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Total Annihilation Sequel Preview

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the old-skool-flava dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 51

An anonymous reader writes "Fans of much loved RTS Total Annihilation will be excited to hear that a spiritual successor is in the works under the name Supreme Commander. Information on this title has been scarce until today, when Gamespy released a preview with screenshots galore. The preview contains an overview of the game, the storyline and, coming tommorrow, an interview with Chris Taylor."

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Yes! (1)

denominateur (194939) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015703)

I was so addicted to total annihilation that it was the first and only game that I created maps for and played for hours and hours on end. The fact that the maps were not just the product of a game-packaged editor suite but could be any form of bitmap with a heightmap was one of the factors that drew so many people towards customizing the game environment. If you wanted to play on britney spears, that was easily doable given a decently sized scan.

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016246)

If you wanted to play on britney spears, that was easily doable given a decently sized scan.

I don't know if I'd want to. Wouldn't that map be too hilly to be playable?

Wow (1)

niskel (805204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015726)

Normally I'm not an RTS fan. Probably because I would always get my ass handed to me in Starcraft. But this game just looks amazing. The fact that it hs such an interesting and diverse scale is astounding. The nukes in particular. I remember in C&C and SC that a nuke might kill a few units and maybe damage a few structures but the nukes in this game actually seem like real nukes, full blown devistation. The whole zooming in idea reminds me of GoogleEarth.

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

Quikah (14419) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015813)

The nukes in Total Annihilation were the same. There was also a defensive weapon available to knock nukes out of the sky. Protecting that was vital, if you were to lose it, the nukes would come raining down completely wiping out your base.

Re:Wow (1)

oskard (715652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015818)

You should definitely try the original! There's an excellent remake of it at [] .

I love it, and I absolutely HATE RTS'S!

TA 1 was great!... (2, Interesting)

slughead (592713) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015751)

if you had the time.

I found the games ran far too long, and though there were a wide range of units, combined arms were usually inferior to just building large quantities of 2 or 3 units.

C&C Generals had far shorter games with better incentive to build a few of most of the units you were capable of building.

The only reason I'm posting this short review is because many view TA 1 to be the best RTS ever made. My point is that it's all a matter of what you value most: huge waves of units and really really fast clicking or actual strategy.

Re:TA 1 was great!... (1)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 9 years ago | (#13019983)

Well if they run too long, you need a different strategy. I practiced a bit and on any metal world I can beat the AI in about 5 minutes or less.

The point is that the AI isn't that great. When you have that huge palette of units to pick from, when you're actually playing against another human, the strategy variations are great! You can try a few of the Quell- or BA2k AI replacements, they're much more aggressive.

I think when people say it's the best RTS, they really mean the most significant. About 9 years of replayability so far, it was rather genre-defining.

Better than TA: Kingdoms (3, Insightful)

oskard (715652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015784)

Total Annihilation was easily the most fun I've ever had playing an RTS. Warcraft III and Command & Conquer just don't give you the same rush as building 50 wasps and sending them simultaneously to swarm your enemy.

I recently revisted the game (after finding the original 2 disc installation) and noticed how poor the graphics were. The units were 3d and the terrain was 2d. It worked for back then, but nowadays we need everything 3d. The Ta-Spring [] project has been doing great in their recreation and enhancement of the original game. It features full 3d environments and even first person combat control. Some of the new weapons such as the plasma deflector are simply amazing and make the TA experience much better.

On the whole, TA-Spring has brought new life into TA without completely changing the game. It looks almost exactly similar to its original, except for the better graphics and advanced features.

I can only hope this sequel, Supreme Commander, will be better than the FIRST sequel, TA: Kingdoms. Futuristic combat just makes more sense given the view and nature of an RTS. One thing is for sure, the concept art and map design look out of this world - a theme that went well with the first TA.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (-1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015831)

The units were pre-rendered sprites -- everything in that day and age was 2D.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (2, Informative)

eviltypeguy (521224) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016209)

Incorrect. The units were NOT pre-rendered sprites. They were in fact real-time rendered 3D objects, more than likely gourad shaded.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (1)

Elias Serge (657630) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017338)

IIRC, TA was actually the first 3-d rts.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (1)

DarkYoshi (895118) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016631)

I spent 2 hours yesterday playing warcraft II. I don't know how I managed to play it, since we need 3D units and terrain. I just played it, and I had a hell of a good time, too. Gameplay>Graphics WarCraft II Gameplay>All other RTS gameplay

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 9 years ago | (#13018324)

You must not ever have played Starcraft.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13023734)

Because mirror-image armies make for high-quality gameplay. Ugh.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (1)

skyman8081 (681052) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016654)

I've found at least one game play deviation in Spring. The "fire at your feet" bug. In Spring, the cannons would actually, fire at their feet.

