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Developer's Diary, Entry 1, January 2002



We started working on Blitzkrieg in spring 2001, so the project is less than a year old. Here's what we have at present: In December we passed another milestone, which included six fully functional chapters from two war campaigns that cover different periods of WW2. Four of them belong to the German campaign and deal with the events on the Eastern Front. These are the operations Barbarossa (the German invasion of the USSR in 1941), Typhoon (the offensive against Moscow), Blau (the Stalingrad offensive), and Fretter Piko (the defeat of the Soviet troops near Kharkov in 1943). There are two more chapters in the Soviet campaign, including the defense of Leningrad (the confrontation between the German "Nord" army and the Soviet armies of the north-western front) and the Battle of Kursk.





Here is what you can see in one of the scenario missions from the Battle of Kursk chapter. As this mission takes place in southern Russia and Soviet Ukraine, marvelous clay-walled country huts with thatched roofs are visible, along with picturesque vegetable gardens and fields, forests and impassable swamps. But the scenery is far from peaceful. The air resounds with the roar of 'Panther' and 'Tiger' tanks, and the German artillery is deployed in its positions, its commanders carefully studying the surroundings. On the opposite front, the Soviet T-34 tanks lay ready for ambush, the artillery is spread out on advantageous positions, preparing to ward off the German assault along with the infantry. The Germans are in for a hard time, as there are anti-tank devices and barbed wire spread all over the field, while the Russians will have to work hard to withstand the enemy's powerful tank attacks.

Kursk-Battle

Kursk-Battle 2

And the battle rages on. The Russian and German troops clash under incessant fire from the artillery. You can see several T-34s assaulting a single 'Tiger'. A shell from the giant's cannon pierces the armor of a T-34 - there is a big bang, clouds of smoke billow out, and the Soviet tank is put out of action. But his comrades succeed in flanking the 'Tiger': A few accurate blows aimed at the less-protected areas of the tank destroy it. Yet more and more German vehicles arrive; the decisive breakthrough of the Russians is still a long way away ...

Tiger & T34

Tiger & T34

In general, more than 90 per cent of the 'summertime' armored vehicles, artillery and air forces of all combatant sides are ready (the total number of vehicles on schedule is 150).

JSU-152

60 cm Morser Karl Gerat

BM - 31

PZ - Maus

PE - 8

Me_262_Schwable

They include German 60 cm 'Karl' mortars and Soviet BM-31-12 projectile launchers, the powerful German self-propelled anti-tank 'Jagdtiger' gun and its Soviet counterpart ISU-152, the unique German 'Maus' super heavy tank, the famous Soviet Pe-8 heavy bomber and the German Me-262 'Schwalbe' jet interceptor bomber. Russian and German privates, machine gunners, snipers, tank busters and riflemen are already there on the mission map. We have also completed the graphic sets (that is buildings, landscapes with trees, and plenty of environmental objects such as wells, street lamps, etc.). For the summertime USSR missions, the summer missions in Europe are underway, and the work on the winter missions has already begun. Quite recently we added rivers and bridges - you can see them in the screenshots. Russian and German troops prepare for winter combat: Large numbers of infantry units have been provided with winter uniforms. Now Russian riflemen wear gray greatcoats, ear-flapped caps with untied flaps, and valenki (a special kind of snowboots). Some of the SMG-equipped soldiers wear similar clothing, while others wear boots or caps with tied flaps; machine gunners wear short fur coats, helmets and boots, and the tank busters are equipped with quilted jackets, helmets, valenki and bright yellow field bags. Both Russian and German snipers have special white camouflage suits. Winter-camouflaged T-34 and 'Tiger' tanks have just become available as well.

Winter

Troop training has proved a great success: Sappers can lay anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, as well as detect and disable the enemy's mines. Engineers learn to dig trenches, and privates can crawl and shoot while lying down under fire. Infantry, armored vehicles and anti-tank artillery can now ambush enemy units: Once the enemy comes into range, they will not disclose themselves until the enemy is close enough and in the most vulnerable position. We greatly approve of individual initiative, so all kinds of troops - excluding aviation - can hide and camouflage themselves if the commanding HQ pays them no attention for a while. Little by little, the personnel will learn to help each other: If your SMG-equipped soldier sees the enemy's infantry and begins shooting, fellow soldiers from his platoon will hurry to help. As for the platoons, drills are conducted at top speed. An assigned formation is maintained, even if you change its direction: If your standard bearer is marching in front of a column, he will not find himself in the rear if you decide to reverse the platoon's direction. Tank crews are capable of independent maneuvering in order to gain the most advantageous position to damage an enemy armored vehicle: The T-34 is well aware that the frontal armor of the 'Tiger' is almost impossible to pierce, and will be looking for the opportunity to strike from the flanks or from the rear.

Finally, we did something we always wanted to do: The artillery is now capable of adjusting shooting sectors. This allows you to start bombarding the enemy with high accuracy as soon as enemy troops appear in the specified sector. It is also possible to begin suppressive firing, i.e. to shell the sector continuously. Quite recently, anti-aircraft artillery was put into operation. Now our programmers are amusing themselves by bringing down airplanes.

We are continuing to work with 3D landscapes, which means vehicles can now jump and bump over uneven terrain, climb and roll down hills,

We are practically through with our work on the mission and resource editor, which will soon be available to players as well. We have equipped the game with a sound engine which supports plenty of the modern technologies, including 3D sound. Finally, we have started working out the interfaces. Our next plans include the multiplayer mode, a random mission generator, mission interface, and multiple extra gameplay functions that we'll be sharing with you soon.

Source: CDV



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