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Another War 2 interview

Another War 2 interview

Interview - posted by Ausir on Thu 27 March 2003, 00:19:43

Tags: Mirage Interactive; Weird Wars: The Unknown Episode of World War II

1.) Can you tell us a little about Mirage Interactive and the Another War 2 team? What's your former game development experience?

Mirage Interactive is one of the few Polish companies with game development experience. In 2000 part of the Metropolis Software House team (we worked on games like Odium/Gorky17 (EU title), Katharsis, Robo-Rumble), we left and joined Mirage Interactive, where (with a little delay) we started the work on Another War. Currently the Alien Artefact team consists of 8 people + several outside co-workers.

2.) Why did you decide to make Another War, the first Polish cRPG? Why have you decided to make a sequel?

When we worked on Gorky17 we started to design a big cRPG title - Gorky17 itself lacked a developed plot, and the RPG elements (character system) were too limited. We wanted to make a cRPG with multi-thread plot, but unfortunately we quickly realised that we have to limit it a bit ;) - that's where we decided to make a game with an unconventional theme. We're correcting some things that didn't work out well, adding some new ones and we hope that this way we'll make an interesting game, playable and very entertaining.

3.) Why did you choose a WW2 setting? Why this instead of another cliche fantasy game?

That's a little unusual story (and that's why the game is unusual :) - at first we were hired by Mirage Entertainment to make a Mortyr expansion pack - problems with cooperation with the lead programmer lead to cancelling the project, but we had lots of materials about World War 2, and furthermore we wanted to add character development and deeper plot to Mortyr from the beginning. It was natural that we were going to make a game set in World War 2. Besides we were bored with constantly fighting goblins (as players ;)

4.) Where and when will the second part of Another War take place? On the screenshots we can see African and Arctic landscapes. What other places we'll be able to visit in the game?

The game is divided into chapters, just like AW1, but the game world is much bigger (both in number of maps, of which there are 120, and geographically :)

Prologue Arctica
Act I - North Africa
Act II - Central Africa
Act III - Central Europe (Alps)
Time? World War 2, of course, 1943 ;)

5.) Will the plot be a direct sequel to the first part or a separate story?

Although in World Wide War 43 (a working title) we'll once again fight the diabolic Nazi plans ;). it's going to be a separate story.

6.) Another War had some bad sides. The biggest one is undoubtedly a very tedious combat system. Will there be any changes to that system in the sequel? If so, what are you going to change?

The combat system is the most different part of the game (except for the plot, of course :).

  • we added the active pause (you can target, use inventory, use special abilities while paused).
  • the NPC orders system has been expanded (previously you could only set distance, now you can also set target, position defence, avoiding opponents).
  • instead of several set enemy AI variations we now have a trigger-based AI, which combined to definable parameters and different reactions to events allows us to create many different enemies.

A perfect solution would be adding a turn-based mode, but time/budget limitations don't allow us to create and balance another combat mode.

7.) Another War offered little interaction with the surrounding world, which was closer to adventure games than to cRPGs. Will it change in AW2? Can we expect the game to be less linear?

The main quest, like in AW, will have many solutions known from adventure games - gathering information and solving sub-quests. Let's face it, it's like in many other cRPGs, where the linearity is masked by being able to choose the sequence in which we solve the quests. For us much more important was to create an interesting plot for the main quest. It does not mean the game will be completely linear - the player will be able to take side-quests, which don't influence the main plot directly.

8.) One of the main advantages of Another War were different ways of dealing with some problems, depending of the character's skills. Can we also expect it in the sequel?

Yes. The difference is we focused more on tests based on the character's attributes rather than the character class, like in AW.

9.) In Another War 1 we had three character classes (soldier, thief and thinker).will it be similar in the 2nd part?

Based on the three character classes there are sub-classes with different skill advancement trees - the difference is not huge, but hopefully will add some diversity :).

10.) What other changes in the game can we expect?

The biggest change is in the advancement of the joinable NPCs - in AW the player's influence on their advancement was very limited - they couldn't use new weapon classes, and the Armor Class was artificially increased, because they couldn't change their clothes. Now we have introduced an entirely new NPC advancement system, limited only in using the special abilities (we need to work more on AI to add it) - we hope we'll be able to add this element.
Additionally, new weapon classes and special abilities will appear.

11.) While woring on both parts of AW, were you inspired by any other cRPGs?

Of course - although we didn't want just to change any game's setting to WW2. The titles like Fallout 1&2, Might & Magic series, Planescape: Torment and Diablo 2 had some influence on us, though - because we played them a lot :)

12.) What, except for the unusual setting, makes Another War 2 different than other recent RPGs?

The climate - the game is not entirely serious. At least in its original language the humour was warmly received - we'll try to get translations closer to the spirit of the original game.

It's also interesting to note, that heroic fantasy setting combined with character development very often causes the Last Hope of Humanity/High Elves/Dwarven Kingdom must begin its Way of the Destiny with the extermination of Various Small but Mean Creatures. Using this cliche again seriously seemed to us, well, boring :).

The big importance of the joinable NPCs for the game - except for the combat support (of course), having some people (and animals :) in the team is required to finish the game (we try, of course, not to make it a disadvantage, but on the contrary - to add new quality - friendship, trust and that kind of stuff :).

13.) What are your plans for the future? Do you plan making any more cRPGs in other settings than WW2?

We'd like to return to the project we began some time ago - much of it is of course obsolete now (ah, the unfortunate technological advancement ;), but we're certain that the idea has lots of potential (it might even feature Various Mean but Small Creatures :P).

Thanks to Pawel Smyla and Lukasz Gorny of Mirage Interactive for taking the time to answer these questions about Another War!

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