by Jim "Twitch" Tittle and Aaron "Spectre" Watson
Article Type: Interview
Article Date: August 03, 2001
Product Name: Real War
Category: Real-Time Strategy
Developer: Rival Interactive
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 2001
Rec'd. Spec: Pentium II 450, 32MB RAM, 3D video acceleration
Files and Links: Click Here
Our beta code preview of Real War is still in the works. To tide you over until that's ready, here's some questions two of our contributors asked of the Rival Interactive team.
Jim "Twitch" Tittle's Questions:Q. Does the game have different "speeds" so the novice can go slow at first beside levels of difficulty?
A. Yes, you will be able to speed up or slow down the game speed by simple clicking the plus or minus keys.
Q. Of the 12 missions per side how many are in what type of terrain?
A. There are 4 Jungle, 5 Snow, and 3 desert terrain missions.
|Winter detail |
Q. Does the game start in one terrain and move through others to a conclusion?
A. The terrain types will skip around from one to another keeping with the storyline.
Q. Are all the combat vehicles' performance factors modeled from the real thing without any fictional ones?
A. All units are based on actual units used by militaries. Some of their functionality may have been tweaked to enable battle to take place within one play screen.
Q. What are those vehicles by land, sea & air breakdown?
A. We are still adjusting the final unit list. Some of the most recognizable ones are the M1A1, MLRS, Bradley, F-16, F-14, F-18, Linebacker, and at least thirty five others. The game manual will come with the final breakdown.
Q. Exactly how does the building up of a war chest work in order to pay for all the equipment? that is, how do you get funds in the 1st place beyond your starting amount?
A. Real War deals with realistic supply and power. The player will need to build supply depots that will then be supplied helicopters that fly in from off screen to drop off supplies. The player must protect these supply lines because the enemy will try to destroy them. The player will also have to watch their power supply also. Once the power levels drop all building and unit ordering will slow down. The player will need to build power generators to maintain power. The supply points are then allocated to acquire the desired combat units. There is a build tree that requires the player to get some items before units can be deployed. One example is that the player must add a runway extension to their airfield before larger supply plane can land.
Q. After building up monies is equipment immediately available or must it then be built?
A. Once any unit is ordered it will take some time for that to appear on the screen. The time represents the time it takes to send the unit to the theater of operations.
Q. Once you've placed new equipment on the "board" can it only be moved by normal, realistic modes of travel?
A. Yes, light tanks move across the battle space faster than heavy tanks. All land units pitch and roll realistically across the terrain due to height mapping that we've implemented in the game. The game runs in real time with all units having their own terrain limitations.
|Precision bomber strikes an airfield |
Q. Can you concentrate on, say, an infantry engagement while the A.I. carries on the other phases of equipment and vehicle combat without suffering too much?
A. Yes, the AI is set so that if a group of tanks sitting in the battle space is fired upon, they will fight back on their own. The outcome will depend on the type and number of units involved.
Q. Is the A.I. smart enough to initiate combat on its own or will they just defend if the computer "pieces" come within a certain range?
A. No, the A. I. will engage an attack if fired upon or if enemy units come within range of a particular unit.
Q. Can your virtual personnel get treated for wounds in field hospitals?
A. Right now we are still debating whether or not to include medics in the game.
Q. Knowing supply lines are a critical factor, can your personnel run out of food besides ammo and fuel?
A. Only the aircraft units need to return to base for ammo. Most units will not run out of ammo.
Q. Can an infantryman use all the ammo he has on his person and a tank use all its on-board ammo given real-world specs or is it dependent on your stockpile?
A. [See answer above] Every unit has a predefined ordnance. For example the infantry units have machine gun fire. There are some units in the game that carry multiple types of weapons.
Q. How do you actually win the conflictwipe out the enemy to the last man or what?
A. It depends on the level. Some levels require every enemy unit to be eliminated, while others only require that certain targets be destroyed.
Q. The damage graphics look good but are they unique to each "piece" on the board so your equipment blows up differently than an enemy's equal ones?
A. Damage graphics were made for specific buildings and units. There are several different explosions animations that have been made for buildings, units and foot soldiers. There are also random debris particles for each explosion so that when four of the same units explode at the same time all the explosions should look a little different.
|Missle attack! |
Q. We know you can zoom in to a great degree but can one change the view perspective at all?
A. You will always see the battle space from the same angle.
Q. Describe the online capability for the 4 players.
A. Players can play over a LAN or via Gamespy. One player will be the host of the game while Gamespy will help people find other players. There is also a feature in multiplayer called Rules of Engagement that allows players to turn off almost any in-game unit. For example, the player can set rules like No Nuclear Weapons, No Air Units, and or No Sea Units among others.
Q. What is a totally realistic system requirement, not just minimum?
A. Pentium II 450 running 32MB of RAM with 3D video acceleration to take advantage of the enhanced graphics. Video acceleration is not required.
|Desert Islands |
Q. Would a very powerful system enhance things at all and to what extent?
A. Yes, the game takes advantage of 3D hardware acceleration. All vehicles will have a more polished look and there will be more animation affects.
Aaron "Spectre" Watson's Questions:Q. How much cooperation with the US Armed forces was there? I notice a good number of PR looking shots in the intro.mpg CNN stock footage?
A. All the movies and graphics in the game are rendered 3D movies and are uniquely created artwork. There is no "CNN stock footage" in the game. We have actually had to show people the wire frame shots to prove that they were rendered.
Q. Did the Z-buffer permanent damage to tiles make it into the final build, or will the damage effects fade over time?
A. Unfortunately, permanent damage to tiles will not make Real War I but there will be some major engine upgrades in the next title.
|Demolition unit destroys barriers and minefields |
Q. 3 tilesets? jungle, arctic, and desert? More, less?
A. Jungle, Arctic, and Desert for the first release, we are talking about adding others in later releases.
Q. A little background on the opponents, the ILA, would be a good thing to generate a bit of hostile fervor.
A. The ILA consists of nations that have similar thoughts that the US has meddled into too many foreign affairs. These nations combined their forces and have developed a plan to gain additional support and to finally overthrow the US as the world superpower.
Q. Is there a multi-player/LAN/Internet option being implemented? If so, IPX/SPX, or straight TCP/IP?
A. Yes there is LAN and Internet play. We are planning on supporting both IPX and TCP/IP
|Land units |
Q. Have the unit AI's been tightened up since the demo? I notice that the "Linebackers" get all kinds of twitchy when asked to move when air threats are in the area.
A. Oh yes, the AI has been greatly improved since the 1st demo release and is still improving.
A big "Thank you" to Jim Omer, President Rival Interactive, and the development team for answering our questions.
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