Company of Heroes 3 developer shows how community shaped the game
Company of Heroes 3 is set to launch next year, and our grizzled veteran Fraser thinks it’s going to wake up the RTS genre. An important part of the game’s development, which Relic has been highlighting since the announcement, is how the studio uses player feedback: allowing series fans and community figures extremely early access to the game, well. before its official disclosure, and change items based on their experiences.
The first in a planned series of Developer Diaries has not been released, and it focuses on Company of Heroes 3 ‘community advice’. There is an element to that in just watching fans of the series gush of the quality of the next game in the series but, at the same time, the examples given of how Relic incorporated certain suggestions are somewhat impressive and also, at times, bordering on ‘why didn’t you just hire this guy? “
To briefly expand on this: A member of the community explains how he designed a faction from scratch, submitted the design docs to Relic, and the studio said thank you and integrated it. OK, that’s only one side of the story, but it looks like he should have been paid for it. Another guy explains how his UI suggestions have been incorporated.
It oscillates between being cool and having a slight whiff of audience work, but the other side of the argument is that audience engagement is good, and those boundaries can be blurry. If I were a man on duty, I would send Relic an invoice.
The speech is layered with a bunch of new footage (showcasing some of the wonderful destruction tech at the heart of this entry), as well as some concept art and development, all of which confirms that it certainly sounds like Company of Heroes. The community initiative is called CoH-Dev and already has 200,000 registered players, with Relic promising he will listen to suggestions until launch.
The original Company of Heroes launched in September 2006, making it the 15th anniversary of the series. To celebrate, Relic hosted the CoH-Development Invitational, where the developers faced off against fans in 2vs2 battles, which you can watch below.