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Star Wars Empire at War - Developer chat log !


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SW Empire at War .net developer chat quoted log:


Translations (see below for details):


German Translation (empire-at-war.de)


French Translation (eaw-fr.com)





Petroglyph-Mike: "Greetings! I'm Michael Legg, Lead Programmer of Empire at War and President of Petroglyph"

LEC-Rogue: "Hi everyone, I'm Dave Silverstein the Assistant Producer on Empire at War from Lucasrarts"

Petroglyph-Adam: "I'm Adam Isgreen, Senior Designer here at Petroglyph. "

Petroglyph-Joe: "Hi all. I'm Joe Bostic. Designer at Petroglyph. Worked on EaW since beginning."

Petroglyph-Chris: "ola, my name is Chris Rubyor (Delphi-PG) Game Designer. I work community relations and I'm overseeing the multiplayer component of EAW."


Questions and Answers:


Question (Starmark2k): "How will multiplayer skirmishes be handled when theres more than 2 player battles? Can you have rebels vs rebels for example and will teams be able to have one of each faction on their side (reb+imperial vs rebel/rebel)"

Petroglyph-Chris: "For EAW we wanted to focus on Rebel Vs Empire which allows us to create some very unique situations and scenarios for multiplayer. We also cater to team game-play so epxect so to some very unique ways to play the game."



Question (Jan Gaarni): "We've heard rumours that the tech tree ends at A New Hope. Is this true?"

Petroglyph-Joe: "The tech tree builds up to the end of A New Hope but since the game doesn't follow the Movies exactly, the player can mix things up a bit. There are a couple of units seen in later movies that you can research in EaW."



Question (Darth Alec): "How do you research technologies?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "Each side has their own ways of aquiring new tech. The Empire is more straightforward with their tech research, relying on tech centers and expansion. The rebels, true to their nature, get technology through more devious means, utilizing a pair of droids I think you're all familiar with..."



Question (popcorn2008): "Can the deathstar take out capitol ships during combat?"

Petroglyph-Joe: "The first Death Star took about 24 hours to charge up and didn't have the targeting ability to fire on single ships, so in keeping with Lore, it cannot hit individual ships."



Question (Darth Windu): "Why aren't the Republic and Seperatisits included in the game?"

Petroglyph-Joe: "The game covers the classic Star Wars movies and thus covers the epic struggle between The Empire and the Rebellion."



Question (Thrawn): "Will units gain veterancy over time? If so, how will this be applied to both ground and space forces?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "Since the battles rage fast and furious, the likelyhood of forces surviving for a long period of time makes veterancy moot. However, heroes will persisit, and since they offer such a dramatic shift in power when in battles, they act as your veterans, so-to speak."



Question (Naja): "Youve said in an interview that planets can be 'rebel'. How does this work exactly? Do all planets have a population loyalty measure for each faction? If so, how will this work on netural planets?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "In campaign, during certain situations, planets can rebel and throw off their controllers, resutling in some challenging situations if you thought that planet was "locked down". On a galactic level, you don't have to worry about rebellion as much, but in the story campaign, you should be able to feel when a planet may throw off its shackles."



Question (Frozticles): "Do you think EaW will counter balance between casual gamers and hardcore RTS players?"

Petroglyph-Joe: "The game is designed to appeal to the casual player by not having the "chore" parts of a old-school RTS type game, yet can appeal to the more advanced player due to the layered strategies and each map and force composition can change the nature of the battles. The advanced player will be able leverage this depth of strategy to a degree familiar to the hard core RTS player."



Question (FFDmh2223): "Can you train soldiers to become more effective and will soldiers gain experience?"

Petroglyph-Chris: "You can upgrade soldiers with unique offensive and defensive abilities. But they will not gain experience overtime, they will persist though."



Question (JavaUser8): "Is This game based or at least similiar to an old star wars game called "Star Wars: Rebellion"?"

