02/28/2017 by Jeff
Hidden Path Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer Mark Terrano is likely best known for his role many years ago as the Lead Designer at Ensemble Studios on the real time strategy (RTS) game - Age of Empires II: Age of Kings. It is one of the best selling strategy games of all time, won numerous awards and entertained millions of people for many millions of hours of play. Fast forward to today, and the latest in Virtual Reality technology, and through our partnership with Oculus, Mark has been given the opportunity to reinvent classic RTS play for today's audience in a wondrous environment, with incredible input technology, and a team at Hidden Path that focuses on fun, quality, beauty, and exceptional execution. Fog of War? There may no longer be a need for it. Hour long battles? Let's focus instead on 25 minute intense battles while still including all of the drama, progression, and depth that classic strategy games have had since their inception. Virtual Reality gives us the opportunity to tear down the complicated interfaces, menus, and UI screens often associated with RTS and build an exceptional interface anew. An interface that is intuitive, physical, and gives you complete command over your forces in battle. As you command your forces on the wartable, you build new units, direct them to attack, flank, or circumvent the enemy, build new structures, upgrade your forces along a tech tree of interesting options, and even fire off catapults of fire that rain down upon your opponent and their forces. There will be a lot more to tell you about Brass Tactics in the weeks and months ahead as we go from today's initial product reveal to release of the game this Fall. Already we see smiling faces as they quickly learn to navigate their way around the battlefield, command units to attack, and compete against multiple AI personalities, against friends in multiplayer, or even together with a friend in co-op play against the AI. There is a lot to talk about around the world of Brass Tactics and we're excited to be building this game and sharing it with all players who love strategic and tactical play. You're going to really enjoy being immersed in strategy in a way that has never been available to you before. After the first day of showing Brass Tactics to the press at the 2017 Game Developer's Conference yesterday, here's Mark reporting back from the show: "There is always some apprehension when you show a project that you've worked passionately on (for a year) to the press for the first time. Will they see what we see in it? Will they get it? The whole team has been crazy busy in preparation for our first showing of Brass Tactics for the past month: We stayed up late tweaking features, adding in special camera controls so we can capture footage for a trailer, making marketing materials and pouring over the bugs. You've done everything you can and tested, tested, tested, but the night before you are still left with those worries – will they see what we see in it? Will the enjoy it like the team does? Do people still want to play Real Time Strategy? And then we finally see the reactions today: people saying "I've been waiting for this game for so long!", "It is so smooth, why didn't anyone do this before?", "It feels just like Warhammer or my tabletop games I used to play with my brother". "Is there a beta program, because I want to play this just for myself." "SHUT UP AND TAKE MAH MONEY!". Yep, They get it. They like it like we do. People had a blast all day. They wanted to keep playing. They got other people on their team to come by after hours so they could check it out too. Other VR developers wanted to book time in the morning so they could have follow-up matches. People walking by kept stopping to watch the battles and blocked the entrance to the demo booth. Other press not on the schedule heard about it in the halls and asked if we could squeeze them in anyway. Suddenly, all the doubts are erased, all the apprehension is gone. We are bone tired, but overjoyed. Still a lot to do before we release in October but we know we are onto something special. Lets ship it." -Mark Terrano, CCO Hidden Path Entertainment.