End Of End Of Nations: Petroglyph Returns With Victory

By Nathan Grayson on March 7th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Other reasons this Kickstarter might have trouble gaining traction: it is very brown.

OK, admittedly, End of Nations hasn’t met its untimely end just yet. Trion has, however, wrested control of its development away from Petroglyph, and last time we checked, things weren’t looking so good. But that’s an increasingly convoluted tale for another day. The question of the moment: where exactly does all of this leave Petroglyph? Not entirely surprisingly, the answer is the gaming industry’s current nearly choral refrain: Kiiiiiiiiiiiickstarter. Simply (and perhaps optimistically) titled Victory, the new project is quite a change of scenery from End of Nations, trading its cotton-candy-colored lasers and lumbering mechs for good old-fashioned World War II tanks. But this is far from a heavily armed assault on Company of Heroes 2′s frigid niche. Reposition your eyeball-shaped army of two after the break to find out why.

Petroglyph’s describing it as what would happen “if World of Tanks, StarCraft, and League of Legends had a baby,” and shorter match lengths, highly customizable armies, and team-based arena battles are the main ingredients in this star-studded stew. Troops, meanwhile, gain both experience and currency over time, allowing you to strengthen your existing units and purchase new ones. Honestly, it sounds like a balancing act akin to piloting a tank across a tightrope, but only time will tell on that front.

Encouragingly, that most Petro-est of glyphs is already showing heaps of gameplay, which – quite depressingly – continues to be the exception with big-name Kickstarters, not the norm. Unfortunately, the page doesn’t do much in the way of  explaining how all these disparate elements will fit together. In my head, it looks like a jigsaw puzzle that’s been pounced on by a cat that despises all order and meaning. The bad kind of cat. The best kind of cat. The only kind of cat.

Anyway. Victory’s victory condition is no less than a whopping $700,000. As of writing, it was sitting at, er, a hair over $15,000. It’s not exactly the most auspicious of beginnings, but who knows? Crowds are strange organisms. We can’t hope to ever truly understand them. They’re not people, like us.

Speaking personally, I hope Petroglyph breaks down a match step-by-step or releases a playable demo. Preferably both. The pledge rewards, however, make it sound like there aren’t any plans to deliver a prototype until after the Kickstarter wraps up, so that doesn’t exactly bode well. We’ll see, though. Based on what we have right now, are you interested?

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32 Comments »

  1. Bhazor says:

    For a brief shining moment I misread it as Rise of Nations. Curse my reading ability and its nack of rising my hopes before dashing them ‘pon the shores of F2P.

  2. Alien426 says:

    This project is kinda weird to me. Oksana Kubushyna, the Project Lead, is credited as programmer on Star Wars: Empire At War and Universe At War: Earth Assault. Frank Klepacki is the composer… What about Charles J. Kroegel Jr.?

  3. Zeewolf says:

    Microtransaction-based games is one of the trends that people go to Kickstarter to escape from. I don’t understand what they were thinking here.

    • hunsnotdead says:

      Seems to me they repackaged End of Nations in a WWII outfit, and now they want to sell it as a standalone game. Yes a (F2P) MMO as a standalone multiplayer PC game. Look how well that ended for Monday Night Combat, Stellar Impact, or Demigod.

      • Zeewolf says:

        Yeah, it’s interesting to note how they specify it won’t be Free 2 Play “at launch” (considering how the full game is one of the rewards).

        It’s a bit sad, I’m pretty sure Petroglyph would have been able to rally quite a lot of support if they had a look at the other popular Kickstarters and made something that would actually appeal to the kind of people who’ve forked out 2 million dollars in a little over one day for the Torment-sequel. I’m not saying that all KickStarter-projects should be nostalgia-bombs, but with their legacy (and let’s not forget Frank Klepacki) it’s not hard to imagine a Red Alert/Dune 2/C&C-style game with a decent single player campaign and proper, DRM-free LAN games, enjoying considerable success on Kickstarter.

        What they need to realize is that Kickstarter is primarily attracting people who care about games and the direction they are headed. I mean, they all know how risky backing stuff on Kickstarter really is, but yet they do it anyway because games as a medium is important to them. Very few of those people actually want online-only, microtransaction-based games. That may be the direction many publishers and developers want the games industry to take, but those aren’t the people Petroglyph are asking for funding here.

  4. Beybars says:

    They just chose the wrong time with both Dreamfall and Torment taking away all kickstarter attention.

    And they made the mistake of not advertising the game well enough before hitting kickstarter, Torment, Project Eternity and Star Citizen all advertized their kickstarters well before they even began.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      They’re a studio that doesn’t have a large, loyal fanbase doing a WWII themed RTS when there is basically no demand for one with all the great WWII RTS’s we already have (RUSE, CoH 1/2, Blitzkrieg, etc).

      I don’t really buy the opportunity-cost thing in regards to big projects taking away kickstarter donations from smaller ones. If people were interested in what they were pitching they’d be getting money regardless.

      • hunsnotdead says:

        “with all the great WWII RTS’s we already have (RUSE, CoH 1/2, Blitzkrieg, etc)”

        Your Great WWII RTS’s are yeveral years old. Sudden Strike/Blitzkrieg is an anachronism by now, RUSE was left to die by Ubisoft and was superseded by cold war themed Wargame and W:AirLand Battle, Men of War expansion flood stopped and DMS will go modern with sequel Call to Arms, even Theatre of War went modern with the last game ToW: Korea two years ago.

        The only WWII real time strategy games i know of that are coming this year are Company of Heroes 2 for ze masses, and Achtung Panzer/Graviteam Tactics: Operation Star standalone expansion+sequel, but thats bordering on grognard territory so it will be pretty obscure sadly.

