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Coming to PSN this Week: Military Madness: Nectaris

Kyle Vincent Tunison's Avatar + Posted by Kyle Vincent Tunison on Nov 02, 2009 // Designer, Backbone Entertainment

Hello, Playstation Blog!

I’m back yet again to talk with you about Military Madness: Nectaris as we approach its impending release on the PSN this Thursday. I know it’s been a while since our last chat, but I aim to make up for it today!

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First off, Military Madness: Nectaris will be released this Thursday on the PSN! You PS fans will be rewarded for your patience by with native 1080p! With that out of the way, today’s topic: tactics and strategy, with a focus on multiplayer!

The multiplayer component of Military Madness is comprised entirely of new content. This includes the customizable Commander Unit (more on him later) and 10 new maps built specifically for multiplayer. Also, not only can you play locally or online with up to three other people, but you can always throw in some bots if you find yourself a few players short.

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Let’s start at the beginning: multiplayer in MM is not for the faint of heart. The campaign provides many hours of gameplay… but the multiplayer is what will separate the chumps from the champions. It’s got more tactical depth than you can shake a moon rock at. Allow me to shed a little light on those depths…

A common mechanic in strategy games is Fog of War (you only see what your units can see). Though fog of war feels natural in real-time games, in turn-based games, it changes the nature of play from “out-thinking your opponent” to “out-guessing your opponent”. That’s why there is no fog of war in Military Madness.

We use a system called Perfect Information. This means: all players have all information all the time. Many great games have made use of this system, including the likes of Chess and Go. Though you can easily see every move your opponent makes (and vise versa), the challenge comes from figuring out an opponent’s strategy and then adapting on the fly to defeat it. So, the depth comes less from memorizing unit match-ups and more from actual tactics.

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Speaking of unit match-ups, many strategy games balance their units using a rock-paper-scissor model. The problem with this model is: when you see scissors, you know you need rock. There simply isn’t much strategic creativity or flexibility involved. In Military Madness, we don’t use a model like that. In MM, instead of there being one clear cut answer to a given situation, there are many.

Think of it this way: in MM a given unit isn’t rock, paper, OR scissors… it’s rock, paper, AND scissors. This means that different players can successfully use the same units in entirely different ways.

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For example, let’s look at the Charlie unit: the most basic and wimpy infantry in the game. With his paltry stats, it’s easy to become convinced this little guy is best used only to capture enemy structures. While that’s certainly a good use for him, the fact his jet pack lets him travel across mountainous terrain means he can easily move out of reach of most enemy ground units, allowing him to single-handedly block hostile troop movements through a mountain pass or circumvent enemy choke points to surround the enemy. In the hands of a savvy general, the Charlie can become just as dangerous as any other unit.

As if this strategic freedom wasn’t enough, players get access to the brand-new Commander unit when playing multiplayer matches! Before the battle begins, you’ll have the opportunity to select from a wide variety Commander Customization (CC). Vehicle Upgrades improve your Commander’s stats while Support Abilities allow you to buff nearby friendly squads or debuff opposing squads. Look for CCs that compliment each other and your own personal play-style. You can view all 20 CCs on the game’s official website (under the multiplayer section) and start dreaming up your own crafty combinations.

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Since you can’t see what CCs your opponent has chosen until the match begins, a good first step to each match is to look at what CC your opponent has selected. This gives you important information about what the opposing Commander is capable of. Be extra aware of CCs like Liquid Cooling or V.T.O.L. Thrusters that allow the Commander to have increased mobility. I can’t emphasize enough how important positioning is in Military Madness and you don’t want to be caught off guard by your opponent’s Commander suddenly outflanking you.

As dangerous as Commanders are, they certainly aren’t all-powerful. You will have many squads at your disposal each match, all with different strengths and weakness, and your Commander is only one of them. To win the match you will have to use all of them together to control the battlefield. One of the most effective methods for this is utilizing Zone of Control (ZoC). A squad’s ZoC refers to all hexes adjacent to that squad along with the hex it occupies. All squads must stop movement when entering a hostile squad’s ZoC!

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This rule is a big part of why positioning is so important. Using ZoC allows you to create your own choke points, cut off escapes, pin down enemy squads, and otherwise control the map. Also, surrounding an enemy squad (by completely covering their ZoC with yours) not only restricts a squad’s movement, but halves their stats when they defend (ouch). You can also bolster your attack by having other squads of yours adjacent to the defender. Though, defenders can bolster their defense by having their squads adjacent to the attacker.

