Exclusive: All About The New Space Hulk PC Game

By Alec Meer on March 1st, 2013 at 2:04 pm.

Rejoice, heretics. There’s going to be a brand new, turn-based and faithful PC adaptation of legendary Games Workshop boardgame Space Hulk, and I am really very excited about this. So I had a good old chat with Thomas Hentschel Lund, boss of Full Control, the studio behind this sci-fi strategy game of man versus alien in desperate battle. Inside: the first (and excellent) in-game screenshots, details on how it works, what’s been tweaked, if it’s as brutal as the source material, whether PC or iOS is the lead platform, whether it nods to the old EA first-person games, and how the whole thing happened due to one very happy accident involving a fire pit.

(You can click on the first two screenshots in this post for fancy HD versions, by the way).

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Space Hulk Space Hulk Space Hulk Space Hulk Space Hulk Space Hulk Space Hulk!

RPS: I’m not sure I can pull off another post like that, sadly. Might need to get you to say something more.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: You made my day that afternoon, that was the most fantastic response I got to the announcement.

 

RPS: I will try to more insightful this time. The obvious question is what are we in for with this game? We don’t know much about it yet.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: What we’re overall aiming for is to take the board game experience and make a digital game out of it. What we mean with that is not taking it literally, 1:1. If you have in your head the boardgame as you play that, and XCOM, and mix those two together. That’s the game experience you can expect from Space Hulk.

 

We’re trying to make it as cinematic and creepy and claustrophobic as possible.

As you play the game and move around, and see your tactical squad, we have an action camera that goes down into the corridor and shows the action up close. Or if you’re in Overwatch and a Genestealer’s going down a corridor, the camera will sometimes switch down and into an over-the-shoulder shot with the Terminator firing an Assault Cannon. You see the Genestealer in real-time moving up and then suddenly it hits and splats.

 

So, that kind of vision is what we aim for on an overall level. And trying to make it as cinematic and creepy and claustrophobic as possible.

RPS: Have you made any changes to the game mechanics, as well as to the camera stuff?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yes, we did do some changes. I mean, it’s still turn-based and that’s the core of it. The game itself will play a lot like the boardgame but we do some optimisations to make the game more fluid, a little bit more action-ish. Some of the things that we’ve been doing are you can click on a tile past a closed door and the door will automatically open, so you get a little bit more fluid gameplay instead of going to the door, standing in front of it, opening it and then you can click onwards. Getting a little bit faster gameplay out of it will still keeping the core, essential boardgame, turn-based feeling.

We had a look at things like the Flamer rules. In the boardgame the Flamer is essentially done like it is due to book-keeping rules. The rule is that if you flame a certain tile, the entire tile that it sits on is lit up with flames. It doesn’t discriminate if it’s a one-tile corridor or an entire room, so we changed that into a template-based system. What you target is actually like the first title, where there’s a cone after it. So you can envisage throwing a bucket of water, and it hits the floor and spread out to both sides for a certain range. We’re still trying to cover the same amount of real-estate with the flames, but we just want to make it a little bit more computer game instead of a boardgame. We could of course have gone for a 1:1 conversion but we simply don’t think that will cater to a computer game crowd as much.

We did some other game rules changes too. We’ve tried to keep it to as few as possible. One of the things that we wanted to do was have asynchronous multiplayer, and to be able to do that in an enjoyable way we will most likely remove the ability to cancel out the enemy Genestealer movement with Command Points during their turn. It would be really odd if they can select to move a Genestealer five tiles, and on the third tile in asynchronous you have to roll back and redo parts of your move because the Terminator player after seeing the five movements says “oh, roll back.” That doesn’t work in an asynchronous mode.

RPS: Are you going to keep in the synchronous mode, or ditch it entirely?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: It’s one of those things we haven’t decided yet. If it works well enough that we can simply do it, or we can also automate some of the things… This is just raw ideas I’m throwing out at the moment, but at the end of the Terminator term, if I have Command Points left and this guy spots somebody, he shoots. Stuff like that, Command allocations that you would otherwise do as Terminator player.

In synchronous mode yes, you could definitely try to interrupt things with a space bar press, for example, and say “yes, I want to use Command Points now.” But we don’t know if it’s going into the final product yet.

RPS: How are you tackling the singleplayer campaign, in terms of in the boardgame it’s quite visible what the opposing Genestealer is up to, how many units he’s going to deploy and where they’re coming from? Doing that means there isn’t too much surprise or shock.

Thomas Hentschel Lund:  Yes, we definitely want to take it a little bit further. The story that we want to tell is that you’re [Blood Angel Captain Michaelus] Raphael sitting on the strike cruiser outside the Space Hulk, and you scan into the Hulk. So what we’re going to try to do is have only parts of the level in the line of sight of Terminators visible as 3D models with nice textures. So if you turn to the right, the corridor that you were looking at before will turn into a like a radar scan image. That’s one of the ideas that we want to try to go with, see if that adds an extra dimension to the atmosphere. And also going a little bit more for the radar blip kind of imagery, having something fuzzy going on in that direction.

