Ishtiaq Ahmed: It’s the middle of September, 1971. The location is Shonir Char, an inconspicuous fictional village under Barisal District, Sector 9 of independent Bangladesh.
But Shonir Char is of great strategic importance to both the nefari-ous Pakistani Army, who are currently occupying it by force, and the Freedom Fighters who want to secure this crucial outpost.
Surrounded by Madhumati River, the village has suddenly become critical because of the recent emerging char (river islets). The Pakistanis have also set up a watch-tower which gives them visibility of any enemy approaching their stronghold.
At the break of midnight, a group of five Freedom Fighter commandos approach Shonir Char by first swimming through the dark waters of Madhumati and then crawling on the sand dunes of the bulging char.
They approach the enemy outpost with poise and composure, and then suddenly attack the camp, raving with the ferocity of a tiger. They attack with LMGs, HMGs, standard-issue rifles and hand-grenades. They take the advantage of sur-prise attack and cause massive casualties of the Paki Regiment. The Freedom Fighters also lose one of their own.
One Freedom Fighter commando takes control of the watch-tower and the rest keep firing on the enemy until they are forced to retreat. The Freedom Fighters clinch the initial triumph just with a five-person attack but they know it’s temporary; without the backup of a full-scale force, the outpost will again fall to the Pakistani forces who are now regrouping at the hillocks, a few kilometers west to Shonir Char.
One Freedom Fighter commando goes back to bring reinforcement and the rest of them take advantageous positions: one at the watch-tower, one at the bunker beside it and another on the rooftop of the school. They keep on fighting a lone battle against the enemy to deter their steady advance.
That’s where the Android game “Heroes of ’71” begins. The gamers have to fight from these three separate posi-tions to stave off the enemies with the arms and ammunition they have at their disposal.
They just can’t lose their positions or expire until reinforcement joins them. Gamers can switch to any of these three positions as per con-venience and keep up the resistance. Because if they lose, the enemy will regain their advantageous position one more time and finish off the advancing Freedom Fighters with brutality which they have shown repeatedly for the last six months. The responsibility of defending their motherland is in the hands of the gamers.
Developed by PortBliss, a BUET-based freelance game development unit, “Heroes of ’71” is just the start of an exciting endeavour. Project Manager and Technical Development Head, Masha Mustakim, says, “The set-up is fictional yet it takes significant references from history. We plan to replicate exact scenarios and real battles from our Liberation War into games, maybe in the later version of ‘Heroes of ’71’.”
Portbliss Games started working on the idea of this game six months back but they went onto development two months earlier. The game development process accelerated after the inclusion of Rakibul Alam Sulov into the team, who is the Technical Artist and Art Lead of the project.
The programming team consists of Arifur Rahman, Avik Chowdhury and Abdul Jawad, under the efficient lead of Apratim Kumar Chakrabartty. The art team has Rakibul Hasan Toor, Papan Jit Dey and Rehab Uddin Shawon, aside from Sulov. Tapesh Chakrabartty took care of sound and SFX. The story was conceived by Omar Rashid Chowdhury.
Developed with game engine ‘Unity’, this exciting game was launched on Victory Day (December 16, 2015). Initially launched on android platform, it’ll be available on iOS in no time. So, what are you waiting for? “Do you have what it takes to defend your country?”
Ishtiaq Ahmed is a travel enthusiast who devours fictions, dreams of Paris and writes onlywhen his brain para-sites need a place to crash. Can be reached at Ishtiaq_Ahmed_26@yahoo.com