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Land of Sand -- new Dune-like RTS in development


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Greetings to all.
I am developer of RTS inspired by Dune RTS series: Land of Sand.
I believe my project may be of interest to this forum's audience since it's essentially an attemp to make something along the lines of Dune 2000 and Emperor. Maybe some of you would give me new ideas, suggestions and critics.

Brief description of my project:

    It's going to be RTS with metastrategic layer: global map devided into regions, which player defends or conquers during Dune like RTS missions. In between missions player chooses what region to attack, invests resources in capital base development and researching technologies, gathers intelligence on enemy regions, sends agents to sabotage enemy efforts, negotiates with secondary factions. Capital base progress and global situation influences player capabilities during missions: how much supplies and reinforcements can be supplied, what units and buildings are available, secondary factions acting as allies, neutrals or enemies.
    For obvious reasons the game will not use Dune universe, but there will be something similar: three factions fighting for control over a desert planet with forth faction manipulating them and stepping out of shadows in the endgame. I haven't yet decided on details of the setting including what is going to play the role of valuable resource (spice), and what's going to play the role of dangerous local fauna (sandworms).

Project site:   LandOfSand.net

Steam group:   land-of-sand

Edited by Ciaphas
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you.

I have indeed started recently and currently I work on rendering part. I've already built region generator for strategic map. I'll demonstrate it eventually.


Also I contemplate on new mechanics trying to figure out how to add something new.

Currently I stopped on introducing water and fuel resources for infantry and vehicles. Vehicles would consume fuel while moving (but not standing) and infantry (and vehicle crews too probably) would consume water constantly with the pass of time. This should limit troops in different ways and create new mechanics. For example tanks are stronger but can't to travel from one end of map to the other without refuelling needing intermediate bases while weaker lighter quads can travel back and forth.

I also think of introducing long range artillery capable of firing from closed positions (self-propelling howitzers) and the need to supply it with ammunition that will be produced by munitions factory on the base. Long range requires other units to serve as spotters while limited munitions create lines of supply and vulnerability.

Some other ideas are:

-- infantry capable of climbing rock terraces attacking enemy base from where vehicles can't

-- land mines (both anti-tank and anti-infantry) layed by minelayer vehicle and/or infantry

-- sand storms masking enemy troops advance


If you have any ideas to share I would like to hear them. I am particularly interested in what dangerous fauna to substitute sandworms with, what resource it's better to use instead of spice, any interesting unit types and combat mechanics.

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Got something for you from the wiki. Maybe your soldiers can specialize in gathering resources from the plants and animals.



Paul Atreides recalls that the few plants and animals on the planet include "saguaro, burro bush, date palm, sand verbena, evening primrose, barrel cactus, incense bush, smoke tree, creosote bush ... kit fox, desert hawk, kangaroo mouse ... many to be found now nowhere else in the universe except here on Arrakis."[4] The most notable life forms on the planet are the giant sandworms and their immature forms of sandtrout and sandplankton.[4] Sandtrout encyst any water deposits;[4] predator fish are placed in the qanats and other water storage areas to protect them from the sandtrout.


As someone who has been playing around with balances for some time. I suggest to have your first game only have 1 resource for production of buildings and units.
Active upkeep is a very bad thing to do, so you might as well discard the above quote. Instead, have a passive upkeep, like reduced income. See WC3/Frozen Throne for that.

I like that rock climbing. Time to introduce some mechanical units that can do that too.

Minelayers, I always wanted to see infantry lay anti tank mines and vice versa.

If you go for fog of war. Have those Sand storms reduce the unit vision by 50%. Thus only 1/4th of the area.

The best fog of war allows for objects to block vision in a cone. But I don't know how it is all programmed.

How about path's and bases through trenches, these are unaffected by the sand storm. So attacking from outside is a bad thing to do here. But a vice versa effect like night time would also be neat. Being in the trench creates more night vision than outside. 1/3th reduction outside while 2/3th reduction inside.

The longest cooldown so far that I have seen is the one of the V2-launcher in Red Alert. Maybe you can have something that has a cooldown of 30 seconds or so. A big nasty artillery tank that is slow moving. Needs to deploy. Then hits its target with a lot of splash.

Range due to height differences? Take the square root of the height difference if the projectile goes from high to low. Thus 4 higher is only +2 range. Some projectiles like lasers and flame weapons will not have this advantage. The disadvantage of shooting upwards is best taken linear in combination with 3D fog of war effects. You need to get a scout up there.

Well, so far my idea's. I bet most are unfeasable for a simple indie project.
I really like that random terrain though. But does it have much influence on the campaign itself?

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