 

RPS: Potentially that could affect the strategy quite a lot, you’re going to alter the tactics that you’d use in the boardgame if you basically can’t see any of what’s going on?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: We don’t want to go in and change a really cool, well-balanced, well-played game, and we’re not going to dumb it down so it turns into a shooter. Our vision is that we essentially want to keep the claustrophobic atmosphere, you’re up against millions of Genestealers potentially, you’re the underdog. You’re going to lose this game three out of four times, just as in the boardgame.

The game itself will play a lot like the boardgame but we do some optimisations to make it more fluid, a little bit more action-ish.

 

For me, that’s one of these essential things that I like about the boardgame. It’s challenging. You’re playing against a huge amount of enemies, and you will most likely lose and have that last stand kind of feeling. “Yes, I actually made it into the objective room with my last guy and he flamed it one turn before the Genestealer got him in the back!”

RPS: That’s the XCOM thing again, I guess – making players expect to lose a lot of guys as they play. Space Hulk’s even more unforgiving though, which might make it a hard sell for anyone who wants an easy ride.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yes, and I’m sorry to say but an easy ride is  not going the game that we’re going to make. It’s not going to be a shooter. It’s trying to keep the roots of this is a challenging game for you to play. Just… similar to the boardgame.

RPS: Have you taken any inspiration from the old EA DOS games at all?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: They are a completely different thing, but we are definitely trying to take a few of the menu things and some of the ideas that they that, and trying to put that in as a homage. We don’t want to try to reproduce what EA did in the old days. They essentially took a turn-based game and made it into a more action, real-time thing. We’re taking the boardgame and making a turn-based game with some action elements. I’d much more compare it to XCOM than I would the old EA games.

RPS: Hopefully XCOM’s sparked renewed interest in turn-based, so you won’t just be appealing to old school Games Workshop players.

Thomas Hentschel Lund:  That’s one of the reasons for not doing a 1:1 conversion. We want to have Space Marines players thinking this is actually a cool game, we want [downloadable Warhammer 40,000 console title] Kill Team players to play this. It’s the same theme, it’s the same world, and pushing it into that XCOM kind of direction blends a little a bit, but it’s still essentially at its heart the boardgame.

RPS: I’ve been looking at the screenshots you sent me for this, and they look really good, properly good. So I immediately worried that they’d been tarted up a lot for promotional purposes and the game won’t actually look like that.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: [Laughs] I’d say it’s 99% in-game and 1% Photoshop. The reason we Photoshopped it is, y’know, when people look at it they have to have that little extra for the first impression. But essentially those are the tactical camera view that you will see as you play it, and also an example of the action camera that you’ll see when a Terminator’s shooting at a Genestealer running down the corridor. So essentially what you see there is the game, with that lighting.

RPS: Yeah, the lighting’s what really makes it, so I hope that’s as it will be in-game throughout.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yes, it’s going to be dark and gritty, and the audio side will make it sinister too. It’s sinister at its core, and that’s what we’re aiming for.

RPS: Some people have worried that, because it’s coming out on iOS too, that’s going to bring down the PC version. Should we be worried?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: I think the screenshots speak for themselves. They have nothing to worry about. We are making a PC game, and we are doing a downscaled port for iOS. The downscaling primarily comes not from the game mechanics, but in the art department. It’s not possible to run the same lighting, the same specular normal map shaders as you can on a PC game. So we’re going to do the best-looking PC game that we can and, in quotation marks, ‘dumb down’ the iPad version.

RPS: PC’s lead platform, then?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yes, it’s definitely <em>the</em> platform that we’re aiming for. This is a PC game with an iPad port, it’s not the iPad version released on PC.

RPS: You’re still shooting for cross-platform play?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yes, we are. Game mechanics-wise and content-wise, in terms of missions to play and features, it’s almost the same. There are very few things that we can’t do on iPad but can on PC there, so we’re going to try to keep the iPad version as complete as possible, but PC is number one.

RPS: Have you got the cross-platform stuff actually working yet internally? So often you’ll hear some developer say they’re going to do this then for one reason or another they give up on it before release.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yes, this is our fourth turn-based game, and the last one that we did was Frontline Tactics. That actually features cross-platform multiplayer, so you can sit on iPad and play a PC player. There’s some heavily optimised stuff going on in Space Hulk where we’re removing some very small features we added in on Frontline Tactics, where we introduced a sense of latency in the multiplayer, but we’re going to make this as fluid as possible.

RPS: How’s co-op going to work?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: We’re going to do it so you play two squads and each player controls a set of them. So I come in with my five guys, and you could come in with your five guys, and while it’s our turn we each do our own turns and play against the AI.

RPS: And presumably you’ll massively ramp up the number of Genestealers in the map?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yeah, yes. [Laughs]. Killing Genestealers, that’s going to be fun. That’s the essential thing.

