Supreme Commander 2 Updated Q&A - Closing Thoughts

Gas Powered Games frontman Chris Taylor shares his final thoughts on this ambitious strategy sequel.

The original Supreme Commander took the huge, ambitious vision of Total Annihilation and combined it with state-of-the-art technology that let the game render enormous battlefields contested by huge armies in real time. The sequel, which ships tomorrow, attempts to improve on everything in the original game while operating on a streamlined engine that lets the game run well on the Xbox 360 and even on scaled-down PCs. Gas Powered Games' creative director Chris Taylor explains.

Supreme Commander 2 is finally here on the PC.

GS: Now that development on Supreme Commander 2 is complete, how do you feel the game turned out?

CT: I'm very happy with the game, as we set out to accomplish a huge and diverse set of goals, and we hit most all of them out of the park.

GS: Given that Supreme Commander was always about strategic thinking and smart decision making over tactics and micromanagement, how do you feel the sequel further pushes strategy over tactics?

CT: Well, we've balanced this quite a bit more, meaning that we actually wanted to draw the player into those moment-to-moment decisions. But at the other extreme, we don't want the game to be a clickfest, and I think we've struck a nice balance here. And with the introduction of the [research] tree, we've further increased the strategic potential of the game but have done it in a way that still invites new players and keeps the veteran real-time strategy players engaged.

GS: Supreme Commander 2 has a lot of impressive new tech. What new additions do you feel make the most impact on the game?

CT: The new rendering engine will be the first thing to hit you, as the visuals are absolutely stunning. Some of the things we've been able to do with the new global illumination model and point clouds are really mind blowing…especially when you realize that this will run on a huge range of video cards. Next is the pathfinding technology that we call flow fields. This makes moving huge armies a breeze and keeps players immersed in the game.

GS: We understand that the PC version of the game was developed with the intent of supporting a highly scaled-down computer. What did the final minimum spec end up being? How was such a low spec accomplished?

CT: Well, the game uses less memory and is generally more efficient; we think people will be able to play on a broad range of systems. And those who have the latest and greatest new hardware can crank the game visuals right up to the max and have an eye-popping, dual-monitor experience with all the bells and whistles.

GS: Give us your thoughts on the console version of the game. Because Gas Powered Games was able to develop the Xbox 360 version in-house this time around, how has the console version ended up? Aside from the smaller multiplayer matches, what differences did there end up being between the two versions?

CT: Not too much at all. In fact, once you settle in with the controller, it becomes very natural to play. When I lose a match, it's not because of the controller; it's because of my strategic choices, and that's really saying something! I think there are a lot of skeptics out there, and they are right to feel that way, but once players learn the controls, I think we're going to see a revolution of RTS gaming on the console. We're breaking out!

GS: The original game was supplemented by an expansion pack. Now that the sequel is on a console that is known for post-release support with downloadable content, what does the future hold for Supreme Commander 2 post-launch?

CT: I can't provide an official answer yet, but I can say that we'll make an announcement as soon as we can. And we are definitely getting the message: PC and 360 gamers love more content!!

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about Supreme Commander 2?

The sequel will also be headed your way soon on the Xbox 360.

CT: Well, there are a couple of things I'd like to say. Most importantly, we hope the fans know that we appreciate all the support we've received throughout development. Without you all, it wouldn't be worth it. So a big shout-out to those wonderful supporters of Sup Com, Gas Powered Games, and Square Enix! Also, we just released the demo on Steam and feel it's a great way for those not familiar with Sup Com 2 to see how intuitive the controls are and general gameplay works. It's obviously not a reflection of the map sizes and overall epic-ness of the full game, but hopefully you'll enjoy the introduction!

GS: Thanks, Chris.

Written By

Want the latest news about Supreme Commander 2?

