Space Hulk Dev Chat And Hands On

Written by Felix Nova on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 5:40 PM
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Warhammer 40K Space Marines are humanities elite. Chosen from the most powerful members of our race, that now spans thousands of galaxies. These warriors are genetically enhanced with multiple hearts, filtered lungs and of course the iconic power armour.

Some Space Marines earn the honor of climbing into Terminator armour. Supercharged battle gear that affords the Space Marine the highest level of technological protection that humanity can develop. These warriors are then sent into the most dangerous reaches of space to fight for us...

In August 2012, the Danish development studio, Full Control, got their hands on the Games Workshop licence for Space Hulk. Up until that time GW were wrapped up in a long term licensing deal with the now dissolved publishing giant, THQ.

I got to sit down for some Space Hulk hands on, while having a chat with Full Control CEO, Thomas Hentschel Lund, to find out how the licence is shaping up in their power gloved hands.

Full Control currently consist of an indie team of 12 devs that are building Space Hulk in the popular Unity Engine. Not the most beautiful development tool, when you consider Cry Engine and others, but incredibly powerful and easier to access for indie devs.

Space Hulk has strong roots. Originally a board game and then turned into one of the classic computer games of the early 90’s. A small unit of Space Marines would be sent into an ancient behemoth space ship, known as a Space Hulk, thats crawling with alien nasties, Genestealers. Multi-limbed, hive like aliens that could rend metal with their talons. You know, like in aliens. A Genestealer would even beat a Terminator in a toe to toe scrap two out of three times.

The classic game would switch between first person and a strategy top down view to allow the player to really feel like they were there, while also giving them plenty of tactical control. That was 20 years ago and even by todays standards it managed to weave sci fi strategy with high tension like few other games.

Two main things came together to make this happen. Firstly there was a simple turn time limit. The player had to plan their strategy in a handful of seconds, before the orders would be carried out, regardless of what state they were in. This ramped up the pressure and often a game would end with your last Space Marine standing in the extraction zone staring face to face with a corridor of gene-stealers. Secondly, the game was brutally hard.

So I asked Tom how they were going to recreate the tension from the original, is the timer back?

“Yes we will have the timer, but we are making it optional. This is a strategy title and some people like to be able to take their time and plan out their next moves. So we wanted to please everyone by allowing the player the choice of how they wanted to play.”

Full Control’s Space Hulk will not feature the first person view, however you can now see what your selected Terminator sees when he moves down the metal corridors, through a small envelope window in the top right of the screen. Not necessary but really helps enhance the immersion.

It is shaping up to be a faithful recreation of the board game and is looking really good. The atmosphere of the lumbering Terminators is spot on. The oppressive tension is certainly getting there too. The randomly appearing alien blips turn into one two or three aliens when they come into view, just like in the original. Your flamer can coat entire areas in napalm, which can also cause valuable splash damage. You are going to get banner awards that your online gamer buddies will see. There will be coop and multiplayer missions. A single player campaign based on Sin of Damnation. A level editor will be released. Various missions include suicide missions, where as long as one room is set aflame then the mission is a success despite how many marines you lose. And I have even been told that Sergeant Gideon will turn up with his Power hammer and battle shield at some point in the campaign.

Turn based strategy is a niche, but as niches go it’s a popular one. Tom very much wants to focus Full Control as being the development studio PC gamers think of when they consider Turn Based Strategy. And based on what we have seen so far, Space Hulk is likely to give them a solid step in the right direction. They already have their next turn based title in the bag, Jagged Alliance: Flashback, that will use a lot of the Space Hulk architecture.

Its hard not to compare Space Hulk to the recent XCom: Enemy Unknown. Doing so will give you a quick idea of the games mechanics and gritty flavour. Both use turn based strategy in a very similar way and both are remakes of a sci-fi classic from the 90’s. Following the XCom success and Space Hulk’s similarity I wanted to see how Tom felt the price of Space Hulk would compare.

“We have not got a price set at this point as we are still dont know our final costs. However, Space Hulk is a premium title and we will need to price it as such in order to recoup our investments, while still being able to move onto DLC and our next projects afterwards. But it’s not going to be priced as high as $60 or anything like that.”

Xcom is currently priced at £29.99 and $39.99. We think Space Hulk will follow suit and be priced at £29.99 or $39.99 as well. But we will have to wait a few months yet to find out.

Space Hulk should release around October 2013 on PC, Mac and following that IOS tablets.

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18:23 Jun-23-2013

I think turn-based games are underrated. This game sounds fun, might give it a try if the reviews are positive.

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18:31 Jun-23-2013

I agree, they are usually great, however no matter what, they usually only are received by a niche audience :/ a shame really.

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18:39 Jun-23-2013

I agree too, although i think they are more suited for mobile platforms, eg. pokemon games for NDS

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18:44 Jun-23-2013

Why is that? Besides Pokemon I don't see the implentation of a Turn based game on a mobile platform which are largely aimed at a young audience (NDS, PSP etc) a good idea at all. Generally the audience for mobile platforms prefer real time games, Pokemon is an exception because of all the tv shows, movies etc so that kids love it.

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18:49 Jun-23-2013

Ok, but i don't see turn-based games to be mainstream (or even close) on PCs/Consoles no matter how good the game is...

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18:57 Jun-23-2013

that's what I was saying, it's for a niche audience

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19:40 Jun-23-2013

Agree with you Warmice, Turn-Based game now are not shining as in the 1990s anymore, people underestimate em they want full pace first person action.
thats is too bad..

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17:18 Jun-23-2013

Loved all the WH40k dawn of war games and XCOM, hopefully this will be a blend of the two!

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16:41 Jun-23-2013

It looks like iron man's suit IGOR

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13:03 Jun-23-2013

Looks fun, I might buy this. Loved the actual hobby but stopped principally because they were raising the prices so much. Still got a sweet spot for it though :)

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09:09 Jun-23-2013

We want Space Gordon Freeman. :P

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08:01 Jun-23-2013

This title looks like it will be awesome fun.
Dont get confused with Dawn Of War, that was developed by a different company. Just to clear things up, the fact that Full Control are developing this does not mean that Dawn of War 3 wont turn up at some point. It is unconnected. What it does mean is that we get another awesome title in the Warhammer 40K universe.
There are about 10 Games Workshop licensed projects currently in development and there always seems room for more due to GW having so many rich games in their arsenal. F

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13:33 Jun-23-2013

Oh, glad to hear that :)

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09:14 Jul-30-2013

Now if we'd just get Warzone (not GW though), I played it A LOT :D

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05:11 Jun-23-2013

Go Go Go! If anyone the success of this game lead for more feature for their new project Jagged Alliance: Flashback :D

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19:16 Jun-22-2013

If this is a turn based like X-com then that would be awesome. You have to remember the actual Warhammer 40k board game is turn based and I love what they did with the X-com remake.

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17:57 Jun-22-2013

things with claws vs marines in terminator armor?

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17:46 Jun-22-2013

So, this is a turn-based board game :'(
i want a new Warhammer real-time strategy...

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17:47 Jun-22-2013

me too,DoW 3 was supposed to be released last year :'(

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17:52 Jun-22-2013

We're both crying :'(

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05:21 Jun-23-2013

Eer...you'll guys had to wait for Relic Entertainment for that..

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18:23 Jun-22-2013

I really wanted Dawn of War 3 too :(

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20:01 Jun-22-2013

Me too!!!!!! Buuuuuu give us dow 3 WÀAAAAA

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17:35 Jun-22-2013

i was excited about it,then i found out its a Turn based strategy. :( too bad

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