Versus normal TA, where in order to hit a target so incredibly close the cannon would automatically aim up, but would hit the maximum height angle. This feature would send shells slightly beyond the rated range of the cannon.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017772)

> The units were 3d and the terrain was 2d. It
> worked for back then, but nowadays we need
> everything 3d.

Actually, although the terrain was a 2d picture, it was actually 3d in that you could use elevation to your advantage. And actually to your advantage -- unlike the POS code named Warcraft III, where in the entire game I found only one place where I could put a tower where it would outshoot a stupid mobile meatwagon.

And that was probably an oversight on the lame game designers.

Nah, you can take WCII's "upkeep" and shove it. That game tried to forcibly simulate Sacrifice's more squad-based RTS feel and failed miserably. You can't have both. Either it's a squad-based RTS or it's an overwhelming force RTS. WCIII tried both and failed at both, even if it was visually spectacular. The emperor has no clothes, and WCIII was not that great a game.

And don't say I don't know what I'm talking about. Did you know in the original WC, it took approximately 630 spear chucks to destroy the endgame's main fort?

Best RTS: TA 1 (and I'm joyous I now have to add a 1 to that!)

Second best: Sacrifice

Both completely replayed many times.

Yeah, you could say I'm looking forward to it.

Re:Better than TA: Kingdoms (2, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017859)

Oops, I meant WCIII's "upkeep". A lame concept.

BTW, I forgot to mention Dungeon Keeper I, which I'd put with those two at the pinnacle of awesomeness. The original WC and Starcraft pull up the 2nd level of goodness after those three, along with Dungeon Keeper II.

DK I was magnificent. I can recall racing my imps to fortify the walls only 1 block ahead of the tunneling dwarven heroes. What fun! DK II lost some of the magic by altering this and allowing busting through of fortified walls. Still good, but not as good.

For a real thrill, try playing it only using warning traps, guard posts, and the emergency call siren/standard thingie, and skip picking up and dropping your minions (which was probably not part of the original design, but needed to be added due to the frustration of the other items not working quite properly.)

Chris Taylor? (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015816)

I don't know...Dungeon Siege was pretty awful.

Re:Chris Taylor? (2)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016609)

The major problem with dungeon siege was that it apeard to be Diablo 2 without the soul.
The loot was boring , the voice acting (suprisingly) was worse than that of Diablo2 and even gave Nox a run for its money in its less than amature nature and last but not least it was just lacking any origional (even unorigional but good)plot that failed to capture the imagination.
it felt like a cheap clone of Diablo2 with more of a team focus and less of a goal, though the engine was ok.
Im just a bit iritated because i paid around 50 for the game(the demo was alot of fun , unfortunatly it droped abotu 5 minutes after the demo ended)

Ahh, fond memories (2)

HeliumHigh (773838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015872)

I loved this game! I loved it when you would start working on your metal reserves, and get a plant up and running.
You start on construction of a vehicle and.. wait.. where is my commander!

The strategy was to make as many flying transports as possible as fast as possible, and have them go "load" up the enemy commander, ceasing their production of anything.
It was fun! As long as you weren't the sucker who got carried away XD

Re:Ahh, fond memories (1)

Elias Serge (657630) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017356)

the air transport was such a fun unit. After you loaded up the enemy commander, just self-destruct the aircraft for an instant win. Even cooler was the flying bomb strat. Load the crawling bomb (called "roach" I think) onto an air tran, then fly over the enemy base and watch the fireworks when it gets shot down. Good Times.

Re:Ahh, fond memories (1)

HeliumHigh (773838) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017847)

Ya, but if you held them all in one corner, and picked up all the enemy commanders, you could have the whole map to yourself. Even better is that you let only one of them flurish. Destroy all production buldings (nano factory, vheciles and airbases) and then destroy all the commanders over they remains, while a nuke hits. Nothing like THOSE fireworks :)

Yay, SimBase 2! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13015950)

Ah, yes, Total Turtling! The game where resources were infinite and strategy was to turtle until you could lob nukes at each other! Games would take hours as both sides finally got tired of building thousands of base defenses and finally decided to send a couple of infintry units to instantly blow up in front of the wall of rocket launchers.

What a great game that was. That must be why people still play Starcraft and no one has ever heard of Total Annihilation before.

