T-34 vs. Tiger: Dev
and G5 Software ( www.g5software.com ) announce a new tank simulation to
be set during the Second World War. “WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger”
tells the story of the great triumph of the Soviet Army during the summer
campaign of 1944.
“Operation Bagration” in 1944 was one of the most significant Russian
campaigns during the struggle of Soviet and German tanks in Belorussia. The player will be able
to experience “Operation Bagration” in two playable campaigns – a Russian
campaign and a German campaign, where he can take control over the Russian
T-34 or, respectively, the German Tiger. We caught up with the dev team to
get some more intel.
TANKSIM.com: The development team: who are they and do they have
any insiders, specialists, veterans, historians aboard so that they know
what to do when digitally bringing WWII tanks (and tactics) to life?
Dev Team: G5 Software is one of the leaders in Russian game
industry. It is an experienced team realized a range of successful
projects known both in Russia and abroad. And simulation projects lie in
the root of this success. Right now we apply our experience of sim
development as well as NAPALM Engine specially developed for such
challenges in the project “WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger”. It is
obvious that we need some consultations with specialists to make the
project realistic as much as possible and mind every detail. To
reconstruct the events we speak to both Russian and foreign historians. We
create all the vehicles and armor using descriptions, drawings, speaking
with veterans to make tank appearance and movements more precise and
TANKSIM.com: Describe the combat environments planned: cities,
forests, plains, villages, rivers, etc.
Team: We plan to generate the episodes on the open ground. And here we
will create valleys, hills, hollows, forests, groves, rivers, etc and
common elements of the country yard. As we intend to place most battles in
the country as it is demanded by the chosen time period we are planning to
create villages and hamlets with country houses, huts, wells, corrals. In
mission implying traps we pay close attention to forests, trees and
bushes. And the gamer should mind that the battle environment may seem
quite different in daytime, at dawn and so on. So I guess that players
find much fun having opportunity to crash every tree and every village hut
by his tank moving on some extensive territory.
TANKSIM.com: Scaling of battles - how big in size can battles be,
how many units/vehicles included? How large in size is the battleground
Dev Team: Scaling of battles is a sort of a very complicated
phenomena in the sense that it is almost impossible to satisfy the demands
of both players of the genre and beginners. Tanksim players always head in
the very hell of the battle with as much units in fight as possible. For
beginners it takes time to get used to some new environment. And in such a
situation grading approach is the only way out. That is why the player may
begin with some traps for the enemy and in the course of the game take
part in large local battles with up to a tank battalion from each side
fighting. And the number of units from each side is also a good question.
The supreme task here is to avoid the chaos and mess and keep the right
balance. From our experience we understand that it is quite enough to
place 15-20 units on the battlefield. I mean tank units not mentioning
troops and artillery. And the battle field is a 80 square kilometers map
with unique landscape. I guess that it is quite a good game balance
TANKSIM.com: Describe the AI. Will it be able to react
independently to player's action, or scripted to predetermined mission
Team: AI acts in accordance to the general task but it always reacts
accordingly when the player makes the situation change and it is up to AI
whether to decide to retreat or to attack with more forces. From the other
side if no unit preserves AI from performing its general task it will
fulfill the task in accordance with the script. For example, if the gamer
will try to hold waiting position AI will attack or defend independently,
form battle disposition or re-form in convoys. So we are quite sure that
AI operating the allied forces will fight adequately and pay attention to
the player’s activities. Add what is of much importance we have created
the system of grading visibility of a unit. That means that a player can
hide in trees and bushes trap in such a way that the enemy unit will
hardly see him from the distance. And using this the player can hit the
enemy practically point-blank.
TANKSIM.com: Will the campaign be a set of scripted missions or
will it be a dynamic campaign? How much randomness will the units have in
starting location and inclusion?
Dev Team: Campaigns are formed as script missions describing the
most important and striking episodes of the “Bagration” operation with
tank participation in summer 1944. I can tell with much certainty that
randomness will have its place in the game. But it may be not exact in the
places you stated. As the number of units and their disposition is stable
at the beginning, their next acts are always will be contextual. We put
randomness within the game exact in this sense – the manner in which AI
units will act after the mission start, the approach they choose, etc.