LEC-Rogue: "It is somewhat similar to Rebellion but it is not based off of Rebellion."



Question (THEredGERBAL): "Will the Galaxy map be in realtime?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "The galaxy is running in real time, yes. You will see both enemy and friendly fleets moving around, your ordered units being produced, etc. When tactical combat occurrs that you have to deal with, galactic activity suspends, so you don't have to worry about being attacked on multiple fronts simultaneously."



Question (Cobra848): "Will there be a PetroGlyph Online Support? Like WOL. What kind of features will it have?"

Petroglyph-Chris: "Post launch you can expect to see the Petro team very active listening to fans and responding to feedback. I’d also like to point out we will have a unique tournament system that caters to all three unique game modes as well ass an expanded profiling system."

Petroglyph-Mike: "No profanity, Chris. :-)"

Petroglyph-Chris: "DOH!"



Question (Teradyn): "Are we able to use characters to perform diplomacy to affect a neutral or our own planet's faction standing to bring them into our side or more into our side?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "There are circumstances within the campaign where your actions can sway certain key planets to joining your side, so depending on how you do in certain missions, you can give yourself a huge advantage in combat situations. If you miss your opportunity to sway those planets, there are other ways to get them, but they require a lot more work."



Question (katostk): "what are the system requirements?"

LEC-Rogue: "We're still working on the system specs but we are trying to hit as broad an audience as possible."



Question (bradhammer): "I was wondering what the population limit is, and how it works."

Petroglyph-Joe: "The population limit is controlled by the system you own and the infrastructure you build. To support a large fleet and mobile invasion force, it takes appropriately large investment into the systems you already own. The best player accomplished victory with the fewest forces necessary. The Galaxy is large, so even if you could muster a large army, you need to keep existing conquests protected."



Question (godzilla): "How will ground battles work? Is the only objective to eliminate enemy forces?"

Petroglyph-Chris: "Players will have multiple objectives on maps that have been built with unique tactical situations. It will be extremely important for the player to capture reinforcement points and gain territory in order to eliminate their foe. So, don’t expect to mob a defending player as it will require a variety of units to handle multiple strategic situations."



Question (Kushan): "How will the replayability of EAW differ from previous "dynamic" mission RTS games like Empire: Battle for Dune"

Petroglyph-Adam: "The great thing about EaW is that how you play dictates how the galaxy develops. We have multiple "sandbox" scenarios that are very open-ended in how you can tackle them. Since you can encounter a planet early in one game, and later in another, the dynamics of how that combat will play out will vary radically depending on the power of the defender and their tech vs. that of the attacker. Even the same planet can feel very d"



Question (Pfalzer): "WIll units be sold in squads of 6"

Petroglyph-Joe: "Units (we like to call them "Companies") come in various quantities. A company of Stormtroopers might contain several squads of many troopers each. A company of light tanks might contain 5 or 6 tanks. A 'company' for an AT-AT would be a single AT-AT with it's transported soldiers."



Question (THEredGERBAL): "How will the trench run work with the death star?"

Petroglyph-Chris: "Stay on Target!!! Stay on Target!!!"



Question (FoshJedi2004): "Are there set Fleet Formations that we can set the fleets to?? EG: Flanking/Hammer and Anvil"

Petroglyph-Adam: "Fleets will automatically arrange themselves by power and ability based on what you select in any group. You can override this behavior by grouping individually, or just double-clicking any orders, which tells units to use individual behavior logic rather than formation logic."



Question (THEredGERBAL): "Is there an upkeep cost for troops, or once you build them they are effectively free?"

Petroglyph-Joe: "There is no upkeep "cost" in a traditional sense, but there is the concept of a maximum number of units/ships you can have. The player can control this cap by investing in their systems. This adds a strategy to use against the enemy in that you can invade to destroy the infrastructure he is using to upkeep his large force in play."



