Posted on 2018-06-06
Mr. President, I report about the preparation and course of the military operations in the Vietnam region. The concentration of US forces in the region near began in orderly fashion, without incident. On the evening of August 1st at 10:42, we were met by a determined attack and US forces put up strong organized resistance preventing enemy maneuvers. In the Saigon direction, friendly units advanced rapidly to reinforce along Highway 13. The initiative is on our side.
Today is extra special because not only are we releasing a brand new Development Diary, Dan Hunter, the legendary artist who joined our Terminal Conflict team and possibly best known for his breathtaking visual effects in project like Bioshock 2 and Halo 4 is hosting it for the first time.
Hello! My name is Dan Hunter and in this Dev Diary, and I will be introducing your retro computer graphical animations in Terminal Conflict. My task is to create animations for the deadly military units as seen in the BETA announcement trailer and to craft retro scenery terminal effects.
Simplicity is key
There were many different “states” for the military units in the game – movement, attack, defeat and so on. The biggest challenge is naturally to conveying to you and your opponent what a unit is doing at a well-balanced scale in the atmosphere of your retro computer terminal. The key is to go for simplicity, which paradoxically takes more time and effort to achieve.
The reason is that the complexity that one might think of at first glance usually does not communicate directly enough the situation when seen at smaller resolutions. I solve this by starting with a base design, iterating, simplifying, until I have an animation that in so few pixels as possible without compromising its intended message at virtually the smallest scale. A few days of work on the movement state of units looks like the image on the left .
A good start to involve the coding team and get the animations into the game engine.
After seeing them in game and satisfied with the initial results the polishing can begin. It is a process of making final adjustments to help readability. Fine-tuning the scale of effects and the velocity is but a few ways as it all influences the final look and feel of the units soon to be in your command. Units should have a “weight” to them and a well-balanced movement. See missiles and other objects demonstrate this in the animations to the right. This part is a collaborative effort on all sides (design, art and code) working together to make a polished final product.
It is vital that the units show up where you would expect them to be so that it is completely and unquestionably clear where units will appear. US units on the left facing from West to East while the USSR is always to the right facing unmistakably in the opposite direction.
Details and Atmosphere
Another area I worked on was the addition of various terminal effects. These were effects of the terminal powering on and off. Capturing an atmosphere is essential to any great game. Those old enough to remember how old TVs turned on and off will have a good idea what that effect is like. For those that do not, I look forward to you experiencing it in Terminal Conflict. Many times, it is the small details and the touch of realism and authenticity that makes the experience complete.
I hope you enjoy the animations, what they add to the game, and see that they help enhance what is already a great game. Is there any particular type of retro animation you would like to see in Terminal Conflict? Make sure to get your voice heard on our Twitter , Facebook , or on Reddit. We do our best to respond!
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Terminal Conflict - BETA AnnouncementTrailer
Posted on 2018-06-06
LINKÖPING, June 6th, 2018
The Cold War has never been hotter than this 4th of July. Decorate your bunker and SIGN UP at terminalconflict.com for your chance for an invitation to BETA test this definitive Cold War strategy on STEAM.
We've passed 500 followers on Facebook and we are incredibly humble and thankful for your support. Would you like to know more or would you like to drop us a message? We receive a lot of fanmail, but we'll notice a fun, well written post anytime on our Twitter , Facebook , or on Reddit.
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Terminal Conflict - "WARGAMES" Development Diary 23
Posted on 2018-05-29
The siren wails. Time is of the essence. We must strike back before it's too late! Phone in hand, an eternity passes. Sweaty palms and a million thoughts. The scariest job on the planet, done by those awaiting confirmation with the world in the balance. A judgement, and it's war - doom for humankind. Luckily this time it is simply an exercise, a war-game.
Today, we are happy to reveal the single player WARGAMES Mode of Terminal Conflict. With AI advances this past week, your trusted companion MIRVIN is ready to introduce you to a set of scenarios with various difficulties. Among these, you'll find:
A thorn in the eye of peace loving pacifists everywhere, in the turbulence of the Cold War war-games are essential for any self respecting commander. Dangerous, they say. Useful, others would argue.
How else will you learn the ropes and prevail against enemies sworn to seek your demise? There are no save games in real life. Just as there are none in the game! When playing with nuclear arsenals there are no second chances.
Through war-games, you will not only learn how to play, you can aspire to accomplish more advanced goals.
Initially, the game will present you with 10 wargame scenarios. Their varying length and complexity suits every schedule from minutes to hours but if you do decide to fly we offer you the tools. Create and customize your own Cold War experience. Add more scenarios, modify the existing ones, share and tell your story.
What is...oh, that was just a weather balloon. Right? Or could it be...an incoming strike? Everything can depend on one man. So, my friend, quick! What do we do?
Shall we play a game?
Terminal Conflict - "Trusted Companion" Development Diary 22
Posted on 2018-05-21
Work is continuing tonight to build a power station next to Building 2H. Preparations are well underway solving the power regulation issue reported last month. All systems are expected to be fully stable starting Monday the 21st of May, and console operators of the IBM 7090 will run the first iterations by that evening. Remember the sacrifices it takes to do good, it can save the lives of us all.
There is more to your Terminal then meets the eye. Any journey worthwhile is one shared with a trusted companion! Though there are places where he cannot follow, Don Quixote had Sancho Panza, Batman has Robin and you; well you got MIRVIN of course. The Cold War era A.I. whom for decades helped presidents and world leaders hone their skills in making the tough decisions.
Groundbreaking projects at the Department of Defense naturally tend to be a target for Soviet infiltration. Do not worry. Security concerns have been paramount and rigorous, so you can feel safe if you ever need explanation about the ground rules of Terminal Conflict. Your reliable friend will not tell anyone.
