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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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51

+ SarshelYam on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:15 pm said:

Man, Kyle, you have NO idea how happy this makes me. I remember my first taste of MM on the TG-16…it was my EVERYTHING!! Then I found Nectaris on the Duo, played that to death…and now this?

Day one instant purchase sir…day one! Thanks for sharing the good news this afternoon.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:24 pm said:

    The pleasure is mine! I can\’t wait to see you online (multiplayer is where it\’s at)!


52

+ plaztiksyke on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:17 pm said:

Great to hear that the game has local co-op and no splitscreen. My husband and I really don’t like split-screen co-op games. This might be a nice purchase now that we are wrapping up with PixelJunk Monsters+Encore.

If you can get back on the audio quality question, that would be great!

Thanks!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 5:03 pm said:

    Ok, I\’ve pinged the technical experts here for the tech specs of our audio and I\’ll follow up with a little about the audio direction: deep breath…

    Too keep our download size reasonable, we are using ATRAC3 compression for music and ADPCM for our SFX. Our audio assets utilize 16bit at 48kHz.

    As far as general audio direction, our theme song for the game is entirely new, but is kind of an homage to the TG-16 score. We also have one song that is a remake of one of the tunes from the original. The rest of the score in general (as well as the FX) is deliberately subdued and somewhat ambient, since we wanted people to be able to think about their turns without the music becoming a distraction.

    And breathe…


53

+ Thrasher20 on November 2nd, 2009 at 4:51 pm said:

I like Real Time Strategy games, so most likely I’ll like this one!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 3rd, 2009 at 11:29 am said:

    Check out my responses to comments 57 and 62. :)


54

+ XxStalker360xX on November 2nd, 2009 at 5:02 pm said:

This game looks good but it is like a remake for halo wars on the ps3. Also I think the game would be better if it was not alien and more army


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 2nd, 2009 at 5:05 pm said:

    One big difference between this and Halo Wars: Halo Wars: the genre. Halo Wars is RTS (Real-Time) and Military Madness is TBS (Turn-Based).


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+ Ma1nframe on November 2nd, 2009 at 5:03 pm said:

OMG first DIGGER then MILITARY MADNESS!!!! I played this game when I was a kid on the TURBO GRAFIX 16 and LOVED IT more then any more game.

I always wanted to play it again and now I get the chance. WOW what an awesome release. I CANT WAIT!!!

This game is so deep, and tactical, and challening, bring it on!!!!

so psyched.

thank you thank you

ps – played DIGGER on an old Zenith monochrome computer back in the early 80′s when I was a kid and bought it right away. Sure took me back :)


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 3rd, 2009 at 10:59 am said:

    Nothing makes this game more challenging than a smart human opponent! I\’m glad your excited about the game and I\’m sure you\’ll find great competition online (and hopefully some offline)! ;)


56

+ Spectreman78 on November 2nd, 2009 at 6:47 pm said:

* This game is fantastic. It needs strategy over doing only production of new units. And there are no production! Because that each unit is much worth.


57

+ aztec23 on November 2nd, 2009 at 7:31 pm said:

Wow a lot of people a giving such praised that this game is coming out. I need to know TBS history and how it plays. Its not like a RTS right?


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 3rd, 2009 at 11:02 am said:

    That\’s right, Aztec. RTS and TBS are quite different. With RTS games, speed is just as important as strategy. With TBS, speed is downplayed, because players will take turns. Though there is a \”chess timer\” in competitive matches, you can increase the time so that it\’s not really an issue for friendly matches. The emphasis is on acting smartly, not quickly! Hope that helps!


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+ Spectreman78 on November 2nd, 2009 at 8:25 pm said:

* This is very much like Advance Wars, but with no resources management and no build new units. But that are the great thing about this game: you get your units and must use in the best possible way, because there are not replacement.


59

+ afdgsfdgnb on November 2nd, 2009 at 8:42 pm said:

No disc, no sale!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 3rd, 2009 at 11:38 am said:

    We just couldn\’t bring ourselves to put a roughly 100 mb game on 25-50 gig bluray disc for 40+ dollars when we could bring it to everyone digitally for only 10!


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+ Thrill_Kill on November 2nd, 2009 at 9:26 pm said:

what??… utilizing ATRAC3 compression for the MUSIC!? It should be lossless PCM tracks…this is a PS3 game not a 360 game. How freaking sad. At the very least give us some 5.1 DTS love.

Its days like this I wish I was a developer working with you guys, because that would never happen if I was in charge. Size of the download should not matter, there are games on the PSN that are like 4GB in size… whats the problem? That’s a bit depressing, I expected more coming from my old favorite, Hudson Soft.


