Jon Mavor, has simple wants: “I want to see massive battles, and I want to see massive battles taking place across planets, and I want to see planets smashing into one another”. As luck would have it, being the lead developer on Uber Entertainment Inc’s grand-scale RTS Planetary Annihilation will let him slake his thirst for rock on rock action, and, with a little money from our collective pockets, we too can be part of this dream.
Currently on Kickstarter seeking $900,000, Planetary Annihilation is setting itself up as a spiritual successor to Total Annihilation. This isn’t some presumptuous claim though, both studio heads - the aforementioned Jon Mavor and Steve Thompson - had a hand in the seminal title. Plus, Mavor was lead programmer on Supreme Commander. So the major technology hurdle of this style of RTS, simply rendering all those units, seems to be being tackled by the ideal person.
But, more about the game.
Supreme Commander had a moment in its first level where you’d built up a simple base, fought off a weak enemy force and, then, the battle map expanded. And then it did it again. And again. Each time making you marvel at the scale of the thing. Small maps became sprawling battle grounds. Well, Planetary Annihilation, as the name suggests, adds a whole new zoom factor to proceedings: it promises to offer many planets to fight across - all procedurally generated - and to be able to handle thousands of units battling across land, sea, air, and space.
Uber say up to 40 players will be able to take part in vast multiplayer bouts, taking hours to complete.
As you can see from the Kickstarter video, whole planets can be destroyed with ease. It’s an RTS on a 4x scale but with the ability to zoom right into ground level.
And what a pretty sight to meet you when you get there. Yes, the footage in the project video is all concept visualisations, but you can already see the same crisp, colourful style that was evident throughout Uber's other title: Super Monday Night Combat.
They claim on the Kickstarter page to be offering mod tools so that we can add new units, planet types, and multiplayer modes to the pot.
They've even got John Patrick Lowrie on board, previously the narrator of Total Annihilation, he also appears to be one of the old-guard of voice actors; one of those that insist on removing clothing whilst narrating, it give a speech gravitas.
There’s a number of stretch goals, as there always are with these Kickstarter projects, although they’re all under wraps at the moment. They’re not even giving out how much needs to be raised to unlock them.
Though, with 29 days on the clock and $10,000 already in the pot, I do truly hope we get to see what they are.
More on this project soon.