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.

Release Recap

The release day itself was exciting: it’s been 8 years since the original Unity of Command, and more than 4 since Dev Diary 1. We all got together to push the “release game” button at 7pm local time that evening. This button is a new thing on Steam, as previously you’d just schedule a time and the game would be released automatically. Not sure why they changed to this new system, probably not “because it’s more fun”, but then you never know 😀

You’d expect some bugs and crashes on release, and sure enough we had them, but there were no real disasters so that’s good. We made quick work of the crashes even before the holidays (updates 1-9), and have since moved on to balancing and quality of life improvements. As of this writing, the game seems to be in good shape overall.

One persistent complaint that we’ve been getting is that the game needs more tooltips, tutorials etc. This is… true, and is something we are looking to address in future updates. Thankfully, the community has stepped in: check out Unity of Command II – Short Guides by Sampstra Games for example, or this Japanese language guide by Poge. Many thanks!

Updates and Testing Branch

Starting with Update 10 earlier this month, we have created a Testing Branch on Steam. The updates are now bigger and require some testing before being released. If you want to help us test, or just check out some of the new features and fixes, you can join the Testing Branch.

Update 10 has gone live for all users earlier today, and we have already started the work on Update 11 in the Testing Branch. Check out the full changelist for Update 10 on Steam discussions. Notably, Update 10 includes Wacht Am Rhein, a standalone scenario for the Battle of the Bulge played as the Axis.

We’re looking to add more standalones like this in the future. Here’s a subtle teaser for the one coming up in Update 11. 🙂


We plan to continue with the updates, adding new features, quality of life improvements, and standalone scenarios. Regarding entirely new campaigns: we are discussing them (for DLC) but we did not finalize any plans yet. After the huge 30-scenario Allied campaign in the base game, we are perhaps looking for something punchier. We’ll see…

The image on the right hand side is the design for some of the unit sheet details we’re adding in Update 11. Can you notice the changes and/or guess what they’re for?

These changes will come bundled with a new batch of tooltips, and hopefully all of that will communicate the unit state more clearly to the player.

Another thing we’re looking at is letting the players restart the campaign from previous conference, as opposed to last scenario only. This has been requested often enough, but there are technical issues that make it non-trivial so we’re only getting to it now. The planned score penalty is 10%, capped at 250 (too harsh?). There will be no prestige penalty as usual.

Further down the line, after Update 11, we are working on a rather large content drop (free update, not DLC). This will add a number of what-if scenarios to the campaign, including completely new what-if campaign tracks.

Along with the new content, there will be a few rule tweaks, and a good chunk of AI work. All of this will require balancing, which means that the Testing Branch will become exciting later in February. If you understand “exciting” to mean “unbalanced and full of people arguing over unit stats”, then this might be a test you’ll want to join 🙂

As a final note, we have added Steam trading cards for Unity of Command II. Pending approval, they should go live in the coming days. I’m not sure what to think of this feature, as this is the first time we have trading cards, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.



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