Army Men Series Summary

The Summary

On April 30th 1998, Someone came up with the idea to make a game based on the beloved plastic Army Men that were popular during the 20th century. The 3DO Company created the very first Army Men game.

This well-received strategic tactical shooter had a very effective and interesting storyline taking place in the “Plastic World” and quite a good gameplay value, as well as a modem-based online multiplayer mode. A year later, they released a direct sequel which continued where the story left off, introducing the “Real World”.

Unlike the original game, Army Men II was a more action-packed tactical shooter with an even greater gameplay value than it’s predecessor. Later that same year, 3DO released a 3D remake of the original game.

Despite a certain number of flaws (such as the removal of Air Support items, such as Paratroopers and Airstrikes, and the lack of building a squadron of allied units), Army Men 3D still retained the tactical elements from the original game. Unfortunately, to the lackluster AI, brutally-punishing difficulty (on Easy mode no less), barren environments, and the lack of a proper save system, the game was horribly bashed and underrated and did not receive the attention it truly deserved.

Years later, 3DO began a fast-paced development cycle in which they created over 300 games, including a total of 34 Army Men games (including the various ports).

As a result, most of these Army Men games were very rushed, poorly developed, and horribly-received and although some of the games have demonstrated greater potential, (such as Sarges Heroes, which rebooted the franchise, and the console-exclusive World War games), were already rushed towards their release before they were ever realized and due to the negative reputation it created, some of the games that were actually great and worthwhile (E.g. Army Men RTS, and Air Attack) did not received the recognition it truly deserved. Eventually The 3DO Company collapsed and other developers that have taken over have made a number of games that are surprisingly worse, (only exception for the recent Mobile Ops video game). Despite all of this, the Army Men fan base has surprisingly developed even larger since the aftermath of The 3DO Company, more especially because of Army Men RTS and ironically Sarge’s Heroes, and have started surporting the series by uploading a tremendous amount of walkthrough videos, creating fan-based communities such as the Army Men Fans ModDB group, and even making tribute references from even one of the best Garrys Mod machinimas available (5:30).

However there are two core elements that NONE of these games ever had (and one additional core element that MOST games have never had and were not strongly support by those that did), that we believe could have extend their lives and their potential.

Online Cooperative Multiplayer,

Competitve Multiplayer,

&

User Mod Content,

Army Men III Wallpaper - Fresh out the Kitchen

On December 1st 2011, Army Men III was released at it’s Alpha stage, which practically served as a “story/game ploy” or a practical demonstration of how the storyline and some of the core gameplay features were planned in a nutshell and to receive some feedback of what to add towards our Beta release. Although the Alpha version was surprisingly well-praised for its rough-drafted story and gameplay direction, it was criticized for its certain flaws, such as the bad voice-acting (more especially with Sarge, Plastro and the Grey General), as well as a few unexpected glitches that managed to threaten the game’s playability and a few graphical glitches, some of which were caused from the UDK’s end (e.g. Terrain glitch on resolution change), which we have absolutely NO control over (blame Epic Games).

Since then, we have continued to work VERY harder than we originally did to make a the true direct sequel and a VERY fun and enjoyable Army Men game that many of us have desired. Most importantly, we want to allow gamers (more especially our fans) to modify or even create their own custom and unique universes and content with our game and it’s multiplayer-focused standalone expansion component, supporting both singleplayer and multiplayer capabilities, including our upcoming multiplayer-exclusive plastic currency/scoring system (score that is used as currency for buying specific items, and other multiplayer features) and our player customization feature (customize your player model, color, weapon loadout, etc.)

Stay tuned for more updates. If you have not seen or was not introduced to this article through our recent Progress update, be sure to check it out via the news section, the IndieDB front page, our official websiteor by clicking here.

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Neotl Empire.

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Army Men III Beta – Gameplay Trailer, Online Coop, and Beyond!

For those that do not know,

Army Men III is the conclusion to the never-finished original Army Men series that starred the original “Sarge” character. While Sarge returns in this installment, the game now puts you in the role of Corporal Wallace Aron Niles, a new character to the series. With the insane Grey Doctor and his twisted creations wreaking havoc across the plastic world, you are about to play a pivotal role in defeating the Grey Doctor and his army of psychotic experiments once and for all.

Recently we have released our short (and somewhat comical) IOTY Campaign Trailer for those raw recruits that are new to IndieDB and the voting awards. if you have not seen it already you can check it out below (forgive the slight distortion, it’s probably happening on IndieDB’s end):

Gameplay Trailer

Yep, the title is pretty self-explanatory. However Christmas is almost at hand. Throughout the year of 2012, we have dedicated extensive amount of time to work on the game, and since we are getting close to the eve of our beta release, we would hate to leave our fellow fans hanging.

Below is our gameplay trailer for the beta at its current status. Every single footage was recorded in real-time.

