The game takes place in the year 2025. We chose the not-too-distant future for our timeline, because it allows us to be creative in many ways a game about contemporary problems wouldn't. Conversely, the fact that it's so close to our own time tethers the game to reality - not allowing us to get too fantastical. We only use technology that is currently being researched and developed in 2010, helping us to maintain a believable storyline. It’s a nice balance.
The storyline, a horrific arms race exacerbated by dwindling resources and global unrest, helps to steer the specifics of the game, especially the locales. One of the increasing trends of the past few decades is the proliferation of piracy, a problem we don’t foresee improving in the decades to come, and so we use this prediction to help tell a story that is both politically relevant and also fun for gamers.
For instance, Somalia is currently a hotspot for piracy and was the most logical place to set Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops. It plays a significant part in the game, since it's prone to civil wars and horrible violence.
Location 1: Mogadishu, Somalia
Mogadishu is probably an appealing and attractive place only to gamers and game designers. The city was recently elected the most dangerous place on Earth by CNN. If you are arriving on a plane in Mogadishu, you are asked to fill out a form by customs detailing your name, address and the caliber of gun you carry (this is not a joke).
Because of the dangers and lawlessness of this place, we thought it to be a great choice for hosting an action game.
Like any city, Mogadishu is broken down into neighborhoods: there are the city’s outskirts with their tiny, rather provisory appearing accommodations, and where the majority of the population has tried to rescue itself from the reams of hand grenades exploding everyday in the city’s center.
The center of Mogadishu, on the one hand, is a bit apocalyptic with all its destroyed skyscrapers and internecine conflicts. We set up a fictitious government quarter in the Mogadishu of 2025, where the current dictator settled down and the scars of civil war are reopened daily.
Gamers will see every bit of this Mogadishu, from the bazaars on the outskirts, to the city’s destructive center, up to the palace of the government.