Lots Of New Dune: Spice Wars Info Revealed For The RTS/4X Game



Plenty of new details about the upcoming 4X strategy game Dune: Spice Wars from Shiro Games and Funcom have been revealed, including just what the game is, DLC support, inspiration from past Dune games, and more.

A FAQ for the game posted on Steam today starts off by confirming that Dune: Spice Wars is a real-time strategy game with 4X elements. “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 RTS experience,” the studio said.

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Now Playing: Dune: Spice Wars Reveal Trailer | Game Awards 2021

Spice Wars is “quite different” from developer Shiro Games’ earlier title, Northgard, the developer said. “Spice Wars is on a much bigger scale, featuring politics, trading, covert operations, and a deeper resource management system,” the studio said, adding that Spice Wars is 2-3 times longer than Northgard.

The studio also mentioned that no assets have been reused or recycled from Northgard for Spice Wars. “All aspects of Dune: Spice Wars have been developed from the ground up specifically for this game,” the developer said.

Dune: Spice Wars is coming this year

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In terms of playable factions, so far the studio has confirmed House Harkonnen and House Atreides. Two other factions will be available at launch, to be announced later, and a fifth will come later on.

Shiro Games went on to say that Spice Wars is influenced by previous Dune video games and board games, but it will also stand apart with its own “unique take” on the Dune universe.

The FAQ further confirms that the maps in Spice Wars are procedurally generated, featuring multiple options for the total size, wind strength, and sandworm activity. What’s more, Shiro Games explained that House Atreides is green in the game compared to blue in previous titles 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,” the developer said.

The Spice Wars FAQ also mentions that the studio is releasing in early access so it can work with the community to change and improve the game before launch. Additionally, multiplayer support is coming, but this takes up a “big chunk of development,” so Shiro Games will focus on the “core gameplay” first and then add multiplayer in an update. There is also no campaign at launch, but this will be added over time.

As for mod support, Shiro Games has “no firm plans” right now, but if the community rallies around this, the studio would look into it. Similarly, there are no plans for Spice Wars DLC right now, but the studio might explore this if there is “demand for more content and we can find a good reason for PC.”

Right now, Spice Wars is confirmed only for PC, but Shiro Games said it will look into “other platforms” as part of the early access rollout. And in terms of availability, Spice Wards is releasing on Steam at first but the studio is looking into “other potential distribution platforms” for down the road.

Spice Wars is separate from Funcom’s other Dune game, an open-world survival game. We still don’t know much about that project. The next Dune movie, meanwhile, is coming in 2023.

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