As we mentioned in our previous announcement, we are completely remaking the game. We saw that you had tons of questions for us, so we decided to write this article and clarify things up.
1. Why did we decide to remake the game?
As you may know, the game started with 3 devs, and the development progress at the beginning of Early Access went pretty smooth and steady. And to speed things up and improve the quality even more, we decided to bring some new members to the team. However, that didn't go well as we planned. We made a strategic mistake by adding new devs to the team too fast, without having them go through proper training and adoption. This caused massive delays and quality drop in development. We also mistakenly brought new designers and team leader to the project and trusted them to design some core systems and manage the project as a whole. Gradually, the product shifted further and further away from our original imagination. It was wrong to assume that people can always do the job the same way we do. We did realize that eventually, but we still had a bit of hope that it would turn out fine until we were financially broken and had to pause development.
After recovering from the bankruptcy and finally put ourselves together, we decided to remake the project. The reason is simple, the final product ended up being far from the communities' expectations and our original idea. And we can't just leave it this way. We have a huge bond to this game since we have poured so much time, effort, and sleepless nights into it. And we feel a huge responsibility to the game and the community due to our personality.
2. What do we think of the current build?
Gameplay-wise, we think the game is a bit complicated with too many unnecessary features that don't work well together. The core features, such as AI and gunplay, were not nearly polished. The game lacks tactical elements in combat, such as different maneuvers performed by specialized units(heavy machine gunners, mortar squads, snipers), armored units, and support. The overall combat experience becomes repetitive fast, while the over-world management seems overly complicated and irrelevant to the combat. The game also lacks a sense of progression and difficulty curve, which can easily break the game at a certain point. Graphically, the game can really use an overhaul. All the maps appear to be similar, especially the skirmish maps that look identical to each other. The look of soldiers and companions, in most cases, is poorly designed and out of place. The game also lacks a weather system which contributes to both gameplay and immersion.
3. What do we want to remake?
-Dramatically improve the combat: We will enhance squad behaviors and AI tactics and emphasize the uniqueness of each type of squad. For example, a sniper team should stay hidden and behave like a spotter and long-range killer. The squad should also be equipped or upgraded with tactical gear that will benefit their specialty. For example, providing a binocular to a sniper team can increase their sighting range by 3. We will also add mechanized units such as an SUV mounted with a heavy machine gun. We will overhaul the shooting mechanics, so it is smooth but challenging to master.
-More meaningful over-world exploration and management: We will make each conquerable location much more beneficial to you. It can provide you with essential resources needed to grow your force, such as troops, weapons, food, gas, cash, and so on. We will also focus on the uniqueness of each location. For example, a village can provide you food and local militias, a military base can offer you professional soldiers, and capturing an airport can grant you access to international aid and trade.
-Overhaul the graphics: We plan to improve the graphics to the next level by using a better rendering engine, redesigning and remaking the majority of the maps, troops, companions, and items. We will add environmental effects such as fog, rain, storm, and so on. The combat maps will look different from each other. You will see mountains, meadows, forests, villages, towns, industrial areas, military camps, oil rigs, airports, and so on.
-Better progression: We want the game to have a much more meaningful and smooth progression curve. Every step you take will be a step up (or down) towards your final goal, the country's liberation. You will always have something to work on or improve, such as upgrade your weapons, get better units, find suitable team leaders, promote your units in rank, conquer locations, and get war resources...
4. Who will make it happen?
This time, the core dev team will be the three of us, the most original guys. With our previous intense experience with this game, we clearly see how we can make it better. And with the technologies and skills gained these few years, we surely can make it happen. We also understand the importance of a great community, and with the support and feedback you guys give us, we are sure the game will turn out great.
5. When can you get the remastered version, and how?
You don't need to pay anything if you already have the game. You just need to wait for a major update that will give you a totally new experience. Once the build is ready, we will put it to the Beta-Testing branch, and you can try it out and provide us with feedback. Eventually, we will make it official and replace the older version of the game. Note that the older version is no longer being developed, but we will put it into a separate branch so you still can access it.
6. ETA of the release
To make these changes effectively, we have to overthrow the current project. So except for some assets, coding, and designs, there is nothing we can really recycle. It will take time. We are currently in the designing and researching phase. We have already started some coding and modeling but still in a very early stage. The ETA for the first test release will be a half year from now, but we will release more regular progress reports once we have some basics done.