We want to begin the launch of our game development with a spread of the new concept art we've been developing in the last weeks.
Dune: War of the Spice is a new fully original Real Time Strategy game loosely based on the Dune novels of Frank Herbert and following is the footsteps of such games as Emperor: Battle for Dune, Dune II: Building of a Dynasty. The game follows the exploits and conflict between the three Great Houses of the Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos in their fierce battle for power and control of the Imperium, as well as a number of Subhouses that try to use the conflict to their own advantage.
We've been concentrating on the Harkonnen faction for the time being and hope to add new art for the others as our output increases, we're always on the look-out for talented 2D and 3D artists to contribute. For information on joining the project please click the Jobs Link on our Website.
Units and Structures
In our re-envisioning of the Harkonnen we decided to take a step back from the approaches taken in previous Dune adaptations and go for a more steam-punk approach with some feudal and industrial influences. For instance in this mid-range tank design we've named the Aggressor, we wanted something that was less like a traditional tank and more like a battleship for the land.
The non-rotating turret makes this tank almost like a mobile pillbox emplacement. Not very agile, but its triple barrels pack an enormous punch.
The heavy use of brass and industrial motifs is typical of the Harkonnen design style. This can also be seen in the design for the Harkonnen Squad Leader. Each detachment of infantry will have a Squad Leader. You can purchase upgrades which enable the Squad Leader to carry a banner that grants certain in-game benefits to the player.
The Harkonnen Squad Leader has heavier power armor than the standard infantry and carries a strong chain-fed rifle. They are brutal task-masters who keep the Harkonnen army of slaves and conscripts in line. The death of the Leader can have a devastating effect on the morale of a squad and weaken their effectiveness on the battlefield.
Of course, the key to any battle is good communications and intelligence. In order to have that, a Radar Outpost is an essential part of any base.
This structure allows for access to a radar map of the battlefield and also allows the player to connect to galactic communications networks including the Guild Bank for emergency loans.
But no base is going to work without power and the only effective way to generate power or capture the moisture needed to survive in the harsh climate of Arrakis is using a Windtrap.
This essential building can rotate in any direction to catch the prevailing winds. The water strained from the air by the Windtrap is necessary for maintaining your armies. More Windtraps will have to be built in order to increase your troop strength.
In order to get a sense of who the factions in this game are and where they come from we've also been developing visualizations of the planets they come from.
Let us begin with Geidi Prime, homeword of House Harkonnen. Centuries of industrial pollution have reduced this densely-populated planet to a toxic slag heap. The oceans are pitch black with oil and the air is choked with smoke, dust and ash from the furnaces which work around the clock to produce the weapons that the Harkonnen need to dominate their enemies.
In contrast, the watery homeworld of house Atreides, Caladan, is rich in natural resources but maintains a largely agrarian and rural way of life outside of the main cities. An idyllic place to live in every way.
Little is known about the icy ball of rock known as Draconis IV, home to House Ordos. It is sparsely populated and outsiders are not welcome.
But the crown jewel of the Empire is the planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. A barely habitable ball of dust patrolled by hungry predatory behemoth Sandworms, Arrakis would be a negligible backwater if it did not contain the most valuable substance in the known universe: the Spice. This is the prize that the Great Houses all fight to control, since who-ever controls the flow of Spice controls the future of the Empire.
We hope you've enjoyed this first sneak peek into the development of Dune: War of the Spice. You can follow us on Twitter, subscripe our RSS-feed and join our forums. We aim to post regular monthly updates as we have new work to show.