Available: Q1 2005
Developer: Nival
Publisher: TBA

Interview by: Patrick "Rhett" Moore

Hello, would you please introduce yourself, and your role in the development of Blitzkrieg 2?

Hi, I am George Ossipov, the project leader for Blitzkrieg II. I coordinate the work flows of our development team.

Has the team thought about making Blitzkrieg 2 a pure strategy game, where you can construct bases and units with resources, or will it stay with it's current flow of combat-only strategy?

Yes, we were considering the feature of building units in Blitzkrieg II. But this would totally destroy the main concept of the game – historical accuracy, bringing in a fantastic element, as real officers of WWII could not construct bases and units. But recourse management definitely adds to the strategy, and we definitely wanted to deepen the strategic part of the game. So we are including new option to Blitzkrieg II – the ability to call for reinforcement, which is the compromise between resource management and keeping the historical part. Also the amount and posture of the reinforcement is variable – in most cases it depends on the player’s actions. Say, seizure of a train station might be not the main objective, but it gives you the ability to call in more troops by railroad. So the strategic element is deepened much more. Combined arm operations also let the player to learn the right use of reinforcement – that also adds to the strategy, taking it to the higher level.
Actually deepening the strategic and tactical possibilities of the player has been our main intension in the sequel, and we tried to reach it by some original and interesting solutions.

What kind of new features can old-time Blitzkrieg players (Like myself) notice when playing BK2? As a fan of the game, I wished for a custom Skirmish mode, where you could set up armies and map terrains with ease – do you have any plans on including something like that?

The main change is deepening the strategy element and that contains some other features. Missions now have both primary and secondary objectives that are connected to other missions in the tree-like structure. So the players get unlimited strategic choices, as the success on the battlefield and fulfilling the secondary objectives result in getting advantages and promotions (and each promotion means increasing the number of units the player can control). There is also another reason you might want to complete more tasks, as your units upgrade the more you use them just like in the original game, but now they get much more abilities with the experience. And surely reinforcement option also provides the player with more strategic freedom.
A greater variety of units and missions, inshore warfare and air battles let the players to wage war the way they like. A new fully 3D engine allows not only for the visual improvements, but for the AI improvements as well, not only in the foes’ behavior, but in such issues as path finding and collision detection. And yet everything in the game is still kept in the frames of the historical authenticity.
As for now, we are not planning to include Custom Skirmish mode in the game, but the Map Editor will surely be there, so you and other creative people will certainly have a chance to create your own little war. :-)

Strategic/stealth warfare was a big thing with Blitzkrieg 1, as players and computers alike set up ambushes and forced the attacker/defender to think continuously in battle. Has much of the original been changed or edited?

Strategic warfare has been expanded due to the introduction of the reinforcement option and secondary objectives. As there are more tactic abilities now, the player is forced to think even more :-). Also keep in mind that AI now acts much rougher and smarter, so you are to invent different tactics to win him, using all the abilities provided. There will also be several cover operations spread out through the campaigns to give players new experiences and greater variety of mission goals.

I was impressed very much with the first game's graphics details – however some time has passed since then.... How detailed will the graphics of BK2 be? What kind of specs can you tell us in comparison to the old graphics engine?

I fully agree with you that some time has passed, meaning that there are new graphical possibilities. :-) We try to use them to the fullest in Blitzkrieg II, as our new 3D engine allows us for much more detailed looks. While all the units, the surroundings and the effects will be in full 3D, we also added more animation to the game – now each soldier has a unique look and behavior, not mentioning the animated surroundings. Just wait till you see our animated sea waves! :-) It also lets us for some nice weather effects and diverse lightings, such that there will be missions at dawn, sunset and night.
So graphically speaking everything in Blitzkrieg II will have a touch of precise detail.

Which historical battles that we didn't see in BK1 do you plan to include in BK2?

As in the original game, the majority of the missions depict real WWII battles. As the geography of the game enlarges, we are including new battlefields, such as Philippines, Okinawa, Manchuria and other Pacific operations. European War Theater will also have some new battles, not covered in the original game, such as Sevastopol, Sicily, and more. There will be more historical battles in the game; these are just some examples to tease you with! :-)

Obviously the original 3 sides (Russia, Germany, Allies) will be included in the game... But are there any plans to add another side (for example, Japan) or possibly an indigenous force (like Italian troops being a part of the German offensive, or Bulgarian partisans)?

