The first Anomaly
was a bit of a surprise as it took the tower defense genre and flipped it on it's head. With news that a sequel was in the works (and that it was plays pretty well
) we chased down Paweł Miechowski, the senior writer of the game to get more information on what we could expect to see in the sequel.
Why do you think the first Anomaly game was so successful? Were you at all surprised by how well it took off?
Well, yeah, frankly speaking when we make any game, naturally we want it to be successful but it cannot lead by any means to a conclusion that it's successful because we made the game so good. Ego may kill a talent so it's always good to just focus on a work and have a hope the work will pay off and people will like the game. So eventually we were surprised how well the game performed. Many thanks to gamers who supported us!
As part of the early promotion of the game you allowed folks to purchase the game for half off before even announcing the game, could you walk us through how you came up with that idea? How many people figured out which game it was ahead of time?
We thought it would be a catchy topic for media and for the gamers but actually we were not asking for money like on a Kickstarter or something but we just wanted to involve people in enigmatic game and it worked. The communicate was clear - here's a secret thing but if you don't want it, we ask that you wait until we announce the game. Surprisingly I did not notice if anyone figured out what was the game :)
At what point did you decide that you were going to work on Anomaly 2 instead of a new IP?
Hehe, actually we are working on a new IP too, but it's totally too early to talk about it. Anomaly 2 has been in the development practically after the first one was done, but at that time we just were working on the multiplayer engine rather than on the specific gameplay features that we can see now in Anomaly 2.
How many of the new ideas for Anomaly 2 are ideas that didn’t make it into the first game? Were there any features that you got from the community that are in Anomaly 2?
Good question. We always wanted to make any multiplayer mode but we did not have enough people nor enough resources. After Anomaly WE performed well and the studio grew up we just started to work on it. And the very idea for multiplayer mode where it's all about tower defense vs tower offense came from Steam forums community. We asked people what kind of multiplayer they'd like to see in Anomaly and this was the most common answer.
Where did the idea for transforming units into war mechs come from? What are some of the different mechs that will be available for players?
I should say the idea comes from Transformers movies, but actually we were just looking for a way to create another tactical layer to make Anomaly even bigger strategy for the enthusiasts of the genre. The entire idea is based on giving more tactical options, so each unit has different functionality and when morphed, it gains another functionality. For example, Sledge Hammer is a sort of long distance cannon but with a narrow angle of attack so once morphed it becomes a Rocket Hammer which is useful on short distances and shoots rockets on a wide angle of attack. Another example - Gripper Guard cannot attack the towers, but it can slow them down and when morphed it becomes a Shield Guard that provides additional cover for two units in front of it and two behind.
Outside of the mechs are there any new units in the game? Have you made any tweaks to the existing units?
Except maybe Rocket Hammer which is similar to Crawler and Shield Guard which is the Shield from Anomaly WE, all other units are completely new ideas. For example - Assault Hound is a chain-gun that makes more damage when more enemies been attacked by it. Cool thing :)
Will the game have a single player campaign where you can play as the aliens?
In the single player campaign you play the "humans" only, but I'd love to expand the game with totally new idea, not only the aliens campaign, but also the level editor.
How will the multiplayer portion of the game work from a matchmaking perspective? Is it strictly head to head or will it support multiple players?
It's player vs player. You can invite your friend via Steam or be matched with a random opponent based on the experience you got in the game so far.
What new locations will players be fighting it out in Anomaly 2?
The story in Anomaly 2 is definitely more global :) The entire planet is frozen and overrun by alien machines. Humans live in huge convoys (half military, half civilian) trying to survive, and seeking for a legendary weapon that is supposed to free humankind from machines. The weapon's called Shockwave. You begin in frozen Northern America and in later stages move South.
What changes have you made to the engine?
Honestly I'm not a tech guy. The technology is being improved and expanded with new tools all the time, so please just let me know if you wanna know technical details and I ask the programming guys. Of course, the big new thing is the multiplayer environment.
Given that Anomaly had a great deal of success on the iPad when do you expect to be releasing for that platform? Any chance you’re considering an Android version?
Ha! The issue is that Anomaly 2 is such a big game for us that almost entire team is assigned to work on it. But I'd love to work on mobile version and I hope to share some news about it as soon as some early build is working :)
Is a console version in the works?
From sales perspective the console versions of Anomaly Warzone Earth were the least successful comparing to how much work they needed. That being said, we have the technology to do make the porting, but we will need to see first if it makes sense.
Is there anything we missed that you think is important?
Last month we were exhibitors at PAX East Boston for the very first time and I need to say it was probably the best gaming show I have ever seen. Not only we have had a possibility to talk to gamers interested in what we do but we also met a lot of cool media guys, other game developers and simply we were just in the heart of the great gaming event. Incredible! I hope we will go to PAX Prime :)
We'd like to thank Pawel for taking the time to answer our questions.