Practice mode is one of three game modes offered in Terminal Conflict. A testing ground for you, where you can sharpen your abilities in taming your enemies from uncontrollable beasts to tempered lap dogs. Do you like to do things at your own pace? You’ve come to the right place as this game mode also offers the feature to play without the turn timer
News about the team
Talking of secrets, today we are announcing that the legendary Dan Hunter has joined our ranks these past weeks. A fellow industry veteran, his list of accomplishments is long and distinguished, filled with beautiful artwork. Dan is possibly best known for his breathtaking visual effects in project like Bioshock 2 and Halo 4 – captivating players and inspiring artists.
Growing up during the Cold War, Dan has not only firsthand account of the historical era but also the expertise to create the stunning experiences. We cannot wait to share his creations.
Terminal Conflict - "Man, Duty and Loyalty" Development Diary 21
Posted on 2018-05-10
The coffin is lowered into the ground. As the music plays, the onlookers sing the Soviet National Anthem honoring a lost comrade and the final protege of a lingering shadow once synonymous with Soviet might. "Molotov was first and foremost a survivor" a man mutters over his shoulder to his sobbing wife. In the background, a hard scowl and gritted teeth yet on this day no one takes notice of the face of your bodyguard.
News about the team
The Cold War rarely took a break and neither do we. Talking of passionate work, we are happy to announce the latest addition to our team, none other than the writer of this development diary himself! My name is Nikolai. I'm a 32 year old historian and long time strategy game fan from Norway, and I'm delighted to join forces with the Terminal Conflict team! Together we'll bring back the Cold War! My main task will be to bring you new development diaries, and this week's diary is the first I'm involved with - the first of many! One of my main interest areas in the era is the Middle East.
This last two weeks, the team has been working hard to improve the modding capacity we mentioned a short while back, while the history buffs brought Vyacheslav Molotov to life as a Soviet Foreign Minister.
At the end of last week, they have also created all sorts of genius ways for you to get him dead again. Ваше здоровье! (To your health!) Aren't Thursdays the perfect days for cocktails?
No one is known more for cocktails than long time Foreign Minister of the USSR, Comrade Molotov. A dedicated Communist his whole life, this man is the epitome of loyalty to his friends and allies.
In his mind, the ideals of Stalinism are more important than any man - himself included! This, of course, means that a few eggs have to be broken... The question is, who will be doing the breaking?
Enter your bodyguard. Dima Orlov, a man with a mission, a dark past and a firm belief that no true servant can hold more than one loyalty. It is said that the whole world is a stage, and that men and women each play many parts during their time there. In Terminal Conflict, you are met with decisions at every cross-way. Whom do you support, ignore, or even actively sabotage? What benefits and skills do they bring to the table? Will you keep them distant? Or will you keep them close?
As such, one of the many decisions you might face, is how to deal with old Comrade Molotov. You will perhaps make a choice on his burial - and while some effects are obvious - do you really know what repercussions your choices will have down the line, Comrade General Secretary?
Do you really?
Terminal Conflict - Modding Tools
Posted on 2018-04-14
With April in full swing, we end this week with finalizing one of the most requested features by adding modding tools for Terminal Conflict. From now on you can create your own decisions and tell your own story!
Terminal Conflict - "Red Dragon Rising" Development Diary 20
Posted on 2018-03-30
The Soviet leader and Comrade Mao shook hands for a long time. A very long time. The General Secretary’s greeting was deliberately quite slow and, clearly he knew how to play the role of a statesman. A wonderful actor.
Leaders and allies
With Chairman Mao Zedong in the driving seat, your Soviet policy will make or break his movement. Take advantage of stoking national conflict, Machiavelli style! Or are you more of a crusader, sick and tired of these dangerous demagogues whipping up fear and hatred wondering what you can do? Wonder no longer, time for action!
The importance of Focus
As you set upon your quest for geopolitical grandeur, remember that the most important task each timeline is the selection of a theater and a domestic interest that during the coming years will be your administration's focus.
Equally important is which theaters will not benefit from your choice. With resources displaced to your focus, friendly units in non-focus theaters can defend and attack but lack the means for opening up new warzones. With an Arms Race in China and for our set up today, this will not be an issue as Comrade Mao is already waging what he calls the “War of Liberation”. As we do not aim to involve Soviet forces in a more direct invasion, relying on decisions put forward by our domestic political Elites should be beneficial, especially for deploying intelligence.
National and Proxy Forces
In any conflict, the benefits of having friendly boots on the ground is essential. In Terminal Conflict, it denies your opponent's possible local proxies the capture of the region by the positioning of a dominant regional military force. Deploying a friendly Army Command, Fighter Command or Bomber Command undeniably increases your handle on a local conflict. A fair warning though, deploying friendly units in Warzones exposes them to potential defeat and destruction as well as expose you to mission creep. A term used to describe how a simple, well-framed mission moves beyond its initial goals, swallowing men and resources stopping only when it all comes crashing down coming back to haunt you.
From the Balkans to Greece, from the Middle East to Indochina, the Latin America and Africa. The historical examples are many of what committed armed forces by the superpowers can or cannot do in warzones as long as they remain to fortify a region from falling. Yet, armed forces will never win the peace and as soon as they are destroyed or disarmed to Command Reserves, the region’s influence is all that matters. What your forces have guarded for decades can unravel in the fate of one single turn.
Military Campaign Orders
Put forward only by interests of the Elites, Military or Government these decisions in of themselves do not provide a net gain of resources. Proxy forces usually advise a course of action yet you can order otherwise. There are three directives you can chose between, as long as they meet conditions on the ground.
Your opponent will face similar tactical options and costs, where allies usually dislike careless use of their men, though they sure like claiming fame if successful, the Military dislikes being ordered to hold and the Elites dislike retreats.
Best course of Action
Glory to the Soviet Union! We have all the options available so now let us consider the options of our American friends. By putting our agents to good use, we unveil that Espionage mission shows enemy Interest of the current selected Focus.
Considering the positions on the ground, this means that the USA proxy forces of Chang Kai-shek in Inner Mongolia, are limited to a single RETREAT and counter-attack and are unable to mount an ADVANCE due to lacking an adjacent friendly region with at least 2 influence. They shall not prevent us from gaining Control (3 USSR influence) and finally achieving Domination (5 USSR influence) in that region.
