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Infantry Online is an isometric perspective multiplayer combat video game with sprite animation graphics, using complex soldier, ground vehicle and space-ship models on typically complex terrains. Players may choose from a list of game zones to enter, each zone having a unique style of gameplay and many offering a wide diversity of weapons, player classes and objectives.
In 1997, the now-defunct development team Virgin Interactive Entertainment (VIE) released the 2D Space Shooter, SubSpace. Members of the SubSpace development team banded together afterwards to form Harmless Games LLC. This new team designed and released Infantry during the late '90s.
The game was developed and was picked up by Brainscan Development Corporation, also known as Brainscan Interactive, as publisher. GameFan, the parent company of Brainscan Interactive, went bankrupt and did not pay its employees for a period of several months. Sony Online Entertainment announced its acquisition of Infantry on October 5, 2000. Rod (Rodvik) Humble, the lead designer of Infantry, was offered a job with Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and left Harmless Games. Larry J. Cordner (LJC) also found another job, but stayed with the development team until shortly after Harmless Games was bought by SOE. Harmless Games, and its sole game, Infantry, was bought by SOE from Brainscan Interactive for an undisclosed sum. The two remaining developers, Jeff Petersen (programmer) and Jerimy Weeks (artist and zone designer), were hired by SOE to continue development of the game. Some time later, SOE had them develop Cosmic Rift (CR), an offshoot of Infantry meant to compete with the still popular SubSpace. CR had gained a small portion of Infantry's and SubSpace's communities, but its population still paled in comparison. In October 2001, Petersen was transferred to EverQuest 2 development and Weeks later was laid off. Game development stagnated.
In May 2002, SOE rehired Weeks and introduced a monthly $6.95 pay-to-play system for SOE's three small action games: Infantry, CR and Tanarus; however, both Infantry and Cosmic Rift remained free to play with limitations. Infantry's and CR's populations have since declined drastically from daily highs of thousands at a time to a mere hundred or fewer players. In October 2005, Weeks was laid off again and a new developer was put to the task. Hope for the game's future was questionable, as the new developer was Joe Nelson, whose only prior experience with Infantry involved customer service duties, who held the position for only a few months. As of May 2006 there were three SOE employees delegated either full or part time to the game: Bill Corning, Jose Araiza and recently re-hired developer Jerimy Weeks, although Weeks' contract with Sony Online Entertainment expired at the end of April 2007.
In May 2007, Sony Online Entertainment announced full and free online gaming access to Infantry and the rest of their "Station Pass" games, starting on June 26, 2007. "Station Pass" games started in May 2002 as a monthly $6.95 pay-to-play subscription, for Sony Online Entertainment's three action titles: Infantry, Cosmic Rift, and Tanarus. However, both Infantry and Cosmic Rift featured a free play mode that gave players access to a limited version of the game. Infantry itself was restricted to a limited playtime on servers (a player could only stay connected for half an hour before being disconnected), the inability to accumulate money, no statistical tracking and no personalized options. In July 2007, Sony Online Entertainment released a Map Editor for Infantry, available for free download via the official website.
Alternative servers to the official Infantry Online have spawned over the recent years, initially to provide a free option to the game, most notably "Free Infantry". However, with Sony Online Entertainment's announcement that has made Infantry and Cosmic Rift free of charge, the role of these servers transitioned to providing alternative maps and gameplay from the official server. They inevitably slowly faded out of existence as players went back to SOE's version of the game.
Since May 2007 player development has thrived. A team has been set up to encourage, nurture and oversee much of the new content being developed for the game. This group is called the Player Content Team (PCT). Over the past few years, several new zones and some old zones resurrected by players updating, converting from the old file format to the new and much more. From creating new graphics to pushing the engine and server settings to find limitations, new and lost settings as well as using the extensive knowledge already available through fan sites such as InfantryArena.com. Many of the PCT share their experiences, knowledge and support through this site in guides and on the free forums. It is the belief of many that Player Development and content is the only real way to help Infantry survive.[ ]
Infantry's versatile game style provided for the expansion of community squad development and implementation of squad vs. squad consisting of players worldwide.
