In the real world, in France or the Polish plains, it’s an empty field. Even before battle began, the experience of life in the lines could be overwhelming. We worked on this in early access on Steam. We took a slice where the Russians actually made a breach into the defensive line. August bis zum 30. GamesBeat: Which front was more appealing to you as far as making a game? Why Tannenberg specifically? I remember being very interested in trying to re-create these Polish villages for one of the maps: the typical architecture, that certain atmosphere, trying to re-create that atmosphere. The challenge we have continuously, through the whole series, is to balance gameplay with the realistic nature of the battlefields, where there’s little to no cover. There’s a difference between the physical distance, the measured distance, and the actual time it takes players to get from point A to point B. Jos Hoebe: With Tannenberg, just like Verdun, we wanted to try to encompass the entire Eastern Front. Hoebe: Yeah, this is something we have in-house now, all the knowledge. They held the line in the northeast part of the country, in Moldova. He was impressed with how we did it. It starts with the battle of the Tannenberg Line where German and their Allied forces try to hold back the advancing Soviet Red Army. The entire engine base is converted now. The architects imagined the memorial to be a new volkish"community of the dead" and incorporated the burial of 20 unknown German soldiers from the Eastern Front into the project concept. Africa, the African theater. It goes a bit beyond just the operation or the strategic victory that took place there. Stębark (Tannenberg in German) and 3. Germans plan was to take all of their soldiers to attack the Russian second army. The First Army consisted of 86 battalions of infantry and 120 cavalry squadrons. Italy, with the Alps, also interesting. With Verdun, we had the static back-and-forth. Hoebe: All of our maps are based on actual geo data. The Germans were well aware that the two Russian generals did not like each other. Hoebe: Well, they both have their attractions. The Russians had to use unencrypted radio transmissions to communicate. Then in August 30, Samsonov faced his reality that his army had collapsed due to a smaller army force and using the same battle tactics. A lot of times we have trench maps as well. In Soviet Russia, the battle was studied … We discussed the history of the Eastern Front, the roles smaller countries like Bulgaria and Romania played amid the greater empires of Germany and Russia, and how to adapt the tactics and weapons of such warfare for a video game. Experience the massive battles of the Eastern Front with 40-player matches. The German Army that was led by Paul Van Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, who declared war against the Russians 2nd army, that was led by General Aleksandra Samssonov. They had a piece of the line there. Hoebe: We did try to create unique perks for each faction. We can do it now. Tannenberg developers Blackmill Games and M2H wanted to capture the feeling of the Eastern Front. The levels try to accommodate that format alongside the geo data and the historical elements of the location. The Battle Of Tannenberg Introduction: The Battle of Tannenberg was one of the most crucial battles in the beginning of World War I. Hitler built a giant monument there. We brought it completely in house. Battle of Tannenberg: Introduction The battle and Battle Tactics Trench Warfare and Weapons Soldier Accounts TimeLine Conclusion and Gallary Resource page Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Overview . Tannenberg shows us what World War I was like on the Eastern Front. It’s interesting how the artists deal — we expanded the game gradually. This led him to go into the forest and kill himself. You go to the Carpathian mountains, the Polish plains, all the way to the Black Sea, where it’s a very dry area in Bulgaria, a grassland. GamesBeat: I can understand going to the Eastern Front after Verdun, but why Tannenberg? Łodwigowo (Ludwigsdorfin German) in what was then territory of the Order, and is now part of Poland. Tannenberg - Tannenberg brings the massive battles of the Eastern Front in WW1 to life with 64 players fighting for control of key sectors of the battlefield, each one offering a distinct strategic advantage. Steam is much more forgiving in that regard. It's about the battle of Tannenberg during WWI. This is an edited transcript of our interview. GamesBeat: The way you approached development of the tactics and the battlefields is different in Tannenberg. Tannenberg brings the massive battles of the Eastern Front in WW1 to life with 64 players fighting for control of key sectors of the battlefield, each one offering a distinct strategic advantage. Hoebe: You have phones on the map. But in the end we tried to do it as the launch map for the console release. The Caporetto breakthrough was pretty much a German affair, with Austrians behind them. We hear about and read about the Somme, Verdun, or Passchendaele more than we do the Masurian Lakes or Tannenberg, the namesake for Blackmill Games’ second World War I multiplayer shooter. And that’s a shame because the Eastern Front’s conflict can be just as fascinating as what happened in the West. It occurred from August 26 - 30 in 1914. The controller