Operation Gamma 41 Interview
Answered by: (Elke Eriksen, Community Manager)
Gameogre: It is quite refreshing to know that there are still other MMOGs out there who make things as uniquely as possible. Can you tell us more about Operation Gamma 41’s take on its turn-based action sequence?
Elke E: In OG41, we are combining many interesting aspects in one game: turn based real time combat, a dynamic storyline with voting and events, a complex leveling system for commanders that includes marriage and rebirth, item refinement and of course city administration. I like how all these aspects play together and create a new gaming experience.
Elke E: There are so many World War 2 games out there that we decided to take a different route, let’s say “history with a twist”. 1941 is the year everything changes in our game. We imagined a big conference held by the League of Nations, a final attempt to end the war before it consumes the whole world. As you can see in the game intro, it goes horribly wrong, and the world is left leaderless and in chaos. Clearly a sinister force is at work here.
This puts the player in the unique position to take command and try to restore order in his cities surroundings – not an easy task as strange enemy troops appear all around, and whispers of the mysterious “Operation Gamma” are unsettling your forces. There are many new frontlines opening, but I am sure we will encounter familiar historical events with a little twist as well.
Gameogre: There are three factions you can choose from in Operation Gamma 41 – Axis Empire or the Free Allied Nations and an unknown faction – Can you give us a few details about each faction’s background?
Elke E: In the beginning you can only choose the familiar two: Axis Forces and Free Allies. They’re what is left of the historical factions of World War 2, but after the leaders of both died in the attack on Geneva, the world is in a huge mess, so to say. There is mistrust, not only against the enemy, but also within factions, and many Commanders on both sides try to use the chaos to push their own goals. That’s why you can attack your own faction as well, if you really want to.
I am sure you’d like to know more about the third faction at this point. Well, you will encounter the first troops of the “Gamma-Faction” very soon in the story missions, and it is your task as a player to find out more about them. And while you can’t choose that faction directly, the course of the dynamic storyline might give you opportunity to lay hands on some of their secrets!
Gameogre: Are both factions equal in terms of weaponry and spawn locations on each map?
Elke E: Due to the chaos in the world, Allies and Axis cities are wildly mixed together and don’t have separate areas on the map. You can choose the general area where you want to play when you start. That is not a final decision, however, as you can always move your city around with a “Relocation Order” to be closer to your friends – or enemies. I have another CM’s city right in front of me at the moment – scary!
The high level troops vary a bit for the two factions, Allies; for example, can build offensive Challengers as the strongest tank unit, but Axis will use the more defensive Heavy Tanks. In general we keep the two pretty similar, though.
Gameogre: What are the different types of game modes available for the players to freely explore?
Elke E: The most common thing to do is to fight NPC’s on the world map to fulfill daily quests, story missions and gain resources and much needed items. At the same time you have to manage and upgrade your city, army and commanders.
The Battleground is a bit more challenging; you have to work your way through the enemy ranks up to the strongest unit on the field, with each try consuming one or more secret orders. I have only seen the last opponent once during the Closed Beta; he has a really huge army full of special troops! It will be quite a while before the first players will reach him.
For some PVP fun the arena is very popular; players of the same strength can fight each other without actually losing troops. And there is of course some “real” PVP action, as players can attack each other’s cities and eventually colonize them for a few days. The Legion Battle is tough; you really need a very active legion, or even an alliance of several legions to be successful – but the rewards are worth it.
We also have a fun mini-game called “Thunderbolt Fighter” in place if you have to wait for your troops to return from battle.
Gameogre: For some MMOGs or MMORPGs –they use the leveling system. How do players progress in this game?
The equipment, especially if it is upgraded with the crafting system, will have a high impact on either the battles or the administrative power of the Commander wearing it. However, it is not as essential as the other two points.
Your city gives you the army you need, but only a high ranking Commander can bring enough troops to the battlefield to beat strong enemies. You can build hundreds of tanks with a high level city, but if nobody can command them, they will only consume your resources and defeat nothing.
