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Wednesday, February 21, 2001

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WWII Online Site Redesign, Forums
9:05 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Playnet has redesigned the web presence for Cornered Rat's upcoming massively-multiplayer online game World War II Online, an ambitious attempt to simulate the entire European (and North African) theater of war during that period. Along with a slick new web site, there is also the addition of new forums for developers of the game to post in (and for fans of the game to speculate wildly about said posts.)

WWII Online's producer Chris "Mo" Sherland christened the new forums with a detailed post on what he calls Phase V of the game's development -- the merging of the disparate parts the team was working on into a coherent whole. While his description is a bit arcane for those who have not been following the development of this title, it is clear that the game is becoming much more playable all the time; the attention to detail hinted at in his description will boggle the mind of sim gamers. Here's an excerpt:

Phase V is a huge departure from the previous testing. The dynamic spawn points are working and we are learning a lot about how long it takes to drive tanks and trucks into action. The terrain we got together was made as a test bed to see just how to use this dynamic system. Its turning out to be a lot of fun, and we are tweaking it for the next release ( Distances are tricky for ground vehicles. What may work great for the German tanks is a bit long for the French, and what might be a great compromise between the two is a bit too close for trucks. All told the system is turning out to be exactly what we had hoped, decreased times to combat without spawning right under the gun. This solves one of the VB biggies with combined arms: getting time to combat evened out for ground vehicles and aircraft as well.

We are towing AT guns, and troops are riding in trucks, Stukas are dropping 250kgers and we have disabled the 3rd person view. The strat system is complete now except for auto-guns and defensive positions. The infrastructure works great, and the flow of resources can be interrupted by placing tactical choke points under contention. Its a blast to rise up over a ridge and see a city burning below and tracer fire arching all around, while planes dogfight overhead.

WWII Online seeks to combine the interests of those who like flight, sea and land war sims into one giant arena of war, and frankly we can't wait to see it in action. The game is currently in early Beta testing; there are rumors that the Beta pool will be expanded soon, and we will investigate and find out if there are any slots for Mac testers are being made available. WWIIOnline will be a simultaneous release for Mac and Windows, and is due at the end of the summer.

Chris Sherland's Forum Post
World War II Online Web Site
Strategy First
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online

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