Pour tous les fans de cnc, j'ai réalisé une interview des gars de space crab aux commandes de mars 2000 et franchement ce qu'on y apprend est assez énorme. je vous livre l interview en anglais, pas eu le temps de la traduire
Sometimes you discover a game. You give a look. A quick one... but you come back, you don't know why. RTS is pretty dead, all known series are nearly burried. Grey Goo, even that splendid game, is under drip. You dont want to suffer again. But you continue to read. Strange, this game seems to have something you are looking for. No impossible. Only Blizzard is able to do great RTS and keep them alive for the long run. But i discover some video, i discover some animations of units. I love the design, something mature, reminder of what was Command and Conquer 3. Well, it is now for few months that i follow this game, and i feel it good, really really good.
So i decide to contact them, not sure if they will give me answer. Small studio is way much friendly, and they just accept. Right now, you dont know a lot of thing about the gameplay, tons of questions burst in my mind. So i decide to ask for a lot, and perhaps i will suffer a desillusion. Which is common for my beloved RTS games. So here it is. And what you will read, if it comes true, could be not even a fresh oxygen breath, but perhaps the beginning of a success story. As usual, times will tell the truth, as usual, it will be when you can be able to play the game that you will know if it suits you or not, but roots are here. And multiplayer is one of those.
So here is my interview (sorry for the mistakes, both of us are not english speakers) if you have any question, join the discord channel or ask them on their social network.
1- Hi, first of all, can you introduce yourself? Who you are, for how long do you develop video games (i know you have modding on games like CnC3), why decide to go on your own project?
1) Hi! At first we would like to say thank you for your attention to our project. We are small indie-development team, which named Space Crab Development. Yeah we know a funny one name. There are 4 of us: a lead programmer (Vsevolod Miroshnikov), a lead 3d artist (known as Kivi The Bird) who have made such a pretty models only by himself, gamedesigner (Ivan Sokolov), who also writes a plot and working with ingame video and game sound, and a person (Vladimir Skorin) who makes animations, writes shaders and importing all the stuff in Unity game engine. We have to recognize 2 other boys as well - our composer (Roman Levin) and a sketch artist (Constantin Fedorov). They are also doing a marvelous job!
Why we are going to make our own project? Hmmm - the first answer will be “Because we can”. If we will go deeper - it will be found that it all goes from our sacred love to RTS games. So once a time we have asked ourselves - why should we couldn’t try and make a game, which we can play with a lot of joy and fun. Something like in old times, while we were running home from school to play Tiberian Sun or Red Alert? So our story begins somewhere between this question and a first project, when we were trying to make a mode for Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars based on the Dune 2000 videogame.
2- What is your two favorite RTS, and why
2) Well, you want to hear something like early Westwood Command and Conquer and Dune? Ok, you are goddamn right!
3- What is for you the most unrated one? and Why?
3) We could not answer that it is unrated but it is KKND - real good strategy. And.. Hmm maybe Battle Realms - that was a really interesting project.
4- More about your game now. We've got three factions (the golden number for any RTS) . Can you precise a bit their background, and what influences you?
Okay. In our single player campaign you will meet a confrontation of 3 factions that are: First Industrial Cohort, Earth Liberating Force and a scary one and mysterious faction known only as “Those Robots” with a pretty good lore on the each side.
Briefly about all the guys and… erm plastic dudes:
First Industrial Cohort is a faction, which represents descendants of the Mars first сolonists. Brutal, heavy and blunt forcing. We were inspired by Harkonnen and Soviet forces in C&C series. Also we have put some our own vision in this faction - so it will be not evil guys by the way. Let’s keep the intrigue! Ah! yes our gamedesigner is Supreme Marshal of Cohort and our 3d artist is dim-whitted Sergeant bodyguard.
What about Earth Liberating Force - this is a classical mix of Atreides and USA forces in C&C Generals. As a visit card ELFs are using rare military technologies from the 60s-80s. They are not regular forces. They are soldiers of fortune. Dogs of war - if you like.
What about Robots… It is a hard question, because we want to keep a mist of a creepy horror, that is surrounding them. All we can answer, that it will be really different faction with a very special game mechanics. Yes, and well balanced of course.
5- Why MARS 2000? When i think of MARS, i think of red earth as the land of Dune2, I see you have developed a mod for CnC3, is it when your project mutes and that you decide to go yourself?
5) Mars - because all the action takes place on the Mars, and 2000 - because we got an alternative history line so it is only a date, when all the fun, which we will see in the game had begun.
6- Dieselpunk universe is really really rare on the RTS scene. I only know one game that does something like that before, the amazing Rise of Legend with his steampunk vinci faction. What do you love in this background? What does it allow you to do or introduce?
