Supreme Commander is a real-time strategy game developed by Chris Taylor and his company Gas Powered Games . It is considered the unofficial successor to Taylor's previous game Total Annihilation and was released in Europe on February 16 and in America on February 20, 2007 for Windows . A version for Xbox 360 was released in 2008. The player is represented by a gigantic mech and builds a base with it. By reaching higher ranks in the technology tree of the game, more and more advanced units can then be produced and the opponent can be attacked with them.
Under the multiplayer client "Forged Alliance Forever", the game is further developed and played by an online community and the possibility of patching it through mods to a limited extent. (See Community Mods).
The graphics engine is fully three-dimensional. The player can zoom out until the entire map fits on his screen. The available commands do not change.
Another important function of Supreme Commander is the automatic transport of ground troops. The use of flying vans is described as arduous for many games. The Supreme Commander player can therefore set up ferry routes . The air transporters with such a route will load troops from a certain point and take them to their destination via the waypoints. This route should be easily modifiable so that the player can react to the changing battle scene. Routes allow a simple way of bringing troops to the front without having to move unit production from the safe home base. This concept changes some of the dynamics of foot troops in a real-time strategy game. Paths and waypoints can be changed at any time.
If several units are to attack the same point, the player is given the option of time-coordinated attack. The computer will then slow down the faster units so that they reach their destination together with the slower units.
The resource system corresponds to that of Total Annihilation . There are types of resources that can be produced in unlimited quantities by corresponding buildings. Energy can be generated anywhere, while mass is mainly reduced at suitable points. However, it can also be produced synthetically with high energy input. Resources can also be recovered from rubble fields. Construction activities consume resources while they are being produced - this creates a dynamic system in which the player must keep the balance between consumption and production.
A neighborhood system gives some buildings advantages if they are adjacent to certain other buildings: energy consumers have reduced demand when they are adjacent to energy producers, energy producers have increased production when they are adjacent to energy storage systems, and factories have reduced energy and mass requirements when they border on corresponding producers. The player must try to take advantage of these bonuses without dismantling their base too far or offering easy targets for the opponent.
Armored Command Unit
The center of every force at Supreme Commander is the so-called Armored Command Unit , or ACU for short. It is an extremely large, humanoid combat robot. This cannot be built, but is available from the start of the game. The ACU is able to generate resources to a small extent, and it can also build buildings. She is very strong at fighting and, especially at the beginning of a game, can be a serious force in a fight. In addition, it can be equipped with new weapons and other equipment as the game progresses. If the ACU is destroyed, the owner loses immediately (alternative victory conditions can be specified before the game, e.g. "Destruction of all enemy units"). In addition, if the ACU is destroyed, it explodes with an effect equivalent to a nuclear warhead. The damage of this explosion has been greatly reduced by a patch for technical reasons, so that you can no longer force the opponent to draw with kamikaze attacks.
Size ratio of the units
In most strategy games, the unit sizes are chosen so that the units fit well on the screen. This means that a minimum and maximum unit and building size is mandatory, otherwise the game will not remain playable. Supreme Commander , meanwhile, allows big differences in unit size and still remains playable - the proportions are so different that even nuclear explosions can be represented halfway realistically.
To achieve this, the units and buildings are displayed in 3D at high zoom levels, as is also known from other strategy games. At a low zoom, however, the units and buildings are simplified as symbols to keep the overview. The symbols have a color that shows the affiliation to a faction and provide information about the unit type and tech level.
There are two types of resources in Supreme Commander : energy and mass. Energy is generated by power plants that can be built in unlimited quantities in various quality levels. Mass, on the other hand, is gained through mass extractors, which can only be placed on certain fields, so mass production in this way is limited. The extractors can be upgraded in two stages to keep up with progress. Any number of mass converters can also be built, these convert energy in mass, but in return consume a large amount of energy. The resources gained are transferred directly to the account, there are no transporters, power lines or the like. needed.
What is special about the resource system, however, is that the supply is divided into two parts, so to speak, first in the resource store, where resources are stored up to a certain limit (can be expanded by building) and on the other hand the rate at which these resources are generated per second.
Likewise, all costs are divided into total costs and costs per second. If a construction contract is given, the costs per second are deducted from the income per second. As long as the income is a positive value, the supply is not attacked. Only when the costs are greater than the income are resources from the storage used. This means that many parallel construction projects can be carried out at the same time without the player losing track of his economy.
All units and buildings belong to one of four technology ranks. Initially only small, rather weak Rank 1 units can be made, but with upgrades and the use of advanced engineers, units of advanced ranks can be built. The second tier expands the player's options, especially when it comes to defense, while the third and fourth tier open up particularly offensive opportunities. The leap to a new technology level is not completely valid for all units and buildings; rather, all producing buildings must be improved individually at great expense. If you build a new production building, it is always on tech level 1 from the beginning and has to be improved manually again. On the other hand, units of a higher level are far superior to those of a lower level. For example, a Tech Level 2 defense tower can fend off dozen of Tech 1 units without being significantly damaged.