RPS: The one thing that isn’t on show in the screens is the interface – can you give a sense of how that’s going to look? Minimalist or busy?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: The in-game UI we’re going to keep as simple as possible. We like minimalistic-styled UI, so it’s in theme, green radar-scan kind of look. You’ll have a mouse cursor context sensitive sort of thing, so if you hover over a tile you’ll see the amount of Action Points written over it. If you right-click and hold down you get a selection of arrows so you can select the direction that you want to face. So the Terminator walks up there and turns, again to get a more fluid game.

RPS: And savegames? Can you save mid-mission are or you going full Iron Man mode?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Oh, we haven’t decided yet. The question also comes back to do we have an undo button? We discussed this just this morning, but there’s no conclusion yet.

RPS: It’s a tough one. If the option’s in there, even the most faithful, purist player is going to struggle to resist the temptation to use it.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Exactly [sighs]. It’s also, for example, one of these things with the interface, where we want to enable a player to think that he’s actually playing the boardgame, so in the options he can turn on seeing the dice rolls or having a more tactical view. Or if you’re more of an action player, you might be “who cares about dice rolls? I just want to see if I hit it or not.” So we’ll try to cater to both of these groups without putting them in a box, so boardgame players don’t have to only be boardgame players. We’ll have options that you can turn on and off, or mix them up.

RPS: A lot of people said in our comments that they weren’t familiar with you chaps’ stuff before, so if they were to look at your earlier games would they be quite representative of what to expect here or is it a major departure?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: It’s both. We’ve been trying to keep this turn-based niche alive for the last few years, as I said this is our fourth turn-based game. So we’ve been doing this for a long a time, and we’ve been trying to push into the same direction as XCOM did, having a bit more of an action camera, less interface, a more fluid play. So if they go out and try our previous games, they will get the sense that we’ve been heading in this direction for a long time.

We’re going to do the best-looking PC game that we can

The new part in this is that previously we were three or four guys, and we were taking it slow – we are indies, and self-funded. But we’ve been moving it up slowly on the art side. We started off doing iPhone-only, then went iPhone and PC, and now we’re doing a PC game with an iPad port. We’ve been ramping up. Right now we’re at 12, 13 guys, primarily in the art department, and it shows.

RPS: How did you end up doing Space Hulk? Did you go to Games Workshop or did they come to you?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: It’s a funny story, actually. At GDC last year, I was standing in a hotel lobby, warming myself at an open-pit fire they had there, and this older guy was standing right next to me doing the same. We were saying “nice cold weather here, blah blah blah” and he asked me what I did. So I said “yeah, I have this small indie studio, and we’re doing digital board games and trying to keep turn-based alive.” So he says “hey, I have over a thousand board games in my basement.” We kept chatting back and forth, and he asked what kind of games I would really like to do. I said “I want to do Space Hulk, it’s the game of my dreams.” Then he hands me his business card, and it was Ian Livingstone. So here I am pitching, without knowing, to one of the three founders of Games Workshop.

RPS: Wow, that’s a lesson to always talk to whoever’s around at you at GDC, because you never know…

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yeah, and he wanted to introduced me to the head of licensing, and I was like “Oh, yes please.” And he did. That was pure luck, but from there on it was the usual stuff – you go over there, you pitch the idea, you pitch the business and so forth. At the end of the day they decided to give it to us, and it was like “wow.” A dream come true. I’ve been trying to pitch it to THQ for many years, but they’ve been ignoring me and the general idea of Space Hulk.

RPS: That might have been a blessing in disguise, given what’s happened to them.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Exactly. So I’m sitting here making my dream game. It’s fantastic.

RPS: And all because it was cold at GDC.

Thomas Hentschel Lund: And I can also say that, the ink isn’t dry yet, but we’re also in discussion for another turn-based game license.

RPS: Ah, interesting. I could take a few guesses but I might leave the readers to speculate. Do you have anything firmer in terms of a release date for Space Hulk?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Tough question. Later in 2013. [laughs] I’ve been in games and software for so many years that I know promising anything firm is going to be like shooting yourself in the foot. But it’s not going to happen on this side of Summer. And it’s not going to be a Christmas release. Hmm!

RPS: That narrows it down quite a bit. And you’re able to put it out solely when you’re ready, no-one’s mandating when it should come out?

Thomas Hentschel Lund: Yes, we’re totally independent of any kind of external influence, except for what the Games Workshop guys have. They have other products and they’re trying to give us a window of the most possible attention without releasing other stuff at the same time. We’ll know more for sure soon. And we have signed a deal with Steam directly already. No Greenlight, no middlemen publishers. Definitely cool for us and for people wanting to buy the game.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

Space Hulk will be out between Summer and Christmas this year, then. More soon, hopefully.

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139 Comments »

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  1. mikmanner says:

    SPACEHULK

  2. Citrus says:

    I don’t know about the name. I don’t know what to feel about it.

    Lund means “penis” in Hindi.

    I just hope the game is as entertaining as his name was.. for a few seconds.

    • Syra says:

      Bhenchod, now I’ve seen it I can’t unsee it.

    • chackosan says:

      There was a lot of that going around when Freak Kitchen played in India. IA got in on the joke, closing one of the Jonas Hellborg Band concerts with, “For now, my name is Matthias One-Dick Eklundh.”

