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ALFA: Antiterror Development Diary #5
(hx) 07:30 AM EDT - Apr,26 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 fifth part of an exclusive developer diary from "Alfa Antiterror" game designer Max Tumin!

Last time we have told you about environment of the game, campaign and stand-alone missions - about singleplayer part of the game. Now it is time to tell you about multiplayer. Needless to say that playing against a real human is far more interesting than playing against an AI. And if this is not just a random guy, but a good friend - it is even more fun to defeat his/her tactics. Just imagine how you could ambush opponent's squad or position your sniper in a good position and let him do his work or try to predict opponent's plan and play along to make a surprise attack when he/she doesn't aware of it. I could continue to describe all the possibilities forever...

Multiplayer playing is possible through various technological solutions: LAN, Internet, PBEM and Hot Seat. You can play with up to 4 players on a map. Each player may have up to 16 units under his/her command depending on mission's setup. There are 2 game modes: "Deathmatch" and "Zone control", while the first one is a bit obvious the second one needs explanation. In this mode a player must conquer and control specified zones on a map. By doing so a player gets points, the more zones a player controls and the longer they belong to him/her - the more points he/she gets. If one of players gets a specified amount of points then that player wins. There is also a possibility to play in a cooperative mode like 2 against 2 or 2 against 1 in both modes. Player that plays as "server" can tweak map settings such as: game mode, amount of points to get, turns limit, ordering phase time limit, amount of available command points (to buy equipment).

While in singleplayer campaign you control "ALFA" group, in multiplayer you have a choice to play as: ALFA, VYMPEL (another Russian special force), SAS (England), GSG-9 (Germany) and SWAT (USA). Each team has its unique equipment list. So if you play as ALFA - you see AKs and if you play GSG-9 you see mostly HKs. The weapon list is really huge - you can expect to see a variety of modern weapons from pistols to machineguns - to name few: Steyr AUG, Famas, HK G36, FN P90, AEK-971.


We don't just add a lot of weapons for a huge list. Every weapon in the game has been tested in a real multiplayer combat and has its purpose. Some pistols and sub-machine guns have silenced versions. Some assault rifles have versions with preinstalled optics or underslung grenade launchers. There are also silenced sniper rifles. At the beginning of playtests there were only Russian silenced sniper rifles (from campaign) and it was not a right thing for balance - so we added some silenced sniper rifles for teams other than Russian.

Also from a multiplayer clashes between us we found that Russian teams has very powerful grenade (RGO) and a flamethrower (RPO-A) that other teams haven't - so we removed them from multiplayer. The same we did for Russian SVU-A sniper rifle (fully automatic bull-pup version of SVD), while it is a very good weapon for campaign - for multiplayer it is far too powerful - especially when other teams have no analog. So as you can see we have taken it very seriously. It was our intention to make a good and balanced multiplayer - because we played it ourselves and it was fun and we wanted to get more fun. Well, I must confess, testing and balancing of multiplayer has been the most interesting part of "ALFA" development.

related links: Movie Trailer (39MB), Development Diary #1, Development Diary #2, Development Diary #3, Development Diary #4, 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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