    • Zeewolf says:

      I agree they chose the wrong time, but not because of those Kickstarter-projects. It’s hard to be enthusiastic about an online-only game after having struggled for hours trying and failing to play SimCity.

  5. Cerzi says:

    Wait, so this is basically World in Conflict?

    • Christo4 says:

      My thoughts exactly, it looks like World in Conflict but with more troops and in WW2. To me it’s pretty unapealling because there are already enough WW2 games out there and WiC is a great game.

      Now if there were pew-pew weapons and aliens and mermaids that would be interesting…

  6. Kollega says:

    Something that would happen “if World of Tanks, StarCraft, and League of Legends had a baby” is not exactly what i want from ex-Westwood, you know. I want a spiritual successor to Red Alert 2. A good spiritual successor to Red Alert 2.

    • Samuel Bass says:

      RA2 is a classic – it has lived on my HD since it launched -but it wasn’t a Westwood game. Made by the late, lamented EA Pacific, same folks as C&C Generals.

  7. battles_atlas says:

    Wow thats an interest-killing collection of graphics right there. Its like 2006 never ended.

    • sabrage says:

      Honestly! All of Petroglyph’s games look like they said “Let’s take Supreme Commander and rob it of any personality,” as if SupCom had any to lose.

  8. Choca says:

    This is going to tank.

  9. Wurstwaffel says:

    meh. casual RTS wannabe. No thanks

  10. Brosepholis says:

    Anyone can look at the trajectory of this studio and realise why they’re doing this. I’m expecting a layoff-related sob story in a few days. I suspect that the results will be the same as when GPG did it.

    You had better be a god damn charismatic leader of men if you want to go to kickstarter in their position, because your potential backers are going to be asking questions like “Why are they coming to me to make games they used to be able to get publishers to fund?”

  11. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    So, they’re basically the inventors of RTS games, yet they come up with this?! This doesn’t really look interesting at all and the pitch video doesn’t help much either.

    Why don’t they just make a spiritual successor to C&C? I’d pay for that!

    • Trithne says:

      Or a chance to make a Universe at War game that’s a bit more interesting. I’d support a kickstarter of that. Not this.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I can only assume that most of the staff that made Westwood great evaporated in directions other than Petroglyph, because they just haven’t made that chain lightning strike again since.

  12. Moraven says:

    It has a F2P level up and grind system, but it is not F2P…. wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    If all your units are destroyed, you are out of the match; continue to observe or leave and join a new one.
    Your Company earns experience after each match and eventually levels up allowing you to place more units and/or more powerful units into your Company.
    Spend your in-game currency to buy booster Commander Packs containing random, collectible units and more.

    And they need to get more hype and press before they launch their kickstarter.

  13. Lytinwheedle says:

    Oh look, they made Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps, a game from 2004, but with worse graphics.

  14. EPICTHEFAIL says:

    Dammit, I was hoping EoN would get released, if only for the soundtrack. Oh well, another day, another formerly-good dev completely losing their shit and dying a flailing death in the grim darkness of the “free” future.

  15. rustybroomhandle says:

    I’m getting my tiny army men slugging it out kick with Wargame: European Escalation. Which I can play single player.

  16. RyuRanX says:

    No single-player campaign and no base building/resource gathering? No support from me. I’d rather replay C&C 95 again for free. Unfortunatelly Petroglyph doesn’t know what gamers want anymore.

    • Iskariot says:

      Petroglyph is not the only one. Relic also believes that RTS gamers do not want to build a base. There’s no base building in Dawn of War 2 and there is virtually no serious AI. It mostly hangs around passively and never does something to surprise you.
      -
      I stopped playing DoW2 after a mere 10 hours or so, but I still play Dawn of War 1 after all these years. I can’t even guess how many hours I have poured into the DoW 1 series. It must be many hundreds of hours. The same goes for the excellent Supreme Commander Forged Alliance. Great base building and a good AI.
      -
      What these companies do not realize is that base building, if done well, is hugely enjoyable. It ads an extra dimension to RTS. It ads an extra layer of decision making and it offers important natural and realistic strategic objectives. It ads meaning to a battle and it makes things feel more personal, when for example the enemy destroys an important structure in you base. It is much more fun than only using some sort of capture the flag system like in DoW2 and Company of Heroes.

      • kaffis says:

        I think you’re giving too short a shrift to the gameplay and decision making options that excluding base-building offers, though.

        It’s not a matter of one being better than the other. Base building does, as you suggest, offer you another layer of decision making and strategizing.

        However, the lack of base building gives you the opportunity to be forced to fight with limited units, and emphasizes (when the AI is up to snuff and the missions are well designed) the importance and opportunity to tactically retreat to conserve losses — something that is often not very important in a base-builder, where pushing to lose all your forces to gain a little production-momentum by doing some damage to the enemy base is often the better strategy than retreating.

        They both have the opportunity to offer very interesting games. The “plus base-building” variety is simply more well-explored territory, and is easier to balance and build content for. Base-less RTS has been interesting going back to stuff like MechCommander, but attempts have been rare, and successful implementations even more so. The ones that have handled it well are among my favorite strategy titles.

  17. tsmike says:

    So….In-game currency, no singleplayer, quick and forgettable matches,no LAN, not free to play, no base building, backers get a “boost” in currency, no mac/linux,crap looking graphics…. all for only $700,000?

  18. AngoraFish says:

    “Does Victory have Single Player? There is no single player or offline mode in Victory. ”

    They can add me as another potential backer lost.

  19. innociv says:

    “if World of Tanks, StarCraft, and League of Legends had a baby”

    0 dollars given.