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Old February 27th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Why can't you ever make a fantasy TBS with modern graphics and UI ?

Questions about Conquest of Elysium 3 don't really belong here, since Shrapnel Games is not the publisher for that title. The official CoE3 forums are the Desura forums for CoE3.

I will try to answer your questions as best I can:

First off, you must understand the differences between Illwinter Game Design and Triumph Studios. Triumph is a full time game development house with hired employees, offices and quite a bit in the way of resources. Illwinter is two guys developing games as a hobby on their free time AFTER their day jobs.

In the same vein, Triumph Studios has a dedicated team doing graphics and animation full time. I know Lennart Sas of old, during the days of AoW1, and in addition to being one of the head honchos and lead programmers at Triumph, he is also a first rate artist, who did a lot of the graphics for AoW1.

Illwinter has Kristoffer to do the graphics, and he is also quite superb as an artist, especially doing 2D sprites. The problem being that he has thousands of them to do all on his own and make everything else fit. Doing animated sequences would require doing a crapload more of them. There is just no way Illwinter has the same kind of resources.

Then there is the stylistic and philosophical differences. Some of the graphics from CoE3, if you cut away the colored squares from army background, are arguably superior to many of the unit graphics from AoW1 (some of the animated units look downright crude, especially if you scale them up).

AoW2 added 3D graphics for quite a few things. Not feasible within the engine limitations of CoE3, not to mention again the amount of work and available resources.

As far as the game interface goes, there are already mods available to prettify the CoE3 interface from the very basic thing that it is by default.

And with regard to "ancient squares", is "ancient hex grid" (which the AoW series uses) somehow inherently superior? It gives you a slightly different look for when you do multiunit graphics, because it's either 1, 2, 3 or 4 hex instead of squares, so the alignment is going to look like the halfling level 2 town in your screencap.

As far as the automatically resolved battle, that is a design decision made by Illwinter and because it fits with the concept of CoE3, which is really an upgrade of CoE2. If you ever used Fast Combat in AoW1, you would note that it is very, very similar to how CoE3 does things. Only the FC mechanics of AoW1 are technically inferior to the combat system of CoE3 in many respects.

If you want a more straight up comparison, look up Warlords 3: Darklords Rising, which is in many respects closer to CoE3 than AoW is. There are similarities and dissimilarities between all of them.

It is easy to produce criticisms based on superficial things unless you take the time to properly take into account all the relevant factors. Doing a nuanced analysis that does so is more time consuming and may yield surprising results.