  3. TychoCelchuuu says:

    Drop shadowed pull quotes about Space Marines. Truly we live in the future.

    • Premium User Badge

      ChainsawHands says:

      In the grim darkness of the near future, there are only pull quotes!

      • Vorphalack says:

        Words for the word god!

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Is using a pull-quote on a universe of only pull-quotes in the same vein as dividing by zero?

      • Syra says:

        It is better to die for the Emperor than live for yourself.

        • DK says:

          The pullquotes would be perfectly alright if they were all Thought of Day style 40k messages.

    • Phantoon says:

      Making your website look like magazine is heresy.

      • squareking says:

        Especially with pull quotes on a 650px-wide column. They’re kinda obnoxious. :(

        In other news, SPACE HULK sounds AWESOME and I will buy it.

        • Synesthesia says:

          So much this. The pullquotes take half the column, it’s very distracting. Designwise they break the flow pretty hard, too. I think in this article you have a lone last sentence trailing below one… its just not working very well.

          The game looks awesome and i will buy he fuck out of it too.

      • Baboonanza says:

        I don’t think there is anything wrong with pull-quotes and making a website look a bit more like print. It can work extremely well if that’s the look you’re going for.

        This website though? Not so much.

        • 2helix4u says:

          Yeah the pullquotes are just messy and needless. Stop aping games journalists RPS, we like you because you are different. Pullquotes are for sites where you skim the text and look at the numerical score.
          If it was new text in sideboxes I wouldnt mind, but pullquotes in an entirely textual peice? Dumb.

          • Ninja Foodstuff says:

            “They are universally loathed”

            Going by the comments for the past couple of days, they are universally loathed. Looks like they are here to stay.

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            Lacero says:

            They work as long as they’re used for nonsense and jokes, and not quotes.

          • Cleave says:

            Weird.. I didn’t notice them until I read these comments, just read around them I guess :)

    • Kefren says:

      Ah, I wondered what they were called.
      Stupid things, make me read the same words twice and imply I can’t make my own assessment as to the relative importance of different words.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      block this to fix it

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com##.simplePullQuote

    • KikiJiki says:

      With no border they look properly awful with the drop shadow as well :/

  4. faelnor says:

    A proper informative interview with a very enthusiastic developer and good-looking screenshots, though doctored but admittedly so. Won’t generate as much talk as good ol’ Cliffs or Cevats, but so much more enjoyable and refreshing! :)

    Also: Space Hulk!

    • faelnor says:

      Your oozing optimism disgusts me, sir.

      • Phantoon says:

        I’m terrified of the notion of a poster that hates themselves, outwardly. Most people practice self-loathing. I don’t even know WHAT this is.

        • faelnor says:

          I could say that it’s cowardly pre-emption of possible negative responses, but wouldn’t I be reinforcing the self-loathing aspect of it then? I’m not sure what that is either. This is all so meta and everything.

    • TimEatsApples says:

      Things we’ve learned from this and XCOM: turn-based devs give the best interviews.

      Also: Squee!

      • Ostymandias says:

        Maybe because interviews generally are turn-based affairs? And that sort of explains why interviews with FPS devs read like the interviewee is trying to no-scope the interviewer with a .50 cal sniper rifle while the latter is frantically waving a knife in front of him

  5. Didden says:

    If its anything like the original, I will truly suck at playing it.

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      Continuity says:

      The original was hilarious, terrible, but hilarious. I have it installed right now, I even play it occasionally through the magic of dosbox.

      However i can’t get all that excited about a new computer game space hulk, even the board games was never that great.

    • Vesperan says:

      The original was impossible. I could do all of about 2-3 of the missions. Every other level I would be slaughtered after three minutes.

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        Continuity says:

        It was certainly tricky, you couldn’t treat it like an action game, you had to combine sound tactics with precision timing and a good dose of luck. One jam at the wrong time and everyone is wiped out, so you couldn’t afford to just sit around shooting, plus, lightning claws.

        But yeah it was balls hard.

  6. HisMastersVoice says:

    “And I can also say that, the ink isn’t dry yet, but we’re also in discussion for another turn-based game license.”

    Please be Warhammer Quest. Or Necromunda, though admittedly that’s not a board game. Either is fine as it could potentially prompt GW to re-release them in proper 21st century fashion, like they did with SH.

    • Dan Griliopoulos says:

      NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA NECROMUNDA!

      Or possibly GorkaMorka.

      • Nihil says:

        Someone actually beat me to it this time! Normally I’m the one loudly declaring ‘Where the hell is my Necromunda game’ in every GW related thread. Good work people.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Necromunda! Yes! This! Please! Please? Oh, come on!

        Alright that’s my exclamation mark quota for today.

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        Continuity says:

        Yes! Necromunda would be truly sweet.

      • Syra says:

        CHAAAAAAAAOSSSSSSSSSSSSS GAAAAAAAAAAATTTTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

      • chewbaccasdad says:

        I’d love Space Crusade or Hero Quest, personally.

