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Making Indonesian Historical Strategy Games : Story of Sengkala Dev

Making historical games give big challange to developer especially strategy game. Sengkala Dev from 2015 has developed several strategy games based on history and experince much challange in adopted Indonesia's history content

Battle of Surabaya in 10 November 1945 by M.Sochieb, main theme of Surabaya Inferno

Strategy games has many characteristic and style. One of them is historical games and there are many games have background of history events such as World War II, Medieval, and Roman Empire. Most of historical strategy games developed by western countries and made gamers more know history of Europe and America rather their's own country.

Praetorians,player can understand story of Caeser's conquest and dawn of Roman Empire

Hearts of Iron IV, WWII grand strategy

With many indie developers games appered around countries which not have strong games industry in past give more contents in the international game market, especially Indonesia.  Since 2013 until now, the Indonesian developers has show their games with local elemants like Dread Out, Pamali,  and many more. The local elemants give unique element that another countries don't have it and one of this local elemant is history. Kris from Toge Production has wrote about it here.

Indonesia is big country and have thousand ethnics in many islands which have rich history contents. Many ethnics have there own history written such as babad and kakawinan from Java, rambo from West Sumatra, hikayat and many more. 

Kakawinan Negarakartagama, poem of Majapahit golden age 

There are also many interesting historical events in Indonesia history such Aceh war, the bloodiest war in Dutch's colonial, Indonesian's revolution war, and many more.In Indonesia's creative industry, some of those events has been adapted to many media from film, tv series, novel, comic, and many more. For games, there are some devs make it but mostly for local audience in android and the genre either casual or education .

Until 2015, there are no historical strategy games until Sengkala make Pedalahusa Fall of Bali.Sengkala Dev, small indie devs maybe is one of Indonesian's game dev try to execute history to strategy games,one of game genre very lack  get attention of local devs.. With the game producer background as historian, Sengkala Dev can enjoy making historical games than make game in another genre.

Since 2015, we have developed 2 RTS based on history; Pedalahusa Fall of Bali, and Perang Laut  Maritime Warfare. Now we make Pedalahusa Mengkasar and Surabaya Inferno. All this games is strategy war games ( Real time strategy for Fall of Bali, Perang Laut, and Mengkasar. Real Time Tactics for Surabaya Inferno).

Pedalahusa Fall of Bali, RTS based on history of Bali in 19th century

Perang Laut Maritime Warfare, RTS based on history of maritime power in Indonesia islands

Pedalahusa Mengkasar, RTS based on Makassar's war in 1667-1669.

Surabaya Inferno, RTT game based on Battle of Surabaya in 27-30 October 1945 and 10-20 November 1945.

Making Pedalahusa Fall of Bali 

Pedalahusa Fall of Bali is first game of Sengkala Dev from November 2015 to January 2017(actually not yet finished ). This games quite difficult in development process since we very lack in making strategy games with diplomation and war strategy. Also art and budget problem make this game not yet finished until we declared finish although there are many bugs. 

Pedalahusa Fall of Bali plot is 10 Balinese factions in Bali and Lombok islands warring each others to become suprame ruler of Bali and Lombok in 19th century. This games started in 1800 and finish in 1908( year when Dutch finally conquered all Bali and Lombok)

Inspiration of this games come from this book 

This book tell much information of Bali in 19th  century which most of peoples don't know(even for Baliense). Since there are many war and diplomation elements, Sengkala Dev want try to make game based on this book. But since there are detail of the factions untold from this book like background of Gianyar, Mengwi, and Badung, we need more research about Bali in 19th century and finally after long research, we have much information how Mengwi was in 1800, how weatlh Badung, how each factions see each others, how political powers in Bali, and how military system in Bali princedoms. 

Balinese potlical power based on their ritual influence since most fo Bali is Hindu and Hindu Bali very related by ritual.This is why in this game, influence playing big role and make war easier happen.(in this game, stability make all factions wait time to attack)

Pedalahusa is series for local history game and  Fall of Bali title got from how Bali fall to Dutch in later days after Balinese ruler only care their power rather independent.