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+ stlcardinal9 on November 2nd, 2009 at 10:10 pm said:

@60 blame Sony for charging per size of file to developers to upload to the PSN…i bet they did this to save money!


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+ Robert-Ninja on November 2nd, 2009 at 10:38 pm said:

I really liked Supreme Commander on PC – is this similar enough for me to like, do you think?

Also, will we have custom soundtrack capabilities for the XMB with this game? That’s a must have, IMO. Tekken 6 managed to do it : D


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 3rd, 2009 at 11:20 am said:

    Hard to say if this is similar enough… it depends what parts of SupCom you liked the most. If you like gathering resources, you\’re probably out of luck here. If you liked the strategies and tactics aspects of SupCom, then MM might be for you. Just keep in mind MM is TBS (turn-based) and not RTS (real-time), and you\’ll get your money\’s worth!


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+ Psyvariar on November 3rd, 2009 at 12:41 am said:

Native 1080p graphics is always something that deserves to be rewarded, so that will probably mean I will buy this.


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+ wywern209 on November 3rd, 2009 at 4:35 am said:

I wish more games had native 1080p.cuz most of the titles are in 720p.


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+ megs1120 on November 3rd, 2009 at 7:50 am said:

Gonna have to get this!


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+ CL_KANOS on November 3rd, 2009 at 10:57 am said:

Hi just wanting to know a few things about this game.

1. Is there game invites so you can play against friends?

2. chatting enabled?

3. price of the game?

4. If i was good at Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds (from Age of Empires devs) will i be good at this game? haha

Thank you for the demo on day 1 and will give this a chance if you could answer my questions. Thanks!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 3rd, 2009 at 11:27 am said:

    What? You dare ask questions? Well… I dare to answer! :)

    1.) Yes you can invite friends. In addition to online invites, you can also invite them over to your house or apartment to play, since we support local multiplayer as well.
    2.) Yes, there is voice chat. We use a \”push to talk\” system so that you don\’t hear the other guy breathing the whole time.
    3.) 9.99 USD
    4.) I have absolutely no idea. Though, if you read through the help sections, the power to be good at the game will be in your hands!

    Cheers!


67

+ KIRYUGHIDORAH on November 3rd, 2009 at 11:31 am said:

where is resident evil 1,2 ,3 and dino crisis ?they should been up for holloween i very disapointed


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+ Thrill_Kill on November 3rd, 2009 at 12:58 pm said:

So your saying the game is about 100Megs in size and you still refuse to give us UNCOMPRESSED PCM SOUNDTRACKS due to size limitations, which there are none on PSN? That’s a bunch of crap man.

Also, your whole excuse of it not being on a BluRay disc because the game is only 100MB is also a bunch of crap. The Last Guy is tiny in size as well and is STILL ON BLURAY DISC!

You have no excuses! You need to give us the CHOICE! We are the buyers! We support your products with our pocketbooks. You should give us a choice of either a BluRay version (with all the best quality) for $29.99 (like Quest for Booty and Last Guy that I imported) or a crap version Digital Download for $10. I personally would buy the BluRay version any day of the week. I do not care about a $20 price difference, as long as I get it on a disc, with manual, and awesome looking cover art on the insert.

You need to support ALL your users, as this Digital Download crap is great for the kids that know nothing about collecting games, but for us adults, Digital Distribution is just plain crap, and if its at all avoidable, we will avoid it. Even if importing it from another country.


69

+ Xoonaka on November 3rd, 2009 at 2:22 pm said:

Come on Thrill_Kill… I don’t want to pay $30 for this game. I doubt most of the population would.

This is a TBS game… it’s a niche market. Niche markets get far more limited releases. Just be happy it’s being released at all.

By the way, this “choice” you request would cost them quite a bit. Especially considering the number of titles that won’t sell. Digital is ideal for the niche market because you have no upfront distribution costs.

I mean, seriously, as a “collector” you’re just going to ditch your PS3 and its hard drive? If you want a manual, maybe they’ll make you a PDF and you can print it out.


70

+ Wip3ou7pure on November 3rd, 2009 at 2:50 pm said:

I noticed that this game is 720p native on the XBOX 360. I would like to thank you for taking advantage of our system’s capabilities in delivering a native 1080p game. I hate the mentality that some developers have trying to “make the experience equal on both platforms”.
(TEKKEN 6 makes me very sad)

+1 purchase by Wip3ou7pure

Thank you.