Question (JediIgor): "how many engine methods are exposed through the Lua interface? That is just exactly how much can we change the gameplay? So how much things are hardcoded (the # of factions, # of planets, # of vehicles..?) Would we be able to add new things such as Diplomacy in Lua?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "Mike must be all excited! "

Petroglyph-Mike: "The entire game engine is full data driven with LUA and XML for data and scripting. For who wants to, they'll have as much felixibility in changing the game as the designers here do, aside from specific technology. "

Petroglyph-Adam: "He loves these kinds of questions =)"

Petroglyph-Mike: "You'll also need art and sound if you really want to get fancy."

LFN|DarthMaulUK: "Can someone explain what Lua is please?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "LUA is a scripting language that we use to do all our design scenario creation and handle all the AI for EaW. It is very friendly for anyone that understands basic programming logic and is incredibly flexible."

Petroglyph-Mike: "Also check out www.lua.org"


Question (Thrawn): "You mentioned reinforcement points. What are they and how do they work?"

Petroglyph-Chris: "They are strategic points scattered around the map. They are crucial for the attacking player as they allow you to hold positions and bring down reinforcement from space. Also, reinforcement points can only be captured by infantry, so it is vital to protect troops as they advance through the battlefield."



Question (LFN|DarthMaulUK): "What will be done about heroes and bounty hunters to make sure that they are not too overpowered? Is it possible to outright KILL major heroes like Darth Vader, Palpatine, or Obi-Wan?"

Petroglyph-Joe: "Bounty hunters' role is to "neutralize" heroes. Just like Boba Fett 'neutralized' Han Solo, he didn't actually kill him. Heroes in Star Wars and in Empire at War have an uncanny ability to "come back to fight another day". There are exceptions of course and neutralizing a hero for a period of time can easily swing the tide of battle."



Question (LFN|DarthMaulUK): "Is there a way to prioritize a particular hardpoint attack order? For example: Enact an order for a group of bombers to take out weapons, then engines, then main shields, etc in that order at the beginning of the attack to be executed automatically like a disable priority, disarm, etc?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "Currently, you manually target hardpoints with your bombers, but we're investigating ways to make this more managable. Honestly, because we use custom icons to represent the different hardpoints, it's not very hard to manage at the moment and see at-a-glance what's still up and what's not."



Question (PFF_substance): "If there is water planets how will we take them over?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "There are floating platforms on the water worlds that allow combat to occurr on them."



Question (LFN|DarthMaulUK): "Can we maneuver around in the galactic and/or space maps while a ground battle is occuring? (An enemy force shows up in space while ground battle goes on for example?)"

Petroglyph-Joe: "When a ground battle or space tactical battle is in progress, the galactic level aspect of the game is paused. The player can concentrate on the battle at hand. However, bombardment from ships in orbit or firing up from the surface can occur in battle."



Question (JavaUser2): "Can you tell us more about what speices will be in the game?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "There is a multitude of creatures scattered over the planets. There's over 12 different species represented, each with their own allegiances."

Petroglyph-Adam: "not to mention chaotic creatures, like Rancors. =)"



Question (katostk): "will we be able to rename our ships?"

Petroglyph-Joe: "Yes, you can rename your ships. The official names for ships of every type are provided so you can enjoy the ships as named in the official Star Wars galaxy if you wish to leave the name as is."



Question (ebs|Mandalor): "Can we see our enemies movements on the Galaxy Map, or can I use spies to find it out?"

Petroglyph-Chris: "Sure, each side has their own unique way to spy on the enemy, so expect probe droids and unique heroes for this task."



Question (EaWde|LittleB|PFF): "Will we be able to intercept enemy fleets (if so how to we detect them) or are battles restricted to attacking/defending a planet?"

Petroglyph-Chris: "Units don’t fight in hyper space. Battles will be restricted to space and planetary engagements."



Question (Grompie): "will modders like myself be able to put new units ingame, and will there be vehicles like boats?"

