Interview with David Silverman

#1: You’re still quite a way from release, but can you release any information on the system requirements? Will people with lower-end computers be able to play EaW in some kind of low quality mode, or will this game be for those investing in high-quality computers?

The system requirements are in a state of flux. However, we will be supporting a wide range of specs. A high-end system is not required, but will be supported just as much as a lower-end system.

#2: How will EaW handle unit number limitations? Will you have to build things to increase your “population”, as in many RTS games?

We’ll discuss this at a later date.

#3: With planets with a population, is there a chance they may “rebel” such as in Rome: Total War? Do they do anything else that adds flavor to the game, or are they just territories that give you bonuses such as in Battle for Middle-Earth?

Planets can rebel in Empire at War. There is the Rebellion after all. 🙂 Each planet also has a unique tactical or strategic advantage for the faction that owns it. Players will want to think about which planets to go after when trying to conquer or liberate the galaxy.

#4: How will real-life physics come into play? For instance, if a ship is disabled, could it “crash” into a planet?

You won’t see that specifically, but everything will definitely look as it should. And speaking of “crashes,” we’ve got some pretty incredible effects of that type. Have you seen a Star Destroyer break into pieces yet? It’s really something else.

#5: How will the Death Star be built?

Over time, the player can research a number of technologies that are needed to build the Death Star. These same technologies also provide other benefits as well such as new units for the player to use in the Empire’s campaign against the Rebel Alliance.

#6: Is it possible for the Empire to destroy every planet in the galaxy if the Rebels fail to stop it, or is there a limit to Death Star’s power? Also, is there a “cooldown time” between Death Star shootings?

Yes, the Death Star is the ultimate power in the universe and players can destroy as many planets as they wish. It’s only a matter of how fast can they get the Death Star to the planet they want to blow up and whether or not the Rebels have a means to destroy it. There’s also another thing to consider: Is blowing up the planet and denying the Empire of its resources a better option than fighting to take control of it and having whatever bonus the planet may have to offer? Otherwise, all you get is a useless asteroid field.

#7: Will you be able to upgrade/build another Death Star unit such as the one featured in Return of the Jedi, meaning ability to fire at capital ships and low cooldown time?

You’re only allowed one Death Star? Don’t get greedy!

#8: How does the Rebellion assault the Death Star? Is it treated like a unit, a planet, or does it have a special classification?

The Rebellion can attack the Death Star just like any other unit or building in the game. However, the job of destroying it can be easier or harder depending on which units or heroes the player attack it with…

#9: Is it possible to fight on planets you wouldn’t normally see combat on, such as the city-planet of Corsucant or the lava world of Mustafar?

Yes, it is. Stay tuned, as we haven’t revealed all of our planets just yet. You will find more than 40, though!

#10: If the Rebels or the Empire capture every planet in the galaxy, but the opposing faction still has fleets scattered throughout, do they win, or will they have to hunt down the enemy fleets?

Fleets must be stationed at a planet unless en route to another. Players need to control at least one planet to stay in the game.

#11: Does the Expanded Universe (EU) have a large role, if any, in EaW?

The EU does have a role in our game. Part of our story takes place in the few years prior to the Battle at Yavin as seen in A New Hope, and you’ll find characters from the EU as well as vehicle designs that reflect that.

#12: Does EaW feature any made up units, or does it keep strictly to to the movies and EU?

Empire at War has mostly movie units and a mix of some EU units and newly created units too.

#13: Can you give us a more in-depth explanation of how space battles and ground battles will work in relation to each other?

There is a persistency in our game, and space and ground battles are connected to each other, but they are not both played at the same time. For example: If the player who owns the planet under attack has built certain ground structures such as the ion cannon, that player can then use the ion cannon in a space battle above the planet. If the attacking player has TIE bombers or Y-wings in orbit above the planet being attacked, that player can call in a bombing run on the defending player.

#14: Will EaW feature any form of map editor, or any other type of editor? If so, can you elaborate on it?

There’s nothing we can talk about regarding this at this time.

#15: How will constructing buildings on planets work? Do you just order it to be built on that particular planet, or do you have actual control on where buildings are placed?

Players choose which building they want on a planet, and the building is then placed on the planet. Each planet has specified locations for each building type which appear in the combat map for the planet’s surface.

#16: How do you research new units/buildings? Do you have to capture a certain planet, wait for a particular point in game time, or just research a technology that allows that unit/building to be built?

When a player gains a new technology level, new buildings become available. Each planet can only maintain a certain number of buildings on it, and players will have to choose which buildings they want on which planets.

#17: Is there any way that you can destroy units before they are deployed? For example, if you capture Coruscant as the Rebels, would the Imperials lose their undeployed units, or are they indestructible until deployed?

As they’re being deployed, they can take damage but not be destroyed. But otherwise, undeployed units stay undeployed.

#18: Can you give us any details regarding Empire At War’s multiplayer aspect?

All we’re saying at this time is that there’s a two-player campaign mode and a skirmish mode that allows for up to eight. More details to come.

#19: It might be a little early to ask, but are there any plans for an expansion pack? We see the Acclamator-class transport in screenshots, so perhaps one based on the Clone Wars era?

Always in motion is the future

Many thanks to TheGoodEvil for securing this interview!