Development Blog #1: Bird’s-Eye View On The Battlefield

Chain of Command is already getting considerable interest from the gaming community as an exciting and ambitious project that brings something new to the sand table. Set in a historically accurate WWII setting, Chain of Command will challenge gamers with developing an effective strategy instead of trying to out-click the enemy.

The BitBunch development team has recently declared that an early version of Chain of Command will be released in Q2 2015 under the codename ‘Operation Early Access’. While working non-stop on the project, co-founder and game developer George van Venrooij shared his thoughts about the inspiration behind Chain of Command and other topics that future Commanders have enquired about after our recent newsletter.

What inspired the idea to develop Chain of Command? Do you have any special interest in the World War 2 topic?

Personally I got fascinated by the subject at a young age after playing some early wargames waaaaaay back on the C64. I think PSS’s ‘Tobruk’ was one of the first wargames I played. Wanting to figure out what all these abstract symbols on the screen actually meant, I stumbled upon an encyclopedia about World War 2 on my parent’s bookshelf and used that to figure out what battle the game was about. It snowballed a bit from there, both gaming- and reading-wise.

The very first idea that eventually turned into Chain of Command was this little “a-ha” moment I had during a period when I was reading the book “Lost Victories” by Erich von Manstein and playing a hex-based wargame on the Nintendo DS with its touch screen and stylus. While looking at the maps inside the book, I noticed these were all sketched with lines showing troop positions and arrows showing orders. While playing on the DS I suddenly thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a wargame that allowed you to sketch your orders on a map, just like the real Generals did during WW2?”

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How would you summarize the differences between Chain of Command and other games in the same genre?

If you compare Chain of Command to most other operational-level wargames, the biggest differences are that Chain of Command runs in continuous-/real- time, there are no turns. The second big difference is that the game uses a seamless map, so there are no hexagons, squares or discrete areas. And finally, Chain of Command’s engine renders the battlefield in 3D on a spherical Earth and allows you to zoom in fluently to get a bird’s eye view of the raging battle. In summary, compared to operational-level wargames, Chain of Command will add a lot of detail to the game to bring it closer to a simulation of a battle.

If you compare Chain of Command to existing 3D tactical wargames or more mainstream RTS games then Chain of Command is different in that it works at a much bigger scale. We’re talking about having tens of thousands of troops, and thousands of vehicles under your command, which is an order of magnitude bigger than what you get to command in most tactical games. The command hierarchy system is needed to allow the player to control this many units effectively, and since it is so important, this feature became the name of the game.

On what platform will players be able to play Chain of Command on?

Chain of Command is currently being developed as a Windows PC game. We are also keeping the code portable enough to allow for an easy transition to MacOSX, Linux or SteamOS. It’s still too soon to talk about system requirements but since it is a 3D game, I can divulge that a decent 3D graphics card with OpenGL support will be a requirement to run the game.

Stay tuned to BitBunch.eu for more interviews and news from the development team. In coming weeks, we will reveal more information about the CoC game engine, control system, AI and much more.

As always, make sure to follow us on Twitter @CoCHQ, and don’t forget to ‘Like’ our page on Facebook. We are also encouraging the non-enlisted future Commanders to sign up for our newsletter. You will be getting news from the HQ very soon.

About BitBunch

BitBunch is an independent games developer operating from the Netherlands. BitBunch is committed to delivering immersive, simulation-driven gaming experiences on PC platforms. More information at our official website.

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