Jagged Alliance: Back in Action
Developer Diary Part 7: Plan & Go
Having spoken at great length in the previous diaries about the technical basics of the game and in particular the level design, we’ll now turn our attention to the slightly less dry aspects of the game: the gameplay.
We’ll talk first about a new feature in Jagged Alliance: Back in Action: the Plan & Go system.
The Plan & Go system could be described as an extended “real time with pauses” system. Back in Action essentially runs in real time, but the game can be paused at any time. The player maintains control of the game events even during the pause, and can input more entries which can only be implemented when the pause is removed.
This will already be familiar from other games, e.g. tactical RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate or Dragon Age: Origins. But what is new in Back in Action is the action timeline, whereby all the commands issued by the player while the game is paused are retained and listed. While in Baldur’s Gate players generally pause the game to issue an order, i.e. for the mage to make a fireball incant magic, and then continue the game only to pause it again several seconds later and issue a command to a fighter, in Back in Action you can issue a sequence of orders to several mercs to devise complex plans, so we like to refer to pause mode as planning mode.
All the orders you have given are not only shown in the action timeline as an overall strategy, but are displayed in the game world as markers, so you can see exactly which mercs will carry out which commands and in which order. Think of this process as a sort of table on which you can design a raid and refine it for as long as you want; only when you press the space bar to exit pause mode and quit planning mode to resume the game can you then observe how effective your plan is. You can of course pause the game the moment anything goes wrong, and then tweak your plan accordingly. When you revert to planning mode, you will again see all the current commands you have issued to your mercs.
The knack with the planning mode is that you can now synchronize your actions: for example, you can order Shadow to sneak around the enemy base to launch an ambush and attack a guard there, as meanwhile you bring Igor out from behind cover to take aim at an enemy. If you now want to stop Igor opening fire immediately, thereby raising the alarm among all the enemies before Shadow can get half-way to his target, you can simply link the two attack commands. This means that one of the mercs will automatically wait for the other, and will only carry out his action when his team mate is ready to start the linked action.
This method is simple, but effective. It’s fun to suss the enemies out and to tweak things here and there as you move your mercs into position as discreetly as possible to then launch the surprise attack!
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action’s ‘Plan & Go’ Combat System Revealed
Ridgewood, NJ, October 31, 2011 –Kalypso Media and bitComposer Games have today released more information on the innovative ‘Plan & Go’ combat system for the upcoming PC strategy title -- Jagged Alliance: Back in Action. Scheduled for release in Q1 2012, Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is the remake of the famous 1999 strategy classic, Jagged Alliance 2, and will take players back to the fictitious island of Arulco, where a ruthless dictator has seized power. Hire the best mercenaries in the world to recapture the country zone-by-zone whilst receiving help from the local rebel militia forces.
Today’s screenshot and developer diary release detail Jagged Alliance: Back in Action’s new “Plan & Go” system that allows players to tactically plan their assaults against enemy objectives. The new system allows for the player to switch between real-time play, and a waypoint-styled movement and combat, for ultimate battlefield flexibility.
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is set to continue to offer the popular mix of sophisticated tactics, RPG and business simulation which made the classic predecessor so special. The player will be able to form elite squads from among over 60 diverse and unique merc characters, and send them on various missions. The new ‘Plan & Go’ combat system skilfully combines dynamic real-time gameplay with turn-based elements.
For more information on Jagged Alliance: Back in Action please visit http://www.jaggedalliance.com/en/
About The Kalypso Media Group
Founded in 2006 in Germany by industry veterans Simon Hellwig and Stefan Marcinek, Kalypso Media is a global, independent developer, marketer and publisher of interactive entertainment software with 120 employees world-wide.
Along with Headquarters in Worms, Germany, the company has offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. Kalypso Media also enjoys very strong global digital distribution through its Kalypso Media Digital Ltd. Subsidiary, and owns three development studios – Realmforge Studios GmbH, Gaming Minds Studios GmbH and Noumena Studios GmbH – and works with multiple leading independent developers.
Kalypso Media‘s recent titles include the critically acclaimed Tropico 4, Air Conflicts: Secret Wars and Boulder Dash XL for Xbox 360, and Dungeons – The Dark Lord for Windows PC. Upcoming multi-platform titles include The Dark Eye – Demonicon and Port Royale 3, along with Legends of Pegasus and Jagged Alliance: Back in Action for PC. Further information about Kalypso Media is available at http://www.kalypsomedia.com
About bitComposer Games
bitComposer Games is an independent publisher for PC and videogames with headquarters in Eschborn. The company focuses on the national and international marketing of entertainment products for the classical PC, console and handheld platforms. In the realization of original projects, licensed products and commissioned productions, bitComposer Games draws on experienced development teams and service providers worldwide. Further information on bitComposer Games is available at www.bit-composer.com