Press-release for GZM 7.00

  This project started back in 2003 when after completing the campaign of then newly-released Blitzkrieg I was left with many good emotions and even more desire to change the game to be closer to historic reality. This is, at that point in time there was no better game engine to model quite large battles of WW2 in real-time. Even now, this niche is still not taken by something else (Blitzkrieg II is no competitor to the first one), not even by the ambitious projects like Sudden Strike III. Succesful WW2 RTS’es (CoH for ex.) have somewhat different scale and so also cannot pretend to replace Blitzkrieg.
This is why, after finishing the work on GZM 5.55 in 2006, I decided to develop the project further, as there was no new engines for WW2 games that were of sufficient scale and open for modding.
Project chronology:

2005 – GZM 3.07 – the first publicly released mod version. Approx. 250 MB. Most of the changes were inside the standard campaign, no new maps were added. A new combat system was introduced, which was based on weapon range differentiation and historically accurate weapon and unit stats. Approx. 100 new units were added.
2006 – GZM 5.55 – second released mod version, which in fact became a full TC for Blitzkrieg (Ukrainian pirates even sold it on CDs named ‘Total Conversion’). Approx. size – 2.4 GB. Changelog takes 15 pages of text. Battle system was seriously changed, the RTS was brought much closer to wargame style. New units (esp. random mission bonuses) appeared with proper chronology and with correct probabilities. Many new maps were introduced, incl. random mission templates, everything was tied together into 3 main campaigns in proper order. There was 300 new units, new sounds, new medals, and more.
With 5.55 we have taken on the ambitious task of displaying the flow of the whole war in the game (as far as that was possible), from the point of view of all main conflict sides. The war now starts in 1936, as it was in reality – that was the year Communism first battled Fascism during Spanish Civil War.
2007, February – work has started in GZM 6.0. It was to be the improved 5.55, with 50 new units added and all the “dubious” or buggy ones replaced by newly made models. Also some minor errors were corrected, and some textures were renewed.
2007, summer – mod was renamed to GZM 7.0. The amount of changes from 5.55 was far in excess of what was planned at first, plus now there were some ideas about new features not planned and not possible before.
So, comrades, now we bring to your attention a new version of total conversion for Blitzkrieg I – GZM 7.0. As it is now, the mod is 5.08 GB in size and is growing.
The mod includes:
1. Some 950 3D units (many standard Blitzkrieg models were replaced by new, improved ones);
2. Some 200 infantry types;
3. Cavalry for RKKA, Wehrmacht and Polish Army;
4. Several new chapters with new maps of highest quality (big thanks to our mappers), the work is still going on in this department, so expect more from them closer to release;
5. For the first time in Blitzkrieg engine games and mods, water units – as for now, those are Soviet armored boats, there may be more added later;
6. Main feature of the mod – all unit stats (ammo count, ricochet probability, armor, passability, speed, turn speed and such) are brough into compliance with historic reality, tested and balanced so the player has to combine different unit types to complete the missions. GZM 7.0 is even closer to a wargame than 5.55 was.
7. Many new unit skins, which exceed the original game (big thanks to our texturers)
8. Many new visual effects: smoke from burning units and buildings, new explosions, death anims, napalm, incendiary rockets and bombs and more (big thanks to our VFX man)
9. Many new sounds, including the sound sets for new infantry and vehicles (Italian, Polish, Japanese, Spanish and other units), new mortar sounds, Stuka sirens, new weapon and explosion sounds and more;
10. Player units now can have 5 different experience ranks;
11. Tracked units can now crush small trees and similar objects (they still cannot cross dense forests easily though);
12. Smoke screen duration and effect on enemy LoS increased greatly, it’s now a very useful feature when storming fortifications;
13. 50 new random map templates, some old templates removed for being too easy;
14. Many new buildings;
15. Many new objects such as wrecked cars, planes and trains, as well as naval mines;
16. Infantry sitting on top of most tanks now does so like a human would (unlike what was in original Blitzkrieg);
17. New weapon types – napalm, silenced guns, explosive charges, incendiary bombs, cluster bombs, naval mines, etc.
18. Minesweeper tanks – PT-3 based on T-34-76 and T-34-85, Sherman Crab, Churchill Bullhorn;
19. Guard and attack dogs (the latter fitted with explosive charge), as well as Japanese kamikaze infantry;
20. New interface and buttons;
21. Greatly improved camo value for AT guns – now they are very hard to detect before they open fire;
22. Many new wagons and some locos for armored trains, as well as some self-propelled armored wagons and draisines;
23. “Special purpose” infantry types – army recon units, saboteurs, NKVD and SMERSH personnel, Brandenburg soldiers, SAS and US Rangers;
24. New infantry squads – Sturmpioniers, Volksturm, 1944 Soviet Guards and more;
25. Some bugfixes and stability improvements, reduced crash chance on random map generation.