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Jagged Alliance - Flashback: Interview mit Thomas Hentschel Lund

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Hello Thomas! For our readers: Please introduce yourself, your studio and your new game.
Hi all readers! My name is Thomas Hentschel Lund, and I am the founder and CEO of Full Control. We are a small independent studio based in Copenhagen, Denmark, who just announced that we signed a license for a turn-based Jagged Alliance!

Let's take a look behind the scenes. Some of our readers have no experiences with Jagged Alliance. Can you give a short summary of the game essentials?
Jagged Alliance is a turn-based strategy mixed with a story driven role playing game, where you hire mercenaries to do your bidding. Every merc is different in his personality, and a lot of humor is build into the game and story. This mix creates a unique blend that really has not been seen anywhere else in the last 20 years.

Why did you decide to create a prequel and not something different?
During our brainstorm sessions on the story side, we had a lot of ideas in the air. From redoing Jagged Alliance 2 to doing another dictator on a new island.

We ended up wanting to do a prequel, since that felt much more fresh and interesting for both us and hopefully all fans to learn about the roots of their favorite mercs and of A.I.M.. Why was this group of mercenaries even assembled? Who founded it? Why?

Jagged Alliance - Flashback

Usually the Jagged Alliance episodes contained insane dictators with the desire to rule their own island. In Flashback a general of the U.S.S.R. tries to provoke a second missile crisis. So his intention is to achieve political goals. Why did you chose this realistic but still fictitious scenario compared to the forerunners?
There is not a long way from insane dictators to insane generals :-)

The greater context will become clear when you play the game, but we decided to go this way to set the stage for events that plausible could explain why you have such a mix of mercenary nationalities in the existing Jagged Alliance games.

All mercenaries came from the real world set onto a fictious island in previous games, and this is the tradition that we follow in Flashback as well.

In previous Jagged Alliance episodes it was common that the player could deal with a huge level of freedom - keyword "open island world" - with different possibilities to solve problems or in general while playing the game. How is this handled in Flashback? Shall we await another game with a lot of options or will it be more strictly with linear missions inside the campaign?
We are taking things back to its roots - and that includes a more open world, where you can decide where you want to go and in which order. So its open to the player in the strategic part of the game to select which squad goes where and how its transporting itself. In addition we are adding small side stories that are mercenary specific - personalized quests. An example could be that if you have Ivan in your squad you can unlock a side story to avenge some wrong doing of the Red Army towards Ivan.

On the one hand, a lot of things became easier in Back in Action, e.g. the mercenary skill management. On the other hand, the game lacked a detailed tutorial and automatisms for the micromanagement part, e.g. while equipping the mercenaries, protecting the captured sectors with help of militia or buying and retrieving new weapons at the airport. In other words, a lot of support was lost. How do you want to make sure that beginners don't get frustrated because of the high complexity?
We definitely want to put some of the complexity back again. But at the same time ease players into the game with some optional starter missions that teach you the mechanics. People rarely these days reading manuals or ingame help, and on the other hand the learning curve in e.g. Jagged Alliance 2 is like Mount Everest. So allowing new players to join Jagged Alliance for the first time, easing them into the game and then let them loose to play the game freely - that's the aim for those starter missions. And hardcore players should be familiar with most systems already and can jump right in from the start instead.

The headquarter is an important element of the game. Can you give us some information about it and explain the resource management system? What has happened to the old 56K modem and the laptop for managing the mercenaries? Or is this still the same?
We have lots of plans to get the headquarter back and even expand on this with base building elements. All details are not decided yet, as we are still very much in pre-production, but the core management elements are going to be similar to how it was in Jagged Alliance 2. One difference in Flashback is, that A.I.M. doesn't exist yet. So while playing the story you are actually filling up the A.I.M. roster!

Shall we be excited because we meet new mercenaries or is there a meet and greet with well-known faces?
Yes and yes!!! You will meet both new mercenaries as well as recruit parts of the good old guys and girls. Unlocking some of them will even depend on your choices in the game, and we will have permadeath of characters. So if one of your mercenaries dies who had to be used for unlocking one of the old guys further into the story, then you will have to try again!

Jagged Alliance - Flashback
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Alexander Boedeker am 17 Apr 2013 @ 15:08
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