The fourth tier consists only of experimental units, all of which are particularly large, particularly expensive and particularly powerful. Each faction has three (in the "Forged Alliance" expansion, UEF, Aeon and Cybran have 4 and Seraphim 3) unique experimental units with special abilities that are equipped with particularly strong firepower and are difficult to destroy. None of these units can be compared to the enemy Tech-4 units.
Supreme Commander offers a particularly differentiated AI. There are the typical modes Simple and Normal , but four variations for the difficult opponent. The Horde AI will flood the player with hundreds of weaker units, the Tech AI will advance its research as quickly as possible and attack the enemy with advanced units, the Passive AI will weight the defense more and the player mainly with long and Attack medium-range weapons, and the balance AI will try to find a middle ground between these extremes.
The AI still suffers from the typical problems of computer gamers in real-time strategy games. No AI knows how to use the placement of buildings as well as a human player, and this is an important element in Supreme Commander . In addition, the AI is difficult to adapt to different strategies. The human player can take advantage of both.
In the "Forged Alliance" expansion, however, this has been achieved a lot better. The AIs still have problems sending their ground units when trapped on an island, but they can now use air transporters, for example, or rely on flight units in a targeted manner. In addition, all weapons are now used, such as the Tech 3 artillery and early atom bombs.
All of the factions represented in Supreme Commander , three in number, are people involved in the Eternal War for freedom and peace.
United Earth Federation
The United Earth Federation (about United Federation of Earth ) tries the old "earth empire" reunite. She prefers large-caliber weapons, tanks, and armored vehicles. It is the only faction that can equip the Armored Command Unit with short-range nuclear weapons. They also rely on long-range artillery and the "Mavor" (long-range artillery prototype).
The Aeon Enlightened are a semi-religious association that has adopted the advanced philosophy and technique of a highly intelligent, extinct alien race. They have developed a common consciousness and have come to the conclusion that the Earth Empire has collapsed from the inevitable logistical problems of large, human-directed organizations, and that their form of coexistence is the only way to bring peace and prosperity to humanity to guarantee. They therefore see themselves on a mission to bring peace, which they want to resolve through assimilation and violence.
Nation of Cybrans
The Cybran are computer symbionts, people whose brains have been computerized and “improved” with implantable technology. This allows them to think faster, to reach better conclusions, to have much better memories, and to be more easily controlled. They fight for the liberation of all symbionts, which are particularly oppressed by the United Earth Federation. Their leader and creator is Dr. Gustaf Brackmann.
The game's first announcement was published in the US magazine PC Gamer in August 2005. There it was described as an unofficial successor to Chris Taylor's 1997 real-time strategy game Total Annihilation . In an interview with Gamespy , Taylor expressed his view that most modern strategy games are actually tactical games because they are simply too small in scale. His intention is therefore to turn Supreme Commander into a strategy-focused game by choosing a large scale.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006, Chris Taylor introduced some of the features of Supreme Commander . One of these functions was the support of graphics cards with two outputs, which allow the player to view the game on two monitors. Also shown were advanced commands for units, including time-coordinated attacks and dynamic waypoint shifts. Originally, Supreme Commander was supposed to support new graphics effects from DirectX 10, but they didn't make it into the finished game. The game benefits greatly from having multiple processors or processor cores.
The game was also presented at San Diego's Comic-Con . Chris Taylor announced that instead of using two monitors, the display on a widescreen monitor could also be split in the middle in order to obtain two virtual screens. With the use of two wide screens it is possible to use four virtual screens at the same time.
The open beta phase started on November 23, 2006, since then the public has been able to test the pre-release version of the game for free. On January 18, 2007, it was announced that Supreme Commander had reached final status. A demo version of the finished game was released on February 6, 2007. The soundtrack for Supreme Commander was composed by Jeremy Soule .
On June 28, 2007 the add-on Forged Alliance was announced, which was published on November 22, 2007. It can also be played without the main program (standalone expansion), contains a new faction, 110 new units and continues the story.
The last official update for Supreme Commander was on January 13, 2008 Patch 3280, which introduced amBX support. The last beta patch 3603 was released for Forged Alliance in 2009 without ever finalizing it.
In March 2010, the successor Supreme Commander 2 appeared , which in turn was developed by Gas Powered Games. The game was published by the Japanese publisher Square Enix , who was the first to publish a game from a western development studio.
On March 1st, 2012 the server of the GPGnet lobby, which is necessary for the online multiplayer game of Supreme Commander and expansion, was switched off. However, as a partial compensation, all CD keys were then made valid for the Gold Edition on Digital Distributor Steam .
A Sever set up and financed by the game community Forged Alliance Forever (FAF) around 2011 has since largely taken over the role of GPGnet. The FAF community also tried to continue the ended official support itself with unofficial patches . The development is still active (as of March 2020) and has currently reached the patch version 3711.
After the bankruptcy and subsequent breakup of THQ, the marketing rights to Supreme Commander and Forged Alliance went to the Swedish publisher Nordic Games after an auction on April 15, 2013, along with 150 other titles for a total of 4.9 million US dollars .
Supreme Commander received good reviews, his metascore is 86/100.