This time we are including four sides: Germany, Great Britain, USSR and USA. So with introduction of Pacific operations Blitzkrieg II will have all theaters of WWII covered. There surely will be Japanese side that you face in the American campaign as your opponent. Also in some missions you’ll fight against Italian troops as the part of German Army ( you knew it! :-)). Also each campaign (as fighting for each side makes up one campaign) will have its own distinctive feature that is also based on the historical events and yet brings in more diverse and fun gameplay. American campaign makes an accent on aviation, while the majority of British missions are inshore war fares – so each campaign differs not only by the geography but also by the general strategy. This way you get to think global in different directions, polishing your overall strategy to the notch!

What can you tell us about the newly included units for the various sides? How many of them are there? Are all of them based on real historical combat units, or perhaps can we expect to see 'Secret Weapons of WW2" that were never released or used?

All units in Blitzkreig II will be based on the real historical combat units, as in the sequel we are continuing to depict the real war, not stepping away to the fictional side. “Secret Weapons of WWII” open a vastitude to imagination and there are plenty of fun ideas that can be realized... but in some other game... say, Silent Storm... 
I can not give the exact number of new units as the game is in the state when the majority of the issues are flexible and might get changed in the process, as well as some new ideas might step in. But there will definitely be a greater variety of artillery and tank units, some new infantry troops, ships, motor boats and more types of airplanes. And surely there will be all new American and Japanese units, having its own distinctive features according to the history. So all in all there will be more than 300 different units, and 60 types of soldiers.
Surely, the majority of the units of the original Blitzkrieg will also be in Blitzkrieg II, but some of them have changed their abilities or gained new abilities. Say, engineers can build bunkers, repair damaged vehicles, and have other new abilities, being even more handy.
Blitzkrieg II also features a special type of units called “heroes” that are real leaders, such as Peter Churchill or Michael Wittman, and elite troops, namely 101st Airborn Devision, Commandos and more. They possess skills and knowledge, appropriate to their position. But be aware that the enemy also has some famous heroes fighting on his side! :-)

People complained about the Tiger and Panzer tanks of the German side being too powerful, I really love the Germans (at least in BK), and I know that these tanks were superior. But will they be toned down for the game, or will the other sides get counter-measures?

Well, the German tanks really were superior, not only in the original Blitzkrieg but also in the real World War II. So we were only reflecting the reality in the game – as with any other weapon or vehicle. To depict them as close to life as possible we had a war historian consulting us on every detail, from the size to the gun power. He is also consulting us on the Blitzkrieg II as we are including new types of units there.
As for the balancing the tank issue, it will be balanced the same it was in reality more than 50 years ago, as several Soviet and Allies’ tanks were set against one German tank, the “quantity vs. the quality”. Whatever is more powerful depends on your actions! There will also be other anti-tank tactics available, such as using ground attack airplanes, anti-tank artillery, or tank destroyers. So no matter what side you are on, and what is your advantage – quality or quantity, you will have a great number of options to realize your strategic plans.

What can you tell us specifically about multiplayer – new game modes, amount of players, etc...?

The multiplayer will have some changes, concerning both gameplay and technical support. The changes in the gameplay provide the player with more strategic abilities, as now the players will capture different objectives that would give them different bonuses in terms of reinforcement strength. The players also can choose what reinforcement to call in, having more strategic control over the battlefield.
As for the technical support, we will have our own stand-alone multiplayer server with a rating system. The approximate maximum number of players is 3 vs. 3, although this issue has not been decisively resolved yet. If it does get changed though that only to the higher number. There also will be LAN networks, so you’ll be able to fight with your buddies after work :-) .

Thats about all of the questions I have, Thank you for your time, and excellent effort to make Blitzkrieg a Lightning-Fast War to remember.

Thank you! We hope that Blitzkrieg II will meet your expectations and will give you even more Lightning-Fast War experience to enjoy and fun to remember! :-)