- In Z whenever you captured a flag you'd also capture its
facory. That promoted many interesting and thrilling gaming
situations, when you'd keep an eye on the factory production
timer and try to capture it right on time. What were the
design decision behind moving the capturing function to
a unit? Now that the game is done, do you still feel that
was the right decision?
- One of the early design decisions on the game was to alter
the territory model to introduce the cash element. Once
we'd done that, having control of facilities pass with the
territory became inappropriate. If we'd have kept that in,
money would never really have become an issue, as any decrease
in money would have been met with a similar decrease in
your ability to spend it! Also, because we'd added the ability
to build your own factories, it would be possible for the
game to get into a situation where one territory bacame
overidingly important, going against the idea that the game
uses every inch of the map.
So, while nicking territories just as a unit was about to
pop out of a factory was great fun in Z, it just didn't
fit in with what we had in mind for Steel Soldiers.
- Would a classic game mode be possible?
With many Z players missing the original, it'd be great
to have a game mode with visible factory level (according
to terrain flag) and timer, robots slowly crossing water
and factories capturable through territory capture. Any
- Not really. The classic mod of play would only really
work on the original Z maps - the ones from Steel Soldiers
wouldn't really fit the purpose without some substantial
reworking. There are also a lot of other things that were
inherent to the original Z that are done totally differently
in Steel Soldiers, so it certainly isn't a trivial task.
Besides, the original Z can be picked up for a couple of
quid now if you hunt around, and it's still as enjoyable
to play as it was back in '96.
- Last, but not least, do you think
Z:SS turned out to be all that you originally envisioned?
Ie. was it intended as a Z in 3D with more units and options,
or as a totally different game as it turned out to be?
- Steel Soldiers was always intended to be different to
the original Z, it certainly wasn't just meant to be "Z
Even so, the end product turned out differently to the original
plan for the game - some elements are probably more Z-like
than what we originally went for, whereas other elements
were taken even further. Trying things was important all
the way through the game's development, and because of this
it probably ended up better than our original plan.
thanks for the interview Mike, hope Bitmap Brothers keep
on their long
and brilliant track of great gameplay games.