Here is where you have to make a judgement call. How cunning is your opponent? What choices have they made so far? Any novice can play but it takes skill to master the art of judgement of character and play-style. No choice is a guaranteed victory this time but at least you gained an upper hand in information and should they RETREAT, you know you have them trapped for next time. I suppose these slippery weasels will take every chance to flee! HOLD steady!
Sweet victory! Safe to say, the Elites are planning silk robes for the palaces of culture by the next 1st of May celebrations.
Historical plausibility and outcomes
These sets of decisions can naturally be entirely avoided if you select focuses with Finance or People interests, as they will pursue different policies. Alternatively, you might chose to opt out of ever focusing on the East Asia Theater or theaters it affects. As long as your opponent does the same, worldly matters on the ground will go on fairly historically, if that is something to be desired.
For all seeking to awake the dragon, your goal is not to be passive but to make the enemy passive. Happy Easter holidays to you all!
Terminal Conflict - "Rules of Engagement" Development Diary 19
Posted on 2018-03-17
Incoming anti-tank and small arms fire opened up on us from trenches veiled by tall grass and from several 'pillbox' bunkers made of concrete. Mines littered the ground and for a second my strength to go on deserted me but stopping in the enemy’s zone of fire is a sure-fire way to die. Therefore, I ran up the path where a desperately burning tank had spilled its fuel marking a safe passage through the field of this warzone.
Being the leader of a Cold War power means, you are always in a conflict mode with your opponent though not always engaging in full out lethal force. Contrary to what most people think, the military in real life just like in Terminal Conflict does not have a complete license to kill, even when in minor scuffles with the enemy.
Order your forces to apply tension pressuring enemy forces in regions where no faction has dominance or control. You might succeed in forcing them to withdraw to other regions or to retire from the battlefield. This is all part of the dangerous mind game of positioning and power projection on a grand strategic level, just short of full out engagements.
Yet, if you initiate any offensive action against a region dominated by the opponent and thus marked in their factions color, then you cross the line into open warfare. All military forces from the common soldier to the general need simple rules to know when to wage deadly force and who is and is not the enemy, or face needless death and perhaps ultimate destruction. For this reason, a warzone is declared accompanied by an increase of the Doomsday Clock.
Marked with stripe coloring, lethal conventional force applies in all warzone regions destroying any defeated military units. The hot spots can be reverted to peaceful zones by disarmament focuses and decisions but otherwise they will last and can quickly turn into devastating fields of destruction depending on the state of your military units stationed there
Land, air and sea units have different states when deployed:
1) Combat Ready: The default status, occupying a base of operations in a region where your military units are deployed and actively ready for offensive or defensive actions
2) Engaged: A status of all units that have taken an action or against whom an action has been taken that does not result in the unit becoming reorganized. Engaged unit status' lasts a set amount of turns and engaged units may not attack but can defend in full force.
3) Reorganizing: If a military unit is reorganizing, it cannot attack or defend itself and if it incurs another enemy action, it is defeated and will withdraw (except for Bombers Commands and Fighters Commands that automatically retire from the battlefield) or in case of a warzone become destroyed.
If there are multiple units in a region, your commanders will automatically rotate your forces coming to each other’s aid. That means an engaged military force will protect a reorganizing one if possible and prioritize as defense in the face of attack. To prevail, you need to gather intelligence, deploy strategically and maneuver your forces valiantly. Skillful mastery of the rules of engagement will earn you triumph where you make the most out of every conflict, even if it has to lead through a passage in a devastating warzone.
Terminal Conflict - "Of Trust and of Treason" Development Diary 18
Posted on 2018-03-10
She was with the Riga branch and in one lapse moment she looked at me, smiled and slipped that her mother was Latvian just like mine. I know very well that she poisoned me in Vienna yet it was not personal. I will never forget her heroism. A wise man once said that well-behaved women seldom make history. She would receive the Order of Lenin that year.
Information is power and your potent terminal is the most realistic outlet of Cold War information in the world. Your armed forces and allies may supply some of that data but none more valuable than that provided by your intelligence services. You give them the order and they will execute the mission.
The intelligence menu in the Command Reserve is where you draft your clandestine operations. Selecting the Intelligence menu displays the possible missions your agents are capable of carrying out within the theater.
Generally speaking, the more influence you possess in a region, the easier it is for your agents to accomplish their objectives there. Reviewing a mission will display potential information it could provide along with the percentage chance of it being successful. Your enemy’s spies operate under similar conditions and thus keeping strong friendly influence insures vigilance. This is at your discretion to decide, as intelligence missions are not limited to your current focus. Your devoted operatives are ready to face your foes wherever they needed worldwide.
Launching an Op
Sending your agents on a mission usually involves a domestic cost to the interests of the Elites. Being the establishment, they tend to prefer the status quo and utilizing agents in the exercise of state powers that do not further their privileges and an apparatus that one day might be turned against them is not something they will ignore. This interest cost is therefore a price you pay regardless of success or failure. With each success, you reap the rewards but the risk of detection also grows diminishing your agents’ chances to repeat their success this timeline without detection for the same particular mission.
Infiltration is available only in regions where enemy has presence or more.
Each mission that fails has a chance to result in a myriad of outcomes ranging from no incident to as serious as potential Doomsday Clock shifting. One thing to keep in mind is that failure is only truly a loss if you do not learn anything. Adapt your strategy and keep the odds on your side to prevail.
Security Acts in Decisions
Some missions are not available at game start but nothing that will put a dent into an ambitious political mind keen on advancing and reforming the intelligence service. The United States starts off without Infiltrate, False Flag or Assassinate in 1946. To gain these missions, requires the reforming of the CIA in your home theater of North America (starting with Olympus Rising). The Soviet Union has an advantage in this field, though False Flag and Assassinate still requires reform and the KGB (starting with The Ascending Titan), yet be ware. Ignoring the intelligence services, or blindly trusting them, is nothing short of a mistake in waiting because it would not be called intelligence if it were fact.
