Published: 06th December 2017
Move over Ghazi, Indian Navy launches mobile war game to get students to sign up
The Navy got app developers Jesiel Creations to create the game — which doesn't just let you captain a ship and sink enemies, but also quizzes you on Navy trivia to win additional ammo
In a rather novel attempt at showing people what life in the Indian Navy is like, the Navy has commissioned and released a mobile warfare game — and it's pretty amazing. Featuring almost all the destroyers, aircraft carriers and submarines in the Indian Navy's fleet, the game is light, well designed and has attention to detail — not to mention, patriotic, being loaded with 'Join the Navy' trivia and videos.
Called Command Your Seas, the game was developed by global tech company Jesiel Creations, which has worked with some of the world's biggest brands. Darshan Preet Singh, Jesiel's Chief Technical Officer, talks about how they developed the game and what the Navy wanted when they commissioned this game. Darshan also explains that one of their objectives was to show young students what life in the Navy was like so that they would be inspired to join the force when the time was right.
Released just ahead of Navy Day, the game lets you play as the commander of a ship on the high seas. Your mission is simple — use weapons (these are actually the same weapons used on Indian Naval ships) and destroy your opponent ships before they sink you. How is this different from the gazillion other sea warfare games on Android's Play Store? To get additional weapons between levels, you don't have to watch videos or cough up cash — you have to answer a QUIZ QUESTION about the Navy and if you get it right, your ammo is fully loaded. How about that!
Excerpts from a conversation:
It's rather surprising that the Navy decided to develop a game. What was the objective?
It was a government initiative, we just executed it. But the purpose is to give the youth a glimpse of life on a ship. If they get an idea, they might be interested in joining the Navy. It is just a way to reach their minds. At the same time, we tried to keep it neutral in terms of international politics. We did not use any country's name as we just wanted the kids to get an idea of the Navy culture. We just wanted to show how officers feel on the ship.
And is it helping?
Well, it is too soon to say but we have got feedback, both good and bad. We have been replying to the people giving us bad reviews and asking them for suggestions. The most common reaction has been that ship doesn't turn quickly. And yes, we admit it but that is not how it works in the sea. We can't really make something happen that is not logical because it will give a wrong message. We are trying out best to make it as realistic as possible.
You start as a Sub-Lieutenant. At Level 1 - Greenhorns. You will be assigned challenging missions that will give you control over various Navy assets – ships, fighter aircraft and submarines – and the weapons they are equipped with.
You can unlock additional weapons by correctly answering the quiz question for each mission. As you complete the missions and gain points, you will rise up the ranks to the next level – Bravehearts.
As a Braveheart, you will be assigned more complex missions that combine naval strategy with firepower. If you succeed in them, you rise to the final level – Topguns.
At Topguns, you will command multiple naval assets including Naval Commandos and be assigned critical missions.
Obviously, there must have been some compromises you had to make because it's a game after all. How did the Navy take it?
Of course! The weirdest challenge was to convince the Navy officers that it is just a game. We wanted them to see it as a game and accept the fact that it might not be hyper-realistic or have Navy jargon. They needed to understand that there will be some game-based compromises and it is inevitable. It is not smart to put complex operations, technical terms, and elaborate procedures in there. For instance, we all know that it takes much more than just pressing a button to launch a missile but we cannot add those technicalities in the game because it will make it extremely boring. We have tried to keep it student friendly.
It has come out well. What is the most important feature, according to you?
GenY loves speed and there is no replacement for that. Ironically, we can't give them speed on this app because it is a ship. So, we inculcated speed in the form of live missiles, advanced weaponry systems and different forms of ammunition. It was one of the things we had to break our heads over. Also, we have a section on trivia. Before every mission, there is a question related to the Navy. If you answer it correctly, you might end up having more ammunition on your current mission. It is an incentive that makes the people get more interested in the project and thus, the Navy.