Fans of Battlezone may have reason to rejoice, if Platoon Studios’ new project, “BIONITE: Origins,” has anything to say about it. A throwback to the critically acclaimed 1998 Activision title, BIONITE: Origins seeks to blend real-time strategy with first-person shooter style game play set in a modern single-player and F2P multiplayer environment. IGHQ spoke to Dan Rhodenizer from Platoon Studios about his company’s inspirations for the game, their success with Kickstarter, upcoming DLC, and future platform availability. BIONITE: Origins is currently in development with an estimated launch date of late 2012–early 2013.
About BIONITE: Origins
BIONITE: Origins is an upcoming, futuristic, first-person shooter & real-time strategy hybrid for the PC and iOS platforms. The core gameplay consists of piloting hovertanks in first-person, destroying other tanks or structures, commanding your squad to attack/defend certain targets, and a full strategy mode with base-building in the Strat game-mode.
Platoon Studios aims to bring back the almost-forgotten FPS/RTS hybrid genre. With BIONITE: Origins being called the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed, 1998 PC game: Battlezone, there’s a lot to live up to. But, with the help and guidance of Designer/Lead Designer of Battlezone & Battlezone II — William Stahl — the future looks promising. (Bionite Tumblr)
Indie Game HQ: Can you tell us a little bit about Platoon Studios?
Dan: Sure, we started out a couple years back when a forum was created by us Battlezone fans in hopes of somehow, someway, bringing back this rare genre. It seemed like wishful thinking back then. I believe Battlezone fans didn’t really take us seriously and I don’t blame them. But, now that we’re still hard at it and showing lots of progress lately, I think we have turned a lot of heads and they’re finally starting to believe in us now. Our team ranges of up to 20 members, some of us full-time, part-time or contributing whenever we can, because we’re not getting paid for this. A lot of us are either in college or working day jobs, so some of us have to work on this when we get home.
Indie Game HQ: Aside from Battlezone ’98, do you have any other inspirations for the game?
Dan: Absolutely. A lot has happened since 1998 there are still areas yet to be explored with FPS/RTS hybrids, and we can’t wait to show everyone. Halo, Starcraft, and Half-Life among other titles, have also been an inspiration. There’s a lot we can learn from these games.
Indie Game HQ: Roughly how many different teams will the game feature?
Dan: As of right now, we’re only focused on creating two different factions for this game and getting the balance right.
Indie Game HQ: How large is the typical battlefield in BIONITE: Origins?
Dan: We want the maps to be as large as possible, while also offering smaller size maps for variety. With the Unreal 3 Engine, it allows us to be able to create gigantic maps so that you have that open world feeling of actually being on a planet.
Indie Game HQ: Other than Steam will the game be available through any other retailers?
Dan: I can’t answer that for sure at this moment in time. We still haven’t been greenlit so it’s early still. Steam definitely is the best platform for us, but we don’t want to rule out any other options right now.
Indie Game HQ: Do you have a set release date and price?
Dan: We’re coming closer and closer each day, but no, we don’t have a set release date at this time.
Indie Game HQ: Is there a chance that we will see BIONITE: Origins release on Android in the future?
Dan: It would be great, we’re not ruling it out. But, our focus is solely on the PC game first and then the iOS version.
Indie Game HQ: Do you have any DLC or expansions planned for the game?
Dan: Yes, we will be supporting this game after its release. No expansions are planned, but there will be plenty of downloadable content after release.
Indie Game HQ: What made you decide to host a Kickstarter initially, with an IndieGoGo campaign following after?
Dan: To be truthfully honest with you, we were in a pickle at the time. We had no choice to launch the Kickstarter campaign when we did, unfortunately. So, we didn’t have the necessary time to put into the campaign and we weren’t as far in development as we would have liked to be. With only a $15,000 goal, we were hoping to do a lot better, but we had to be realistic at the same time so that we could continue to move forward. Although currently IndieGoGo isn’t as popular of a platform for games, we feel the platform fits our mold best. It will help us finish the game.
Indie Game HQ: On your Kickstarter campaign you agreed to pledge 5% of the proceeds back to the Kickstarter community. What projects did you end up supporting?
Dan: We still haven’t done that, but we do still plan on helping other indie projects like ours once the game is released and we have more time to look through the Kickstarter projects.
Indie Game HQ: Thanks for your time. Is there anything you would like to add for our readers?
Dan: Thank you for doing this interview and best of luck with Indie Game HQ, I’m sure this won’t be the last time we’ll be on here: We’ll have more info coming soon, cheers!
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