SF2 Dragon Storm - Teaserpage

The creative genius behind SpellForce caught on photo!

We managed to drag away the complete team from their screens and keyboards for a second to join together for a quick picture.
Having weathered the ups and downs of the developer’s life almost unscathed most of the team has been with Phenomic since the original SpellForce-The Order of Dawn.

Developer Diary

Hi, long time no see, but there was and is much to do. While one part of our team was still working on Shadow of the Phoenix last year, the other guys were already working on the technical base of SF2. The SF2 design work reaches even further back, beginning parallel to the development of Breath of Winter. As most of you already know we don’t rest on the laurels from the success of the first part. It was never a part of our discussions to make a half-baked SpellForce 1 remake, as in some other titles. Our target is to greatly increase the game design and techniques for SpellForce 2.

Let’s start with game design. Our main target was to make the game faster, more thrilling and to regard the wishes of our fans. Faster means shorter ways, improved travel possibilities and shortcuts, but also faster building and unit producing. More interesting as in more effective decisions – not only in the quests and story but also in the skill-system and the RTS-component. Our new improved skill tree puts the player on the brink of important decisions on every level. Not only that you chose your character class in the beginning, moreover you decide in which way you evolve every time you level-up. Additionally building up and fighting gets more exciting: which way are you going to develop e.g. extending the faction of your alliance by taking over the elves with their healers and archers, take the dwarves with their strong melee warriors and siege weapons or take the humans to get mounted units and gryphon-mages! All these choices give us a long list of basic changes beginning with the calculation of battles, values of units which are now more transparent as well as improved AI and the skirmish-mode.

Additionally we wanted to improve our graphics technique, even though SpellForce: The Order of Dawn achieved many compliments and accolades for the art design. We had two huge goals on this point: On the one hand we wanted to increase performance and on the other we wanted to have cutting-edge graphics technique including but not limited to Self-Shadowing, Ambient Occlusion, Hemispherical Lighting, Reflection Mapping, spectacular water, … the list of technical innovations is long. Nevertheless SF2 will not be a ‘monster’ in hardware-requirements. According to our current tests we were able to improve performance really noticeably. Especially the settings of the new, custom made animation-system had huge effects on performance. The applicable compatibility tests will take place later on but we have set ourselves the target to make SF2 solidly playable on Radeon8500/GeForce3. By the way, the published screenshots were created with a NX6600GT and a X600. The minimum specs and the recommended configuration are not final yet, we will hold comprehensive compatibility tests in the future but until then the code of SF2 will become more and more optimized.

Of course technique isn’t everything, speaking of visuals, it is far more important what our artists can create from the technical base. Our graphics department has done a lot of work to improve the look of SpellForce. There will be qualitative reworked models, animations and textures in SF2.

With all these changes we are placing much weight on not losing the characteristics and feel of SpellForce, furthermore to deepen the feeling of being a part of the SF world. SF2 will feel like SpellForce……faster, prettier and more interesting but still SpellForce!

Actually with E3 (the worlds largest gaming convention in LA) just around the corner most developers around the world will work many hours of overtime. This is the first time developers can present their games for a huge and influential audience. We’re currently trying to complete as much as possible of the current development-status……the UI receives a tuning, first two character races get balanced, unit and structure production is being checked to fit the requirements of the game design document. The maps are being populated with details that will determine the world of SpellForce …

We apologize that we haven’t been around much in the forums, I think after E3 things will be a lot better!!

Sincerely yours,

Martin (Project Leader)

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