Supreme Commander 2

Supreme Commander 2

Follow

Discussion

43 comments
Comduter
Comduter

For the love of god people! Get over it!!! The game has been out for almost a month now. It's not going to change because it wasn't what you expected. No amount of complaining is going to change anything. Move on. I don't get it. Am I the only one who read the previews (here at Gamespot) and watched the video previews as well, and noticed the where this game headed months in advance? Where in any of those previews was it stated that this game was actually going to be bigger than the previous two Supcom games in every way? Sure, they could have been straight-forward, but I couldn't help but see the signs. The preview gameplay videos were a dead give-away. You could tell from the smaller bases and smaller maps that this was going to be a smaller game than the original.

xts3
xts3

It would be a great game if it was NOT called supcom 2, the people who love supcom 2 I understand the multiplayer is fun, but it's highly likely you sucked at Supcom FA. FA was approaching greatness, in a sequel he could have found the fun in the original games instead of rebooting the entire thing for consoles. I'm not the only one that feels that Supcom FA was Chris struggling to put the fun in Supcom, he could have done a proper sequel for Supcom 2 but I'm guessing GPG has massive financial issues as well as a new / unskilled or poor development team. The single player campaign should make this game rate a 5.0 at best, and including steam on top of it and LAN tied to being online, it deserves the low scores. If you're going to do a PC game, do it right and don't screw your customers. Steam online LAN thing was an instant kill for me, no f_cking way am I paying for two copies just to play on lan with my bro. Those gamers lick corporate sack need to die, they are ruining gaming by buying DRM infested crap.

burnhehehburn
burnhehehburn

1 picture put me off this game... I saw a giant lizard looking robot. and instantly knw that it wouldn't even come close to being as good as the first, which in my opinion, was a great RTS, consoles destroyed PC gaming.

MARAUDER_AU
MARAUDER_AU

Nerfed for consoles, chasing the dollars. As a fanboy of Total and SupComm I was rather dissappointed with this. It's still an ok RTS but for a sequel I was expecting something better than the original. Yet I found it lacking. Experimentals which were the powerhouse of the game are now relatively easily destroyed with a few gunships. Overall it's playable but not what it could have been. Console considerations always ruin awesome PC potential.

Zero_x830
Zero_x830

The last 2 supreme commanders were really entertaining, but this reminds me a lot more of the days of total annihilation.

jmadcat
jmadcat

My main motivations in the desire to obtain this game, I DID enjoy the last one, but 80x80km maps with 1 player +10 speed droped down to IRL 0.25 seconds for every real second, and my system isnt panzi. If the new platform cancels out that issue while leting me play in the same style, It is the main thing i desire. I also have the hope that there is more AI Selection, as SC-FA only sat there and gave me cakewalk or cheating on all aspect, so in the 3 + years they have had to work on SC2 i am in the hope that any problem i did have in SC and SC-FA are washed down the drain.

leonil7
leonil7

the last two games where better in a way modders where able to create new and exciting units not to mention new experimentals. i dont know if this will be the same case with SC2 since its tied up with Steam. i'll wait sometime until prices get lower..

cireking213
cireking213

I have always been interested in SC, but never got around to it. I put it off because I was worried if my PC could run it without lag. It won't be an issue now with my new PC. So I think I'll just get the PC original and expansion, skip the sequel or get it much later at a cheaper price, and see what happens with any future versions.

FMD129
FMD129

@perti and md206, I TOTALY agree with the both of you, this is just a completely different game with one of the worlds best RTS's name slapped onto it with a big shiny "2" at the end to get the fans of the real game to buy it. Just because most people arent smart enough to operate a well built computer does not mean they should keep favoring the consoles (and I mean all companies today) Sure you can argue that its simpler and cheaper but now you can get a decent PC for under $500, and when the consoles came out it was around $400, so there is no defense to not get a PC, I do not understand why these greedy companies insist on slapping us PC'ers in the face consistently every time a game comes out, Its either exclusive for a console, pushed back MONTHS (assassins creed 2?) or made initialy with the console in mind, then cheaply ported to the PCs. It makes me sad that I believe what ive said is true, and none of us can do anything about it. If most games for PC now are being bumped to console price, $60, than I demand the quality that a PC deserves, and not specificaly made for an over sized, over glorified CD player.

