Legacy of Debate Philippe Boulle Talks About Dawn of Debate

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I’ve been following the development of Dawn of debate III with a mixture of interest and, well, a little worry. The Dawn of debate series is one of my all-time favorite RTS franchises, and as excited as I was to get back into a Dawn of debate game, the youngest competitor felt like a pretty drastic change from Relic’s first two forays into the Warhammer universe. As a fan of Dawn of debate I and II, I was honestly a little worried that such a deviation could delete what I liked in the original games.

So, when I had the opportunity to talk about Dawn of debate III with the game director Philippe Boulle, I entered the conversation with a rather specific Mission: to get him to place this last Dawn of debate in its historical context. During the development of DAWN OF debate3, decisions were clearly made that led to a departure from the previous titles. But for me, there were elements that seemed just as clearly drawn from the lessons of past RTS Relic titles.

Phil was a kind guide as I jumped from topic to topic, asking about the basic systems of Dawn of debate I in a Minute, then abruptly asking about the hero mechanics of Dawn of debate II. He was very lively when we were talking, able to speak articulately and thoroughly about every design question I asked, and often covered topics before addressing them. Since he has been my guide through the history of the Franchise (and Relic’s Vision for its future), let me be yours.

“No one Cuts wood in Warhammer” – Franchise Foundations

My first question took us back beyond Mr. Boulle’s mandate at Relic, to the original dawn of the debate. I was wondering what elements of their first games were still taken into account today. “We inherited information about Dawn of debate,” he told me, and elements of its design have remained a staple in all Relic games. “We didn’t want peons or workers. It had no place in this universe”.

One of the first goals of Relic was to encourage players to play on the map. “Its economy was based on the control of cards, intended to represent tactical points of interest as in the table game.”Of course, it was quite obvious and fundamental, and it laid the foundation for my entire line of investigation. “Everything is gamified,” Boulle said, “obviously, no one is walking around and planting flags all over the map. But in Company of Heroes and Dawn of debate, we wanted to make it clear what you are action for.”

I then asked about the basic management in the original Dawn of debate: What surprised Relic about it when the players got their hands on it? What did they hope to see that never happened or what unexpected behavior occurred Once the players were able to explore the game’s systems? “It was a lot more static than we had hoped,” Boulle said. “The possibility was there, but it was simply too effective to capture and fix the points near your base. Other points on the map seemed too optional.”He added that in the extensions, they were experimenting with adding features to the listening stations to encourage more to be captured.

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