When I sat down to do the world design for the new Black Powder \\ Red Earth title, I didn't want to use the same setting we had used in the original graphic novel series and role playing game. I wanted a setting with new challenges and objectives that would provide a completely different textural, geopolitical and gameplay experience.
With Basran, the fictional nation-state formed in what is today known as the Basra Governorate, I spent more than 2 years collecting open source information on the history, the people and the conflicts in the region. I also mapped strategic interests there for both the indigenous population as well as that of neighboring nation-states. In the end, the setting was as much a character as the protagonists/antagonists that inhabited it, driving the missions they conducted there.
Expanding upon the speculative history of an Iraq dissolved, the new title is set in Kurdistan, but not as it exists today. Kurdish people are settled throughout Iran, Syria and Turkey as illustrated here. In 2019, Kurdistan's borders extend well into Iran as well as Syria. There is no Kurdish invasion, simply an organic extension of power as the regional governments of Syria and Iran are both distracted and weakened by other immediate conflicts.
The player/protagonist acts as a senior advisor/operations commander attached to a Kurdish MRF(Mobile Reaction Force) hunting Iranian Pasdaran and Quds Force agents facilitating Hezbollah terrorist attacks inside the new Kurdish state. However, the Kurds staffing the MRF are not employed by the Kurdish Government, but by a Kurdish Private Security Company that is owned by senior Kurdish Intelligence Officials and on contract to the Saudis.
The adversary is based in neighborhoods where many of the residents are not even aware of the Iranian-Hezbollah presence. In some cases, status for cover can include front businesses where Hezbollah foot soldiers are employed, giving them reason to be in the area. This creates a massive potential for collateral damage which could make local security forces throttle player capabilities in future missions. The whole thing is a delicate balance...
Concepts like this make sense given the canvas of this world and open exploration outside traditional tech and weapons trees that have become universal in many action games today.
Next up, the BPRE MOS system.