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

md206 - Right, except when you take into consideration that not everyone has a high-end gaming PC to run the most graphic intense games on the market. The only reason why they don't bother improving the visuals is because it's cheaper to simply port it from a lesser existing build, and not because the better looking version will sell more units. Can't sell what you can't use.

BDK-Soft
BDK-Soft

Stunning visuals? I think not. SupCom looks so much better, quite an achievement from an OLDER game.

pete420630
pete420630

fun game thats all i care about addicting online multiplayer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

perti
perti

md206 - I think you are right on target, and I understand why the game turned out as is did. My only point was that this game has been so drastically changed from its predecessor that it is a lie to call it a sequel. You are absolutely right that this is an entirely different game. That's fine if this was Chris Taylor's intention, but I suspect he did this for one reason, and one reason only--not because he thought the game would be better (and I can't believe he didn't see the negative backlash from SC fans coming), but because there was an opportunity to make more money by designing the game with the 360 in mind. I just think that both he (and the Gamespot reviews) should have been telling us this all along--"if you liked Sup Com this game might not be for you" rather than pretending that this game is full of improvements. I can only think of 1 thing that I see as an improvement in the game (the ability to add-on to structures things like anti-air etc. This is a nice addition). It's too much to think that Chris Taylor would say that this is a dumbed down version of SC with the financial life of the company on the line, but Gamespot blew it bad on this one and lost a lot of credibility with me

md206
md206

Perti everything is dumbed down these days to make a buck on the console market. You won't see a shift to high graphical quality on PCs until the next generation consoles arrive. It simply is not economical to make the PC version a lot better than consoles in terms of looks otherwise people won't but the console version at all. If you hear in any trailer for any game that its designed to run on lower spec machines it means they decreased the scale, increased the animation-not textures etc and physics so that it uses less memory and works on consoles at the same time some elements look better while running way smoother. The game in question is not supreme commander. Its a new ip that plays ok but to call it supreme commander is just pushing it. Its fun to play but supreme commander mechanics and some design elements where much better. After closely looking at it you start to notice that the game's unit design look as if its set in a time before the supcom era of the first 1. It has an industrial feel to it like how the buildings work and have many mechanical parts moving. Some of the units like the big UEF type colossus unit with a spinning head also look pre-sup com era in terms of design.

perti
perti

Waterdragon, what are you, 12? Grow up before you write such asinine gibberish. If you don't like my take, fine, give one of your own instead such vitriol. You clearly don't understand my point about the consoles, but I'll try to explain. This game has been overly simplified to make it playable on the 360. Therefore, it feels like a game designed for console play that was secondarily intended for the pc. If you like this drivel good for you, have fun, but this game is a putrid vestige of what TA and Supreme Commander were.

Zerot
Zerot

the game runs well and is kinda streamlined over all it deservers the rateing we will see how well the competetive community takes to it because thats all that matters to the real fans! :) gj gass powered gams i think you took the right root with this one 8.0 by far dosent mean its bad.

waterdragon222
waterdragon222

@ perti... How??? Sup.Com. was orignially for the PC, so how could it be transported to the PC form a console... It doesn't make sense. Unless you have not played it yet, screw you. If you have, I think you have a strange opinion of video games... I think Sup.Com2 is very good!

perti
perti

Well, one of the best rts franchises ever is officially dead. It feels like a console game ported to the pc, which is sad, becase the rts genre was one of the last bastions of pure pc gaming. If this is where rts titles are going then screw it, I'm through with them. This is the biggest waste of $50 I think I've ever spent.

benny32
benny32

@ crazy098 Thanks for the explain man

pete420630
pete420630

If you dont like it then go play the older one what u guys expected them to repackage the old one of course it will be different! cry babys waaaaaaaaaa!

