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[Planetary Annihilation] Beta has landed. Via asteroid impact.

subediisubedii Registered User regular
edited September 2013 in Games and Technology
What is Planetary Annihilation?

http://planetaryannihilation.com/

Planetary Annihilation is a game that is basically the spiritual successor to one of the best RTS's ever made, Total Annihilation (and effectively its other spritual sequel, Supreme Commander). Where most RTS's today focus ever more on smaller and smaller scale conflicts and squad level tactics, what defined TA was HUGE armies of hundreds of units waging massive, metallic warfare on each other simultaneously over land, sea and air. Literally, unlike other RTS's, TA had a relatively flat tech tree and you could immediately start off building units for air, sea, and land battle.

It's being made by Uber Entertainment, best known for MOBA / Third Person Shooter hybrids Monday Night Combat and Super Monday Night Combat. Don't let that throw you though, because a lot of key staff have previously worked on a number of well known RTS's in the past, and the two main project leads worked on the original Total Annihilation way-back-when. It is being made for PC, Mac and Linux.



So what makes this different and awesome compared to other RTS's?

Do you ever feel as if RTS's have gotten too focussed on the micro? That it's all about controlling small squads of units split second timing on special abilities? Well the Total Annihilation stream of RTS's comes in from the opposite end of the spectrum. It's ALL about the huge scale macro gameplay. That means big bases, building big armies, and a focus on large scale strategy across huge maps as opposed to micormanaging the minutiae of the battles. Where other games have a minimap, Planetary Annihilation has Strategic Zoom, which makes your whole screen the minimap. Where other games have gameplay on the squad level, these games get going when you've got armies colliding with each other. Where in other games you manufacture units, in these you can set your multiple factories to continuous construction, because that's what you'll need.

In short it's about BIG. BIG and AWESOME. The biggest scale weapons in TA and SupCom were nukes that could level entire bases. Here, you will get to SMASH ASTEROIDS INTO PLANETS, WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!

Further reading, there's a lot of good information here, way too much to post:

Preview: http://www.pcgamer.com/previews/planetary-annihilation-preview-when-strategy-worlds-collide-with-moons/
Interview with the lead dev: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/08/15/planetary-annihilation-interview/

And an in-depth and information packed video interview with the devs:


Are there shiny videos?

Just a couple: a concept video showing the direction they want to take with the game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhEYvOYceNs


And a pitch for the Galactic Warfare stretch goal, which they met:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5caRZBS9QsM&hd=1


And a little something extra for people who aren't as familiar with this game and its predecessors, a trailer for the original Supreme Commander:



So what do we know?

Planetary Annihilation is going to be a multiplayer focussed RTS. There will still be a Skirmish mode and Galactic Warfare (more on that later), but there's no defined singleplayer campaign with story-led missions.

Where Total Annihilation was based around flat "maps", Planetary Annihilation takes place on worlds in space. These worlds are in planetary systems with other planets and asteroid fields, which you can send your armies to.

As of the last Stretch Goal, there's a mode called "Galactic Warfare", which has multiple systems and as a gameplay mode can take days and weeks to play through, effectively being a campaign in itself. If you remember the old "Boneyards" system, think along those lines, only smaller scale (probably) and being one continous map (again probably, this is all up in the air right now since the game just got Kickstarted). In a sense this takes the place of a story-led singleplayer campaign.



The details: The good, the bad, and the AWESOME.

General information about the units:

With regards to gameplay, there's going to be the full suite of Land, Sea and Air units, as well as new "Orbital" units. There is only one "side" as such (again, budget title), but a few things to keep in mind with regards to that. The original TA had two "sides", and SupCom had three, but in real terms they shared most of the units, structures and functionality between them with minor differences. Especially in TA, this basically amounted to the two sides being palet swaps (with one emphasising speed more, and the other being heavier) of each other. And it still also ends up bringing in balance issues regardless then for whatever changes you do make (let's be honest. Arm > Core. And I was a Core player). By just using one pool of units, it allows them to create a lot more units instead. They are also hinting at multiple commanders and "factions", but no real info on what that means yet.

There will be two tech tiers, plus "special units".


