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Stardock Announces Two Sci-Fi RTS – Ashes of the Singularity and Servo

By on March 12th, 2015 2:44 pm

Ashes of the Singularity | A real-time Sci-Fi Strategy Game by Oxide Games and Stardock

Last week Stardock has announced two sci-fi real-time strategy games they’re planning to publish. The first is Ashes of the Singularity developed by both Stardock and Oxide Games using the new Oxide Engine. Ashes of the Singularity is supposed to be a next-generation RTS that fully utilises 64-bit architecture, Mantle/DX12, and multi-core CPUs to create epic scale wars.

The second game is Servo developed by BonusXP, a company that was founded by several developers from Age of Empires. Servo is a faster-paced RTS that has a progression-based mechanic where the player will gain additional customisation options for his main units from playing the game more.

More on Ashes of the Singularity:

Ashes of the Singularity is a science fiction RTS set in the future where mankind has surpassed the threshold of the technological singularity and exists as uploaded consciousness that now converts entire planets into computational material. Now with the galaxy at their disposal and running out of planets, different elements of post-humanity, along with the AI that was hoping to find a peaceful solution, fight to take control of worlds to further their access to more computational matrix.

The game focuses on battles on the large scale where you’re supposed to be fighting wars and not just mere battles. The player will produce large a number of units and fight battles involving hundreds if not thousands of them. To ease this control the player will form meta-units, groups of units that work together. For example, if you group heavy units with long range artillery, the heavy units will act as defenders for the vulnerable glass cannons. Certain units interact with other units in a different way, and the composition of your meta-units will determine their capabilities. How meta-units differ from a control group from other RTS is that the units are aware of each other, as mentioned, some units will guard other units while others will attack differently depending on what units make up the meta-unit.

Ashes of the Singularity | A real-time Sci-Fi Strategy Game by Oxide Games and Stardock

The game will feature base-building, resource extraction, advancing tech, and unit production and it’s described as having a bit of Sins of the Solar Empire (approach to technology levels and pacing), Planetary Annihilation (for concepts of scale), and Company of Heroes (for how area control works). Basically the player needs to capture regions and if the regions are contiguous with their home base they can extract resources and expand further.

Though the system specs were not yet revealed, the game will require a graphics card that is not ancient and at least 4 CPU cores. They said the number of cores matters more than clock-speed. There was no mention if hyper-threaded dual cores will be sufficient, but it seems the game will focus heavily on multi-core CPU architecture. What was clear is the game is 64-bit only and DX 11 minimum (DX 12 compatibility will be a plus as the game is designed with Mantle in mind), as it depends heavily on the 64-bit architecture to work. This is due to the Oxide Engine which was made specifically to take advantage of multi-core CPUs and a 64-bit operating system.

The game will also feature single-player and multiplayer capabilities. The game’s FAQ can help answer some of your questions and you can also watch the video below to see a short tech demo of the game and an explanation of the technology involved:

Beta is expected to start this summer, with a winter 2016 estimated release. Players can pre-order the game with a similar Founder’s Deal that was set up for Galactic Civilizations III, here.

More on Servo:

Servo is also a futuristic science-fiction RTS but one that is clearly lighter on your hardware specs. The game focuses on controlling Servos which are large customisable Mech units. The player will earn parts for their Servos as they play the game in either multiplayer competitive or co-op, or by playing through the single-player campaign. This gives the game a loot-based RPG-like mechanic.

Servo | A real-time Sci-Fi Strategy Game by BonusXP and Stardock

Official word from the FAQ on how the loot mechanic works:

Servo’s core mechanic is earning parts in battle and then customizing your Servos with those parts. Collecting awesome new parts from Nemodium Blades to Hydra Launchers and experimenting with the new strategies they enable is key to Servo. The marriage between that progression and a well-crafted RTS game sets Servo apart.

From its description, and at first glance, the game can be mistaken for maybe a MOBA. Here are two responses from the official FAQ that puts these concerns to rest:

Definitely not! Servo has base-building, economy, troop recruitment, and all the other stuff you’d expect from a traditional RTS. We just also happen to have sweet customizable hero units that you design yourself with the loot you earn from battle.

How does the economy work?

You earn Bloom for killing Bloomspawn and building Refineries on wells that your Servos have captured. You can then spend that Bloom on global economic and military upgrades. Expand with more refineries. Defend that territory with turrets, beacons, or drone factories. Or, funnel your resources into a full-on rush. It’s up to you.

Servo | A real-time Sci-Fi Strategy Game by BonusXP and Stardock

The story of the game is that in the far future humanity has left Earth from an outbreak of rogue biochemical nanobots known as the Bloom. Its purpose was to consume waste to produce energy, but quickly evolved into something more and started to mutate everything it touched and it didn’t stop with organic waste. However, the Bloom followed humanity to where it escaped and despite its dangerous properties it’s still the best source of energy out there. So mankind continues to contain the Bloom threat while harvesting it. The game’s story is set when the wormhole opens again and humanity goes back to Earth.

The game will feature a 25 mission long single-player campaign, co-op challenge missions, and PvP. No system specs are given but the game won’t demand high specs (but will take advantage of them). Important Note: Unlike Ashes of the Singularity, the game doesn’t use the Oxide Engine. This is a separate development.