      • Snorez says:

        Or Mordheim… that would also make an AWESOME turn based PC game. Though if I had the choice I’d prefer to see a Necromunda game. Starting gangs, building territories, online play, would be 7 different kinds of awesome.
        If someone builds it I will pay ! :)

        Edit : Oh fuck… I totally forgot about the best GW game never made. Battlefleet Gothic! Now THAT shit would blow my mind if they could pull it off

        • 0positivo says:

          Why is it that Battlefleet Gothic is so unknown despite being the most awesome thing in this existance?

          I would kill for a properly well done BFG game. Finding people that actually play the tabletop is… tricky, to say the least

          • Cpt.Average says:

            I agree, BFG would fit the mold much better than the other spinoff series games. I sincerely hope it’s this because it was such a shame to see it squandered. The support for the tabletop version after 2 months release was a joke.

          • HisMastersVoice says:

            BFG is something I’d leave for Relic. You know, Homeworld and all.

          • Nick says:

            It is to my great regret that I never got Gothic when it came out, it looked and sounded utterly brilliant in WD at the time.

    • Nick says:

      Oh yeah, WQ would be great too. But a proper Necromunda game would be just be fuckmazing.

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        Continuity says:

        WQ was a bit thin for a computer game I think, it was essentially like a simplistic dungeon crawling RPG. They’d have to buff up the mechanics a lot for it to be fun as a computer game, and at that point it wouldn’t really be WQ any more right.

        • Nick says:

          If they used the (holy shit this is thick!) RP rules book that came with it and the various campaign expansions it would be suitably meaty imo.

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      JB says:

      I hope it’s Necromunda. Or Mordheim. But, as you mentioned, they’re tabletop wargames not boardgames. I guess we’ll find out soon-ish.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      Necromunda, Battlefleet Gothic, or Man’O’War would be fan-fcuking-tastic.

      They would get my money, even if they had no Nazi Zombies in them.

    • Drayk says:

      Necromunda is the only one I played and I loved it. i loved the idea of playing a gang across a whole campaign.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I’ve played 40k and WHFB, but Necromunda is really the only one I would say I am nostalgic for.

    • Prime says:

      Space Crusade and Hero Quest, please. And/or their ‘Advanced’ cousins. Yes, I know they were watered down gateway drugs designed by GW to suck unsuspecting youths into their grubby pewter world but I don’t care. They were awesome and I still love them and would love a modern digital treatment of any of them.

    • Jake says:

      I still play Necromunda most weeks, amazing game. A PC version would be pretty great although making the little men is half the fun.

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      Lacero says:

      If it isn’t Necromunda they need to change the contract to be Necromunda now, obviously. RPS has spoken.

      And I want my Spyrers to be in the main game too, not as an add on.

  7. Phantoon says:

    So terminator armor does basically fuck all against Genestealer rending claws, so why not just send impy goo in? Is it for the heavier weapons the terminator armor can wield?

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      TDA is based on old environmental hazard suits used during ship maintenance. It kinda makes sense that you’d use that kind of thing when boarding a mass of derelict ships.

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      Snidesworth says:

      Terminators are generally the best of the best and, even if a genestealer can still tear a terminator apart, that ridiculous tank armour still gives them more survivability than a marine who “only” has power armour, especially given the lack of room for evasion.

    • Tuhalu says:

      Terminators have the right mix of heavy and close combat weapons and the speed to make the most of a rapid insertion in an enclosed environment (like a Space Hulk). They can also deal with hazardous environments better, don’t run away at the drop of a pin and can be extracted via Teleport Beacons if they actually manage to succeed in their mission.

      • Mirqy says:

        GW published rules back in the 90s (so first edition) so you could use regular space marines instead of terminators. The trade off was more troops, slightly better mobility, fewer heavy weapons and (even) less effective close combat. As I recall it made the game a glorious slaughterfest for both sides.

        • mouton says:

          This approach makes more sense. While I love Space Hulk and have no problems with enjoying its board-game artifice, I always perceived Terminator Armour as a trap designed to make the marines almost immobile. Seeing as genestealers tear terminators apart anyway, lighter more flexible troops would make muuuch more sense.

    • bleeters says:

      As far as I’m aware, regular Imperial Guardsmen are generally an all you can eat buffet for Tyranids.

      • TomxJ says:

        They do. Elysian drop troops specialise in Ship to ship combat and they send in Storm Troopers to die in thier droves.

        Space hulk has typically been about the Blood Angels though. They get slaughtered even though they’re humanities finest. Makes the Genestealers scarier.

        Its Aliens the boardgame.

        Tom j

    • mondomau says:

      a.) Most Space Hulks have no atmosphere, so you’d need to be in a fully sealed suit to even walk through the boarding hatch
      b.) You need guns. Big ones.
      c.) Marines are better trained. Imperial Guard would wet their fatigues and run in circles until the ‘Stealers ate them one by one.

      • Lusty Centaur says:

        SEND IN THE TANITH FIRST AND ONLY! SEND IN THE GHOSTS!!!

        • Syra says:

          Assuming they could stealth at all in single file box corridors. Where’s straight silver going to get them there eh?