part and the UI part was just about a third of the work for the console. When researching it, I found — I wouldn’t say it’s completely unknown, but you feel like you’re exploring things and finding out new things that you didn’t know, that you weren’t familiar with. It was an unmistakable victory for the German army and proved that they could defeat larger armies through superior tactics and training. So we try to give each nation their own flavor. The nature of trench warfare and life in the trenches. The Germans were concentrating in all of their soldiers to be in one area and they attacked the Russian Army on the left part of the area. Germany planned to quickly fight a two-front war against France and Russia, knock France out of the war, then focus its resources on Russia. The Second Army was comprised of 4 164 battalions of infantry and 110 cavalry squadrons. Outcome German victory; Russian troops began to The myth of Tannenberg emerged after the defeat of the Russian army on the Eastern Front in 1914. The Battle of Tannenberg was fought August 23-31, 1914, during World War I (1914-1918). For a long period of time, it seemed as no one was going to win the war because it remained impartial. You have the historic encirclement of Russian forces at the Battle of Tannenberg, the siege of the Przemyśl, and the frequent German bailouts of Austro-Hungarian allies. We took a step back and — I think it was 2017 when we decided to make our entire C codebase also run on consoles. The nearest city of any size was Dąbrówno (Gilgenburg in German). GamesBeat: You have one of the iconic sieges on the Eastern Front — Przemyśl. Then we try to make a compelling configuration of points. We had this in Verdun a lot. Grunwald (Žalgiris in Lithuanian), 2. In history and during the First World War, fierce fighting was a common element at these strategic important hills. However the problem was that the two Russian armies were not able to communicate to each other effectively on what movements they were planning due to the great Masrian Lakes that will later result in something deadly. Each sector has a strategic point, and if you capture it, you can telephone to call in artillery. Battle ofthe Somme (July to November 1916) World War I British offensive that produced enormous casualties: 400,000 British, 200,000 French, and 500,000 Germans soldiers perished. 1944 (2015) This Estonian made war film takes place during July to November 1944. We take a slice, basically, and we scale it down to the format of what the engine allows. We have maps from the Baltic to the Black Sea. But again, looking at the front and distilling the essence of it, like we did with Verdun with the front line game mode and trench warfare. And then another third was obviously the process of meeting Sony and Microsoft’s specification. It’s closer to my personal experience, going there. We have a configuration of several key points in the center and then a couple of side points. The maps are 4-by-4 grids. They joined the war, and then Germany and Austria and Bulgaria defeated them. The name ‘Žalgiris’ to refer to the battle was first used in an 1891 textbook … The battle didn’t take place at the actual location called Tannenberg. If it’s an empty field, 10 meters or 20 meters over an empty field is way more dangerous than crossing a dense forest where you have cover. At the final phase we were actually rejected because of some kind of language issue. We’re very much interested and excited for it. Which then resulted the Germans surprising Samsonov’s army by attacking near the village of Tannenberg. Using that knowledge, we completely converted the PC game to console. GamesBeat: Are you open to leaving Europe and looking at the Middle East, or would you rather stay with Europe, where you have so much historical documentation? These were easily intercepted by the Germans allowing the Germans to know exactly what the Russians were planning. Hoebe: We’d very much like to continue the series. Also another 100, 00 were taken as a prisoner. However this was a risk because that let them be exposed. We couldn’t omit it from the game. You’re way more visible. We took map data and exactly made the area of the fort where the Russians breached it. If they’re too close to an enemy spawn, we have to move the spawn area away or make the distances greater. From what we’ve seen, I’m not sure what I can share or not about it, but we’ve been reaching out to our partners and trying to get the ball rolling. There’s very little memory. Austria-Hungary was famous for siege warfare. A friend’s house is very close to Verdun. Maybe there’s a ditch on the side of a cabbage field. That was the most fun part to work on, discovering those kinds of things. For some maps we have to change the format a bit. It’s always a matter of trying to see how fast players move between one sector and the other. Above: All aboard the boom-boom choo-choo. Tannenberg has … GamesBeat: Did you handle the console port, or did you work with someone else on that? It’s a diamond shape. After the war, Tannenberg was used to rework the military experience of World War One in both Soviet Russia and Germany. Battle of Tannenberg, German soldiers in a dugout inside of a Masurian farmhouse - August 1914 Erstklassige Nachrichtenbilder in hoher Auflösung bei Getty Images It has more the typical WWI attributes