Re:Yay, SimBase 2! (1)

TEMM (731243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016041)

I havnt played TA in years but even I know that turtling is the quickest way to lose a game of ta

Re:Yay, SimBase 2! (1)

Elshar (232380) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017808)

I guess you play what you want. Either SC with its zerg/marine rushes or TA with its turtling.

Re:Yay, SimBase 2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13022635)

Quite frankly from what I recall, TA was actually a VERY rush-positive game. A decent early-game flash rush could easily beat someone that was trying to confine themselves and play defensively. Of course, the best strategy was to rush early, keep the other person on the defensive, and use their desire to sit in their base and 'turtle' to grab all of the resource spots on the land and crush the enemy with overwhelming force.

Ah, good times, good times.

YESS (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015962)

Total Annihilation was the king of RTS.

This is the best possible news!

Dear Chris, (1)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#13015987)

Thank you, and it's about freakin' time.

Despite it being nearly eight years old, TA is still easily my favorite RTS game out there. In my humble opinion, no other RTS game before or since has managed to balance simplicity, depth, and strategy quite like TA did.

I'm looking forward to Supreme Commander with bated breath.

Re:Dear Chris, (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13018352)


TA is my favorite RTS, bar none.

There have been some decent gamess (distractions) since then, like Rise of Nations, but nothing even comes close to TA.

If Supreme Commander comes close to TA with improved graphics it'll be the best modern RTS. Bar none.

Now I only hope and pray it works in Linux.

Soundtrack! (3, Interesting)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016031)

The single best thing about the original TA was the *fantastic* score used for the soundtrack. The only game I've ever ripped the audio from to listen to alone.

Re:Soundtrack! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016510)

That soundtrack was the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, multitracked. They took the whole orchestra and basically doubled it. That's why it sounds like a Mahler-sized orchestra, because it is.

I certainly hope they do this for SC as well.

Re:Soundtrack! (3, Informative)

eclipser13 (839296) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017033)

Rejoice, for it has been confirmed that Jeremy Soule, who composed the music for TA, will be on board for SupCom

Re:Soundtrack! (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 9 years ago | (#13021696)

Yes! Awesome! Can't wait for 2006!

Hoping for greatness (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016122)

It looks like it has the same feel as TA. Hopefully some of the same strategies will work. In the original you could hide a construction unit in the middle of nowhere and in the event your base is wiped off the map, you could eventually rebuild your whole base with enough time.

How does it compare? (1)

vandezuma (875570) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016177)

I've never played TA, how would it (and hypothetically, Supreme Commander) compare to others like Age of Empires/Mythology and War/Starcraft? I've been looking to get back into RTS, and this looks like a good candidate.

Re:How does it compare? (1)

Hydrogenoid (410979) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017756)

Exact opposite of warcraft III: very little micromanagement, (well, imposed micromanagement, you can choose to do so, but you aren't forced to) huge maps and armies, and a sense of scale that is missing from about every other RTS: the range of the different units vary, wildly.
You also get a quite different method to build units and structures: instead of paying the full cost when you click the build button, the building units consume those incrementally during the creation.
Basically it is mostly about exagerating everything, and strategy.

Strategy (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016346)

Strategy in a RTS? Surely you jest.

RTSs should be called RTCF(Real-Time Click Fest)

But maybe he will prove me wrong(I hope).

The original TA was easy to manage... (4, Informative)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016755)

Many of the games features were designed to reduce micromanagement, freeing the player's brain (and mouse) for more important things.

For example, you could direct a given airfield to assign a team number to all units produced, and you could use the Shift key and mouse to define a multi-vector patrol route for the aircraft to navigate once built. Assuming you also had a few repair platforms around and activated, the aircraft would automatically assume a patrol along the assigned route, attack anything that came in range, and automagicaly fly off to repair themselves if they were wounded too badly.

You could also queue up a few dozen build orders for a selected number of construction vehicles (nice for putting together some fairly organized defenses), committing those units to that action for a half-hour or more, and then you could set a few more construction units (level 1 construction aircraft were good for this) on patrol in the general area. Not only would the patrolling const a/c automaticaly perform repairs on wounded units as they passed (or harvest enegry or metal if needed), but they would also stop and assist the building units with their tasks, adding their own construction power to the power of the original unit until the given target was completed.

The Shift key could be used to queue almost any type of order, be it builds, attacks, movements, or whatever, and I wish more RTS games would impelement that simple concept...

