E3 Q&A with Shogun 2: Total War developer

GamePro grills The Creative Assembly front-man, Kieran Brigden, on the upcoming addition to the famed Total War series.

Shogun 2: Total War. For PC only. Due out in 2011.

Shogun 2: Total War. For PC only. Due out in 2011.

GamePro: When was the point when you guys just said “That's it. We are doing Shogun again”?

We have two huge milestones. Rome was one where we went 3D and the campaign map was made different. Empire was the next massive milestone because it changed the whole graphics and AI systems. When we go those two big things out of the way and we did the standalone expansion which was Napoleon, then it was a case of “we have all this tech, we polished all this tech, they work, it's all great” and there is always that bit of you as a developer that goes “Oh man, I wish we could do that first game with all the stuff we have now.”

Like if you re-filmed Jaws with proper 3D. {Er, they did that in the 80s. It was terrible. -- Ed.] It's the same thing.

GamePro: What were some things you wanted to include in Shogun 2 that you couldn't fit in?

There are always technical constraints and things you just cannot get in.

The game looks awesome now; visually, it looks really impressive but there's other stuff in there that we wanted to do more with. Unit numbers is a good example: you can always push those up. The minute we get algorithms that can handle even more guys in more detail on the battlefield – we are talking historical battles with hundreds of thousands of troops.

We have gotten almost halfway there and that's the maximum, but it is still huge.

There is always stuff as a designer, as a gameplay engineer, that when you get out the end you just go “Oh man, wish we could have done this and that”. But the good thing with Shogun 2 – and not to kiss ass or anything – is Sega have actually given us the leeway to do the stuff we wanted to do rather than just go “make this game again, but prettier”.

In that sense, it's been good fun.

GamePro: Besides bumping up troop numbers even further, was there anything else you had to leave out of the game?

At the moment we can't combine naval and land battles completely. i.e. the idea of controlling ships and men at the same time. It would be awesome to be able to do that. That is the next big step to take: to have an engine and UI capable of handling shops and guys at the same time completely.


GamePro: How far off are you guys from being able to do that?

Not far. In terms of research and development, we are a lot further than we thought we would be.

GamePro: The frame rate on this demo is fairly average at the moment. Realistically, how power does a PC have to be to run this game?

The frame rate at the moment is okay; not bad.

Keep in mind this is a pre pre-Alpha version of the game. There has been no polishing and no performance analysis what so ever.

The game will support Direct X 9, 10 and 11 so if you have an old Direct X 9 card, it will support that. Most PCs are dual core at least and the game is properly threaded so however many cores you've got, whether it is a dual core or all the way up to an Intel Core i7, it will take advantage pf whatever you've got.

So the answer is, as with all PC games, the better your system the better the performance and we provide a lot of visual options and a lot of coking tweaks to find whatever combination of hardware you've got to get a good gaming experience.

We are too early to talk about minimum and maximum system specs at the moment buit this is not going to be like a Crysis game. This is not going to be a sort of thing where it's “Oh yeah, good luck. The game costs X amount of dollars and you're going to need two grand for a new computer to play it”.

This game is 10 years old. We have players that have been with us for 10 years that cannot afford to buy a new computer and we're not going to screw them over.

In that sense, we need to make sure we have gameplay and graphics options for everybody. The game works damn good on pretty much any current hardware upwards or even a couple of generations back.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags segaShogun: Total WarThe Creative AssemblyShogun 2: Total War

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Spandas Lui

GamePro Australia
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?