Shardz7
Shardz7

This game is Steam-required and should be labeled this way on the box and mentioned in all the system requirements. Yet another reason why Steam and Valve hurt the game industry with their shifty marketing and selfish footprint on the game industry. Do not buy this game retail if you don't want Steam on your computer - I know I don't and I never will install that crap! Epic Fail GPG!!

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

I would understand this game being made like this 3yrs ago, but now with more powerful technology availble to easily handle the task, I don't see why they "dumbed" it down for todays PC's except to make sure it also runs smooth on a 4yr old game console. If this is what's happening to PC gaming then I see no point in building a high-end system. Hopefully Crysis 2 won't suffer the same strip job.

crazy098
crazy098

@benny32: nerfed=made easier, dumbed down.

illuminatirexx
illuminatirexx

Maps are 2 small in cup com 2.....the game became less tactical :(, and became more mainstream.

RedTigerOH
RedTigerOH

I've been playing this since it launched yesterday, and I disagree with all of the complaints. The changes they made make the games shorter and more action packed. People keep saying they don't like the economy changes, but I've yet to see any reasoning behind that statement. Micromanaging the economy in SupCom and FA was one of the worst things about that game, because you spent more time on resource management than you did fighting. The new economic system requires less attention, but the game still requires you to build structures to collect resources. I'm not really sure if people's complaints are cosmetic, because you cannot see every little number associated with your mass and energy costs, or if there is something else they dislike. For me, you are able to get into the fighting faster, and so this makes a more enjoyable experience. Also, and maybe people just haven't worked this out yet, but the buildings have add-ons so they can defend themselves. This coupled with various research items that add turrets and anti-air to other structures like mass extractors and power generators makes base defense better. You can still build point defense, anti-air, and shield generators, but they aren't as necessary in games where the enemy only sends light attacks. Some of the new experimental units are great too. People should spend some time playing the new game, it's fun, and if you play on a setting more difficult than normal, you will be challenged.

Spaceweed10
Spaceweed10

This is the best RTS game around by a country mile. Starcraft 2 has nothing new except more cartoony graphics to suit the kids. The haters here are a little miffed that their base building has been nerfed, but you still have SupCom FA to play, right? This title was not going to sell many copies if they had kept the old 'econ' system, as new players just couldn't be bothered to learn how it worked. Let's face it, 90% of gamers hate base building - why do you think all of them have virtually dumped it?

fouquet2
fouquet2

I feel so bad for CT right now he has to promote this game because its made by his company but i just know hes dying inside at what a steaming pile of crap hes given birth to. its like SupCom 1 was his Child, his perfect child the game hes always wanted to make and he loved it and as it grew and turned into FA it became better and better... now its all grown up and likes anime, wears anime character's clothes and cat ears... he has to love it because its his child but god is he dissapointed. i feel for you chris i really do. hopefully you will untangle yourself from square enix, find a butload of money stashed away somewhere and make your new medievel IP much better

charlesbtoumieh
charlesbtoumieh

unfortunately ... i have concluded that this sequel is a supreme fail on an epic scale.

OneNeutrino
OneNeutrino

Yeah, I too played the demo and found that so much of the subtleties that made SupCom 1 so great have been ripped out of the game in the name of Balance and Performance (presumably to adapt it to the console). I remember that sad moment when it was announced that resource management in SupCom2 was going to be made simpler to reach out to a larger crowd. Very sad news that day. This game is still a very good looking RTS game, its just so easy now. I am not sure if it's worth playing. Worst of all: the graphics look good, but the streamlining process included removing a very large chunk of the simulation that the original game had. The end result: SupCom2 (from the demo, when compared to SupCom1) has less unit/civilization management, less intense graphics, less simulation, a smaller scale and is much easier. I am not sure why this is a sequel when so much went backward.

