Star Wars: Total Annihilation
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Is there anything in the full game that's not in the demo of SW:TA?
The ability to play multiplayer is the one big feature missing. Also, our mod uses some sounds from TA that you won't have with the demo: some hovercraft "whooshes", a few airplane sounds, and some generic weapon sounds might be missing without the full version of TA.
You can play SWTA multiplayer using the demo if you get your hands on a copy of the TA disc, though.
What did you think of Galactic Battlegrounds?
Heh... I was a pretty adamant opposer of it when the beta came out, and even for a few months after release. You can probably find my old posts at one of the old GB sites (www.galacticbattles.com), I forget its name. I didn't think the engine was much compared to TA's, as many of the limitations greatly bothered me (fighters hovering in mid air all the time, walkers not able to fire while moving, things we take for granted with TA). I did enjoy the single player, though, and played a few multi games with friends, but it didn't stick.
When you started out, did you have any idea that you'd last this long and produce so many packages?
I joined the mod team maybe a year or two after it was founded. My teammate, HANSOLO, who was one of the original founders, has always insisted he'd keep working on the mod until it was done, even if he ends up being the only person left playing it. So no, it's not surprising how much we've accomplished, though the length of time it takes is a little... amusing :).
Did you think it would take much less time?
Initially, yeah. When you have the time, you pump out models and animation scripts like no tomorrow, and you think you'll be done in a few weeks. But then real life creeps in, and you don't get to work on anything for months at a time. We've always had a small team, so one of us going AWOL impedes progress pretty badly.
We're pretty notorious among our fans for being slow between packs, which is a deserved reputation.
Have you been happy with the response the packages have received?
Very much so. Fan support is the one thing that really keeps you going, especially when you consider how long those people have been waiting for releases. We even have a random quote display on our web page that shows some of the things fans have said about the releases, statements we found especially encouraging.
And fans are far more picky about fine balance aspects than developers, so they're definitely a good influence.
What's in store for the future of the Mod?
The remaining "big" units that people really like to see. AT-AT walkers, some Jedi/Sith units, and some more units to flush out the game. We're working on a Star Destroyer relay station that calls down a planetary bombardment from an unseen orbiting Star Destroyer... think Command & Conquer's Ion Cannon, only with dozens of lasers falling at a much faster rate.
Basically, rough equivalents to the units you used in TA to bust large bases (Big Berthas, Krogoths, etc).
Have you considered doing a prequel version of SW:TA when you've become satisfied with the OT version, or is that too far in the future?
Considered, yes. Likely to implement? Probably not. We did release a pack using some units from Episodes I and II, including a few battle droids, the LAAT Republic Gunships, and the Republic fighter tanks from the Clone Wars video game. I can't speak for my teammates, but when we finish with SWTA, I'll likely look to another game to work on, perhaps Chris Taylor's (designer of TA) upcoming RTS.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
To those who have downloaded the mod (or will), please stop by our forum and let us know what you think. Also, we very much appreciate this interview. A mod for a six-year-old video game isn't the biggest news around, so any publicity we get goes a long way.