Dune: War of the Spice brings back the epic battles for the legendary Spice of Dune and takes it to the next level, offering a brand new vision of Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece and adding exciting and engaging new gameplay to the Real-Time Strategy experience. Control your favorite units on Arrakis and other planets. Build large bases using our new revised construction system and other, brand new features.
Built on the Unreal Engine 3 and taking the full advantage that engine, we’re aiming to create the best experience a Dune RTS can offer, in terms of gameplay and graphics. Dune: War of the Spice will feature the three great Houses of the Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos which are trying to take control of the planet Arrakis. We will also feature some subhouses which will add unique additional powers and strategy options.
A release date has not yet been announced for the game. We want it to be a highly polished and satisfying product and we will release it when we feel it is ready.
What is Dune: War of the Spice?
- Dune: War of the Spice is a game based on the Unreal Engine 3. Our goal is to create a realtime-strategy-game set in Westwood’s Dune-Universe.
What are the playable factions?
- Since it’s loosely based on Emperor: Battle for Dune, Dune: War of the Spice will feature the three great houses Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos. You will also be able to choose two out of the 5 subhouses: Fremen, Guild, Ix, Sardaukar, Tleilaxu.
Will there be additional (sub)houses?
- We are currently don’t plan to add new great houses, but we are thinking of adding new subhouses.
Will there be a Singleplayer-Campaign?
- We are definatly going to create a Singleplayer-Campaign which is mission-based, but it won’t be in the first public release. We are also thinking about adding new Singleplayer-gamesmodes.
Are you adding new gamesplay-modes?
- Currently we are only developing a classic RTS-Mode, but it’s possible that we add new modes later.
When are you going to release this game?
- It’ll be Dune when it’s Dune.
Will there be maps on other planets then Arrakis?
- Like in Emperor, there will also be maps on other planets. There won’t be spice on these maps though.
Will there be new units and buildings?
- Since we do not copy Emperor 1:1, we can’t deny the possibility.
- “You reversed the colors of the Atreides and Harkonnen from the original novels. And the Harkonnen symbol should be a griffin. You guys suck! I’m not going to play your game because of this one thing!”
- Trust me, we understand your concern.
We did think about the House colors and heraldry at the start of this project since we are trying to adhere more closely to the original fiction than any other Dune game has previously done. We’re fully aware that in the novels the Atreides are represented by a red hawk (and by banners of black and green) and the Harkonnen by a blue griffin and by (banners of red and blue). We chose to adopt the visual standard of Blue and White + Hawk for Atreides, Black and Red + Ram for Harkonnen and Green and Gold + Snake for Ordos for several reasons:
- The adoption of the ram in place of the griffin is not one we took lightly. It’s partly an homage to the Dune games that have preceded us and established this highly recognizable symbol for the Harkonnen (it’s what players of the previous 3 generations of Dune games are used to), but it also fits the play style and characterization of the Harkonnen that we want to convey. We had also thought that having winged sigils for two of the main factions (hawk and griffin) could create visual confusion.
- There was too much overlap in the original color sets – there are blue and red in both – it would have caused recognition problems in hectic battle scenarios.
- The cultural associations of color: Red = Bad, Blue = Good cannot be ignored. It’s unconscious but it permeates throughout visual media. The reason for this is simple: it works. It conveys connotations of meaning that are direct and require no explanation, which is a good thing in a game; saving time and visually clarifying complex situations so you can get back to killing stuff.
So please understand that we are by no means trampling on the original fiction, for which we have a great deal of respect. We have very good reasons for going in this direction, and these changes should not unduly affect your gaming experience.
Besides, if it REALLY bothers you, you can always fix it by choosing a different team color in multiplayer. :)
- “You guys don’t have the rights to this, Electronic Arts / Frank Herbert’s Estate / Dino DeLaurentis / Shai Hulud are going to eat you alive! You’re doomed! Dooooomed!”
- Thanks for the support.
In all seriousness we are aware of the legal issues and we’re currently not making ANY money from this project and go to great lengths to assert the ownership of the rights holders whenever possible in the hopes that we can continue to develop this project out of our great respect and admiration for the source material.
That being said, we would welcome the opportunity to take this project commercial and develop it officially, so if you’re a legal representative from EA and you’re reading this…let’s talk.
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