Jagged Alliance: Back in Action
Developer Diary Part 7: Plan & Go
Having spoken at great length in the previous diaries about the technical basics of the game and in particular the level design, we’ll now turn our attention to the slightly less dry aspects of the game: the gameplay.
We’ll talk first about a new feature in Jagged Alliance: Back in Action: the Plan & Go system.
The Plan & Go system could be described as an extended “real time with pauses” system. Back in Action essentially runs in real time, but the game can be paused at any time. The player maintains control of the game events even during the pause, and can input more entries which can only be implemented when the pause is removed.
This will already be familiar from other games, e.g. tactical RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate or Dragon Age: Origins. But what is new in Back in Action is the action timeline, whereby all the commands issued by the player while the game is paused are retained and listed. While in Baldur’s Gate players generally pause the game to issue an order, i.e. for the mage to make a fireball incant magic, and then continue the game only to pause it again several seconds later and issue a command to a fighter, in Back in Action you can issue a sequence of orders to several mercs to devise complex plans, so we like to refer to pause mode as planning mode.