Developer Diary #5 - DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
Supreme Ruler 2020 is a game that allows players to take control of a nation and, for a time, exist in the world we have created. Our world however exists within fixed limits; the tech tree is finite, there are only so many units to research, and single player scenarios only exist for certain regions. (All other regions may be played in the campaign maps.) So... although we included in Supreme Ruler 2020 an extensive tech tree and an unparalleled number of military unit types, there was still room to grow!
One area we are expanding upon in Global Crisis is the technology that players have available in the game both in terms of research projects and available unit designs. We have added over 100 new technologies and more than 200 new unit designs to the game which will expand research approximately thirty game years beyond what players have seen so far. We have tapped into some of the latest research advances being discussed in the real world to provide realistic projects - many of which can be used to alter the conditions of a region. For example, players will be able to explore topics such as neural implants, DNA computing and antimatter applications.
Much of the new scientific research will be prerequisite for many of the new units in the game (such as units equipped with shields and particle burst weapons), while other research will unlock the new production facilities (such as Anti Matter Power Generation or Nano-Manufacturing for finished goods). However, not every new technology takes you immediately to a new unit design or allows you to build a new facility - many represent the scientific stages that you must go through to reach an ultimate goal. 'Holoprojection', for example is required for both military and civilian advances as players move up the tech tree and the 'Neural Implants' technology will unlock other scientific and medical applications.
As with the core game, the new technologies added to Global Crisis can also effect Domestic and World approval of your region. For instance, although researching 'Neural Reprogramming' will boost both your nation's Law Enforcment and Cultural ratings, it will certainly be met with disapproval by other regions and by the United Nations. So make sure to weigh the costs versus benefits for each research item, and be wary of researching yourself right into a military conflict!
Going forward with our first expansion pack, we wanted to make sure that there would be much more new content than just scenarios for our players. The new technologies and units are certainly a major part of that. If anyone has actually run out of things to try in the core game, the expansion should keep them busy for quite a while to come.
Game Designer / Graphics Manager
In addition to this expanded game play element, Global Crisis includes many new features:
- 20 new scenarios which more than doubles the number of scenarios that originally shipped with the game
- Additional new multiplayer scenarios
- New campaign/sandbox map along a new storyline leading players towards World War III
- New scenario features including scripted and random events
- Improved unit control and grouping
- Expanded tech tree
- New units and unit meshes
- Additional game lobby options
- Graphic improvements
- AI enhancements
- More tutorials and in-game tips
- User interface improvements
Global Crisis is scheduled for a digital download release via GamersGate during the latter half of Q4, 2008 and will require Supreme Ruler 2020 to play.
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