Tactics Squad

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Tactics Squad is a real time tactics game in which the player controls a squad of soldiers in a futuristic environment. Its main focus will be gameplay more than aesthetic pleasure. In other words, the main idea behind the game is not to astonish the player with audiovisual effects, instead, we want the player to have lots of fun.

Project description

Tactics intends to be a game where the player will face a very complete (but not realistic) simulation of military squad management. It will have a resource management phase including elements such as supplies, training or morale. It will also contain a tactical phase that will introduce new tactical elements such as decoys, soldier enhancement pills (that can also get them mad), infiltration, traps, short and long range combat, melèe, electronics... You shouldn't miss it for the world.

You can learn more about this project here at its home page and also at the project's page at SourceForge.

About this site

This site contains the following information:

  • News: At least every month, news about the project's progress will be posted here.

  • Downloads: Here you can find the latest releases, along with their release notes.

  • Bug report: Found a bug? Please report it here, through SourceForge's tracker system.

  • Screenshots: Typically, before any upcoming release, you can find its screenshots here.

  • Design: Information about how Tactics Squad is designed and programmed.

Latest news

  • June 22nd, 2007: As you can see, May ended without any release being made. But! I'm actively working in the game and next release will be more than just a bugfixed 0.3 with sound. Please be patient, I think it will be worth it.
  • April 22nd, 2007: One word about the next release: Sound. The upcoming release 0.33 will be a bugfixed version of 0.3, plus sound effects and music. It should be ready before May ends.
  • February 23rd, 2007: Tactics Squad 0.3 released! You can find it in the downloads section. Sorry for the delay, but at last I can present you the first complete tutorial mission. In this release, you can move your soldier and order him to fire and throw grenades at stationary targets. I hope you enjoy it.
  • October 9th, 2006: Not very interesting news, but news nonetheless. I couldn't spend much time on the game this month. But, since promises are promises, I intend to make a release with not as much goodies as I would have like to include. In other words, no enemies yet. In the next release, you can walk around, shoot and throw grenades to stationary targets. I'll put some screenshots soon and try to release this week.
  • August 30th, 2006:This last month has been a productive one. Our valiant soldier can now fire and launch grenades, the next step is to give him some enemy company. Right now, I have added so much code that it's quite a mess so I'm cleaning it up. There are still quite a bit of things I want to do before wrapping up the game and making a new release. I hope to have version 0.3 ready for late September, early October. By the way, there will definitely be a Linux version of Tactics Squad. Thanks to the SDL library, the game compiles and runs under Linux without me having to change a comma in the source code. Speaking of which, if you want to take a closer look to the way Tactics Squad is being made, check out the new Design section in the upper right corner of this page.
  • July 24th, 2006: The project is now getting the amount of dedication it deserves. It has already been ported to SDL and the pathfinding routine has been improved. I have opened a new little section in the home page: Philosophy.
  • March 2nd, 2006: Tactics Squad 0.25 Released! Get it from the downloads section. I figured that, since it has been almost three months since the last release, I should make a little release and the big one later. In this third release, you will find the transmission log, and a new mission. Not many new things, I know, but at least you can get a feeling of what's cooking. Thanks for giving it a shot.

Technical information

The game is being developed under the GNU GPL license and is intended for Windows and Linux platforms.

The code is written in C++, using SDL as its main graphics, input and sound library.

One of the main features the game will have is reasonably small size and low system requirements. Supported resolutions are 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x960, with 16 and 32 color bit depth.


This section is devoted to anyone willing to know the philosophy that permeates this game. It's just a little introduction to how Tactics Squad came to be.

Tactics Squad is a game written by an admirer of three games: NetHack, UFO: Enemy Unknown (X-COM: UFO Defense in the US) and Star Wars Republic Commando. If you happen to know these games, you will soon find elements from them in Tactics Squad. Let me point them out for you:

NetHack: There are two things in NetHack that I like: A) In its typical version, graphics are just plain ASCII characters and B) You can do whatever you want.

What I learned from thing A is that you can make a magnificent game without flashy graphics, that comes as very good news to a developer that, like me, can't draw. In fact, many gamers agree that, in NetHack, ASCII graphics are a lot better than the supplied tilesets. Conclusion: it's better to display the main game character as an @ than a badly draw tile. In Tactics Squad, soldiers are displayed as simple triangles, which look infinitely better than any attempt of mine at drawing a real soldier.

From thing B, I learned that if you allow the player to do anything, you are encouraging the player to be creative, and give a more pleasing gaming experience. In Tactics Squad you won't get the freedom of options found in NetHack for three reasons: Tactics Squad is not a Role Playing Game, it complicates programming inmensely and it's terribly prone to bugs (at least for me, I'm not that good as a programmer). However, you will find in Tactics Squad much more liberty of movements than in any other Real Time Tactics game I know.

UFO: Enemy Unknown: From this gaming classic I took the idea of having strategic and tactical elements in the same game, but distinctly separated one from the other. In Tactics Squad, you will a find a strategical resource management phase and a tactical phase. Also, some tactical elements found in UFO will also appear in Tactics Squad.

Star Wars Republic Commando: This Tactical Shooter is one of the games that I have enjoyed the most, ever. It is the main inspiration behind Tactics Squad. What I liked from this game is the ability to direct your soldiers in order to get a tactical advantage. It is a shooter that relies not only on your aiming but also on your tactical skills. I also liked the dialogue between you and your soldiers, resulting in a more inmersive gameplay. In Tactics Squad, the Transmission Log reflects this element.

In conclusion, you can think of Tactics Squad as a top-down version of Republic Commando, with an added strategic factor, minimalist graphics but lots of freedom and gameplay.
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