Solar Powered: Gemini Wars

Space: where one can hear ice cream
Stuff is better when it happens in space, I reckon. Good thing for Gemini Wars, then, which is set wholly in that big vacant lot beyond the sky. But what is it? Well, it’s a real-time strategy, like we talked about just yesterday. Developer chap Bruno Cesteiro says: “It’s a mix of Homeworld, Sins of a Solar Empire and Supreme Commander.” So that sounds like something we might want to play until it was way past bedtime, eh? Crikey!

As is traditional, I have posted a trailer below. It’s looking good. The game is out toward the end of 2011, apparently.


  1. McDan says:

    That sounds like a very good mix of games there, hopefully all the best bits.
    Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace fun.

    • Avenger says:

      If they take the single-player story of Homeworld, unit variety of Sins of a Solar Empire and technical innovation of Supreme Commander, I will play it till the end of times.

      If they take the story of Sins of a Solar Empire, unit variety of Supreme Commander and the innovation of Homeworld… it will take the entire genre several decades and levels to the nether…

    • CMaster says:

      Errr, true-3D gameplay, effortless formations and excellent, context sensitive voice work were all bad innovations?

    • FalseMyrmidon says:

      Yeah, I don’t get the implication that Homeworld wasn’t innovative.

    • Vesperan says:

      One of the complaints I had about Sins (albeit this was before any expansions) was that the units weren’t varied enough. It felt like rock-paper-scissors.

      ..which seems appropriate.

    • Avenger says:

      “Errr, true-3D gameplay, effortless formations and excellent, context sensitive voice work were all bad innovations?”

      True. But most of them were already around in some form

    • Nallen says:

      The huge unit varity in SupCom was bad?

    • Harlander says:

      Pretty sure I read somewhere that Homeworld’s unit dynamics was meant to be rock-paper-scissors-cruiser

  2. Kevin says:

    “It’s a mix of Homeworld, Sins of a Solar Empire and Supreme Commander.”

    My god…

    I have no words… the amount of awesome in that sentence.

    • westyfield says:

      These chaps have acted remarkably quickly – it was only this morning that I was ranting at my friends about wanting a Sins meets SupCom game.
      Let’s see if it works again:
      I’d like a game that’s Mass Effect meets Deus Ex meets Freespace, please. Make it happen!

    • Avenger says:

      I can see a lot of ways this could go wrong… Like… a bioware-type dialog with a Shivan? Oh but the Shivans don’t communicate with anybody, and nobody knows what they are. But it is all good since you can use stealth or hacking as well as brutality on them.

    • Rond says:

      I’d like a game that’s Mass Effect meets Deus Ex meets Freespace, please.

      Infiltrating space stations through airducts! Yay!

    • Navagon says:

      “I’d like a game that’s Mass Effect meets Deus Ex meets Freespace, please. Make it happen!”

      While it might need a bucket of polish, Precursors is a bit like that.

    • luckystriker says:

      How about Free Space 2 + KotoR + DOW 2 ? You can use your jedi tricks to guide home missiles while each successful mission allows you to upgrade the stats on your hero space fighter.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      How about Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing meets Barbie’s Little Pony (no need to check if it exists ;) meets that 50 Cent game? ;)
      A “ho” named Barbie needs her “ponies” to be transported over collision-free landscapes by a “gangsta” called 2 Pound.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    I’m having a hard time judging this from that trailer.. other than it looks a bit like games that I’ve enjoyed.

    But, it seems to lack the “light tails”, “flowing movement” (i.e. it looks like terrible Star-Trek-like “park and shoot” combat) and “astronomical beauty” that Homeworld has. No real “3D-ness” tactically, etc.

  4. Hanban says:

    Oh, Homeworld how I have missed you. None of these solar sins or sword stars can replace you. Please come back :(

    Oh what is this? A fling to keep me occupied while I wait? Why sure I shall take you deep into my folds and love you for a time! But know that should my true love ever come back to me, I shall leave you in a heart beat.

    /Hanban lover Space Penises

  5. Inigo says:

    “It’s a mix of Homeworld, Sins of a Solar Empire and Supreme Commander.”

    So in other words: “It’s Sins of a Solar Empire.”

    • DrGonzo says:

      Presumably with a Z axis, if that is the right one. I can’t help but think it will be a bit of a mind fuck.

    • Tycow says:

      Hopefully it’s less Sins and more Homeworld and SupCom.

      Still bitter about Sins :/

    • Rich says:

      As long as it actually has a single-player campaign, rather than a thin veil of story and a whole load of skirmishes.

