With a series like Sudden Strike and its peerlessly passionate fanbase, involving the community in the development process is key to making a successful and fun game. We have been actively seeking user feedback and encouraging players to share their critical opinions of Sudden Strike 4, both during and development and following release, so that we can create the best Sudden Strike experience in the history of the series.
The release of Sudden Strike 4: Road to Dunkirk marks an important milestone in the continuous development of SuS 4
With the recent release of Sudden Strike 4’s first major DLC “Road to Dunkirk”, we thought it would be fun to look back at the evolution of the game since its release in August, and particularly at how community feedback has helped to shape a constantly-improving experience that helped pave the “Road to Dunkirk”.
Months before the game’s launch, we started the process with the release of the closed beta, which had a huge impact on the closing months of development. Thanks to the input of many players, we were able to outline a roadmap for the continuous development of the game and focus on matching the expectations of both veteran players and newcomers alike.
One of the major points fans raised in the beta was bringing back the sheer scope of battles that the classic Sudden Strike games were known for. With Sudden Strike 4 being developed in an all-new modern engine, recreating the giant battlefields of the 2D sprite era wasn’t always easy. Nevertheless, map sizes and the scale of battles was considerably increased during development. We have also added new large multiplayer maps to the game free of charge with recent updates.
Multiplayer in general, was a big focal point in those critical months of development, and is something that we still want to improve even further. Other improvements since release have included quality-of-life tweaks like map pings and lobby chats, as well as a new/old “Classic Mode”, which is inspired by the multiplayer experience from Sudden Strike 2 and offers players another set of win conditions and tactical approaches with which to take on their enemies.
Another hot topic of discussion surrounded the pathfinding of units in Sudden Strike 4. To simulate realistic behaviour (every unit has a distinct hitbox and turning circle), units would collide and sometimes cause a traffic jam when simultaneously sent into tight corridors. We fine-tuned these settings after receiving a lot of constructive feedback from the community, and soon delivered an improved pathfinding system that kept the realism aspect intact but also offered players more freedom in micromanaging their units.
Additionally, some classic and beloved units from the franchise were brought back. Much to our surprise, the community even discovered some of these units in the code while we were still working on the implementation:
Community-contributors spotted the iconic zeppelin the game’s files
While a lot of attention was paid to enhancing multiplayer, the skirmish mode has also been improved along the way. All major features and updates found in multiplayer were also added to the singleplayer game, allowing players more tactical approaches and customization options in battles against the AI.
What will the future bring for Sudden Strike 4?
A staple of the Sudden Strike franchise is its modding capabilities and tools. At release, we intitially offered a Unity-based editor, that allowed players to extensively mod the game to their liking. Unfortunately though, it wasn’t very intuitive. Right now, we are working on improving the editor, making it more accessible and easier to navigate, in order to greater support community created maps and battles that everyone can enjoy.
Other upcoming features and improvements will include:
- skirmish classic mode
- zoom and rotationg camera
- commander balancing
- improved AI
- new commanders
- new campaigns
- new continents
With Sudden Strike 4: Road to Dunkirk finished and released, the road to a definitive Sudden Strike 4 experience has taken another important step. While we are very proud of the current state of the game, we are not at the end of the road yet. By working closely with the community on the official Steam and beta forums, as well as across the internet, everyone here at Kite Games and Kalypso Media is committed to reaching out to players and fans to improve the game even further in the coming months.
Check out the new Sudden Strike 4 video on Youtube that showcases some of the new features you can expect in the upcoming months: