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…

Steam Page

The info on the Steam page will not be news if you’d been following this blog. It mentions the campaign [Dev Diary 8], headquarters [Dev Diary 4], bonus objectives [Dev Diary 2], fog of war [Dev Diary 14] etc. Actually most of what’s on that page has already been mentioned here multiple times.

In the screenshots, you can spy the HQ Selector in lower right, which is a quick UI method to reach your HQs. Right above that you can sometimes see the re-designed messages: a lot of the work lately has gone into various transient UI messages and “dings”.

There are many new units in the screenshots too. For my money, the Gebirgsjäger and Indian infantry stand out. Bonus points for whomever spots the New Zealand infantry with their “Lemon Squeezer” hats first. 

The trailer has been put together with an emphasis on game footage. I hope you like it, I think it gives a good idea of what the game is (and will be) like. It was super interesting to be involved in making it, even though I’m not a big consumer of trailers personally. Normally I have them disabled in Steam and jump straight to the screenshots.

 

General Progress

While the main game loop of select-move-attack has been solid for a year, the game allows for several dozen HQ actions and theater assets, each of which needs its own workflow and animations. We’ve been going through that list for some time now, but there are 36 more items still left to do. I’m not even kidding.

Low level campaign work has mainly been completed as well. The editor supports scenario variants and branching, and is able to manage units which are persistent in the campaign. We also found a good solution for unit name localization, that should hold up for community content. For example, if you use “101st Airborne” in your scenario, it will automatically be translated in all supported languages.

The work on the special Normandy map also progresses well. The landings scenario would barely fit in our default scale, so we decided to zoom-in and it’s looking good so far. We should be using this approach as necessary, wherever we encounter high unit densities (final Soviet offensive on Berlin comes to mind).

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa

You may have noted that the Steam page lists Croteam, the makers of Serious Sam and Talos Principle, as our co-developers. Croteam are our cross-town brethren, and as the bigger studio, have been super helpful for years already. We’ve now made things slightly more official, with Unity of Command II formally listed as a co-production.

This is a good thing and not bad. The game gets to be even better, and I totally promise we’re not adding headless kamikaze anywhere.

Feel free to AMA in the comments. This is usually the case here, but now even more so because it’s a bit of a special occasion 😀

Cheers,

Tomislav

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36 Responses to Developer Diary 20 – Unity of Command II Announced

  1. p8R says:

    That’s the great news! I’m really waiting for this game – it looks much better then oryginale UoC and I do hope it will be at least equally good. Wish you success which will enable you to make UoC 3! 🙂

  2. aren berberian says:

    Awesome! We are getting closer and closer now, can’t wait for it! Well done guys great work.

    Maybe you should contact some of the big youtubers who helped make the first game famous by promoting you again. If it were not for the Mighty Jingles vid of UoC (back in 2014!) i probably wouldn’t have found this awesome game in the first place.

  3. General Brooks says:

    Really good news
    UoC 2 was added to my Wishlist on Steam 🙂

  4. Stian says:

    Wow, so happy to hear a release date! But Q3… feels so long away now, I was hoping it would be like this spring… Oh well, all the better for a quality release.

    Any chance of a beta-test phase for us “die-hards” before release to sort out the inevitable quirks? 😉

  5. mgdriver says:

    Will I have to use Steam to play it or will I be able to do a direct download? I’m not a real big fan of Steam.
    But I’m a huge fan of the game! I’ll be ready to go July 1st.

  6. tom says:

    Thanks for the kind words all, much appreciated!

    @aren: I’m pretty sure we will be contacting the streamers/youtubers, Jingles included, though a bit closer to release day, not right now. Jingles has indeed done a lot to bring UoC1 to new audiences.

    @stian: no beta call up as yet. Please follow this blog, our twitter and/or FB – the call for testers will go through these channels.

    @mgdriver: from a technical perspective I prefer Steam because of the ability to update the game, workshop integration etc. Actual DRM is turned off on our games anyway, even on Steam.

    That said, I will probably be talked into some sort of “DRM-free” distribution eventually, though at least in the beginning when you need to do a lot of updates, Steam is clearly superior.

  7. strelkovaya says:

    Cant wait, great to have a date (OMG a date, all hands to the pumps!) and really like to see Kiwis on the ground. Love your work, wishlisting on Steam.

  8. Sourdust says:

    The Kiwis are next to the British 8th Army HQ on the Italy screenshot, if I’m not mistaken!

