Human Resources (Kickstarter RTS computer game)…

Technology versus Creatures? How original… After the break…

Human Resources (Kickstarter RTS computer game)…

Although I enjoy a good real-time strategy game as much as the next PC gamer, I do not have my pulse on the RTS industry as much as I used to. My understanding is that the trend in RTS titles is to “go big,” to have strategic battles instead of tactical battles, to have combat seem “grand” in scale and scope. “Loud is the new Good,” as the saying goes.

“Human Resources” is a “please support us” project on “Kickstarter,” a sort of eBay-in-reverse: Instead of paying for items that are, you pay for items that have yet to be and, if enough people pay for it enough, it will be.

I know that it is never polite to comment on someone else’s creative endeavor but I can’t help but notice the following about this project:

  • Technology versus Creatures? How original. You know, I get it – There aren’t too many diverse groups that you can use but “technology” versus “non-technology” (as in magic, native, creature, etc.) is sort of like the tired “blue-orange” contrast in movie posters. Furthermore, I’m beginning to acquire a disdain for people who ‘hate’ technology and are constantly making ‘technology’ the bad guy. It’s a little ironic that a game that is solely dependent on technology makes technology a villain. Why not have the Old One apocalypse attack and have the humans respond by accidentally unleashing the technology apocalypse instead of the other way around?
  • A real single-player campaign or merely “skirmish mode with Bots”? The company proposing to make this game made an earlier game, “Planetary Annihilation” which is, apparently, a spiritual successor to the heralded RTS game “Total Annihilation” (And lest we forget, there is already a spiritual successor to TA called “Supreme Commander”). “Planetary Annihilation” doesn’t have a genuine single-player mode but merely a skirmish with bots mode. I know that there are a lot of people out there who mentally ignore a game once the multiplayer aspect is poor or outright dismissed; I’m not one of them. I like my single-player and I like it as robust as humanly possible.
  • “Bwwwaaahhhh!” Someone has seen the “Inception” movie trailer and really enjoys it. The “Inception” trailer is known for using a low-toned “Bwwwaaahhh!” sound effect to emphasize seriousness and drama but the sound effect has since become overused to the point of parody. Yes, you want the trailer for your game to stand out and convey seriousness and drama but… “Bwwwaaahhh!” is now a punchline. Please stop using it.
  • To be perfectly honest, the art style is very nice. It is reminiscent of the developer’s earlier title, “Planetary Annihilation.”
  • Paging Octopus Motors… Paging Octopus Motors… Everyone else seems to be encroaching on your turf… How’s “They Came From Hollywood” coming along? Is it still “Abe Vigoda” or “Abe Lincoln”?

I have no qualms with Uber Entertainment, the company behind this endeavor. I appreciate that they have apparently released “Planetary Annihilation” as a physical product with no DRM which is a rarity nowadays. I will admit that I have yet to see it out in the wild although my choices are limited (GameStop is a malnourished shadow of it’s former self when it comes to viable PC gaming and Wal-Mart… The less said about Wal-Mart, the better…).

Despite my initial concerns based upon the trailer alone, I hope that “Human Resources” is made and is a financial success for Uber Entertainment. Quality PC gaming always feels as though it is in short supply and any game made in any genre that proves that the physical media, non-DRM, PC gaming crowd is still viable is always a positive. While I’m not certain what additional apocalyptic sides the game could have (Space aliens? Dragons? Demons? The undead? Steampunk?) that could be significantly different from “technology” and “fictional religious mega-beasts,” I’m sure they’ve thought of such contingencies already.

Now if only someone were brave enough to remake “Total Annihilation: Kingdoms”…

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