Terminal Conflict - "Breaking The Fog of War" Development Diary 17
Posted on 2018-02-27
We all practically clamber out of the turret because of the low visibility advancing into position towards the West German border. I did volunteer work last night and managed to get hold of fresh bread before receiving the move order but our stomachs are too nervous for it. Perhaps it is true. War is so complex it is beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all its implications and consequences.
Though you might possess the most potent military in history, any honest commander will admit that there are limits and uncertainty in any military engagement. Your terminal is a potent command and control system that enables you to make strategic judgments for this very reason. Your fullest understanding of the knowns and the unknowns will carry the day.
Friendly Unit Visibility
Single unit markers bearing our color and their unit names in any region on the map are friendly units. If you deploy multiple units in a region, they will form larger US Commands (COM) or USSR Fronts (FRN), while fleets form Navies (NAV).
Enemy Unit Visibility
Enemy units have three states of visibility:
Friendly Army Commands are good at setting up perimeters and detect the presence of enemy Land or Air Commands in directly adjacent regions to their command. If an enemy army maneuver or troop movement takes place in these regions, they will usually be able to identify the direction the enemy came from.
Army Commands are thus powerful but have no capacity to identify enemy navies. Short of engaging, they lack the ability to identify with precision enemy unit compositions.
Air units have a potent passive ability: Air Patrol. When combat ready, air commands can identify with precision any enemy non-submarine naval unit in the same region. Deployed with an Army Command as protection they offer a strong ability for operational awareness.
Bomber Command: Ordering a bombing mission in a region, if an enemy unit is present it becomes visible for two turns, unless intercepted and defeated by a combat ready enemy Fighter Command or Carrier Fleet conducting Air Superiority. However, bombing missions are offensive actions and carried out in enemy controlled areas will result in a Warzone being declared.
Fighter Command: Useful for conducting Air Superiority missions of your own, they are very advantageous for identifying enemy units as they are on par in the sky with enemy Fighter Commands. Yet, violating enemy controlled air space will much like with Bomber Commands result in a Warzone declaration.
All sea units that enter a region controlled or dominated by the opponent will be shown as Unknown to them as long as they continue to reside in that region despite having no unit deployed there.
If an enemy Fleet maneuver or movement takes place in the region, you will be able to identify where it came from. Unlike with air units, friendly naval units may traverse enemy regions as part of their Freedom of navigation as long as they do not meet with a counter force. However, if conducting combat or other offensive actions, such as Carrier Operations, sea units are visible for a minimum of two turns.
Powerful as they may be, military means without wisdom opens up for misunderstandings and miscalculations and a reality where potential mutual annihilation will commence. Wise men have said that where the scope of the military ends the domain of the intelligence services begin, but that is for another development diary!
Terminal Conflict - "Mastering Logistics and Military Deployments" Development Diary 16
Posted on 2018-02-21
A frigid gust almost spitefully whipping against the hull on the barren ice. “It’s cold this morning, Captain”. “Yes, Vitali”. A determined pause. “Cold” came the reply. He looked up, grabbed his papers and stoned faced he said, “The fleet is being deployed. Tell the men we are leaving”. “Aye aye, Captain” said Vitali smiling back, then quickly leaned over the railing and with a sharp whistle signaled to the three men below. We were to become the extension of Soviet foreign policy in the Atlantic.
Your military units are the most potent physical force on the planet, hard power when you need it. In order to leverage that military might, you need to position your forces and manage your resources skillfully. Our brightest days are surely ahead with a tactful use of means.
Focus Points (FP) are the most important resource in Terminal Conflict as it determines how many turns you will get to play in each timeline. When selecting a decision it is therefore vital that you plan ahead. Selecting a focus that grants many focus points might be strategically important if you are working towards military expansion as even deploying close to home, each deployment will cost you at least one FP.
The further you deploy from your main logistic HQ the more resources intensive your deployments are, yet they carry potentially higher rewards. The hub can function via land and via the sea and costs depend on the regions distance from your logistical capital.
This carries different implications for the USA and USSR and did so historically throughout the Cold War. The Soviets, unlike the US border more nations via land than sea. Make smart choices and be sure to avoid disarming in faraway theaters, as sending armed forces back later to reestablishing logistics will strain your precious resources. When possible seek to control straits, as that limits and cuts off your opponent’s ability for logistics and deployment. Especially vital if you aim to keep it costly for the USSR to engage in Latin America or perhaps disrupt the USA in the Middle East or South Asia.
To Region from Command Reserve
In Terminal Conflict, all procured units that are not currently deployed, are in the Command Reserve. You can direct deploy armed forces easily to friendly regions where you have a continuous logistical path as long as you can afford the cost. Intelligence plays a vital role for any successful deployment especially in regions where you or your opponent does not exercise control.
Maneuver your opponent into deploying from the Command Reserve without sufficient intelligence and have your units ambush them. Ambushed units are immediately defeated and forced to withdraw, disarm or be destroyed but not all units have to form up in uncertainty.
To Units from Command Reserve
Army Commands possess the ability for direct deployment onto Surface Fleets. Picking up men and equipment from home ports does have it's benefits. Though all previous rules for regional deployment must apply, this preparation also guarantees that you can quickly ferry your armies into unfriendly territory where you are not be able to deploy.
Embark to Units from Region
Army Commands may also embark Surface Fleets in a region by you giving the Embark order.
Embarking a unit from a region counts as a defensive action and does not end your turn, which comes especially handy for evacuations as once you are loaded up, you can command your Fleet to safer waters.
Disembark to Region from Unit
The procedure of Disembarking is somewhat reverse to embarking as an Army Command can deploy from a Surface Fleet (with an AC marking on the map) to a friendly region, counting as a friendly movement action. Disembarking into a neutral or hostile region on the other hand is a hostile act and will end your turn and potentially establish or escalate conflicts into a warzone.