6) At first we have to admit that despite of the fact, that dieselpunk style is used for a big part of the game, primarily this is a First industrial Cohort style. Earthlings will be represented by rare military units from the 60s-80s and walker vehicles. What about Robots - that will be a pure sci-fi and lots of strange and alien things. Dieselpunk environment will be used in the most locations also, but there will be other sets too. All in all we love dieselpunk and we think that is perfectly fits to our game design and Сohort faction as well.
7- Can you precise it a bit?
For our resource we made not a trivial decision - it is a very special thing. In a Martian Gen-labs were selected and grown a special type of gene-boosted wheat. This wheat can grow everywhere - even on the full of perchlorates martian sands. Being recycled it became a fuel for all types of vehicles and engines on Mars. Also this grass ##### lots of salts of rare earth (or should we say mars?) metals from the soil, that are deadly useful in production. Huge fields of this culture is an important aspect in the economy and energy management of the red planet.
Player will be allowed to build his own base combining production, defence and special structures. Classic C&C system as it is. Infantry influence and power is boosted. Units will have damage types and types of armor. You will gather your roster trying to combine and synergize your units abilities. There will be lots of interesting synergetic things in our game.
8- Will some units have special abilities, that are auto or that you need to activate?
8) Of course yes! Some abilities will be passive, some will be auto activated and some will require manual activation.
9- How works the economy of MARS 2000? By flux as Command and Conquer or Supreme Commander? Meaning you can build without having the whole resource?
9) All the economy will be almost like in C&C series. But there are two exceptions at least. Waterwells can boost your resource gathering production (as a boosted resources in C&C – Blue Tiberium) and Robots will have their own economy, that will depend on the special points that are gathered on “organic processors”. So you still have to gather wheat even if you are a robot)
10- You have three sides, what are the difference in gameplay. I think Robots faction will be later revealed faction, but smells like having a surprise. (as the Goo were for Grey Goo)
Cohort — it is massive, heavy-armored units, skillshots, very bad line of sight, that can be fixed with some special units and abilities. All in all Cohort can gather an armored #### that will press and crush the enemy methodically destroying his forces step by step.
Earthlings – it is tough well balanced army with a special orders systems (like USA in C&C Generals) and lots of situative abilities. One word, that can characterize them - flexibility.
Robots is a micro as it is. Robots will have 2 types of shielding, that can be recharged only on the base. One type of shield can save a robot from a fast and weak attacks (machinegun, autocannon etc), and another will greatly helps against monster damage shots (plasma blast, vortex wave etc). Although Robots is the only faction that could build a special structures on the sand. In a few words: consume, micro, dominate.
11- Can you build everywhere on the map, to have proxy rush (huge smile)? Or perhaps just one faction is able to do it easily.
11) No, building bases is allowed only on the high ground. Yes there will be a plates system as in the Dune 2000. What about a rush - Robots can build their special buffing building even on the sand.
12- On one animation we see a "flame tank" capable of digging .... Will there be some underground unit?
12) It is a special “Dug In” ability that gives “Gornilo” armor bonus. What about underground units - not in the first rosters, but yes.
13- Are cloaked units be invited to the party
13) Hmm can you see them? We are not. But they are here - for sure! Beware!
Aerial unit will be present
14- Will there be global power? Or special building to have superweapon
14) Yes there will be some global powers, but it will be heavily balanced until we will reveal them. For example there will be a scrap drop for the Cohort that heavily damages the infantry. Just imagine some zeppelins and balloons throwing lots of scrap metal on their heads!
What about Superweapons? Yes, yes and yes again!
Cohort will have a special Ultraheavy Cannon “Molot” that will make your enemy sad every 4 minutes.
Earthlings will have a heavy air strike.
Robots will have a teleporting superweapon that can teleport all the things everywhere on the battlefield. Yes, you can port enemy troops right into his structures and heavily damage it or just move a part of his base into a toxic waste in a broken well. Marvelous!
A bit on the campaign (yes, you reader, yes, you will have a real campaign). You have decided to use the motion capture, as it was for all CnC games.
You mean chromakey? Yes we use it. But motion capture - no. We animate our units by our hands. Video making is a tough job we are preparing green screen, put the right lighting, put lots of makeup - we have to make us look older (something like +20 years) and dirtier. In real life we are not looking as a “Gastat” who was drinking “Boozy water” from a “Vedro” fueltank all life long. We are making our suits by ourselves finding some things in the second-hands, some on the junk and some are bought on the donations. Long live who support us! We are trying to make a video as an early Westwood to show you a little bit absurd and funny, but although deep and depressive MARS 2000 lore.
edit: i was asking about the camera, i will reask them properly
15- How many actors are working with you? Will the player directly be talking by the commander?
Zero. All the people in the video is us, our wives and our friends. We have no money to hire a professional actors. Yes we are dreaming about inviting some professional actors. But it is only a dream now. Who knows for how long. What about player… You will see an interesting surprise. And not one!
16- Right know, how long are these cinematics (even if unfinished)?
