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.
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.