From: United States
Tom's post is spot on. Norm designed this thing all by his lonesome, prob from 1995-1998 when it was first released. He then worked on it from 1998 to 2003 I believe when ACOW was released. I thought he worked on it for TOAW III, but it seems that was Ralph's design. Ralph then worked on it solo till he parted with Matrix.
War games in particular seem to be solo efforts. There are a few exceptions like War in the East/West and the Flashpoint games. But it seems they are all mostly one shot deals by one individual that is an expert programmer.
There are a few games programmed in Java (I believe Desert War, Valor and Victory and possible most from Yobo games), a lot of old war games were programmed in C++, but some of the newer ones are programmed in C#. Personally I think any newer programming language like C# or Java can be used to program a war game. Using something like Unity is also possible (WarPlan). In order to use Unity as your "base" engine you'd need to bone up on Unity and also pay a fee (which I think Al does - Warplan), its not cheap. Using Java, you can create your own engine, but that means at least 1-2 years of getting the engine off the ground, then another 2-3 years to get the game designed. Theoretically you could do both using Java but you'd have to plan out your engine and work on that.
Just to illustrate some issues, I know of a group of guys that have 3 main programmers one of which is the lead and brain child. One worked on the engine ten years or so ago and then went off to work for the government as a contractor making $$$,$$$ a year. The lead continued on solo for 3 or 5 years and then the other fellow joined and two years after that they had their first release.
Now Al (WarPlan) is an exception, he uses Unity and C# and has had 2 games in the last 2 years, but I still think we worked on the engine for at least a year and half prior to Warplan.
So unity cuts down on some of that time.
Rambling thoughts is all...
Beta Tester for:
Flashpoint Campaigns: Sudden Storm
War in the East 1 & 2
WarPlan & WarPlan Pacific
Valor & Victory
DG CWIE 2 SPWW2 & SPMBT scenario creator