News
Strategy Mill Logo
Facebook
Twitter

Where the Story Begins with Alfred 'Zeress' Frendo-Cumbo

Posted on 2019-05-02


Greetings,


About two years ago, I was invited to a meeting on Cold War storytelling. The team was trying to figure out how to make a plethora of 'rock, paper, scissors' type of match ups between the USA and USSR. While functionally it worked, I expressed that it didn't feel right, distracting the gamer from all the other theaters of play. Based on the discussions and this feedback we began a redesign that would ultimately change the direction and allowed for the successful mix that makes Terminal Conflict shine for players decision making. My name is Alfred 'Zeress' Frendo-Cumbo and I am a Software Developer for 'Terminal Conflict'.


Award winning modding

I myself went to college for something completely unrelated to game development, namely Chemical Laboratory Technician. While I was in college I meet 'The Donald' where he introduced me to Paradox games. From there I got my introduction into modding with Crusader Kings II. I continued to tweak and adjust things from this basis, getting more ambitious and experienced. Eventually this would lead me to work with Martin ‘Wiz’ Anward on his large overhaul mod, CK2+.


When Wiz left to join Paradox proper, he left our team to continue his legacy of improving the narrative and gameplay aspects that we found lacking in CK2. Aspects like modelling the transition of a more unified Christendom to Orthodoxy and Catholicism, expanding trade routes and more. Eventually I would pick up the leadership of the project and we were recognized by Paradox with “The Royal Award for Outstanding Modding Achievement in CK2” due to our contributions to the community. Paradox then invited me to volunteer on their more internal testing. While I cannot go into detail of the specifics of that, it was a great learning experience and allowed me to network with other like-minded people in the community.


Quality Assurance

I've come a long way from being a modder with Paradox alone and from all that I eventually retired from modding in early 2018 but not before having met Gellert Keresztes. I had worked with him prior on East vs. West as a volunteer but this was my opportunity to do much more than just that. I started out as a QA Analyst, doing things like code testing as well as offering insights into how the game feels. From there I would eventually get folded into the team proper as a Software Developer.


Something some people likely don't know is what exactly is QA? Well it stands for Quality Assurance and a lot of it has to do with making sure things not only work well, but also feel right. For example, in early developments of the Chinese Civil War decision, chains were set out to be much different. They would have the right flavor and the right bonuses but would not feel fluent enough or would not tie up loose ends well enough. This is where QA has an essential role to play.


Bringing back the Cold War

Now-a-days I do a healthy mix of both Soft coding, design as well as QA. In a lot of ways this is similar to my work on CK2+. For example, I designed and implemented the key decisions that involve the Plan of Partition in the Middle East. Those that involve the steps to the potential recognition of Israeli statehood, as well as the role the USSR and USA play in that. This started with identifying a grand meaning of what the Plan of Partition itself is about, from a historical point of reference. By gaining a deeper understanding, we can design elements that give the player meaningful choices. For example, as the USA you may choose to not support Israel but certain movements at home will not appreciate this. This may even cause problems for the USA, if not handled properly. Managing the interests of various opposing interest groups not only makes it plausible but a core part of the game.

It has been an interesting and rewarding experience the last few years. I look forward to continuing to provide earnest work to the game so that others may enjoy it to its full potential. Feel free to write me any questions or thoughts and I look forward to seeing you in our War Room Discord or on the Steam Forums!


To get more from Alfred and the team, sign up for updates, join our Steam Group or talk with us on Twitter, Facebook, or on Reddit.

Tuning in with the brilliant Simon Donovan

Posted on 2019-03-08

Hi there Terminal Conflict fans! My name is Simon J Donovan and I am one of two Music Composer's working with Strategy Mill. I joined the team to give life, musically, to some of the world leaders in the game.


Make it your own

Thomas Edison has said that "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". I think this quote very much applies to music composing. I have started tons of pieces that I couldn't finish, but looking back at them I found that I was trying new ideas/orchestrations/devices that I hadn't tried yet. This is a really important and often very frustrating part of the whole process during your formative years, but stick with it. You're assimilating everything you have listened to, everything you have been influenced by and trying to make it your own.


My passion for music

I was born in Dublin, Ireland and currently reside in the Bay Area, California. My passion for music started when my Dad introduced me to the guitar at a young age and all the great movie & TV themes of the 80's, from Star Wars to Star Trek, from The A-Team to Knight Rider. Further musical exploration ensued when I started to listen to the great Classical Music composers. It revealed to me the power of the orchestra and it's living & breathing ability to express so many different emotions. Some of my favourites, were Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Vaughan Williams & Aaron Copland. A few years later my exploration of the guitar continued when I started playing in friends' bands, steeping myself in Rock, Progressive Rock & Metal. I had the music of Guns n' Roses, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Metallica, Steve Vai & Joe Satriani on full blast!


