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. The game map is mostly finished but some changes might be added to support newly devised scenario concepts. So far, those familiar with the Making History: The Second World War map can expect a world with more regions and cities to conquer or develop.
There are 3 scenarios planned for release and a 4th special scenario that should be ready soon after the game is finished if not before. The initial 3 will begin play at an historically important date in the World War I era. We are currently writing events for a scenario focused on the pre-war period called The Balkan Wars. It will begin at a point where the Italian-Turkish War is winding down, just prior the the attack by the Balkan nations on the Ottoman Empire.
The new scripting tools inherited from The Second World War engine allows us to craft more challenging and multi-layered AI decision making. Making History is a blend of open gameplay that follows historically based timelines. Big events like the First and Second Balkan Wars, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Gallipoli invasion will all be in the game. But there’s nothing that prevents a player from altering the timeline. It’s also possible for the AI to go off script. Basically, the earlier the game begins, the greater potential for non-historical outcomes.
We can ensure a big war between the Great Powers will occur, but the spark might be unexpected like a Russian invasion of the Ottoman Empire or an early Austro-Hungarian attack on Serbia. It’s possible to force the AI and even the player to a narrow pre-scripted experience that follows WWI history but that’s not true to the gameplay we are seeking to achieve.
The overriding principle is to allow the player to change history. Entertainment value is derived from the surprising diversions - as long as results are believable.
The Balkan Wars present an interesting challenge to orchestrate and contain. All the nations allied against the Turks have overlapping territorial goals. Small differences in who controls what determines whether a second Balkan war will be triggered and who might be involved. This is a conflict zone that has potential to trigger a global war before the historical date in the Summer of 1914. The AI just naturally wants to fight here. Players actions can ultimately affect timelines, war participants who alliances.
More scenario and other gameplay information will be presented in the next Making History: The First World War update.