Firstly, could you introduce yourself to our readers and explain your role at GFI?
Nikolay Demchenko: My name is Nikolay Demchenko, I’m PR-manager from GFI UA development team.
Where did the idea of creating Officers come about?
Nikolay Demchenko: World War era RTS are widely represented in the PC-game industry and people do not seem to be tired of them so far. This theme provides the game developer with a wide spectrum of interesting opportunities. We also like this historical period and we were obsessed with the idea of creating a PC title that combines RPG-elements with tactical unit-based combat of WWII and a rich RTS part. Initially we conceived “Officers” as a game that features large-scale battles, astonishing visual effects and breathtaking atmosphere. And I guess we have managed to succeed!
We've read about some of the features for Officers, are there any which you've yet to talk about or announce that our users might be pleased to hear about?
Nikolay Demchenko: “Officers” have several distinctive features. Game locations are extremely realistic and huge – 25 square kilometers each. And this is not just an empty space, of course! It’s a battlefield for more than 1500 units at a time! It is also necessary to mention the dynamic night and day cycles and the changeable weather. Both factors affect game process and units’ performance. Tanks and armored vehicles have different levels of protection at their front, rear and on the sides. The damage caused by a shell depends on the point where it has hit the target - engine, gas tanks or turret. Crew may also be killed. Your solders are capable to capture untaken vehicles. I can go on and on with the list of features.
What can you tell us about the graphical and physics features?
Nikolay Demchenko: Well, you have seen screenshots. The graphics are astonishing. To provide “Officers” with the best possible video effects we supplied it with an in-house engine based on DirectX 9. The engine utilizes advanced vertex and pixel v2.0 technology and provides such features as per pixel lighting, particle system, destructible objects, skeleton animation for units and technical equipment, large outdoor environments with variable LODs, self-generated clouds lit in real time, dynamic shadows, self-shadowing and a lot more. Although all objects within the game are destructible, the engine does not support physical features. It’s almost impossible to reconcile realistic physical effects and such large-scale locations. If we had tried to introduce physics into the game, we would have had to delay the release date until brand new type of more powerful computers come in.
There are quite a lot of World War era RTS out their for people, THQ recently released one which goes by the name of Company of Heroes, how do you think this will effect Officers and how are you going to make it different so it'll appeal to people?
Nikolay Demchenko: Officer is our first large project, we just believe in it! The only thing that is in common between Company of Heroes and “Officers” is the setting. Like I said, “Officers” have its own unique atmosphere. The game reflects our point of view on WWII; it definitely cannot be the same as Company of Heroes developers. But that is not all there is to it. “Officers” have an extended role system. All units have a number of parameters and upgradeable skills. The skills are improved if a unit obtains necessary experience points in a battle. These skills are:
Vigilance skill – influences how fast a unit spots the enemy, it also increases the unit’s range of sight. Skirmish skill - influences accuracy of fire. Hiding skill - influences how long a unit may remain unnoticed. Medic skill (for infantry only) - influences how fast a unit recovers health. Drive skill (for vehicles and equipment only) – influences speed of movement. Repair skill - influences how fast the units can repair. In CoH units have only 3 stages for upgrading. The difference is obvious.
Strategy Informer: What kind of system requirements will people need in order to run Officers?
Nikolay Demchenko: System requirements are as following:
CPU 3 GHz 1024 RAM GeForce 5900 / Radeon 9800 and higher
Can you give us an assessment of the health and long-term viability for Officers?
Nikolay Demchenko: We believe that the game’s viability is quite high. The game is powered by an engine of new age and it is upgradeable. DC-processors support will come up with an add-on.
RTS are popular with the talented mod makers around the globe; do you plan on releasing any tools which might aid fans in creating maps or other missions for Officers? This kind of fan related content can really improve the sales of a game, if you've decided not to release any tools, why has this decision been made?
Nikolay Demchenko: The game will be supplied with a map editor and mod tools. So a gamer will be free to draw his or her own maps and create battle scenarios.
Once Officers has been released to the public, what kind of support do you plan on giving if problems are found? Do you think it's likely you'll be releasing patches for many years to come or would that just be silly?
Nikolay Demchenko: First, the game was tested by our specialists in GFI UA. Second, it was tested in NVIDIA labs on more than 300 PC configurations. We have already received detailed bug-report and recommendations on how to increase the game’s productivity. All imperfections will be fixed. If any problems persist, a patch will certainly be released.
Could you give us some information on the singleplayer aspect of Officers? What sort of missions will we meet and what will they feature?
Nikolay Demchenko: The total game time is about 30 hours. There are six large missions for Allies in “Officers”. Each mission consists of a few key targets and a couple of secondary ones. Considering dynamic night & day cycles, you can replay each mission several times. The operations itself are typical for RTS. Fortified areas protection, enemy lines assault, reconnaissance and city battles – these are the actions you’ll have to take during the game.
We aren't sure about this so we really had to ask, are you planning on releasing a multiplayer side to Officers?
Nikolay Demchenko: We understand that multiplayer is a necessary part of every modern RTS. It will come up with an add-on.
Officers will feature lots of units, from Infantry to armored units, self-propelled guns, artillery, and aircrafts; we are really interested in learning more about the armored units that we'll click on in the game, could you tell us about some of those?
There are about 50 types of technical equipment and vehicles in “Officers”. Armored units replicate their real historical prototypes, but only in general terms. If main features of a certain tank or self-propelled gun were velocity and mobility, it will be fast and maneuverable in the game. But there is historically true rendering.
As a gamer, what's your favorite part of Officers, what makes you proud to have helped create it and why is it a game people should be excited about?
Nikolay Demchenko: It is hard to say witch part is my favorite. But I can name the aspects which will make gamers love the game. Gripping gameplay, huge locations that provide enough space for tactical maneuvering make this game outstanding. Non-linear game playing experience will also please the gamers. There always are several ways to accomplish a mission whether you follow the orders or not. Large-scale battles are also a plus.
Officers has been in development for sometime now, what has been the
most challenging aspect of development for the team so far?
Nikolay Demchenko: The concept of the game has been changed several times during its development. The hardest thing was to minimize the risks of the development process taking ages because of these alterations.
Thanks for answering our questions! Strategy Informer is looking forward to playing Officers in the future, is there anything you would like to say to the fans of Officers which are eagerly awaiting the release of this upcoming RTS title?
Nikolay Demchenko: You are very welcome. There is something I would like to say to the fans of “Officers” - I hope, you will enjoy the game!