Saturday, 17 October 2009

Campaign mode Hearts and Minds - Villages and towns

Years ago I envisioned a campaign system that didn't focus on military objectives. Military actions good and bad, would influence both resources and friction to your continued operation. You are here in a battle against insurgents in a place that is populated by people you will either win over, or have to persecute. But in the campaign, everyone knows everyone else. You're actions against innocents can trigger hatred and uprising elsewhere. Villages are populated by people who are pseudo-randomly linked (as friends, family) to other places and people. Hostile or indiscriminate destruction will effect other regions. And this works both ways in the campaign. Insurgents or other hostile forces can trigger a rise of unpopularity for their cause, or yield information which leads to missions of importance.

As a pilot, you only see these effects in the abstract. Flying over a village may have a sniper taking the occasional shot at you, or an increase in overall AI crew morale and performance, benefits of making a difference in the area. Missions you are tasked with will always be influenced by your performance. Your mission is to combat a rising tide of insurgent activity, some things are just out of your control but the key is not to make them worse.

Does this town contain hostiles? It might, it will most certainly contain friendlies and you must keep it that way. Unlock the ability to direct local ground forces and fly in support.

While it is possible to land and explore villages on foot, it will be unwise to do so in a hostile region without support of peace-keepers. Improvised explosive devices or IEDs could be anywhere on regular patrol routes.

This is just one campaign mode providing a cerebral strategic sub game that will provide players a reason to come back and do better. It will enable players to explore consequences of actions and manage resources. After years of tweaking it will be gratifying to finally see the H&M campaign in action, the way is was meant to be.

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