There are a series of Leagues established and running on the Sony Servers, all with dedicated Zones. Each of these dedicated zones have custom maps and settings not always available or found within the public zones.
The leagues available are :
-Capture The Flag Players League (CTFPL)- This league is arguably the biggest available.
- Player organized League where teams of 10 players compete on a modified I:CTF - Twin Peaks map.
- Teams are taken from established squads, found at Ctfpl.org.
- CTFPL is permit only. Players must private message administrators in game or on the public forum located at Ctfpl.org
- CTFPL games are played on Sunday nights usually starting between 7pm EST and 10pm EST (GMT -5).
-Unified Skirmish League (USL)-
- Players Compete in teams of between 6 and 8 taking place on a modified I:SK - Kliest Ridge map.
- Teams are taken from established squads, found USLZone.com.
- The Object of this game is to out kill your opponents after 30minutes of play.
- This League does play with class limitations in place. This is per team.
-Skirmish League (SL)-
- Each team starts with only 8 team slots which may be filled with players from their starter list. This takes place on a Modified I:SK map.
- When 3 deaths have been reached in one team slot the player in that slot will spectate and that slot will be removed leaving that team with one less team slot.
- Teams can also win the match by holding all flags for 20 seconds.
- All matches are best of 3 games. First to two victories by either wiping out the other team or flagging. Takes the Match.
- SL is permit only. Players must private message administrators in game or on the public forum located at SkirmishLeague.com
-Soccerbrawl League (SBL)-
- This game is loosely based on Soccer (Football) with one exception, checking/killing your opponent is allowed. Played on a modified I:SB Indoor soccer map.
- Teams may start with a minamum of 6 players, max of 8 if agreed by both captains. However 7 is the usual amount played with.
- Team members must be part of a squad to play in this zone.
- Object of the game is to outscore your opponents within a 30minute game. If scores are even after 30 minutes, sudden death overtime automatically takes over. Next to score takes the victory.
- For more information and to see the squads, standings, forums and more visit SBLeague.net
-Gravball League (IGBL)-
- This is a league based upon the zone GravBall where players on bikes must navigate a mazed map with their team. Scoring goals by bouncing a ball over a set goal area.
- Teams consist of 6 players, playing for 20minutes each game. Overtime of 10 minutes if even after 20 minutes.
- To gain a win, the team leading at the end of 20 minutes or to take a 3 goal league takes the win.
- Each match is a best of 3 series, First to two wins takes victory.
- For more information and to see the squads, standings, forums and more visit IGBL.net
The time is set several centuries ahead of the present. There is a war between the government (The Collective) and the various rebelling colonies of the outer solar system moons, notably the Titan colony. The Collective is a pure democracy; every single citizen has a voting unit in which they vote on every issue, although more often only on the issues that concern them. The rebels are mainly located in the outer colonies of the solar system and are a minority compared to the much larger populations of Earth and Mars. The rebels feel their colonies are being exploited for resources and labor due to the fact that they have little voice on what is decided. The citizens of the larger populations cannot understand why people would rebel from a system where everyone has a say and thus the war. Titan has the largest population of the outer rim colonies and therefore the major battles are between them and the Collective army. However, many colonies provide militia and able bodies to the cause of groups such as the Europan mercenaries. Due to the chaos, many privateers have emerged, such as the Morgan Raiders who will throw in with anyone providing they are paid, even though they have no love for any faction.
The year is 245 CE. After 20 years of germination the seeds of insurrection finally bore fruit. Nearly every colonized world in the solar system was at war with each other, with Terra and the Collective at the center. Heedless of the warnings of their statesmen or, in some cases, what their eyes and ears told them, the leaders of the Colonies allowed their personal differences and petty agendas to destroy what little solidarity there was against the Collective Tyranny. Feeling that, after Ragnarok, the Collective was nothing more than a paper tiger, one government after another reacted to Collective deceit by accepting Collective financial and material support in war with their colonial brothers.
