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During Opening Night Live at Gamescom 2023, the company unveiled the newest non-human faction for its RTS game coming via closed alpha and closed beta tests later in 2023. I think of this as a spiritual successor to StarCraft.
Stormgate is set in a post-post-apocalyptic science fantasy world, where Earth has become the battleground for warring factions. Humanity survives the initial invasion of the demonic and alien Infernal Host and fights back.
Frost Giant Studios revealed the Shroud, a faction-defining game system that differentiates the magic-wielding Infernal Host from the tech-based human factions.
The Shroud is a dark and swirling field of magic energy generated by key Infernal structures. Infernal units gain significant advantages when fighting on the Shroud. The development update video showcased three key Infernal units: the worker Imp, the Fiend, and the Brute.
The Imp, previously shown only as concept art, captured the hearts of players with its adorable appearance. This big-eared Infernal worker unit primarily gathers resources and summons Infernal structures. However, it can also set itself ablaze, triggering a fiery Imp-losion.
The Brute, a formidable two-headed ogre unit, has the ability to split itself down the middle, leaving behind a bloody mess and unleashing a pair of fast-attacking Fiends. Skilled Infernal commanders will strategically absorb as much damage as possible before releasing the unleashed beasts within.
“We’re making Stormgate for everyone who has been waiting far too long for the next great RTS–including ourselves.” said Tim Morten, CEO and production director at Frost Giant Studios, in a statement. “The progress we shared tonight on Opening Night Live reflects our team’s commitment to creating an engrossing RTS built around highly asymmetric factions that players will enjoy mastering for years to come.”
In addition to the exciting gameplay updates, Frost Giant Studios announced that Grammy award-winning EDM DJs and producers, the Chainsmokers, are advising on the game’s soundtrack. The studio’s audio director, Alexander Brandon (known for Unreal and Deus Ex), has brought together composers Tracy W. Bush (StarCraft and WarCraft III) and Frank Klepacki (Dune 2, Command & Conquer) to create an immersive soundtrack. Voice talent from genre classics will also play feature roles in Stormgate.
Stormgate, which will be free-to-play, is coming to Windows PC via Steam. The game will feature a solo and co-op campaign with regularly released missions, a cooperative 3vE (three players-vs.-AI) mode with customizable armies, and fully-integrated in-client esports, including 1v1 ranked matches and a future team-based 3v3 mode. The studio also plans to release an in-game Editor post-launch for the community to create custom games, maps, and mods.
Frost Giant Studios prides itself on the smooth and responsive gameplay experience provided by its proprietary SnowPlay technology. With 64 Hz tick servers, Stormgate recognizes player inputs approximately three times more often than StarCraft II. The game will also be the first RTS to feature rollback netcode, a predictive technology that enhances online multiplayer gaming by maintaining fast and smooth gameplay, regardless of players’ internet connection speeds.
Built using Unreal Engine 5, Stormgate will support high-resolution HD visuals in 4K and showcase epic, large-scale wars with hundreds of unit models. Frost Giant Studios revealed a new Deadlands tileset at gamescom 2023, which map makers can utilize to reflect the game’s post-apocalyptic setting.
The user interface is designed to make RTS more approachable by streamlining gameplay and eliminating unnecessary inputs, including quick macro buttons on an intuitively-designed command grid for common commands related to army and base-building.
“We’ve been floored by the demand for access to the Stormgate closed alpha and are incredibly grateful for the high-quality feedback we’ve already received from our incredible community,” said Tim Campbell, president and game director at Frost Giant Studios, in a statement. “We will welcome even more players to the Stormgate closed alpha and closed beta tests later this year.”
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