There will be about 45 minutes of video for each faction.
17- Do you manage to ask this awesome JOE Kucan to appear for 2 seconds (sure you will never reveal it but, sounds terrific)
17) Of course that sounds terrific and we would be so much happy if we could attract incredible stars like Joe Kucan for in-game videos or Frank Klepacki for music, but, alas, this is unattainable for us. We are just an indie team of 4 people with zero budget and do everything by ourselves. As for music we already have a great composer in our opinion, but on the other hand we believe our composer would not mind if MARS 2000 will have tracks both from him and Frank Klepacki. But for now this is just a dream anyway. Perhaps we believe that there is a possibility of this if many gamers will want to play MARS 2000 and will want stars of early Westwood C&C to work with MARS 2000. Then if we receive their prior consent and desire fee we can make some goals concerning this in our possible crowdfunding campaign to pay them.
18- Will you say the ton will be closer to Tiberium Red alert1 or Red alert2/3?
18) It will depend on our tests results. We were thinking about Dune.
edit: was asking for the tons of cinematic : serious or a bit more unserious/kidding
19- A bit on multiplayer. How many kind of map will there be (desert is logical on MARS, but i guess we can have winter map two, or even underground, with cavern design with beautiful unknown crystals
There will be different types of environment. How much – depends from our few resources or from how the crowdfunding campaign will go if we will make it.
20- What about weather effect? Psionic storm? Will there be a cycle day night with effect on the gameplay (like freezing of some units, or need to have fire around yours infantries to support them, or effect on sight of units)
There will be some environment mechanics, but mostly in the campaign. As you can see in our videos on youtube.com/mars2000game we have Martian dust storms for now.
21- Is right now, the multiplayer in the center of your game?
Yes. One of the most important parts of our game. MARS 2000 is done immediately with the multiplayer, because it is impossible to do this in another way. If you made just a single player RTS, then adapting it to a network play is equal to "rewrite the game from scratch." Multiplayer is not a superstructure over the single player but its part that firmly fused with it.
22- Recent RTS just forgot about classical options of old RTS, will the spectator mod and replays mod available at launch?
Both times yes. It is must have options.
22- Will there be an army painter?
Not yet. For now there are just housecolors. Maybe in some distant future.
23 - What about color schema? Will there be some beautiful color to choose, or perhaps even a color faction that you pick on the RGB color palette (as you are able to do on OpenRA), allowing players to play with "their color".
Yes, you can select your housecolor and its hue.
edit: every one will be able to pick his perfect color!!!
24- Will you have a ranked multiplayer?
Yes, we will have ranked multiplayer. There will be an easy to start multiplayer, but it will be a hard job to climb the ladder — some tactics and unit mechanics will be strictly demanding of the good APM. There will be a lot of interesting tactics in a rookie leagues, what about our “Diamond” - we can say that it will always be supreme tactics found by players. Our team is interested what it will be.
Some mysterious ugly blob...
25- Multiplayer is always a hard work, cause you have to balance factions, but balance the map too. Do you plan to have a beta test? Will you invite some of the best players from Command and Conquer Community?
We are hardly balancing all the rosters and making lots of calculations and simulations of the different cases and synergies. There are huge amount of collisions, that we have to count and balance. Soon we will release an pre-alpha version of our game, that would be available for the streamers and maybe for huge C&C and especially MARS 2000 fans.
26- First minutes of RTS can be boring, will we have a scout unit to kill times? Or even to find some bonus (as for Rise of Legends and the timonium for example). Will there be special building to capture?
Of course there will be lots of things to do. For example water well control for a resource flow boost or special buildings control. Scout units will be definitely be too.
think that now the readers can clearly identify what your game will look like.
Sure they will feel that this game could be really really good.... So i let you working on your game.
Thank you for the warm words! We will try to do our best!
27- One last question when does this game will be released? (When it's done? Hell i love it!!!!)
Aww, release date is one of the most difficult question for almost every indie gamedevs. So we are as a small indie team can't promise anything about dates and TBA. Still we are making every possible effort to do everything as soon as possible. As we have said before, for now we are working hard on pre-alpha for streamers.
So to conclude, and cause a bare enthusiasm is not enough, i love what I’ve seen, but you need resources, humans and financial. This is the tribute to be free nowdays. So please if you really love old RTS, support them. Do as i do, become a PATRON (https://www.patreon.com/mars_2000)
And yes - we will be glad to receive any donation or help! Every dollar makes our development faster.
Wish you the best for your project!
Keep passion, that is the key of the success.
Thanks again! We are working hard - it is an extremely difficult to do a proper fully-fledged RTS on PC from zero for such a little team as we are, but we are doing it step by step and it becomes better and better. That motivates.
Here official links
Mars 2000 Facebook
Mars 2000 Twitter
Mars 2000 Patreon
The unofficial discord