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Assault Squad Interview

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DigitalMindSoft CEO Chris Kramer

DigitalMindSoft’s CEO Chris Kramer not too long ago reached out to us to propose an interview about newly released co-op/skirmish semi-sequel Men of War: Assault Squad. We released a great sigh, to show him we weren’t very much bothered, and instantly launched the interview. You can find out what he has to say below.

RPS: Hero units?! Isn’t that a big step out for the game that is based on harsh and cruel reality?

Kramer: Seems disheartening for hardcore supporters, doesn’t it? What we propose with heroes, are communities or persons that got a huge influence on certain clashes during the warfare, or accessory that was considered too uncommon on the battleground in general. Actually, by including hero units to both skirmish and multiplayer, we won’t see rare or uncommon tanks as often as we could in Men of War, therefore improving the game world as a whole, making it closer to reality.

In a skirmish, you have a single form of a hero to select from, he gets stronger accessory and techniques but no ‘special abilities’, if he dies, he can’t be revived. In multiplayer you select from 6 major entities, of which some are not that dominant than the rest of them, but they will reduce the usage of your exclusive sources (which are very valuable) and are accessible earlier in the gameplay.

That means players must choose carefully, for example between a fully furnished infantry of sets that will be available during early- or mid-game or a super heavy group that could probably come too late and have almost no effect on the game at all. So you have to choose between working on beating your enemy fast with groups like Veteran Snipers and Goliath and many others… or trying to ensure your victory nearly at the end of the fight with a group like a KV-2, Veteran Tiger and related.

To add, our support strategy has been edited, so heavy tank spam is no longer possible and all beyond a Tiger or Pershing won’t be to notice that much with classic game settings. It might seem really arcade, but both additions brought together to offer a really truthful and attractive gameplay experience at the same time.

However, for players who don’t enjoy it, we improved custom settings in multiplayer that disable such groups or super heavy tanks in at all. On the other side, we provide the ability to play a game with a bigger amount of super-heavy tanks to enjoy huge slugfests.

Assault Squad

RPS: What do you think about the Westerns, how did they take it? I think the last game from Best Way seemed to receive some critical reviews, but there seemed to be real hype about Men of War — is that right?

Kramer: We are very happy with how well Men of War is doing in reviews and appreciate the general feedback of our players. A year has passed since releasing the game and the number of our players is still going up, though, in my opinion, we are still behind the potential publicity and excitement that we can reach with the upcoming release of the series. This is something we are working constantly on to change with Men of War: Assault Squad.

RPS: Can we discuss for a bit about why did you choose to develop Assault Squad? Do you think there’s an acceptable amount of an audience for a multiplayer-focused RTS of this type?

Kramer: Actually I feel it’s ahead in the future of the market as a whole, whether player prefers to whack their single-player success online with other players, play cooperative matches with them, or create deathmatches with other players. They all can be joined through an online game without letting anybody out. The skirmish form with its 15 tasks for 5 clans develops a lot of offline singleplayer experience as well and that’s why we decided to develop Assault Squad, we feel there is a lot of potential in this type of game. We’ve noticed how great people get on with the Men of War, and we feel a lot of potentialities to form Men of War a lot greater than it is. In fact, we will invest much more time into this in the future.

RPS: The concept behind being able to set up skirmish co-op games with players online seems fascinating — can you speak what kind of options we’ll have access to? Worth might be discussing a player’s point of view, experience.

Kramer: Our skirmish is not only about playing against bots on the map known very good to everyone, for each clan we have 3 large maps, each with various landscapes that have strategic points ready to be captured. These spots are sources of new units and supplies that players may find useful. Also, a huge priority for us was that players share their budget, they spend it on troops mostly.

Players are given to choose from 5 unions (USA, Germany, Soviet Union, Commonwealth and Japanese Empire) and 4 difficulty modes, from easy through medium to heroic. The higher the difficulty mode will be set the lower sources will competitors own from the very beginning and the better the AI will divide its strengths. From that, we can say, new competitors may launch off with easy mode, but once they have better and advanced techniques and are ready for another round, they will try skirmish on normal mode, now the AI will consider using stronger and more advanced units.

The same will happen when you will want to move on to the next difficulty mode, the harder the mode, the stronger enemies. AI won’t spare you. So in every difficulty mode, you’ll be able to notice variously equipped and armored enemies, making the game mode much longer.

RPS: What is your opinion on modding and user-made add-ons? Are you planning on making new add-ons, or more tools perhaps?

Kramer: As you may notice, we started and expanded from the modding community as well, so we still have and feel bonds to our modding community and we are trying our best to support them whenever it is available. To put it another way, we already provided most of the tools that are of usage to ourselves. Communities are able to import custom vehicles like trucks, guns and any other stuff into the game world, there is almost nothing that can’t be added to the game, though our modding teams are put under not small stress to include everything and create their own game world.

We recognize a lot of mods, are being aimed at Vietnam, Sci-Fi, Modern Warfare and these kinds of mods. However mods of great premises take some time, not little time, to be created, so we expect many mods to be put up while we launch our very own mods for Men of War over the time of the year while we will be in development. With a few tweaks they will fit perfectly for Men of War: Assault Squad and will look and work even greater!

RPS: Not that far from the topic, a few readers brought up how much they had fun using dynamic campaign generator mod. Are you planning on doing something with this?

Kramer: Yes, we have set time for this. Let me tell you something if we will do as good as we predict we will with the Men of War: Assault Squad. There is a big chance for something like that happening. Please understand that I can’t reveal every detail. But we see great potential with online and dynamic games in the future of these series.

RPS: We appreciate your time, thank you very much.

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