    • Vinraith says:

      A whole load of “skirmishes” is fine if you’ve got enough depth and variety of gameplay, but Sins didn’t.

    • Rich says:

      True. I was going to mention that SotS manages to get away with it by being more 4X than Sins. Plus it actually has some scenarios.

  6. WMain00 says:

    Looks promising, but it suffers from the same problem Sins does in that none of the ships move in combat, which is a big no-no for me. It effectively leads to “the group with the better guns wins” scenarios.

    EDIT: And indeed, X-Y, but no Z space movement.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I find that Sins usually comes down to who has put their guns in the best positions around their empires. But the combat was a bit stale. Though I think that was designed for people like me who wouldn’t be able to get their heads around Homeworld style combat and looking after a huge empire.

    • Tei says:

      Homeworld was impresive elegant about how ships moved around. This seems on the other extreme.

  7. Batolemaeus says:

    Why does the screenshot look like it was a pos bash in eve, just as an rts?

  8. MrWolf says:

    God I love Homeworld, and even moreso Homeworld: Cataclysm.

  9. kulik says:

    Does anybody remember “Starshatter The Gathering Storm”? Bugged to death, but the dynamic campaign was SOOOO awesome and immerse!!! God, we could use more games with dynamic campaigns these days.

    • Hanban says:

      Not related to Starshatter but more a “Did you play this somewhat lesser-know space related game. Did anyone play Nexus: The Jupiter Incident? Found a trailer for the sequel which got me insanely pumped only to find out a couple of minutes later that it had been cancelled. Well, I tried the first game and enjoyed it immensely. It’s a totally different experience from any other space rts games I’ve played but I quite loved it.

      And just because there cannot be enough of this: Homeworld 3, please please please please pleeeeease!

    • Andy`` says:

      Yeah I remember Nexus, it was pretty unique. Do wish they’d made that sequel, though looking back on it now without the excitement blinding me it looks like the vid was just a vis target/proof of concept, not actual tech they had working :(

      We need more like Nexus though.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Nexus? They should’ve made a real sequel to Imperium Galactica. I loved that game.

  10. J-snukk says:

    What a silly name, it should just be called ‘PEW PEW LAZORS!’. I’d be at least 56.76% more likely to buy it then.

  11. Andy`` says:

    I’m not seeing the Homeworld influence, is that just me?

    Though that bit in the trailer where those ships warp at those other ships and then they both bash heads makes me think of Gratuitous Space Battles. Pew pew!

  12. Deccan says:

    Blerg. Daffy fleet formation right out of Starship Troopers, ENEMY SHIPS DETECTED and text written by the Department of Redundancy Department.

    Reckon I’ll stick to Homewo-ENEMY SHIPS DETECTED.

    • Rugged Malone says:

      I would just like to add


      also I would like to buy some stock in high speed battleship-growing nano-goo things, why has no one made such things before? They are just the thing when there are


      hopefully they also know how to create crew members so we can do something about the


      unless perhaps they are robotic and can respond automatically to any


  13. Vagrant Zero says:

    Homeworld 3 needs to happen. Yesterday.

  14. Saul says:

    Why does every game released this year that has anything to do with space have the word “Gemini” in the title?

    Gemini Rue, Starpoint Gemini, Gemini Wars.

    What the hell’s going on?!

  15. Ateius says:

    Ship with big unfolding arms = planet-destroying superweapon. They always have moving arm bits. Or are moons.

    I like the looks, but (echo comments regarding lack of movement in battle). Also, where’s the minimap? I needs my minimap.

  16. Eightball says:

    Sathanis-class detected!

    Also I like how all the starting (read: tutorial) sectors are quiet backwaters in space games. I mean there are both good story and gameplay reasons for this usually, but it’s kind of cliche.

  17. bill says:

    Why doesn’t anyone make z-axis space games?
    I know it can be fiddly, but you’d think (considering the popularity of homeworld) that there was space in the market for at least one.

    Video doesn’t show much. No z-axis, little movement and the sides all look the same.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The dearth of Z-axis space strategy games probably has something to do with the difficulty of programming the AI to think and move in 3 dimensions. It’s much easier to solve 2-D tactical problems. Either that, or they think we’re stupid and can’t handle it, as players. Maybe Homeworld didn’t sell that well? I dunno.

      It’s a similar problem over on the cockpit-level space sim side. In almost every “space fighter” game, the enemy ships will circle and try to get on your tail in two dimensions, never using the Z-axis for combat maneuvers.

