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Monday, August 1, 2011
VP: Defense Grid, Supreme Commander 2, Gamer Of The Month
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Virtual Programming's new blog was recently updated with developer interviews with Hidden Path's Jeff Pobst and Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor. Probst offered his insights on the development of Defense Grid, while Taylor discussed Supreme Commander 2.

Defense Grid:
Q: What are your favorite strategies for success in Defense Grid and why?

A: I tend to prefer longer-range towers when I can use them, but they do have a downside: decoys. Just like most aliens in Defense Grid, decoys are designed to prevent the “one strategy solves everything solution” and their special power is that they can’t be seen by towers that are more than a grid or two away from them. Meteor towers pretty much never see them, and cannons often aren’t very effective against them since both those tower types have an inner radius of fire as well as an outer radius (so they can’t shoot at an alien when it is too close to them – and in this case they can’t see it unless it is close to them).

There are in my opinion a couple good anti-decoy strategies. The obvious one is to have more gun, inferno, Tesla, concussion and laser towers around, which will see them and shoot at them when they are near. Also, combining those or other short-range towers with a temporal tower to slow down the decoys is good so that they can get a lot of damage done to them while they are near a set of short-range towers. Second, command towers not only help provide more resources in an area, but they also illuminate decoys so that other towers can see the decoys – even from far away – when they’re near the command tower. So, a small killing zone with some short range towers, a temporal tower, and a command tower not only do a lot of damage to a decoy, but they also allow cannons and meteors in the other parts of the map to see the decoys and attack when they’re near the command tower as well. This typically can do the trick.

Supreme Commander 2:
He also pointed out that his development team tried to not get crazy with the units’ physical designs: “It’s a fine line between outrageous and, frankly, outlandish creations, and things where people can go, ‘Got it, that makes perfect sense, I know what that unit does on the battlefield.’”

Of course, fewer units means each one needs to carry more weight, and Taylor explained how that tied into another lesson learned from the first game: “One of the challenges in Supreme Commander was how the Tech 1 units would not be useful at the end of the game, so we came up with the tech tree idea [for Supreme Commander 2] to allow those early units to continue to upgrade and be useful.”

So, what’s Taylor’s personal preference for unit management in the game? “I like to build Rock Head Tanks,” he replied. “From the very first unit produced, you can build a powerful army and upgrade them like crazy using the tech tree. There are so many great strategies now, like the Cybran engineer army, but when we were in development, I liked my strategy because it stress tested the design theory.”

Virtual Programming also recently began a Gamer of the Month contest in which gamers send in an email explaining why they should be chosen. Lucky winners will be the subject of a brief interview on VP's blog and will receive a game of their choice from Deliver2Mac.com

To read more click over to the links listed below.

VP Blog: Defense Grid Interview
VP Blog: Supreme Commander 2 Interview
VP Blog: Gamer Of The Month
Virtual Programming
Defense Grid
Gas Powered Games
Supreme Commander 2
Buy Defense Grid
Buy Supreme Commander 2

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• VP: Defense Grid, Supreme Commander 2, Gamer Of The Month6:00 AM
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Archives  News  VP: Defense Grid, Supreme Commander 2, Gamer Of The Month