Author Topic: Invasion Machine - RTT modern warfare counterinsurgency game (in development)  (Read 534 times)

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Offline invasionmachine

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Hi everyone,

I'm a developer working on a somewhat unique wargame Invasion Machine - it's a modern warfare sandbox/rtt, where you play as a peace force trying to restore order in a post-invasion, imaginary province. It's a completely fictional setting, but inspired heavily by the war in Afghanistan.
The game will enter Steam's early access on February 26th.

It's got some rather unique features, like:
  • no healthbars. there's a complex casevac system - bodies don't disappear from the map and you cannot leave any of your men behind
  • reporters embedding with your troops - you will have to worry about how the press sees your progress
  • enemies might be planting IEDs anywhere on the map
  • in order to win, you have to deploy a COIN strategy
  • the locals might be actively working against you if you fail to win them over

Steam Page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/964650/Invasion_Machine/



« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 02:46:10 PM by invasionmachine »
INVASION MACHINE
Modern-warfare RTS/sandbox game inspired by the real conflicts in the Middle East. Fight a counter-insurgency war, protect the civilian population, casevac your wounded and decide how the world sees your struggle. And remember - no one gets left behind.

Offline Jarhead0331

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Welcome! Really looking forward to checking this one out.

Is this your first project? Very interesting subject to tackle. Only a handful of other games attempt this source material. What inspired you to give this a shot?
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Offline JasonPratt

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Offline MOS:96B2P

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This sounds very interesting.  I look forward to seeing and hearing more about this game.   :bd:

Offline invasionmachine

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Welcome! Really looking forward to checking this one out.

Is this your first project? Very interesting subject to tackle. Only a handful of other games attempt this source material. What inspired you to give this a shot?

This is something I wanted to do for years, I think ever since I watched Black Hawk Down (the convoy scenes, not the helicopters) and later Generation Kill (that inspired me to look into the right camouflage shortage on everything, hence the green camo on parts of your equipment).
The second things is - I don't really enjoy games with no depth. Lose 90% of your men? So what. Drop a bunker buster on a village? So what. Me, I'm trying to approach this from a more realistic point of view - "if this was an occupied province, what could actually be happening there?"

Even though I'm just about to enter early access, this is just the beginning of the project. There's lots of different content coming in the next months.
INVASION MACHINE
Modern-warfare RTS/sandbox game inspired by the real conflicts in the Middle East. Fight a counter-insurgency war, protect the civilian population, casevac your wounded and decide how the world sees your struggle. And remember - no one gets left behind.

Offline devoncop

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Wish listed.

Love this concept. Best of luck with it. O0
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=534&t=92000

Link to Field of Glory Empires MP forum with Slitherine Games

Offline demjansk1942

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Looks good, thanks for answering question,

Offline MikeGER

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insta Wish listed  O0

Offline Jarhead0331

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Well, I have about 30 minutes invested and I'm impressed so far. Game is full of potential. The UI is very different and takes some time to get used to. I'm sure there are shortcuts, I just need to learn them. When the action heats up, they'll be essential.

There will be a campaign in the final build, but in the early version I'm playing, there is a sandbox mode that launches various missions from command. There appear to be several overriding goals. Improve your standing with command by completing the missions they order. These may conflict with your immediate goals of keeping the morale of your men up, reducing the influence of the insurgents, or improving relationships with the locals.

In the present build, unit variety is pretty sparse, but, in addition to basic combat units, there are interpreters, medics and radio operators who can be critical to missions.

For instance, you can setup road checkpoints to stop and search vehicles. However, if you don't have your interpreter present, you can't communicate and you don't get the same level of Intel.

Combat is pretty cool, although it would be helpful to see how it is operating under the hood in terms of spotting, cover, chance to hit, etc. I've spent a lot of time banging away at guys in the open desert and it's taken awhile to take them out. Weapon variety also seems pretty basic so far. Haven't seen any grenades, RPGs, etc. Maybe that comes later in the game.

One concern I have is command and control. I found it difficult to pay attention to my checkpoint down at the green zone, while also engaging in combat at other locations on the map. I also haven't seen a map of the entire mission area, but maybe I'm just missing it.

Anyway, the concept of patrolling out of the green zone to look for enemy activity, patrol the roads and villages is pretty cool. The enemy is always operating and lurking. They may be setting ambushes, planting IEDs, trying to influence the locals, etc. You have to remain proactive, while also knowing when to bring your men back behind the wire, or call for reinforcements, which you can purchase from HQ with pointsearned by completing missions.