benny32
benny32

what in the hell does nerfed mean? that an Americanism? I loved the demo of the second one, loved supcom one and forged alliance, the only problem i have with it is it needs a damn high end pc to run it. The original Total annillation games which supcom is based on were actually better but you had to be refined so everyone could enjoy the new ones. I'll be getting this but its not the top of my list for games this month

krimlin077
krimlin077

Played the demo on the PC, and really, found it to be very bland in all departments. Yes, the game does without higher detailed units to give better FPS on all platforms , but this is sad. The experimental aircraft carrier in the demo was almost literally a surfboard that could launch planes. The hammer tanks are sad looking, everything just looks clunky are poor. There idea of researching is stream lined but overly nerfed...to increase damage for tanks....add another barrel? seriously....Sure, if you want an RTS that seriously has only about 10 different units that are repeats of each other teams units but with different body designs....enjoy. I prefer an RTS with more the rock-paper-scissors idea and less the C&C idea of mass produce-rush-repeat. also building the "add-ons" for buildings seriously needs to be automated....hate finding each building and clicking all 20 of the add-ons and holding up my produciton. It is only a battle of experimentals and thats about it. Side note: I did play and somewhat enjoyed the first Supcom, but it never became a game I wanted to spend time on.

Scritty
Scritty

The demo was bad. The main thing I notice is how it's been nerfed so people can play it with a joypad. The subleties of the original game meant you could never play it decently with a joypad. They had 2 choices. Nerf the game, or make playing it on 360 like trying to knit while wearing boxing gloves. They chose the former. But both decisions would have lead to a bad game. Console to PC "can" be done well - PC can use all the controllers and methods that consoles use (I hacve Shock3 and 360 controller for my PC, both work perfectly), but PC to console leads to garbage like this. IdF the demo is anything to go by - avoid. First Space Seige, then this. What is Chris doing?

maltheus
maltheus

The first supcom (and its expansion) became the new gold standard in RTSes for me. The economy and the ability to queue things infinitely redefined the genre, IMO. My only problem with it was that it had the worst AI of perhaps any RTS I ever played. So I figured I would definitely get supcom 2, no matter how much they nerfed it. But not a day goes by where I don't read about yet another decision to remove something we all loved from the original. In fact, I can't think of a single change that I view as positive. Not one. Even the "improved" pathfinding seems worse. In fact, I don't think I've ever played a sequel that's improved on the original (cept maybe UT 2004), but most expansion packs are great. They should have just done another expansion, and then they'd have my money. As it is, I won't even bother pirating this piece of garbage.

blackleather223
blackleather223

It looks and sounds great also if Ican find away to get to steam then I'll download the demo and if not I'll still end up buying the game anyways cause imo the demo is trying to give you a taste of what ist to come but I realy don't thing a demo realy does a game justice and that is why people have bad assumptions on certain games and sometimes the demo dose very well for the game but all in all this is just what I think.

Cobra5
Cobra5

I was really looking forward to it but the demo sucked... bad... SO now I'm not so sure. I'm a huge fan of the first one but this one has simplified economy the same as most RTS, and less units, and less teching up. I know this could be considered a good thing to many people, but I was a huge fan of the first one's complexity.

oneofthefall
oneofthefall

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

oneofthefall
oneofthefall

I cant wait for this, the game sounds better with every article and looks brilliant with every video, Chris is a legend in my book!

lefourge
lefourge

Looks like we have the best of the version 1 with great improvements. And a very efficient engine. It works on my very low end computer at home. (Flanless GPU) And it run smoothly on a 9800 GT! good job.

gijas
gijas

sup com 2 needed a super computer (QUAD OR ABOVE) to run smoothly on high settings and this series is more proccessor heavy than anything out there but it looked really nice maxed - this doesn't look near as sharp but if the game play is still there and better thats all that matters.

Fool_Master
Fool_Master

Hope they did change the econ from the demo, and I'm glad the grfx will change

herodotus2006
herodotus2006

Well, we love more content...if it's any good. Looking forward to playing this this afternoon.