Battlezone 98 is a game that upon its original release wasreceived. It’s little wonder. The game’s combination of tank sim, shooter, and real-time strategy made it unique against any other title at the time, and it still stands out today.
Now, nearly two decades later, the game is being brought back for modern players. Wean extensive developer diary from producer Mike Arkin, who also worked on the original game, telling us all about what they have planned for Battlezone 98: Redux. Here are some of the highlights.
Arkin says they have not redesigned the game. ”Instead, we’ve strived to make the game we would have made in 1998 if PCs were 100 times more powerful back then.” The new edition is built on the original engine, but with certain pieces removed and replaced with modern features. All-new visuals are being built based on the old art, meaning that the game looks just as modern as your nostalgic mind imagines it. A new renderer ensures improved shaders and material effects. Vehicles and buildings feature high-poly models and high-resolution textures, as well as a real-time lighting system that casts realistic shadows. Not a unique feature in 2016, but certainly an impressive feat in an 18-year-old engine.
”The in-game heads-up display (HUD) was also completely redesigned,” says Arkin. It will effectively scale to higher resolutions, and Russian vehicles and Furies both now have their own, unique HUD.
An improved terrain system will have minimal seams and higher resolution, and the levels will be the same size and shape as the originals, “but so much better looking.” The improvements won’t break compatibility with original mods, though. A ”five-minute conversion process” will get user made maps up and running in the new game with the upgraded assets, and the upscaling and smoothing is handled automatically.
Speaking of mods, the Redux will feature full Steam Workshop support. Mods you download will now simply be listed in a menu where you can activate or deactivate them at will. A group of map makers have already been working on new additions for the game, and there will be plenty of content on the Workshop the day the game launches.
More information will be made available over the next few weeks, leading up to the final release of Battlezone 98 Redux this Spring.