    [Marks out July as UoC2 month.]
    [Marks out August as UoC2 month as well.]

    Good luck with the spit and polish!

  9. sourdust says:

    One of the final shots in the video appears to show a carpet bombing attack, which inflicts about 20 KIAs on assorted units across a broad stretch of the front… including a couple of Allied units!

    That’s a whole lot of KIA. I’m sure the final product will be exquisitely well balanced, but at first glance this seems too powerful. Carpet bombing was only used on narrow bits of the front, and usually it was pretty disappointing. In game terms, maybe 0-2 KIAs and 0-4 disrupts total? And I like the friendly fire risk, but again too much… even the worst friendly fire bombing incidents were in game terms only a single KIA or disrupt. Eg, the carpet bombing on the opening day of Operation Cobra really only hit a single German division for perhaps 1KIA, 1 disrupt, and perhaps 1 disrupt on a US division. In general air power in 1944-45 western front was great at disrupting C&C, wrecking logistics and interdicting movement, and not much good at all at destroying front-line troops.

  10. Joan says:

    Really good news!!

    Thanks for making, in my opinion, a much-needed beautiful-looking gateway to computer war games.

    My question is: what about multiplayer? hotseat? PBEM?

  11. Daniel Mellbin says:

    @sourdust – good spotting! 🙂 The current heavybomber attacks – called “saturation strikes” are a lot of fun… But also very overpowered. What you see in the trailer are two of those currently not-yet-balanced badboys dropping simultaneously.

    Current plans for the saturation strikes are to have them tuned towards suppression. And there will also be a cap on how many neighbouring hexes can be affected.

    However – in general airpower is still an abstraction as it was in UoC1- and as such will seem overpowered if viewed purely as direct frontline strafing and close airsupport.

  12. Thomas says:

    The music in the trailer is awful. I hope it is not the actual in game music? I absolutely loved the music from the original UoC, as well as the original game.

  13. Happydaze says:

    Glad to hear that release is getting closer. Actually, it’s about the time I was expecting. I am keeping my fingers crossed that you will continue to support us Mac players. I know we are not a big audience, but we are fiercely loyal and the more developers who are willing to take a chance on us with good games, the more that audience is likely to grow.

    Happy

  14. sourdust says:

    What Happydaze said!

  15. tom says:

    @Joan: hotseat is already in! Online multiplayer should also be in, but it’s not a priority so niceties like a proper multiplayer lobby may wait a bit after the release.

    @Thomas: sorry you didn’t like that particular track. The track is again by Bruno Babić, author of the UoC1 soundtrack, so perhaps it’s the odd one out then 🙂 The new soundtrack is mostly done, it’s much longer (more tracks) and is again excellent IMO.

    @Happy, sourdust: we haven’t done the mac port yet. The porting itself probably isn’t a big deal, but can’t be 100% sure until we try. In a nutshell you can expect mac support at some point, but perhaps not at launch.

  16. socrux4491 says:

    I’ve waited for almost 2 yeras…and the relase day is closer!
    I have some questions-splitting/merging is available in this game for represent regiment/brigade(e.g.1st polish parachute bde)?

  17. aren berberian says:

    Can you tell us what the game is likely to cost?

  18. Carl says:

    Aw…not Mac at launch? And here I was going to vociferously shout to be a beta tester (if they are needed). 🙁 It never occurred to me that this wouldn’t ready for both at launch. Oh well…guess I have to go ahead and start playing something else (been waiting to dive into HoI4); but I keep coming back to UC over and over again. It’s that good. Hopefully won’t be too long till I can play the new game.

  19. tom says:

    @ socrux4491: this is still a head scratcher for us. Not just the Polish (though we’re aware of that), but more generally things like splitting US armored divisions into combat commands (CCA/CCB).

    There is a split/merge mechanic on the table, but I also looked at the simple expedient of having two in-game units for each US armored division (which would be called CCA and CCB). That… dunno, does not feel all that elegant. Either way, nothing is yet decided :/

    @aren: I didn’t even look into this yet. Won’t cost a fortune, you know we’re reasonable 😉

    @Carl: I know the feeling. I have this Mac Book Air on which I play games like FTL (500+ hours logged) at home on the sofa. Then Subset released Into the Breach (300-ish hours logged) on Windows only and I was like wtf subset noooo 😀 But they did come through eventually. I do understand them, because it’s a reasonable way for a developer to go about this.