With lack of experience development and marketing make this game failed. Hope soon we can reboot this game..

Selecting factions in this game

You can try this game for free in full version in 

https://sengkala.itch.io/pedalahusa-fall-of-bali

Making Perang Laut  Martime Warfare

Failure of Pedalahusa Fall of Bali make Sengkala Dev try to make another game called Perang Laut  Martime Warfare. Background of this game is board game which rejected by publisher and we want to try in PC version and starting to make it in May 2017 until June 2019.

old map of Perang Laut Maritime Warfare

This game based on maritime factions in Indonesia archipelago from different times like Majapahit, Srivijaya, Aceh, Makassar, and many more. 

We have small research for know more the design of local ships and how long to construct it. Also for ports information, economy, and naval tactics from books, papers, and visiting musuem in Jakarta and Melaka(really worth). This take much time and worth to to make this game better than Pedalahusa Fall of Bali.

Perang Laut means war of sea in Malay/Indonesian while Maritime Warfare refers to war of this game only naval power.

Historical campaign in 1512. Portuguese conquer several ports in Indonesia archipelago while Brunei actively conquest most of ports in Borneo and Mindanao.

In first time, this game only one campaign but see the potential, we try to make several historical campaigns but only 1512 AD only finished.

We successful to create maritime power for each factions, but system not so good especially economy and no diplomation option make this game not so political unlike Fall of Bali.

 Selecting factions in this game

 

Making Pedalahusa Mengkasar

Pedalahusa Mengkasar or Last Great War of Mengkasar (full title) is RTS games based on Makassar's war in 1667-1669..This game made from November 2019 since at that time some studio in Makassar make film about that war and we want to participate it, but failed. The idea of this game still continue until postponed and continue agian if Surabaya Inferno finished. The system of this game still not clear either will follow previous games or make similiar to Surabaya Inferno.

Research of Makassar war actually was happened in 2016 but we not try to make this theme into game until  now, Newer research has happened several months ago with papers and poem of Makassar war (Syair Perang Mengkasar

Ilustration of Makassar's war by Dutch painter 

Making Surabaya Inferno

Surabaya Inferno is RTT game based on battle of Surabaya. Battle of Surabaya is bloodiest battle in Indonesia history between 30.000 British soldiers with 100.000 Indonesia militia.from 10 November to 20 November (actually until early December there are still gun fighting in city) 1945. This event remembered as heroic battle in history of Indonesia and have good elements to pour it in many game genre including RTT.

Ilustration battle of Surabaya by M.Sochieb.

the reason why Sengkala Dev make this game is the ilustration from M.Sochieb really epic and inspired us. 

Research for this game not so hard since there are many research about especially in internet from papers, film documentary, and many more.

Battle happened in Pakis street. 

What make Surabaya Inferno different to another Sengkala's games is  this games player use base(s) to sent mans and mans will follow the route from base to another base, unlike in Perang Laut after ship aboarded, player must guide ship to another ship or attacking enemy ship or ports. This system more easier to control unit.

Strategy of this games more easier than Perang Laut and Fall of Bali, but in this game player must think faster to prevent enemy attack. We try to make this game realistic with Indonesian militia must combine their powers and make Surabaya as large inferno for British soliders although they are unmatch .

Conclusion

Local history events very worth adapting to games especially war games, but the question is how local devs execute it! Players don't know what is Bali in 19th century or Majapahit in 14th century, but they will understand in later by playing it.  Market for historical war games still big and more bigger for local theme. 

Pedalahusa Fall of Bali is unsuccessful historical war game with Sengkala failed to execute it  although game offers strong historical  contents. Also same with Perang Laut -Maritime Warfare , but Perang Laut more better condition since Sengkala Dev learn from Fall of Bali case. Pedalahusa Mengkasar and Surabaya Inferno take different path from previous games and try to balancing rich historical elemants with game interfaces.

Historical war games from Indonesia theme offers new things for international market and Sengkala Dev trying the best to tell history with strategy games.

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