Maps:

The game takes place across maps that are actually Planets, which in themselves are set in solar systems, and there can be multiple planetary systems in the Galactic Warfare mode. The acutal planets look relatively small in the video. This is because they're actually sized to roughly what the original TA maps were in terms of scale. Whether or not that changes later, we don't know, but the maps for TA were pretty freaking big in themselves.

Map types include the standard Earth type planets, water planets, gas giants, Lava planets, and metal planets. There will be a random level generator that you can tweak to create your own.


Why no singleplayer campaign?

It's an inevitable question. To answer that, at the end of the day, this is still a relatively small budget title. What's filling in for it is effectively the Galactic Warfare mode, which in itself becomes its own campaign. That, and if we're honest, the original campaigns for TA and SupCom basically boiled down to a bunch of skrimish maps anyway, with the odd quirk and some relatively mediocre storytelling. What? It was. At least this way it has the potential to be a lot more sandboxy and entertaining, depending on what factors are going to be involved.


Other factoids:


Will there be Homeworld style space-battles:

Nope. The emphasis is on planet-side warfare, but with some aspects coming out into Space (so launching shuttles at other planets, other things like that).


- There will be mod support.

- They've been approached by GOG.com already to put their game on there.

- Sorian working on the AI. Yes, THAT Sorian, the modder that made the awesome AI mods for SupCom and eventually went fulltime.

- The original narrator from TA, John Patrick Lowrie, is coming back for this. And if you watched the countdown stream, he sounds awesome. Bonus trivia: He's actually married to Ellen Mclain, another voice actress, and most famous as the voice of GLaDOS.

-They will be making a documentary detailing the making of process (that was the final stretch goal, which they pretty much blew right past).

- Bots are in, and are again a separate factory from vehicles.


If you have any questions for the team, GO ASK THEM. Seriously, they have been ridiculously good about answering fan questions, either on the Kickstarter page or on the Uber forums.


And finally:
PAKickstarted.jpg

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Also, there's currently a celebratory livestream up, right now Now ended, but you can find a video link to at least the first half of it on the twitch tv channel:



    The final Kickstarter tally came to $2,228,344. That's excluding Paypal.


    EDIT: Paypal is $101,876

    That comes together for a grand total of: $2,330,220


    That paypal's not finished incidentally, so the number may rise still.

    subedii on
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    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Got in at the $100 level backer for this. I am so excited about this game. How could that first video not get anybody excited? I'm hoping homeworld space battles come in later via a mod or expansion. I can dream anyways. So pumped about this.

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    DrovekDrovek Registered User regular
    I chipped in to the early bird $15 tier. I really want this.

    I'll play Forged Alliance meanwhile.

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    XagarXagar Registered User regular
    TA was my childhood and I love FA and Supcom 2 for all they do right.

    On the upside, since CT isn't involved, we won't have to deal with his...creative...unit names. I just want my Gols, Mavs, and Zeese back.

    Anyway I helped fund this and I just hope it's as relatively easy to control as Supcom.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Xagar wrote: »
    TA was my childhood and I love FA and Supcom 2 for all they do right.

    On the upside, since CT isn't involved, we won't have to deal with his...creative...unit names. I just want my Gols, Mavs, and Zeese back.

    Anyway I helped fund this and I just hope it's as relatively easy to control as Supcom.

    Yeah the Aeon names were kind of... interesting would be a polite way of calling it. We'll call it interesting.

    The unit names aren't likely to be the same as in TA for obvious reasons, but you'll likely see facsimiles.


    As far as ease of controlling is concerned, I'm pretty certain they know one of the core appeals of TA and SupCom was the amazing UI that made all this stuff a snap.

    subedii on
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    mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    As they've got the orchestral score they should do a homage to the greatest RTS battle music ever.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxAyGICmHqM

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    MegaMekMegaMek Girls like girls. Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Fare thee well, my fateful thread. You will be missed 8->

    Super psyched for this, obvs.

    MegaMek on
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    BastableBastable Registered User regular
    At 2.2 million does that mean we get an orchestral scoring?

    Philippe about the tactical deployment of german Kradschützen during the battle of Kursk:
    "I think I can comment on this because I used to live above the Baby Doll Lounge, a topless bar that was once frequented by bikers in lower Manhattan."

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    XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Yes.

