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Guns For Hire: Jagged Alliance - Flashback

This is most perplexing. Occurrences in the real world have dragged me away from the internet for a couple of weeks and upon poking my head back inside the landscape of ones and zeroes, I can’t help but notice that the Jagged Alliance: Flashback Kickstarter has decided to approach its goal at a thematically appropriate turn-based pace. This could mean that it has conserved action points in preparation for a final push during these last hours but the more likely case is that help may be required.

My conversation with the team left me feeling positive about their knowledge and affection for the first two games, including 1.13, which we all agreed was the high mark to aim for. Discussion of mechanics before development has begun are inevitably loose but Full Control show a clear understanding of what made Jagged Alliance 2 tick. Tactical combat with a wealth of options and a strategic mode that offers depth and variety. The personality of the mercenaries is important too and the cold war setting should allow for some intriguing prequel/origin tales to emerge.

Unfortunately, the second half of the interview, where a great deal of the in depth discussion took place, is stuck on a computer miles away and the aforementioned real world occurrences have separated me from that place. This is the main problem with the real world as opposed to imaginary ones – it cannot be switched off when its distractions are unwanted.

The latest of many updates confirms that IMP’s personality test will be back, creating a mercenary based on responses to a series of bizarre questions:

We want to bring that test back. So yes, this is an official confirmation that Jagged Alliance: Flashback will have a personality test within the game to create your very own character.

The team have also been explaining what will happen should they fail to reach their goal.

We will probably NOT be doing another Kickstarter for JA:F! This one is it. Now or never. That has nothing to do that we don’t believe in the game. We do. There are other reasons.

It is a huge expense and stress factor for us. The JAF team has now worked more or less 8 weeks without a single day off – answering thousands of posts, making 23 updates, doing videos and dioramas, performing interviews, writing (mostly ignored) press releases, hitting every social media outlet we could, participated in forums all over the globe, etc.

And if all of the work doesn’t pay off?

The last option would be to go back to bitComposer and talk to them about this project. Tell them that there is still a community out there that wants this game to happen – and that are willing to help, push, pull, contribute – who have their heart at the right place. Maybe they will pull out a checkbook and still let us do the game as described. They once offered the funding, maybe they’ll offer again. The problem is that this would bring us far away from being independent. And that’s a thing we actually want to try to avoid. And if influences became too big, we’d stop negotiations. This might lead to us giving back the license and saying “thank you”.

Based on the effort that has gone into the Kickstarter campaign and the afternoon that I spent talking to the team, I feel that, for the first time in years, Jagged Alliance is in good hands. Of course, positive talk and feelings may lead to disappointment but sometimes I’d rather risk being disappointed by a thing than by its lack.

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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