Petroglyph-Mike: "Yes, you will have the ability to create new units for the game, and some can go in/on/above water. The game engine is very mod friendly, in our opinion."



Question (Haegemonia): "How will the Rebellion aquire the X-Wing?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "Hehe. With great difficulty! Acquiring the X-wings is a major event for the rebellion, and we certainly didn't want to leave that to a cut-scene! You'll be very hands-on in stealing the X-wings when playing the Alliance! =)"



Question (LFN|DarthMaulUK): "Can we be in a tactical battle and go to the galactic map and move a fleet to the battle we are currently fighting without having to auto resolve the battle we were fighting?"

Petroglyph-Adam: "No. We didn't want to distract you from your tactical battles with other things to worry about, so you won't be attacked concurrent to any tactical combat you may already be engaged in."



Question (LFN|DarthMaulUK): "Can you guys briefly fill us in, what you do in your spare time, if any.... "

Petroglyph-Mike: "Currently, we have very little free time. But, we like to eat out alot, play lots of games, and get together for movies. We're also having a ton of fun playing the game now that the code bugs ar all getting cleaned up."

Petroglyph-Adam: "And Guitar Hero... that's just too much fun."

Petroglyph-Chris: "I play a lot of RTS multiplayer games and World of Warcraft."

Petroglyph-Adam: "Yeah, WoW junkie here too hehe"

LFN|StarWarsPhreak: "uh oh, better watch out"

LFN|StarWarsPhreak: "they'll hunt you guys down"

Petroglyph-Mike: "Thanks everyone for coming! We appreciate all the support!"

Petroglyph-Mike: "Have a fabulous weekend!"

Petroglyph-Adam: "thanks for all the questions! we hope you love the game as much as we do!"

Petroglyph-Mike: "May the Force be with you - Always."

Petroglyph-Chris: "Thanks for coming everyone, see ya on the fan forums: http://swempireatwar.10.forumer.com"



Note* - Log edited by Cain.

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i never said it did i said thanks for the work i just didnt think that there was that many Germans here guess i was wrong sorry!




I Support the Resistance!

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  • 1 month later...

I like how they constantly put down the multiple battles question with "We do not want to distract you", and "We want the player to consentrate on one tactical situation". (Your an idiot so we don't want you to think to hard)


Basicly, We could've made a great game, but decided not too. We took out all extra layers of game play that could have took this game to the next level.


This game will be fun but it will be mundane, (Rebellion 2.0), the game is in 3D but no 3D combat, and you can't attack someone on multipule fronts forcing them to do many things at once. Heroes will be overpowered to the extreme with one counter.


Oh well at least you can name the ships thank god for small favors.

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Basicly, We could've made a great game, but decided not too. We took out all extra layers of game play that could have took this game to the next level.


This game will be fun but it will be mundane, (Rebellion 2.0), the game is in 3D but no 3D combat, and you can't attack someone on multipule fronts forcing them to do many things at once. Heroes will be overpowered to the extreme with one counter.


i'm not a moderator but i cant sit by and let someone put down a game that is looking like the best RTS game since the C&C's. it is not going to be rebellion 2 and the reason for the no multiple battles is that it would complecate the game unnessacarily! if you think that you could handle a two front battle thats fine but most gamers wouldn't.

there are as far as i can see several layers to the game as you need complete missions to unlock most of the galaxy, you have to build up to fighting strength no matter who you are.

but i you think that this game isnt going to be good then don't come to our forums just to tell us that because everyone that has joined this forum and posted likes if not loves the look of this game. so if you don't just leave the forums and don't buy the game.




I Support the Resistance!

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Guest JediIgor
From the information that was given to us, everything he has posted was valid. Don't be angry, instead look for other things that will make up for the features omitted here like campaign map multiplayer and "extensive moddability."
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Guest JediIgor
Well, hold on to your "extensive moddability" cap. That may not actually happen. Read the questions that Delphi got answered for us last week.


