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Former Unity execs reveal cyberpunk tactics game for tablets

Updated at 9:30 a.m. Pacific: Corrected referenced to turn-based gameplay and added comment about Unity and the potential business model.

In the future, cybernetically enhanced soldiers fire weapons at each other from behind crates on city streets.

At least that’s how future war works in developer Framebunker’s newly announced Static Sky real-time tactics game for unspecified tablet platforms (likely iOS and Android). Static Sky, which is due out in early 2014, puts players in control of a squad of agents employed by The Corporation. Naturally, The Corporation turns on you, which forces you to rebuild your squad from scratch to seek revenge.

“Tablets have become the platform of choice for many gamers, but the vast majority of tablet games are still utterly forgettable,” Framebunker co-founder Nicholas Francis said in a statement. “They may be fun, but they aren’t the kind of games that will be worth replaying in 20 years. At Framebunker, our mission is to deliver the kind of unforgettable experiences that tablet gamers deserve.”

Francis previously cofounded the popular Unity graphics engine that many studios use to produce quality 3D visuals for PC and mobile games. Francis left Unity in February to pursue a career in game development at Framebunker.

Unsurprisingly, Static Sky will use the Unity engine.

“We know Unity really, really well – so if we want to achieve some effect, we know how to “map” that onto the engine’s capabilities,” Francis told GamesBeat. “We also know how to play to Unity’s strengths as an engine.”

Framebunker Unity

According to the studio, Static Sky is a cyberpunk world that mixes XCOM, Diablo, and Bladerunner into a top-tier mobile game.

“The decision to set Static Sky in a cyberpunk world has allowed us to explore some interesting design ideas that really move the game beyond simple ‘tap to kill’ mechanics”, Framebunker cofounder Charles Hinshaw said. “The player can, for example, hack to manipulate the underlying logic of the game, effectively rewiring the world, which is something gamers have not experience before in a tactical shooter.”

Hinshaw also previously worked at Unity as its creative director.

Currently on mobile, free-to-play is the hot business model. We asked Framebunker if it plans to adopt that monetization method for Static Sky.

“To be honest, we’ll try to keep an open mind about it,” said Francis. “The launch is about a year away and the market’s changing so dramatically [that] it’s really hard to say where it’ll land. Most likely some hybrid model.”

The developer did say the game won’t nickel and dime gamers.

“Right now we are focused on making a great game – we don’t want to fall into the trap of taking a business model and wrapping a game around it,” said Francis. “That just ends up making crap games.”


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