The First World War: Progress Report #2
From the post title above, you might notice we've decided to change the name of the upcoming WWI release from Making History: The Great War Gold Edition to Making History: The First World War. This naming revision better reflects the shared gameplay style with our latest WW2 release The Second World War. We felt the title Great War Gold Edition might suggest a product that is merely an adjustment to the original Great War game when it’s actually a lot more. This change will provide greater distinction between the two WWI versions and present a more reliable expectation to potential players.
Using The Second World War system functionality as a base, The First World War will share many common aspects to that game. Still, shifting the timeline into a new era requires a lot of internal changes. From combat to governing, WWI has a different pace and it’s own unique thematic challenges to orchestrate. In this and future reports, we’ll describe some of the features that will be part of Making History: The First World War and how the game compares with Making History: The Great War.
The systems and content of Making History: The First World War will be crafted to bring the player a strategic level experience from one of the most destructive periods in human history. WWI is infamous for both the widespread introduction of new modern weaponry and the horrendous attrition battles. This was a war between all the great powers of the age, each straddling to one degree or another, the old world and the new. Nations must fight to survive continental ambitions and the burgeoning social upheavals emanating from new ideological forces. Europe is at its height of power. They control the world and are on the verge of destroying it.
To represent the historical timeline and dynamics of the era, The First World War uses a powerful scripting tool that allows our content team to create a wide range of gameplay. This new event system has much more system and AI control than we had available with The Great War. With these tools, we can ensure a greater historical experience for the player. However, as with all Making History games we prefer to allow the player to explore alternatives. To achieve this the game will contain a number of a-historical event paths. More importantly, the generic game AI is engineered to adapt to players as they inevitably go beyond historical narratives.
The combat system for The First World War has expanded features that allow us greater control over battle results. All units now have hit points. This makes it easier to balance unit effectiveness leading to more expected combat outcomes. Units are auto-reinforced or repaired giving them greater sustainability in the field. Pacing is also key to simulating the WW1 grinding manpower losses and territorial stalemates.
Nation AI is more defensive minded now. They will attack but they try hard to never leave a border region undefended and they’ll evaluate their strength versus enemies on each turn. Colonies also get pulled into the conflicts as the European Empires will recruit manpower from Africa and Asia to replace depleted ranks.
British Naval Bombers
The Feature List below focuses on differences between The First World War and The Great War. Most of the items are finished but there is significant content and game balancing to be completed. The release date is not set. Currently there are no plans for a Steam Early Access period but that could maybe change.
The First World War Feature List
- 3-4 Scenarios Planned for Release (1912, 1914, 1918 and ?)
- New military tactical AI for offense and defensive actions
- Defensive AI considers threats from nations that are beyond bordering nations
- New AI for Overseas targeting and amphibious Assaults
- Better Allied & Colonial Military Support AI
- Enemy Threat Assessments use Empire borders rather than Master Nation
- New AI Border Defense AI
- Improved Region Targeting AI
- Redefined Military Readiness to be less confusing.
- New Unit Pathfinding routines
- Revised Movement Rules to conform to Infrastructure and Supply changes
- New Map Views
- User Nation Renaming
- Expanded information in Encyclopedia
- More UI Tooltips and Feedback
- Less Model stacking for clearer Air activity
- New Unit Grouping rules to conform to Supply and Movement Rule Changes
- New Higher rez unit models
- UI Update
- Supply Ships
- Naval Mining Ships
- Super Dreadnoughts
- Machine Gun Units
- New Combat Resolution routines
- Unit Hitpoint system
- Auto Heal Units - uses MPUs or Steel
- Revised Combat Penalty System
- Expanded Terrain Modifiers
- Revised Unit Combat Properties
- Unit distinction attributes, abilities
- More likely to get expected combat results
- Optimized Movement Orders AI
- Target Capital Ships with direct Attacks
- More units targeting options
- 3-way engagement Revisions
- Trench Construction AI
- Unit upgrade system
- Naval Mining
- Casualty Counters
- Improved Artillery targeting and Movement AI
- Carrier Tactics AI
- Expanded Carrier Unit Abilities
- New Submarine behavior AI
- Revised Submarine interdiction system
- Sub detection system new
- Naval Escort AI
- AI more careful when loading transports
- Home waters Defense AI to prevent Amphibious Assaults
- AI Avoids enemy Coastal Defenses
- Revised Naval Grouping AI
- Improved Naval Retreat AI
- Coastal Defense AI for Infrastructure and Units
- Coastal Bombardment AI
- Air Units contribute to Sub detection
- Air Strafing Attacks
- Air Unit Altitude factors into combat orders
- Airbase target Attacks
- Strategic Bombing AI and Infrastructure damage
- Improved trading AI and systems
- AI will not cancel trade deal everytime they have a shortage
- Auto trade feature
- Smarter Trade Route routing to avoid enemy waters when possible.
- Improved Colonial/Empire Trade Rules and Automation
- Revised production and construction AI for War and Peace
- More accurate Stockpile projection
- AI Prioritizes War goals over income
- 4 Factory slots per city
- Expanded Event & Steam Achievement systems
- New Game Difficulty System
- Colonial Production and Military AI
- Automate Colonial Economy AI
- Governments better at maintaining stability
- Civil War Rules and AI updated
- Revised War support Diplomacy AI
- Better Diplomatic Penalty / Rewards system
- Peace AI Revised
- Offer Colonies in Territory Transfer Deals
- Governments use Nation Power Status to when making decisions
- New Military Arming AI
- New Branch Budgeting System and AI
- Total War AI
- Improved Government Project Systems
- Improved MPU Growth Rate Simulation Routine
- Nations maintain internal concept of historic colonial claims
- Nation AI will mostly avoid annexing regions better suited for colonies
- Transfer Unit Groups to any nation
- New Research Tree
- Research Projects can require specific Building types
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While there’s still more AI, game balancing and UI/graphical improvements to work on, overall we feel the game is ready to release to the community through Steam’s Early Access program.
One of the more entertaining aspects of a Making History game is witnessing nations that disappeared from history like Austria-Hungary survive and prosper. Or witness countless others that failed to meet their nationalistic ambitions like Greater Armenia or Kurdistan, emerge and become lasting independent states.
Over the last several months work on the The First World War been focused on UI skinning, the game map and scenario content creation. UI design and implementation will be on-going up to the release date.