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Broadcast Syndication: Black Annex

Will the Kickstarter controversies never end? Simon Roth stopped making his crowdfunded procedurally generated management game, Maia, for at least five seconds this morning. I know that it happened because he spent that time sending me a link to Black Annex, a one-man production built in QBASIC that will probably remind readers of a certain age that Syndicate used to be about controlling a squad of tiny, violent cyber(punk)men from afar rather than violently dismissing a first-person shooter from afar. The hot-off-the-presses trailer shows four agents infiltrating buildings, shooting enemies and hacking computers, and it looks wonderful.

The game’s official site contains a year’s worth of development blogs, covering everything from campaign structures to pathfinding, and reading the material, it becomes clear that an enormous degree of thought and effort have already gone into the game. The later parts of the video show mission selection, which includes tagging of optional objectives such as ‘No Alerts’ and ‘No Kills’, suggesting that the violence and gunplay will be optional, either last resorts or brute force entry points.

No indication of a release date yet but hopefully we’ll know more about future plans soon. With this, Gunpoint and (hopefully) Cartel, 2013 could be the year that bionic trousers, trenchcoats and absurd violence become fashionable again.

The description of the trailer contains these words:

“I’m not the best artist nor am I the best programmer in the world, but I just wanted this game to exist; I sat down exactly a year ago today and started working on it. I hope you get to enjoy it too, some day!”

I would very much like to enjoy this game some day.

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Adam Smith

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