Cleopatra Interview, part 1

In the wake of the announcement of the Pharaoh Expansion pack, Cleopatra, Angel Reckless Rodent sent off some questions for Alex Rodberg, Impressions's Brand Manager, and also Breakaway Games, the company developing the X-pack. Here's what happened:

ARR: Why did you decide to create an expansion pack?

Alex: Pharaoh is a very encompassing game, but while it covers a lot of Egyptian history, it stops right before the reigns of some of history's most famous Pharaohs - Tutankhamun, Ramses II, and Cleopatra. They were mighty rulers in their times, constructing wondrous monuments, and advancing Egyptian culture and civilization. We wanted to make sure their reigns and accomplishments were represented, while giving gamers new challenges, and further reason to spend time in the amazing land by the Nile.

ARR: Why was it decided to outsource it to another developer rather than keep it directly under Impressions's own control?

Alex: As you know, Impressions Games is a small developer, with bandwidth for only a few products at a time. We didn't want to delay our other projects to do the Pharaoh expansion, but we didn't want to delay getting Cleopatra out to the public. We chose to outsource the development to Breakaway Games because they were of a like mind as to the direction the expansion pack needed to go. With their recent experience on Sid Meier's Antietam! we knew the quality of their work would be in line with our rigorous expectations for the City Building series. We have been working very closely on this project, and it's been a rewarding experience. Their fresh perspective on the subject and our experience combine to create an expansion pack that will delight any Pharaoh owner.

ARR: Will there be any extra development tools included - a campaign editor for example?

Alex: Cleopatra will ship with the full Enhancement Pack that's been made available for download from the Impressions Games website. This includes the scenario editor that allows players to alter everything from the layout of the land to available resources, to events, invaders, and requests from Pharaoh. It's actually quite a comprehensive editor, very similar to the one used the Impressions Games to create the original scenarios for Pharaoh. We will also be including 20 new missions for Pharaoh designed at Impressions Games. These pose new challenges for expert city builders, as well as some fun settings for beginner. There should be plenty of pyramid building for all players.

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