Tom Clancy's End War Interview

Written by Harry Butler

August 24, 2008 | 09:24

Tags: #consoles #end-war #interview #ps3 #rts #tom-clancy #voice #voice-command #voice-control #xbox-360

Companies: #ubisoft

BT: The command system in End War of “move here” and “attack here” etc. is very similar to that used in another Ubisoft title, Brothers in Arms. Was BIA an inspiration for the command mechanic of End War and do you have any of the BIA dev team on board?

JG: While we do have some dev staff from Brothers in Arms, i wouldn’t say it was the biggest inspiration for End War. If you look at SO-COM or Rainbow Six, and even Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – those are much bigger inspirations, where a shooter has been developed more and more towards strategic and tactical gameplay. What we wanted to do was take strategy games and push them towards an action game and make the player more involved with the battle.

BT: What graphics engine are we going to see in End War?

JG: We’re using a very heavily modified Unreal 3 engine.

BT: How have you modified the UT3 engine to suit your needs?

JG: Two of the biggest challenges were to add the voice recognition system into the engine and to get about a thousand soldiers running around the environment at the same time. You’ve got an engine that's been built for first person, third person, action adventure/shooter titles, and stretching that to RTS was a big, big challenge.

Tom Clancy's End War Interview Tom Clancy's End War Interview 2

BT: A lot of PC RTS games have a huge variety of units, but with End War there’s a much more limited field. How have you coped with just having seven types of units?

JG: We’ve got two types of infantry, transports, gunships, artillery, tanks and command vehicle. You can upgrade those by gaining experience in battles with a whole host of upgrades defined along four categories – defensive, offensive, mobility and agility. For example, you can give rifle men the "deep strike" ability, allowing you to parachute troops behind enemy lines. There are hundreds of similar upgrades in the game.

BT: So will players be able to customise their armies with upgrades before they play, similar to customising your load-out in Call of Duty 4 for example?

JG: Absolutely. At the end of every battle you’re rewarded with experience and money which you can spend on upgrades to units. We’re always wary of users getting lost in the upgrade system, and Call of Duty 4 is a great example of how to do it right.

BT: How many players will be able to compete in a single game?

JG: We’re aiming for 1vs1, 2vs2 and 4vs4. 4vs4 is a challenge technically so we hope we’ll be able to get that. It’s all dependant on the time limitations. We want the game to come out this year, and there are always some concessions that have to be made.

Tom Clancy's End War Interview Tom Clancy's End War Interview 2

BT: The PS3 supports fully compatibility with a mouse and keyboard, is it possible to play with these peripherals in End War?

JG: No. We haven’t thought about it all and are just focussing on getting the game perfect with a gamepad and voice command.

BT: Due to the game’s dependency on voice control, will we see versions of End War with bundled microphone hardware?

JG: We will be releasing bundles with microphones included on both platforms and they’ll include wired and wireless options for both.

Well End War is certainly shaping up to be a unique console strategy experience, and having seen it firsthand if any game can pull off strategy on the consoles, it’s End War. Our thanks go to Julian Gerighty for his time, and Pete Closs for arranging the interview.
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