I did, and it was in quotes because that's what they said in the chat.

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Yeah, funny how alot of these hyping (my word, back off ;P) statements that they have given us over time have turned out misleading or downright false.


LEC can't even keep their story straight. Anyone see the recent video where the LEC rep said something like a player being able to play with all of the planets from the Star Wars universe? 43 is awfully small for a universe, and if you pay attention to the movies and such, the Earth, our very own planet should be playable according to this guy's statement.


Bah... this is getting more dissappointing as we go along.

My Death Star is bigger than your Death Star!

"The XML is strong with this one!"


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Guest JediIgor

I have to agree. I think I'm going to be coming here less often since there is no real new info coming out (they don't want to tell us anything of value about modding) and I have other things I can do with my time (like program)... the gameplay looks pretty derivative already and unless there is any good modding support I don't see a long lifespan after the hype is over.


I was also disappointed that they are aiming the game at the typical teenager today (specifically the quote about your mom calling you to dinner) -- maybe LEC doesn't remember but people who have the fondest memories about the Star Wars universe are well after 18 by now.

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And we are the ones who can go out and buy a game like this on a whim when we want to. But along with that, we are the ones who want to be sure we are getting what we are paying for.


My gf will call me to dinner, but she will bring it up to me if I am in the middle of something like a multiplayer game. I usually have enough warning anyway though, so that doesn't happen all the time.


Sad thing is the target audience is pretty much what they were shooting for with the first 3 episodes. I was just hoping that a veteran group like Petroglyph wouldn't be forced into that, but LEC is involved heavily in this project so ...

My Death Star is bigger than your Death Star!

"The XML is strong with this one!"


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umm you can invade 2 planets at the same time, but you only fight the battles one at a time :)


I doubt fleet movement is instant since this is not a TBS map game but the map is in real time so sending 3 fleets at 3 planets that arive around the same time still result in 3 battles one right after the other.

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Grand Admiral Thrawn 889,


Hey, I want this to be a fun game and have it live up to all my expectations, but I don't think it wll okay. Some of the things I would like to see in it are not going to be there, but made someone can mod them in. Hopefully, Petroglyth's kits that will be released later will allow me to change the game to my taste.


I just don't like the way that some of the devolopments are going as we learn more about the actual game not just rumors and hopes. Im sure everyone here is a fan of the game or they would not be here, but that doesn't mean we can voice displeasure over things we don't like about it.


Yes, I will still get this game because I am a big star wars nerd and love most of the stuff related to it. Im still going to voice my distaste over some of the things I think would make the game better, but are not in the game. Here is the best place to do it becaues you never know it may change something. Im not here to flame so don't treat me like Im just trying to stir up trouble. Im just trying voice my opinion same as you are.


Anyway don't you think that mutiple battles at the sametime would be cool!!! Missions will be fun Im sure, but what I really want and what I think most people want is the 2 player galactic conquest portion.

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yes it maybe cool but its not pratical since there isnt a computer system in any normal home in the World that could run 2 battles at once i agree i hoped at some point that i could do this to take advantage of distractions but i thought about it and its just not pratical.


sorry about my last post i was kinda angry at something at the time.




I Support the Resistance!

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No, worries yo. Good point about it not running on any regular computer I can handle that explination, but a bunch of garbage about doing to many things at once is ridiculous. We are on the same page I just don't let myself get to hyped up about games like this because they always fail to meet my high expectations. I just would really like this game to be great like earlier lucas arts games and like the first C&C and StarCraft RTS's. You know a legendary game that people willl be playing 10 years from now.
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true about the hyped up thing and if lucasarts and petroglyph does this right then it will be the great game that everyone will play 10 years from now, because it has the potential to do that with a publisher like LA and the developmment team from C&C it really does have that potential to last unlike alot of the recent release.




I Support the Resistance!

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