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        Gap Gen says:

        I assume there’s a reason they can’t just blow up the hulks with missiles?

        • bleeters says:

          As far as I’m aware – and I say this having never played the tabletop version – there’s some junk in the space hulk’s trunk that the Imperium just really, really wants.

          • ThomasLund says:

            And Space Hulks are gigantic – 10, 50, 100s of kilometers long. Very hard to bombard

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            Gap Gen says:

            Fairy nuff. Although if you want to get rid of something like that, you could always steer it into a star or something. Anyway. Not the point, I know.

          • Syra says:

            No no, not hard to bombard. Battle barges have enough ordnance to level a continent. The reason in the recent edition (the one with the blood angels) is to recover the relic armour of a fallen blood angels captain and other goodies…

        • Max Ursa says:

          a space hulk is a millenia old amalgamation of space fairing vessels that have collided within the warp (deamon dimension that ships dive into and fly through for intersteller travel), this causes them to melt together. now many ships in 40k are at least a kilometer in length and some are 10km plus. therefore these space hulks can be pretty fucking huge in every direction and to destroy one require multiple weapons that range in the teratons.
          now the reason for actually boarding one of these behemoths is that there is often salvage such as famed wargear aboard a recognisable vessel that is part of the hulk or a vessel may contain technology of human or alien origin that would be a benefit to the imperium of mankind. bear in mind that production and maintenance of technology is down to Techpriests (think cybermechanical catholic priests that worship a technogod and you wont be far wrong) who basically know how to make things function but dont know how they work. only a select few of them are allowed to design and invent new tech which take centuries of vetting to be approved. so anything that can be salvaged and possibly reproduced is priceless.

          • Lemming says:

            Yup. I think where it all falls apart a little for Space Hulk: the game, however, is that Daemons and Orks are far more likely to be encountered than Genestealers on a space hulk.

            Genestealers are the harbingers of a Tyranid hive swarm rather than just aliens that kick about on derelicts, but I realise they are the historical enemy to fight at this point. Tyranids as a race didn’t exist when this game was first conceived.

          • Max Ursa says:

            Genestealers were often found on hulks. when the hulks would drop out of warp randomly near a system, opportunists would board to salvage. genestealers are able to hypnotise and impregnate these boarders who, under control of a purestrain stealer, would have their genetic code rewritten as they returned back home. these would start to form covens, inducting those they could, especially those in positions of power into their ‘secret society’ only for them to be impregnated.
            these coven would have offspring and these would be obviously mutated hybrids of human and genestealer who would be kept hidden from view so to avoid discovery. these hybrids mature rapidly and have their own offspring and so on, until the point where the offspring looks indistinguishably human or are a purestrain genestealer. the human hybrids would infiltrate positions of power and strategic significance so when an uprising finally occurred, they could sow widespread confusion and disruption.
            the imperium thought the genestealers to be a lifeform of their own originating on the eastern rim, calling exterminatus (destruction) on the supposed homeworld. it wasnt until the arrival of tyranids and the spotting of genestealers within their ranks that two and two were put together and they realised that the genestealers are scouts who find, seek to disrupt and control the juiciest worlds for the tyranid fleet to feed on.

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          Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          The Imperium has lost most of the art of technology. They can build stuff, but it’s inferior to the old stuff. So when they find a hulk, if they can cleanse it they can reap a huge bounty of superior technology, and indeed often whole ships that are better than anything they can build.

    • Syra says:

      Rending claws need a 6 to hurt termies =( 2+ saves are a bitch all day long.

  8. Bluestormzion says:

    For the Emperor and Sanguinius!!!

  9. caddyB says:

    VENERATE

  10. Premium User Badge

    Snidesworth says:

    I’m totally down with them making some changes to the rules that suit a video game, but maybe there could be an option to play with the standard tabletop rules as well? Would mean pleasing all parties involved.

  11. Nick says:

    I hope the other non dry ink one is Necromunda!

    But yeah, cannot wait for this game, one of the few PC releases this year I give a shit about.

  12. FluffyPanda says:

    Thomas Hentschel Lund: Exactly. So I’m sitting here making my dream game. It’s fantastic.

    What a coincidence Sir, you are also making my dream game.

  13. Dana says:

    XCOM XCOM XCOM XCOM

    Welp, there goes my hype, I didn’t liked XCOM very much, unlike its predecessors. Though I would lie if I said I didn’t wanted it to be first-person realitime squad tactical in the first place.

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      Gap Gen says:

      Well, if this is anything to go by, they’ve stripped out the bits that aren’t fighting Chryssalids at close-range.

      • Max Ursa says:

        there could be genestealer hybrids who would use ranged weapons and some even have psyker abilities

    • Lemming says:

      I think you can rest easy, as the XCOM name-dropping really has to do with a complete lack of any other modern turn-based squad combat games that have made any kind of impact, rather than it playing anything like XCOM.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Fitzmogwai says:

    Bastards. Just when I’ve finally broken the seal on my Space Hulk boardgame and knocked £200 off the ebay value.

    Still painting the LOVELY miniatures is wonderful.

