Dune: Spice Wars

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: Shiro Games
Release Date: 2022

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'Dune: Spice Wars' PC System Requirements, Multiplayer Details, Pricing Revealed

by Rainier on April 20, 2022 @ 6:00 a.m. PDT

Dune: Spice Wars is a real-time strategy game with 4X elements based on Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking novel Dune.

Spice is the most valuable resource in the universe. The spice extends life, it expands consciousness and makes interstellar travel possible. Create your own story and play as one of several factions, including House Atreides and House Harkonnen, and compete for power over Dune and the spice.

Scan the landscape for wormsign or risk losing your troops and spice harvesters to titanic sandworms who will burst through the sand dunes to swallow and devour them whole. Best your opponents through political intrigue, crush them in combat, and undermine them with your network of illusive spies.

Dune: Spice Wars features asymmetrical gameplay, will have several playable factions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as multiple ways to achieve your ultimate goal – control of the spice on Arrakis. You can deploy agents to sabotage, assassinate and spy on your opponents, use political means to influence the Landsraad and pass beneficial resolutions, amass incredible wealth and simply overwhelm the other houses through economic and technological supremacy, or you can opt for open war.

Dune: Spice Wars is based more on the original novel than on the movie, but since we’re both drawing on the same intellectual property, there will be some similarities.

How much will it cost?

The initial price for the game will be $29.99. This price could change during Early Access as we add more features to the game, but we will ensure that we inform players well in advance of any impending price changes.

What are the system requirements for Dune: Spice Wars?

  • Minimum Specs:
    • Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz
    • NVidia GTX 1050
    • 4 Gb RAM
    • 4 Gb disk space
  • Recommended Specs:
    • AMD Ryzen 7 3.00 GHz
    • NVidia GTX 1080
    • 16 Gb RAM
    • 8 Gb disk space

When does the game release on Steam? What hour can we expect?

The game will be released in Early Access on April 26. It’s a bit early to give a specific hour right now, but it should be late afternoon in Europe / morning in America. We’ll share more concrete details on this closer to release.

How big will the download be?

The game client should be around 3GB at release.

Can we preload the game on Steam?

There are no plans for a pre-load option at this time but with the download size being on the smaller side, a pre-load shouldn’t be necessary.

Is the game based on the movie, or the books?

The game is primarily an adaptation of the books, but many other Dune sources have influenced us in our design, including the boardgames, comics, card games, and the Denis Villeneuve movie. Every stone added to the edifice helps make it grander, even if the books obviously remain the seminal work.

How many new factions can we expect during Early Access? Do you expect to add more factions to the game beyond the one already planned?

At least one additional faction is planned during Early Access and yes! Priorities for Early Access will change depending on the feedback we receive from the community (from experience, multiplayer will probably be high on the list). That said, we have ideas for many different factions, with even more asymmetrical gameplay.

What made you choose the 4 release factions (Atreides, Harkonnen, Fremen, Smugglers) as your base factions?

The Atreides and Harkonnen are a staple of the universe that pretty much had to be there. For the other two (Smugglers and Fremen) we wanted something that would feel different both in terms of theme and gameplay. The Fremen are a significant force that is very present and potent in the books, and that has been almost ignored in previous video games. We felt their time to shine was overdue. As for the Smugglers, they are also an important part of Arrakis and provide a good way to explore the universe from a different angle and again, provide unique ways to play the game.

When will multiplayer be available in Spice Wars?

We expect it to be early during the Early Access, but this will depend on the feedback we get from the community. We will have fine tuning to do as well as new features to add and we’ll prioritize all this shortly after the EA release.

Will there be a competitive multiplayer feature?

That will be for the community to decide ;-)

Can we use a gamepad or is it keyboard and mouse only?

Keyboard & mouse only for now. A 4X game has a lot of moving parts and interactions and gamepad support would require a completely different UI to feel good.

Will the game have a tutorial?

The game has a tutorial that helps players directly as they play the game. We believe it is better to have an integrated experience than a standalone tutorial, if the game permits it. We feel Dune: Spice Wars is accessible enough that an integrated tutorial will work and be a better experience.