Here is a short video speaking about the game more:

Beta should start in the next few months, with the final release being later in 2015. The game has opened up pre-orders on the official website. Pre-order price is $19.99 USD.

(Screenshots, FAQ Quotes, and Servo video are courtesy of Stardock’s Official Game Websites. Ashes of the Singularity video is courtesy of AMD’s official YouTube channel.)

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  1. Keith Turner says:

    I know Ashes of Singularity is likely to get the most buzz/hype, but I’m actually intrigued by what Servo might have in store on the more casual co-op front. I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional loot based RPG, and my son and I spent a long time playing co-op RTS like Age of Mythology and Dawn of War years ago.

    • DrManhatten says:

      Have to agree with you here although it doesn’t look as flashy as Ashes of Singularity it actually sounds more interesting. Ashes from the sound of it is just a slightly scaled down PA which just looks more flashy and might have a better single player experience but overall does not strike me as something we haven’t seen before.

    • Same here, at first I didn’t pay much attention to Servo. However, the more I looked into it, the more intrigued I got. Ashes of the Singularity is going to be interesting because of the technology involved. However, outside of that the game didn’t grab me completely.

      I admit that I have a bias towards ‘smaller-scale’ RTS games. Example: I prefer Company of Heroes over StarCraft 2 and the like.

      • Keith Turner says:

        I’m in the same boat, I also enjoy the smaller scale RTS games. Total Annihilation never really grabbed me, and Ashes doesn’t either.

        I’m glad BonusXP seems to have a solid team of veterans behind it. Aside from Dawn of War, the “Age of” series was my favorite in the RTS genre (yes, better than Blizzard’s RTS and C&C for me).

        • JD says:

          “Total Annihilation never really grabbed me”…

          No Keith No, say this is not true, nooooooooooooo ;-)

          Ah well you came back valiantly with Dawn of War ;-)

  2. Jeff P says:

    Both Ashes and Servo appear to be Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander on steroids.

    Neither are my cup of tea. Disappointing; I expected more from Stardock.

  3. Mark says:

    Wow, more RTS games, just what the genre needed [sarcasm]. Next!

    • Keith Turner says:

      I think both RTS and TBS are getting a lot of love lately. I don’t think there’s any reason to hate on RTS games even if they aren’t my (or seemingly your) personal preference. I think TBS fans are actually getting catered to more than RTS fans these days anyhow.

      • Mark says:

        Not really hating, I just suck at these games, I can never click faster than the computer.

        • BlueTemplar says:

          In many RTS games you can pause the game to give orders or slow it down.

        • Keith Turner says:

          Ahh okay, I can understand that Mark. That is actually why I am intrigued by Servo and its co-op mode. I enjoy working together with another player to try and take down the AI. It sure beats the AI crushing me by myself or losing to a much younger, faster, human opponent.

  4. alienjd says:

    I love Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander. Ashes of the Singularity looks good to me as long as it’s going to have a single player campaign and player vs AI skirmish. I’ll need a new pc. The last game I upgraded my computer to play was Supreme Commander now that I think of it.

    Servo not so much. I don’t do multiplayer and it looks like that game is focused more on short matches for esports.

  5. sabiticus says:

    Both of these look fairly interesting. I like the meta-unit idea that Ashes brings to the table, but the customization of Servo looks pretty good too. I’m not normally one for RTS play (Except for TA and SC), but I’ll probably check these out.

  6. Jodet says:

    My rule for RTS is the fewer units you control the more fun it is. I’d rather control 8 units than 16, 16 than 32, 32 than 64. Which explains my total lack of interest in the ‘Total War’ series.

    So Ashes…. not sure how that’s going to work. We shall see. Servo might be fun.

  7. Ashbery76 says:

    Why do these guys still have no idea about making an interesting theme.Uploaded A.I’s fighting? Talk about dull.

    • t1it says:

      They claim Ashes of the Singularity will take advantage of every hardware feature out there. let’s see if Brad can keep his promises this time.
      There is another RTS by Eugen systems (w/e they’re called) that looks like a C&C clone. I never really got tired of C&C Generals so even a 90% reproduction of that title makes me want to play it. Might also be something for you guys who prefer a more “slower” RTS (but TA clones are fairly slow too I’d say), since Eugen surely will reuse the key concepts from their successful war game franchise.

      Oops, sry comment not meant as a reply to you Ash.

      • alienjd says:

        I hadn’t heard of this–thanks. Looks like the type of RTS I most love:

        If my pc can handle it I’ll get it.

        • DrManhatten says:

          Wow that does indeed look interesting, thank you for sharing. I always found it sad that there never was not another C&C Generals. I guess people just didn’t get the settle tongue in cheek when it was first released.

      • I’ve been following Act of Aggression and I’m little eager to see what they do with the genre. There are a few other RTS titles also planned by the same publisher (though not the same developer). Hopefully, those pan out as well.

  8. BlueTemplar says:

    It’s very exciting to finally see the Nitrous engine in a game, but it raises some questions :
    – Will the Nvidia cards be left behind since they’re not Mantle-compatible or will DirectX12 equalize the situation somewhat?
    – How have they solved the issue of parallelization of real-time combat?
    Or will Ashes of the Singularity have simple units and almost no actual combat physics – most physics will only be decorative and won’t affect the combat results so they can be parallelized and offloaded onto the graphic card?
    (See discussion here : )

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