Flashpoint Campaigns Southern Storm reveals all its potential.
The grand tactical wargame set in the 1980s Cold War era is approaching its release date and we will reveal in detail the great progress and improvements that have been made in all gameplay and tech areas.
From today, each week we will publish news and details regarding sensors, AI mechanics, combat control, features, mods, realistic weather and much more through Dev Logs.
The Dev Logs are articles with screenshots, sometimes accompanied by videos, published by Matrix Games to describe the game design in detail.
Dev Logs Road Map:
Dev log #1: UI/Info Displays/Overlays – Cover all of the changes in the UI, all of the new info displays (Staff, Dashboard, SUI) and run down the Overlays.
Dev log #2: Command and Control/Orders/SOPs – Talk about command ranges and delays, orders including formation and chaining different ordered, and discuss per orders SOPs.
Dev log #3: Battle Planning and Scenario Design – Explain how to make scenarios and the awesomeness of Battle plans.
Dev log #4: Improved AI – A rundown of all the new and improved AI mechanics.
Dev log #5: New Combat and Spotting Mechanics – Breakdown all of the new elements to combat, ammo tracking, per target shooting, per sensor spotting and new arty mechanics.
Dev log #6: Other Features and Improvements – Grab up all of the other minor features and improvements like Radars/ESM, Multi-national forces, mission graphics, realist weather forecasting, dedicated engineers, etc.
Dev log #7: Mod Friendly Design – Go over all of the editing and mod capabilities within the game system.
Today we will start with the #1 Dev Log, focused on all the changes about the User interface, information display, dashboard and much more.
Flashpoint Campaigns Southern Storm #1 Dev Log:
A New Look and Feel to the Game
The User Interface (UI)
The first thing you will notice is the complete change in the look and feel of the user interface (UI) from Red Storm...
to Southern Storm...
We have a cleaner look, better colors scheme, better looking maps, markers, and counters, but a similar initial layout of the information panels and main menu so Red Storm players will be familiar with the UI. There are some notable new features to the UI and those are as follows:
Many options for the look of the counters. This includes the silhouetted side views for vehicles, new NATO symbols, or Large NATO symbols for better identification when zoomed out. There are also several color options and a halo outline option.
You can design your own interface layout as the new game engine allows you to move almost every panel to a new location on your screen. We also support wide screen and multiple monitors.
Here is a screen with the map full screened and the main floating panels moved around, and the Log panel collapsed. All the main panel seen here can be collapsed and expanded when required.
The main menu structure at the top of the game has been revised and function more logically grouped.
There are also five options for muting the colors on the map to better see the counters and map markers. The latest is a fully muted grey-scale map look.
Detailed Information Dialogs
The game includes several Staff Reports to provided detailed information about your command, units, operations, and enemy assessment. The following is the Scenario Information Center which shows the Scenario Description and the Victory Status & Conditions Reports.
The other reports include Operations (deals with your mission and forces), Intelligence (deals with your enemy’s mission and forces), Personnel and Logistics (deals with your forces condition and ammo supply, and Fire Support (deals with your on and off-map artillery and air strike capabilities). Each of these reports has several tabs to show you the important information.
We should note that many of the maps seen in the Staff Reports update in real time as the game progresses.
One area that has received several updated and new capabilities is Map Overlays. These are displays shown on the map that represent important functions of your units like Line of Sight, Spottable range, Weapons ranges, Emitter ranges, and Air Defense coverage to name a few. Many of these overlays can be shown for a single unit or for all units in your force. There are also Map specific overlays and a Modified Combined Obstacle Overlay or MCOO for short. Heck, we even threw in a Ruler so you can see range rings from any unit or hex.
Below is a unit Line of Sight (LOS).
Next is the Multi-Unit LOS for the Soviet forces.
A looks at the Emitters Overlay. The overlay shows both active (orange) and inactive (beige) units and the hexes open to detection.
Below is the MCOO for the Forchheim map.
This has been a small taste of all the new changes in the UI, the expansive number of reports and wealth of information at your fingertips. The On Target Simulations Development Team, Content Team, and Beta Testers have been hard at work to provide the best most detailed and realistic Cold War gaming experience that we can.
More Developer Blogs detailing more features will be coming in the following weeks are we ramp up to release.
Please feel free to comment and ask questions on the Southern Storm Forum on the Matrix Games site.