Kickstarter Focus: Planetary Annihilation

Pitching itself as a ‘next-generation RTS game,’ Planetary Annihilation is being developed by huge names in the RTS genre. Developers from Total Annihilation, The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Battlespire, and many other games have joined together to create a new game similar to Total Annihilation, but on the scale of a whole Solar System. Managing resources is a key component of the game—and you have to keep a close eye on your robots, scouts, and battles in order to survive. The game will be available for Windows, Mac OS X, and due to popular demand, Linux systems.

Each solar system in the game is randomly generated, which means every single playthrough will be unique and offer new challenges. The solar system has planets, moons, and asteroids for you to conquer while battling off opponents. There are multiple types of campaigns—some being quite short and meant for friends, and others ranging into the 12 hour length. The most interesting part about the game to me is the fact that moving from rock to rock (so to speak) is very simple and just takes a click—and everything on each planet and asteroid is still simulated in real-time. What resources you get to manage aren’t listed in the preview or the description, but it will probably work similarly to Total Annihilation.

The plot of the game isn’t listed, but as the preview explains multiple times, the goal is to simply destroy planets. They aren’t going for anything revolutionary—they’re just aiming for awesome. The stylized planets look nice, but seem to clash with this view. Then again, the robots are also cutesy, and for the next generation of RTS, it doesn’t seem like much has improved graphics-wise. Even so, those swirly renders give the game some charm, and I’m excited to see what a planet explosion looks like in the same style (there’s one part of the preview that shows it completely molten, but that can’t be where Planet Annihilation stops). They made a very good choice with the music, and the brass orchestra matches the goal of conquering on a Solar System scale.

I kind of doubt that RTS games are seeing a dip in popularity—they’ve never been very popular in the first place, and I’ve seen plenty of people who are fans of Total Annihilation and Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. However, they do offer something new to the genre—the sheer scale of the game is nothing like past RTS games. Each robot, each resource, and each rock is all simulated at the same time, on the scale of a Solar System—something which probably takes a lot of processing power, and is even more impressive during larger campaigns. I’ve never been a huge fan of RTS games, but this game actually has me intrigued. The huge asking price of their Kickstarter campaign is a potential barrier for the game’s creation—they’re asking for a whopping $900,000. Their all-star development team somewhat justifies it, and they’ve nearly reached the halfway point. With a little luck, we might see a new, high-quality RTS game on the market!

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