Re-basing/Redeploying Air Units
Unlike Army Commands or sea going Fleets, Bomber and Fighter Commands are stationary and move only by re-basing.
This means that your Command will remain in a region even if your influence has deteriorated, yet once the command has been sent back home by disarming or re-basing, the Command might not be secure for reestablishment in the previous region until conditions have become friendly again.
The Nuclear Aspect
What about the nukes I hear you say? Yes, without units to deliver them, there are no nuclear strikes and no deterrent and your stockpiles will sit in your arsenal unable to rain fire and hard fury. This is where our Submarine Fleets comes in. Although the Arctic holds no friendly port for either faction and cannot host direct deployment it is also the only place where disarmament negotiations cannot reach or properly verify, and so we play our games as generations before us. "Start a plot, Vitali!".
Terminal Conflict - "All About (The) Decisions" Development Diary 15
Posted on 2018-02-13
Picked up upon arriving in Havana, gangster boss ‘Lucky’ Luciano enters the Hotel National where a lavishly luxurious room has been reserved for him by Lansky. Astonishingly, he registers under his real name at the check in – Salvatore Lucania. What happened next? Tag along in Terminal Conflict, as we take you on one possible set of circumstances in this development diary of decisions that shaped our existence and the trajectory of the Cold War.
What are decisions?
If units and combat are the brains, then decisions are the heart of the game play. Pumping rich historically plausible context, they introduce the stories of the individuals involved. Each turn your selected focus will generate at least one decision suiting your supported interest.
Triggered by its dynamic triggers or triggered by other decisions and game mechanics, you do not share decision with your opponent though your choices will affect your adversary. Some decision provide narrative (I. Narrative Decisions) while others require an immediate choice before the end of your turn (II. Auto Triggered Decisions) or are achievable over an entire timeline (III. Player Triggered Decisions). Decision chains also interlink and here is how this particular chain looks when isolated, where some decisions enable game mechanics (marked by colored rings) or enable historical allies.
Due to the dynamic nature of Terminal Conflicts design, you will gain different decisions in a variety of sequences for the same theater making each game unique and offering endless replay-ability.
Much like fulfilling triggers to activate decisions, each option in a decision lets you accomplish a set of conditions to unlock selection and grant you a rewarding bonus. The rewards follow a risk/high reward model and as such may carry a malus or might even end your turn without you being able to take other actions in order to secure a superior bonus.
You chose your path and your strategy! The start of a chapter or the end of another. We are not victims of the world but rather the masters of our own destinies. Our choices and actions determine and define who we are and will become.
... besides. This is not the end, it's just the epic beginning in America's Playground!
Thank you and best regards!
PS: This weeks newsletter contains an exclusive Soviet bonus screenshot. Would you like to receive development diaries sent to you with exclusive materials? Sign up at terminalconflict.com
Terminal Conflict - "Focus and Timing" Development Diary 14
Posted on 2018-02-06
“You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go” – said Yogi Berra. Boom! Welcome to a brand new development diary on this Terminal Tuesday!
Much of the success of a good Cold War strategy game is about the proper balance between paranoia and excitement. True for the sport and true for politics! Exemplified in no small part by Fidel Castro and his Barbudos (the Bearded Ones), the term that became synonymous with the formidable, unshaven revolutionaries that captivated and terrified a world.
Rich and fascinating history brought alive and the freedom to make meaningful choices even at the edge of oblivion. Finally we're officially revealing the much anticipated and asked about game modes for this definitive strategy game of the era.
Terminal Conflict brings two game styles to enjoy:
Focus and your Timing
Let the games begin, as you set the ball in motion!
Regulating your domestic interests are vital so you can rally attention against your opponent. Decision-making in Terminal Conflict works by realistic principles. Support the interests of your government in domestic politics and you will have an impact bringing higher efficiency and an increase to your turn timer. Yet the opposite is also true should you chose to sacrifice their interests for the benefit of other stakeholders.
You can provide support to government interest by selecting either Arms Race or Disarmament focuses that provide 3-5 Focus Points. In return for your backing, they will grant you at least one decision per turn. Usually these decisions involve a cause they champion, a policy that they propose or simply an increase of their interests. These fastballs, or curve balls bring challenges yet channeled skillfully, it will grant you immense power.
Will you pivot at the right time with your policies and knock it out of the park? Remember that time and timing in politics are great asset and some of your finest resources.
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "Dominate the Seas" Development Diary 13
Posted on 2018-01-30
Completing the 60-degree turn, the bells rang out in close sequence. Passing through to the second level at the aft, I braced, as expected. On the third bell, the 16-inch guns opened up like thunder on a pitch-black sky. If not anchored down securely, the recoil alone rearranged equipment knocking it on to the deck. I shall never forget the awesome display of fire, smoke and noise. Naval guns, fired in anger as our fleet engaged.
Fetch your sailors cap, and take a sturdy breath as today we are heading out to sea in this development diary. Terminal Conflict brings the combat of the Cold War into your very own handy terminal and this includes the domination of the seas. Making decisions as either the leader of the USA or USSR, your leadership is vital to command the oceans. Dominating and controlling sea routs via straits can mean the difference between your enemies gaining a logistical reach to deploy or you keeping them at bay.
Play on a grand strategic level with your fleets, to secure a wider area by keeping them dispersed or combine up to five of your fleets in one region to constitute powerful navies.
Submarine Fleet (SUBF)
Containing a large number of submarine vessels of all types, stealthy and devastating against Carrier fleets but vulnerable against Surface fleets.
Surface Fleet (SURF)
Consists of a large number of capital ships (not including carriers) and surface vessels of all types these fleets are devastating against Submarine fleets but vulnerable against Carrier fleets.
Carrier Fleet (CARF)
Constituted by a Carrier battle group and its grouping of surface vessels of all types, Carrier fleets are devastating against Surface fleets but vulnerable against submarine fleets.
Order of Battle
Do you wonder what it takes to command the waves? We have aimed for authenticity deploying your fleets in a historically plausible order of battle.
