It has been just over a month now since we had the pleasure of revealing Dune: Spice Wars to you all! Understandably, given the relative secrecy around the project so far, there has been a plethora of questions, queries, theories and rumours about exactly what can be expected of the game. So we're here today to answer some of the more popular questions we have recieved over the last few months and hopefully put some of your minds at ease.
Read on to find out more.
What is Dune Spice Wars?
Dune Spice Wars is a real time strategy game featuring 4X elements based in Frank Herbert's Dune universe
How much will it cost?
We’ll announce a price point when we’re closer to release and we know how much content we have in the game.
Is it an RTS or a 4X?
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.
Will there be base building in the game?
You can construct buildings in your base of operation (Arrakeen for the Atreides for exemple). This is shown as structures added to the base itself and it is interface based. You don’t manually place buildings on the ground as the game is at a much larger scale than your typical RTS.
Has any of the game been reused/recycled from Northgard or any of your other titles?
Vikings are well known for their very bad water discipline, so no. All aspects of Dune: Spice Wars have been developed from the ground up specifically for this game.
Which houses will be available to play?
We’ve announced House Harkonnen and House Atreides as playable factions. We’re planning to have 2 other factions at launch, followed by a 5th faction during Early Access (and more later!).
Why is the House Atreides green in game when in previous games it was blue?
To stay true to the books. Many things in Dune have been represented differently in shows, movies, comics or games over the years. The Atreides banner and uniforms are described as green and black in the books so that’s what we went for in the game.
Will houses from classic Dune games make their way to the game? (House Ordos...)
House Ordos was first mentioned in the Dune Encyclopedia and then in the video game Dune 2, but never in Frank Herbert’s works. We’re starting with what’s in the books, and we’ll see what would be best beyond that during the Early Access.
What similarities does the game have with your other title, Northgard?
Both games are real time games with a slower pace. Beyond that the games are quite different. Dune Spice Wars is on a much bigger scale, featuring politics, trading, covert operations and a deeper resource management system. Game length is also 2 to 3 times longer than Northgard (although this could still change at this point).
Have you taken any inspiration from previous Dune games for this title?
We’ve played all the Dune video games (Dune and Dune 2 especially) and all board games as well so there will be some influence. That said, Dune Spice Wars is very much its own game with a unique take on the struggle for the control of Arrakis.
Will the game feature procedural map generation?
Yes the maps will be procedurally generated, with different options for size, wind strength, sandworm activity and many others. Deep deserts are used as a kind of blocking feature (like seas in other games), at least until you develop technologies to survive longer in the desert, or build a network or airfields. Maps will also feature unique places that readers of the book will recognize.
Why did you choose to release the game in Early Access instead of as a full game further down the line?
We had very good experiences with Early Access on our previous games. We were able to balance things better with player feedback and we changed our release schedule to fit player expectations on several instances. Our goal is to have a very good game on day one, but we still want the opportunity to tweak or change systems and add content depending on what the community feels.
Why did you choose the somewhat cartoonish and bold art style?
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.
Which languages will be supported?
The final list will depend on metrics we’ll get before Early Access so it’s a bit early to say, but we’ll have at the very least English, German, French, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and Russian.
Will there be multiplayer?
We will definitely do multiplayer, but that’s obviously a big chunk of development and we prefer to focus on the core gameplay initially. So the short answer is yes, and it will be a major update during the Early Access.
Will there be a campaign?
The campaign will not be present in the initial launch build but like multiplayer, is planned to come to the game at some point during the Early Access period.
Will you have mod support?
There are no firm plans on this front at this time, but should we see enough demand for mod support, we would be more than happy to look into the possibility.
Will there be DLC?
There are no DLC plans at this time, as we are focused on Early Access and ensuring the core game is enjoyable, feature rich and complete ahead of the full release further down the line. If there is still demand for more content and we can find a good reason for DLC, it may be something we explore, but it's too early to think about anything like that just yet.
What platforms will be supported?
PC initially, we’ll be looking at other platforms during Early Access.
What involvement does Funcom have with the development of the game?
Things are simple: Shiro Games is in charge of the whole development process and Funcom takes care of publishing and marketing.
Where will I be able to buy Dune Spice wars?
We’ll have a Steam release in 2022. We’ll also look at other potential distribution platforms in the coming months.
So there you have it! Hopefully this has addressed most of your questions and cleared up any concerns or misconceptions, but if you have anything else you'd like us to touch upon or address, feel free to leave your questions in the comments and we'll do what we can to get you an answer asap!
As usual, thank you all for your support since announcement and taking the time to read this article.
We can't wait to share some more info with you all (which we'll be doing VERY soon), so keep your eyes peeled for news...
- Shiro Games