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'Soldiers Of Anarchy' - Interview & Screens

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on July 11, 2002 @ 10:36 a.m. PDT

As the leader of a small group of survivors of an apocalyptic inferno, it is all a matter of your personal tactical and strategic abilities. Find your place in this new world and discover the secret behind the destruction of mankind. The most powerful weapons of the past will aid you to build a new future. But keep your eyes open! If you underestimate your enemy, mankind will perish forever. Today we managed to ambush the Lead Designer of "Soldiers Of Anarchy", and fired off some questions ...

1. Who has the honor to be interviewed by us? State your name, rank and unit. Are you a new recruit or have you worked on previous projects (if so which)? How long has SoA been in development? When is it due?

My name is Carsten Strehse. I am the Lead Designer of "Soldiers Of Anarchy." To make a long story short: I have developed 21 products since 1987. My first games were released on the Commodore 64. SOA has been in development for 22 months. The release will be in September 02.

2. Will there be wreckage after a unit explodes? Will soldiers leave blood marks, will exploding shells leave craters? Or will they just vanish into
thin air/dissolve?

There will be a lot of wreckage after you are finished with your enemies. Small debris will fade out to keep the polygon count, but big parts will stay. Also there will be shell craters of varying sizes. Soldiers will leave blood marks. We want to have everything as realistic as possible.

3. Will there be a skirmish mode? No campaigns, no multiplayer, just Player vs. Computer? (Will the skirmish maps differ from the campaign maps, or will the campaign maps become available as skirmish once they are completed?)

Soldiers of Anarchy will not ship with a skirmish mode. We have multiplayer and an extensive single-player mode, and we have focused our energies on a very complete editor that allows players to make single-player campaigns, including in-game movies and audio, as well as multiplayer maps of various sorts. If there is enough interest, skirmish mode may be offered, either as a patch or as part of an expansion.

4. Are you planning to support a certain type of 3D hardware? Such as NVIDIA or ATi?

We will support every hardware that is fast enough and implements the DirectX features we use correctly. Seriously we have a selection of major GFX cards including cards with NVIDIA, ATi and Kyro chips in our house and are currently testing the performance of these cards.

5. Which 3D API are you planning to use? DirectX or OpenGL?

We use DirectX for the game.

6. Speaking of Direct 3D which version are you currently writing the game for? DirectX 8.1 or DirectX 9?

Currently DirectX 8.1.

7. Do you expect any incompatibilities to arise with the new Direct X 9 Api?

No, this will be no problem. Transition from DirectX 7 to DirectX 8 went smooth and we expect the same with DirectX 9.

8. How will the game deal with LAG issues?

We can’t make the LAG disappear. But we will ensure that it has the smallest influence on the gaming experience as possible. We will optimize the networking code to use as few resources as possible. At the same time we use a technique to "smooth out" LAG peaks.

9. Why has the game changed names from Natural Freedom to Soldiers of Anarchy?

Soldiers of Anarchy sounds cooler. Don’t you think?

10. Will you be able to garrison buildings? Can any type of soldier garrison a building and still be functional? Such as rocket launchers, flamethrowers or snipers? (If no, then why not?)

You can use buildings in a tactical way, for example, to hide behind or to lay an ambush (at least until someone blows the building up). For sure rocket launchers, flamethrowers or snipers have an tactical advantage out of that point. Buildings can also be used in the editor. For example, you can choose a building and have troops appear upon its destruction, etc.

11. From looking at your screenshots and the stated minimum system requirements will a gamer with those specs be able to run the game at that level of detail (assuming the screen are the highest level of detail possible).

You will have to turn down some detail to run the game on minimum requirement hardware, but SoA will still look great. Not all screenshots show the highest level of detail anyway. Also, people without high-end PCs will be impressed by the graphics.

12. Are you planning on land and air units only or will you add sea units as well? (If no, then why not?)

SoA will have land and air units only. Sea war has its own rules and we think that concentrating on land and air was the right decision. Again, depending on the interest level, sea units may appear in an expansion.

13. Are you planning to implement formations? Will the units stay in formations as they move? Or will they bunch together to move then form up at destination?

Formations were an important point for us. The handling is a little bit different then in other games. Soldiers will try to stick together or keep their exact positions while moving. It depends on the way the player wants them to act. Players choose unit AI states, and formations arise out of this choice.

14. Why use GameSpy as your multiplayer launch pad?

GameSpy has quite a good networking library. Much easier and faster to use than DirectPlay. It is well tested and is already used successfully in a number of games. Another point is that GameSpy has a big user base.

15. Can we expect a Soldiers Of Anarchy demo? (prior or after the initial store release?).

The demo will be released in August, prior to SoA's retail release in September.

16. Are there any additions you would have liked to include but for certain reasons they did not make it (and why did they not make it)?

Acting in a first person view could be an idea... Maybe in a patch. For further information your readers should visit the websites Soldier Of Anarchy or Silver Style.

17. Thank you for taking the time to face the firing squad ... move out soldier, dismissed!

Sir, Yes Sir!

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