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Games for Early PCs

Barren Planet: the Inspiration

Barren Planet: a battle rages
Barren Planet: a battle rages

Tuesday, 16th May 2023

There are several sources of inspiration that went into Barren Planet. It's not an original game. It's my attempt to bring together ideas from different games that I've enjoyed. In doing that I hope to create something distinctively my own.

The biggest inspiration for Barren Planet and its predecessors is the Blue Byte game Battle Isle II (known as Battle Isle 2200 in North America). Battle Isle II has a more varied setting, not just a barren desert world, but the linked scenarios, the futuristic units and even the menu controls come largely from Battle Isle II.

Battle Isle 2, an inspiration for Barren Planet

Barren Planet's setting was also heavily inspired by the Ogre board game. It shares that game's barren landscape with its ridges, craters and volcanic areas. The long-range Gun Platforms that players encounter late in the First Landing campaign were inspired by the howitzers in Ogre. There is no super-tank in Barren Planet, but that's something that could come with DLC.

Also dormant in the game, and waiting for the development of suitable DLC, is the idea of harvesting inspired by Dune II. In the First Landing campaign, resource gatherers are static units, and they happen to be the factory units too (the Mining Base). But not only can these roles be separated, the units can also be mobile. So future DLC could include harvester-type units that move around the map harvesting resources.

Barren Planet's predecessor games took a lot of inspiration from Wargame Construction Set, especially those predecessor games that featured a full campaign editor. There is no campaign editor in Barren Planet, but if the game and its DLC becomes popular, an editor in the style of Wargame Construction Set is a distinct possiblity.

In a future blog post I'll discuss the features that were included in Barren Planet.


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