What is the game actually about?
You have a steady flow of points. You use those points to deploy units. You maneuver those units to defeat enemy forces and hold key terrain. That's the essence of it.
Tactical mechanized combat in the late Cold War setting is another way to put it.
It's about winning a direct fight right here and now. That's the game's focus. No base-building, no resource-collection, no research or diplomacy: just authentic, lightning-fast fight between lethal combat systems. Tactical small-scale decisions matter: proper positioning, precise timing, achieving local superiority in forces on critical axes.
And don't be fooled by "small scale" bit by the way! It's small compared to the whole war effort but it still means dozens of square kilometers and hundreds of vehicles.
That's a lot of terrain to pay attention to and a great many units to command! An average human being won't ever manage it, will they?
Indeed, manually commanding 100+ units on a dynamic battlefield would be barely possible in real-time. Even with the time slowed down it would be, honestly, a chore first and foremost.
But just as a real commander, you have your subordinates to rely upon. Most of the units are organized into platoons of 3-4 vehicles. Platoon leaders will oversee vital activities such as detailed target selection, ammo management, tactical movement, using local cover and et cetera without overloading you as a player.
That means that at most you'll have 25 entities to control and in practice, it'll be even lower - around 8-16 during most fights. That is less than in most classic real-time strategies.
Can you elaborate on the plot and setting?
We've decided to avoid overused "NATO vs Warsaw Pact" trope. Both organizations were hardly as monolithic as they're usually portrayed.
By 1989 Warsaw Pact was in deep economic, political and ideological crisis. Historically, it was resolved in a relatively peaceful manner. But there were enough close calls.
We’ve wanted to explore an alternative setting where crisis between hardline conservatives and reformists in East Germany ran deeper. Both sides started to rally the troops in an attempt to force the issue when they failed to reach a political compromise. The fighting was limited in nature initially - yet it was a war that happened right at the border between East and West where million-strong armies stood on both sides with enough weapons to annihilate the entirety of Europe in mere minutes.
There will be a separate article that will describe the background of the conflict in more detail.
How realistic is it going to be?
Authentic. The focus here is on representing the spirit of the Cold War mechanized warfare and making it an enjoyable experience. We are careful to keep the ratio of different forces very close to realistic.
We ensure that aggressive execution of combined arms tactics is the only way to victory and "spamming" single type of units is easily countered.
We specifically want to avoid overloading player with low-level small details, like having to account for each millimeter of armor or keeping track of every rifle round. The regimental commander has to keep a high-level view of a battlefield and trust his subordinate to take care of minutiae.
That doesn’t mean that game mechanics are shallow, though. You can expect a multitude of modeled combat vehicles, regimental build-up system, armor penetration mechanics, suppression system, switchable march/combat modes, a basic command and control simulation and reasonably detailed air defense system.
Regimental build-up system? That sounds scary.
But is actually not. Task Force is a basic building block of a regiment. Task Force grants access to several different platoons and off-map support options. There will be about four dozens of different Task Forces each with a specialization and unique features.
For example, a hypothetical US Army Task Force "3/66 Armor, 2nd Armored Division" may consist of a M3A1 recon platoon, three M1A1 tank platoons, M2A2 mechanized infantry platoon, M6 Linebacker air-defense section and an M106 mortar platoon - with an off-map flight of 2 A-10 ground-attack aircraft in support.
You select one Task Force at the start of a game. As the fighting escalates, you add two more, tailoring your selection to the tactical developments at hand.
Basically, a touch of base-building in an otherwise purely tactical game.
No multiplayer? Why would you do that?
The are several reasons.
The obvious one is that being an indie team, we're limited in terms of time and resources. Adding multiplayer support would've added at least another 6 months to an already lengthy development cycle or force us to strip away essential single-player features.
The less obvious fact is that enjoyable multiplayer experience requires fast matchmaking, which in turn needs a total player base of around 100k+ right after release. There is a serious doubt we'll achieve such high numbers with our very first game. We're hopeful, of course ) But hope alone is hardly a justification for massive allocation of resources.
Multiplayer in hypothetical Regiments 2? Yeah, we won't discard the idea.
For now, we'll focus on an engaging single-player campaign with an original storyline and highly customizable standalone battles.