It might sound a bit crazy, but you constantly have to marry your Commanders and achieve good “rebirths” to make them stronger – and everybody loves the wedding candy that a marriage gives!
Gameogre: How important is questing in a turn-based RTS game like this?
Elke E: In my personal opinion quests and a story make every game better, because players just get more involved! Of course in contrast to full-fledged RPG’s there is more focus on the strategic fights and the administration of the city, and the pacing is very different. But I see no reason why strategy browser games shouldn’t go for quests as well. They give players more goals, additional rewards and better identification with the game world.
Gameogre: How would you base the conditions for victory on player versus player instances?
Elke E: Well, I am no game designer, but in our game I could for example imagine a race between Allies and Axis to reach a fortress held by the mysterious third faction. The fortress would have several lines of defense, getting gradually stronger. Both teams would have to take down the defenses as quickly as possible, without refreshing their troops in between. The faction reaching the center of the fortress first would get a defense-bonus against the other faction for the final fight… with the victory condition being the destruction or retreat of the other faction.
Gameogre: Does the player with the most units win, or does it still depends on the type of strategy you use on the field?
Elke E: Strategy has an important role in our fight system. All units have various strengths and weaknesses, so the tactic against a division of tanks will look different from a fight against an army mainly consisting of infantry, for example. If you don’t know what troops your opponent will bring, you might lose, even if you outnumber him. The random battlefields also allow different strategies and keep things interesting.
Gameogre: How important are the Military Ranks in Operation Gamma 41?
Elke E: They have a big influence on the player ranking. At first glance you could think that reputation alone decides the player rank, but a Major with less reputation will still outrank a Captain with high reputation. So you have to put some well-aimed effort into achieving the next higher rank, and can’t only randomly defeat everything in sight.
Gameogre: What is the difference between your personal rank and of your commanders? Can you give us a brief explanation on how these types of rankings work?
Elke E: Obviously, your Commanders should never outrank you, or you would have serious trouble staying in charge. That is basically it – your current rank is the line none of your Commanders can cross. While you as a player have to collect medals for your military rank, your Commanders rank up through a different system. Marriage is the key. Each rebirth through marriage will add some valor to your Commander, and he will reach the next rank every 10.000 valor. The conditions to marry, however, will become harder the higher his rank. It is quite a complex system, no simple “Yes, I do!”.
Gameogre: Now, being a MMOG, the item mall is very crucial on how the economy will work – how would you rate the balance of Operation Gamma 41’s premium or exclusive items in the tide of the war?
Elke E: I think that you can achieve very much in OG 41 without gold coins if you put time and effort into it. The mall is a way to reach goals quicker, and some items are exclusive. However, most items will also drop from high level troops so it will never be impossible for non-paying members to advance in the game – that is very important for us.
Gameogre: As a big war-based game fan, new innovations and technologies is what changes the tide of the war, should we expect more updates, patches and playable factions in the near future?
Elke E: Of course! First of all, the dynamic storyline will leave its mark on the world and eventually change a few things on the servers. At the same time we are working on updates like new types of troops, more Legion Strongholds and several secret projects. We want to keep things interesting.
Gameogre: Can you tell us more in-depth about the dynamic storyline in the game?
Elke E: I think this is a very unusual approach in a browser game. We want to let the players decide about which way the story turns – and each server will have its own voting. Right now you can play up to the first decision point on the Montgomery server and you can see that both options are lying head to head – we are very excited to see which one will finally make it!
The storyline will have a number of voting points and some bigger events that will have an impact on the server, making each one unique. It will be a very interesting journey, and I hope the players will enjoy the story they chose.
Gameogre: Is there anything else you would like for our readers to know about Operation Gamma 41?
Elke E: We are only just at the beginning, but we have big plans for OG41. Come join us and give it a try!