DescriptionSPWW2 (which stands for Steel Panthers World War II) is an authorised stand-alone expansion for SSI's Steel Panthers II. It contains several hundred scenarios set mainly in the timeframe of the Second World War but also covering some battles of the interbellum period, as well as a number campaigns, either based on historical events or exploring alternate history scenarios.
Built on a vastly modified source code of the original Steel Panthers II, the game features numerous enhancements, including an expanded set of units and terrain types, increased limits for various in-game objects, improved AI and random scenario/campaign generator, and cheat countermeasures for play-by-email (PBEM) games. Additionally, SPWW2 includes a scenario editor, campaign editor and unit editor allowing for maximum customisation of the game by the players.
- "winSPWW2" -- Windows version title
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Development historyThe game began as a World War II-themed mod for Steel Panthers II. Sometime in 1998, Don Goodbrand and Piero Angeli discussed during a PBEM (play-by-email) game of Steel Panthers II (hereinafter referred to as SP2) the possibility of playing scenarios set during World War II, similar to the first Steel Panthers (SP1), but with all the improved game mechanics that the sequel offered. From this, a mod was developer called SP2WW, or Steel Panthers II for World War II, which used a hacked SP2 binary executable and required the original SP2 CD to play. Apart from converting the game data to include the belligerent nations of World War II and their respective units and weapons (based on the original SP1 data), the mod also featured updated graphics: all infantry and vehicles were edited to add camouflage paint as opposed to solid colours that the original SP2 used, contributing to additional realism of the game. Because of this, the team of developers called themselves the SP Camo Workshop. The repainted units were also available for download separately to be used with SP2.
The mod turned out to be such a success that SSI provided the developers the original source code of SP2 as well as Steel Panthers III (SP3), which was accomplished via The Gamers Net (TGN), the website that hosted the mod. The code was made available with the provision that the future releases based on it would be provided to users free of charge. From now on the game was stand-alone (although earlier releases still required the SP2 CD) and was re-titled SPWW2, or Steel Panthers: World War 2.
As more people joined the project and the team grew, differences in respect to future development accumulated and eventually resulted in splitting the project into two. After the release of SPWW2 v2.0 (the first stand-alone DOS release) in Summer 1999, a decision was made to migrate to the SP3 codebase which was ported to Windows. This branch of the project became the basis for Steel Panthers: World at War. However the original SP2WW2 team secured the SP2 code and continued using the DOS platform. This allowed for a substantial overhaul and improvement of the original SP2 mechanics, adding more factions and units, increasing limits such as available map sizes or the number of terrain elevations. The bulk of these changes came in v3.0 (released in July 2000), to be refined and polished in further releases of SPWW2. Simultaneously, the number of single scenarios and campaigns included with the game grew as well.
After the release of v5.0 (November 2001), the team decided to use its codebase to create a spin-off covering post-World War II conflicts. The resulting game, called SPMBT or Steel Panthers: Main Battle Tank, may be thus viewed as a spiritual successor to the original SP2. The first release was made in June 2002. Just like SPWW2, SPMBT continued to use the DOS platform, which was becoming increasingly inconvenient as newer versions of Windows gradually dropped DOS compatibility. However, it was not until late 2004 that it was decided to port both games to Windows, with SPMBT coming first. Its Windows port, winSPMBT, saw its release on 22 June 2005 by Shrapnel Games, which also offered an Enhanced CD version of the game for sale.
Eventually SPWW2 was ported to Windows as well, under the title winSPWW2, and released by Shrapnel Games in June 2006. Similar to winSPMBT, the base game is free and the Enhanced CD version (which features various additions such as support for higher screen resolution) is a commercial product. As such winSPWW2 continues to be updated and expanded, the the most recent (as of the time of writing) patch, v10.01, having been released in February 2017.
Related Web Sites
- SPWW2 (official website)
Design and programming by: