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

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

In the beginning of the pandemic, Eitan Gilnert, co-founder and president of Fire Hose, 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 collecting resources and assembling conveyors and pneumatic tubes. But with his playing, Fire Hose saw an opportunity to fill a gap left by other big entries in the genre.

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

That also led to one of the most terrifying settings imaginable for the game. In Techtonica, players find themselves on a rogue planet. That is, the world does not revolve around a star and exists in eternal darkness. Or at least that’s the case on the surface. Underground, players will find bioluminescent flora and fauna that make life possible. That life probably just has a serious vitamin D deficiency.


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“Obviously, once we started building the game, it naturally led to other innovations,” Gilnert said. “What if we added voxel graves so that the player can distort the terrain? We set it in an alien world bursting with alien life, so what if growing plants was part of the automation process? The more we walked this path, the more we found fun, dynamic, complementary gameplay mechanics.”

Techtonica will serve a hungry audience

Gilnert believes fans have an unsatisfied thirst for different views on factory builders. So the studio expects this to help Techtonica stand out, along with its eye-catching visuals.

“I believe the following thing you need to do to stand out is: [to make a pretty game] and ideally have a remarkable visual aesthetic,” Gilnert said. “Being visually appealing is so important; people will buy a bad game that looks good, but rarely a good game that looks bad.”

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

“Before Techtonica, we spent a lot of time figuring out the aesthetics, and we just clicked when we looked at the bioluminescent bays of Puerto Rico,” Gilnert said. “We had discussions like ‘what if all the life in our world in those bays glowed like plankton?’ That has led to our art style.”

With the mechanics and appearance in place, Fire Hose is now in a position of figuring out how to start its game. The company has not announced whether it will go with an early access model or not, but it is considering options. In addition, the studio already knows that they want to support the game and build on the input from the public.

“As it stands, we have a backlog of features and systems that we want to add that’s a mile long, and it’s super hard to force ourselves to focus and only work on the most critical features,” he said. Gilnert. “Once the game is out and doing well, we plan to add things continuously to make sure people keep playing the game.”

Techtonica doesn’t have a release date yet, but Fire Hose has opened it up to wishlist on Steam.

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