This fortified town was the site of the longest siege in the First World War, with the Russians eventually capturing it from the Austro-Hungarian defenders after 133 days. The presence of large fortifications make this a very different battlefield compared to the generally more open areas seen in many Tannenberg maps. There are fields around the buildings of the fort itself, but much of that space is filled with hastily dug trenches and gun emplacements abandoned as the battle sweeps over them.
Designing the maps
When designing maps we use a lot of historical reference materials. Photographs of course are invaluable, but still quite rare during WW1, particularly on the Eastern Front. Maps are very useful to get a sense of how trenches might be laid out or what terrain was considered tactically crucial at the time. Sketches by soldiers offer a similar insight to photographs, especially those done by military artists – though this was again more common on the Western Front, where positions were more static. Things moved faster in the East, and intelligence could quickly become out of date. Finally, you can read history books and the accounts of soldiers themselves. Even better, you can talk to expert historians who have dedicated their lives to the topic! This is a great way to learn about details and sources that might be missed in more commonly available books. We’ve used all these methods when creating Tannenberg and putting together maps which feel like real battlefields.
We can’t wait to see what the PlayStation community thinks of the Eastern Front. Remember, keep your rifle ready and your gas mask close. Good luck out there!