Soviet Union fleets, deployed initially in a defensive posture close to home consist of 6 Surface fleets and 6 Submarine fleets. Their lack of Carrier fleets partially compensated by the concentration of Soviet forces in strategic positions. Close proximity and clever use of the Arctic, as well as cunning use of disarmament can be a potent way to make the most of these deployments.
In contrast, the power projection of United States naval forces has witnessed a different kind of evolution and focus. Fielding no less than 6 Carrier Fleets, 6 Surface Fleets and 7 Submarine fleets at the start, American naval strength is leveraged globally. Dispersed over many theaters of operations they are more than able to create the circumstances for US security. Take charge, maintain and expand your influence across the globe as you launch your terminal and pioneer your nation’s geopolitical nuclear insurance beneath the polar ice.
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "Command the Battlefield" Development Diary 12
Posted on 2018-01-24
Hello and welcome to Terminal Tuesday and a brand new development diary!
By dusk, my hand shook out of the cold and the fear. “Damned spotters!” – a voice mumbled in a neighboring foxhole, soon confirmed by the incoming whistles of 60mm mortar fire passing overhead. One round hit 15ft in front of our machine gunner, the second hit the ridgeline. Pressing our heads down, the ground started shaking like as if the mountain itself had awaken. The mighty roar of nations rushing tanks into battle. That is how we knew; diplomacy had entered a new phase.
In Terminal Conflict, you command your armed forces on a grand strategy level. Proxy wars, rebellions and revolutions will allow you to show off your skills in leadership. Exploring land and air forces, we honor the brave men and women serving your armed forces. Land/Air units can be procured, deployed and send into battle singularly or combined in any combination of up to five in a group. Combining these three unit types in a region forms strategically an Army Group or Front.
Army Command (AC)
In military terms, this unit constitutes a field army and consists of 100,000 – 200,000 soldiers. This unit is weak when attacked by enemy Bomber Commands.
Bomber Command (BC)
Contains several bomber air wings/groups and their support elements. Weak against Fighters and Carrier fleets and very weak against direct attacks from enemy Army Commands
Fighter Command (FC)
Contains several fighter/interceptor air wing/groups and their support. Weak when attacked by enemy Army Commands
Order of Battle
Worth noting is that we invested considerable research and effort to set up a historically plausible order of battles giving both factions their deserved attention and to bring you the best and most authentic experience. It includes researching archive materials for Soviet Guard Armies and Tank Armies to calculate each ones relative size, strength and composition.
The Soviet Union is a powerhouse in conventional ground warfare. Fielding no less than 35 Army Commands deployed or in reserves, Soviet formations are geographically focused and very commanding compared to the 10 globally fielded by the Americans. What the USA lacks in ground forces, they make up in air power. The United States fielding 5 Bomber Commands and 13 Fighter Commands compared to the USSR’s 2 BCs and 5 FCs.
This also comprises calculations our research team made for relative firepower and scope of responsibility, which is how we were able to construct comparable on map units on a grand strategy scale. The power is yours! Discover your strategic Cold War muscles on the battlefield and lead your nation to victory!
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "Give Peace a Chance" Development Diary 11
Posted on 2017-12-05
Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new development diary on Terminal Tuesday!
A big flurry of activity in the conference room. A messenger runs across the room, tripping on the carpet, hurriedly relaying notes to diplomats. Translators weigh each word as tense negotiations unfold with resources, empires and destinies shaped at the table. Humanity has an endless capacity to turn the darkest corner of evil into good. Mute whispers in the background.
In the end, this was not to be the prelude to another World War. Mankind was the wiser and leaders remained on the brink and didn't go to all out war. It might not have resolved the conflict but it had secured the peace, brought change and filled our hearts with hope, at least for now. What better then to attempt to normalize life and unite people previously torn by adversaries?
In Terminal Conflict it falls to you to be in charge. A wise man once said, "one day, you will understand" as you carry the burden and the awesome power of an arsenal at your orders. The idea of deterrent for some individuals rests upon the altar of mutual assured destruction. Will it for you as you invest in researching it's destructive forces in order to keep the balance of power?
There are seven different nuclear technologies to research in the game, each tied to a specific timeline:
The nuclear technology research can be found in STATE AFFAIRS. As historically, the United States starts in 1946-1950 with a slight advantage, having researched nuclear weapons during the Second World War. This can form the basis for possible nuclear gaps where adversaries will have to catch up.
Worth noting, is that the end of the research tree displays the current nuclear production rate. Each of your turns generates nukes depending on that rate. Raised by your technologies, the top menu showcases how close you are to expand your Arsenal with a thin bar next to your Doomsday Clock Arsenal button. The number on the button displays your current arsenal size and the button will light up when your nation is ready to commence Launch Order Authorization starting the Apocalypse.
Though remembering that there is something beyond one's self, you might heroically make the fear of our destruction a faded memory in the chapters of humankind.
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "Masterin the Balance" Development Diary 10
Posted on 2017-11-21
Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new development diary on Terminal Tuesday!
The microphone was mounted at the right height, you briefly noticed as you gazed out over the crowd. The excitement and tension was so high that you could cut the air with a knife. This was the beginning of your young administration. Everyone expecting your support in making the right decisions.
Decisions are a part of life, regardless if you see your options guided by a moral scope or by Realpolitik. Ultimately decisions need to be taken. “Policy is the art of the possible, the science of the relative” Henry Kissinger once famously said. In Terminal Conflict, just like in real life, dismissing a decision also has an impact. At times, it might even challenge your moral convictions.
You maneuver five key domestic spheres:
Running any interest too high or too low will increase the likelihood over time of stake holders taking more drastic actions. One way to almost certainly guarantee change domestically is to combine spending against a groups interests while heavily investing in one that they are opposing. This could be a powerful but daring way for you to shift domestic power if you manage it carefully.
Taking advantage of your opponent’s domestic imbalance is a vital part of securing victory. Applying pressure at the right time can result in things spiraling out of control for your enemy, nationally and internationally. Unstable nuclear superpowers are inherently dangerous but getting your opponent deposed, sent off to retirement or otherwise indisposed, will yield you immediate victory.
