Dune: Spice Wars was announced at The Game Awards 2021 and will be entering Steam Early Access this year. Based on Frank Herbert’s books, it’s a decidedly 4X-style strategy game but also a real-time strategy. In a new FAQ, developer Shiro Games outlined several things that players should know.
Regarding whether it’s an RTS or a 4X title, the developer said, “It is both. The game is real time, but the pace is slower than in a typical RTS (and you can pause and fast forward). The game also features exploration, territory control, economic growth, combat, politics and spying, features that make it a true 4X game but do not detract from the core RTS experience that players would expect.”
Constructing buildings for one’s base of operations is a thing instead of manually building up your base. When asked about Northgard comparisons, Shiro Games assures that everything has been built from the ground-up specifically for Dune: Spice Wars (plus it’s 2 to 3 times longer, though this could change). There will be four factions at launch with House Harkonnen and House Atreides already confirmed. A fifth faction is planned for during the early access period though more will arrive later.
Fans can also expect procedural map generation with many options like sandworm activity, wind strength and size being available but there will also be unique locations that book readers can recognize. With regards to why a more cartoonish art style was chosen, Shiro Games said, “Creating a game on a desert planet has quite a few challenges, one of which is making sure what you look at for a few hours is not bland even if it’s just rock and sand.”
“We spent a lot of time working on the environment and even worked with a geologist specialized in deserts to create things that could exist on such a planet. The stylized art direction comes into play by adding things that bring a variety of colors and shapes so that the environment can stay harsh while not getting boring.”
Dune: Spice Wars is currently in development for PC only. Stay tuned for more details and updates on it in the coming months.