Game development is a treacherous process. Once you've announced your project, the whole world is on board and fighting over whether it's right or wrong. Eugen Systems are working on Steel Division: Normandy 44 - and that historical setting only invites more sceptics.
Emma Matthews took to EGX Rezzed in London over the weekend and stopped to chat with Pierre-Yves Navetat, Communication and Marketing Manager at Eugen Systems about what it's like developing a game in the face of a community that's torn over what kind of RTS they want.
With Steel Division: Normandy 44 the developers of modern-classic RTS title RUSE were questioned over whether the historical accuracy of their newest project was what the fans wanted over the arcade-like experience many thought it would be. Evidently, however, accuracy is key this time around. Thinking back to their time with Wargame: Red Dragon Navetat recalled how they "showed a tank which was only a wireframe (3D model with lines) to tease a new tank that we wanted to bring out. Then someone in the community contacted us and said, “hey guys, this tank doesn’t have the right suspension”, so we then changed it".
Harkening back a little less to the past, when asked whether the development team found it difficult to strike a balance between entertainment and realism, Navetat mentioned how the impressions left from a single screenshot had fans calling Steel Division: Normandy 44 an arcade RTS due to how it used blue and red accenting in its art direction. "The thin line between realistic and arcade-y is incredibly difficult to achieve. We did a closed beta recently and we had a lot of really good feedback on this so maybe we’ve found what we needed for this game."
It seems Eugen Systems and Paradox Interactive have come to an agreement with how to present Steel Division: Normandy 44 to the masses. Striking a balance to appease fans of either side is key, and according to Navetat, they're hoping to have found the sweet spot.
You can read the full interview through this link or scroll down below to find the latest in-engine demonstration of Steel Division: Normandy 44 in action.