Alliance: The Silent War was a game in development by company Windward Mark Interactive. It’s important to note that Alliance has not been cancelled definitely: Windward Mark Interactive would love to continue work, if the game recieves proper interest and publishing / funding.
The five founders Asi Lang, Chris Colosi, Brad Kittenbrink, Palmer Truelson, and Eric Tulla all knew each other while they were undergraduates at Harvard from 1999-2003. Several of them had been working on advanced graphics research, and eventually teamed up and decided to come up with something new and unique in gaming. Work was stopped on Alliance when the game was approximately 30% complete. (You can read more about the story of Windward Mark Interactive in Asi Lang’s article + U64 interview)
One of Alliances’ most unique and original features was called the WarStudio, the WarStudio would serve as your menu for online matches and “what if” scenarios. The WarStudio has a 100 year span of weapon options, and equipment, spanning over 200 small arms, and dozens of countries, and armys. Players would be able to search for weapons by a multitude of search parameters, including date of production, country of origin, ballistic profile, caliber, and so on and so forth. On the server-side, players would be able to set up custom searches or configurations within the WarStudio, or, alternately, pick from a number of pre-configured settings (say, “WWI Western front” against “British spec-ops, 1983”) and jump right into combat.
You would begin the game essentially as a peasant in the Russian army in WWI. The story ends up taking you through nearly 90 years of warfare where you’d you end up playing through several generations involved in a war that has been raging for a very long time. You’d fight in Berlin during the 1920s communist uprisings, in Cuba during the Castro revolution, in the Middle East during the War of 1973, and in other larger campaigns spanning both World Wars and other smaller conflicts. You would play through six major time periods, and locations, sometimes linearly, sometimes as part of flashbacks or diary entries.
The missions don’t in any way follow a singular gameplay style. At one point you’d find yourself in bloody, shell-shocked city fighting in Northern Italy in WWII, with soldiers dying all around and heavy artillery fire raining down, and then, in another, you’ll be sneaking through a German embassy, assassinating major political figures who could stand in the way of your organization’s plans. It’s a huge medley of gameplay.
Throughout the game you’d actually end up causing and influencing a good bit of what happened in 20th century history. Nearly every mission you play in either causes an event that showed up in headlines at the time, or is part of a larger political or military action that really occurred. You’d see famous people from history, famous incidents, but all through a very different lens. Through the game you’d learn that all of these seemingly disconnected events, and leaders, and revolutions, that all actually occurred are all tied together by a common thread.
Multiplayer/ “What If Mode”
The games multiplayer would take full advantage of the games WarStudio, which would allow you to pit everything against everything. WWI soldiers against Navy Seals, SWAT teams against Cuban rebels, you name it. Players would be allowed to set up their own gameplay configurations and options, so that, for example, one side might have up to 30 people, but be limited only to weaponry produced in Eastern Europe and Asia from 1919 to 1937.
The other team would have the opposite selection only weapons, say, post 1980 and from the West, but be limited in team size to only 5 or 6 people. With over 200 weapons in the WarStudio, players would be able to try out any “what if” scenario they could think up.
One of Alliances most unique and original features was called the WarStudio, the WarStudio would serve as your menu for online matches and “what if” scenarios. The WarStudio has a 100 year span of weapon options, and armys. Players would be able to search for weapons by a multitude of search parameters, including date of production, country of origin, ballistic profile, caliber, and so on and so forth. On the server-side, players would be able to set up custom searches or configurations within the WarStudio, or, alternately, pick from a number of pre-configured settings (say, “WWI Western front” against “British spec-ops, 1983”) and jump right into combat.
The Alliance Engine is unique in its ability to do photorealistic outdoor lighting. Nothing describes the game graphic engine better then this quote from Asi Lang during the games debut at E3 in 2006.
We decided, about three years ago, to set about developing an engine that would, for the first time ever, be able to truly convincingly capture outdoor settings- from the sunny streets of Cuba to the smoggy towers of industrial Berlin. We found that there were plenty of games out there that excelled in dark, moody corridors, and harsh lighting conditions that were great for, say, alien shooters or stealthy settings.
But nothing we saw really screamed out- “okay, this looks like a friggin postcard”- the daytime was always the toughest to nail. And so we set about researching the physics behind outdoor light, and it led us to develop a number of really advanced, patent-pending technologies that capture the essence of natural light in realtime. Everything in Alliance, from the smallest pebble to the tallest, towering spire- is lit with this uniform lighting system we’ve developed.
As a result, things just, well, “sit” right in Alliance- everything blends together beautifully, and I think the screenshots really speak for themselves.