About The Founder
R.T.Smith (aka Bob) has been creating strategy and war games for more than 20 years. Most recently he was the project director and lead designer for Medieval 2 Total War, having previously served as designer and programmer on the previous Total War Games.
He also created a number of acclaimed strategy and wargames for publishers such as Lothlorien, CCS, Linel and Interstel.
- Medieval 2: Total War
- Rome: Total War
- Medieval: Total War
- Shogun: Total War
- Armada 2525
- Encyclopedia of War:Ancient Battles
- Desert Rats
He has also worked on the development of console games, and been involved with the design of a 3D graphics chip.
My Vision For Ntronium
By Founder Bob Smith
I started off my career in the 1980s as an independent developer writing strategy and wargames for people who really appreciated them. I then did various programming jobs, before getting involved with the Total War series, culminating in Medieval 2:Total War*. I'm proud of the work I did on these, especially bringing some hardcore wargaming concepts to the mass market. However; my new venture Ntronium Games is a return to my roots.
Its mission is to develop deep involving strategy/wargames for that discerning group of gamers who love them as much as I do. While everyone likes their work to be popular, Ntronium is definitely founded on the principle that it is better that some people love something, than that everyone merely likes it We'll be targeting the discerning minority of hardcore strategy fans , rather than the mass market.
The primary means of distribution, will be direct sales via the internet. This model ensures that more revenue comes to the developer, allowing us to produce quality products without requiring the huge sales needed for a viable retail product. With no need to appeal to the mass market, all development resources can be focused on the things that our discerning customers really care about.
One of the key focuses at Ntronium is to nurture a dedicated fan base; to encourage people to participate in our forums; tell us what they and want, and suggest their ideas. While of course, we can’t implement everyone’s suggestions, we do believe that good ideas can come from anywhere.
Once the game is released, we want to get feedback from players so that we can continue to refine it.
The real joy of strategy gaming, is you choose your own way of doing things, control your own destiny, and that every game is different. Which means that, however thoroughly we test, we can never test every possibility. Once thousands of people get their hands on the game, it’s inevitable that some imbalances will be found, the AI may sometimes act dumb, devious players will find exploits, and there may even be some bugs.
Even triple A titles with 100 man test teams suffer these problems, it’s pretty much inevitable with highly complex titles. So rather than pretend it ain’t so, we'll plan to carry on developing the title after launch, issuing patches to fix issues, polish the gameplay, ,add new features and generally try to make it as near perfect as it can reasonably be.
Not that we plan to launch buggy games though. One advantage of internet distribution is that, unlike retail products, we don’t have to decide a launch date months in advance. If a game’s not ready for release, we simply won’t release it.
Everyone has their own ideas about what are the design elements in a great game. Here are some of my key concepts that I hope will become hallmarks of Ntronium games.
- True strategy games. Players set their own strategy; creating their own story, rather than following along with one the designer wrote.
- Mechanisms will be elegant and simple, but (to quote Einstein) no simpler than they need to be. The games will be detailed in key areas, but not require too much micro-management.
- Historically themed games will feature lots of accurate history, and mechanisms that try to model reality. Sci-Fi and fantasy games will try to be plausible.
- Strong emphasis on multiplayer and on-line play. Mechanisms designed to work well for multi-player.
- Strong AI
- Epic games, but still playable in a reasonable amount of time. Good replay value.
- Strong help and advisor features to help players get to grips with game. No point having features if no-one knows about them, most people would rather play than read a manual.
- Attractive presentation, but graphics will never take precedence of gameplay.
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