Re:The original TA was easy to manage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016928)

Ah, yes, the "you can commit to use more resources than you have" flaw that TA had.

Stupidest thing ever. You could assign construction units to build things, despite the fact that you didn't actually have the raw materials to do it!

Since raw materials were constantly produced, they'd just stand there, waiting for more materials to be available. It was the dumbest resource system ever created.

You literally had infinite resources. The only question was how fast you could produce them.

Re:The original TA was easy to manage... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017906)

Ahh, but that's what made it great. I'll take that over the retardicy of WCIII's "upkeep" and other similar nonsense. Well-designed, it was the rate of material production that slowed things -- not the outragous false limits.

For god's sake, WCIII had two, count 'em, two ways to limit production -- "upkeep", and number of houses. If you've gotta do that, the game is not well-designed. Running against limits should not feel like a slap in the face by a game designer who isn't doing his job. When production is at the core of why these games are fun, you'll understand why this is wrong.

Re:The original TA was easy to manage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13018714)

It's a different style of game. WCIII has more of a focus on small scale tactics than strategy.

Production is not at the core of why WCIII is fun, either.

They're both good games (I think TA was overall done better) but for different reasons.

Re:The original TA was easy to manage... (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13024742)

there are definite good points to finite resources, the fact that TA only limited resource production rates meant that you could find yourself in 4-hour yawn-a-thons against a porcupine enemy. i much preferred TA to AoE or SC, but i definitely wish it had some method of limiting production

Yeah, a good porc can be tough to crack... (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 9 years ago | (#13036472)

One of the ways to handle such situations is to try to prevent the opponent from having the time and resources to porc up in the first place, but I guess that's pretty easy to say from the sidelines. :-)

Once he's porced up, though, he isn't expanding, and that gives you the upper hand in the long run.

I know I'd try to porc up if I thought I'd get away with it, but I'm not good enough to actually *win* that way. Sometimes it's better to go out with a bang, anyway...

WTF is that icon anyway? (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13017893)

Can someone tell me what the two-headed, club wielding icon for this story is? I've wondered for years. TY

Re:WTF is that icon anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13018167)

It's an ogre mage from warcraft II

"Hehehe We did it."

Re:WTF is that icon anyway? (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13018185)

Thank you, sir, very much.

E-mail them, and ask for Linux support! (2, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13018430)

This is *exactly* the right point to ask for Linux support!

Either a) A linux native version,


b) Disclosure of source code to Transgaming (or Codeweavers, or whoever) to create a Supreme Commander compatible WineX/Cedega. This should be a pretty easy option for them.

I just sent them an e-mail, and I plan on asking all my friends to e-mail them.

I suggest including tidbits like "I play Doom 3, Neverwinter Nights, and the Unreal series of games natively on linux, and I play Half Life 2, and World of Warcraft through cedega."

Linux gaming needs you! Before release is the right time to pester the developers.

I don't get it.. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 9 years ago | (#13018827)

How can you make a sequel to a "Total Annihilation?" What's the title.. "Still Annihilated?"

Re:I don't get it.. (1)

uXs (335) | more than 9 years ago | (#13022052)

It's not a sequel. It's a "spiritual successor". It's almost, but not quite, what TA2 would've been, but in a completely different universe.

TA: Most fun every had on corp net. (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13019790)

When TA came out, me and several guys at work bought it. This was in the pre-DSL days, but we had high priced ISDN modems for "working from home". We played tons of games of 2v2 with coworkers.

Those early games before we knew anything were the best. Building my first squad of brawlers (about 5) and emg'ing one of the enemy Coms to death. The abject fear when I faced my first incoming bertha strikes. The two pronged death of my ground attacks and my partners air-war-machine.

New maps and units kept us playing for at least a year. Buy far this was the best gaming dollar I every spent. I dusted it off 6 months ago and heck if I still don't think it is a barrel of fun.

I bought Dung Siege on the strength of CT's name, but it was bland. Great engine (seamless loads) but lacked any soul.

I will definitely give him another chance with this return...

Other TA Versions (1)

Armatich_Defiant (571793) | more than 9 years ago | (#13024288)

While you wait, checkout these other ports: []
  • TA in 3d using a custom graphics engine
  • has all the original units
  • checkout the movies []
  • TA in 3d using an unreal graphics engine
  • has all the original units
  • checkout the pictures.
The TA community is live with an active single and multiplayer action. I would say the best overall quality that TA has is that it scales. You can play on a tiny map where you control the actions of each unit. Or you can play 10 players each with 5000 units in huge epic battles.

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