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GamingWe are Proxy Studios, developers of the upcoming 4X strategy videogame Warhammer 40,000: Gladius - Relics of War. Ask us anything!

Jan 26th 2018 by ProxyStudiosRok • 21 Questions • 4622 Points

Hi Reddit!

We are Lorenz and Rok from Proxy Studios. We are developing a 4X strategy game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Would you like to know anything about the game and its development?

Steam product page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/489630/Warhammer_40000_Gladius__Relics_of_War/

Our proof: https://twitter.com/proxy_studios/status/951846598996316165

Ask us anything!

Q:

oho so there’s a Titan expansion in the future? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

A:

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


Q:

Will Space Marines get Chapter-exclusive units, Astra Militarum planet/regiment-exclusive units, Ork tribe-exclusive units and Necrons dynasty-exclusive units, or will the chapters, tribes, etcetera be seperate armies entirely?

A:

We had so much to draw from for the base factions already so we didn't want to go there to begin with. I can see us explore that with expansions, but I don't have concrete answers right now. It could be done either way. We have to ask ourselves though, wouldn't we prefer an entirely new race rather than a little supplement, given how interesting they are? As a point of focus, we're currently prioritising entirely distinct factions for expansions, but we're not excluding adding special new units.

I would like to point out one thing, that is often disregarded by 40 K fans and deserves more mention. That is the crazy terrifying wildlife in the Warhammer universe. The sheer threat of it all and the focus on survival. From Psychneuein hatching larva out of vulnerable brains to Catachan Devils crushing you with their tails. We tried to do all of that justice. Gladius is not a piece of cake to walk around. And some of the -exclusive units that could be added to a playable faction or are of an entirely undone faction are sometimes found exploring the world or completing quests.


Q:

yeah im curious how that will take form in this or will we be able to choose colours atleast for the factions please dont force ultramarines

A:

You will be able to choose a color and the models themselves don't have any Ultramarine symbology.


Q:

That sounds pretty interesting and good for replay-ability.

Bar unit choice is there anything that separates the factions from each other. What makes them unique?

A:

They're extremely asymmetrical. Broadly speaking they all differ in how they handle the economy and which special powers are at their disposal. There are more concrete examples in the other answers.


Q:

Can you tell us more about the story?

A:

Before living memory, there was The War in Heaven, fought between the long-lived Old Ones and the jealous Necrontyr. In their mutual desperation to survive, the Necrontyr sacrificed their organic bodies to the Star Gods called the C’tan, thus becoming the mechanical Necrons, while the Old Ones created the species of the galaxy as we know it. They also left scattered relics of great value -- precious few of which still survive ...


Q:

This sounds very similar to endless legend. Inspiration?

A:

Definitely, we take a look at all the advances across the 4X and other genres and try to integrate what we think fits and the expand upon it with our ideas. From Endless Legend it was definitely the quest system.


Q:

Why wasn’t it called Warhammer 40X? All the Xs stand for exterminate obviously.

A:

Our writer has a curious sense of humour.


Q:

are there any plans for mod/steam workshop support either on or after release?

A:

You will be able to mod at release, you'll have to get your hands a bit dirty modifying xml files, but you can modify existing or create entirely new units, weapons, factions, abilities etc, and once we release our 3DS Max exporters even create new graphical assets. It's really the same way we work on the content. We tried to be as flexible and open from the start of development, but we didn't compromise on performance by using an interpreted language.

No Steam Workshop support for release though -- it would be nice to have, but it's sometimes tricky with licensed titles and we have our hands full right now. So I think we'll be looking at how best to support mod creations after release.


Q:

A couple quick requests related to this, from my experience modding Civ 6: clear documentation of the structure of your XML files, and a bit of flexibility with what numbers can be adjusted, would make modding much more accessible, as well as more open-ended. Having to constantly refer to player-made resources to make sure my formatting is correct is a pain, and a fair few of my ideas for Civ 6 were blocked by the fact that you can't specify how many Builder charges an Improvement uses, for example. The more things tweakable in the files, the better!

A:

Would love to get you into the beta and hear your thoughts on how well Gladius mods right now. Shoot me your email if you're interested.


Q:

Many people, myself included, look at something like Distant worlds or Aurora and just switch off, whereas Fallen Enchantress and Endless games are very much "me".

If you had to rate your game on a 1-10 scale in terms of complexity, mechanics, learning curve and depth, what point are you aiming at?

A:

We tried to keep it as easy to get into as possible -- we are huge proponents of intuitive usability and user experience.

That said, we went into a lot of detail with combat and units. Things like multiple weapons and ranges on individual units, special abilities, unit and weapon traits, hero units and hero items, we've went into combat into a larger degree than any other 4X planet game I know of. But it doesn't overwhelm you if you don't want to care about the particulars and just want to murder things.

Economy has a unique spin too, requiring you to place buildings on tiles and just stemming from the asymmetry of the factions.

So I'd like to say it's just unique enough to scratch an itch but familiar enough to not be repulsive, that's what we were going for, but you'll have to be the judge of it.

If you enjoyed the Endless games, it should be right up your alley.