Campaign & Skirmish

The upcoming beta release will feature a 3-4 hour campaign setting in the plastic world as well as a few in the real world. It will also feature an action-packed skirmish mode with a series of maps taking place almost entirely in the real world to return the nostalgic fun from the original Army Men series (which we will explain further at another time).

Cinematics and Animation

The cinematic aspect has greatly improved since the Alpha release. John Rogers, Mike Hillard, and Stig Sydtangen have done an awesome job at overhauling most of the entire dialogue, as well as the gameplay dialogue and damage sounds. As seen in the trailer, some of the animations were also improved, including adding a new aimed zoom animation, and improving the NPC animations.

Cooperative Mode & AI

Although online multiplayer exist in a few of the Army Men games (Most especially Army Men RTS), there was something that all of the previous games – An online cooperative gameplay mode. Franklin Iheanacho (your’s truly behind this article) have been working on such a system for some time now. He has practically re-programmed the core gameplay code to work for online play and is currently working on new cooperative game modes some of which were inspired from the Serious Sam HD Coop modes (e.g. Coin Op). He has also improved the AI since the Alpha release, making them more competitive and intelligent as the difficulty level increases. In singleplayer, the NPCs behaviors are effected according to difficulty option whereas in Cooperative mode, the difficulty slightly increases as more human players enter the online game.

IndieDB IOTY Awards

We really need your help in this years IndieDB awards! This is the third time since we have made it the Top 100. However, there are only less than 3 days left, so if you have not voted yet, don’t forget to do so.

  • In 2010, we reached the Top 100 in the “Upcoming Games” category.
  • In 2011, we reached the Top 100 in the “Released Games” category during our Alpha release however our release was recent and was not so easily recognized during the phase.
  • In 2012, we have released a patch for the Alpha version and have reached the Top 100 in the “Released Games of 2012” category.

We are pursuing the “Best Released Indie Game” category. In case the Campaign Trailer video did not really help, the instructions are also below in text.

Instructions

  1. Strongly recommend you create a member account (member votes count more than guest votes).
  2. Click on the Top 100 button on our page.
  3. Search for the “Third Person Shooter” category for our game (the only game in the genre, you can’t miss it)
  4. Vote for us!
Alternative, You can also vote for our game via the link below:
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Lord Iheanacho Productions.

Work In Progress (12/7/12) – Beta Progress

News from The Front!
We are marching towards the Beta Release!It’s been a long while since we ever posted any progress articles, and to make up for such long delay, here is a taste of what’s coming in the Beta release!

Army Men III Screenshots

Army Men III ScreenshotsArmy Men III ScreenshotsArmy Men III ScreenshotsArmy Men III ScreenshotsArmy Men III ScreenshotsArmy Men III ScreenshotsArmy Men III ScreenshotsArmy Men III Screenshots

Since the release of the Alpha, Lord Iheanacho Productions has made tremendous progress throughout the past year:

  • Animations are greatly improved
  • Level design is becoming better than before
  • Almost every single NPC is dismemberable
  • Dual wielding has been implemented and working.
  • AI skill and game difficulty has improved
  • Improved materials utilizing DirectX 11 Technology.
  • Man do I love the smell of “burning plastic” in the morning…

Our website underwent a complete overhaul so be sure to check it out here.
Lastly, we have released a localization patch for the outdated Alpha version release, which you can download here.

Remember, We are still looking for recruits, You can contact us here.
Keep your eyes pealed for more exciting updates on progress.
Vote us for Indie of the Year and you are Good to Go!
Over and Out!

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Work In Progress (4/8/12) – Happy Easter!

As some of you may know, several assets have been recreated (more especially to replace the UDK-provided substitutes as seen in the Alpha version). More especially the Tesla Cannon, Grenade Launcher, and the Berserker character.

Army Men III Weapons - Tesla Cannon
Army Men III Weapons - Grenade Launcher

We have decided to apply armor to our new and improved Berserker character. With the armor, the berserker is invulnerable to most standard weapons and can only be harmed with explosives and experimental weapons. While Melee attacking is another alternative, it proves to be less effective against it.

Army Men III Characters - Berserker

 

As the Berserker health drops below 50%, his armor will shatter thus revealing the full plastic and making standard weapons effective against it and explosives even more effective. again, Melee attacking is still less effective.

Army Men III Characters - Berserker

I figured some players may have had trouble finding their way throughout the campaign in the alpha release. Thanks to the experience I have gained working with Totem Arts as their Unrealscript programmer for their current project Renegade X, I am now able to do just that. I am currently working on Navigation System to help the player find his/her way trough certain missions in the game.

New Navigation System

In Other News:

One of our voice actors, John Rogers was kind enough to host a new domain for the game’s website which you can visit at the end of this article.

We have also recreated some materials of the terrain for our game. Although this is an independent title, we are hoping to graphically aim beyond those boundaries by improving the art to meet AAA quality standards – The similar quality you would often see in most full-fledged commercial games.

Army Men III Screenshots
Army Men III Screenshots

That is all for now, Be sure to track us on the following below.

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