These concepts are vital to success in Military Madness because there is no “first strike” in combat. When one squad attacks another, the defending squad fires back simultaneously (except against an artillery strike). The lesson here: the secret to success lies not necessarily in striking swiftly, but in tactically positioning your squads and then striking smartly!

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Gosh, there’s so much more to say, I could go on endlessly with map specific strategies, individual unit tricks and tips, and CC combinations (there’s so many awesome ones). I’ve explained most of the core mechanics here (anything I’ve missed can be found in the in-game help section), so you already have a good sense about how to play the game. But (like all great strategy games) it’s not tough to learn, but it’ll take a lifetime to master! I have no doubt that you’ll continue to discover new tricks, strategies, and tactics as long as you play the game!

As I said once before, it really is like chess… except with tanks… in the future… on the moon. I can’t wait to see you all online!

//Add Your Own

48 Comments   32 Replies

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1

+ jashwin on November 2nd, 2009 at 11:43 am said:

the game looks good.Gonna give it a try.The best thing is that its 1080p


2

+ Manifest37 on November 2nd, 2009 at 11:44 am said:

HD Side-Scroller PLEEEASE!!!


3

+ stlcardinal9 on November 2nd, 2009 at 11:52 am said:

cool how much?


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:19 pm said:

    Darn good question! As soon as I hear back from the mysterious \”pricing people\” I\’ll post the price right here!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:37 pm said:

    Just got confirmation, the price will be:

    $9.99


4

+ DaWolf619 on November 2nd, 2009 at 11:58 am said:

aaaaand the price is?


5

+ the_Hedgehog on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:02 pm said:

This looks great! The PSN needs more strategy games like this


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+ Xoonaka on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:05 pm said:

Wait wait wait…. did you say Turn-Based Strategy?!?!

I thought that genre was dead!!! I can’t wait!! Huzzah!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:23 pm said:

    Huzzah is right! It\’s too bad there aren\’t more TBS titles out there right now on home consoles. They\’re great fun! Especially with a few friends!


7

+ WestSiide on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:16 pm said:

meh..


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+ TheSquire on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:26 pm said:

Last time I played a similar turn based strategy game was Blue Byte’s Battle Isle. I was never any good at it…
This looks intriguing; hope the price is right!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:39 pm said:

    If you read through our in-game manual, you\’ll be a pro, no doubt! Hope $9.99 is the right price for ya! :)


9

+ emjayx on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:36 pm said:

Nice. Will it support custom soundtracks? screenshot capture?


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:45 pm said:

    We don\’t support those particular features, I\’m afraid.


10

+ ndw4 on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:37 pm said:

hllo


11

+ Joeyboots80 on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:37 pm said:

YAY!!! I’m so happy now!


12

+ aztec23 on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:38 pm said:

Never play TBS, but it seems interesting. This game does look sweet.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:47 pm said:

    If you\’ve never played TBS, be sure to read the in-game help section. It\’ll explain everything you need to know to get good!


13

+ voyte4 on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:42 pm said:

Very excited about this game i love TBS games. Is this anything like Advance Wars ? or more like Panzer General ? I will buy this game day one hopefully its no more then $10.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:57 pm said:

    The game is $9.99! As for whether it\’s more AW or PG… hard to say. MM is more or less it\’s own beast. If you have to make a comparison, remember that we\’ve got a hex grid, no economy, and no fog of war. Does that sound more like one than the other to you?


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+ voyte4 on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:44 pm said:

Costom Soundtracks is a must for a game like that please have it.


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+ tenshin78 on November 2nd, 2009 at 12:47 pm said:

Oh I have spend SO much money on the PSN, I dont know what those little download games have, but I just cant stop purchasing them, maybe is the nice little price tag that is so appealing, $10 sounds like a very nice price.


16

+ TwinDad on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:01 pm said:

Games was awesome to play at PAX09. Seems like forever ago.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:07 pm said:

    Does seem like ages, doesn\’t it? With the final layer of polish in place, I have no doubt you\’ll continue to enjoy! :)


17

+ Aerfox on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:04 pm said:

Been waiting for this to be released on the PSN. Thanks for coming back and talking more about it. Just need more money to purchase it…


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:09 pm said:

    My pleasure, Aerfox! If only there wasn\’t so much awesome stuff to buy at the moment… the past few months have certainly put a dent in my wallet.