    Also, if the song you posted (I'm at work) wasn't Ambush in the Passage or the TA intro song, you're wrong.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    You're both wrong, Forest Green is where it's at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP2spT0TwCw

    subedii on
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    TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    woooooo super excited for this, I was really just holding out for the galactic warfare goal to get hit, then when they put in the music goal I was praying for it, this is going to be awesome... next year, when it comes out haha

    uNMAGLm.png Mon-Fri 8:30 PM CST - 11:30 PM CST
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    BTW that livestream is still going, and they're still answering questions on it.

    Personally I'm interested in seeing what they do with the documentary they got funding for. Honestly? A week ago when they announced it I wasn't even expecting them to reach the 1.8 million for Galactic Warfare, let alone the rest. Heck, I was just happy we got Naval units. :P

    subedii on
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    Al BaronAl Baron Registered User regular
    subedii wrote: »
    Personally I'm interested in seeing what they do with the documentary they got funding for.
    I'd love to know what caused them to go the route they did with SMNC.

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    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Fuck yeah, I'm excited as hell for this game! Glad to see they met their goals and that people are excited about it. I never played much TA but SupCom and SupCom 2 are my favorite RTS games of all time.

    edit: I hope the 'special units' are similar to the experimentals from the SupCom games

    Darmak on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    So these were posted a month ago back when the kickstarter first started, but they're still really good overviews of the project and what they're trying to do with it:

    Preview: http://www.pcgamer.com/previews/planetary-annihilation-preview-when-strategy-worlds-collide-with-moons/
    Interview with the lead dev: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/08/15/planetary-annihilation-interview/

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    wakkawawakkawa Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Loved TA so much. Supreme commander was pretty fun but supreme commander 2 was awful.

    wakkawa on
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    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    wakkawa wrote: »
    Loved TA so much. Supreme commander two was pretty fun but supreme commander 2 was awful.

    What?

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    wakkawawakkawa Registered User regular
    webguy20 wrote: »
    wakkawa wrote: »
    Loved TA so much. Supreme commander two was pretty fun but supreme commander 2 was awful.

    What?

    Just a brain fart.

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    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    Never played Supreme commander, just #2. I agree that 2 was blegh. Maybe I'll give the first one a shot.

    Anybody ever play that fantasy sequel to TA?

    Also if I remember right TA was one of the few games to use voxels.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    I don't think TA used voxels, I think you might be thinking of C&C2: Tiberian Sun. Although TA was one of the first RTS's I can remember that used polygons.

    SupCom was definitely awesome. I liked SupCom 2 as well, I feel they did make a lot of the right design decisions with it, but unfortunately it did feel like a smaller scale affair than SupCom

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    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I wanted mega battles, so supcom 2 did feel small.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    TotalBiscuit did a lengthy video interview with the two lead devs. Definitely worth watching, they go over a lot of stuff that'll be of interest to TA fans in particular (like the rate based economy)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqDSh34VoPY&amp;hd=1

    subedii on
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    BladeOfSanjuroBladeOfSanjuro Registered User regular
    Very excited for this, although put off a little by the slightly cartoonish graphics. Who knows, maybe that's just the PoC.

    Total Annihilation was the first game I ever played online against another opponent, via heat.net. (I can still remember it was on Metal Heck, he was Arm and kept spamming Flash/Pewee, I kept spamming Cans as Core and we had a 1.5 - 2 hour stalemate and then my 28.8 modem threw in the towel.

    I didn't have a PC that could handle SupCom when it came out, so I ended up picking up SupCom2 very late after acquiring a decent gaming laptop. It was fun, but it lacked a little of the depth that Total Annihilation had in sheer tactical options, as well as bastardizing the resource system in TA that is still IMO the best strategy resource system. The design decisions were all correct from the standpoint of making the game more accessible to newcomers, but I felt a little alienated by the streamlined strategic options focusing more on the wacky experimental units and the much, much smaller maps. (Cybranosaurus Rex is awesome though)

    I recently picked up SupCom 1 and the FA expansion. Wow, that was what I was looking for. That game was the true successor to TA in every way, shape and form. The resource structure remained, the ground vehicles/bots got combined into a single factory, the naval combat remained complex, and the added zoom, ferry system, shield + tactical missiles, upgradeable commanders and experimental units brought a huge amount of diversity to an already complex game.

