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Developer's Diary, Entry 3, March 2002

The game development process is moving on and there have been a lot of changes since our last news flash. Mission interface development is practically completed. The interface panel is located in the lower left corner of the screen; it's divided into several sections. In the upper section is an info window showing detailed information about each unit on the map, including vehicles and infantry.

The automatically generated mini-map in the center shows the landscape and various objects on the terrain, plus your troops and the enemy troops within your range of vision. When heavy guns start to fire, the mini-map displays divergent concentric circles enabling you to locate the guns and execute efficient counter-fire. Above the mini-map are four bars indicating the selected unit's hit points, ammo for the main and auxiliary weapons (e.g. for a tank's pivot-gun and machine-guns) and, finally, the unit's morale. The right-hand corner of the interface panel contains buttons that allow you to issue orders to your troops. There are nine common buttons for assigning actions available to all units, such as moving, hiding, firing, etc. Also, there are more buttons for special orders. E.g. if the selected group includes engineers, you can order them to dig a trench. If you have selected a lot of units of different types, the command panel will extend to its maximum size and you'll be able to see all the actions your troops can possibly take. Lastly, there are four special buttons, one in each corner of the mini-map. These are for calling air support, contacting your supreme command, pausing the game and calling up the Settings panel. Speaking about the Settings panel: It is now possible to save and load games and view mission objectives using the Settings panel or hot keys.

Apart from the interface panel, the visualization of troop selection is also ready. A solid hit point bar now appears above the selected troops; the hit point bar above unselected troops is semi-transparent, so they are easy to distinguish.

More about the interface panel: The special functions buttons allow you to order engineers to dig a trench, set up anti-personnel devices, and detect, lay, or remove mines. An engineering truck can be used to repair damaged vehicles. Also, engineers are now capable of entrenching a stationary tank. We have new supply lifting trucks. All you have to do is issue an order to such a vehicle, and it will supply the appropriate unit with shells from a depot. For the first time ever in war strategy games, you'll be able to defeat the enemy easily by cutting off his supply lines! There's another special truck for moving the infantry across longer distances - the soldiers won't have to walk anymore.

A lot has changed regarding the artillery. We now have crates with ammunition standing near guns, and gun crews servicing them. If a gun is not particularly large, the crew can dig a gun trail and push it to a new location, then set it up again and open fire. If it's a heavy gun or a howitzer, you'll have to get a gun tractor and attach the gun to it.

Great news about the multiplayer mode! We have created the first multiplayer map and the team have had an actual combat on it. It was a good start for the Blitzkrieg multiplayer game. See our future bulletins for more on multiplayer functions.

And now for the last, but most important thing we must mention: the random map generator. One of the unique features of Blitzkrieg is its flexible mission structure, where you can prepare your troops in randomly generated side missions for the central hard-core battle; gain supplies, experience, new weaponry, etc. The mechanism for generating missions has been completed, and allows you to create an unlimited number of different maps using preset templates. This means that a player will be able to complete missions many times over, and they will be different every time!

That's all for now; until the next time!

Source: CDV