    And speaking of which, Meer didn’t ask possibly the most important question: what are the paint customisation options like?

  15. Alistair Hutton says:

    Hmmm, but some of the corridors were deliberately made up of shorter corridor pieces to make flamers less effective. I suppose this will be balanced out by flamers not being able to “go round corners” in rooms.

  16. tkioz says:

    Very good to see more turn based games, though XCom had some issues, the fact it hit it for six means that more and more developers are taking a risk, which is wonderful. So sick to death of the FPS mafia ruining things.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Keymonk says:

    I would love a mix between XCOM and 40K that steered more towards playing like XCOM. :o

  18. Jake says:

    I want to know what the voice acting will be like. ‘I CANNOT FIND… an archive record viewer!’

  19. KikiJiki says:

    Interesting interview. I do find it odd that he pitched to THQ for Space Hulk before, considering that THQ had the Warhammer 40k license.

    All of the ‘Specialist Games’ are seperately licensed by GW, so THQ probably never replied because they had not got the license for the game anyway. It’s no coincidence that Livingstone wanted to introduce him to the head of licensing.

  20. SkittleDiddler says:

    I’d still have my original box of Space Hulk if it weren’t for the fact that Games Workshop containers back in the old days were made of papier-mâché.

    Looking forward to this new version, as long as it doesn’t turn out anything like Blood Bowl.

  21. Jack-Dandy says:

    Sounds excellent. Hope they put in an Ironman-type thing.

  22. mondomau says:

    Given the success of XCOM: EU and the high profile popularity of several GW franchise video games recently, this was kind of inevitable – but I’m personally very happy that these guys are doing it. The story of how they got the license is a fanboy dream and the early shots are really promising.

    As for the other boardgame – if it is a GW game (he didn’t say it specifically was) then I’m going with Warhammer Quest. None of the other options (Necromunda, Mordenheim, BFG, Epic) are technically boardgames, so it probably isn’t any of them (sadly).

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      True, in that most of those mentioned were actually tabletop games, they still all adhered to measurable rules on a measurable base, ie:

      Battlefleet Gothic – an area of space, easy to reproduce as a game
      Man’O’War – a sea, easy to reproduce as a game
      Necromunda – a hive area, with set range, again easy to reproduce

      Another few old W40k games come to mind…

      Rites of War – superb game focusing on Eldar
      Final Liberation – Epic40k

      • 2lab says:

        In the interview it’s ‘trun-based game’ not board game so it could be any of them.

        • Loyal_Viggo says:

          Not sure if you get the concept, but you take turns moving your units…

  23. Premium User Badge

    amateurviking says:

    Sorry Alec, haven’t read the article (I will!) saw the header image and felt the urge to say this:

    SQUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    I feel better now.

  24. jamienobes says:

    Necromunda as the other possible license? Please?!!!!!!

  25. Doc Serious says:

    Long time reader. This article forced me to register just to say YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

    Adeptus Titanicus next please!

    • bleeters says:

      There aren’t nearly enough games about walking tanks the size of skyscrapers with enough firepower to destroy entire armies fighting each other.

  26. bleeters says:

    Looking forward to this so very, very much. All the more so for it being alikened to XCOM, and for making mention of a co-op mode.

    As much as I enjoyed and continue to enjoy Dawn of War 2, its space hulk levels never really did the concept justice. Especially so when Retribution came along and had me fighting Orks in one. Orks with jetpacks, killakans and looted tanks.

  27. wodin says:

    http://www.teardown.se/

    Go to the forum and see the recent screenshots of AA2…it’s having a campaign system..galaxies..ship infestations..etc etc. You can join the forum and help in the development aswell!! Also I beleive it will be free.

    As for this I’m hoping they do a great job and have signed up the WH40K license.

    • ceriphim says:

      Here’s my problem with Alien Assault Space Hulk – it’s too FUCKING random. I have absolutely no attachment to any of the marines because I sure as shit know that if they manage to randomly survive one mission it HAS NO BEARING on the next mission at all.

      I saw genestealers take 8 shots from three directions and still run over to kill a fucking TERMINATOR in one swipe.

      Is there any way to make the game less random and more fun? Fun as in a less than random chance of actually seeing the same marines for more than one mission?

      Side note – what fucking Chapter has 6000 terminators to keep sending in five-at-a-time to a random hulk? This is what ruins the fun for me with AA:SH.

  28. Premium User Badge

    cpt_freakout says:

    IN THE SLIM LOW FATNESS OF THE FUTURE THERE IS ONLY PORRIDGE

  29. nimzy says:

    Now there needs to be an achievement for sticking to Iron Man mode. None purer.

  30. Lemming says:

    I have to say, that interview left me feeling pretty happy about these guys running with the Space Hulk license. I’m also really hoping that the other game they are potentially developing is Necromunda!

  31. Wonderboy2402 says:

    Wow, many more details and I have I come away impressed! I really hope for more boardgame to pc titles to be created. As the guy said, he has a thousand boardgames in his basement. There is a wealth of untapped boardgame ip just sitting in the dark recesses… Heroquest , epic 40k, even the 40k tabletop rule set could be adapted to a digital format.