I also have a background in Computer Science and I am fascinated by the interactive side of music in games and the different implementation techniques.There is a definite resemblance between the logical and iterative processes needed to code and to create an audio experience.


Work on Terminal Conflict

Being a part of the team at Strategy Mill has been a tremendous experience. It has given me some great insight into the extraordinarily talented individuals & dedication that goes into creating a video game and the exhaustive array of skills that are needed to make it all happen. This opportunity has not only given me the chance to recreate parts of some of the great national anthems that have been written throughout history, but also explore some world music, from the percussive drums & tribal chanting of Africa to the soulful red hot Latin beats of South America.

Let me give you some examples directly from the game:  


    • Tito - This was a fun challenge in transcribing from ear. I personally couldn't find any written score of the Yugoslavian anthem, but I did find a US Brass Band version of it on YouTube. I first got a general idea of what time signature it was in and then started transcribing the instruments (working from outer voice to inner) as best I could. I think it turned out great. It's a really strong, proud piece of music.


    Listen to Tito's Soundtrack

      • Peron - This piece was influenced by The Peronist March, "Hail Peron", but the goal was to go with a flamenco, gypsy style for this leader. So I went primarily with guitar to provide the Spanish flamenco flair for the harmony & melody and a bit of Palmas (flamenco hand clapping) to provide some rhythm.


      Listen to Peron's Soundtrack

        • Che Guevara - This turned out to be my favourite track. I had never had a chance to write some Cuban Latin music. I went for a cha-cha-cha vibe with the percussion first and then proceeded to improvise over the percussion loop filling in the harmony first with the guitar and then a little melodic flair over that with the trumpets.


        Listen to Che's Soundtrack


        I look forward to hear what you, think of the audio of Terminal Conflict!

        Rock, Paper, Shotgun features Terminal conflict in wargames alphabet

        Posted on 2019-03-08

        Revolutions, rebellions & rocketry! Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s wargames alphabet has Terminal Conflict filed naturally under R as in ‘Red Under the Bed’. Rush, read, revel!  

        Terminal Conflict teams up with MacGameStore and WinGameStore

        Posted on 2019-02-21

        Strategy Mill is proud to announce that we are teaming up with MacGameStore and WinGameStore and as of today you can find Terminal Conflict on their shelves at WinGameStore and MacGameStore.


        Get with the game! Earn Points, Receive Rewards, Enjoy!



        Davide Pessach joins the PR Team

        Posted on 2019-01-21

        Greetings strategy fans! My name is Davide Pessach and I am the PR Marketing Manager for Strategy Mill.

        I am delighted to be part of this team; this is not the usual ‘run of the mill’ (no pun intended) complimentary introduction. I have been working as a freelance Marketing Specialist for some years now and one of the incredible perks of the job is the fact that the videogames industry is now so varied that you can cherry-pick your collaborations, following your instinct and your passions.


        Having worked with the talented teams of Heroes of Normandie and Burden of Command, I fell in love with Terminal Conflict right from the get-go.


        Being a history buff and a passionate strategy player (and a son of the 80’s of course), Terminal Conflict speaks to me on so many levels; plus the passion of the team is so clear...who could resist?

        Marketing, offline and online, has been my trade for 17 years now, coupled with a side activity as a journalist (in videogames of course, check me out at Eurogamer.it) and a deep infatuation for the academic world.

        I honestly think we are in the golden age of marketing. There are so many new tools, and the potential to reach and create a relation with each and every player increases every day. Every small indie team can harness this power, especially when the product is first and foremost, a deep and interesting experience and, only then, a game on the market.

        Hence my role is more that of a facilitator; making sure that the incredible hard work and the community-focused values are clearly communicated to the outside world.


        As video game creators, we are lucky. We are proud to have strategy fans pitching in with their support and we are honored to call them friends. Players are like us, they have ideas, experience and passion for good games; the industry has to start to work with them rather than for them. It is a crucial paradigm change rich with opportunities and interesting challenges.


        After all we all want the same thing: play and make good games.

        I honestly can’t wait.


        To get more from Davide and the team, sign up for updates, join our Steam Group or talk with us on Twitter, Facebook, or on Reddit.

