I’m not sure exactly why. Confidence?  Time?  Simply being in awe of daring to do something that I hold in such high regard?  I simply don’t know but I’ve tried and tried to motivate myself to write a modern version of Laser Squad for a long, long time.  (Same goes with Dark Side, Hydrofool, Tau Ceti and Auf Wiedersehen Monty)  I got as far as a buggy version of Monty before real life took over.  Now I’ve got some motivation and I’ve pulled my finger out…

Rebel Forces is now in development!!!

I feel it would be a heresy to simply remake Laser Squad since, although it’s a classic, it’s also quite limited by the machine it was originally written on.  My intention is to remake an enhanced Laser Squad.  Cleverer, more flexible and with many more scenarios – even a campaign!

The current state of things is that I have defined the core C# objects and am building using MonoGame which should allow me to (eventually) publish for all the major platforms.  I’m going to charge a nominal fee for the game.  It would be nice to actually make some cash to pay for licences, etc. but I’m not planning on charging more than a pound for each version.

Currently in scope are:

Windows 8 Store, Windows, Windows Phone

in scope but lacking a licence:

Linux, Android, Ouya, PS Mobile, iOS, Mac OSX

Anyway, I digress.  I currently have the core objects in place albeit slightly threadbare.  I’m in the process of building an editor to allow me to build scenarios.  Naturally, once I have some scenarios ready, I can build an engine to process the moves, etc.

I don’t like to make detailed timescales since real life has a nasty habit of interfering in your plans but if all goes well, I’m hoping to have the editor up and running properly by mid-March.  Then I’d hope the engine would take another month to 6 weeks to build.  Finally, I’d hope that while testing, I can get my sprite sheets cleaned up with nicer graphics and ping in some music and sound effects.  Then a final round of beta testing (any volunteers?) and I can start putting together the releasable campaigns – with free future updates/campaigns subject to time and demand.

I also plan to contact Julian Gollop for permission to include the original missions as unlockable rewards in-game.  I’ve heard he’s made the game public domain but to have his blessing would make it even better.

One final thing, I’ve made the editor with a rule builder which should (hopefully) give stronger conditions and scoring for gameplay.  For example, I’ve included some sabotage/subterfuge rules to allow for missions where you hack a computer for data or even plant a virus.  Also, you could plant bombs or transponders for mother ships to target a particular location :)

If anyone has any other suggestions or ideas, please leave a comment.

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