So, for this Kickstarter update, I'm going to talk about one specific new feature, "Objectives". This will be most interesting for those who have already played a Supreme Ruler game but I'll explain why it's so important. First, a bit of background on Supreme Ruler history.
With each version of the game, there have been key additions to the engine that were important for the setting we wanted to create. With Supreme Ruler 2010, we had created a solid game system for combat between regions but maps where limited in size. For Supreme Ruler 2020 we moved to the "one world map" design so players could interact with any other region in the world. What happened in the world was very free form, since it was a future setting and we had only written a fictional timeline for the game up to the game start, not past that point. When we undertook Supreme Ruler Cold War, we knew that would be our biggest challenge, dealing with the engine in a setting where there is an existing timeline that players expect us to follow. The solution was to create a system of "events" that occurred at the appropriate times in history.
That system worked well but we discovered it had severe limitations. We could make something occur around a specific date and could set some basic conditions such as "is the region alive" to check that history was where it should be, but these conditions were too broad and imprecise. This quickly became a priority for improving the engine as we began development for Supreme Ruler 1936. With the recent engine changes, we can, for example, make sure that Germany only attacks Poland in 1939 if war has not broken out in Western Europe, Italy and Japan are its allies and they have secured a non-aggression treaty from the Soviets. If the events have deviated from the historical path, or the player has chosen not to enforce historical events, then the other regional AI's take over and make decisions based on the circumstances.
What will help gameplay even more, particularly for new players, is that the events system now supports sending objectives. This means that if Germany is in the hands of a player, we can tell them that they must move troops to the Austrian border if they want the Anschluss to occur. We can then encourage them to move on to Czechoslovakia and Poland. This allows us to help a new player learn how to play the game historically while not forcing their hand. It also allows us to manage some of the "What If"s such as, if Germany conquers Poland in 1937, we can increase relations between the Allied regions earlier and cause them to act faster. Or if Germany does not attack Poland, the UK could be more open to working together against Bolshevism in the world. Really the only limit to the system is the development time it takes to set up each event.
By combining the tools of scripted events with condition checks and prerequisite events, we allow ourselves as designers and also our modders to create within a campaign or scenario a domino effect of actions to create more of a story. We can give a player in a specific region a victory condition appropriate to their country. Currently playing one of the Japanese campaigns, you are taken through objectives to conquer the Philippines, Guam, Solomon islands, Dutch East Indies and a bunch of other Pacific islands a few at a time. Once you conquer Australia, so long has you still own those Pacific assets, you would be victorious in the campaign. If at any point you lose either Formosa or Korea, you lose. Taking Beijing is required to unlock the final objectives but actually defeating China is a secondary objective, not required for the win but encouraged.
Of course Supreme Ruler 1936 will also continue to offer players the Scenarios and open-ended Sandbox modes that have been popular in all our previous titles, however the new objective-based Campaigns add a lot of new and interesting ways to play the game.
Our hope is that the community will gain as much out of this new feature as we anticipate.
-- Chris Latour, Game Designer, BattleGoat Studios