Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

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Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

Post by ^Glyndwr^ on Fri 11 Jun 2010, 17:04

Here is an exclusive interview with Total War’s Lead Designer James Russell regarding the recently announced Shogun 2: Total War and a link to the original: http://blogs.sega.com/totalwar/2010/...-total-war-qa/


It has been a decade since Shogun launched the Total War series. What were the reasons for returning to where it all began for Shogun 2: Total War?

In many ways, Empire: TW represented the expansion of Total War to its greatest extent in terms of global, geopolitical scale – and that fitted the reach of the great powers of that era. What we are excited about with Shogun 2 is to taking things back to a more contained, pre-modern environment where we can really focus on characters & immersion – and in a fresh setting, away from the map of Europe. Rather than having to portray many different cultures across the world, we can delve deeply into portraying one culture in beautiful detail. The game will still be epic in scale – but in terms of story and depth rather than by encompassing much of the world in geographic scope.

Feudal Japan is an incredibly evocative setting with so much great content for the game: bushido (the Way of the Warrior), mighty warlords leading vast samurai armies into battle; huge castles and epic sieges in unique landscapes like nothing you’ve seen in Europe.

Chronologically, where does Shogun 2: Total War fit in the timeline of the original game?

As in Shogun: TW, the setting we have is during Japan’s Sengoku Jidai: the warring states period in the 16th century, before the Tokugawa Shogunate asserted its complete control and ended the anarchy.

We have chosen this setting now for the same reasons we chose it a decade ago: it was a time of epic struggle between the feudal lords of rival clans across Japan. With the breakdown of central authority, there was constant warfare and any one of many clans could have ended up winning. It’s the perfect setting for a Total War game where the player can choose one of many factions all competing for the final victory in what was the most turbulent period of Japanese history.

It was the time when a uniquely Japanese samurai culture was forged. It was also a time of great change: for example, first contact with Europeans saw the introduction of Christianity and later the first large-scale use of firearms in Japanese armies. This opens up lots of interesting gameplay choices for the player that are unique to this specific period.

How has the Total War series progressed since the original game and what will this bring to the sequel?

Clearly, PC technology has come on so far in the last ten years, and we can do things that were simply impossible before: the game engines for both campaign and battle have been completely revolutionised (and re-written) several times over since the original game which had sprites in battle and a 2D campaign map. Now we can portray huge samurai armies in all their glory with a new and improved battle graphics engine that looks utterly stunning. On the campaign side, we will depict the unique geography of Japan with the most beautiful map we have ever produced. We are constantly looking at ways to improve the game, and each new project gives us the opportunity to push into new territory.

The Total War team consulted with Professor Stephen Turnbull during the production of Shogun: Total War. Will you also be working with any experts in the field for Shogun 2?

Well we’re actually working with Stephen again this time round, and he’s been involved from very early in the project. He’s been to see us in the studio (his journey down, carrying authentic pieces of samurai armour raised a few eyebrows on the train!); we are talking to him regularly about planned features and game content – he’s been a fantastic help for us: not only making sure we stay on the right path, but also giving us a lot of inspiration (watching all the Kurosawa movies helps a lot too!).

As a studio, we have much lower staff turnover than many in the industry, and there are still a fair few people working on Total War who have been here from the very beginning, not least Mike Simpson.

Empire: Total War introduced naval warfare to the series. Is there a chance that the feature will return to make an impact on feudal Japan?

Of course – Japan is an island nation, and the sea is never far away. One thing to emphasise is that the way naval battles were fought in Japan during this period is very different from the bigger-is-better artillery-fests of the 18th century European contests we represented in Empire. Japanese ships of the era were full of samurai swordsmen and archers, so we’re focusing a lot on boarding systems and stone-scissors-paper interplay between different ship types. Another big addition is the inclusion of land masses at sea: this provides new terrain-based tactical play as well as helping orient the player. We think we can make naval battles in Shogun feel very fresh & new – and be more fun to play than ever before.