    Hopefully they will take the first SupCom and run with that style of complexity over Supcom2's distilled format. I know they've already indicated there will be no space combat, but that would truly be the icing on the cake. (I was hoping Relic would have taken a crack simply taping together ground and space combat years ago having oh I don't know... a HomeWorld Engine and a Dawn of War/Company of Heroes engine just laying around)

    The idea of rocketing away, setting up infrastructure and then colony dropping on an enemy faction is awesome.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    SupCom 2 eventually patched in something similar to the original system, but they definitely made a mistake initially by trying to make it more "Starcraft" style where you pay for everything up-front before construction starts.

    Economy in general is a big accessibility hurdle in these games, because instead of paying in discrete increments for everything on purchase, you build things over time, so you've instead got to manage rates of income versus rates of output.

    One solution I've been thinking of for a while is that they should simply have production and resource collection work in whole numbers (and it's a wonder they even did it otherwise in the first place). So a Mass Extractor can bring in 1, 2 or 3 Mass Per Second, and a factory, regardless of what it's producing, works at a rate of 1 or 2 Mass per second when it's running, and all you very is length of build time. That way, everything's easy to factor in, you've got 5 extractors bringing in 10 mass per second, and you've got 2 factories working at -2 mass each and a building production working at -6, and it all evens out. Or maybe just match it so that Extractors and Factories work on the same numbers (+3 / -3), so all you need to do is keep an equal number of each (and add in more for building construction and engineer assists).

    So I was really glad to hear them think that this could be one solution (whole units) when they were being interviewed by TotalBiscuit. I hope that's what they go for (unless they've got a better solution in mind)

    I could see complications creeping in when Engineer units get thrown in, but if they stick to fixed, whole unit increments I think it could still work. In SupCom 2 they basically went with diminishing returns such that using more than 5 engineers on anything was a waste. But if it's fixed at a solid rate, you're still going to hit diminishing returns naturally anyway (I mean, what's the difference between 25 and 26 engineers assisting a factory? Not a whole lot. But the difference between 1 and 2 is massive).

    It's also something that adds to the meta-game since you need to be aware of how much you're spending on units, and how much you're spending in order to increase your ability to build units faster.

    subedii on
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    DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    So TA with no sparking, bomber stacking (discovered and abused by my brother), long balling, off mapping, bomb flinging (though i like this one), wreck jamming factories, and farks right?

    Keepin tabs on this one.

    And if you know exactly what all those things are, then you are a TA vet in my book.

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    DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    And TA didnt use voxels.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    Draygo wrote: »
    So TA with no sparking, bomber stacking (discovered and abused by my brother), long balling, off mapping, bomb flinging (though i like this one), wreck jamming factories, and farks right?

    Keepin tabs on this one.

    And if you know exactly what all those things are, then you are a TA vet in my book.

    Well I know stacking, I think I know what you mean by bomb flinging and off-mapping, and I presume that wreck jamming is simply clogging the enemy's factories with wreckage so that they can't produce. And the Fark was a unit I remember from CC, so I can guess what the issue was with that one.

    I have no idea about Sparking though.

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    SkabSkab Registered User regular
    I am crazy excited for this. So many hours put into TA playing 1v1 against a friend over modem as a kid.

    So many terrible memories of my Arm armies being pushed all the way back and having to make a last stand at the perimeter of my base. Laser turrets firing, PeeWees and Brawlers making entirely to much noise, and the wreckage of my dead troops serving as a makeshift wall to hold his Core armies at bay. So many moments of hope ruined because something went horribly wrong and oh god my commander just exploded and took out half my base

    Good times.
    Good times.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    TA gave me so many memories.

    The naval battles were the definition of EPIC at the time, massive fleets of ships battering each other with cannons and lasers. Huge offshore bombardments of enemy bases.

    My memories of TA will probably most be signified by the Big Bertha. Few games allow you to build a mega-artillery cannon that can fire clean across the map. It made people think twice about sending stuff trundling all the way to your base if it was going to be picked up by radar. Once it hit 5 kills, that thing was going to be HURTING you.

    subedii on
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    Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    I have fond memories of flying my transport over to the enemy base, picking up their commander, and self-destructing.

