I was a producer and designer for this project. The original idea was to make a game that captured the fun and imagination of those plastic army men. There were a couple of games out of Germany that were heading in that direction, but nothing that had all of the different equipment and abilities that we wanted to put into a game.
Virgin had the license to do Dune. They secretly gave to the project both to Westwood and a French company (cannot remember the name.) The French finished the game first, which was a 3D crawl game.
Our thoughts were that the story was too complex and rich to replicate in a video game. We decided that it would be best to take all of the fun elements in the game and create our own story.
I had read the books once and was a little confused as to all of the elements, but my friend Wesley (by the way, Wes is in another game. Eye of the Beholder I & II. The character’s name is Wently Kelso and he is an apathetic archeologist, which fits the real Wesley’s personality perfectly.) Anyway, Wesley was a big fan of the books and so I invited him to lunch at the Golden Nugget buffet.
Over a piece of salty roast beef, he pulls out the Dune Encyclopedia. He told me that the book was very rare and would not let me take it home. So on the back of a Keno pad I started writing down the profiles of all of the houses. (I think I still have the Keno pad).
Originally, I was going to use House X as one of the houses, but it seemed better as a resource. Also, living in Vegas, the House Ordos seemed like the Mafia. This appealed to me for some reason.
Marc also mentioned an artist from Hanna Barbara who, "kept drawing in flowers and bunny rabbits into the scenes, because she thought it was too violent."
Certainly an interesting story and it finally puts to rest the age old discussion. Thanks again Marc for filling us in.