Recognize that the key to decision making in life and in politics is about competing interests. The better you master balancing them the more successful you will become.
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "The Turning Point" Development Diary 9
Posted on 2017-11-14
Hello and welcome to a new development diary. This week we are using our turn to write about turn-based grand strategy games.
Plane engines roaring, as the American C-54 Skymaster pushes to land at Tempelhof Airport. Hungry eyes eagerly watching as the plane touches down on the tarmac. The lifeline is once again open in West Berlin. The blockade by the Soviet Union, a response to Western financial interests, culminated into a tit for tat. This pattern would be repeated even at the brink.
To best capture the conflicts of the Cold War, we developed Terminal Conflict as a turn-based grand strategy game. This is not a game about reaction time, but excellence in command and geopolitical strategy. Yes, you heard it from a German! The thrill of out-thinking your opponent as you tweak and hone your skills at spreading your influence across the world.
First Move Advantage
As in every turn-based game, the starting side is the one who decides the route the game will take. By holding the initiative, you will force your opponent to react and thus have a starting lead. This is called the First Move Advantage. If you are behind in Victory Points, or tied as the Soviet Union, the initiative will fall to you. History has shown time and time again to never underestimate someone who has nothing to lose and all to gain. Any honest leader will admit that in a nuclear world, it's not about who is behind today but who will be behind tomorrow. First Move Advantage is no guarantee for victory in Terminal Conflict, or in life.
Turn of Interests
I got carried away, so let me return to the topic by telling you more about the turn-based approach. As a leader, you will experience how domestic interests hold sway over your ability to make decisions each turn. Your Government Interest level, an indicator of how much pressure there is on your leadership, directly increases or decreases the amount of time you have available each turn. Though be careful, as a true strategical mastermind, your task is to never fully fill or empty the interest of any particular domestic group. Doing so will result in negative consequences and tie your hands in delivering extraordinary leadership.
If you like grand strategy, then you will love our turn-based Cold War gameplay, as you immerse yourself in the best strategy game of the era. Terminal Conflict is fun because it's a game of infinite possibility and replayability, as two turns will never be alike. You depend on your wits for survival and victory.
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "How to Focus Effectively" Development Diary 8
Posted on 2017-11-03
Hello and welcome to another development diary with me, Andreas! Today I'm looking into the use of Cold War focuses.
Being born a German just west of the Iron Curtain, I knew at a young age that having relatives on the eastern side meant that in case of war brother had to fight brother. As the sirens wailed across the countryside, I remember how everyone would abandon what they were doing and fearfully listen. The thought on everyone's mind, "Is it just a false alarm or has the unthinkable happened?" On Saturdays, the so called test days, we would feel a strange tranquility of the familiar high pitched howling. It was a constant reminder of the imminent danger of war.
There is an old saying that "it might be better to live and die on your own feet than to live without freedom on your knees". A life under an ideology, that viewed from the other side, seemed to be quite the opposite to your own. This was not only true for us Germans, but also for the Vietnamese, the Yemenites, and Koreans. A few mentioned among fractured proud nations, with each side bound to their factions ideology during more than half a century.
Terminal Conflict offers you that modern time frame to either win by escalating to a hot nuclear war, or by other more peaceful means. Extending from 1946 to 1991, the rich game-play is divided into 10 individual timelines. Except for the last one, each timeline spans five years and you will need to use that time wisely to defeat your opponent.
As your resources are limited, you will need to select one theater of war to focus on for each timeline. Focuses simulate historically plausible world conditions for an Arms Race or for Disarmament insuring that every single game of Terminal Conflict is unique and no single tactic will assure victory.
Arms Race Focus
Arms Races provide you with an opportunity to expand your influence through military means and dominate the Cold War arena with your might. However, this means that tensions will escalate and the chances for open conflict will increase.
Unique to Arms Race is the Maneuvers feature, that enables you to call in deployed units from adjacent Theaters. Miscalculate, and you might face overwhelming odds with enemy forces maneuvering across the border.
Disarmament on the other hand gives factions the ability to de-escalate tensions, end wars and reduce the chance of open conflict on the world stage. Use it to reset dangerous situation and force your opponent to potential concessions. At the start of a Disarmament Focus, all military units of the current theater are mutually sent back to their bases, each lowering the Doomsday Clock. Units that are not reactivated by the end of this focus will be placed in Reserves and require redeployment. Exclusively playing the role of a peacemaker, if the Focus was only chosen by you or your opponent, it will also grant bonus Influence that can be placed freely within the Theater.
Historically Disarmament was favored above Arms race but still the world teetered at points on the brink of incineration. Sirens howling, leaders in command ultimately prevented the Apocalypse. Humanity had chosen cooperation instead of conflict and now that decision is in your hands.
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "Ingenious Move" Development Diary 7
Posted on 2017-10-27
The smell of diesel and burning rubber breaks the morning air as the deafening silence is broken by tanks rolling four abreast. The first shot kissing the pavement, whistling as fire sprays across the square. It has begun. Maps becoming reality with the stroke of a pen, shaping the world in their own image. The "Iron Curtain" descends across the continent. Each side increasing not only influence but in some cases expanding measures of control. In a changing world it is said that "No plan survives contact with the enemy".
Like the great leaders of the Cold War, immerse yourself with access to your very own command terminal. Units move into position as ordered, politics and allegiances change as you see your plans come to life. Anticipate your opponent's intentions, work to counter their next move. What will be your focus?
Will you disarm to demonstrate the superiority of your ideals or arm to defend the righteousness of your ideology? Keep in mind that your opponent will choose a focus as well, which can put you on the defensive. Terminal Conflict‘s map gives you a good flow of information and keeps you informed about global events and decisions open for your consideration. Discover enemy troop movements or witness the dominoes falling as Influence shifts in a Theater. Take full advantage of your opportunities when they arise and push the enemy as far as you dare.
