[Laszlo] - Laszlo Peller (Digital Reality)
[Yurg] - Yuri Bushin (Freelancer)
[Yurg] Hi, Laszlo! So, let's start our conversation...
For how long have you been working at space strategy games?
[Laszlo] The core of the team started to develop space strategy games in 1992. We started with Reunion, Imperium Galactica I and II followed.
[Yurg] What has given such a huge splash of interest to space strategic games of last year and a half and could that be that this very factor gave rise to Haegemonia?
[Laszlo] I think it could be several factors: firstly the unexpected success of Imperium Galactica II, Homeworld and secondly the reborn of sci-fi cinematic (Star Wars Episode One, Independence Day or Starship Troopers, just to name a few). Together with the rapid development of PC hardware, the new generation of 3D space games could really be born. I think this is a new genre of strategy games- we know of many variations of Command and Conquers. But the move to real 3D space is a new experience for many players. Also a large technology tree is a must in any of these games, which is very exciting to explore in itself. We are just at the beginning to see some new space strategy games - we have some special ideas that no one has implemented before...
[Yurg] If not a secret, what the Haegemonia storyline is built on?
[Laszlo] The story begins within inner conflicts of humanity, during the resolving of these, the possibility arises to leave our home systems. Unfortunately we are not alone in the Universe and the neighboring species are not always peaceful... And something very strong, very nasty, very alien is lurking behind...
[Yurg] Could you say in general whether Haegemonia will be a successor to ideas and style of Imperium Galactica? If it's positive, what exactly will it succeed?
[Laszlo] We will strongly build on the experience and knowledge we gained with Imperium Galactica. Although we will omit some parts, which were boring for new players (required micromanagement) and will focus on the key elements and fun parts of this 4X genre. We implement an advanced and creative spying system and special multiplayer elements.
[Yurg] How big is the universe of Haegemonia and with what races will it being presented?
[Laszlo] There are around 35-40 solar systems with plenty of planets and space objects. There are 2 alien races besides humans and some tracks of others who lived here before or made influence this area, where now younger races struggle for survival.
[Yurg] What will be the 'strategy' in the space of Haegemonia? I.e. what will the player have to do to have excelled?
[Laszlo] We aim to introduce different strategies with formations, special "targettable" systems on ships (which are harder to hit, but might have a larger overall effect than anything else). Spying/agent missions should provide an interesting side to warfare, as well as other heroes who will grant different bonuses and who will develop like RPG characters. Also we think a large and branching tech tree is important to discover- how you advance will also be part of the overall strategy.
[Yurg] How many basic models of spaceships will be in Haegemonia? And what besides weapon can be mounted on their boards?
[Laszlo] There will be 4 sizes of ships for each race (from fighters to motherships) and several special ships as well. There will be tons of special equipment to be mounted.
[Yurg] In many strategy games they were not able to reach the necessary compromise in balance and depth of planetary battles. How will seize of a planet be happening in Haegemonia?
[Laszlo] Planets will have several options to defend themselves, but all the combat will happen in space - practically the attacking fleet has to overcome the planetary defenses and then lay siege of the planet. The planet can have planetary shields, orbital bases, missile stations, etc.
[Yurg] It is building up colonies and creating infrastructure of the space empire that greatly attracts the player in the beginning and terribly irritates the player when closer to the end. Do you plan anything to solve this problem in Haegemonia?
[Laszlo] Generally the player has to concentrate only on the most important things to build (defences, production, fleets) and there will be few key planets to concentrate on. We definitely want to avoid the micromanagement of dozens of planets at the end of the game. The story will give us an option too, to move the player always to new plots. Our goal is to keep the game fun from beginning to the end- without compromise. This means that there will be a larger focus on strategic battles than before- we think it will be tremendously challenging and fun at the same time.
[Yurg] To what extent will the freedom of movements between planets be in the game? What will limit ranges of space flights?
[Laszlo] The movement will be limited by wormholes, which separate solar systems from each other. Each solar system will be fairly big with strategic space objects (planets, nebulas etc) to explore. Each mission will be played in 1-8 solar systems allowing plenty of space for exploring, traveling and warfare.
[Yurg] What do you place emphasis: on the multiplayer mode or on the single player one?
[Laszlo] We will implement a strong storyline focusing on the humans, but have several new ideas for multiplayer as well! Although space strategy is not so multiplayer oriented like for example FPS games, we would like to change this in this title!
[Yurg] As to orbital battles, what principle will they be based on (real-time one or that of turn-based)?
[Laszlo] Generally we will implement the system introduced in IG2. Fully real-time game with the possibility to stop the time and oversees your actions. In multiplayer stopping the time will be an option.
[Yurg] How is it going with characters in the game? Will there be captains to spaceships, mayors to colonies and do you plan to add RPG elements for development of these characters?
[Laszlo] There will be so called "major" characters in the game - for example your hero and "minor" characters, who play a lesser role in the story. All of them will have special abilities; will gain experience and ranks (and new abilities of course). These heroes can be freely assigned to ships or planets, giving special bonuses with their very existence.
[Yurg] How difficult or simple is the economic model of the game? (I.e. what resources will be at the players disposal, and what will he have to control to excel?)
[Laszlo] The model will be fairly simple and taking only the key elements necessary to fulfill your missions. You do not need for example to build houses and hospitals for your people - this will be done automatically. But your decision will be deciding about defenses, the raising of fleets, deciding about research.
[Yurg] What can you say on the social side of the game?
[Laszlo] The social side will be built on a strong basis, but the player will not have to "interfere" with this. You will not need to take care of ecological situations - however with special inventions (which is a strong part of the game) and production options to ensure the necessary "technological advancement" on planets.
[Yurg] Will there be diplomacy in the game and how will it be realized?
[Laszlo] Diplomacy options will be simple and mostly driven by the story. So you will not have the opportunity the make a peace treaty with your main opponent for example! Most functions of diplomacy will be overtaken by our advanced spying system...
[Yurg] Would you tell something about the multiplayer mode in the game?
[Laszlo] We have some specific and new ideas - that we cannot talk about at the moment.
[Yurg] Thank you! We wish you the best luck ever! And we're looking forward to any news on this project!