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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    The sea battles were something I never engaged in. I was already overwhelmed trying to handle the air and land aspect. I will say though that units barely dying, rather than outright totally-over-doing-it-damage-taken, was handled very cool. Yeah, you may be slaughtering my units, but your advance is chugging trying to get through the mess. Perfect for bombing run counters. Or gun ships. Those were OP as can be.

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    MegaMekMegaMek Girls like girls. Registered User regular
    Naval bombardments could be devastating, since no one really used them much, and never really prepared for them. The biggest ships had some of the longest range plasma guns that weren't artillery.

    Is time a gift or punishment?
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    Yeah see, when I was younger I was used to the idea that units of a type (sea, land, air) were best suited to fight the same, and that air fighting land or sea fighting land was only applicable in specific situations. I blame Warcraft 2 for sticking that idea into my mind.

    Now as an adult, I know that sea units with long range cannons are the perfect way to start a land war, or provide enough harassment to turn the tide (so to speak). And that the only threatening counter is -specific- sea units, or air units. I had no sense of strategy. It took Advance Wars for me to finally utilize all three types in unison.

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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    So with fortuitous timing: PC Gamer UK just posted up an hour long coop session where 6 devs go up against 2 (cheating) variants of Sorian's AI in SupCom 1 (Sorian will be doing the AI for Planetary Annihilation). Basically they've been playing it on-and off ever since they made SupCom 2 their coop game of the year.

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/09/15/now-playing-pcg-versus-the-robots-in-supreme-commander/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apsm0gazwzE&amp;hd=1


    For a while, this may as well be the combined TA / SupCom thread as well. Now that the project's just been kickstarted, we're unlikely to be getting a lot of information until things get underway, so unless they start drip-feeding information before the Alpha hits, I expect the thread will be relatively dormant until then.

    subedii on
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    SyphonBlueSyphonBlue The studying beaver That beaver sure loves studying!Registered User regular
    Oh man, I

    love

    the art style for this

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    MegaMekMegaMek Girls like girls. Registered User regular
    Yeah, me too. The big blocky look will be clear when zoomed out too.

    Is time a gift or punishment?
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    ZxerolZxerol for the smaller pieces, my shovel wouldn't do so i took off my boot and used my shoeRegistered User regular
    This thing. This thing right here. This thing is the type of shit I wanted RTS to go toward when genre emerged. Bigger, crazier, more insane. More awesomer. The type of shit TA showed that is possible, what SupCom progressed, and what SupCom 2 completely faltered on*. I'm tearing at the beauty of ideas.

    The genre seemed to have always trended small. Starcraft 2 remains the same micro-superheavy APM-fest that it always has been, and while I love the intimacy and simulation detail that games like Company of Heroes brought (and CoH2 looks to be amazing), I wanted to see things go bigger. Show the mass carnage and ridiculousness the genre could achieve.

    So I'm totally on board with this shit and hope it's as insane as I hope it to be.


    *though if there's one thing that I hope they could learn from SupCom 2 is that game's amazing unit pathfinding system.

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    manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    Best thing ever about the Annihilation series.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6mZZiI4ShQ

    Also, true best music:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGdfarT244Y

    :D

    manwiththemachinegun on
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    BastableBastable Registered User regular
    Sup com lacked the little touchs that TA had were things like bulldog tanks would rock back and forward on their suspension. I hope that amount of detail is coming back.

    Philippe about the tactical deployment of german Kradschützen during the battle of Kursk:
    "I think I can comment on this because I used to live above the Baby Doll Lounge, a topless bar that was once frequented by bikers in lower Manhattan."

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    DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    subedii wrote: »
    So with fortuitous timing: PC Gamer UK just posted up an hour long coop session where 6 devs go up against 2 (cheating) variants of Sorian's AI in SupCom 1 (Sorian will be doing the AI for Planetary Annihilation). Basically they've been playing it on-and off ever since they made SupCom 2 their coop game of the year.

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/09/15/now-playing-pcg-versus-the-robots-in-supreme-commander/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apsm0gazwzE&amp;hd=1


    For a while, this may as well be the combined TA / SupCom thread as well. Now that the project's just been kickstarted, we're unlikely to be getting a lot of information until things get underway, so unless they start drip-feeding information before the Alpha hits, I expect the thread will be relatively dormant until then.

    Yeah, that video is a year old. :P

    JtgVX0H.png
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