Available: Q4, 2004
Developer: Game Factory Interactive (UA)
Publisher: Game Factory Interactive

Interview by: Dennis S.

Kombat is a 3D RTS game with tactical wargame and RPG elements. The game uses the real army structure of years 39 - 45 with all main and specialized branches including reconnaissance, counterespionage and medical squads etc. Check our gallery for some brand new exclusive screenshots!

Hi Please introduce yourself and your role in the development of Kombat.

Hi, there!
My name is Sergey Salnikov, I’m a pretty nice young guy, my hobbies are different and interesting, my shoes’ size is bla-bla-bla...M’kay, that’s not right introducing, I guess :-)
I’ve been involved in game development for several years already and Kombat became one of the most interesting projects for me. As for the position – I design the gameplay for Kombat.

In three phrases or less – what's Kombat, for the uninitiated?

Well, if you’re interested in an original modern RTS with a non-linear plot about the WWII, don’t miss Kombat. It will really fascinate you.

First of all, do you plan to make Kombat a realistic game, a-la Close Combat, where one good shot can mean death – or more “arcade” style strategy game, a-la Sudden Strike?

From the very beginning we decided to create the project as realistic as possible. And for now we still wanna follow the intended course.

Some RPG elements are promised in the game, including creation of a unique hero and development of the hero from junior tactical squad commander till general. Could you please elaborate on that?

Every character in the game, as usual soldier unit or the main hero, improves his skills eventually. You’ll choose your element commander at the start of the game and in the case of successful career you can achieve the rank of General. And, sure, each new rank opens yo you new possibilities of military operations. Meanwhile the players behavior in different warfare situations defines the AI’s relation to him.

There are a lot of promising WWII RTS titles that are expected to be shipped next year, including Codename: Panzers and Wartime Command. What will make Kombat stand out from the crowd?

Kombat refuses the system of couple of missions leading to the final of the game, like it is the case in some other WWII oriented games. You should pass, creep, run through the all the War with your element. And even playing the German side you can win.
Sure, you can’t strongly affect the events from the very beginning of the game. But your successes grow bigger and your rank higher, and as your influence becomes stronger one day (game day) you’ll be able to change the frontline situations cardinally.

You promise a whole three playable sides in the game: Allies, Soviet Union and Germany. In which years will the campaigns take place? Also, will any of the missions be based on real events?

Right absolutely. You can play any of these sides. The only difference is that each of participants’ campaigns has original starting dates and conditions like it was historically. The German campaign starts in 1939 with the attack on Poland. Allies begins in Italy in 1943. As for the Soviet Union – its campaign starts after the German attack in June 1941.
And here the history stops playing its role. No copies! You gonna replay the WWII based on your tactical skills and, actually, your own wishes :-) .

A “non-linear plot allowing each playable side to win” is promised. Does that mean that potentially Germany would have to invade USA in order to finish the game?

No-no-no, wait. The final necessary to victory goal is the capture of enemy’s capital. So, Germans should capture Moscow.

Tell us more about the non-linear plot – would the missions be auto-generated, or would they be played a-la Close Combat, with progression back and forth (depending on who's winning) over the same maps?

Okay. There will no couple of separate missions in Kombat like it was, for example, in Close Combat. You play one huuuuge mission – pass the whole campaign. From the first day till the final – in your enemy’s capital.
But besides the main storyline you’ll pass the single skirmish missions. All your strategic objects and tasks will be assigned by Global AI in the role of the Joint Staff.

You promise battles with up to 15,000 units – a few questions arise out of this. Considering the number of units, how much micromanagement will there be in the game? Can we expect something a-la Sid Meier's Gettysburg where the player had control over battalions, and not individual soldiers? If so, how will those units be divided and controlled?

Not all these 15 000 units are simultaneously available. You’ll control different amounts of units according to your rank. But in the high ranks you can choose to control the smaller elements it that is necessarily, but only up to two stages lower.
For example, if you’re the regiment’s leader, you can also control the battalion and company, but not the squad. All other units will be controlled by the local AI.

Re: micromanagement, do you have any plans to have an automatic assistant in the game, to whom the player would be able to hand over the controls if things go bad a-la the aforementioned Gettysburg or Dungeon Keeper?

It all depends on the situation. If there’s a bad situation at on of the frontline sectors, you may decide to control this zone by yourself and “move” there in order to manage the battle directly.

How many historically accurate types of troops and vehicles be present in the game? What sorts of vehicles will be included in the game – how about ships and airplanes? Where do you get the information on all of them?

There’s up to 300 unique soldier units and up to 360 ground military equipment present in Kombat. All the most famous models of technical units including the air and sea forces are realized in the game.
We’ve shoveled lots of documents, reference books, films, museums, sure, internet in order to recreate the historical atmosphere of WWII with all visual details.

From what we've seen from the first screenshots and renders the game looks relatively nice, even if it's still in early stages of development. What graphics engine are you using to power it? Can you give us some specs on it?

Our first-rated goal was to reproduce the environments close to real, that’s why we’ve created our in-house powerful engine especially for Kombat.
Dynamic light and shadows, different weather effects, sun and moon movements, day & night changing work on the global realistic image of the game. Interactivity of environments, especially terramorphing, high detailed graphics, all of these should involve the player in our “virtual history”.
Our engine is compatible with a wide range of accelerators and on the most powerful of them it supports pixel lighting.

Do you plan to include multiplayer support with the game? If so, for how many players, and which gameplay modes do you plan to include?

Sure, we plan multiplayer modes over the LAN and internet! How can the strategy game loose this huge and faithful auditory of cybergamers :-) .
We can promise some popular modes like team and co-operative, and we're discussing the possibility of developing new modes.
We’ll make an accent on the team vs team mode most likely.

How far ahead are you with development of Kombat, and what's the current estimated completion date?

The estimated release date is Q4 2004. But we’ll precise the date later.

Closing: thanks for chatting with us. Do you have anything else to add, maybe something we forgot to mention?

Yes, sure! MERRY Xmas, dear gaming fans! Have a lot of interesting games in the New Year, and we’ll do all our best to make one more time-killer project :-) .
And as always – welcome to www.kombat-game.com. Don’t hesitate to write us all your thoughts and ideas.

We wish you good luck with the game – it's shaping up to be a very interesting project.