Will the game be accessible on GeForce Now?

We are actually working to have the game compatible with GeForce Now as we speak! We hope to have this finalized by the time of the Early Access launch, but if not, very shortly after launch.

Will the game be available on Mobile?

While we believe Dune: Spice Wars is an accessible 4X game, it is still very deep and requires many interfaces and a lot of information that would be very challenging to fit on a mobile screen, so for now at least, there are no plans to bring the game to mobile.

How about console?

Right now, we’re 100% focusing on making the best game possible for PC. But we are more than open to looking into the possibility further down the line, so never say never!.

How many units are available for each house/faction?

5 or 6 depending on the faction, each with its unique stats and abilities. Dune: Spice Wars is a 4X game and warfare is only one (important) part of the game. With economy, spying and politics to manage we didn’t want to overwhelm players with 10+ different units like you would find in a regular RTS that does only war. That being said, we do have a few ideas for more, and we’re excited to get player feedback on that topic.

Why did you change the gender of Liet Kynes?

We feel the gender repartition in an otherwise very modern book is an artifact of when it was written. Liet is one of the most modern characters in the books (with messages about the preciousness of resources, building a sustainable planet with local communities...) and modernizing the messenger only makes the message more powerful.

Obviously, we love the book and the characterisation of Liet therein, but we also enjoyed the portrayal within the recent movie and how it reimagined the character, and this was something we thought could be an interesting approach in Spice Wars.

If you are making a campaign, will it follow the story of the books or be an original story?

We’re not there yet, and we don’t know what form it would take, but a narrative campaign would probably have a different story so that there’s something new to discover for all players.

There are some deviations from the books in the game, such as the use of Kulon Caravans and shields, can you explain these design decisions?

Dune: Spice Wars is an adaptation. Everything is inspired by the books, most things are the same or very close, and some get changed because of gameplay or art direction constraints.

The shields/laser interaction is a good example of something that was not that relevant at a planetary scale, and quite hard to manage when there are many units on a battlefield so we went for a more high level perspective of shielded units having higher armor. The Kulon Caravans were also invented to bring more variety both visually and from a gameplay standpoint, while still being credible within the universe.

Do you have plans for any cosmetic options (changing the house colors, skins, etc…)?

Not for now, but we’re looking into building a House creation system later on. It is a lot more tricky than it sounds because we have high definition Leaders who would require customization options as well, but we’ll try to make it happen during the Early Access.

On average, how long will one game last? Does it depend on the faction you have chosen?

Depending on your strategy and the chosen difficulty, a game generally lasts from 2 to 3 hours. That being said we’re pretty sure players will find ways to be significantly faster than that, especially once multiplayer is available.

Key Features:

  • Frank Herbert’s Dune: Experience the unique Dune universe – one of the most influential sci-fi settings ever created. Play as iconic characters, such Duke Leto Atreides, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and more, and guide your faction to victory. Watch for the constant threat of the massive sandworms, who dominate the dangerous landscape of Dune.
  • Forge your own path: Choose between subterfuge, political influence, economic supremacy, or open warfare toprevail and gain control over the most important planet in the universe! Use secretive agents to sabotage the plans of your opponents. Vote on political resolutions in the Landsraad to further your strategy.
  • 4X in real-time: Explore Dune with ornithopters to discover resources, villages, and points of interest. Expand with your troops to take control of more and more regions. Exploit the resources through buildings and spice harvesters to dominate the economy. Exterminate your enemies with a strong military but beware as outright aggression can have high political repercussions.
  • Growing throughout Early Access: The game will be updated and expanded during Early Access based on your feedback. More features and content, improved balance and new game modes will be added in the Early Access period, based on the crucial input of the community.

Dune: Spice Wars is the first game based on the Dune IP to be published by Funcom and is not to be confused with the open-world survival game the studio is developing. Dune: Spice Wars is created by the same team that released critically acclaimed RTS Northgard in 2017, using their expertise in creating strategy games to bring the Dune universe to life.

Dune: Spice Wars will be released into early access on PC (Steam) on April 26, 2022.

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