So far, very cool concept, very interesting execution. Scree shots to follow.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 08:07:26 AM by Jarhead0331 »
Grogheads Uber Alles
Semper Grog
"No beast is more alpha than JH." Gusington, 10/23/18


Offline invasionmachine

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More units will come over time - for now I'm keeping it pretty basic, because there's som much other tedious behind-the-scenes stuff to add or fix.
I'm planning two separate unit-related updates before the early access ends - transport and casevac helicopters (with PJs) and explosives (some light armor, rpgs and mortars for the enemy, smoke cover).

As for the UI - there is some helpers and hotkeys in, already. You ca quickly create convoys by holdding left shift and right-clicking on a different car, you can adjust the stance of your men with z/x/c keys, issue fast/slow movement, quickly issue the "hold sector here" order, etc. I guess what it's currently lacking is any sort of basic game guide. There's a keyboard mapping list in the game settings window, but it's not actually complete.

Yeah, the interpreter is key in any interactions with the locals - he's the only unit who can understand their intentions
INVASION MACHINE
Modern-warfare RTS/sandbox game inspired by the real conflicts in the Middle East. Fight a counter-insurgency war, protect the civilian population, casevac your wounded and decide how the world sees your struggle. And remember - no one gets left behind.

Offline MOS:96B2P

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Very cool, interesting stuff.  Is it possible to collect actionable intelligence through the interpreter or by other means (maybe SIGINT)? 

Example:  The player receives information that a IED making shop is at location X.  Or an enemy commander will be at location Y at 2100hrs etc.

Then the player would have to make a choice to put together an operation or not or maybe it could be an ambush.........? 

Interesting possibilities.     

Offline invasionmachine

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Yes, I want intel gathering to be a big part of it, in a number of different ways. Right now this isn't yet all in the game, but will most definitely be added.

- you will be able to setup an observation post somewhere around the village, if you're waiting for a specific HVT to arrive, using your SF team (not yet implemented).
- later on in the game you will be able to use I-Com equipment, probably mounted on one of your vehicles, to see communications in realtime, be it the locals talking about your troops, enemy movement, etc. I think this is gonna be the most interesting.
- locals will sometimes come to you with information, as long as you have good standings with them (eg. if they know their neighbor is sheltering the enemy, and they don't like that)
- you can send the interpreter to talk to people in the village, some of them will also share intel this way
- and the game will sometimes just create an intel report for you outright

In general, I don't want to allow the player to just continously be searching every village house by house, so there will be a big penalty in relations with the locals for doing so.
INVASION MACHINE
Modern-warfare RTS/sandbox game inspired by the real conflicts in the Middle East. Fight a counter-insurgency war, protect the civilian population, casevac your wounded and decide how the world sees your struggle. And remember - no one gets left behind.

Offline MOS:96B2P

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I'm really looking forward to this.  I don't think any other game (Maybe Slitherine's Afghanistan 11, to a much lesser extent?) has attempted to be this realistic.  Having to consider the totality of Intel., hearts & minds, casualties, the news media, your boss etc. all while operating in a hostile environment is really interesting and should help to give a lot of depth to the game.

IMO games are more interesting if decisions have benefits and consequences that the player must (or at least should) consider.  So I'm happy to hear that if a commander decides to search every house in the village the searches will have a negative impact on relations with the locals who will then (probably) be less willing to provide information etc.  A few IEDs in some of the houses and the resulting casualties may also help the overly aggressive commander reconsider his COIN OPLAN.       

Prioritizing and making command decisions (choices) with limited resources is realistic.

Also glad to hear it has a sandbox mode.

Good luck with this.         

Offline invasionmachine

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Yeah, that's the idea - I'm not interested in making a game where the only win condition is to eliminate 100% of enemy units.

I wanna have a game where you need to think of yourself as "middle management" in the command hierarchy. You don't get to decide the grand strategy of the conflict, and you're not really responsible for the final outcome of the war. All you have is a single AO, semi-forgotten by the brass (because yours is just one mission of many), where you're supposed to increase security the best you can. If you do well, you get more attention (and better equipment). If you do bad, you lose.

Another thing that's important to me - I want this to be centered around the infantry troops. The weapons systems and vehicles are just tools for them to use. The most interesting part for me is what happens to people in a modern conflict. The stress, the rules of engagement, the sneaky enemy.

But having said that - all this is easier said than done, so I it's gonna take me the next few months to iron out the most outrageous issues.
I am launching into EA this week, but to me early access is just that - the first draft of the game, out there for the players who share my idea and would like to support me.
INVASION MACHINE
Modern-warfare RTS/sandbox game inspired by the real conflicts in the Middle East. Fight a counter-insurgency war, protect the civilian population, casevac your wounded and decide how the world sees your struggle. And remember - no one gets left behind.

Offline MOS:96B2P

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Very cool.  I'll give it a spin when it comes out.