TANKSIM.com: Will the voices be correct in both Russian and German
Team: Just at this point of development process we have no such an aim
– because we still have some time to think it over. Nevertheless this
topic is of much importance. I guess that the test scoring will help us to
take the only correct decision. From the historic point of view and from
the position of hardcore sims players it is quite a good feature. But this
one brings just more and more complications for a player (especially for a
beginner) to understand the game process. The second thing to consider is
that our tank cannot intercept any enemy talks so the value of using all
the languages in one mission is also under discussion.
TANKSIM.com: If your tank is destroyed...can you survive and fight
on the ground? Or does that end the mission?
Dev Team: The main question here is the exact way of the damage.
The tank can be hit in every spot on the body and this damage does not
necessarily imply the death of the vehicle. Say a truck is hit. The player
can continue the tank fight right from the spot being motionless. Just one
thing – the player in motionless tank hardly can fulfill all the mission
tasks and the mission should be replayed.
more possible situation – after the strike the tank is still in motion but
one member of the crew is dead. In this case the player will continue the
fight and from time to time substitute the dead member of the crew.
From the other side, we cannot forget that we create namely a tank sim.
And all the drive and action is implied in tank battles. And in such a
case what good can be 3d shooter realized in a tank sim when the tank is
hit? I guess that such feature is of no importance because we cannot speak
about any speed and drive as the infantry was of minor influence in the
tank battlefield. But of course this statement can be denied by saying
that tanks are a mere infantry support. It is far from being the truth.
Tank battalions and infantry troops have quite different tasks. And any
member of the tank crew cannot fulfill his task in a proper way without
his vehicle. And I guess that it is correct within the borders of
simulation genre to speak about the failed mission when the tank is hit
TANKSIM.com: What kind of airpower will be present?
Dev Team: There is aircraft from both sides. From the German side
it would be storm-trooper FW-190F and from the side of the Soviet Army
there would be the attack-plane IL-2. The main aircraft task is storming
the lines and bombing the battlefield area, i.e. aircraft will hardly
chase some single vehicles but will certainly strike the positions,
vehicle stands, defensive lines. That is why the aircraft role in the game
is campaign support from the air and bombing of the areas.
TANKSIM.com: If the tank is disabled can it be repaired? What does
the repair process look like and can you take casualties more readily
Dev Team: I’m afraid that we cannot repair disabled tanks. I guess
such an option is of less use in any dynamic mission in “WWII Battle
Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger”. But quite another thing is for example engine stop
after a strike. Such a trouble can be cured. But we cannot repair a broken
truck during a dynamic mission. The only way out here is to continue the
fight motionless or restart the mission.
TANKSIM.com: Can you make your own missions?
Dev Team: If the player has certain skills in gamedev he can try
successfully to modify the existing missions or even rearrange it on a
full scale. But the question of generating full-size mission editor is
still open. Mission editor is a useful tool for every sim player and we
cannot forget about it. But from the point of view of a beginner mission
editor hardly preserve such an importance. So I guess considering all the
variants we will manage to find a solution.
TANKSIM.com: What kind of multiplayer is planned (how many
players, types of missions, connect by IP or a hosted lobby)?
Dev Team: Multiplayer setting will allow 2-8 people within the game
via IP connection without any hosted lobby. The players are free to choose
the type of a mission to play. Our plans are to make available deathmatch,
duels, and team mode within some mission borders.
TANKSIM.com: How is the Napalm game engine different from the one
used in T-72: Balkans on Fire?
Dev Team: The main difference is in NAPALM Engine potential and
power. Our NAPALM Engine technology allows us to realize physics and
graphics of a higher level. The very tank model will be detailed with
every feature. And in the whole this high level of detail is
characteristic of all pieces of the environment. NAPALM Engine is capable
of reflection about 80 square kilometers of landscape with trees and
bushes on it. In short about NAPALM Engine features – vertex and pixel
shaders support is a must as well as the capacity of working with dynamic
light, self shading, bump mapping, specular maps, glow and bloom effects,
stencil shades, special indoor light, mirrors and reflections, water
surface. NAPALM Engine potential allows generating high-quality effects of
explosions, smoke, dust, splashes, tracers, rain, lens flares.