18

+ altair_killer on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:10 pm said:

Just wanted to so welcome to PS blog(am sure i said that a little late)
but didn’t wanted you to think we ps fans are ungrateful to developers who listen and talk with the community openly :)


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:13 pm said:

    Hey! Thanks, Killer. The PS fans here have been very welcoming, it\’s definitely been my pleasure!


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+ ECKILLZONE on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:13 pm said:

This looks so amazing… one question though will it have offline and online competitive modes.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:16 pm said:

    Yes. You can play online or off with up to 4 players. The default offline settings are the competitive settings (the ones used for scoreboard matches), so you can practice with those settings against an AI or another human opponent locally if you want.


20

+ Slayer612 on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:18 pm said:

how about a demo?


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:19 pm said:

    A demo, you say? Of course! The demo will be available at the same time as the game!


21

+ JKC31 on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:19 pm said:

Why do we always get the same type of games all bunched together? Who ever approves this stuff seems rather lazy.


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+ calibus2000 on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:25 pm said:

I love these kind of games but will have to hold out until custom soundtracks are available. Will this be something your team is looking into?


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:25 pm said:

    I\’m afraid that doesn\’t seem to be in the cards for this one, mate. Apologies.


23

+ mamaitata on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:37 pm said:

Been waiting for this one! Can’t wait for online battles. Any DLC planned for the future?


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+ ShadowOfEden on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm said:

I love TBS, and the genre is far to be dead. There’s a lot of old school tactical RPGs, which is pretty similar. I make video games for a living and would love to work on one. Too bad I can’t make those decisions. I make games at home as well, but such a game is a lot of work.


25

+ Xoonaka on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:46 pm said:

Oh, one quick question…. any support for “e-mail” play? I know it’s a weird feature to request… but….


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:32 pm said:

    No go on e-mail play or equivalent. If you\’re asking for that, though… you must be one hardcore TBS player. Hopefully the online and local play will scratch your competitive itch!


26

+ Caudill on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:52 pm said:

Any reason why this hit Xbox arcade over a month ago and we’re just getting it now?

Both versions were announced together, I’m curious why the PSN release was delayed.


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+ Thrill_Kill on November 2nd, 2009 at 1:53 pm said:

What can I say? Military Madness was my favorite all time game on my Turbo Duo back in the day. Then later on I bought it for PSOne, and thought it was pretty decent but looked like garbage.

Now the game on PSOne is revamped into 1080p!! AND it has MULTIPLAYER!!?? For only $10 huh? Ok, sign me up…. you got my money!

I’m glad PS3 is finally pumping out some really great games before christmas, along with that price drop PS3 should be doing much better this holiday! I cant wait to grab this game Thursday! Long live Military Madness!


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+ Darth-Krayt on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:02 pm said:

Sony really needs to make custom soundtracks mandatory for both PSN and retail games.


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+ Gunwing on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:04 pm said:

Hay this is better then nothing. Plus the Xbox360 version is only 720p, and on top of that we are getting the Original Oddworld PSone classic this week. All I need now is the God of War 3 demo to launch this week, and some new game announcements for 2010, and more PSN titles!


30

+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:09 pm said:

Looks boring….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


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+ CloudStrife2009 on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:12 pm said:

…..what ever happen to the capcom classics that were coming out during summer… like Resident Evil 2 and 3 =/….i thought it got moved to Halloween week for obvious reasons, but it never came.


32

+ mister1337 on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:16 pm said:

You’d sell more Dissidia than this horrible game. Sounds boring and like a waste of server space Dissidia could have.


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+ RuthlessEd on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:23 pm said:

@mister1337

You’re one to talk about wasting server space. You post the same stupid message every single thread.

Get a life.


34

+ JKwan77 on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:24 pm said:

Can’t wait. My dad plays this game all the time and pretty much schools the computer (including my brother and I as well) on the Turbo GraphX 16. Definitely a buy come Thursday.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:03 pm said:

    Try to figure out some good Commander Customization combinations before Dad does and you might just get the upper hand! ;) Of course, you can always team up against a computer opponent or two.


35

+ mister1337 on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:28 pm said:

@RuthlessEd
Back at you.
Japan has Dissidia, we should to.


36

+ Fusion_ID on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:29 pm said:

Will have to get this game. $9.99 makes for a fantastic price!


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+ aztec23 on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:29 pm said:

@mister1337 Can you STFU about dissidia! Go buy the UMD version so you could STFU! BTW you have no right to bash a game just because a certain game hasn’t come out in the PS store.