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is a stand-alone expansion to Supreme Commander , which means it can be used without the main game. A particularly lauded innovation was the significant improvement in the game's performance.
New faction: Seraphim
The Seraphim are added as a new faction. This is a species from another galaxy. Believed to be extinct in the Supreme Commander's campaign , they now plan to destroy humanity in order to seek revenge for the destruction of their population by members of humanity on one of their colonies. However, they are guided by a belief that is extremely similar to “The Way”, so they cannot harm sentient beings. That is why the ACUs are led by warriors who have left the path and have thus become callous killer machines. The arrival of the Seraphim splits the Aeon Enlightened into two groups: One who remains loyal to the Seraphim and another who wants to prevent the annihilation of humans. The Aeon enlightened who profess to be human, UEF and Cybrans form an alliance against the common enemy, the Forged Alliance . This alliance is forged from blood, steel and hope, it is the last chance to avert the extermination of humanity by the Seraphim.
The buildings and units of the Seraphim are characterized by an oval, asymmetrical design. In addition, they usually have more life points and are accordingly more expensive. The experimental units of the Seraphim are a particularly heavy missile base, whose nuclear missiles can only be repulsed with at least two missile defense bases, a gigantic bomber that drops strategic bombs but is particularly slow, and a large two-legged combat robot, which after its destruction is one for all Leaves a dangerous energy field behind for parties, but it dissolves again after a short time.
The game has been sped up overall. More advanced units were discounted, especially the experimental units, which were significantly cheaper, but also weakened. Due to the fact that mass extractors in the first technology level are now the most efficient sources of mass, the importance of card control has also increased significantly.
Each faction also received new experimental units. The UEF received a satellite control base that posts a defense satellite in orbit that cannot be directly attacked. According to his name, he is rather weak in offensive use. The Cybrans received another multi-legged robot, the new Megalith, which is stronger than the Monkeylord and can also produce units up to level 3. The Aeon finally received a resource generator that provides the player with an almost infinite resource production.
Supreme Commander: Experimentals
Supreme Commander: Experimentals was an extension to Supreme Commander that was under development and was intended solely to provide additional experimental units. This extension was not completed. Instead, Supreme Commander 2 was developed.
Several modifications were made to the game, including the possibility of adding new units to the game.
The patch support for Supreme Commander and Forged Alliance was discontinued in 2009 and the online client GPG-net in 2012 by THQ.
Forged Alliance Forever
It is therefore worth mentioning the alternative multiplayer client Forged Alliance Forever , which is developed by fans of the original program and is also updated to this day (as of March 2020) and improves the game with unofficial patches.
This offers mods, maps replays, a forum, a chat, a co-op mode for the campaign and much more. A Galactic War mode is being worked on in the background, which has been removed due to errors in the past.
Forged Alliance Forever changed hands between September 24th and 26th, 2014 including the website and the forum. This successor to the GPGnet client is still very popular today.
- Supreme Commander - hands-on . Gamesradar. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
- GPGnet :: System Requirements . Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved May 7, 2008.
- John Keefer: Supreme Commander Interview - Chris Taylor opens up (a little bit) speaking about his new RTS and the future of the genre. ( English ) In: Gamespy . July 8, 2005. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- http://www.looki.de/ ( Memento of the original from March 12, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Supreme Commander "Open Beta started"
- http://www.rebell.at/ ( Memento of the original from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Supreme Commander "Demo & Developer Tour through Vienna"
- FA Patch 3603 on gamefront.com (English)
- Gamasutra.com : Square Enix Signs Deal With Gas Powered Games . November 12, 2008.
- GPGNet Services Update 2 (GPGnet has been shutdown) ( Memento from December 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) on gaspowered.com (English)
- T.J. Hafer: Community-made Forged Alliance Forever keeps Supreme Commander multiplayer alive . PC gamer . November 19, 2012. Retrieved on August 28, 2014: “ The official multiplayer servers for Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance have been decommissioned for a while now, but fortunately [...] the community-driven Forged Alliance Forever has emerged. The self-patching multiplayer client allows players of the epic real-time strategy title to continue blowing things up in massive quantities. It even adds new units, a new faction, and some game modes that weren't available on the official servers, such as 6v6. "
- Hotfix 3711 Release. 03/15/2020 FA Update
- Alexander Sliwinski: THQ auction results: Nordic Games takes Darksiders, Red Faction; 505 Games is Drawn to Life ( English ) In: Joystiq . AOL . April 22, 2013. Archived from the original on January 31, 2015. Retrieved on April 24, 2013.
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- 2006 Winners - Game Critics Awards, June 25, 2006
- Supreme Commander Forged Alliance Release Date . GamesTracker. Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2008.
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- Forged Alliance Forever. In: faforever.com. Retrieved December 31, 2012 .
- Forged Alliance Forever. In: www.faforever.com. Retrieved January 19, 2017 .
- FAF Galactic War on Github. In: GitHub. Retrieved January 19, 2017 (English).
- This is the end ... Retrieved September 25, 2014 (English).
- The future of Forged Alliance Forever. In: www.faforever.com. Retrieved January 19, 2017 .