Published on 10/5/2004 by Scott Parrino.
Our friends at Game Factory Interactive recently gave us a heads-up on a new real-time tactical fantasy game in the works by Ukrainian developer Mindlink Studio: Telladar Chronicles: Decline. A look at the screen shots posted on their website piqued our interest - not only are the graphics reminiscent of the beloved Total War games, but the fantasy theme also brings fond memories of the epic Lord of the Rings battles. Although not due until next year, Mindlink's Andrew Beletsky took some time to answer some questions about the game, and in the process heighten our anticipation of Telladar Chronicles: Decline.
The Wargamer (WG): Can you give us a short background story of Telladar Chronicles: Decline?
Andrew Beletsky (AB): Lets start from brief history of Telladarian Empire. It was founded nearly a millennium before the events of the game by King Rene III of Telladar, who has proclaimed himself the Emperor after conquering several neighboring states. His heirs expanded the territory of the Empire at first, but the lineage of Rene III ceased two centuries later and a civil war, known as The War of False Heirs, began. It lasted for a hundred years and ended with Arthur Morell ascending the throne. The Empire had lost a score of provinces, but still survived. Since then the weakening of the emperors authority has been started and after some time actual power was about to pass to Imperial State Council. Endless struggle and intrigues between Morells progeny and council members brought the great country to the verge of ruin.
The tension between confronting sides reached its apogee when the current emperor, Adrian I Morell, secretly ordered a large force of Imperial Guards from their camps to the capitals suburbs. It becomes obvious to the counselors that he was going to start a coup detat against the Imperial State Council. In a desperate attempt to overcome the situation, two council members appealed to Melthar Nolan, High Priest of Ælnor and the most influential cleric of the Empire, for help. The exact details of that conversation are still under the veil of secrecy, but the next day a holy war against warlike nomadic Horchi tribes was proclaimed. The emperor was forced to obey the will of the powerful priest and to send majority of forces loyal to him to the distant Urdaj-Nagh steppes.
The Council planned for a short and victorious war, which was supposed to give them some time to deal with unruly Emperor and raise their authority in the eyes of neighboring states. But most of the conspirators were unaware of the real purpose of this campaign and of grim consequences which it will bring
Here we start to play
WG: Is this game based on original fiction?
AB: Yes, the game is based on our fiction. It is set in the original world called Miere with twenty thousands years of history from the ancient elven kingdoms through several cataclysms, appearance of other nations, countless wars, rise of human states, and up to the present time.
The storyline is based on the events of the Seven Nations War. This great conflict involved all major and many minor nations and races on Miere in a desperate struggle for survival. The game shows the destiny of four heroes two humans, one Horchi orc and one elf each who become principle player during the conflict.
WG: Can you provide a general description of game play?
AB: Decline in not quite the typical RTS game. There is no research, production or building in the game the players hero musters, equips and reinforces his army between missions. The hero leads to battle thousands of warriors, organized in military units. All armies can contain up to seven tactical groups (units); one of which is under direct player control. The heros lieutenants manage the rest. The actual number of units in any given tactical group depends on leadership ability of the hero or lieutenant assigned to it.
The player can command forces belonging to seven various parties Telladarian Empire, Counties of Ormir, Vestian Princedom, Dwarfs, Elves, Centaurs and two kinds of orcs - settled Urrgs and nomadic Horchi. Some minor races are also presented for example Goblins and Ogres, who fight in alliance with orcs.
The game consists of six chapters, each with several missions. The game has a non-linear plot and the finale will depend on the players behavior and choices made during the game from the very beginning.
Our combat system allows various kinds of combat maneuvers and techniques. Different unit formations, flank attacks, ambushes, encirclements, false routes, line breaches all this will be available to the player and will have considerable impact on the situation on the battlefield. Moreover, ability to manually equip units and change the army composition gives the player access to nearly infinite number of tactics and we are sure that everyone will find the proper mixture of troops to suite his or her playing style.
What about AI in the game? Well, computer enemies would use all variety of their resources and every tactical opportunity to make a tough time for the player maneuvering, stratagems, brute-force, artillery and magic. We promise that AI will be an opponent worthy of respect.