Shiro Games, the development studio for the realistic strategy game Dune: Spice Wars, which will be announced at the end of 2021, has deliberately chosen to have a more comedy-like look.
As you know from deserts – and also from the desert planet Arrakis – there is usually a lot of sand there. And nothing more. The theme chosen, “caricatured and a bit bold”, is meant to help developers ensure you don’t get bored even after hours.
“Developing a game on a desert planet comes with its own set of challenges,” the team says. “One of them is to make sure what you see for a few hours isn’t boring, even if it’s just rocks and sand.”
“We spent a lot of time studying the environment and even worked with desert geologists to create things that could exist on such a planet.”
“The stylized art direction brings things in that include a variety of colors and shapes, so the environment remains harsh but not boring.”
There is still a lack of comprehensive play material, but there will be a day and night cycle. It remains to be seen if it will have a significant impact on the game.
In addition, the team attempted to create variations beyond the natural appearance, such as a volcanic landscape or an environment that closely resembles a salt desert.
Neither the films nor the series serve as the basis for the game, but the original works of Frank Herbert. It is a real-time game, but its pace is slower than other representatives of this genre. Pausing is just as possible as speeding up time.
Familiar 4X elements also await you, including exploration, territorial control, economic growth, combat, politics, and espionage.
In your base you don’t yourself putting new buildings on the ground, everything happens via an interface, “because the game is much bigger than a typical RTS game”. However, you can see how structures are added to your base as you build it.
According to Shiro Games, you can expect the playable houses of Harkonnen and Atreides as well as two other houses to start in Early Access. A fifth faction will be added during Early Access.
You want to first look at what’s in the books, and then look at what’s still possible.
The maps are procedurally generated, there are different sizes, wind speeds, more or less sandworm activity and so on. Large deserts initially act as a kind of natural boundary (like the sea in other games). But you can get through it once you develop techniques that allow you to survive longer. Or you build airports. At the same time, according to Shiro Games, book readers are expected to learn about unique locations.
A multiplayer mode will be added in the context of Early Access, and the same is true for the campaign.
And when do you go? Expect early access to PC via Steam sometime this year. When early access is turned on, other platforms will also be considered.
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