“As great as it has been building Unity, I have come to feel that actually using it is what really scratches my itch,” said Unity Engine designer and Unity Technologies co-founder Nicholas Francis in February. After more than eight years with the company, Francis resigned to get back to work making his own games, rather than creating technology to help others build their own. Two months later and Francis has taken the lid off his very first project with his new studio Framebunker, a tactical science fiction game built specifically for tablets.
“The vast majority of tablet games are utterly forgettable,” wrote Francis on Framebunker’s website to introduce the game this month, “Many of them are profitable and some them are even fun, but few-if-any are the kind of games that will make it worthwhile hunting down an iPad emulator to re-play in twenty years. We created Framebunker to combine our love of modern gaming platforms with a respect for classic gameplay in order to create the kind of unforgettable experiences that tablet gamers deserve.”
The studio’s first game Static Sky superficially looks a lot like the classic games Francis is referring to. Its isometric perspective as seen in the screen above and its cyberpunk milieu based on work like Blade Runner recalls twenty-year-old games like Shadowrun for the Super Nintendo. At the same time though, it also recalls existing tactical sci-fi games on the iPad like Hunters HD.
The story sounds somewhat typical of the genre as well. You control a group of soldiers working for the shadowy, monolithic Corporation in the future, but your employers turn against you and you in turn have to fight back. It’s high time someone make a game that flips cyberpunk on its head and makes some futuristic corporation the good guy fighting against anarchists.
Static Sky is, as you might expect, built using the Unity graphics engine and will be out in 2014. Framebunker is asking its fans to “help shape the game” but communicating through Twitter and Facebook.