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ALFA: Antiterror Development Diary #4
(hx) 08:19 AM EST - Feb,25 2005

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 fourth part of an exclusive developer diary from "Alfa Antiterror" game designer Max Tumin!

Another month has passed through unnoticed. Last time we have told you about technical part of realism - now it is time to tell you about other important aspects of the game: game environment, game levels, missions and the plot.

Going deeper into realism we tried to follow it in every detail possible at the current stage of technology evolution. First off, we were in need of realistic (gameplay side) levels.

Levels
Each game level represents an authentically recreated part of the real world, we have used aero-footage (given to us by Federal Security Service) to achieve this. But it is not enough to get a point about environment to fill our levels full of details; we have spent a lot of time gathering various photo materials and searching through encyclopedias. We have recreated all in full details trying to get a realistic environment. Mountains, forests, rivers, buildings - all have been recreated highly accurate. So our levels were ideal for simulation of special operations with maximum possible degree of realism, all objects on levels take their part in gameplay. Trees interfere with line of sight, grass is a perfect place to hide, stones make a good cover from bullets and blasts, bushes - ideal place for setting up an ambush and many-storied buildings are good for a long term defense. Moreover, when we have started to tweak the balance of gameplay on these levels we were surprised to admit that there is not a singe thing to be changed for the needs of gameplay, that is natural relief and environment are giving a lot of possibilities in various tactical situations.

Missions
Realistic levels let us to create authentic missions thus simulating real special operations without any reduction and conventionalities. We were able to recreate many classical types of combat situations - there are: storm assaults, POW rescues, neutralization of a target by a single sniper, convoy defending, enemy interception, clean and sweep tasks, and stealth operations. All missions were created in a close cooperation with former and active members of group "ALFA" and "Vympel". That's why the game let's you to feel what it means to be a member of group "ALFA" on your own skin. In many modern games consultants were unsatisfied with the result of their work, because the product was just using their knowledge, but not based on it at maximum degree - in ALFA it is different a lot. During the creation of missions we paid a lot of our attention to battlefield operations, leaving some of the major recent operations aside.

 

The majority of missions are combined in a plotted campaign; it has been recreated in accordance with reach history of our country and Middle East. Campaign consists of 10 missions divided in 4 episodes describing the history of group "ALFA" since 1984 through present days. Action takes place in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia and other regions of Middle East, which we canít name - it is a secrecy reason.

Each of 4 episodes represents one or another period of Russian history. We see all that happening through the eyes of an officer of elite special task force ALFA. It all have started in Afghanistan (1984 - 1986), and then followed by the 1st Chechen war (1994 - 1996), then the 2nd Chechen war (1998 - 2000) and in the final - the present days. While moving through the plot stuff of the group will change, and contents of the arsenal will also change (according to history), new types of weapons and armor will also appear, combat tasks will greatly change too.

Besides the campaign we have created 5 standalone missions showing the hard days of soldiers of regular army of Russian Federation. We couldn't forget about them because they have too played a major part in events that campaign describes.
Standalone missions

In these missions a player doesn't commands the squad of members of group "ALFA", but a squad of soldiers of regular army of Russian Federation - in campaign all units were officers, in standalone missions the majority of units are privates and sergeants. Available weapons are also limited - player can have only that that regular army of Russian Federation has in real life. These missions give a clear idea of how different are the possibilities of regular army and Special Forces.

related links: Movie Trailer (39MB), Development Diary #1, Development Diary #2, Development Diary #3, Alfa Antiterror Q&A, Game Factory Interactive (East European publisher)



genre: tactical turn-based strategy
release: 2005/Q2
developer: MiST land
publisher: Strategy First

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