Techtonica is a new factory-building game on a terrifying (and beautiful) rogue planet

GamesBeat Summit 2022 returns with its biggest event for gaming leaders April 26-28. Reserve your place here!


It’s hard to understand the appeal of setting up a factory if you’ve never fallen into that particular genre hole before. But few things in gaming are as satisfying as connecting several interdependent machines into one massive supersystem. Developer Fire Hose Games knows the joys of that, which is why the studio is creating the new first-person factory builder, Techtonica.

Early in the pandemic, Fire Hose president Eitan Glinert and his team played many of these types of games. Factorio and Satisfactory were especially influential in what would eventually become Techtonica. So expect to spend a lot of time gathering resources and then assembling conveyor belts and pneumatic tubes. But with his game, Fire Hose saw an opportunity to fill the void left by other major entries in the genre.

“We wanted to see if we could combine that super compelling factory automation gameplay with an exciting story and setting,” Glinert told GamesBeat. “Hades was an inspiration to us: if Supergiant could tell a world-class story and marry it seamlessly with roguelike dungeon crawling, could we do the same for the factory-building genre? That was the initial thought that led to Techtonica.”

That also led to one of the scariest scenarios imaginable for the game. In Techtonica, players find themselves on a rogue planet. That is to say that the world does not revolve around a star and exists in perpetual darkness. Or, at least, that is the case on the surface. Underground, players will encounter bioluminescent flora and fauna that make life possible. That life is probably just severely deficient in vitamin D.

Event

IAB Playfront 2022

Join developers, ad tech partners and streaming platform leaders as they demonstrate, live from New York, the creative opportunities within the gaming and esports landscape. The event starts tomorrow, don’t miss your chance!

Register now

“Of course, once we started building the game, it naturally led to other innovations,” Glinert said. “What if we add voxel excavation so the player can warp the terrain? We set you on an alien world teeming with alien life, so what if growing plants was part of the automation process? The more we went down this road, the more we found gameplay mechanics that were fun, dynamic and complementary.”

Techtonica will serve a hungry audience

Glinert believes that fans have an insatiable thirst for different versions of factory builders. Therefore, the studio hopes that will help Techtonica stand out along with its striking visuals.

“I am of the opinion that the next thing you should do to stand out is [to make a pretty game] and, ideally, have some sort of remarkable visual aesthetic,” Glitnert said. “Being visually attractive is very important; people will buy a bad game that looks good, but rarely will they buy a good game that looks bad.

He said it helps that the team is going in a direction away from oversaturated styles like the zombie apocalypse.

“For Techtonica, we spent a lot of time figuring out the aesthetic, and things only fell into place when we looked at the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico,” Glinert said. “We had discussions like, ‘what if all the life in our world shimmered like plankton in those bays?’ That’s what led to our art style.”

With the mechanics and skin in place, Fire Hose is now in a position where she needs to figure out how to launch her game. The company hasn’t announced whether or not it will opt for an early access model, but it is considering its options. Also, the studio already knows that it wants to support the game and take advantage of feedback from its audience.

“As it stands now, we have a backlog of features and systems that we want to add that is a mile long, and it’s very difficult to force ourselves to focus and work on only the most critical features,” Glinert said. “Once the game is out and running well, we intend to continually add things to keep people playing.”

Techtonica doesn’t have a release date yet, but Fire Hose has it open for wishlisting on Steam.

The VentureBeat Mission is to be a digital public square for technical decision makers to learn about transformative business technology and transact. Learn more about membership.

Leave a Comment