Uber Entertainment (the minds behind Monday Night Combat) finished up a Kickstarter for their game Planetary Annihilation back in September. I was sold instantly and have been patiently waiting for any juicy bits of new information ever since. And in a recent Livestream, Uber showed off some new art for the games desert biome which reveal what the final product might end up looking like.
As you see, there is a lot more detail in the terrain than what their Kickstarter concept video would have suggested. I think it looks a lot more improved now, however. The game should still have that sort of cartoony, minimalistic look though with a little more interesting background to better differentiate units and buildings from the planet they are sitting on.
Uber’s Livestream spent a lot of time discussing how necessary it will be for the final game’s textures to seamlessly blend together. Each planet you will be fighting over in Planetary Annihilation will be proceduraly generated, therefore things like these hand crafted screenshots will need be made by the engine.
Given that a large part of the gameplay of Planetary Annihilation involves the destruction of planets and planets smashing together, it is interesting to note that things like this large crack will be doable in real time in the game. While the overall aesthetic is simple and the level of detail will most likely be fairly low in the final product, there is a lot of physical manipulation of the levels which can occur.
One of my least favorite things about modern gaming is how much level design (especially in multiplayer-first games) relies on 100% static levels. I always enjoy games where things can completely change in a matter of moments after a firefight breaks out, simply because the levels allow for extreme physical changes. As technology has improved and we no longer have to sacrifice good graphics and speedy gameplay for the ‘minor’ benefits of more dynamic levels, games like Planetary Annihilation will help quicken the pace a bit on level design … I hope.
If you want to listen to the entire Livestream, it is online now. It is a bit long and technical, but still fun to skim through for details on all of the goings-on at Uber Entertainment. I’ve left it embedded here at the end of the post.