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Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:32 pm


Post by Brontoburguer » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:59 pm

Hello everyone!

Being a big fan of the first game of the Panzer General series as I am, is a great honor for me to give any kind of help in the development of its sequels and the inspired games sequels like Panzer Corps 2.

As it is, Panzer Corps 1 somehow looks much more similar to the old Panzer General 1 for me than the other of the SSI series games, like Panzer General 2, etc. considering that in terms of the development of the PG series, SSI have made many mistakes and we should for certainly learn from them to keep up developing the good game the new PC2 game can be.

So, my contributions, here it is some points I consider important, I hope it could help the development somehow:

1º- The graphics:

In my opinion, one of the biggests mistakes SSI have made back then was their focus on getting the graphics "beautiful" by adding graphic effects, many unecessary details and 3D textures, of which we can see more clearly in their late versions of the game, like Panzer General 3D. But those changes I meant are also present even in their earlier games as well, like Panzer General 2.

For me, at least, I found it terrible because I was quite keen to how the game graphics were composed and worked out in PG1. I mean, the way the game looked like, as they represented their war map. Every time I played Panzer General I felt like I really was some general or Feldmarschall, commanding the units and thinking the strategy towards the objectives present in the map. I managed to even keep the animations of the fights on and the binocular aspects of it usually gave me a even more immersive feeling of the role a general has. Yet, Panzer General stood somehow in a mid term between games focused only on passing the visual of a real war map, like “Gary Grigsby's War in the East” and others of more easy gameplay in which graphics are seen just as a priority as the gameplay is. And to talk about a bit more on this issue, we can pick the units shown in the Panzer General 1 map as a example: they weren't displayed in a soberb 3 dimentions with absolute realistic detail, they were all 2d, but also very well defined and sintetized in the game, looking nice despite all this.

In many aspects, still, despite the latter games reliesed from SSI were very different from their early one, it's quite impressive how Panzer Corps managed to keep this very important "war map" feel of the Panzer General 1 game without looking more like just a simple board game.

Anyway, complex and detailed graphics not always will fit well into a game, and they have to be thought carefully since they can spoil many things if not presented as they should be. I think there's not much room for a game with the PG gameplay without the feel of a war map.

2º – Mechanics:

The good thing about a strategic game is how much possibilities it can bring to the player and for doing so, it has to make the player stop for while and think of which availible options would be better to take. In my opinion, a downside of Panzer Corps comparing to the old Panzer General is that the former looked like more “locked” in terms of possibilities than the latter. So, the players had one track to follow and if they get out of that path goals would not become possible to get the scenario passed. So the main porpuse of the game is to "find" that only path and keep to it, reducing completely the possibility of replay. Despite it's very similar maps, Panzer General somehow managed to gave us a broad impression of different possibilities, I think. I have to mention that I didn't played Panzer Corps sequels yet, like the North Afrika scenarios and all, so I don't know if they're different.

On the other hand, there's modes for Panzer Corps that somehow try to change that feel. Like Battlefield Europe. Yet, here we have the quite opposite problem: the broadness of Battlefield Europe. It's a very big and complex map for a player to control and too much information to deal with at the same time. Despite, of course, being very realistic and giving the player the notion of controlling the war with many different options.

So, considering these two problems I was talking about, I think the best solution for Panzer Corps 2 is to make a sum between these different gameplays. To do so, I think there's another game which could serve as a reference: the first of the “Shogun, Total War” series. specifically it's concept of two different maps of gameplay. One strategic and the other tactic. In the old Panzer General, the only strategic options the game actually gave to the players was choosing which map to follow in the capaign's path sometimes, like “North Afrika” or “Balkans” scenarios after the fall of France with a minor victory, for example.

Therefore, the a strategic map focusing in the military “big war” objectices, like oil, industries, enemy connection routes, etc. with a small bit of diplomacy, and a tactical one, focusing on what points your army have to pursue to accomplish those aims you specified first in the strategic map. This estrategic map should give us the option of building our own Barbarossa, for example. Changing the routes of the forces. Yet it has to be made with a simple interface, with not much options to deal with, as the tactic gameplay of how to put it into practice should compose the bulk of the game. It has also to follow the WWII history with coesion as well, and if the player choose to follow the same path taken in WWII, the game have to emulate somehow the same results which happened back then. Yet, one of the best things Panzer General had is that is a simple, intuitiv gameplay. It doesn't take you hours of reading manuals to learn how to play the game despite having a very deep complexity. Considering this, I think the strategic map have to be just a bit more complex than just the “path options”, Panzer General 1 gave us.

The tactical map, on the other hand, should be made more broad. As I said before, not as broad as Battlefield Europe, comprising almost the hole war, but it should at least consider the entire three fronts of invasion of Barbarossa, for example, instead only the Heeres Group Center advance towards Minsk and Smolesnk.

So, those are my main suggestions for the game. Hope it could help somehow.

My best regards, Brontoburguer.

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