With Mortal Empires released last week, there’s a hotfix on the way for that Chaos Invasion issue some people are having. We want to make sure that’s sorted out before we add more Total War: WARHAMMER content.
However, in this week’s blog we wanted to take a moment to look at our Historical projects; because you’re about to hear a lot more about them.
The next year is packed with new stuff and, as we ramp up for some big announcements, I took a moment to chat with our history project directors; Maya, Jack and Janos…
Maya, I’ll start with your team as we’re going to hear from you guys first, and soon too. Without giving the game away, what are you up to?
Maya: Well we’re working on a campaign expansion for one of our older games, probably the biggest historical one CA’s done we think. We’ve been working on our project for the best part of a year, and with not long to go we’re well into testing now with nearly all the content in. And yes, it’s going to be the next Total War announcement, which is exciting for us!
We can say it’s for one of our slightly older games though?
Maya: Yes, and the first time we’ve gone back to a game so long after release. That in itself is very new territory and something we’re keen to explore as a studio, because it opens up lots of exciting future projects if it’s successful.
There’s a lot of people still playing this particular game, but there’s also lot more we haven’t even touched in that era yet, some really incredible stories and events that defined history.
What are you looking forward to most about the release?
Maya: Well of course we want players to get a big kick out of the new expansion, but I think seeing people’s reaction to the big free update we’re making to the main game at the same time will be really interesting. It’s great to be able to go back and look at a whole area of the game and make some changes.
Jack, your team is working on our first Total War Saga game, we’ve had one work in progress screenshot from it, that people seemed to decode pretty quickly, can we expect to see any more soon?
Jack: Maybe we weren’t as obscure with that as we could have been… We’re coming out after Maya’s project, so a little while till release yet, but we’re hoping to announce relatively soon, so everyone will see a lot more then. Or at least know for sure what we’re making.
And the idea behind Sagas is to spin off from a previous game?
Jack: Yes. The idea is to take those flashpoints of history that make for great geo-political set-ups for TW games, but are more focused in scale than a new tentpole Era game. Doesn’t make them ‘small’ though, we’re working on a campaign map that’s the size of Shogun 2. And that focus allows us to create greater depth too. A tighter focus means a higher resolution of detail.
But it is a follow-on title, not a new game entirely?
Jack: It’s a new game in that it’s substantial and stand-alone sure, but it’s like Fall of the Samurai following-on from Shogun 2. We’re taking the base from a previous game, overhauling it and adding new content, but not reinventing the wheel. It’s an extension or magnification of the previous game’s time period, so of course there’s some cross over. And that allows us to add even more new content. Fall of the Samurai is a great example really.
And it’s new territory for your team too, not just being a Saga game, but given your previous project?
Jack: In a way yes, we’ve all worked on all sorts of TW games in the past, but I guess our last official release as a team was the Age of Charlemagne expansion for Attila. So it’s certainly different to be working on a self-contained game, that will be in a box on shelves. I’ve been chatting with the marketing guys recently about packfront designs, which is novel!
Anything you can tell me about the subject of the game to tide us over and generate endless speculation?
Jack: It’s a period and place I’ve wanted to make a game about for years, so yes I’m excited. As I came from the community as a modder originally, I know there’s going to be some hardcore fans out there who will like what we’re doing. And then enjoy pulling it apart and modding it…
Oh, and beware the crow.
Last but not least, Janos, expectation is going to weigh pretty heavy on your team, being responsible for the first new historical Era title since 2013? And a whole new time period we’ve never been to?
Janos: Expectation is high, but so is the excitement amongst the team here. A brand new era brings a completely different look and feel to this Total War game.
We’ve ramped up to the final team size in the past few months, so things are moving along steadily with daily visible progress. For example, it’s nice to see, after having researched historical city-layouts for months, it all coming together in the game. There are still placeholder grey boxes here and there, but the atmosphere is already outstanding and gameplay feels strong.
So things are really moving at the moment?
Janos: They are indeed. We’ve been in the mocap studio a lot recently, it’s in a big warehouse here in Horsham, just a short walk from our studio. A good portion of the team have been down there, because our stunt men are drawing quite a crowd with what they’re doing. We always work with professionals, but this time around we’re taking a much more ambitious approach to mocap than we have with previous historical total war games. We invested extra time, effort, and external experts to get the maximum impact. I’m sure fans will be impressed when they see these fully realised animations in the actual game.
A brand new Era though, got to be easy to guess?
Janos: There are plenty of eras Total War’s not been to yet, so I wouldn’t say that. But sure there’s some more obvious ones we see people excited about, and we’re going to be excited too. We have a big list, it’s easy to come up with a big list. We have our favourites, some of them are relatively obscure. And we have eras on that list we’ve already been to, that we want to go to again.
Mike Simpson gave an interview years ago that we see fans quote all the time, where he says he doesn’t think we’ll do a “3”. That is a long time ago. We’ve changed our minds a hundred times on that since, so all bets are off when we’re thinking of our next game.
But this one, will be brand new, and that means we can explore interesting new concepts while still bringing what makes it ‘Total War’ to the game.