Perimeter Interview (PC)
Si: Please tell us about yourself.
Andy Wafer: Iím Andy Wafer, Game Designer from the Codemasters External Development Team. Iíve spent the last 6 months working with KD Labs fine-tuning the development of Perimeter.
Si: What sets Perimeter apart form other Real time strategy games today?
Andy Wafer: Three new main features, terraforming, unit morphing and the perimeter shield.
Si: Tell us about the combat aspects of Perimeter, is there as much strategy and tactics involved to win a fight as there is brute force?
Andy Wafer: Perimeter is much more about tactics and strategy, units have very different functions and ways of attacking the enemy. Players will have to combine squads of different types of units to be effective. And importantly, the A.I. also knows how to do this! You also have to be very mindful of how you allocate resources, as investing them in the wrong units will prove disastrous. This is because of the way the morphing system works.
Si: Tell us more about the 'Morphing' system in Perimeter, it stands out as a very unique feature.
Andy Wafer: The system basically allows you to transform your units into different types of units whilst theyíre in battle. It means that you donít have to wait for reinforcements and you can quickly adapt your strategy should you need to. It offers a lot of new tactics to the player.
Si: Is there much resource gathering as seen in other strategy games?
Andy Wafer: There is only one resource to collect in Perimeter, energy. However to collect it you must first terraform the terrain. The player has to work out the best place to terraform and then how many units to assign to the task. This adds more tactics to resource gathering with less complexity.
Si: Tell us more about the 'Perimeter' force field, can it potentially last forever or is the energy drain too significant to rely on it for defence?
Andy Wafer: The perimeter field is generated from energy cores, buildings that extract energy from terraformed land. You can turn these cores on or off individually or all on or off at once. This means you can choose to defend specific areas of a base or buildings rather than everything. To answer the question, turning them all on is an extreme measure, which will burn a lot of energy quickly, but provided you have enough energy coming in you can easily switch on one or two indefinitely.
Si: Is there a 'population limit' in multiplayer/skirmish games? If so, what is the highest setting?
Andy Wafer: The highest number of basic offensive/defensive units each player can have is 250. That means up to 1000 units in a multiplayer/skirmish game. These basics units can be morphed together to make larger more specialist units.
Si: How much variation is there between the playable factions, ideology, units etc?
Andy Wafer: There are three factions in Perimeter, each faction has its own specific laboratory which provides four unique units. These unique units work in very different ways, for example, one faction learns how to control the Scourge, the alien creatures, which live on each planet, while another specialises in technology which disrupts the ground. Each faction also has its own super weapon. The factions have different political ideologies and goals, but I donít want to give too much of the story away.
Si: Will there be a Map editor included with Perimeter on release, or is that something for an expansion pack?
Andy Wafer: There wonít be a map editor in the release version, but this may follow in the future.
Si: What do you believe the minimal specs for Perimeter will be?
Andy Wafer: Final specs havenít been decided yet as weíre still doing a lot of code optimisation. But at the moment weíre looking at around the 1GHz P3 mark with 256MB of ram and a 64MB graphics card. This is partly down to the complexity of the 3D engine that creates intricate 3D worlds, which can be effected by things like underground units, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Si: What is the current set release date for Perimeter?
Si: Please tell our readers what your favourite aspect of Perimeter is so far?
Andy Wafer: The underground units. They have some really cool effects and are tactically new to RTS. They can also go under the perimeter. ;)
Si: Is there any form of researching for upgrades and technologies to unlock new buildings and better Units, or is this done automatically in Perimeter?
Andy Wafer: Yes. You must upgrade laboratories to get new and improved units. This costs energy and at the start of the game you have to decide which labs youíre going to build first. Different labs give you different units, and different combinations of labs give you different heavy units.