While the free states of the solar system had settled into destroying each other bit by bit, the Collective Military machine was not idle. COLLCENTCOM planned for two decades in anticipation of just the right moment and opportunity. Carefully husbanded armies and fleets were brought up to strength and trained for the day when they would stream forth from Terra and reclaim the Solar System once and for all.
However, few realized how utterly exhausted the Earth had become during all those decades of war. Many districts and counties of the planet had been on war footing for so long that generations had known nothing but factories or a military boot camp. Yet in other districts, those areas where money and power had accumulated, a separate world existed, quite unaware or blissfully ignorant of the state of the less well off of their fellow members of the Collective. Many disparate forces, totally unaware of each other, labored for years in order to work up to the last dying gasp.
Many should have foreseen what was coming. Unfortunately nothing was done that should have been in order to save what could have been. The Collective Era, the great experiment of equality and unity that evolved into mass tyranny would come to its final, convulsive conclusion.
On March 12, 244 CE the end began…
Operation “Open Arms” commenced with a string of massive offensives all along the asteroid belt. Every Asteroid colony, every station, every outpost was met with the ultimatum: unconditional surrender or destruction. Prisoners were not taken, any resistance was thoroughly crushed with overwhelming force. Where there was submission, chaos reigned. Depending on the local commander, a capitulated settlement could find themselves treated courteously with local self rule and a minor garrison, or could see themselves governed by martial law with all leaders and intelligentsia ejected to vacuum. Any attempt at partisan resistance was met with atrocity after atrocity, culminating in the massacre of the entire population of Telpar Station by explosive decompression in the primary ship bay.
After ruthlessly overrunning most of the Belt Settlements and destroying all that resisted, the Collective Forces moved outward. At this time all the outer colonies became effectively cutoff from the asteroid belt and each other. Simultaneous invasion groups blockaded Titan, Io, Ganymede, Europa and Tethys. Various military and militia units were cut off from their home worlds and forced to group together and fight or go to ground, on their own. Wave after wave of Collective landing forces invaded after only trivial resistance in space. So severely weakened after 2 decades of war, there was almost no space forces left for resistance and almost no logistics left to support what was there. Despite the most fanatical efforts by colonial space forces the results were always the same: complete annihilation.
What certainly looked like the end of the sovereignty for the outer colonies turned out to be the undoing of their conqueror. Finally, after so many years of exploitation, the pressure of existence finally proved too much and the exploited rose in massive civil war. In three weeks several regional conflicts became a global conflict as one Regional Guard force after another either rose against or was destroyed defending the Collective Era. The Collective Military, pared to the bone for “Open Arms” resorted to all means necessary to restore order, and in the process, destroyed themselves. Weapons, long unused on Terra were brought out of retirement in a last ditch attempt to hold back the armed partisan masses. Neutron weapons decimated billions as escalation followed escalation because no one recognized an authority who could say “stop”.
At first the news off planet was treated with disbelief, then with anxiety and finally with cold terror as reality struck home in the form of discontinued logistics shipments and empty depots and finally, by the static on all communications coming from Earth. By January 245 the colonies had lost all order, all regular social systems and almost all economic and energy infrastructures had broken down. All military cohesion and discipline had completely dissolved with commanders turning into regional warlords, fighting over whatever could be salvaged in order to bring back some semblance of the security of the past.
From Earth, there is no contact at all…
Zones from both official and third party servers are included.
- [I:Chaos] Combined Arms - Developed by Free Imagination Group, it is a large-scale, complex warzone with an exhaustive set of weapons, classes and vehicles of its own map.
- [I:CTF] Capture the Flag - Fast-paced basing action and the most popular zone. Maps for it are often rotated between a two-team Twin Peaks, a three-team Heinreich's Point, and a multiple-team "Extreme" involving the Titan Militia, Collective Military, Europan Mercenaries and others. Has an extensive store with purchasable weapons.
- [I:SK] Skirmish - Massive team vs. team fighting between the Titan Militia and Collective Military. Several maps exist, some including tanks and other vehicles. Most employ static flags for territory holding. Uses fast and realistic game physics.
- Chambert's Moon - King-of-the-Hill zone with a different set of classes, weapons and physics. Features small teams, aliens (Skrall) and various vehicles.
