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ALFA: Antiterror Development Diary #2
(hx) 11:28 AM EST - Dec,10 2004

ALFA: Antiterror is a turn based tactical combat simulator that lets the player control Russia's special operations force through a four episode campaign based on the real life experiences of former Alfa members. Here's the second part of an exclusive developer diary from Alfa Antiterror project producerYaroslav Astakhov!

Many people probably have pretty rough idea about the development process of any game. Meanwhile it is complicated process indeed. So the concept is chosen, the legend and plot are clear. What next? Then follows quite arduous and difficult development stage as information and materials gaining. This part of our development dairies will lift the veil of secrecy and tell you about the process of sources gaining for the "Alfa: Antiterror" project.

 

Characters:
The main part of most games is characters. That's why we placed particular emphasis to the development of this part of the gameplay. Firstly we tried to find any information in the Internet meticulously examining various sources and web-sites. But it didn't work unfortunately.

Then we applied to the Federal Security Service (FSB) Operation Center in order to get some information and materials, concerning the equipment, arming and other features of the Special Task Force members. In short, we visited their military unit and made lots of photographs and pictures (of course under incessant control!), which helped us while creating characters. Besides we collected an extensive literature on military subjects, which served us as a ground for creating models.

It's worth mentioning the way characters' heads were drawn. At first we used already finished renders to make portraits; then we tried to use our own pictures and snap-shots - different photos of our friends and relatives, student and army photos etc. Yeah, it was ingenuous indeed!
Afterwards we've obtained the book about chekists (i.e. special agents) with a lot of illustrations and photographs, which we used for drawing portraits. But this variant was rejected as well.

So actually the only reliable source was Federal Security Service (FSB) Operation Center, and owing to it we've finally made excellent portraits with maximum correspondence to originals!

As for characters' uniform and various equipment - all these items were accurately made with the use of high-quality pictures and photographs from various subject encyclopedias and archives.

According to the information from different sources, every soldier in the game has an assigned position (assaulter, sniper and grenadier). The player will then grow in rank and be rewarded depending on their participation in the operations. After each mission is completed, the player gets command points, which can be used both for training our subordinates and improving their skills or awarding anybody new ranks.

Moreover, as it's in real life, each soldier in the game has its own individual character, which defines his behavior on the battlefield and the way he interacts with a team.

Weapons:
Since the game covers rather long period of time, the weapons, which are available to the player, will change depending on the period of time. All the weapons were made using the information, photographs and pictures from subject encyclopedias as well. A great deal of materials was provided by the very Operation Center of FSB, which consulted our team about characters.

They provided us with a special literature, concerning pictures and the information about weapons' description, characteristics and other details. According to these materials we made high-quality detailed textures of weapon samples, which number more than 100 types in the game (to be precise - 70 base models plus variations).

 

Among these weapons there are standard weapons that are used by the army and by internal Russian forces. There will also be some special weapons that are available for Special Forces only. The types of weapons that a player can expect to see in the game are as follows: pistols, sub-machineguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, machineguns and grenade launchers - not to mention a variety of hand grenades.

There will also be samples of other manufacturers in the game (H&K, Beretta, Glock, FN, Colt, Steyr, S&W others). Also the game offers a number of special tools and instruments used by special task forces.

Equipment:
As for equipment samples creation - it was far easier! Actually we bought model kits and scanned them. In accordance to these models we made highly detailed textures. Afterwards, we just used photographs (photos of different elements of technical equipment and its various perspectives) to make necessary samples.
All dimensions and characteristics of equipment samples were taken from reference sources, so you can expect maximum reliability in the game.
Besides our project manager frequently visited the exercise center and training grounds of "ALFA" group in order to have first-hand knowledge of "ALFA" group reality.

related links: Movie Trailer (39MB), Development Diary #1, Alfa Antiterror Q&A, Game Factory Interactive (East European publisher)



genre: tactical turn-based strategy
release: 2005/Q1
developer: MiST land
publisher: Strategy First

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