Interviews// Space Hulk

Posted 28 Jun 2013 17:12 by
Games: Space Hulk
Thomas Lund
Thomas Lund
Full Control is the Danish developer responsible for creating Space Hulk, the video game interpretation of the much vaunted and highly sought after board game. The game takes cues from its spiritual successors - Space Crusade and the Space Hulk games that were released on the Amiga and PC back in the early 1990's.

This new version brings the game right up to date by using the rules used in the 3rd edition of the board game that was released in 2009 and utilising cross-platform play thanks to the developer choosing to use Unity as its game engine. I caught up with Full Control CEO Thomas Lund to find out more.

SPOnG: Could you tell us a little about Full Control and how you have developed Space Hulk?

Thomas Lund: We used Unity as a base engine for the game, but on top of that we developed our own framework for turn based strategy games and Space Hulk is now the fourth game utilising it. We started out with a small scale Monster Ball, which was a Little Shop of Horror inspired game. We then moved into Tactical Soldier, which was like a Resident Evil-style story-driven mobile turn-based game. We did an expansion for that and then we did Frontline Tactics early last year, which is a modern warfare turn-based game. We tried out free-to-play on that one and we're not super happy on the performance on that and the decision to go that way with funding the game was not a good one in hindsight. Nevertheless the core game was really good and Space Hulk builds on top of those games and the code we've been able to build into the framework from those titles.

For example we have created asynchronous play that is cross-platform. So you can have people playing on either the iPad or the PC. So you can go home, turn on the same game and when it's your turn you can continue the game on your PC when you started playing it on your iPad earlier in the day. This is something we built for Frontline Tactics and we have carried it over to Space Hulk.

SPOnG: How much of a challenge has it been to get the scale of the space marines right, as they are supposed to be 8ft tall giants?

Thomas Lund: We try and frame it so that we have skeletons, books and things scattered around on the floor, which are human sized. So when you start looking at those small details you start seeing that wow, these are big guys!

SPOnG: What is the link between Space Hulk and the previous video games from the 1990's?

Thomas Lund: The heritage coming out of Space Hulk is the board games that were made by Games Workshop. The 3rd edition that was released in 2009 had a very limited run and now it sells for $400 on eBay! Not only that, but we've been influenced by the Fantasy Flight Games card game, which you can play solo (which is the main reason I have it, because I can play it while travelling). So taking the original board games, the video games you mentioned from the 1990's and the card game we built Space Hulk. However, we would say that 98% of Space Hulk is based on the 3rd edition board game.

This means of course that the missions in Space Hulk are exactly the same ones that are in the board game. So this means that if you cannot get a hold of the original game, you can get Space Hulk instead, which delivers the full experience without the cost and long set up time and duration too! It includes all of the amazing art from the original game as well as audio, 3D environment and an action-cam. There is also the bonus of being able to play online against others, negating the problem of having to find someone who is willing to play the board game with you!

SPOnG: Presumably there is a single-player mode?

Thomas Lund: Yes, we put an AI controlled player in the game so you can play single player, but there is also hot-seat multiplayer that allows you to play the game on one device, be it PC, Mac or iPad.

SPOnG: The game is coming out on PC, Mac and iOS, any other platforms planned?

Thomas Lund: The first wave is on those platforms you mentioned and then we're going to look at the performance of the game sales-wise to see how well it does. Taking a look at that point in time we will then consider what kind of platforms do we want to support. Android tablets would be an obvious one and another direction would be to go digital console i.e. XBLA and PSN. These platforms are, however, in transition now, so it's difficult for us to commit to anything.

SPOnG: We certainly are in a difficult time for developers in terms of what console platform to go for.

Thomas Lund: We approached Microsoft originally and they said no as we had a deal with Steam so they can't do an exclusive release on their platform. They then told us to go find a publisher and get back to them. We never did.
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Games: Space Hulk

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