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Three Moves Ahead Episode 47 – Looking Ahead to 2010

January 12th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 23 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


Troy, Tom and Rob look at the big 4 RTSes coming out this year (Command & Conquer 4, Starcraft 2, Supreme Commander 2 and RUSE) as well as the return of Norb Timpko, the future of Facebook games, the battle between Victorian Age games. And Tom makes Troy sing.

Apologies for the sound issues. It was a bad connection that we tried to fix a couple of times without much success.

Listen here.
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Greed Corp
Scourge of War: Gettysburg
Sid Meier talks to Julian Murdoch
Paradox buys AGEod
Vainglory of Nations
Victoria Developer’s Diaries


23 Comments so far ↓

  • Nikolaj

    Not being a huge fan of RTS games (with some exceptions), I found the last part of the show to be the most interesting.

    I personally like Victoria a lot (although the Revolutions expansion is mandatory), and I’m really looking forward to the sequel. The first one did have it’s share of problems, true, but to be honest, all Paradox games do, EU 3 with all the expansions being a possible exception. I believe one of the reasons that Paradox is making this sequel, is because of a poll on their forums, so I’m obviously not alone in liking Vicky. :)

    As for Vainglory of Nations, I’m looking forward to seeing what AGEod will be delivering. They mostly do wargames, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens when they broaden their scope a bit. I don’t know what Phillipes level of involvement in that title is, but he does have a tendency to design overly convoluted games with confusing rules and 200+ pages manuals. In his defence, though, his ideas are usually great, and his games are some of the most historically faithful games I’ve ever played.

    On that note, I think calling Great Invasions terrible is unfair. Pax Romana, maybe, but that game never really left the beta stage. God knows that Great Invasions has many, many flaws, but I found that once I got past the terrible interface and near incomprehensible manual, it’s actually an excellent game, with some great ideas I haven’t seen elsewhere.

    His WW1 game has come a long way since its release, btw, and will soon be released in a gold version (aka fully patched version). When it comes out you guys might want to give it another try, although I guess the learning curve is still very steep.

    Great show as always. Keep it up. :)

  • Paul

    You guys missed Stardock’s Elemental War of Magic!


  • Troy

    Yes! We did. Big mistake since I spent a good part of yesterday catching up on it.

  • M.S. Smith

    Paul beat me to it. Elemental is the big one for me this year.

  • Darren

    Yes. Elemental is THE strategy game for me this coming year. Looking forward to it immensely!

    The site says it is due in mid Feb but I can’t see them meeting this time-frame given how far behind the beta versions are.

  • Michael A.

    I believe Brad has mentioned that the date for Elemental has been pushed back to Q4.

  • skshrews

    Matrix Games will be publishing a PC WWII grand strategy game “World In Flames”. The original boardgame was the stuff of legends in some circles, though I preferred “Third Reich”.

    Paradox bought AGEOD and will release “Rise of Prussia”, based on Frederick the Great’s campaigns. An operational level game similar in appearance (so far) to AGEOD’s Civil War and Revolutionary War games.

    “Napoleon:Total War” might benefit from all the errors of the original, and the limitations of the European continent to contain “sprawl”, to be the game the original wasn’t. And, of course, the Napoleonic uniforms will be the highlight of the battlefield!

  • James Allen

    Early Q4 (September-ish) is my bet for Elemental.

  • frags

    Elemental: War of Magic is what I’m looking forward too. And I might give Napoleon Total War a chance, if it’s any good.

    Of course you have the DoW 2 expansion(expandalone I think). That’s about all I can think of. AI War has an expansion due out anytime now called Zenith Remnant.

  • Paul (a different one)

    Kudos on leaving the “behind the scenes” in. A nice diversion, I must say.

    I too am looking forward to Elemental. Really, that’s the only strategy game I’m excited about right now. The big three RTS games you all were talking about don’t excite me in the least. RUSE, however, is something I have an interest in, but it’s doubtful that I’ll even consider it a day 1 purchase.

  • M.S. Smith

    Rob’s comments about RUSE have perked my interest, but I will wait for the reviews. If they pull it off, though, it may be the strategy game I’ve given up hope that someone would make.

  • Panzeh

    RUSE is actually a fairly good game aside from the card deception mechanics, but had some rather irritating balance issues in beta that may still be there in retail.

  • Enax

    Having played the cnc4 beta, i’ve already crossed that game off my list or rts titles to look forward to.

    They’ve thrown out the cnc series, and started afresh, producing a game focusing solely on team based gameplay, similar to the game World in Conflict except with a with a modern warfare style unlock system. It’s not a system that eases players into a game like dow2’s unlock system for singleplayer. it’s a system that throws new players into multiplayer games with 4 units and 1 upgrade, vs players that have 20 units and unlocks. it’s an artificial learning curve for a game that has no real learning curve because of it’s inherent lack of depth. in terms of gameplay it is identical to world in conflict with less tactics and strategy.

    Pretty much EA doing what it always does with cnc titles: rushing out underfunded lackluster games with short development cycles, depending on whatever reputation the series has left.

    With that said i am looking forward to ruse having played a million beta 1v1s pretty competitively vs a friend

  • Ian Bowes (spelk)

    Out of the biggies in RTS that are coming out later in this year, I think the only one I’m remotely interested in is R.U.S.E. and even that with some intrepidation. I really want the deception mechanism to drive the game forward, and be key to the success of the game. My fear is that the deception will be some minor embellishment, that will ultimately be overlooked.

    It seems the vast majority of RTS developers are too keen to just shine up the “same old same old” mechanics, rather than push in any particular novel direction. Any RTS that does probe the boundaries of innovation seem to get a good slapping from either its own publishers or the community at large. Games like Endwar, Stormrise, or even the Kohan series. Its these sort of RTS’es that I want to play in 2010.