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 3rd, 2009 at 3:39 pm said:

    Glad to have you on board, Pure! I wish you many hours of turn-based tactical awesomeness! :)


71

+ Nynja on November 3rd, 2009 at 2:52 pm said:

I haven’t played this game since the TurboGrafix16! I cannot wait to get my hands on this. Also, nice price point.

Question; any chance at us seeing a portable version for the PSP?


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+ Thrill_Kill on November 3rd, 2009 at 2:52 pm said:

@69 I repeat myself here…. The Last Guy is on BluRay disc and that game is tiny. I happily paid my $39.95 to buy that game on BluRay when I could have paid 1/4 the price on the PSN, but I did not choose the Digital Download.

Same thing goes for Quest for Booty and SIREN.

These developers NEED to know they are losing revenue when not supporting the hardcore gamers that wish to actually spend money and get a real product in return instead of a ROM of a game.

They need to know, even if they just make a limited number of the game on disc, it will sell, and they will make money on it.

I am not willing to spend much more on Digital Downloads since I see where its all heading, and I don’t like it.

I have a hard drive full of PSN games I no longer play and wish I could get rid of at this point, and no way of selling them off.

Not even a case to display on the shelf. I have wasted my money on them.

We need to have a choice, even if it cost us more, and its a limited amount.


73

+ Nynja on November 3rd, 2009 at 2:54 pm said:

Also, if you intend to do a PSP version a very welcome feature would be cross-game saves. Play my game on PS3, transfer the save over to my PSP and visa-versa.

Anyway, thanx for bringing back a classic!


74

+ Frostquake on November 3rd, 2009 at 7:19 pm said:

Had this on my TG16 loved it! Played the demo you put *cough* on the other console, and the difficulty ramps up WAY TOO QUICK! Any chance I can set it to Moron level for me! Want it, but any game that has such High level of difficulty right off the bat, is a no go for me!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 4th, 2009 at 11:19 am said:

    Nasty cough you have there…

    The difficulty of the single player campaign is a bit high…. but there are ways to ease the pain! Here are some suggestions:

    1.) You can save your game at any time, so make sure you save at the start of your turn. If something goes wrong, you can always reload.
    2.) You can practice against bots in the local multiplayer mode. Here you can set the AI difficulty. This can also help you get familiar with the units (which will make the game a lot easier).
    3.) Read through the How to Play section. It seems longer than it is, but it will tell you just about everything you need to no.
    4.) If you see a unit you don\’t recognize, it wouldn\’t hurt to look it up in the unit database.

    Give the PSN demo a shot when it comes out and try these tips out! The levels in MM can get pretty hard, but you\’ll sure feel great when you beat them!


75

+ th4nGthO_241 on November 3rd, 2009 at 11:14 pm said:

I NOW DECLARE WAR ON ALL OF YOU!!!

1st-day buy for me. I know that your’re late compared to XLA version… but it’s kinda worth the wait, i guess. THANX!!!


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    + Kyle Vincent Tunison on November 4th, 2009 at 11:23 am said:

    You\’re very welcome! I know I\’ll see you online!


76

+ sNsKid on November 5th, 2009 at 11:03 am said:

I really don’t get this game at all.


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+ JimInPT on November 5th, 2009 at 4:13 pm said:

My attraction to this style of game is pretty straightforward: I’m not a teenager anymore, so I lack the eyesight and reflexes of a teenager. That makes it hard to compete in an environment consisting of “SeekTargetAimShootFAST!!!!”

Although others may disagree, I like to pretend that my mind still works fine, so strategy, tower-defense (Savage Moon has had me hooked for months and hundreds of hours) and puzzle games suit me much better, with an occasional racer tossed into the mix. Sharp-edged teens still beat me in racing quite often, but I like the genre too much to just give up completely.

With all that in mind, I think Military Madness (as a turn-based shooter) would suit me just fine and I’ve had my eye on this title for a few weeks.

I’d surely appreciate a download code if there are any extras left.


78

+ DEADEYEZ on November 5th, 2009 at 10:09 pm said:

Purchased it…. very disappointed with the online considering there are NO matches to be found in 5 and counting hours after release.


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+ MasatoTC on November 7th, 2009 at 10:18 am said:

Can we get this game for the PSP? Even the original 2d graphics would be great too. I loved the original turbo graphx 16 of this game. It would be great if it came out on the PSN for psp.


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+ cvan911 on November 7th, 2009 at 5:01 pm said:

cool, a game i can actually play. can’t play disk based ones because of the 3.01 disk brick issue. HMPF FIX IT SONY


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