Amplitude Studios recently had a media day in Paris and while we didn’t get to experience baguettes and croissants, a lot of information about their next big 4X game is being published.
Amplitude is a studio with a goal and that goal has been around since the beginning. Talking to Jeremy Peel of PC Gamer, studio head Romain de Waubert de Genlis said, “The reason we created Amplitude was to make Humankind. It was a dream we had, to create a historical 4X game. We knew it was a big task. It’s the Everest of 4X, and you need to learn to climb other mountains first.”
Amplitude Studios’ journey of discovery has created some amazing games, with Endless Legend, Endless Space 1 and 2 and some experimental games like a dungeon crawler also set in the Endless universe. The Endless games bring something special to the 4X genre: a sense of story. For Humankind this storytelling is going to be front and centre, with the game more interested in you leaving a story, a mark on the world, than winning the game. “You can’t win history, that’s not what happens. You write history. It’s not about who will be there in the end,” says de Waubert de Genlis.
This isn’t just about conquering the map as each age has 21 stars you can earn. Earning them quickly gets you fame and you need seven to head to the next era. But do you rush ahead for new units and tech, or get more stars and fame? This balancing act will be a big part of the decision making process as you play. As a result, you might win the game early on, because while your empire might decline, at one point you might have been as mighty and memorable as the Roman empire or Mongolia.
This solves a pretty big problem in the 4X genre: a predictable and long-winding down of the late game. “You’re in the endgame of a classic 4X, you’ve won already, but you still need to do the last steps.”
The rest of the piece is well worth a read. Humankind is a planned release for 2020.