Interviewed by by Safwat "Helium02"
Congratulations to all RTS gamers around the world, GSC Game World is pregnant again. And guess what!! Cossacks will have a brother soon, which will be called Cossacks: Back To War (the game is already out in Germany and UK). Cossacks: Back To War is the second expansion pack to the original game, this pack will include new features, new missions, new buildings and new units. Sounds interesting??!! Yea I think so, and as every interested gamer, I want to know more about it from this interview with Sergiy Grygorovych, Game Producer, enjoy.
Hello, please introduce yourself, the company you work for and your role in the development process.
I’m Sergiy Grygorovych, the Producer of Cossacks. In fact, I coordinate all the projects developed at GSC.
The fact that you've decided to release a second add-on to your first game indicates that it has succeeded in the games world, what can you say about that?
Cossacks appears to be our first game, and we are very happy of the fact it has enjoyed big success with gamers worldwide. I think it’s crucially important for a fresh development team to make a successful start, so we were lucky here.
Tell us about the story behind the game (For example, background story). How did the idea for an add-on come up?
Cossacks: Back to War expands more into the history of Europe of the 16th-18th centuries, shedding light on the past of two more militarily and economically powerful nations of the time – Hungary and Switzerland. We have generated quite a big game community since the time the original Cossacks was released, and we felt the players will be interested in getting some extra playable things, before the full sequel is done. That’s why an idea of the first, and now the second add-on appeared.
As I've noticed, you're planning to release Cossacks II later in 2003. What can tell us about it? Please deal with the influence of this pack's selling on the release of Cossacks II.
Unlike Cossacks: Back to War, Cossacks II is going to be a full sequel in every sense of the word (Cossacks: BTW is a stand-alone version too, nevertheless). The game will focus on the history of Napoleonic Wars, which is a next step on the timeline of Cossacks series. We will embody a new engine, increase the upper unit limit dramatically, introduce regular armies with more sophisticated models of tactical combat, provide a more realistic economic model for the game and so on. We are already half-way with the sequel, so, irrespective of this add-on’s sales, players will see the continuation of Cossacks series.
The add-on pack will include many features of the original game. Tell us about it mentioning the new missions and buildings etc. What's your favorite mission?
Definitely, Cossacks: Back to War has inherited a lot from its ancestor. For example, it will feature the common Cossacks economic and warfare principles, combat formations of units, huge maps, battles on land and sea. As far as new introductions are concerned, apart from two more nations, Bedouin - a new unit for Algeria and Turkey, Cossacks: Back to War will offer 100 absolutely new single missions. We decided not to focus on making new extensive campaigns in single player, whereas provided players with an opportunity of quick single mission play. Hungary and Switzerland, the two new game factions will offer a set of unique units and architecture. We have also prepared some new multiplayer features. Apart from common Deathmatch and Historical Battles modes, players will be able to enjoy monthly championships, arranged automatically on our game server, as well as view games on-line or recorded, just as they do with football matches on TV. After spending so much time on all the missions, you start treating them as your own children and it’s hard to name the best one, so let the players decide.
Are you planning to release another add-on pack before the release of Cossacks II? What are your expectations of this add-on's sellings?
I hope this second add-on will satisfy all the gaming needs of Cossacks players until the sequel is shipped. About 300 thousand copies of the first add-on have been sold worldwide, so we expect to at least repeat that success this time too.
Did you use new techniques in order to develop this add-on? What is unique in it? And why should I invest my money buying this pack while I can save it a little bit more and buy Cossacks II?
We have been working on improving the engine and the game since the day of the original game release, so with Cossacks: Back To War you will find a more technologically improved and polished game. Additionally, we have tweaked the balance of nations quite considerably, if compared to Cossacks: European Wars. With Cossacks: Back to War you can enjoy an intense warfare gameplay with 20 different European nations, as in single, so as multiplayer large-scale action. 100 single missions will surely bring you a variety of tactical and strategic challenges, so you could have a good practice and be better prepared for playing Cossacks 2. To cup it all, you will require a good deal of patience, as the sequel will not be released until Q4 2003.
Are you planning to release Cossacks especially for consoles? If yes, when and to which platforms?
I doubt Cossacks will be released on consoles. Cossacks, as any strategy game, basically, is a type of games which can’t live without two things - mouse and keyboard :-).
What are the minimum requirements needed in order to run this game properly? And what are the requirements which have to be available, to make this experience unforgettable?
You will require a PentiumII-233, 32Mb of RAM and DirectX-compliant video card to run the game. To enjoy it fully on largest maps, you could do with a PentiumIII-500 and 256Mb of RAM.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We are thankful to all the loyal Cossacks players, who have stayed with us since the time of the original game, your support is a great inspiration to us.
Thanks for taking time off your busy schedule to chat with us. We wish you all the best!