Developer Feature: Jagged Alliance: Back in Action Dev Diary Part 8
The developers over at Coreplay GmbH bring us part 8 in their developer diary for the upcoming tactical strategy RPG which brings players back to Arulco.
Among the things that stick in many peoples minds from Jagged Alliance 2 is the particular brand of humor in the series. So right at the outset this item topped the list of features we wanted to achieve adequately in Back in Action as a re-interpretation of the original.
What made the humor in Jagged Alliance 2? First, certain mercs who often exhibit the usual stereotypical characteristics and whose biographies alone bring a twinkle to your eye: a Mr Muscles who clearly likes downing the anabolic steroids, a married couple who meet when serving with the police and then have to quit because the LAPD wont tolerate relationships between employees, an experienced merc who, although accurate and reliable, cant control his weight problems and, in contrast to the couple, two ex-es who refuse to work together in future.
So the mercs are a motley crew that have been plucked from their homelands and thrown together. Here too, the authors of SirTech werent shy of alluding to the old clichés back then: the Pole hated the two Russians and the German, Helmut Grunther, was notable for his healthy dose of order and discipline while the Russian craved his vodka. Every merc therefore spoke with the appropriate accent, so you could immediately tell our Grunty was German! Here, of course the fabulous voiceovers played a crucial role; in terms of voice talent, the audio in Jagged Alliance 2 can still be seen as a benchmark today!
It was easy where the mercs were concerned: using the text from the original, we were also able to lift the personalities from the earlier title, and the publishers hand-picked numerous professional voice artists for the voice recordings. The samples from the previous version were also used as reference material in the recording studio.
Like many games of the 90s, Jagged Alliance 2 was also full of allusions to popular culture. The items you could find on Arulco for example; the Lameboy, a sideswipe at the then popular Nintendo GameBoy. I dont want to give too much away, but here too youll find many other such references as you ransack the houses in Arulco for valuable material!
The quests and dialog we have created from scratch for Back in Action should also make you more than just smirk: theyre full of references which some experts of the original are sure to get. If you remember NPCs such as Pablo, Brenda or Eldin we hope youll enjoy seeing them again in todays Arulco. We have taken great pains to stay true to the spirit of the original while creating a new world that should still be fresh and interesting for veterans of the title! But fear not all those who will be setting foot on Arulco for the first time; youre sure to find enough there to raise a smile!
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is aiming for a February 2012 release and recently announced that the game will be utilizing Steamworks functionality.