to it. Hoebe: Correct. We tried to represent each sector of the front, each different, unique environment and strategic frontline in the game. During that same day, German headquarters was in a state of nervous tension, owing to François' failure to advance, and also to mistaken reports from aerial reconnaissance that Rennenkampf's First Army might be moving in their direction. I’m very passionate to continue our game, in the light of the expectations. Different rules have to apply. We have the machine guns I mentioned before. Our affinity is more with the Western Front because it’s closer. We have a format for how we want to lay out the sectors as well. Romania and Bulgaria had very different tactics, different equipment and training and perspectives. The Battle of Tannenberg was the greatest defeat of Russia in World War One. Die deutsche Seite stellte hierbei 153.000 Mann, die russische Seite 191.000 Soldaten ins Feld. Above: German soldiers prepare to face the Russian army. We’re always adding and removing cover while we’re playtesting. The Russians come from the village, and then the Austrians come from another fort. They get more melee offense. It’s faster technology. There’s a tradeoff where you can call in lighter guns, but it’s less concentrated. Die Schlacht bei Tannenberg war eine Schlacht des Ersten Weltkrieges und fand in der Gegend südlich von Allenstein in Ostpreußen vom 26. The first army attacked the north and the second army attacked the south east. M2H, our partners, had some experience with other cross-platform tech on some of their party games. A German victory over Russian troops in August of 1914 which led to the liberation of East Prussia and began a slow, steady German advance eastward. I think our format is trying to look at a front and distill the essence of the combat there. Hoebe: Either of those is an option. In Tannenberg players can experience the massive battles of the Eastern Front in WWI with up to 40 players fighting for control of key sectors on the battlefield, each one offering a distinct strategic advantage. That’s also partly — in the Romania map there are oil derricks in important locations. Above: Przemyśl looks even more dreadful in the winter. We made those forts into the center of the map. I can’t say what we’re doing next, but …. The Middle East, Gallipoli, that could be very interesting. On August 26, Samsonov and Rennenkempfs were sending uuencoded wireless messages. We wanted to make it from the beginning, but since it’s a fortress, it required extra assets. The Germans had to bail them out on every occasion. The map in Romania is one big king of the hill-style map. The German Army that was led by Paul Van Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, who declared war against the Russians 2nd army, that was led by General Aleksandra Samssonov. Tannenberg being the most known battle on the Eastern Front, where the tide of the Russian assault toward Germany was slaughtered in the early days of the … The oil was very important. It’s actually a fortified city, a vast area. If a lot of enemy comes straight on at one area, you can do a lot of damage calling in the one big gun. Really distilling the essence from the history. That’s one of the perks, representing their additional equipment. For all their faults, they did have excellent siege artillery, which they used in Italy against the forts. We started off with a smaller selection of regions, and then we added Romania and Bulgaria. Russia had about 206,000 soldiers and there was about 160,000 German soldiers, there army was so big that their ratio to the German army was 29 to 16. these chemicals were somtimes loaded into altillery shells for longer distance. This ideology was mooted in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. We knew we wanted to capture the essence of the front. For the Austrians, there’s the availability of the 305mm howitzers, these giant cannon that fire one big shot and obliterate the target area. Before the battle had occurred the Russian Army was successfully invading eastern Germany. How challenging was this to capture in the game? The reaction from the Romanians — they have a lot of thoughts about it in those nations. After the war, Tannenberg was used to rework the military experience of World War One in both Soviet Russia and Germany. There’s this giant cultural clash behind it. Reality is quite boring. The fortress itself didn’t see a lot of action, except for one part, where the Russians, in the first week of the siege, tried to take one of the fortresses. Another third was getting the performance to work. The Battle of Tannenberg was the first major battle of World War One, fought between Germany and Russia, who surprised everyone with its fast mobilization. That’s a big part of how we iterate from the first versions of the map. It looks amazing, the new consoles. GamesBeat: Will you do the porting in-house again with future projects? With a high-end PC game you have way more leeway than you do on a standard Xbox. GamesBeat: Austria-Hungary based a lot of its tactics on the German model. WWI FPS Tannenberg. That was very interesting as well. Artillery destroyed the familiar landscape, reducing trees and buildings to desolate rubble and churning up endless mud in some areas. For the initial version of Verdun for consoles in 2016, we had an external partner, but