasure, but it does not effect the final result in any way.

14: Does the game offer any help feature?

There is a lexicon included in the game, where all units descriptions and parameters can be found. In addition while selecting an object for attack we can see the predicted losses on our and opponents sides.

15: Have you introduced any new or clever strategic or tactical ploys?

We did all our best, so that the strategy and tactics were the key features of the game. The common tactic: take all you have and assault is not working. Most of the battles requires deep analyze. The player is not always the one with the initiative. The computer often tries tactical tricks to pull us in the trap or attack from behind.

16: How important do you feel are the graphics in this kind of game?

In my opinion, the quality graphic is a point in every game. There are certainly hard core players who are going to play the game without visual effects, but we believe these are the exceptions.

17: What kind of music sound effects does the game offer?

We believe that the music emphasizes the mood of the game. The sound effects reflect battling and moving units and environment.

18: Sum up the experience?

We believe that the game will be welcomed by the players. While developing we have paid an attention to the elements which could increase the game play. We were going to provide the players with a lot of fun.

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