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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Official Indian Air Force-themed Video Game On The Anvil

Appealing to prospective recruits in a language they're familiar with.

The Indian Air Force [IAF] recently recently issued a notification inviting 'Expression of Interest' from game developers for building an IAF-themed game, initially, for the mobile platform - Android & iOS OS. A move in the right direction, to reach out to the  Indian youth, through a medium they can relate to. This would be the first such move by any branch of the Indian Armed Forces, though enthusiasts have been developing themed skins for use in existing games.

A truly "high end Air Combat game" even today is best executed on the gaming consoles or desktop/laptop PC platforms, despite the massive increase in "juice" of current mobile & tablets PC. Nevertheless, this move to go mobile is prudent, given their unbeatable convenience & accessibility, translating to reach, the underlying aim of this IAF initiative. One prays that the final outcome is named something more perceptible than 'INDIAN AIR FORCE - THE MOST EXCITING GAME', as currently mentioned in the notification - tacky as hell. Despite this apparent sea change in the IAF's approach to highlight itself, the disconnect still shows through. Why, for examples, a game built for the mobile platform, a communication device, have Social Media integration as an upgrade, and not as an integral feature from the very first version? Also, not having multi-player mode from the onset strikes a discordant note - enemy A.I. in today's mobile games are laughable. The option to syndicate the game to online gaming portals could free it the responsibility of maintaining its own multi-player server, if that is an investment it isn't certain about.


This bit of news is a déjà vu, of sorts, as during the personal interview at SSB some time back, I had suggested that the IAF, actually all the branches, adopt this method, suggestion inspired, no doubt, from playing America's Army. Had suggested that the game be coded to make it playable on Netbooks, whose usage, I thought, would spread as extensively as today's entry-level Android cellphones & tablets. Netbooks experienced a premature death, but the idea still remains very much relevant, albeit on a different platform.


Also Read: Indian Air Force [IAF] - Themed Calendar For 2013 [UPDATED - Please Read]