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Forums > Submission Feedback > Melaisis's Supreme Ruler 2020 GOLD review

This thread is in response to a review for Supreme Ruler 2020 GOLD on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: BattleGoat
Posted: October 05, 2009 (11:15 AM)
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Hello,

As a small studio, we are certain thankful for the reviews we get, however after reading this review I found my own eyebrows were raised. There are some notable mistakes in this review that should be corrected. First of which is that, while Paradox Interactive are the publisher, BattleGoat Studios are the developer. We have created this title, sink or swim it's our work.

The review indicates that the game has only LAN support. This is wholly untrue as the game has always had internet MP support up to 16 players and with the release of Gold we have partnered with Game Ranger to assure our game works on their system. Game Ranger is a matchmaking service that has been supporting Macintosh users for a decade and last year also crossed over to the PC side.

The review also indicates that "dealing with domestic affairs is pointless" citing the AI's ability to handle this however plenty of games use a system like this and rarely do players hand over all aspects. Our title strives to reward the players who choose to micromange the right things. Micromanage everything and you'll overlook something but if you manage some specific areas you can often squeeze out a little extra money which could mean extra units in a key battle.

I am also seeing a lack of understand on Mr. Constantine's part about the features added by the expansion pack and the Gold Edition. He cites that the expansion contains "more options to control the government" when this is not an area that was expanded at all. The expansion adds lots of content and some key improvements such as the Battle Groups system for managing large forces which go unmentioned here. All of this is included with Gold and a few more features to further improve the interface.

There are also some game elements he finds illogical which I fully support. If a third world country's only export is a product in which I'm self sufficient they may still offer it to me in hopes that I will make the trade based on relations. Every interaction in the game affects country opinions so buying at a higher price can be useful to court a reluctant neighbour. And Palestine does not even exist in the game.

Despite all this, there are some comments in this review - good and bad - that I would agree with, and as a development studio with intentions of continuing the franchise we are certainly listening to what is said. If anyone wishes to add specific suggestions our development forum is public. And to anyone curious about the game I suggest checking out the demo for the Gold Edition.

Chris Latour
BattleGoat Studios.


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Author: Melaisis
Posted: October 05, 2009 (04:17 PM)
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Thanks for your critique Chris. I always appreciate feedback from developers and this is something which happens quite frequently with independent titles. I always value the opportunity to give new studios press, which is why I end up reviewing stuff like SR. Allow me to address some of your worries.

Regarding the LAN multiplayer issue, I'm not sure if this was a problem with no one playing, my understanding of the system, or the system buggering up itself. The listings showed nothing when I had a deek, so I simply assumed that it was accessible only by LAN and direct-to-IP. I'm not sure if it was the GameRanger interface or my connection which was buggered up, but it appeared obvious to me that the functionality was LAN and direct-to-IP specific.

The micromanagement comment is subjective. Hopefully in the review I came across as a grand strategy fan who likes to blow stuff up. This means that people like me will simply not sit around, tweaking buttons when a fully-functional automated system already exists. Its just not worth it and is thus pointless. Some people will love squeezing those extra pennies out of the economy. However, the minister system works, so why deal with domestic stuff when the player is happy to sit back and attack other places? Its hardly a complaint and could be perceived as a testament to the AI - something I praise in the paragraph prior.

Onto the expansion's features! You say that it includes no adjustments to government, yet allows for more effective control over your troops? Isn't that a contradiction? I consider anything that expands the capabilities of the player to be an extension of government - as the game constantly suggests itself. Perhaps you feel I was being a little too vague here, which is the cause of your worries. The same perhaps applies when I use the Israel/Palestine example, where I opt to make a point about the fickle politics employed within the game to the wider audience, rather than focus on details.

You may have found the review too general, which is where I think a lot of your comments stem from. Most of the piece was spent establishing the point of the title and really digging my nails into what could make this a good or bad game, which is why I focus so much on the interface and leave out extras like mentioning the expansion's other features. You could have all the greatest micromanagement and Battle Group systems in the world, but they're not worth a damn if they fail to be accessible to the average strat fan. Developers being adverse to my writing style is nothing new, but its important to step back and think who I'm talking to with such scathing reviews. I believe you've created a tremendous, vast product here which will fit perfectly in the right hands, but I do not believe that those hands belong to the average strategy fan. Maybe we'll have a game sometime if GameRanger works out. ;)


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Author: BattleGoat
Posted: October 05, 2009 (07:57 PM)
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Hi Melaisis,

thanks for the reply, you did clarify some things that I was interpreting differently when I read them.

And if I did come off highly defensive, I do apologize, I'm sure all of us developers will give our dying breath for our work. And thanks for the praise, I did not miss it in there and our team appreciates it.

Regarding the government controls, you did catch me there, I was interpreting government as being more the internal workings, taxation and production type stuff, but you are correct that the entire GUI could be seen as "government controls". As I saw it we did not include enough new GUI elements to really affect the game's complexity one way or the other as content was the primary focus of the expansion. I will grant that feedback as a general area is something we've recognized as our weak point to the game, much thought is going into how future titles can strengthen this. The Scenario system we already include was created to provide players with a more structured play to deal with some of this.

As for the multiplayer gaming, I now understand where the confusion was created. Since we do not have our own matchmaking service and discovered Game Ranger after release of the original, it could not be integrated into the game's multiplayer lobby. Game Ranger is an external application with its own start menu short cut. It reminds me greatly of my early days on gamespy finding Quakeworld maps.

I do hope that the game grows on you a little more and if you are on Game Ranger, I'd be happy to include you in one of my matches. Just look for Balthagor.

Cheers,

Chris Latour AKA Balthagor
BattleGoat Studios.


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