Supreme Ruler 2020: Global Crisis Developer Diary #6
Developer diary By: dapsycho | Posted: 13/02/2009
Developer Postmortem: Supreme Ruler 2020 – Global Crisis
When we released Supreme Ruler 2020 back in June, we had planned on about six to eight months of continued development for content and feature updates. Then we would start on the next project we had in mind… That was changed when Paradox asked for an Expansion Pack. We thought about it for a while, then actually decided against it. We were anxious to get to the next project! A couple of weeks later, Paradox asked again and we were getting additional requests through our forum to do the same thing. After another company meeting we decided it would be worth doing an expansion if we could incorporate some new features into the game as well as additional content – features that we would not have been able to add in just an update patch.
The starting point for the expansion had to be a new campaign. In SR2020 we created a storyline with new tensions in Europe with an alliance between France and Germany bullying their neighbors, while in North America the United States was toying with giving the world (and especially Canada) a refresher course in “Manifest Destiny”. It was an interesting story, but as we approached release we kept seeing items in the news on everything Russia was up to; cyber attacks, the Georgian conflict, poisoning reporters, etc… and we felt that we had probably not incorporated Russia’s new wealth and renewed quest for power into our vision of the near future. So why not go with what most of us grew up with – a potentially evil Russian leader, in an alliance with an opportunistic and expansionist China. That provided the back story for redoing all of the world relations and reflecting many more of the actual influences that are at play internationally today.
In addition to the new storyline, we also added a number of additional features to the game startup lobby that would allow players to better fine-tune their games and model the playing experience they really wanted. Key to this feature set was the ability for players to decide the “volatility” of relations in their game. As volatility is increased, the likelihood for both wars and regional alliances grows.
Another element of SR2020 that wasn't originally taken advantage of as much as we would have liked was the Scenario/Mission system. We had included a number of Scenarios with SR2020, but most of the focus was on the two main Campaigns. For Global Crisis we added a new Scripting and Events system and this allowed us to create some interesting new Scenarios that we couldn't do before. We added a total of 20 new Single-Player Scenarios. In addition we also added a number of Multi-player specific Scenarios, and this hopefully allows players to complete a MP Game in just one sitting of a few hours with a definite winner –something that's not possible when playing Multi Player games using the campaign map.
We were also able to make a number of improvements to the game engine - the addition of a "BattleGroups" feature made grouping and controlling units much more flexible, and graphics improvements such as national flags on units made the expansion pack visually much more interesting. Improvements to the AI, additions to the military equipment selection and the tech tree, new facilities, new tutorials, and a number of other new elements round out the extensive work added for Global Crisis.
So... are we happy we went ahead and did the expansion pack? For the answer to that question, we ourselves look to the feedback we received from our players on our BattleGoat forum (http://www.bgforums.com) and we were quite pleased to note that our players are really enjoying the expansion and find it a worthwhile addition to the series. That in itself makes us happy we managed to get Global Crisis done. Do we wish there could have been even more additional features? Most definitely! But if we never released until we were 100% confident that we had included absolutely everything in the game that we really, really wanted, well we still wouldn’t have released our first game yet :). Enjoy the game!
- The BattleGoat Team
(David Thompson, George Geczy, Christian Latour, Daxon Flynn, Stephane Corre)