- Chambert's Tournament - Free Infantry's spin-off of Chambert's Moon containing varied player classes, weapons, vehicles, and a separate map while maintaining the basic game play of Chambert's Moon.
- [I:Arcade] Bug Hunt - Collective Marines vs The Skrall.
- [I:Arcade] Infestation - A new spin-off of Bug Hunt with new classes, objectives and weapons.
- [I:RPG] Eol - Infantry's action/RPG project. Various versions including Eol Beta, Gamma and Advanced were developed with both related features and different weapons.
- [I:RPG] TFCity - A New player-developed RPG zone, with class branches, character traits and skill requirements to level up, on a newly developed map. This zone uses missions (quests) to allow for character trait upgrades. Using multi zone-based weaponry. Currently undergoing changes after its initial test period.
- [I:RTS] Connors Canyon - A New Player Developer RTS zone, With classes, basing, bunkers. A series of quests to complete and much more.
- Gravball - Sport zone. Players pilot hoverbikes on a large map with various obstacles, attempting to shoot the ball over their own goal square while avoiding opponents' weapons.
- Ambush - Features the use of jetpacks or hoverboards to fly around collecting flags and shooting at other players.
- Team Deathmatch - A basic fast paced zone where players pick up weapons against each other in tight corridors.
- Fleet - Team-oriented space action. The main goal of this game is to destroy the enemy's Command Post while defending your own. This zone is no longer on the zone list.
- Conquest - A newer development, The Collective Military fight against Titan Militia by capturing anywhere from 5 to 35 flags (depending on player population) on the planet Kleos. The Collective and Titans start with no flags at the beginning of the game and must move from base to base capturing flags. The Collective Military and Titan Militia can recapture captured flags.
- Sports - Team-oriented sports maps. Several different sports maps exist including Gravball, Hockey Zone, Soccer Brawl, and Dodgeball.
- ↑ [www.freeinfantry.com/index.php?id=infantry/whatis Portail d'informations Ce site est en vente!][dead link]
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 [infantry.station.sony.com/en/info_press.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ [infantry.station.sony.com/en/info_features.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 [www.freeinfantry.com/~sevem/indexA.html Freeinfantry.com][dead link]
- ↑ [forums.station.sony.com/station/posts/list.m?topic_id=11500003696 Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ Press Center | Sony Online Entertainment Announces A Diverse Lineup Of Games Available At Newly Revamped Station.Com
- ↑ Multiplayer Online Games Directory / News / Sony Announces 3 Free Online Multiplayer Games - Find Multiplayer Games Here
- ↑ Multiplayer Online Games Directory / News / Infantry Goes Free Again Today - Find Multiplayer Games Here
- ↑ Sony.com - Infantry
- ↑ [www.freeinfantry.net/ Freeninfantry.net][dead link]
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 [infantry.station.sony.com/en/main.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ [www.freeinfantry.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=5&sid=3dd6e56722116f54de9a6805b45541e3 Freeninfantry.net][dead link]
- ↑ [infantry.station.sony.com/en/guidebook_zones-ctf.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ [infantry.station.sony.com/en/guidebook_zones-skirmish.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ [www.freeinfantry.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=3dd6e56722116f54de9a6805b45541e3 Freeinfantry.net][dead link]
- ↑ [infantry.station.sony.com/en/guidebook_zones-bughunt.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ [infantry.station.sony.com/en/guidebook_zones-gravball.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ [infantry.station.sony.com/en/guidebook_zones-ambush.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ [infantry.station.sony.com/en/guidebook_zones-teamdm.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 [infantry.station.sony.com/en/guidebook_zones-fleet.jsp Sony.com][dead link]
- Infantry; Official Infantry website.
- Infantry Arena Infantry fan site.
- SL; Skirmish League, Official website for the SL zone league.
- IGBL; Infantry Gravball League, Official website for the Gravball zone league.
- CTFPL; Capture the Flag Players League, Official website for the CTF zone league.
- USL; Unified Skirmish League, Official website for the USL zone league.
- SBL; Soccer Brawl League, Official website for the SBL zone league.ja:Infantry