What other areas of the game might see major changes with Shogun 2?

When we begin development, as a team we immerse ourselves in the period and the setting that we are trying to bring to life in the game. We develop features that reflect the battles and the military & economic dilemmas of the time (as well as making for great gameplay).

On the campaign map this means we fold in the importance of honour, treachery, clan & family, and many other aspects of being a warlord in feudal Japan. Of course, we need a completely new set of agents and agent abilities too.

On the battle side, special, historically accurate, hero characters can help turn the tide of battle. We’re also giving siege mechanics a complete overhaul: Japanese castles are very different from European castles, and we’re working hard to make the layouts look convincingly Japanese as well as playing well.

We’re also planning some very exciting things for the multiplayer part of the game, so watch this space!

What do you want to achieve overall with Shogun 2: Total War?

We really want to make Shogun 2 a thing of beauty, and the most immersive Total War game ever. We are focusing on pushing gameplay depth and polish rather than raw ‘size’ or scope: doing more with less.

Internally, we are calling these things together (beauty, depth, polish and immersion) the Zen of Total War. We are absolutely committed to making Shogun 2 the most breathtaking Total War experience ever.

Thank you for your time!

Stay tuned to www.TotalWar.com for all the latest Shogun 2: Total War information, and be sure to become a fan on Facebook and Twitter.

Best regards,

Mark O’Connell
The Creative Assembly

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Re: Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

Post by ^Tomisama^ on Sat 12 Jun 2010, 02:48

Kurosawa movies:

Ten To Chi To (1990) in Japanese, aka Heaven and Earth (1991) English (may only be subtitles).

Can only find used VHS in the US, and very expensive DVD in Europe (region 2).

All other forms are illegal or questionable, and the movie (as beautiful as it is) is a bit flat in plot (too bad).

I still would like to see it some day.

Stephen Turnbull:

The Master is still at work.

http://stephenturnbull.com/

Never ending Wink
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Re: Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

Post by ^Glyndwr^ on Sat 12 Jun 2010, 19:47

Check out this link..
http://www.play.com/DVD/Region_1/4-/553297/Warriors-of-Heaven-and-Earth/Product.html?ptsl=1&ob=Price&fb=0

is this the film you are referring to?

Warriors of Heaven and Earth.

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Re: Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

Post by ^Tomisama^ on Sun 13 Jun 2010, 16:43

Close, but no that's not it.

Heaven And Earth 1990 and 1991

http://www.fancast.com/movies/Ten-To-Chi-To/76253/663450180/Heaven-And-Earth/videos

And I did end up buying it from the only source providing a DVD, playable in the US.

http://www.ioffer.com/i/heaven-and-earth-tento-chito-samurai-dvd-remastered-103694347

It is not a great movie;

http://www.beyondhollywood.com/heaven-and-earth-1990-movie-review/

But it has some of the best samurai battle footage, so will add it to my collection.

ht_bow
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Re: Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

Post by ^Tomisama^ on Sun 13 Jun 2010, 16:59

There is also a book about the movie.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Heaven-and-Earth-Movie-Guide-Book-Ten-Chi-/320536443513?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aa175fa79

I can't aford to go that far.

But thought it might be fun to link to it to show the pictures.
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Re: Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

Post by ^Tomisama^ on Fri 18 Jun 2010, 21:38

Ten To Chi To proved to be somewhat interesting for those who like all things 16 century Japanese.

But trully falls flat in so many areas, that it is not worth buying.

It was as if all of ingredents were there, but the chef was on holiday, and they went ahead and made the cake anyway.

Rolling Eyes
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Re: Shogun 2: Total War Interview article.

Post by ^Tomisama^ on Sun 20 Jun 2010, 19:52

Ten To Chi To footage and Shogun Total War sound track mixed.

Enjoy Very Happy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zf1Mpf6id8
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