KKND 2: Krossfire Development Diary
Australia's Beam Software is best known for their real-time strategy game Krush, Kill, and Destroy, better remembered as KKND. Sure, it was one of the first Clone & Conquer games, but hey, it was a pretty good clone. Looking to build on that success, Beam has been developing KKND2: Krossfire, a game that looks to bring the original up to late 1990s levels of features and gameplay.
Just how does a company go about producing a game like this? Well, Judy Routt, a spokesperson for Beam and avid observer of the development process, provided us with this diary she kept of the various milestones the KKND2 team has passed through as they worked on the game. It's a pretty funny tale, all things considered, and even though this is provided by the developer (i.e., it's not written by us cynical journalist types), it's got some good insights into the development process. Enjoy.
It's going to be more a record of milestones than of day-to-day activities in the KKND room as I am observer and chronicler rather than a member of the team. Why did I get this job? Well, the Diary was my suggestion and folks said "Great idea, Judyyou can do it then!" Hmmm, maybe in the coming weeks I'll regret my big mouth, but I don't think so.ú
So, I guess I'll start by describing the team and the project. Justin Halliday 's in charge of the teamhe sets milestones and makes executive decisions of what to add or take out of the design. He is a pretty hands-on Producer and pretty cluey, so nothing gets past him.
Craig Duturbure's the designer. He's written and rewritten (and rewritten again) the document which is the project's bible. He's worked out the back story, what all the units will be and all the new functions of the game. The design document is a veritable tome. So, this is the first milestone: the document is pretty much finalized. Craig has been working feverishly for quite a long while to complete the final unit designthe trickiest part is, I gather, to make the units' cost and capabilities kind of balance so that no one unit is too kick-ass and no one side is superior.
Let me tell you in broad brushstrokes about the KKND2 design. The game will incorporate a third sidethe Series 9. The story goes that before the great war of 2079 there were nine separate series of robots created to carry out the menial tasks in life. The nuclear missiles of the great war were directed at the cities, slagging all city-dwelling robots but leaving the agricultural Series 9 robots intact. After the war the Series 9 went completely berserk, destroying all the remaining series 5 - 8 robots who threatened their natural outback existence. These robots have come upon the two factions of humanoids occupying the Earth and are now warring with both sides.
Also decided by Craig is that that KKND2 will now include amphibious units which are capable of dishing out death over both land and sea, and aerial unitsthree types for each army: fighters, bombers, and unit transports. "Orange Krush" is the working title for KKND2, however to me it sounds too much like a flavored crushed ice drink! Hmmm!
Okay, back to the team members. Dan Tonkin, Toby Charlton, Jeremy Kupsch and John Tsiglev are the project's artists. John is responsible for bringing the backgrounds to life, and the other three will work on the enormous number of sprites that will be required. Shane Lontis, Paul Baulch, Andrew P. Scott and Louis Solomon are going to be programming KKND2. Andrew's doing unit programming, Shane is lead programmer and gets to do such things as graphics routines and Paul will program the computer player, but all of them get to do other things too. Louis is general Windows programming guru and is also going to be doing the network coding to make KKnD2 play well over a TCP/IP link. That seems like one of the toughest assignments.
Okay, those are the core team members. Also involved will be Damien Borg, who'll do the front-end art, and Brian Uniacke, Greg Johnson and Rowan Summers who'll assemble the mission maps when the time comes. Marshall and Gavin Parker are starting work on the music and sound effects and I have no idea who will get to do the missionsthere's talk of an internal competition, which would be fun.
So, that's pretty much everyone. Next installment I'll have more details on how the game's starting to look as code and art begin to take shape.
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