we were not quite happy with how that version launched. It’s not like you go inside the city. The famous battle of Tannenberg (1914) which saved Eastprussia.Taken from this documentary series: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0481303/ On August 26, Ludendorff ordered the attack on the Russian left wing, which caused an immediate Russian retreat. After the three days of planning by German artillery the Samsonov’s troops began to retreat. It’s hard to make a multiplayer shooter like this 100% historically accurate, so they instead aimed to preserve the feel and spirit of these battles. Battle of Tannenberg. The Russians were spread out along a 60 mile front, moving slowly towards the Germans. GamesBeat: When you’re playtesting, how hard is it to balance between historical context and making a shooter? Chapter 13.3 Experiences of soldiers in key battles on the Western Front. One of their tactics was to use trains to transport troops very quickly around the region. Unlike Verdun, it allows for battles of maneuver. And the French retrained and re-equipped their army. We needed to make a lot of adjustments. It’s a challenge to go from something where there’s zero cover and try to make it fun to play, while not just randomly placing an armored car or a tank every five meters to create cover. The Bulgarians have a famous battle cry, Urra!, for their bayonet charge, which they executed to capture the forts on the Danube. That took another three weeks of launch time away. The Tannenberg Memorial (German: Tannenberg-Nationaldenkmal, from 1935: Reichsehrenmal-Tannenberg) was a monument to the German soldiers of the Battle of Tannenberg (1914), the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes and the medieval Battle of Tannenberg (1410).The victorious German commander, Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg, became a national hero and was later … They were spawn-killed almost. We’re not sitting still. German soldiers at the Battle of Tannenberg. Before the battle had occurred the Russian Army was successfully invading eastern Germany. That’s an active ability. GamesBeat: Now that you’ve released both of your games and you have this on console now, what’s next? Tannenberg, the eastern front and maneuver warfare there. Each sector needs to have a couple of machine guns in several directions so you can defend each point. All the typical elements are there. Bulgaria is even rarer. Germany also sent soldiers from the western front to help fight the … Or do they both have their attractions? The Battle of Tannenberg (27-30 August, 1914) opened World War One with a decisive German victory over Russia - indeed, the Kaiser's only clearcut victory in a non-attritional battle during all four years of war. It was important to represent that this is what happened to the oil there. We have trench maps where we know a trench was in a certain place, so we put the trench there, the machine guns. And then you have the strategic — the tactical arrangement of cover in between those, that’s all up to the level designers to shape that, putting layers of bushes here and there to make sure you can get from point A to point B, or create your trenches to go in between. The Battle of Tannenberg shows how battle tactics were not as successful and were outdated when it came to the modern-warfare. The fights were very back and forth or stalemate due to the lack of good strategies. We tried to give each nation a bit of their national flavor. However it seems that this proportion on the Tannenberg was overturned: heavy Knights during the battle were slightly more. It’s a gradual process. When World War I comes up in popular culture, the Eastern Front gets far less attention than the battlefields of the West. Thank you for your attention! In later works, various Lithuanian derivations from the German ‘Tannenberg’ were used, including Žaliagiris (literally, ‘green woods’), Eglykalnis and Eglėkalnis (both mean ‘fir mountain’). Hoebe: Absolutely, yeah. Looking to one of the other fronts to see what kind of warfare happened there and trying to distill the essence from it, to do justice to the historical nature of the battles that took place on that front. Hoebe: I actually had a talk with a professor about his book, The Fortress. Battle of Tannenberg The battle of Tannenberg was between the Germans and Russians. Let me go back to why we did it, because it was pretty much the Verdun of the Eastern Front. But now you can plug in a console controller on PC and it’ll switch automatically. The Blue Mountains in Estonia, which are more like hills, have always been a military significance. With Tannenberg we wanted to capture the sense of maneuver warfare, Tannenberg itself being a prime example of that, where two Russian armies were effectively outmaneuvered in the field and surrounded, cut off, with huge numbers of Russians captured. We try to encompass the entire front, and all these different visual themes. In doing so, the architects anticipated the concept of Totenburgen (Fortresses of the Dead) housing mass graves of soldiers. It was also called Zielone Pole ("Green Field") in Old Polish, and, in German, … Since Ludendorff had delayed the war it gave time to Samsonov’s forces to advance deeper in the sacks that were formed by the German divisions. 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