        Terminal Conflict is now available in Steam Early Access

        Posted on 2018-11-20

        *Red Dash Alpha Verification*


        **Launch code received**


        **Entering launch code***


        **T- 10 seconds.**


        **Insert launch key**


        **Rotate launch key to SET**


        **10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...**


        **Rotate key for Early Access LAUNCH**


        Seize your chance, as Terminal Conflict enters Early Access on Windows, Mac and Linux! Terminal Conflict is now available on Steam Early Access.


        Command history in this most definitive Cold War strategy game. Gain access to your retro terminal and assert dominance through strategic arms races and disarmaments. Balance the world on the brink of mutual assured destruction to ensure total victory!


        Main Features:

        • Command the most authentic Cold War strategy simulator

        • Turn-based single-player strategy and head-to-head multiplayer

        • MIRVIN, your retro computer, purpose built, AI guide, brilliantly voice acted by James Spence.

        • Nuclear warfare systems and authentic Doomsday Clock tension mechanism, the countdown to midnight has started

        • All aspect strategic warfare - economic, intelligence, diplomacy and military combat.

        • Era immersive, historically plausible events and decisions covering the period between 1946-1991

        • Recruit 30+ unique historical leaders like Mao Zedong, Margaret Thatcher, or Ernesto ''Che'' Guevara brandishing their own special abilities.

        • The Space Race is on! Will you claim technological superiority?

        • Create and tell your own history through modding and customization with a powerful integrated in game editor 


        Game Editions

        We ask for patience as we roll out three distinct Editions*:

        1. Terminal Conflict: Commander in Chief Edition (29:99 USD) (complete game, all game modes, built in editor)


        2. Terminal Conflict: Supreme Commander Edition (34:99 USD) (includes  Commander in Chief edition, Supreme Commander Terminal (cosmetic), special achievement, 4 new unique policies  (2 for each faction for your home theater)  and 5 New decisions)


        3. Terminal Conflict: Flower Power Edition (39:99 USD) (includes Supreme Commander Edition DLC, Flower Power Terminal (cosmetic), special achievement, 6 additional unique policies (3 for each faction for use outside your home theater), 5 new 10 new decisions)


        *Extra content does not provide you an advantage in Multiplayer. When connecting to a player with a higher tier DLC the game for both players will always play the highest DLCs available.


         

         

        Bringing Strategy to macOS and SteamOS + Linux

        Posted on 2018-11-20

        Loving strategy games and a Mac or Linux fan? Come join our BETA team as we are expanding with 4 new BETA positions and enlarging our international team to meet up with demand. In preparation for our December the 4th Early Access and beyond towards full release in 2019,  we're looking for committed platform specific testers.    We strongly believe that player focused game development results in great games and this is where you come in.

         


        QA Analyst (Tester)

        Are you very analytic when it comes to computer games, with a sharp eye for details? Do you have a talent and willingness for problem solving and a passion for identifying and evaluating both functionality and form? Instead of just playing a game, do you readily dive in to find innovative ways to exploit or break its features? And are you enthusiastic and eager to listen and learn about the game industry? Then we want to hear from you!


        As a QA Analyst you will work with a small but growing international team where everybody is equally nerdy but also as dedicated to games as you are.


        You are:

        •     Team minded: eager to listen and learn in order to process new information and constantly improve and evolve
        •     Relentless and persistent: you take on challenges with enthusiasm and never give up mastering your environment, why and how are your second nature
        •     Communicative: you are the first line of defense for the team always open to feedback and collaboration
        •     A gamer: the vast majority of your time you spend playing games
        • A macOS or SteamOS +Linux user


        You will:

        •     Test and evaluate potential game issues
        •     Identify, report and track bugs in our project management system
        •     Give constructive feedback on bugs, design, fun-factor and other game related perspectives
        •     Learn about the gaming industry and what it takes to develop video games
        •     Play a lot of games


          Sign up for updates at terminalconflict.com and send your BETA application to info@strategy-mill.com We'll always notice a fun, well written application anytime.


        Mighty Cheers

         

        Terminal Conflict featured by Stately Play

        Posted on 2018-11-19

        The sharpest keyboard on the web! Tremendous excitement as Terminal Conflict is featured by the eminent Stately Play.


        "If there’s one thing missing from today’s high-tech landscape of centrifuge-killing viruses, hacking, long-game defense projects designed surreptitiously in conjunction with Silicon Valley, it’s the warm glow of a NORAD CRT. Fear not, for Terminal Conflict is here to return you to the good old days of mutually-assured destruction." - Stately Play    Read more here!

        Facebook
        twitter


        Contact Us / E-mail: info@strategy-mill.com



        ©2019 Strategy Mill AB All rights reserved