Supreme Commander 2 Q&A with Chris Taylor

Gas Powered Games’ Chris Taylor was so kind to answer a couple of questions for us with regards to the upcoming RTS sequel Supreme Commander 2

1. The game is set 25 years after what happened during the first game. Can you give us some information on the background story of the game other than that some kind of treatury starts off a new war?

Chris Taylor – After the Seraphim, a very powerful and mysterious alien race were defeated at the end of Forged Alliance, there was a period of peace that set in. The tensions that had always existed between the factions certainly took a back-seat while fighting off the Seraphim, but these tensions crept back in during peace time. Our game begins when the newly elected Coalition President is assassinated, by an unknown assailant… kicking off the in-game story.

2. What are the major differences between the factions?

CT – Most of the big difference are evident in the Experimental Units, but there are fundamental differences in the way the factions operate on many levels. For example, the Illuminate don’t have a navy, as most of the units hover, and they are also big on teleportation. The Cybrans love their jump jets, and the UEF are big on artillery. This is definitely the most asymmetrical game we’ve done so far!

3. Every game seems to be getting DLC these days. Are there plans for that with Supreme Commander 2?

CT – We are taking a hard look at DLC, but we haven’t made any official plans just yet.

4. Didn’t you have to compromise too much in order to be able for the game to get released on console? Consolitis seems to be a huge issue for PC games these days.

CT – That was something we were very wary of from the start, and worked very hard not to let that happen. Consider this, a huge percentage of the UI was custom made for the 360, the engine was optimized for the multi-core architecture and we came up with quite a few console specific control scheme enhancements. We developed the idea of Strategic Mode and the Stretch Cursor all because of the need for better control on the console. And you won’t believe how intuitive and natural it is to use Paint Attack, the complimentary attack selection to Paint Select.

5. The graphics look really good. Is there support for DirectX11?

CT – Believe it or not, we use DirectX 9, but there is good reason for doing this. One of our main goals was to produce a game that more people than ever would be able to play. It’s a fun idea to use the hottest new graphics API, but we stuck to our guns to create the best looking RTS game with a proven API so that people everywhere could play.

6. The game is coming to PC and X360. The truth: PC or X360? What’s best?

CT – At first we thought it would probably be the PC… but I have to tell you, the 360 is crazy fun to play, we’re all pretty shocked that there are people who want to play console only. I think for me, I’m a PC guy, but every time I walk into our play-test area, my eye is drawn to the 360. It’s really quite easy to pick up and play… and more surprising, fun to watch too! To me, this was a great sign.

7. We haven’t heard much about the multiplayer yet. Can you shed some light on this? What kind of modes can we expect and how will the system be set up both on PC as well as on console?

CT – Well, we pretty much support any combination of MP modes on the PC and 360. This is where you mix and match human players with a wide range of different AI types and difficulties. On the 360 you have up to four, and on the PC up to eight. We have a Leader board system on the 360 that uses the Xbox Live rating system, and we have something similar in the works for the PC using Steam.