    Imagine being able to buy a squad of digital marines for 4.99. Being able to paint them and change poses and add decals or bits. Have awesome and varied computer generated table surface with audio and visuals and immediate ruling and rolls done seamlessly through the pc…. And not have to travel miles to find someone to play against!

    • PoLLeNSKi says:

      ^ This

      Also pretending a shoebox is a building (or spending hours doing proper modelling or buying the expensive pre-made terrain) – the best bit of White Dwarf for me back in the day was always their battle breakdown with all the gloriously made terrain and beautifully painted models they had.

  32. Sunjammer says:

    So here’s the thing.

    Space Hulk is one of the most idiotically simple board games around. I love it dearly, but the basic set, without the expansions (especially the Genestealer expansion) offers tactical considerations so basic that the stealer player’s essential strategy could be summed up in “AI rules” (I think that was in the Deathwing expansion). The most exciting bits about the game are the tiny pieces of random chance or subterfuge, such as the blip and command point systems. It’s less tactics and more “action”. Roll them dice and grit your teeth.

    When they talk, seriously talk about removing command points, I get really worried. Command points were the part that made a multiplayer digital spacehulk a problem to build, and I’ll bet it’s also a reason why there haven’t really been any properly faithful spacehulk games; They all have this rule set to adapt that is both incredibly simple yet fussy enough to be a problem from an interface point of view.

    If they are “making it like the board game” but “making the flamer more computer gamey” and “removing command points because we really want async play” then they just sound, to me, like they either don’t have the conviction in the property that they claim, or that they are just incapable of adapting it properly.

    Don’t bullshit me that it’s going to be “just like the board game” when you are making fundamental changes. I bet if they take out command points they have to nerf genestealers somehow, and there goes what little balance there was.

    • ThomasLund says:

      We are NOT removing command points. We are removing/reworking/something it in async versus MP mode, because it would be really REALLY annoying to play with a system that constantly has to roll back. And it would horribly be abused to get rerolls on attacks.

      Anyways – we know what we are doing. And yes – we will possibly piss off some people and make some happy by some of the choices we make. So be it.

      • Sunjammer says:

        So CPs are in one mode and not the other? So there’s two Space Hulks to learn?

        Don’t get me wrong, I would play a new Space Hulk if even it was a Zelda clone or first person shooter or whatever, but it bugs me to claim authenticity when the basic board game is so hard to implement.

  33. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    I’ve found an archived record viewer!

  34. apa says:

    Incoming on five! Eat metal! Incoming on two! BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM AAAAAAAAGH

    I really liked the old MSDOS Space Hulk. It was even harder than the board game and captured the time limit thing very well.

  35. LionsPhil says:

    These screenshots have colour!

    I am pleased.

  36. Max Ursa says:

    of everyone that has mentioned the specialist games catalogue, there is one games that has been missed:
    INQUISITOR.
    if they did that and it had character design customisation like the tabletop game, i would go fucking nuts for it. an Inquisitor RPG that fed off the vast expanses of lore within the 40k universe. now that is (one of) my dream games.
    for those of you unfamiliar with inquisitors and partial to a good read, i suggest you get hold of the Eisenhorn trilogy from black library (online), your nearest qames workshop stockist or try the large bookshops like waterstones.

  37. Kregoth says:

    Not to be an ass, but the amount of grammatical errors in this interview was fairly obnoxious. Though I am sure that is mostly due to the fact that you where extremely excited to get this interview out to us :P But I have been seeing this a lot lately, I LOVE the article’s here, but please make sure my eyes can follow along smoothly!

    Also SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK SPACE HULK…. I can’t freaking wait!

  38. Tei says:

    I like youtube, because stuff like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gOrdOl6xoRc#!

    thematically appropiate! :D

  39. jonfitt says:

    That GDC story is the stuff of movies/films. Such a brilliant coincidence.

  40. Deadite says:

    I never played Space Hulk apart from the computer game on Amiga which seemed grossly rng influenced rather than having much strategy involved. Would I be right in saying the entire game is just Terminators vs Gene Stealers? Because that seems a bit limited in the scope this game could potentially have in a computer game these days.

    • Sunjammer says:

      Yep. They’re going to have to mess with the formula, or extend the rules somehow. There’s no way this is going to be a 1:1 Spacehulk adaption; There simply isn’t enough game to adapt.

  41. silgidorn says:

    I’m pretty sure he said that they were signing for another turn-based game, he didn’t say board game, so necromunda or battle fleet gothic is really a possibility…

  42. b0rsuk says:

    If you like Space Hulk, check out the free flash game “Mission in Space: The Lost Colony”. It’s surprisingly good. You command a squad of marines and finish missions with varying objectives. It’s hard, there’s very little randomness, and almost all aliens are melee. Flamers, shotguns, bombs, reaction fire limited only by ammo left, crisp 2D graphics with good lightning, excellent music.

  43. JimboDeany says:

    Lots of demand for Necromunda, so I’ll just add mine to the pile: Necromunda please.