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Heavy Duty Changes

The Heavy Duty Q&A on StrategyCore.co.uk offers a nostalgic look back at E3, where they spoke with Peter Winichenko about Primal Software's upcoming action strategy mech game. Topics include the switch in focus to strategy, the game engine, environments, RPG elements, plans for a demo, and more. This genre switch is still apparently sinking in, as the Heavy Duty Website still calls this an action game, but the release date for the project has been updated somewhere along the way, our last notice of this was when the game was delayed from Q4 2005 to Q4 2006 (story), but the release date now reads Q4 2007. Here are a couple of pertinent questions and answers about strategy behind moving away from action:

SC: Did Heavy Duty start out as an action game?
At some point it started out as an action game, but that was many years ago. But even at that time we already thought that it would be much better to make it as a strategy game. The first idea was to make a really advanced engine with one big planet and try to make a global strategy game with some action elements, with strategic control, combots, mechs, air simulator. The thing is that the developers are fans of the X-COM series, so they decided to move in that direction.

SC: Why was it changed to a strategy game?
As this game is developed for PC, it seems that the audience is mostly interested in strategy games and role playing games. As it is a game for PC only, that is why it was changed to a strategy game. There is a big audience for PC strategy games right now. But we didn’t forget about people who like action games, so we’ve got those elements as well.

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19. Re: PC Gaming isn't dead Aug 14, 2007, 22:07 HardCore
 
It doesn't sound like a pure RTS, since they allude to X-COM style research, recruitment, base building, etc., but they asked about real-time strategy and he answered. Also, he mentions the large market for strategy games, which has to be real-time, right?

Fair enough. But if they tried to transition the game they were making into an RTS as we know it, in a years time = failure. I'm just thinking they added some deeper layers beyond just mechs fighting. Anyway, we will see what it all means, theirs plenty of latitude in strategy, although many devs seem to forget that. But making a large change in the last year and a half of development to the core concept of the game, seems like a tricky proposition for it not to feel tacked together.

 
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18. Re: PC Gaming isn't dead Aug 14, 2007, 20:40 Orogogus
 
Near the bottom of the linked interview.

SC: How long have you been working on the game?
About 3 years.

SC: How long as a real-time strategy game?
Something like 1 year. Not more than that.


It doesn't sound like a pure RTS, since they allude to X-COM style research, recruitment, base building, etc., but they asked about real-time strategy and he answered. Also, he mentions the large market for strategy games, which has to be real-time, right?

 
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17. Re: PC Gaming isn't dead Aug 14, 2007, 19:13 HardCore
 
I don't think you see so much of that from Russian developers (Star Wolves, Star Rangers, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Cossacks). They probably can't afford the licensing fees. And I have a hard time believing that moving a game from an action shooter to a RTS is catering to the console crowd.

Where do you see RTS?

Strategy and the connotations of RTS are completely different. Civ 4 is considered a strategy game with some action. Then there is RPG elements, again not soundling like a RTS.

I think putting this into the cookie cutter implications of RTS may not be accurate on your part. Hopefully what they mean by strategy is just some depth beyond just shooting things. But I don't walk away with pure RTS connotations.

Maybe it's not a console related issue with this game, but games in general are often effected as of today (not years past). The games you mentioned are good PC games not flawed by console, which makes my argument that it's not about the PC platform dying as much as it is about games in general (additionally when they target younger, more simplistic, console audiences).

As to screen shots, the early ones from a year ago looked alot better. Recent ones look pretty bad by that link.
This comment was edited on Aug 14, 19:17.
 
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16. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 18:46 Charlie_Six
 
I did, three. Heavy Gear's game universe died too early a death. Someone needs to bring it back from the dead, aye!  
Adventures of a video game mercenary
http://virtualmerc.blogspot.com
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15. Re: PC Gaming isn't dead Aug 14, 2007, 18:34 Orogogus
 
PC Gaming isn't dead. It's the trying to make games for the console audience that kills games in general. I don't doubt that this game will come to console too, but I don't know either way and maybe they haven't announced that port yet.

I don't think you see so much of that from Russian developers (Star Wolves, Star Rangers, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Cossacks). They probably can't afford the licensing fees. And I have a hard time believing that moving a game from an action shooter to a RTS is catering to the console crowd.

Anyways, I went to see the screenshots, which Blue noted were from the action game incarnation, and it looked like potty. It looked like Battle Engine Aquila or Slave Zero, another third person mecha game with giant weapon icons and claustrophobically close range combat. The only interesting-looking parts are the X-COM base-building and unit screens.

http://www.akella.com/en/games/heavyduty/screenshots/

What are people seeing in this that I'm not? As an action game it looked like budgetware that comes out in download-only formats. I just hope the RTS incarnation isn't as terrible as the one in Star Rangers 2 (It's a different Russian developer, but I hope this one has at least laid eyes on an RTS made since Dune II).

