Cossacks II Interview with GSC
1. Are bridges merely a scenario editor piece or can they be built in a regular game?
The bridges are put on the map beforehand, the player is not allowed to build bridges in the course of the game.
2. What size regiments will we be seeing in Cossacks II? Will they be the size of actual regiments in the period? ie. 700+
Every regiment in the game will have from 15 (for chasseurs) to 120 (fusiliers, grenadiers and others) units in a squad. For the comfort of control, we have decided not to unite troops in actual regiments of Napoleonic period.
3. What system does the game engine exactly use? We have heard of it being 3D
and 2D at different periods? Will the engine be a hybrid engine similar to that of Rise of Nations?
Cossacks 2 engine allows smooth combination of 3D landscapes with animated objects (trees, animals and so on) and 2D sprite units. So effectively, we use the best of 3D and 2D and mix that into one hybrid. This makes a dream limit of 64000 units come true. In full 3D mode it would have meant barbarous system requirements.
4. Will the leadership of a regiment affect its success?
Generals in the game won’t influence the characteristics of units. Their function and privilege is to gather a number of troops under their command that is in direct proportion to the rank of the commander. The result of each battle depends on your strategic and tactical talents and not on the characteristics of the general.
5. What sort of specifications will be needed to run Cossacks II?
The final specifications will be clarified and announced after the game optimization is complete. For fully enjoyable playing you could do with a Pentium 1.7 Gig – type processor, 512 Mb RAM and the like of Radeon 9600 card.
6. Will there be realistic bullet physics (ie shooting through your own side kills your own men, inaccurate weapons etc)?
Yes we have updated and improved bullet and cannon-ball ballistics. If units stand on a hill, the shooting range increases. If soldiers hide in forest, the wood protects them from bullet impact and they are harder to hit. Cannon-balls ricochet from the ground but sink in the marshlands. But we decided not to employ stray bullets, which can hit friendly units in order not to spoil the gameplay.
7. Will volley fire be employed and if so can we order this by rank?
With line formation you can order firing by rank or simultaneously, with other types of formations all units fire in volley simultaneously only.
8. Will the various formations affect the mobility and firepower of the formation (i.e squares good vs. calvary & columns mobile)?
Each of the formations represented in “Cossacks 2” has its own function and is effective in a particular situation. For instance, column is a marching formation that allows troops not to lose stamina on march. Square is effective for defense but in this formation troops cannot attack or march. Line is an effective formation for attacks which also gives a bonus against frontal attack if the regiment digs in.
9. Is the game going to be free zooming or will we have a number of set levels?
Cossacks 2 employs 4-x zoom mode (L-mode) that can be switched on and off by pushing just one button. Nearly a similar mode can be seen in American Conquest.
10. Will we have cutscenes for the negotiations after Napoleon has won?
During the negotiations Napoleon had gotten into his angry moods, shouted at Kobenzel stuff like “Your empire is an old tart, used to being raped by everyone!” So we’d rather not use language like that in the game. There will be a final movie in the game. But we won’t tell you more now, as it’d be better for you to complete the game and see it for yourself.
11. How many states will be featured on the campaign map?
There will be 6 nations: England, France, Russia, Austria, Prussia and Egypt.
12. Will retreating men move faster than when they march, will they perhaps scream with fear occasionally?
Troops that are gathered into formations are slower than units that flee from the battlefield. But we never thought about screaming units. Is such feature really important?
13. Will we have proper skirmishing formations for light companies and greenjackets?
First off, we have chasseurs in different nations which can do effective sallies. For Britain they are called riflemen, for Prussia – couriers, for Egypt – tuaregs. France has National Guard chasseurs. All of the chasseurs have similar battle characteristics, but are different in morale, speed and time of building. Secondly, all the cavalry in the game is pretty mobile and can be used for abrupt unexpected attacks.
14. Will officers sometimes be mounted and will they have a pistol this time?
Officers will always move like their subordinates, infantry officers – by foot, cavalry flag bearers – on horseback. They don’t have pistols, but are rather strong in hand-to-hand combat.
15. Will the armies get a morale boost from capturing their opponents colours?
“Capture the flag” is cool in another game genre. We decided not to use this feature. There are plenty of other factors though to increase the morale of units. Thus, the morale depends on battle success, how many enemy units were killed and how many of them fled. When seeing their comrades die, units will start losing the morale. Combat experience strengthens unit’s morale. There are quite a few of other morale-impacting factors which you will learn in the game.
16. Will there be supply wagons containing limited ammo to replenish artillery?
We decided not to overload the game with such micromanagement. The player will have an easy access to all resources at his disposal in any point of the global map. But he can destroy enemy supply wagons transporting resources along the roads and in that way cut his opponent’s flow of resources. Thus, the enemy will be put in a situation when he has powder and bullet shortage or faces famine. By means of economic blockade you can gain victory with few casualties in the game.
17. Will artillery crew set the pace when selected with infantry to move elsewhere to avoid them lagging behind and getting killed like in the original?
Artillery has lesser speed than other types of troops. Even if, for example, infantry and artillery are moving to the same destination point, artillery will arrive later. Cannons this time have crews which protect them, so it’s harder to capture the artillery now.
18. Will clicking on an enemy unit to attack cause a volley to be fired at the whole unit or just at the one man?
Volley touches all enemy units that are at fire range. Physics calculations are done then to define the damage delivered by bullets.
19. Will there be a press beta or invitation only beta anytime in the near future?
We don’t have an exact plan for a beta test as of now. Be sure, we’ll do a big announcement of the test if a positive decision is there.
Cossacks heaven would like to give a great big thankyou to Oleg Yavorsky for the granting of this interview!