TANKSIM.com: Can you give us some info on how you create the
Dev Team: When we create in-game sound we rest upon sound
characters. For example, we mind the difference
in sound between diesel and petrol engines. After this we fit the engine
tone and its changes when the number of engine rounds alter or some other
change takes place. Then we add the characteristic clang when a tank is in
motion. As a result the tank engine grumbles and tank trucks rattle
depending on a tank type, chosen gear and speed. And such a scheme is
applicable to practically every sound in the game.
TANKSIM.com: How and to what degree is the player in control not
only of his own vehicle or platoon, but of more, or of all forces of his
side? (Has control over other units improved since T-72?)
Team: In “WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger” we have shifted our
priorities a bit. In first hand we try to concentrate on full-sized system
of tank handling, crew management reflecting all the details. Having such
an aim we even created fully animated tank crew stations for players. And
paying attention to this aspect we do not realize the system of control
over other units. Why? At first, we are sure enough in AI controlling the
allied units. It is clear that some experienced players are eager to
determine the main strikes directions and fight tactics. But the player
cannot influence the strategy of the operation, infantry, artillery,
aircraft anyway. And if it would be possible I guess it would be quite
another game genre. And here we are in the tank sim in which we deal with
one crew having their orders but actions of the player’s unit can
influence the actions of other forces on the battlefield due to the AI
TANKSIM.com: What are the prelim PC specs - especially the graphics board?
Dev Team: It is pretty early to speak about the final system
requirements. But we try to make the game available for those with
advanced modern PC’s as well as for the owners of simple stations. Minimum
demands are Intel Pentium IV 2.0 GHz, graphic card with 128 Mb RAM no
lower Radeon 9600, GeForce 6600. And a graphic card is as always the most
important question under discussion. 256 Mb on the card of the previous or
last generation are always a plus. It allows enjoying the full-scale
potential of the game. AMD™ Athlon64 or Intel Pentium IV with NT
technology are also welcome.
TANKSIM.com: Give us a picture of the reputation both of developer and publisher,
especially the history of their support for former
releases, and their contacts to communities.
Team: G5 Software was created in the year of 2001 and since that time
growing rapidly. At the moment G5 Software is one of the leading PC games
developers in Russia and definitely the leader in the field of games for
mobile phones. We have quite a long history of working with communities
and players in many countries on various projects and especially it was of
much use on simulation ones such as “Red Shark”, ‘Fair Strike”, “Whirlwind
of Vietnam: UH-1” as well as “The Cuban Missile Crisis” and “Hard Truck
Tycoon”. It is of no surprise because there are a great deal of details
that the developer cannot find even in the most detailed descriptions. And
these ones we try to get first of course. So we pay attention to close
relations with community from the very beginning of the game development
process. It is of much importance for us because simulation games
development is one of our principal fields inside the world of PC games.
We contact with both Russian specialists and professionals from abroad. We
always try to find the ways for constructive conversation without giving
any marks and grades to the project. Thus if we have made some wrong steps
it is not a problem to improve the game when we hear some serious and
decent criticism. And we always glad to hear such comments on every
The IDDK Group company has been founded in 1995. Its main specializations
are development, production and distribution of multimedia CD and DVD
tittles for home use. IDDK Group has got a wide partners network on the
software and multimedia markets of Russia and CIS countries. The IDDK
Group games department had been created in the year of 2002. A well known
"T-72: Balkans on Fire!", developed by CrazyHouse, was first international
release. One of the latest finished projects: "REFUZE" - squad-based
action. IDDK also made out series of training games such as "Virtual
Driving School" (driving on cars, trucks and motobikes), and 3D landscape
designer. For the older kids and young people there are a number of games
for office and home playing. Easy-to-understand and play "Train Empire" is
a 3D arcade railway builder. Red Shark 2 - is a helicopter arcade, a
sequel to the first part made in a collaboration with the G5 Software.
“WWII Battle Tanks:
T-34 vs. Tiger” is scheduled for release in Q1 of 2007 in Russia.