Turn-Based End Times: Human Extinction Simulator

By Adam Smith on April 24th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

An email landed earlier this week to inform me of the existence of the Human Extinction Simulator. I expected a disease simulator along the lines of Plague Inc so imagine my surprise when tiny spaceships filled my screen, engaged in turn-based combat. HES has one of the smartest concepts for tactical space biffing that I can remember seeing. Having encountered a hostile and overwhelmingly powerful alien species, humanity has developed the Halting Extraterrestrials Strategy program to train officers. The name doesn’t stick.

Recruits call this program the Human Extinction Simulator due to the extensive and often catastrophic scenarios depicted. While most find this amusing, some fear that it might be the actual name of the program.

Oh boy.

I am intrigued. Here’s what to expect when the game launches (no date yet):

Tactical turn-based space combat.

Multiple simulation scenarios from covert operations to large scale battles.

Customizable reinforcement to fit your strategy.

Over 30 ships from highly maneuverable fighters to heavily armed cruisers.

Mod ready: Create your own spaceships and scenarios.

More footage follows.

I usually skim through any backstory in tactical games, with rare exceptions, but I’m absolutely on board with the idea of attempting to find ways to prevent total extinction while accidentally predicting the very same. It has a beautifully morbid appeal and is far more exciting than yet another ancestor/machine race backdrop, with the expected sprinkling of ancient artifacts and whatnot.

HES needs Greenlight votes.

__________________

« | »

, .

23 Comments »

  1. Nevard says:

    Don’t worry guys, that ship at the end pretty clearly just shot the ocean.

  2. geldonyetich says:

    Maybe they should up their appeal among Apocalypse-minded individuals and do a Rapture sim.

  3. DrScuttles says:

    At a quick glance I misread this as “The End Times: Human Simulator” which got me wondering, what would I want in a game called Human Simulator? A blurry and brash minigame to turn off your alarm as you wake up. Fully body awareness that allows you to examine every pocket at least 3 times to make sure you’ve not forgotten your keys. In-game mp3 support for your commute-to-work smartphone playlist. Mindblowing HDR as your eyes adjust to the light upon returning home to a cold, unwelcoming and empty house. UI elements tracking variables such as hunger, warmth, tiredness, existential angst and social anxiety?
    But hey, turn based spacey combat is pretty cool too I guess.

  4. Wisq says:

    Ship movement seems pretty ponderous at times. I hope that doesn’t block you from performing more actions while they move, or else animations are going to get turned off right quick. (Personally, I would probably prefer that they always move at the same speed and shorter moves just mean less time moving, but to each their own.)

    • Dave Toulouse says:

      That’s still some of the stuff that I’m tweaking and will probably change in the future as indeed some ships are a bit too slow. The option to turn off movement is available though so if it’s still too slow for someone’s taste there’s always that possibility.

  5. Napalm Sushi says:

    Gratuitous Space Battles engine? Is that you?

    • Dave Toulouse says:

      Nope, different person, different engine :)

      • sabasNL says:

        The interface looks a bit too similair I’m afraid. You should do something that fits a TBS better IMO. Certainly not a priority but it gives a better look overall.

  6. nandocanedo says:

    Looking good! I used to love Master of Orion 2 turn based combat.

  7. SuicideKing says:

    This is like, protecting Vasuda Prime from the Lucifer, or Earth’s sovereignty from the GTVA…and the opening few seconds of the trailer were almost exactly like a turn-based strategy version of FreeSpace 2′s intro…

    God, i have to stop seeing FreeSpace in every single space game out there.

  8. SillyWizard says:

    Okay so the only thing I ever want (and always want) in spaceship-fleet battles is have the option to launch marine boarding parties who can take over enemy ships and use them on other enemy ships.

    I mean, spaceships are expensive and I would imagine hard to replace no matter how far-flung the future we’re talking about is. Shouldn’t the goal always be to capture as opposed to destroy (if at all possible)?

    • tattertech says:

      I would say that should only work with a long delay (or even just be available then in the next battle if there’s fleet continuity). I mean, you have to figure there’s a lot of information security on a future ship, it’s probably not as simple as just kill the last crew and sit down.

      • SillyWizard says:

        Well sure — it would make sense for the target ship to be disabled during the boarding action, then for the game to figure out if boarders were successful or repelled.

        If successful, the ship just waits until the next battle to become operational (or perhaps a 2nd set of boarders could be sent to crew the ship for the remainder of the battle); and if the marines are repelled, then the enemy could simply hop back in to the battle immediately.

    • Bluerps says:

      I think it depends on how space battles work in the universe in question. Boarding makes sense if battles are fought over relatively short distances and take longer than a few minutes, so that a boarding party has time to arrive and to take the ship before the battle is over. Also, there must be a way for the marines to actually enter the enemy ship, which also might not be possible in every universe. Apart from that I agree – if it’s possible to do, then boarding should be a standard tactic.

      That reminds me of the Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, in which boarding is possible and used often enough that every ship over a certain size has a self-desctruct mechanism installed, with access to it on both the bridge and the engine room. If during boarding one loses contact with the other, the respective commanding officer has the order to blow up the ship.

  9. aethyrium says:

    Rad! Looks very similar to Cyberstorm, but with spaceships instead of mechs.

  10. nitehawk says:

    The hexmap and ship movement kind of reminds me of B5 Wars and Starfleet battles from Agents of Gaming.

    • Sidewinder says:

      Ah, B5 wars- ’cause how else can you answer the age-old question of “who’d win in a fight between a Sathanas and five Borg Cubes?”

      Answer: the pencil and aspirin manufacturers. Keeping track of 180 fighters is no joke.

  11. AngoraFish says:

    Sold

  12. MadTinkerer says:

    Finally, someone made a game about invaders from space!

    (But I kid. The game looks great.)

  13. cptgone says:

    WANT NEED
    i threw my plastic at the screen but it bounced