Sunday, July 27, 2008
Lead Designer Jonny Ebert started off by explaining the three keys to success of the first incarnation of the 40k RTS for the PC: brutal melee combat, nothing goes in the game unless it's f#*@"ing amazing, and focus on fighting and action, not basebuilding.
In developing the new game, they want the players to become much more attached to the individual characters. & All of the sergeants now have faces, names, and backstories. & They'll have conversations with each other on the field, they'll gain experience with each shot they fire, and you can individually customize them with a whole library of wargear.
Secondly, they want you to actually care about the environment you're in (not in the Greenpeace way, but more in a "this is my patch of land" way). & The environment plays a much bigger role in the game now. & Your marines will dive to cover, they can demolish buildings, and even find shortcuts with the clever use of explosives. & And they've added some great touches. & If your assault marines are standing on a bridge that gets destroyed, they'll use their jet packs to jump to safety.
"No more starting over!" Jonny declared repeatedly throughout the panel. & He hates the whole build-your-base-and-army-to-monstrous-size-only-to-start-over-with-four-peons-on-the-next-level game that most RTS's repeat ad nauseum, and promised that this would be fixed in the Dawn of War II .
In the Q&A, someone asked, "Will there be Tyranids?" & Jonny's stentorian response, "I can confirm that Tyranids are indeed a race in the 40k universe," did not exactly satisfy our desire to know whether or not they'd be in the game, but it was indeed funny. &
I asked when will there be a 40k movie (to which I expected only a clueless shrug) but I actually got an interesting answer. & Apparently, Peter Jackson is a huge 40k fan. & He even has custom models made for his army. & You can't get copies - they destroy the molds after making them for him! & Apparently, the guy who made the Lord of the Rings movie thinks that space marines would make for a great movie, but has yet to go beyond the "wouldn't that be cool?" stage. & I think it is high time for a letter-writing campaign to Jackson.