Some of the makers of planet-tossing real-time strategy game Planetary Annihilation are working on a sequel, called Industrial Annihilation, which aims to blend together RTS combat with factory building. It’s now in its last week of investment funding and is aiming to release into early access sometime this spring.
Here’s a “pre-alpha visualisation” from a couple months ago, which we completely missed at the time:
It’s not uncommon for strategy games to feature base building, obviously, but Industrial Annihilation seems to take a leaf out of Factorio’s book by having your base be a system of extractors and conveyor belts. Presumably a more efficient factory design helps you more speedily produce robot units for the inevitable RTS battle that ensues.
You can find a few more details about the project on its official site and its StartEngine funding page, including that they hope it will feature a singleplayer campaign as well as co-op and PvP battles. These things are – as ever, frankly – subject to change.
StartEngine is a funding platform, but in the Fig rather than Kickstarter vein. You need to make a minimum investment of $500 and you are investing in the developer, Galactic Annihilation, rather than in the game itself – and as with all investing, there is a risk you could lose your money.
Planetary Annihilation earned more than $2 million via Kickstarter in 2012, with the intent of delivering a spiritual successor to RTS classic Total Annihlation where battles took place across multiple planets. Chris Taylor, the designer of the original – and of the already existing spiritual successor Supreme Commander – was not involved, but Planetary Annihilation was the work of Uber Entertainment, co-founded by Jon Mavor, who was a graphics programmer and engineer on Total Annihilation and SupCom.
When Planetary Annihilation first launched it was technically impressive, but also highly demanding of both your PC and your brain. Keeping track of multiple bases, multiple fronts, on multiple spheroid battlefields, in the midst of a fast-paced, competitive multiplayer match seemed pretty impossible, as frail, fleshy Brendy explained in his review. A standalone expansion, Titans, expanded its singleplayer ambitions but with many of the same flaws. Possibly there’s a reason most video games take place on a single plane.
The game’s story only gets more complicated from there. Three years later, in 2018, Planetary Annihilation and a small group of developers spun off from Uber Entertainment to create a new company and started releasing patches for the game again, work which continued until 2021. Uber Entertainment, meanwhile, re-branded as Star Theory Games and were contracted to work on Kerbal Space Program 2, until KSP2 publisher Take-Two tried to buy them, Mavor and his co-founders rejected the deal, and Take-Two instead poached Star Theory’s staff, set up a new studio, and transferred development to it. Star Theory shut down shortly thereafter.
None of which is particularly relevant to Industrial Annihilation, which I think seems like a cool idea. Although it might be relevant if you’re thinking of investing.