      So in both cases, it’s basically lazy programming, or lack of a budget for a 3D-capable AI, or they just think players can’t deal with not having a definitive “up” and “down” while fighting.. While I’m at it, add my gripes from the other recent space game post here, about speeds being too slow, and combat areas too small. Very few space games actually feel like you’re working in a large volume of space, at high speeds.

    • Rich says:

      SotS has a Z-axis on the campaign map and SotS 2 is going to have a Z-axis in battles too, albeit in discrete levels. Ooh and it’s going to have system wide battles, rather than just orbiting individual planets.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Tie Fighter and X-wing’s AI did ok with a Z axis, as do many modern flight sims.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      I don’t see where any algorithms would be dependent on a fixed number of dimensions…
      It would be no problem, to upscale those games to even four dimensions. Just the displaying would be a little hard.
      So yes, basically they think we’re too stupid. Which means we will adapt, and become too stupid. And then there still will be a lower end of the bell curve. Which will loudly proclaim (as idiots always happen to do), that it’s too hard for them. Resulting in even simpler games, resulting in even dumber people, and the same lower end of the distribution ending up below it again… in an endless loop straight to the Idiocracy. Passing MS Clippy, MS Bob, and lots and lots of warning labels on the way. ^^

  18. Ondrej says:

    Homeworld of the Solar Commander, then?

  19. Mister_Inveigler says:

    First let me say, I WANT THIS. Space Sims and Space RTS’s have been neglected for far too long these days.

    Now let me pick at an old scab:
    The gaming industry really needs to change their approach to space games. Space battles aren’t going to take place face to face. Enemies would be vast distances apart, ordnance flying between them at insane speeds, but still taking several tense seconds before impact. Sure, fighters and frigates can get close, engaging in the middle (unless one side’s fighter screen has collapsed), but the capital ships would be fighting from a severe distance unless boarding or ramming was planned.
    Otherwise it just looks like a normal RTS in space. Nose to nose cruisers just look ridiculous (see 1.57 of the video) and really doesn’t make use of the VAST room there is in space.
    There’s no resistance, no gravity, no atmosphere. If you’re a space faring race, you’d be brutalised by the first enemy to develop long range weapons while you’re desperate to go “nose to nose”

    Anyway, that’s just my opinion. Solar Empire (if memory recalls) did a pretty good job. Should be interesting to see how Gemini Wars turns out.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, I’ve been picking that same scab here lately. Nice to see a few others are bothered by it. Game developers should read the novels written by hard sci-fi authors like Larry Niven (the second Mote book) and Alastair Reynolds (the Revelation Space series, plus his short stories) for some very interesting ideas about space combat at large distances and high speeds. It might play out more like a Red Storm Rising submarine game than a fast-paced WWII fighter game, but some people might like it.

      Imagine, just for starters, what “evasion” means when an enemy is far enough away that lightspeed delay affects your sensor image. You’d always be looking at where the enemy was, and not where he is now, so you’d have to guess at the evasion pattern (or use homing missiles). You’d be playing cat and mouse games, trying to stay just outside effective sensor range…. again, more like a submarine game than WWII fighter planes. The ship that could pull the most continuous G’s would have a better chance in combat, possibly favoring capital ships over fighters since cap ships can have the larger engines and power source. There would be no top speed limit until you approach C. As the speeds start to get relativistic, you’d be dealing with time dilation effects and sensor distortion. You could only “see” fore and aft of your direction of flight, nothing at all to the sides. There is so much unexplored potential in space combat games.

  20. Tunips says:

    Haegemonia: Legions of Iron is still the best looking space game.

  21. Riaktion says:

    That game (the UI especially) reminds me a lot of Conquest: Frontier Wars… except… MODERN

  22. Iskariot says:

    When I first saw the homeworld series of spaceships I was awed by their exceptionally beautiful design. When I look at this vid it doesn’t impress me at all. But perhaps the game is fun.
    One of the things I liked about the Homeworld series is the beauty of the battles. I sometimes just played to see my ships maneuver and wage war in total beauty. Add to that the incredible music and fx, the chatter of the fighter pilots etc. etc. It was and still is awesome and a one of its kind.

    Sins did nothing for me. I bought it and played it for 1 day and was terribly put of by it. It lacked the emotion and atmosphere of homeworld and the ship design was second rate.

    Supreme Commander/Forged Alliance still is my great love as far as a ground warfare RTS goes. It is one of those games, like Homeworld 2, I keep playing and playing.