It has been very long since the last update of Ultimate General: Gettysburg development progress. All this time, we have been working very hard to improve and polish technical features of the game. Today we would like to show you a segment of the almost final version of the battlefield map.
Balancing Art and History
The creation of the map has been a serious task for the team because we wanted to keep a good balance between realism and art style. The map is created using actual satellite heights of the Gettysburg area. We additionally conducted a very thorough 1863 topography research placing all the hills and ridges with precision, taking into account even the slightest elevations, key forest areas, the characteristic river paths and the gigantic boulders at Devils Den; all of course inside the limits of our art and technical constraints.
Attention to detail
Our goal was to represent the battlefield as accurately as possible so to allow you to re-live the drama of the epic confrontation between the two armies; to make your own stories that you can remember, as every part of the map will be distinctive and memorable.
For instance, let’s look at the map image we share today with you. On the left you notice Herr’s Ridge. This elevated ground expanding from north to south served as an early base of operations for the Confederate troops and took its name simply from Herr’s Tavern, a local inn west of Gettysburg town which you can also see on the map. The trench expanding from left to right is the unfinished railroad bed (at that time) and its deep section at McPherson's Ridge known also as “Railroad cut” is where Davis troops found temporary cover only to get trapped and slaughtered by the charge of the Iron Brigade.
The names we have put on the map will help you even more to learn facts about places and locations that played major role to the battle. Find for example in the image the famous “Thompson” house, where Lee established his HQ or observe the shape and positions of McPherson’s Ridge and Oak Ridge to feel their importance, and why both sides gave lives to hold them.
Capturing ridges was crucial because they provided visibility and clear line of sight for the artillery while behind them the units found protection from direct enemy fire. Our gameplay mechanics will simulate this importance and the names will help to characterize your battles and tactics.
Not a typical 2D map
There are several interesting gameplay innovations related to our map design which we consider a remarkable achievement. We wanted to give players a beautiful hand-drawn map – that will work well on most devices so our map is 2D. But for gameplay it is fully 3D in all other aspects!
- Soldier formations bend on the hills and scale depending on elevation and distance
- Line of Sight (LOS) is calculated on every hill, every ridge and forest, affecting visibility, fire distance and attack sectors
- Every terrain detail plays gameplay role giving opportunity for carefully planned flanking maneuvers.
From now on we will progressively show you more map sections and start describing major features that will make Ultimate General: Gettysburg a really special strategy game.
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