Coming Soon: Blitzkrieg DLC

I just set the Steam page to “Coming Soon” which means that the countdown begins to the release of our first Axis DLC. The 1939-41 Axis campaign is a wargaming staple, so it should not come as a surprise that we chose to start the DLC series there. The punchy feeling of “massed armored spearheads and close air support” at your fingertips – we have one campaign’s worth of that coming up, thank you!

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V-E Day Update

The V-E Day update is here, and it’s loaded! There are 13 new scenarios (all what-ifs), a shorter and punchier Second Front campaign, numerous rule and balancing tweaks, and a bunch of technical improvements, including full UI scaling among other things.

I also, ekhm… only now realize that Update 11 somehow slipped in without a post on this blog, with just a quick note on Steam🤦‍♂️ Let’s just attribute that to coronavirus-induced panic and move on.

In general, the whole work-from-home thing seems to be working for our team. We are able to stay productive and keep ourselves safe, which is basically all you can ask for at this point. I wish the same, or at least close enough, to all readers of this blog and fans of our games. Continue reading

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Developer Diary 26 – Updates and Roadmap

We are back! Unity of Command II got released in November, to a good amount of press coverage, glowing reviews, and (predominantly) satisfied players clocking up good hours with the game. We, on the other hand, ended up totally busted from the pre-release crunch.

We are now well rested and all that, but the whole thing made me appreciate my friend Fernando’s militant views on crunch that much more. I’m not sure if another Christmas without a released game would be great either, but the crunch definitely had us bruised. Continue reading

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Developer Diary 25 – The Power of Supply II

Unity of Command II releases next Tuesday, November 12th. You heard it here first, PR be damned! 😀 To celebrate the occasion, please have this sequel to The Power of Supply – the most popular post this blog has ever had.

This isn’t just a trip down memory lane, mind you (but hey, 8 years!). Supply is our signature mechanic, and it has been revamped with an eye to all of the theaters of WWII that we plan to visit this time around.

Granted, you won’t be seeing that much of a supply pinch with the Allies in the base campaign. They usually have generous supply, and only really see supply issues immediately following a naval landing. By the time we reach Russia though (in DLC), I suspect the words “supply disruption” will ring with some dread. You are welcome! Continue reading

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Developer Diary 24 – Beta Test Announced

We’re starting the beta test for UoC II in ten days or so. If you don’t mind spoilers and have a high tolerance for bugs, please apply and help us make it an awesome wargame.

The beta application is open to everybody. We will ask a few questions, and invite a select group of testers based on the replies. Don’t be sad if you’re not invited – the application form is there to weed out the obvious trolls, and apart from that we mostly pick people at random.

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Developer Diary 23 – A Seaborne Invasion

In recent weeks, we put a lot of effort into making sure that seaborne invasions play well in the game. This is important because these air/naval operations were such a feature of the Allied campaign. Counting just the historical ones, there’s six: Torch, Husky, Salerno, Anzio, Normandy, and Dragoon.

Granted, we have decided to start the campaign at Wadi Akarit, after the Torch landings, but that still leaves us with five so… invasions aplenty. Speaking of Torch, the period between it and the allied link-up in Tunisia will now feature in the tutorial, not the main campaign. Sadly this leaves Kasserine Pass outside the campaign, but we’ll try to make it up with a standalone scenario.

We’ve been working on the campaign quite a lot, and since campaign play revolves around HQ upgrades, I feel that it’s time to do a proper Headquarters deep dive. In fact, the bulk of this post will be about HQs and the campaign, but let’s quickly talk about invasions first because there is a screenshot, and it is a-mazing. Continue reading

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Developer Diary 22 – Halted at Metz

September 1944. Hitler’s armies are retreating in disorder after their defeat in the Normandy hedgerows. The Allies keep up the chase across France, but General George Patton’s 3rd US Army is beset by supply difficulties. The Germans finally manage to re-establish a defensive line around the heavily fortified medieval city of Metz. According to orders issued by Hitler, fortress commanders are to hold this position at all costs…

Encouraged by good feedback from our previous post, we decided to start on a series of short trailers about our game mechanics, old and new. The story starts with the 3rd Army actions following the long and bloody stalemate at Metz. It is through a series of coincidences that we are again going on about stragglers (sorry!) but I hope the trailer is worth it for everybody. There is also a lengthy development update at the end of the post, as usual. Continue reading

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Developer Diary 21 – En Route to Rouen

August 1944: after months of hard fighting, the Allies are finally out of Normandy. In front of them, the Wehrmacht has all but disintegrated, having stood its ground up until breaking point. Supply is now the biggest concern for the Allies. Taking the large port of Antwerp will allow them to freely operate their vast armies and air forces in the months to come.

Now that the game has been officially announced, I’ve decided to change the post format for this diary a little. Previously, I focused heavily on what we were doing internally. I was giving a lot of technical info, and even airing our own doubts if the project was going to get completed at all. Big thanks to all who’ve had the patience to bear with these “developer confessions”. The new format should be much more player oriented. We will be going through concrete examples of play, the historical context, and how the game mechanics tie everything together. I hope you enjoy it!

If you’ve been reading our previous developer diaries, you’re likely already familiar with some of the key new features in Unity of Command II, like fog of war, HQ intel, and stragglers. Today we’ll show how these new features tie together to form a tight little gameplay loop, that gives an entirely new dimension to the game. Continue reading

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Developer Diary 20 – Unity of Command II Announced

Better believe it! The announcement will go through “proper” PR channels as well, but here goes the blog version. The game is scheduled for release later this year (Q3 2019) and all of the rest you basically already know if you’ve been reading this blog.

The Steam page is currently up [LINK], so go check it out for an actual trailer and a bunch of new screenshots. Because we’re nice indies though, there are no preorders, the only thing you can really do right now is wishlist the game.

So, um… do wishlist the game (hard!), and also tell all your friends. And that’s it, that will do actually. While we’re here though, I’ll do a short development update, so here goes… Continue reading

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Developer Diary 19 – Details, Details

By now, a lot of the people following this diary must be thinking “so anyway, this game is practically done, right?”

I guess it depends on your definition of “practically”. It is certainly playable, there are very few features that are outright missing, and the scenario count is up to around 20-ish. On the other hand, we’re trying to make a game that’s better than merely playable, so expect more diaries from me until we’re judged release-ready.

As an example, the deformed Union Jack (on the left) is not an attempt at cheeky political commentary, it’s actually what we need to do to make the flag readable in its wavy shape. I was not even aware of this process until Goran, our lead artist, showed me how we do this for almost every flag in the game.

It’s a good illustration, I think, of the type of detailing work that we’re doing right now. We take the game to be mechanically solid, and we’re making rule changes only exceptionally. Our current focus is on the (many!) details that make up the flow and feeling of the game. Eventually, the plan is for the final round of scenario and balancing work to be done on a near-finalized, comfortably playable version of the game. Continue reading

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