  20. Carl says:

    Thanks Tomislav…. I will just have to content myself to waiting. Been an Apple user since the II back in the late 70s. Of course back then, there were like 7-8 games and I had them all. LOL. Have watched the fall and rise (sort of) of Apple since then, and fortunately, there are more game options for us than previously. Hopefully the game will open for Mac sooner rather than later!

  21. Happydaze says:

    Willing—but not wanting!—to wait a bit to get the Mac version. I think it’s great that you have supported Mac gamers so far.

    At the moment I am reading Breakout And Pursuit and am eager to play out some of the battles described in it.

    Happy

  22. zgcityboy says:

    How many campaigns ? German and USA ? Or allies one will be divided into british and USA ?

  23. tom says:

    @Carl, Happy: ? for being so reasonable and supportive. You don’t even know.. I will work to get us there sooner rather than later.

    @zgcityboy: the base game will consist of a single large Allied campaign, from Operation Torch in 1942 until VE Day. There won’t be a German campaign (in the base game) just a couple of standalone scenarios.

    We’ll be adding expansions later, like we did with Red Turn and Black Turn. The expansions will definitely have German campaign(s), but I have no details yet. All in good time 🙂

    Cheers!

  24. socrux4491 says:

    I’ve read your reply.
    If unit merging/splitting is hard, how about stacking it(3-5 units/15 unit strengths per 1 hex)?
    Thanks for replying!
    P.S.
    Is airborne/ampjibiois mechanics are available in game(Itbwill be useful for bigger scenario suchbas normandy to ruhr)?

  25. Firefly says:

    This is absolutely fantastic news; congratulations! 2019 is set to be a fantastic year for games with the addition of UoC2 – I’m super excited!
    Just a few questions:
    1) I have heard that the campaign will start from Torch in 1942. Will this start date allow for the battles of the Mareth Line to be included?
    2) I’ve been an avid follower of HoI 4, until their latest DLC which made it impossible to play a historical-like game and practically ‘killed’ the game for me – it has gone too A Historical to the point where its unenjoyable (Mexico taking Central America?!). Will the What if scenarios in UoC2 be realistic and logical (I’m thinking D-Day at Calais, Market Garden / Battle of the Bulge succeeding, Normandy failing etc.)?

    Keep up the great work! You have already got my purchase and love for the game!

  26. Daniel Mellbin says:

    @Firefly – cheers! ?

    1. As it stands right now the British 8th army is introduced into the game just after the battles of the Mareth line. However this is not final.

    2. Switching to wildly a-historical situations is entirely up to the player. But not to worry – you won’t be battling through Nicaragua with Mexican panzer divisions ?. Our philosophy is to allow for “reasonable” historical divergences like the ones you mention.

  27. Tomj says:

    Sooo great, can’t wait to get my hands on UoC 2!!!!!

    You guys are the best!!!!!

  28. mrfricks says:

    great news!
    this is my most played game on steam.
    hopefully they’ll be a linux version?

  29. tom says:

    @mrfricks: we will be looking into a Linux port, but I don’t want to make big promises and then later walk them back. We’ll see what’s possible.

  30. Kyle says:

    I probably last checked on the blog for an update on February 27th and saw nothing! So, even though it’s about a month late, congrats on getting to the release date stage. I’ll be buying as soon as there’s a mac port. Looking forward to it.

  31. corneliu says:

    Tom, my steam account got hacked. I really hope I can buy this game directly from your site. I prefer an clasic exe and a serial. Thanks.

  32. Happydaze says:

    Corneliu said:

    “I really hope I can buy this game directly from your site.”

    I wish to ditto that comment. I have stayed firmly away from Steam since an unhappy incident with them several years ago, and do not wish to go near them again.

    Happy

  33. mgdriver says:

    Agree again–not Steam. Got UOC originally from Amazon games direct download. Always works great. Got another game that “requires” Steam. A real pain in the ass to use.
    But hurry up and release the new one!!

  34. mgdriver says:

    OK it’s halfway thru the third quarter. So………

  35. Thomas says:

    When do You expect the Mac port to be ready?

  36. tom says:

    @Thomas: I don’t know exactly, but it’s looking better since our Mac guy seems to be on a roll. We have uploaded a new 64-bit build of UoC 1 to Steam only a few hours ago (for Mac OS Catalina).

    If you want to help test it, please consider loading up the beta:
    https://steamcommunity.com/app/218090/discussions/0/1630791694324073033/

    Cheers!

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