MANILA -- A Filipino developer used the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown to finish a Vietnam War-themed game he shelved for 17 years.
Tiger Yan started creating "The 'Nam: Vietnam Combat Operations" in 2003 but halted it, saying he had to attend to "work and life first."
"Like everyone else, the COVID-19 outbreak forced me to stay home most of 2020. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to learn basic programming and finally finish what I started," he said in a statement.
Yan said the game was a "free learning tool" about the Vietnam War.
In the game, players can command US Marines, Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army troops, plus the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN).
To make the game realistic, Yan said he used his field experience investigating farm communities and wildlife "to make the game as realistic as possible." The developer took three trips to Vietnam as part of completing the game.
"From irrigation dikes and rice paddies to barking dogs and crowing chickens, this game brings the Vietnamese countryside to life," Yan said.
The game's graphics were mostly "drawn by hand" using programs such as MS Paint.
According to a release sent to media, "The 'Nam: Vietnam Combat Operations" has been receiving "consistently good" reviews in forums and on video-sharing site YouTube.
The game is free-to-download and can be played in personal computers and laptops.
However, Yan is encouraging gamers to donate to APOPO, a non-government organization focused on clearing the country of landmines in Cambodia.