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Desc:So many hours devoted to this game
Category:Science & Technology, Video Games
Tags:Dune 2, Westwood studios
Submitted:casualcollapse
Date:08/11/19
Views:395
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Comment count is 22
Binro the Heretic - 2019-08-11
While I loved this game, I now question the wisdom of letting warring factions control the planet that supplies the one substance you must have to run your interstellar empire.

I mean, wouldn't they just spend their time trying to fuck up each other's shit destroying tons of the most vital substance in the universe in the process?
Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2019-08-11
I guess the galactic empire has had no competition for a long time, and has become decadent and.. stupid, as empires do.

eg
China:
Lets not exploit the Americas 100's of years before anyone else, and in fact stop exploring entirely despite the fact that we're by far the most advanced civilization atm.

Rome:
Lets base our entire economy on an infinite supply of slaves, and give so little fucks about them we actually chain them to the fields. Also lets make a succession of bonefide psychopaths our dictators.

US:
Lets allow corporations to do literally *anything* they want, become more powerful than governments, and also lets actively encourage corruption and elitism.

Basically, competition provides a sort of natural selection for societies, without it you get the societal equivalent of genetic drift, dodos.

Anaxagoras - 2019-08-11
The worms continually made more spice, and humans couldn't really hurt them. (until Paul Atreides came along) So the spice supply was safe.

As for the spice pipeline & distribution, that might get disrupted temporarily due to conflict, but the flow would always resume. Several factions (the spicing guild, the emperor, and possibly the Bene Gesseret as well) would make sure of that.

The politics of Herbert's universe was very well thought out, and pretty damn awesome. The area where the series fell down was in its use of racial memories. THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS. Like, if the people of the Dune world somehow stored such things in their DNA, then they are so removed from us that they're a completely different species. And yet Herbert definitely portrayed them as pretty much us.

I suspect that Herbert was completely ignorant as to what exactly DNA encoded, and it kinda ruined the series for me. (He relies on racial memory a *lot*.)

Binro the Heretic - 2019-08-11
But this isn't Herbert's "Dune" this is the conceit of the game, that the Emperor of the Universe would choose to put 3 warring tribes on the same world to see who could produce the most spice.

And the easiest way to produce "more" than your enemies is to fuck up their mining operations.

SolRo - 2019-08-11
Isn’t the premise of spice that it basically severely fucks with human evolution based on how much is consumed?

Hegemony Cricket - 2019-08-12
I always thought it was spicey-wicey hand-waving as well.

I'm still looking forward to constant - aggressive - scissoring on the Bene Gesserit TV show that's set to debut with the new movie.

casualcollapse - 2019-08-14
Wait there's a Bennejessrits TV show coming out holy shit?!

Old_Zircon - 2019-08-11
My girlfriend in college played like 3 hours of this every day.
casualcollapse - 2019-08-11
Should have married her

Two Jar Slave - 2019-08-11
I've never played this game, but I find its place in history interesting. This is the game that cemented the core mechanics of the RTS genre which would go on to explode in popularity during the '90s, then transform into various eSports in the 2000s. Mine resources, plunk down buildings, pump out soldiers, use them to claim more resources. That winning formula is traceable to Dune II, and Dune II only.

Before this, the idea of combining strategy gaming (turn-based, spreadsheety affairs) and realtime gaming (arcadey stuff like racing and shooting games) was a unicorn. People had made various attempts at "fast-paced strategy," but no one had developed a model that really, ahem, clicked.

And what's fascinating about Westwood's achievement, especially from the perspective of modern strategy gaming where mechanics are king and things like narrative and artwork are regarded as 'fluff', is that Dune II's winning model came from the fiction. The devs had no roadmap to follow, so they based their mechanics on the story of Dune, not on other games. Base-building mechanics came from Herbert's descriptions of 'carryalls' being plunked down from the sky at strategy locations. The idea of vulnerable workers mining a limited resource which powers your war machine (see: every RTS) came from Herbert's 'harvester' machines sucking up pools of spice deep in no-man's land. Unit production mechanics came from the book's descriptions of troop carriers. Even the way you interacted with the game as a sort of all-seeing leader who still commanded individual troops was informed by the story. I mean, the very idea of two armies fighting over a limited resource is the story of Dune.

So it's a weird(ing) case of an entire genre's core mechanics being rooted one specific piece of fiction, rather than the mechanics being hashed out first and the story getting tacked on later. It would be like if bullet-hell shmups were inspired by an episode of M.A.S.H. or something.

That said, I've never had the patience to actually play this antique. I can only go back as far as Age of Empires 2 because of its status in my nostalgia canon, and even then I just listen to the soundtrack for a bit.

PS: If you want to see the core mechanics of the RTS genre beautifully distilled into 5-minute match-ups, I highly recommend 2017's Tooth & Tail. It's a silky-smooth minimalist RTS that will make you say, "Ahhh yes, now I remember what made this genre fun."
Meerkat - 2019-08-11
I played this game through as all three houses, exploring every different expansion option until I was completely done with playing this game.

But I will probably play it again some day. It's a fuckin' classic.
Anaxagoras - 2019-08-11
I've never played this game... does it hold up compared to modern game design? (Well... "modern" as of 10-ish years ago. They rarely make this style of RTS these days.)
Caminante Nocturno - 2019-08-11
As far as games of this time go, you're better off starting with Command & Conquer: Red Alert. That's when Westwood really started hitting their stride with RTS.

Anaxagoras - 2019-08-11
Ah. Yeah, I played (and loved) all the C&C games. Cool.

garcet71283 - 2019-08-11
C&C was essentially Dune 3. Its worth playing Dune 2, but there are lots of quality of life improvements that came with C&C and Warcraft 2.

What I find interesting is the period of time where RTS' were collectively viewed as C&C or Warcraft clones. Yet I never heard anyone accusing a game of being a Dune 2 clone.

garcet71283 - 2019-08-11
Also, play Dune 2000. The critics received it terribly but its basically Dune 2 with all the Red Alert bells and whistles.

casualcollapse - 2019-08-12
Dune 2000 was fun... At least I thoroughly enjoyed it.. and command and conquer red alert also makes that list

TeenerTot - 2019-08-12
No, no. Play MULE. It'll blow you away.

Caminante Nocturno - 2019-08-11
Man, I miss Westwood.
casualcollapse - 2019-08-11
Oops, didn't mean to nostalgia bomb your brain.

betamaxed - 2019-08-12
I forgot how dope the music was for this game.
Space Odin - 2019-08-14
Still no Homeworld soundtrack though.

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