There are ten Theaters in Terminal Conflict along with a special Theater, the Arctic. All roughly the size of a continent, these strategic areas of the world are subdivided into Regions. Land Regions and Sea Regions are the smallest map entities in the game.
All Land Regions show the dominant Influence of an Ideology on a scale from zero to five. When you gain at least three, you will establish control and the region's color will shift to yours. Here is a more detailed look at regional influence:
Shape the world in your own image and write your very own story with your Cold War plans. Can your strategy remain hidden until the end of the game? We hope you will not forget to include next week's Development Diary into your plans!
Thank you and best regards!
Terminal Conflict - "The Mind Game" Development Diary 6
Posted on 2017-10-20
Hello everyone and welcome to this development diary. Today, we are turning up the heat!
Shadows of people cast into concrete, entire cities turned to dust and ashes. Cold War is always preferable to a Hot War. To this day, the conflict that decides whether we live or die continues to be fought across the world. A simple push of a button can bring about the end of life as we know it, leaving behind an empty husk ravaged by nuclear winter floating endlessly through space. Now imagine: a peaceful world without weapons or violence. The effort of billions going towards peace, love and happiness. A world where we judge ideas and concepts by their merit instead of their ability to be enforced by violence.
The Doomsday Clock
Just like in real life, things can take unexpected turns in Terminal Conflict. Keeping your own arsenal to deter the enemy and using other means is sometimes necessary for survival.
To represent the escalating and de-escalating tensions during the Cold War period, we have placed the Doomsday Clock into the core of the game. Critical decisions, military actions or failed intelligence operations have an impact on the Doomsday Clock. Through the actions of both you and your opponent, once it reaches the 10th and final step, both sides may unleash their nuclear arsenal. You can use peaceful means to achieve victory, to stop a nuclear war and win through conventional means. Cooperate with your adversary and lower the Doomsday Clock through disarmament but can you really trust what you see in your quest to make the world a better place?
The Nuclear Mind Game
Your opponent is not moving units around or taking aggressive actions. How do you know that their secret nuclear program is not ramping up to build a devastating arsenal that will be used to deliver a final blow to win the game? Remember to never let the Doomsday Clock slip out of your view: sanity is not a common trait shared by all leaders. There are those who would push the button just to watch the world burn and a good leader must be prepared for any scenario.
When things change quickly, you must adapt. If the doomsday clock is ticking close to midnight, do not lose all hope. A trigger happy opponent is a predictable opponent. Taking advantage of narrow-minded tunnel vision means that you can achieve victory through other means while they obsess over their nuclear arsenal. Just make sure to remember that that the stakes are high and pushing too hard can mean the difference between total destruction and endless reward.
Most importantly, keep in mind that the game goes on as you learn valuable lessons from your victories and defeats and utilize them to master the mind game.
At the end of the day, the biggest victory is survival and surviving means another Terminal Conflict development diary. Join us next week and make sure to stop by our Twitter , Facebook or drop us a message on Reddit.
Terminal Conflict - "Music and Audio" Development Diary 5
Posted on 2017-06-30
Ever imagined how your Cold War terminal would sound? Imagine no longer. Another splendid Development Diary coming straight into your inbox! Enjoy our latest alpha footage, and hear our maestro James Spence talk about his creations in Terminal Conflict.
Did you enjoy what you saw? Share with any friend, spouse or relative and you shall have our sincere and heart felt thanks. Want to get in touch with James for a chit chat? Make sure to stop by our Twitter , Facebook pages or drop us a message on Reddit.
Thank you and our best wishes!
Terminal Conflict - "Space Race" Development Diary 4
Posted on 2017-06-17
Space! The new frontier. Another splendid Cold War delivery straight to you! Enjoy our alpha Development Diary, the fourth in the series and discover the workings of the Space Race in Terminal Conflict.
Care to grasp victory by establishing your own SDI? Communication is always a key to any successful space exploration. Share with any friend, spouse or relative and you shall have our sincere gratitude. Care for a chit chat? Make sure to stop by our Twitter , Facebook pages or drop us a message on Reddit.
Terminal Conflict - "Political Power" Development Diary 3
Posted on 2017-05-25
Ahhh! What a glorious day! Can you feel that? A Cold War delivery straight to you! Enjoy our alpha Development Diary and discover the workings of political power, both foreign and domestic in Terminal Conflict.
Do you know of any power hungry demagogue that would enjoy almost unlimited authority? Share with any friend, spouse or relative and you shall have our sincere gratitude. In the mood for a chat? Make sure to stop by our Twitter , Facebook pages or drop us a message on Reddit.
Thank you and take care!
Terminal Conflict - "Leadership" Development Diary 2
Posted on 2017-05-03
Dreaming of one day outdoing even the famed Secretary General Brezhnev? Enjoy our alpha Development Diary where lead game designer and company founder Gellert Keresztes explains about your leadership role in Terminal Conflict.
Out of Soviet friends? No, matter! Share with any friend and you shall have our sincere gratitude. In the mood for a chit chat? Make sure to stop by our Twitter or , Facebook pages or drop us a message on Reddit.
Thank you and best regards
Terminal Conflict - "Overview" Development Diary 1
Posted on 2017-04-18
Sharpen your pencils and read up on communism because the USSR is back and makes a grand entrance. Enjoy our first alpha Development Diary where lead game designer and company founder Gellert Keresztes explains the Overview in Terminal Conflict.
The Cold War is officially back and brandishing Kalashnikovs.
HQ|Red Dash Alpha. Countdown commencing
Posted on 2017-03-28
We bring back the Cold War
Posted on 2016-09-01
Greetings! I'm thrilled to announce that the Terminal Conflict team is bringing the Cold War back!
Fascinated by the historical human narrative of living under the nuclear umbrella, we aim to recapture the excitement, the depth and the nostalgia of the Cold War. With Terminal Conflict, our aspiration is to put power into your hands and together we can bring back the struggle of minds in classic strategy games. Geopolitics as it was meant to be played…so join the frenzy and help us tell the world!