Brian Reynolds And Tim Train Revive Big Huge Games, Announce First Title
Big Huge Games is a name that anyone familiar with the fall of 38 Studios knows well. But before building Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Big Huge Games was known for strategy. Brian Reynolds and Tim Train, founders of both the new and old Big Huge Games developed Rise of Nations.
Reynolds tells us that it was luck and timing that allowed the team to recapture the Big Huge Games name. The trademark was up for auction in Rhode Island, who was selling off 38 Studios assets to recuperate money lost in the economic development deal. The old Big Huge Games was acquired by Epic Games and renamed Impossible Studios before being shuttered in February 2013.
Now, the studio (formerly called SecretNewCo) has a partnership with South Korean publisher Nexon, 26 employees, and is working toward the release of its first game: DomiNations. Reynolds, who also co-founded Firaxis, describes the game in terms that will seem familiar to fans of the Civilization series.
“[DomiNations] is a historical strategy game that covers the sweep of human history,” Reynolds says. “You move through the ages and build wonders of the world, make alliances, and rule your kingdom.”
As you watch the trailer above, you won’t be blamed if you get a distinct Clash of Clans vibe. Reynolds is open about DomiNations’ borrowing some of those elements, but points out some places where the two games diverge.
“They are similar in some of their execution,” Reynolds tells us. “There’s no question that Clash of Clans is the first huge smash hit of mobile strategy games. We think of it as this developing new genre, and we have certainly taken some inspiration, but we don’t think anyone has done a ‘sweep of human history’ game in that genre yet.”
You’ll choose one of a number of civilizations at the start of the game, each with different benefits. Unlike Firaxis’ series, you’re stuck with that choice for better or worse. Reynolds identifies this as a major differentiator between DomiNations and other titles like Supercell’s Clash of Clans.
You’ll make a number of irrevocable changes throughout the game like this, including which wonders to build. You’ll also have choices related to exploration, peeling back the fog of war and uncovering new terrain on which to build. DomiNations is a free-to-play title, and the monetization is similar to Clash of Clans, in that you can pay to speed up construction.
You’ll be able to play from the earliest days of humanity through the enlightenment era of the late 1800s. As time goes on, Big Huge Games will add more periods, extending the arc and pushing the end-game further out.
No specific release date is available yet. However, Big Huge Games expects to release the title on Apple and Android devices in 2015.