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Telladar Chronicles: Decline Q&A With Sergey Snisarenko © Game Factory Interactive Ltd., Mindlink Studio
By: Stephen Rowley


1. What features would you say differentiate Telladar Chronicles from other fantasy based RTS games?

Decline in not the usual RTS, because there is no researching of technology, production or building in the game. Your hero musters, equips and reinforces his army between missions and participates in large-scale tactical battles operating thousands of soldiers.
It is the real-time tactical war-game and our combat system, which supports nearly all kinds of combat maneuvers and techniques available in a pseudo-medieval setting (various unit formations, morale factors, maneuvers, ambushes) along with a magical components of our fantasy world.

2. How has Telladar Chronicles' development been influenced by other media forms (Lord of the Rings films, Games Workshop games, etc.)?

Actually, various media forms have affected the creation of the general game concept and it’s really hard to specify all the things that guide us in our work. Sources of inspiration are too numerous to be listed here (lots of fiction, table-top and computer games etc.). But I want to specify two of them, maybe the most important ones. It’s Master of Magic and Warhammer: Dark Omen. These games were the primary driving force behind the concepts of Telladar Chronicles’s universe and TC: Decline.

3. What top three things should all players experience in Telladar Chronicles?

Our main goal is to deliver a legendary atmosphere where huge armies led by epic heroes clash on the global battlefields, mighty wizards spread death and destruction with powerful spells, and where horrible monsters tower over ranks of warriors. The player could expect to meet everything that should be included in a good fantasy game. Thus, three major things that should be experienced in our game are participating in epic events, revealing the truth behind storyline twists and a struggle in huge battles.

4. What sort of players is Telladar Chronicles aimed at?

We are aiming for those gamers who love the fantasy genre and want to make them feel a part of a newborn legend. We also think about the players who like strategy and war games, especially mass tactical combat, because the warfare in our game is quite realistic with a touch of magic.

5. Which game do you see as your main target/rival to Telladar Chronicles?

At present our game does not have a direct competitor, as the similar projects in this genre are not expected. If I had to name rival games with similar features to TC: Decline the titles that come to mind are: Stronghold 2, Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth, Alexander the Great, and XIII Century. I want to emphasize that those excellent games simply have similar moments such as the castle sieges, fantasy battles, tactical maneuvering but they are very different from our project.

6. The amount of customization sounds very ambitious - each unit having individual stats/weapons/unit sizes etc. - how will balance be maintained in multiplayer games? Or have you focused on just creating a single player experience?

Expressly for the TC: Decline we have developed our own in-game RPG-like system. Our system is not completely suitable for a full-scale RPG, but it is a perfect fit for the needs of a mass combat RTS with RPG elements. In a single player game, the majority of balanced features are adhered to a plot taking into account different story-line elements and the distinctions of the solo gameplay. Multiplayer is balanced in brackets of units and unit’s equipment cost. Each unit (taking into account experience level) and equipment variant costs the certain quantity of the so-called prestige points. Starting the multiplayer game, you can set a certain limit of points for every participant and then use it in your own way. And even if you loose a battle, you can recollect army and make a proper counter attack to resist the opponents’ forces.

7. Can you tell us (some of) the races of characters which populate the Telladar Chronicles universe?

The Telladar Chronicles universe is occupied by a set of surprising and unusual creatures. But given the in-game conflict the major participants are seven various parties - two kinds of Orcs (settled Urrgs and nomadic Horchi), three human states (Telladarian Empire, Counties of Ormir and The Westian Principality) Dwarves, Elves and Centaurs. Some minor races are also present; for example, Goblins and Ogres, who fight in alliance with the Orcs.
Now I’ll tell you some details about each race:

Goblins

Goblins have showed up in Miere during the Age of Unsealed Gates (nearly 7 thousand years before the start of the game) and were almost destroyed during The Succession Wars. Since then, they wandered along the steppes of Tumrak-Naghyr, occasionally attacking small and defenseless settlements. Three thousand years later, Urrgs and Horchi tribes arrived and the goblins became the first race in Miere that met them. Having failed to render practically any resistance, they became Orc allies and serve as scouts, support and servants. They have carried out these roles till now.
Goblins are less intelligent than people and physically weak. They are dexterous and mobile; possess excellent hearing and the advanced night vision. Goblins are a cowardly and spiteful race, inclined to treachery and a deceit. They submit to the Orcs exclusively because of fear, but will stab them in the back (if they are sure that they will not be punished). Goblins have great stealth capabilities and possess their own magic, but in hand-to-hand combat they concede to all races without exceptions.

Horchi

Horchi and Urrgs appeared in Miere through the one of the last of ancient Gates - interworld portals constructed by the elves during the Golden Age. Their arrival has led to the beginning of long war between the orcs, their ally’s tribes of goblins and ogres, and Kemmor - the ancient human state. The conflict has lasted more than 40 years and is known as the Orcish Wars or Forty-year War. Conflict was terminated by the signing of the peace treaty according to which Orcs have received the lands behind the Ghurduk Range and on which the great bulk of their nation lives now.

After the fall of Kemmor, Horchi tribes began to migrate behind the mountains, have gradually settles in the Sea of Grass, now known as Urdaj-Nagh...

Horchi are smaller and swifter then their brethren, the Urrgs. They are nomads spending most their life in a saddle of the riding bulls or Gorghs. Horchi are more dexterous than humans and are equal to them in strength and endurance. The nomadic life has made them a good cavalry and archers. They are dark-haired, with somewhat gray color of skin, green or blue eyes.

8. If you had to describe your game as a cross between other already released games, could you do so and which games would you pick?

You mean Total War series, don’t you? There are some similarities between our projects and products from Creative Assembly – we both implement mass real-time tactical combat in 3D and that’s all. A more accurate description of our game can be described as a mix of Warhammer: Dark Omen and the games of the Total War series.

9. Is there a minimum set of specs you are aiming for to run Telladar Chronicles (noting the ambitious size of the game worlds/armies)?

The current build of the game runs smoothly on P-4 2.0 Ghz with an Ati Radeon 9600 and 512 Mb of RAM. It’s not the final hardware requirements thought, and our programmers promised future optimizations to bring down the minimum specs for release. By the way, minimal graphics card required for the game at this time is a GeForce4 Ti and, naturally, it doesn’t show off everything the engine can do. More details will be revealed down the road.

10. Any examples of missions/story elements we will get to see in Telladar Chronicles?

Unfortunately I cannot reveal details of the story, as it is one of the most important and serious aspects of the game. I’ll tell you a little about the mission structure and the task concept. The design concept of each mission was aimed to exclude trivial solutions (go`n`kill stuff), so there will be various mission types and goals. For example you may need to prepare an ambush for a huge enemy transport or to sneak into the besieged enemy city with a small force and open the gates for rest of your army. Some of the missions are all about assaulting or defending cities and castles. And of course there will be plenty of field battles, but they too was designed not to be a regular hack’n’slash event. We’ve also include optional sub-quests in some missions, and completing them can reveal a previously hidden mission to your hero, or even bring to him ancient magical item.

The GamersHell staff would like to thank Sergey Snisarenko for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.


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