Q:

You've said before that Games Workshop respect the lore and have been involved in Gladius' design. Are there any mechanics or features you wanted to add that GW said don't work in 40k when pitching the game to them?

A:

They were very open with letting us take our own spin on it. Mechanics and features were generally not an issue, they wanted to allow us our vision and understood we've done it before.

The biggest points of contention that I can remember were finding a good compromise for how to bring economy into the universe where there is only war. For example, they were strongly against Space Marines having "food" and "ore", Space Marines just don't care much about them, it's above them. So now they have "requisitions". And we've taken that further in how they gather them so it's not just a syntactic difference. Their primary concern really is sticking to the lore and look; are the colors correct, is the vibe right, would that unit do that, is the symbology correct?

Getting on the same page exactly how Space Marines should look without Ultramarine or other chapter-specific symbology was also an interesting challenge.


Q:

The most important question. Will red wunz go fasta?

A:

This is literally the Ork story quest name: "Chapter 5: Red Wunz Go Fasta".


Q:

Where in the galaxy is Gladius Prime?

Is the Astra Militarum faction a PDF regiment?

Can you confirm which space marine chapter/ork tribe/necron dynasty the other factions will be?

A:

Our loremaster says: "It's the main planet of the Gladius System, Segmentum Obscurus, Ixaniad Sector. It was first colonised late in 997.M41."

The factions are not of a specifically named regiment/chapter/tribe/dynasty. That allows us to have freer hands in coloring them and including both more generic and more chapter-specific units. Essentially we had to make a compromise in how far out to abstract a faction -- Imperium of Man / Space Marines / Ultramarines -- and we went with the middle ground.


Q:

As part of the closed beta, I know I can't say much, but I just wanted you to know that you're doing a great job and the lessons you've learned from Pandora are obvious.

Will there be many different types of biomes?

Will there ever be a real diplomacy system?

How will you keep playthroughs variable? Only one winning condition and one quest line can lead to a lack of replayability.

Lastly, will there ever be a side-quest system? I think that would help with replayability, a la Endless Legend or Space 2, etc. Especially with such a rich lore like 40K.

A:

Thank you so much Orcasare, that's very encouraging to hear. It makes the rough days worth it. <3

There's 6 biomes, each with a slight tilt in the resources it emphasises. Graphically they each have their own environmental effects and predispositions, from rain to tumbling dust. We're also exploring how far we want to go in limiting which neutral units appear in each biome.

No real diplomacy system, but you'll be able to choose starting teams. We've considered a few versions of it through development, but none of our partners felt that was worth the focus, and we've rather used our resources to make the bloodshed deeper.

We're hoping the complexity of the combat system, faction asymmetry and faction-specific storylines will provide enough replayability. What happens sometimes is that games forcefully add more victory conditions, even though they don't have a clear purpose and end up just being tilted towards fighting anyway, which I think we were guilty of in Pandora as well, so we wanted to avoid that and be clear.

Totally agree on the side-quests! We have some plans for that after release.


Q:

Will there be space-based support in the game or is the premise that the factions are a bit isolated from their respective civilizations?

edit- i see in a previous comment mention that the space marines deploy outposts from orbit, so presumably the level of support from the space and the wider universe varies by faction? Presumably the necrons just teleport about as well

A:

All factions are generally isolated. They've each come to Gladius in their own way and have their own reasons and motivations for being there.

For Space Marines in particular, they do have limited space-support due to a Battle Barge in low orbit. I'd hate spoil the rest -- it's revealed and explained throughout the game.


Q:

Hi guys! When is the game coming out??

A:

Hey Panzer! Due to publisher policy we're unfortunately not able to give out the date. It shouldn't be a very long wait, but both Slitherine and we want to make sure we do as good of a job as we can, and not rush things.


Q:

In addition to this, how long will the gap between the end of the closed beta and the final release be? Will players be able to test right up until launch day?

A:

Can't say for sure, but most likely going to be testing until very close to the release date. Any additional feedback in that period could allow us to get a better impression of what tweaks are still required right after release.


Q:

Best advice to future game designers/developers?

A:

Create things and collaborate.


Q:

Are we going to get some magnificently awful amazing voice acting again?

A:

I think it's not magnificently awful.


Q:

Hey developers cant wait for the game looks fantasy couple of questions

1.do the factions share a tech tree or are they unique for each one?

2.is there alout of variety in terms of biomes and wildlife?

3.how many tech levels are there?

5.is there a skirmish mode or custom single player mode?

thanks for the answers

A:

Hey grimdawn, thanks!

  1. Unique tree for each faction.

  2. Quite a bit, 6 different biomes, each with different properties. 6 entirely different "neutral wildlife" units each with their own unique powers. Plus a plethora of capturable "relics of war".

  3. 60 different techs for each faction. They're in a tiered system, 10 tiers of 6 techs each.

  4. Yes.


Q:

What’s your process for hiring Voice Actors? Is it open? Do you generally stick with known quantity?

A:

We outsourced the whole process. I'm not personally sure of the details, but they've worked with GW-approved voice actors before so I believe they sticked to those.

Sorry I can't answer in more detail.