    I think someone has already mentioned this, but one of the RTS/Strategy highlights of 2010 has already happened, a day or two ago, The Zenith Remnant expansion for AI War: Fleet Command was released, with a lot of new stuff added, not least of which are the massive alien ‘Golem’ ships. The graphics and interface has also had a bit of a makeover in this step up to AI War version 3.0 – worth a look.

    I think personally I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on the likes of Slitherine and seeing what they’re going to come up with next, because they seem to be about one of the only wargamer/strategy company that is really trying to make cross platform, cross genre games. They bring a lot of newer strategy titles out on console and even handhelds like the DS.

    Since streamlining strategy to effect its take up by more of the gaming masses seems to be the way forward I’ll be keeping my firmly fixed on the indie community because I think we may see some groovey innovative stuff come from the periphery there.

    I’m so tired of the Facebook games I’ve tried, I think its because they hang their hook on creating a pyramid marketing scheme and forcing players into endless click spirals primarily designed to add more players to the game. Only this time you’re selling your very friends to the marketers, because they’ve dressed a virtual “present” up with a parasitic viral marketing tool.

    Very little of the games available and that become popular have anything to do with the actual gameplay. Its all about throwing small spiked candy out, and pretending its “cute” or “cool” to drag your friends into the swarm. I have grown to loathe it, and have been beaten with the ‘click here to invite your friends’ stick so many times I’m numb to it now. I’m all for new and innovative ways to play multiplayer games, and I wish we could move away from the marketing/milking/micro-payments of what is the norm, and come up with a valued gaming service, utilising the networking of Facebook, but delivering actual game content. I’d be prepared to pay out real money in large amounts, if the gaming was good. Rather than the zombie like infection mechanism of spewing this micro-payment marketing faecal matter upon your friends.

    So fingers crossed the likes of Sid Meiers can come up with the goods. I’m surprised many good game designers haven’t flocked to it to be honest, because I’m sure theres healthy honest profit to be made there, that doesn’t involve shallow and lifeless interface based clickfests. What is on offer at the moment, I’d go as far as saying is technology abuse. Facebook is a good wholesome concept, but its being cheapened and riddled with repellent spam flinging tat.

    And relax.

  • Jon Gad

    Besides the criminal exclusion of Elemental, it now turns out that the Ruse talk was premature as the game has been pushed back to “2010-2011.”

    Which means 2011, since game companies almost never get a game out earlier than we expect.


  • frags

    Jon the fiscal year 2011 actually begins on April 2010. It’s supposed to be released early this year since they’ve had a beta done recently. This just puts it out of Q1 2010. Still there’s always the chance that you are indeed correct, the game will not make it this year.

    But my bets on Ubisoft putting the game out this year.

    It looks like they might have found something in the beta.

  • Panzeh

    I wonder if the idea was to eschew the traditional hard-counter type balance in exchange for the more fluid or a more ‘historical’ balance. I don’t know if i’d look forward to RUSE if it tried to be more like other RTSs in this regard. We’ll see what the delay’s about I suppose.

  • Rythe

    RUSE intrigues me quite a bit. I hope there will be a demo of it somewhere.

    And speaking as one of those Total Annihilation fans, Supreme Commander was a couple steps forward and one big step back. They did a lot of things that needed to be done, and I’m really going to miss the old resource model from the last two iterations, but the disconnect from normal units to experimentals was way too big a balance issue in SupCom1. Dragged down the gameplay a bit too. If they fix the balance between normal and experimentals while also speeding up the movement of armies over huge expanses, it should be good times for us Total Annihilation fans.

    I’m looking forward to Starcraft II as a continuation of the story from the original. The gameplay may not be exciting to us old timers, but Starcraft II will more than likely usher in a new generation of RTS players. The game just isn’t hard to get into and play. Collect resources, build stuff, send stuff towards the enemy. Yeah, stay away from online matches, but honestly, it’s probably the game we’ll be suggesting to prospective strategy gamers. That or Demigod.

    I’m also interested in seeing the end of the CnC franchise from a story prospective. What has Kane been up to? And what is his ultimate goal? I just hope they didn’t screw that up – will suffer through whatever else EA has shoehorned into the game otherwise.

    Elemental is the other strategy game I want a demo to. Although Stardock has held my good graces for years now, so might just buy it based on that. They need to stick around!

  • oMonarca

    While not a new game per se, Chaos Rising, the standalone expansion to DoW2 should also have had a quick mention.

    All the mechanics from the base game are expected to be deepened in the expansion, the campaign becoming even more RPG-like, while the multiplayer going the other way around, while using The Last Stand to bridge both sides.

    So, cool developments in Relic’s new experiment, something which in itself should be interesting to observe.

  • Troy

    oMonarca, it’s funny. As soon as we stopped recording and began our post show chat, Tom remembered Chaos Rising. Certainly on our list.

  • David Brake

    I was really hoping you would mention a return to WWII of the Combat Mission/Shock Force engine. I loved Combat Mission to death but I have no interest in realistic modern era tactical combat. Is there any chance we’d see that in 2010? I would gladly buy a game that just featured a few years of the Eastern Front with further units and scenarios you had to pay for.

  • Crispy Gamer Outlooks for 2010

    […] Comments David Brake on Three Moves Ahead Episode 47 – Looking Ahead to 2010Troy on Three Moves Ahead Episode 47 – Looking Ahead to 2010oMonarca on Three Moves Ahead […]

  • ducker

    Yet another vote for Elemental as far as most anticipated game of 2010. Being a huge Blizzard fan, I’m a bit surprised to say I’m looking forward more to Elemental then I am to Starcraft.