This is about our dedication to realism and history.
One of the unique selling points of CtA - Gates of Hell is that it's based on this dedication, and on a desire for high quality.
From vehicles, tanks and weapons to assets, maps and level design, everything you see in CtA - Gates of Hell is new. However, this is not limited to visuals; we have introduced a whole set of new game mechanics that are quite unique, and which contribute to the sense of realism and immersion.
So how exactly do we produce what we produce? Keep reading!
Let's have a look at how we develop missions first. One of our older development updates titled "how do they do it" already described a good deal of the process, but there's much more to be said about this.
What we find is that people relish the immersive combination of appropriate weather and real landscapes in GoH. After a mission they ask themselves questions like "What if I take the high ground on the west side first?" and try a different approach next time. You will find yourself playing the missions in a wide variety of ways. On top of that, since the landscape is realistic, using realistic tactics works very well.
To set the scene and to trigger the right mood - and to maximize immersion - our single player missions feature introduction videos. These show the events that led to the historical battle you're about to start, and brief you on what you should expect. In doing so, they reveal part of the historical research that has gone into this project.
There's a short presentation available online about the subject.
Map and level design
It's easy to compare between a few minimaps from CtA: Gates of Hell and the real world.
Let's have a look at some of our minimaps, to see whether they look like the real life location. You see modern day satellite imagery first; then, we overlay the minimap from CtA - GoH on it.
In one of these, the battlefield location had changed so drastically we had to base the comparison (and the single player mission) on a combination of 1941 recon photos by the Luftwaffe and satellite data.
This is the location for several single player missions. Glushkovo is a small town in Russia that held a key position twice in a few months in 1941/ 42.
It looks like time has stood still here. No big difference between then and now. Click HERE for the comparison.
By the time the Germans closed in on Moscow - in this case near Volokolamsk - winter had arrived and conditions had turned icy... so this minimap ought to reflect that, and it does.
The germans moved to take the village of Dubosekovo, and the battle that followed is even mentioned in the anthem of the city of Moscow!
Even though the red army was on the front foot after surrounding Stalingrad, it found itself defending this hamlet against a German counterattack, which aimed to relieve the surrounded Germans. This very village is where the counteroffensive ground to a halt. Since then, not much has changed - most of the roads in Gromoslavka still appear to be unpaved.
This village is usually shown a lot dryer in Google than we show it in Gates of Hell. It's in the middle of a massive marshland area, which will get very wet during the rainy time of year - autumn.
Our map is the ideal place to "hide" a partisan camp, which we did. The real location is in northern Ukraine.
Over time, this city has changed and expanded quite a bit. For this reason, it was impossible to use satellite imagery to create the map. Our Tikhvin map is therefore based on a reconnaissance photo, just like most of the defensive positions in the mission.
There is a vast difference between singleplayer and multiplayer when it comes to historical correctness; whereas a singleplayer mission can get quite close to re- enactment, this isn't going to happen in multiplayer. PvP action is not very likely to follow history at all. But there are several game mechanics at work in CtA - Gates of Hell that add realism all the same!
There are no health bars for vehicles and tanks, and things like damage system, ballistics and all other variables are quite refined when compared to other games on the GEM2 engine. In this game it actually matters where you hit a tank, and which ammo you use; besides that, there are many variables at play such as the modeling of internal components and armor thickness. We summarized some of these mechanics in development update 97.
We started out by stating that this is about our dedication to realism and history. However, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", as they say.
Have you tasted GoH yet? If not, maybe it's time you did. You can find it on Steam.
To find out what people say about its immersion and replay value, you could ask the community, for instance on our official Discord server.
You will find that our very helpful, non- toxic community is always there to answer any questions you might have.
See you on the battlefield!