Afrika Korps interview with Iain McNeil
Ever since the recent review of Afrika Korps, we tried to catch up with the busy team of Lordz Game Studio to see how they feel about the success of their latest title and their plans for the future. We had the privilege of talking to Iain McNeal, development director at Slitherine, and we tried prying as much info from him as merely possible!
StrategyPrime Panzer Corps games are very popular, many expansions have been added so far, so we were wondering what war theater/period/side would be the next step? How much more potential is there in following this theme? Do you have any plans for projects after Panzer Corps?
Iain McNeal We think there is huge potential. The gameplay system is so good and so universal that the possibilities are almost endless. We have split the team in to 4 parts. The DLC team is focusing on the Grand Campaign. These are primarily scenario designers who use existing units, terrain and sides to create interesting new scenarios and campaign paths. Currently they are working on the Western branch of the Grand Campaign. The second team is the expansion team – they recently finished Afrika Korps. The expansion team is able to add new units, terrain types and a limited number of new features. Their next task is just being finalized but it will either be the Soviets or Western Allies in WW2 – basically playing the game from another side. The 3rd team is the porting team – these take the existing games and bring them to other platforms – the main focus right now is Mac and iPad. The 4th team is the sequel team. They are looking at the future of the engine and what could be next – I can’t really tell you anything about what they are doing right now! Some people are split across multiple teams and some people are only in a specific team.
The only thing I could add is we are looking at potential licenses for the engine as well as historical settings. Some very interesting and exciting stuff going on – I just wish we could tell you about it!
StrategyPrime Always leave them asking for more, as the rule goes. Well played! Have you considered taking the game to a fictional surroundings with historically authentic and accurate units?
Iain McNeal We already partially cover this type of thing. For example Sealion is in the original campaign and Afrika Korps lets you invade the middle east and on to India. If we did a Pacific campaign you’d almost certainly want the US to be able to invade Japan rather than Nuke them. We like to keep a good mix of historical and “what if“ scenarios, as long as the “what if“ scenarios are plausible – we don’t like to get too fantastic in our thinking.
StrategyPrime We love the very thought of Panzer Corps title for iOS, especially playing it on iPad. I’m glad you are getting on that train as well. When do you think it will be done?
Iain McNeal Yes, as mentioned above, we already have a team working on that. We hope to release before the end of the year and expect it to big very popular.
StrategyPrime Will there be an all-in-one Panzer Corps pack eventually?
Iain McNeal We’ll almost certainly have the 10 Grand Campaign’s packaged up when that’s complete but it might be difficult to find a way to bundle all the content together in a single package. There is already so much that it might be too much or too expensive to make any sense so we’ll probably try and find smaller bundles that work together and have a number of those rather than one mega pack, but anything is possible and if there is demand we can look in to it! The problem with one giant bundle is its only really any use to someone who has none of the content and in this situation people aren’t sure they want to buy so much content for a game they are not sure they’re going to like.
That is about it, folks, short, but sweet. Especially the part about the iOS versions by the end of the year. Nothing sweeter than getting stuck in some random queue or waiting for a meeting and knowing you got a title like Panzer Corps on your iPad that will help you kill off the time easier!