The latest dev diary for upcoming turn-based merc-manager Jagged Alliance 3 outlines a couple of interesting features. The first is mod support, which is particularly relevant given the way modders kept Jagged Alliance 2 alive. Here’s our own Evan Lahti singing the praises of the 1.13 mod, which “enhances what’s there, upping the maximum resolution, adding hundreds of new weapons—including gratifying super-items like Ghillie suits and depleted-uranium bullets—reorganizing hotkeys and altering the AI so that enemies flank better, take cover more often, climb onto roofs, and utilize suppressive fire.”
Jagged Alliance 3 will receive mod support as part of a post-launch update, the dev diary explains: “Modders will have access to the tools we use internally to create content such as mercs, weapons, items, quests, voice responses, and can even add support for new languages.”
Modders will be able to use JA3’s appearance editor tool to make new mercs or NPCs with existing assets, or by exporting new models and animations they make in Blender. “To create a fully fleshed out merc modders will also want to upload 2D portraits (big and small) and create voice responses for their mercs. We look forward to seeing what kind of mercs the community comes up with!” A map editor and a quest editor will follow in another update.
The other feature detailed in the post is co-op multiplayer. Two players will be able to experience the campaign together, either starting fresh or by having one join the other’s existing singleplayer campaign. As Haemimont Games explains, “there is no functional difference between a save made in a co-op and single player, and the host can continue the game in single player if their buddy drops out. Both players can also load any of the saves (auto-saves or manual saves) created during co-op gameplay and continue them in singleplayer.”
Players will share the same pool of mercs and have to stay in the same sector, and dialogue with NPCs will be controlled by whichever player started the conversation, although the other can suggest dialogue choices in the UI.
My own first exposure to Jagged Alliance came via the multiplayer mode of Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games, which also had a scenario and campaign editor. It’s nice to see similar features will live on in this sequel, which looks a lot more promising than some of the other Jagged Alliance games we’ve had in recent years.