38

+ plaztiksyke on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:32 pm said:

any local co-op modes without splitscreen? are the audio assets lossless? 24-bit? did you get any notable artists to re-imagine/rearrange the music?

I would be really interested to see a video interview with the developers talking about specific optimizations and design decisions they made to get 1080p out of the PS3. I love to hear about the gory technical details.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:05 pm said:

    I wish I could speak to the technical side of things… but being a designer, you\’re out of luck on that one. But, the local co-op modes are all done without splitscreen. Since this is TBS, we figured it wouldn\’t be necessary.


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+ Dallas7999 on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:42 pm said:

I haven’t played a good turn-based strategy game since Civilization Revolution. I’ll be sure to check this out. One question, though: are there any plans for a demo?


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:06 pm said:

    One quick answer: yes! It will be out with the game this Thursday.


40

+ Thrill_Kill on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:47 pm said:

I agree with the guys above, this game DOES NEED Custom Soundtracks, and a pure uncompressed 7.1 or 5.1 PCM soundtrack or at the very least a DTS 5.1 soundtrack!

The developers need to get serious nowadays and take advantage of the powerful PS3 specs for us users that bought it for those reasons. :) That would be nice. 1080p is a nice start though, and they can implement more using patches like other PSN titles have.

Does this game have Trophies? It should if its getting special treatment. :) That would be cool. I mean it’s a Digital Download right? They should be able to do whatever they want with the game.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:10 pm said:

    Though we don\’t have the custom soundtracks, I, too am glad we were able to get the 1080p in there. And, we absolutely have trophies. 9 bronze, 3 silver, 1 gold to be exact.


41

+ xKOROSHIYAx on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:53 pm said:

Finally! I was thinking about this game over the past few weeks and wondering what happened to it. I remember the original trailer said it was supposed to be released during the Summer. Nice to see it finally arrive!

Military Madness is my favorite strategy game ever. I sunk tons of hours into the original TG-16/PC-Engine version.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:15 pm said:

    Glad to hear you\’re excited! Though you\’ll be familiar with the campaign (from the original game) I hope you enjoy all the awesome multiplayer content! You\’ll probably find it quite a bit more balanced and interesting than the MP of the original…


42

+ Thrill_Kill on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:57 pm said:

Wow, the official website says that Hudson Soft is doing this game, and that’s just awesome!

It would be real nice if Hudson decided to do a 1080p remastered versions of Gate of Thunder/Lords of Thunder/Sapphire with all new 2D sprites (like SSF2THD) and a pumpin’ 7.1 PCM soundtrack! Man that would be GOTY IMO! :)


43

+ WestCoastR3DUBZ on November 2nd, 2009 at 2:57 pm said:

Looks very interesting.


44

+ AudioSlave on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:11 pm said:

OMG i never thought I’d see this I used to love this game and was thinking of dusting off my Turboduo to play it. Now I don’t have to I can’t wait to play it. Now if there was a version for PSP that would be awesome, even the PS1 version would do.


45

+ Kithkarnon on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:11 pm said:

Awesome, its about time to see MM redone. I don’t know how many times I have beaten that title! Heck I still have the orignal Hu-Card sitting in my Turbo Express, lol.


46

+ vesra on November 2nd, 2009 at 3:50 pm said:

@ Kithkarnon, you have a turbo express? i envy you. =)


47

+ stlcardinal9 on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:02 pm said:

good price point will purchase on thursday!


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+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:04 pm said:

@ aztec23, that’s some nice language skill set you have there. Did you goto professional Jerk School to learn those acronyms?

Disidia would have been a better choice instead of these REHASHED games that everyone has pretty much forgotten about, myself included. And for good reason as this game back in it’s fleeting hayday was poor at it’s best. I would like to see more original games come out. I mean how many tank based games can you try and sell your consumer base? One and after that they are considered Boring and Passe. Now please give us something to really talk about. Not just another turn based tower defense or tank game.


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+ Xoonaka on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:09 pm said:

Ah, local multiplayer! That’s pretty awesome. I never thought about how much easier it will be to do that with “Perfect Information”.

Getting more and more stoked for this. Thanks again!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:22 pm said:

    It really is a great fit… the only tricky part is when you pick your Commander Customization at the start of a local MP match you\’ve got to have your friends look away (no screen peeking)! Once the match starts, everyone can see everything, but you shouldn\’t know what CC your opponent picks until the match starts! Fortunately, this isn\’t an issue when playing online.


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+ MassMurder-2K8 on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:10 pm said:

yh this looks like a remake of advance wars sik game


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