The following entries are from posts made on the Making History: The Second World War Steam Forums. I've been providing some progress reports with details on what the team is working on. We are planning to release the game as an Early Access title on Steam. This will be a pre-release version that players can start using and help shape the final product. A non-Steam pre-release will be made available on the Factus Games website around the same time.
If all goes well, we should be ready to release the game sometime on Friday 13th. There are still a few issues to deal with but I think it is looking like we will make it. The focus the last few days has been on balancing the economic system and AI to a reasonable state. Getting the economy to run properly is a laborious process that will continue through to final release.
We’ve also added some AI only non-aggression pacts to prevent unwanted wars like Japan and the USSR. These are not fully restrictive but it will make it much less likely for the AI to declare war. It was quicker to implement the pacts for AI only and not expose them to the UI yet. They are part of the event system now but we’d like to make it a new diplomatic treaty feature at some point.
The Early Release version will be missing a lot of events. We’ve only got the basic ones up to around 1940. The plan is to release a weekly update with new content, AI and better balancing until the final release. The product page will include a description of what to expect.
The weekend and Monday were holidays so there is not too much to report. We did implement new annex and region governing AI decision making late last week. Tests were run over the holiday and today we added a second layer that will provide different results based on national characters like Ideology and Expansionist. The details are too much to go through here. Basically speaking, the Expansionist like Germany, Japan and Italy want to conquer, and the Allies want to put the world order back together - in their image. Thus, Ideology and imperialism is part of the mix too. The Americans will not want to create new colonies, preferring instead to found independent democratic states - or puppets. The British and French want to keep their Empires and the Soviets… they are a bit of a wild card.
We’ll be doing additional testing and adjustments over the next day or so. There is still a lot of Event work ahead. I added an additional option for the French defeat. They can reject peace with Germany and relocate to North Africa. This will be a counterfactual path, one of many we’ve added or plan to add. Early Access will not be held up by the event work. Those will be added as we head to release.
I think we’ve got a huge improvement on how the AI maintains their stockpiles. This has a major impact on several systems including military movements, attacks, production and trade. Overall, this should provide more challenge to the player and reflect the great economic expansion that occurred during the war years.
We’re now rewriting the code the AI uses when they take a region from an enemy. Should they annex, create a new state or give it to an ally etc. The logic can get messy and we felt that the results were sometimes not meeting the historically believable standard. A Making History is meant to generate games that form alternative outcomes and some surprises. So we have limited restraints on how game's progress. Finding the right balance is a matter of perspective. Some will prefer it more open-ended while others like a strictly historical game. At any rate, the changes to the annex code is aimed at keeping nations like the UK from annexing African regions They should be forming or adding to colonies in cases like this.
Work on the Hungarian events has begun but were preempted by the implementation of the France Falls/Vichy events. If the conditions are right, the French AI will surrender and change their government to a nationalist state. The Free French create an African home and begin the fight to liberate their homeland. If you play France you will get the surrender event. This will lead to a decision to continue the game as either Vichy or Free France. I expect this to end up being tied to the achievement system.
Work on the Economic AI succeeded in making the AI build and expand factories at a much higher rate. This should be a big boost to their economies making them stronger and more stable. We are also looking at improving how the AI sets stockpile goals for specific supplies, namely Fuel. This resource is critical in WW2. No gas and the planes don’t fly, tanks don’t move etc. Germany will need to use it’s Coal abundance to supplement for a lack of Oil.
The Westwall Event is complete. Next on the list is 2nd Vienna. This will tricky since a lot of dubious decisions have to lineup. If the Romanians choose to stick with the Anglo-French Alliance the Hungarians could be tempted to attack leading to a potential alternative start for WW2. We’ll see. There are endless possibilities.
The game is very close to being ready for Steam Early Acess. A few small bugs and feature issues have appeared that we want to fix before the release. Today we are also working on making the AI smarter and more aggressive about economic expansion and adding some events for German Westwall construction I will try to update as much as possible through the week.