What's the History Behind Dune 2's Dev?

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Jodorowsky's Acolyte
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What's the History Behind Dune 2's Dev?

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 23 Mar 2011 21:09

I am rather curious: what was the history behind the development of Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty? I know that it was one of two games developed after the Lynch film came out, and that it is a sequel to the first Dune game inspired by both the film and book, but Dune 2 is not quite a sequel, and it's obviously set in a different reality than the film or the books. I've glanced at the game manual, and I find some of its alterations of the novel's history to be clever, though I wonder what led Westwood and Virgin to create a Dune game with little inspiration from the books and some from the film. I've been playing it recently, and I'm enjoying winning victories for the Atreides (because other members of my family chose House Harkonnen, because it had the atomic bomb-- those "Beast" Rabaans). It's a shame that Westwood didn't attempt to do a Dune 2 styled game set during the main events of the book, or even during the later books, but I'm still impressed by how they made Dune 2, and how much of an impact it's had on other games since. (Frank Herbert indirectly perfected the RTS for the future!)

Does anyone know the history of the development behind Dune 2, and why it approached the Dune universe the way it did?
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: What's the History Behind Dune 2's Dev?

Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 27 Mar 2011 22:08

Damn. The Harkonnens have nuked my construction base. And the Emperor is allowing this! The designers should have toughened up the Fremen, and given them better attacks and stealth capabilities. Having the Fremen just charge and fight with rocket launchers is as bad as the British just giving the Arabs modern rifles with inadequate standard military training during World War I.
'...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Re: What's the History Behind Dune 2's Dev?

Postby ᴶᵛᵀᴬ » 28 Mar 2011 03:28



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      Jodorowsky's Acolyte
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      Re: What's the History Behind Dune 2's Dev?

      Postby Jodorowsky's Acolyte » 30 Mar 2011 15:30

      Thanks, Askaris de Dar! This is awesome! I really appreciate your posting of this link.
      It's interesting that Brett Sperry used his experience from working on the creation simulation Populous (a Moby Games reviewer claims to have mixed feelings about the game) and the Dungeons and Dragons game Eye of the Beholder (I remember its sequel being very good) to work on Dune II. It makes sense that he would use the MacOS interface as inspiration for Dune II's interface, since, before PC's began to adopt the system later on, it was a convenient system to work with. From watching videos on the gameplay of previous RTSs (or war games, as they were then called), such as The Ancient Art of War, Stonkers, and Harzog Zwei, the incorporation of the MacOS interface (even if it was only one unit at a time) was a practical decision.
      What I found really interesting about this article was that the development of Dune II occurred BEFORE Dune had started developing, which explains the differences in story and gameplay between the games. (If Dune II was meant as a sequel, it would have directly followed the events of the first game, where the war might have been waged against Paul after becoming Emperor).
      I didn't realize that Brett Sperry coined the term Real-Time Strategy. In comparison to previous war games, it was really innovative.
      The article doesn't mention if Sperry stayed how long he stayed with Westwood after Dune II. His lack of presence might explain the lack of quality for succeeding Dune RTSs. It doesn't explain either what led to the resulting story of Dune II, or about how they incorporated their inspiration from the novel, the Lynch film, and the Dune Encyclopedia. I'm still glad Edge Magazine wrote the article, and I still enjoy it. :D
      '...all those who took part in the rise and fall of the Dune project learned how to fall one and one thousand times with savage obstinacy until learning how to stand. I remember my old father who, while dying happy, said to me: "My son, in my life, I triumphed because I learned how to fail."' -Alejandro Jodorowsky

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      Re: What's the History Behind Dune 2's Dev?

      Postby ULFsurfer » 05 Apr 2011 22:44

      Yeah, thanks for the link! Dune 2 was indeed a milestone in gaming with the real-time strategy element. As the article says the genre has barely changed over the years, indicating how near perfect this game really is. I used to play it a lot back in those days, mostly as Harkonnens with their giant tanks of course :twisted:


      Eye of the Beholder I & II were awesome games as well! I'd highly recommend any RPG fans to give them a shot!