27
Dec
12

Rollback – Day 0

I’ve stumbled upon a week or so of free time. With that time I plan to develop and release a small game of questionable quality. Reference my previous attempt for an idea of what to expect. The game will be of prototype quality with limited art assets, and I will likely lose focus and disregard the ever important polish.

I’m excited to undertake this challenge again, and I’m interested to see the result – and how that reflects on the progress I have made as a designer, and coder in the last year and a half.

So, the game. This time it has a name. I’m calling it Rollback.

Anyone who has even met me knows two things. That I have a strong interest in strategy games, and an even stronger interest in geopolitics. It will come as no surprise then, that this game will be a strategy game, based loosely around the recent Israel/Gaza conflict.

Before I dive into an explanation of the game, allow me to offer my reading of those recent events.

In the three and a half years since Israel last undertook overt operations in the occupied Gaza territory, Hamas had rebuilt their infrastructure, and developed closer strategic alliances with other external parties, most notably, Iran. With the rebuilding of their tunnel network and these new closer ties, Hamas had been able to smuggle Iranian built Fajr 5 rockets into Gaza. Israel’s response was that of house cleaning – attacking Gaza in order to cripple this infrastructure, and destroy these newly acquired weapon caches, diminishing Hamas’ capabilities for at least another election cycle. Interestingly, international pressure forced Israel from undertaking a ground invasion – guaranteeing that they could not decisively meet these goals.

This is a simple, high level reading of the situation, and one I admit is likely flawed. Regardless it is the one I subscribe to, and one that I feel lends itself to some simple and contained mechanics that I will hopefully be able to tackle to completion within a week or so.

Rollback

Players take the role of an occupying power, caught in perpetual struggle with a unified faction attempting to resist the occupation. The resistance is imbedded within a civilian population, and the player has limited knowledge of the faction’s structure, location and capabilities.

A game of Rollback takes place through two distinct phases. The first occurs during relatively peaceful times, with the player undertaking covert activity in an attempt to identify the human and material infrastructure of the faction. The second phase comprises of overt, open warfare, as the player utilises the previously gleaned intelligence and attempts through force, to rollback the capabilities of the faction.

The player’s ultimate goal is to crush the resisting faction’s infrastructure and capabilities in a timely fashion, before external pressure demands an end to the conflict.

For the sake of the game, once these pressures amount and the player chooses to (or is forced to) end the conflict, the game is considered complete. The player is awarded an overview of their achievements and may play again to experiment with different, potentially more effective strategies.

I will reiterate that this game is inspired by, but not representative of the Israel/Gaza relationship.

For now, I will leave you with the above high level overview. Expect more in depth explanation in the coming days as I further flesh out and develop the different systems that will cause the game to function.

Wish me luck.

 

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Playing on Playstation 3

Red Dead Revolver - I paid about $1000 for my launch model PS3, so I guess it's time I get some use out of that emotion chip crammed inside. I remember Red Dead Revolver looking rather good when it was released, and despite the low resolution and odd blurring (that I attribute to playing on a HD set) the game holds up well. It looks good despite these graphical limitations because the art direction is so precise and awesome. And it isn't just the art direction, the music, dialogue and set design (for some reason, set seems a more fitting word than level) all work in tandem to recreate an iconic Wild West atmosphere. Red Dead Revolver doesn’t aim to recreate life in the Wild West, it allows our imagination to take over and populates the locale with legendary men and their legendary stories.

Playing on iPhone

edge - Well I never thought I'd consider playing a game on iPhone as actually gaming, but edge has turned me around. The game is built for the iPhone. Sure, it could be ported, but the elegance of what has been created is astounding, it boggles the mind and makes me wonder what amazing gems we'd receive if current gen consoles weren't clones of eachother.

Playing on PC

Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Generals - Zero Hour - It may be a temporary effect as I slowly reintroduce the PC into my gaming diet, but it seems every title I’m excited to play on the platform is either a strategy game, or a cheap indie game. PC gaming isn’t dead, it’s just restricted to titles that require complex input or a pointing device, and games that couldn't be developed or distributed on other platforms. I guess that’s part of the reason the AppStore is so far a success, there were a lot of indie devs stuck on PC for lack of a better alternative.
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