We were lucky enough to (virtually) sit down with developers Brett Gow and James Redner, who are currently working on Toy Soldiers HD during this E3 season. By talking to them, we managed to learn quite a few interesting details about the upcoming game. Be sure to check out our previous E3 Impressions.
A Kid’s Toybox
From the gameplay we were shown of the single-player campaign and some of the details given to us by the developers, Toy Soldiers HD aims to maintain the sense of wonderment we all had as a kid, playing with different toys and action figures scattered around our floors.
To help emphasise this aspect, the developers improved the game’s eagle-eye feature, which gives you an overview of the miniature battlefield, making you feel like a kid sitting on the ground, playing with various toys.
This aspect is further heightened by quickly switching from unit to unit and taking control of them. We saw the player jump between turrets, tanks and even pilotable planes, all controlled in real-time. This further sold us on the “playing with toys as a kid” aspect, where you jump from toy to toy, playing out epic battles.
Asides from nostalgia, this feature helps make Toy Soldiers a more engaging experience than most RTS games, affording players a more hands-on experience. By letting you take control of various units in real-time, it throws in an element of skill and ownership.
Fun To Play But Engaging Enough To Master
Even though Toy Soldiers is rated for age ten and up, the developer was eager to point out that this doesn’t mean it’s only for kids. The devs gave special consideration to ensure it’s just as fun for various age groups, mainly as fans of the original game would now have grown up.
To ensure that, they focused on hitting the nostalgic beats that old fans would appreciate and adding enough to the game to make it worth coming back to.
The developers looked closely at the original to highlight the aesthetics that fans appreciated, such as looks and animations, to maintain its essence. However, they did not shy away from improving and adding to the game.
Gold But Not Old
The game is more than just a simple HD remaster, as the controls have been revamped and improved, making actions such as class-switching and commandeering not only fun but more comfortable on modern devices.
The game will be launching with brand new levels, challenges and an online mode with its own improvements and additions. A survival mode was also discussed, adding even more variety to the game and ensuring that the original’s best features are highlighted in new and interesting ways.
The game’s performance and visuals are also boosted by the modern hardware, allowing the developers to push for more detail, items and an increased number of units in-game. Overall, it makes the experience a lot more fun and hectic, and at times it felt like I was watching a toy version of the Battlefield games.
Nintendo Switch seems like an especially fitting platform for Toy Soldiers, as they often like to think of games as premium toys for kids, which fits the theme of this game. Not to mention, by supporting both docked and undocked gameplay, gamers will be able to take the experience on the go!
Bring Your Best Smack Talk Game To MP
Whilst we weren’t shown the multiplayer just yet, the developers excitedly talked about how much this mode is enjoyed in the office and how it makes them step up their smack talking. According to them, the game can get hectic in 1v1 scenarios, and the time-honoured tradition of online smack-talk helps make it more fun with friends.
Unlike most HD remasters launched on Steam and other platforms these days, the game will feature full online support, allowing players to play with anyone around the world. Like the single-player portion of the game, each player will have complete control over their units and what troops are sent out, letting them play out different strategies.
Hopefully, this will open up players to an ever-evolving game of war, where they will continuously face players of different skill levels and experience, encouraging them to keep their strategies and playstyle up to date.
Essentially, the MP can both become a fun way to wind down at the end of the day with your friends, or it can be an intense game of chess where you and your opponent try and find ways to outsmart each other.
Advice For Developers
Since this is a website run by developers and gamers, we asked what their advice would be for those inspired by games like Toy-Soldiers.
- There can be ups and downs in game development, so stick with it and be passionate about it
- Sometimes designs that work on paper don’t work well in-game, and it’s crucial to understand that
- Layout transparent pillars and direction for your game so you can scrutinise every addition to it and see if it fits within the theme of your game
- Upfront planning will always be helpful as the developers themselves managed to solve obstacles related to developing on a brand new console such as the Switch by researching beforehand
- Play games that inspire you!
- Look at where the industry is and where it is going; stay informed!
Overall, Toy Soldiers HD looks like a lot of fun both in SP and MP. The developers took great care in improving the base game and keeping its nostalgic magic.
We are incredibly excited to get our hands on the MP mode, which sounds like it could be a memorable experience with the right people. We will definitely be practising our smack-talk in the meantime.
Toy Soldiers HD will be available on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in August this year. It is being made by Signal Studios and published by Accelerate Games.