 
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14. PC Gaming isn't dead Aug 14, 2007, 17:58 HardCore
 
PC Gaming isn't dead. It's the trying to make games for the console audience that kills games in general. I don't doubt that this game will come to console too, but I don't know either way and maybe they haven't announced that port yet.

Trying to make a game based on what you think people will like is a horrible way to make a game. It's the BEST recipe for disaster!

Try making a game that the developers or creative directors find the most fun, entertaining, challenging, addictive. Then you are well on your way to making a great game and finding success.

 
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13. Tittyfuck Movie? Aug 14, 2007, 16:48 CJ_Parker
 
Heavy Duty sounds like a movie centered around sick jugz .



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12. No subject Aug 14, 2007, 16:40 Shadowcat
 
Well I was always going to want to read reviews of this, but I was looking forward to its original incarnation. Admittedly that was partly due to the absolute kick-arse technology they'd developed for it (animation in particular), which will hopefully still all be there. Here's hoping they just make it better.

 
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11. Re: No subject Aug 14, 2007, 15:33 4D-Boxing
 
The Half Elf

Is it hard to find a server to play online? I might reinstall the game & take my Mauler out for some team attrition.

I played that game to the point that no joystick could last me more than a couple of months. I quicly learned how to repair joysticks & how to cannibalized broken sticks for spare parts.

 
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10. Re: No subject Aug 14, 2007, 15:26 The Half Elf
 
That's why I'm thankful Mechwarrior 4's series is still playable on XP

 
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9. No subject Aug 14, 2007, 15:16 Hump
 
Most people want to play strategy and RPG's.....right, thats why theres been mecha fans screaming for a fix for 5 years now....

Goddamit, this was looking so sweet too.....X|

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8. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 12:24 Orogogus
 
More poeple play online FPS on the PC then play Strategy games...numbers of RPG gamers is slightly lower than FPS gamers.

Is this really true? I mean, Counterstrike is well and good, but Starcraft, man. And Korea.

Anyways, I hope this X-COM inspired game doesn't suck as much as, you know, all the other ones.

 
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7. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 12:11 4D-Boxing
 
Geez I guess my dreams of a MechWorrior replacement have been crushed lol!


it seems that the audience is mostly interested in strategy games and role playing games.

LOL.. I love his stuff it's like Myamoto saying Internert access was a waist of time and that no online games where doing well before the Game cube came out.

Lack of vision & understanding of the markets will kill this company. Next summer we see apost saying they went beely up & people will cry over losing jobs etc... rember this thread when that day comes.

More poeple play online FPS on the PC then play Strategy games...numbers of RPG gamers is slightly lower than FPS gamers.

I guess we need a group of guys like the dudes from STALKER to make a good mech game that will sell. Then the rest will copy.


 
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6. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 11:39 Orogogus
 
you moron, thats why I spent 6k on a new rig because I wanted to play a f'ing strategy game??????????

Yes, if that strategy game is Supreme Commander (although I'm given to understand that the recent patches improved performance significantly.

 
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5. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 11:25 Wildone
 
you moron, thats why I spent 6k on a new rig because I wanted to play a f'ing strategy game??????????

PC gaming is dead


"As this game is developed for PC, it seems that the audience is mostly interested in strategy games and role playing games. As it is a game for PC only, that is why it was changed to a strategy game"

 
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4. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 11:23 m00t
 
Mechwarrior or Mechcommander, both good.

Mech assault bloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooows.


 
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3. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 11:20 The Half Elf
 
I would much rather have another Mechwarrior game (NOT MECH ASSAULT, AS MECHS DON'T FUCKING NEED POWERUPS!).

Then again it could just be me needing an excuse to pick up Saitek's nifty Joystick/throttle

 
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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2. Re: Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 10:59 eunichron
 
I did too. And I was just talking to a friend of mine last week, and we were saying another sequel in the Heavy Gear universe would be awesome.

 
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1. Well I read it as Heavy Gear... Aug 14, 2007, 10:43 AhrimaaN
 
which was actually a great fun alternative to mechwarrior when they were getting a bit shit really.

Pity this isn't.. and well with one major change already happening I don't see anyone getting excited anytime soon! Especially as the change is this late in development!

Does anyone really care???


didnt think so

This comment was edited on Aug 14, 10:43.
 
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