We managed to drag away the complete team from their screens and keyboards for a second to join together for a quick picture.
Having weathered the ups and downs of the developer’s life almost unscathed most of the team has been with Phenomic since the original SpellForce-The Order of Dawn.
Hi, long time no see, but there was and is much to do.
While one part of our team was still working on Shadow of the Phoenix last year,
the other guys were already working on the technical base of SF2. The SF2 design
work reaches even further back, beginning parallel to the development of Breath
As most of you already know we don’t rest on the laurels from the success
of the first part. It was never a part of our discussions to make a half-baked
SpellForce 1 remake, as in some other titles. Our target is to greatly increase
the game design and techniques for SpellForce 2.
Let’s start with game design. Our main target was to make the game faster,
more thrilling and to regard the wishes of our fans. Faster means shorter ways,
improved travel possibilities and shortcuts, but also faster building and unit
producing. More interesting as in more effective decisions – not only in
the quests and story but also in the skill-system and the RTS-component. Our new
improved skill tree puts the player on the brink of important decisions on every
level. Not only that you chose your character class in the beginning, moreover
you decide in which way you evolve every time you level-up. Additionally building
up and fighting gets more exciting: which way are you going to develop e.g. extending
the faction of your alliance by taking over the elves with their healers and archers,
take the dwarves with their strong melee warriors and siege weapons or take the
humans to get mounted units and gryphon-mages! All these choices give us a long
list of basic changes beginning with the calculation of battles, values of units
which are now more transparent as well as improved AI and the skirmish-mode.
we wanted to improve our graphics technique, even though SpellForce: The Order
of Dawn achieved many compliments and accolades for the art design. We had two
huge goals on this point: On the one hand we wanted to increase performance and
on the other we wanted to have cutting-edge graphics technique including but not
limited to Self-Shadowing, Ambient Occlusion, Hemispherical Lighting, Reflection
Mapping, spectacular water, … the list of technical innovations is long.
Nevertheless SF2 will not be a ‘monster’ in hardware-requirements.
According to our current tests we were able to improve performance really noticeably.
Especially the settings of the new, custom made animation-system had huge effects
on performance. The applicable compatibility tests will take place later on but
we have set ourselves the target to make SF2 solidly playable on Radeon8500/GeForce3.
By the way, the published screenshots were created with a NX6600GT and a X600.
The minimum specs and the recommended configuration are not final yet, we will
hold comprehensive compatibility tests in the future but until then the code of
SF2 will become more and more optimized.
course technique isn’t everything, speaking of visuals, it is far more important
what our artists can create from the technical base. Our graphics department has
done a lot of work to improve the look of SpellForce. There will be qualitative
reworked models, animations and textures in SF2.
With all these changes we are placing much weight on not losing the characteristics
and feel of SpellForce, furthermore to deepen the feeling of being a part of the
SF world. SF2 will feel like SpellForce……faster, prettier and more
interesting but still SpellForce!
Actually with E3 (the worlds largest gaming convention in LA) just around the
corner most developers around the world will work many hours of overtime. This
is the first time developers can present their games for a huge and influential
audience. We’re currently trying to complete as much as possible of the
current development-status……the UI receives a tuning, first two character
races get balanced, unit and structure production is being checked to fit the
requirements of the game design document. The maps are being populated with details
that will determine the world of SpellForce …
We apologize that we haven’t been around much in the forums, I think after
E3 things will be a lot better!!
Martin (Project Leader)