“Talon Tuesdays” is an article series appearing on InsideGMT periodically on Tuesdays. It features articles from the Talon development team regarding the game’s design, development and upcoming release of the Talon 1000 expansion. Since Space Empires:4x Replicators is also releasing soon and there is crossover between the two development teams, Replicator articles will be featured as well.
Issue #29 Talon 1000 – Heavy Battle Cruisers
Looking back into the annals of the lost timelines after the apocalypse, I can see that it has been almost exactly two years since Carla & I set out to create Apocalypse Road. Honestly, 3 months prior to that it was not even a blip on our radar. But the summer of 2015 opened our eyes to a major “want” put forth by the fans of Thunder Alley. They wanted to knock each other around and frequently that was followed up with “I want to shoot my opponents, you know like in Car Wars”. In fact it was such a refrain during that summer at Origins, Gencon and Buckeye Game fest that we decided it needed to be done and we were just the people to do it. At the time we were putting the finishing touches on Grand Prix so it got the lower priority of time in the beginning.
Here is Part 2 of Game 1 in Brian’s Twilight Struggle Play the Experts video series. Part 1 can be found here. Enjoy!
While only fifteen years separate the air wars depicted in Downtown and Elusive Victory from the hypothetical conflict in Red Storm, major advances in computer technology significantly changed all aspects of electronic warfare between the early 1970s and late 1980s. Radars, jammers, missiles, countermeasures, and counter-countermeasures all evolved at a rapid pace. From the Israeli Air Force’s engagements with Syria in 1982, the United States Air Force and Navy’s bombing of Libyan targets in 1986 during Operation El Dorado Canyon, and definitively in the Coalition control of the skies over Iraq in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm, electronic warfare changed dramatically. So, when I started developing Red Storm I knew that updating the game’s modelling of electronic warfare would be a critical to “getting it right.” At the same time, I didn’t want the game solely to become an electronic warfare (EW) game. Finding the right balance between realism and playability would be the key.
I have been a huge fan of Brian Reynolds and his digital game designs for over 20 years, since I first played his smash hit, Civilization II. As many of you may know, Brian is a tremendously skilled game designer, with a history of creating games that I, and apparently millions of others, think are “massively cool!” He’s recognized within the game industry as one of gaming’s most talented and productive game designers, and has been honored by PC Gamer magazine as one of twenty-five “Game Gods” and by IGN as one of the “Top 100 Game Developers of All Time.” Most recently, Brian guided the creative development of DomiNations™, a mobile strategy game for iOS and Android which launched in 2015.
So, when I found out that one of the most amazing digital game designers of the past 25 years happens to love to play Twilight Struggle… well, that was a pretty cool moment. As it turns out, Brian’s passion for Twilight Struggle has led him to create a series of wonderful “Play the Experts” videos on his YouTube Channel. When I watched his first video, I couldn’t believe how much time and effort Brian had put into it. Wow! These are just so much better, in my view, than the usual “how to play” or “AAR” videos you tend to see online. Brian combines his passion for the game with his deep grasp of strategy, all wrapped up in a friendly, conversational presentation style, to take players inside the game in a way I haven’t seen before. In short, his videos are terrific!
With Brian’s agreement and assistance, we’ve decided to present these videos here on InsideGMT, with introductions and overviews by Brian, to help all of you either learn how to play Twilight Struggle or seriously improve your Twilight Struggle skills. I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I do, and that you learn a lot that will help you enjoy and improve your play in our signature game. Have fun! – Gene