last decade. Every single warrior on the battlefield is as detailed as any character in a game with less ambition, and there are naval, as well as land skirmishes, too. Most importantly for history fans, the simulation is that much closer to real life that real life strategies should prevail. “I do believe that the element of realism adds extra authenticity,” Jamie Ferguson, the Lead Designer of Shogun 2, told Military Times, “When you use your cavalry and you slam them really hard into the side of unit, or see men get sent flying by cannonballs, these are things that help you identify and understand the effects of the units that you’re using. There’s a very strong gameplay message there.” That authenticity isn’t just about visual effects and physics, either. The team is
keenly aware that players expect the same attention to historical accuracy too.
“With Napoleon (the last Total
War game), we had complete outrage because we had the wrong type of moustaches on British troops,” says Creative Director Mike Simpson, “Our moustaches we’re quite big handlebar moustaches, which apparently were too Victorian.”
Audience expectations of Shogun 1 were tempered by the limitations of computer technology at the time, and the fact that there were few English works about the period available. That’s changed, says Simpson, and he expects players to be more aware of any innaccuracies. In order to get their facts right. the team refer to original Japanese sources and consult with Professor Stephen Turnbull of the University of Leeds, one of the leading commentators on the era. His books, like Kawanakajima 1553-1564, have proved invaluable.
If you want to find out what it was like to command feudal Japanese army, Shogun 2 will be available from 15th March. Start polishing your katanas and wakizashis now.
SOLID TO THE CORE
Why games developers are improving their relationships with chip manufacturers.
Over the course of developing the last few Total War games, The Creative Assembly has also been nurturing a relationship with the technology leader Intel. It a mutually benefi cial arrangement: Intel gets to see what games developers really need, while soſt ware architects get expert advice on improving their code. There are benefi ts to the relationship for
strategy fans too. Achieving such enormous amounts of detail at frame rates that are good for gaming is hard, and Intel engineers have worked with the Shogun 2 team to help them enhance the game for its 2nd CoreTM
processor family. More importantly, the
game developers have had access to a suite of Intel’s tools such as the Graphics Performance Analyzers, which they say have enabled them to deliver great gameplay on PCs ranging from entry level to todays most powerful – an important design (and business) consideration, since this designing for great gameplay on a range of PCs means more customers. So if you own a powerful gaming PC, you’ll see an incredible amount of realism in Total War : Shogun 2. But if you want to play ‘on the go’ with a mobile PC, or even an entry level machine, don’t worry: you won’t be excluded from the fun.
To watch a video interview about the making of Total War: Shogun 2, visit www.military-times.co.uk
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