Last Update: 
Dec 2021 - Started fleshing out the visual style for a Low Poly, Turn based Dune 
Apr 2020 - Made this into similar format with my Command & Conquer page by adding some more text about about stuff.

I've always been a fan of Dune (not the game, but the books and the Lynch movie - yea the movie is messed up but has a couple of neat stuff to be inspired.) Cant say I like Westwood's Dune 2, it clearly shows its age in almost every aspect (specially compared to Dune 2000 and Emperor).

Dune 2000 feels like a C&C mod with better visuals and melee units. I cant really figure why they kept the weapon range and unit sight / visiblity in that game so low.

Emperor Battle for Dune takes a different approach, goes full 3D and each faction has completely different units and visual identities which is pretty cool) yet it does feel like a tech demo or beta version of C&C Generals.


So yea, thought it would be nice to drop a disclaimer for the hardcore fans out there; stuff here is mostly based on Dune 2000, not anything else from other Dune franchises and I will be butchering it in my attempt to turn it into a turn based game.

Units from Dune suit right into an advance wars / famicom wars style game. Maybe I should take some time and try to merge the two games together.  Turn based, chess-like, minimalist dune?

Game would be played in an isometric map view but when a unit attacks another the outcome will be resolved on a new screen. I was planing to show attacker and defender individually (First you see the attacker shoot and then you see the defender take damage and return fire) but maybe its better to keep them in a single screen where the player can drag the vertical divider left and right to see more of the field while waiting for outcome. Watching these gets repetitive real quick after a while so people would prefer to skip or turn off animations.

Maybe a low poly look would work well. It may be a nice homage to games like Total Annihilation or Machines Wired for war or other similar early 3D rts games that used similar style. 

I really cant be bothered with texturing so I will slap a slightly damaged or scratched metal look on everything and will use light and shadows to make the idea sell. Map tiles wont be a priority as it would be rocks, cliffs and sand. Explosions etc should be stylish like worms or maybe they can be low poly smoke or so. Buildings can be symbolic, slightly larger than the size of a tank or infantry. I'm just in it for the tanks : ) 

I will quickly start with a trike and quad and will try to build a unified design language on whatever I make of the two.

Trike - These should be used as early recons for scouting the map and cutting infantry. Once money starts rolling they would lose their importance. Ordos trikes (Raiders) can have better stats or a slightly cool design. I don't really care.

Quad - Quads need to be re-balanced as it is really pointless to have an anti tank that can easily be destroyed by a tank. Maybe giving it AA capability would make more valuable. Also a 360 turret would be better than the stiff, dual front barrels of the original

Main Battle Tanks - Maybe there can be an upgrade system where you add additional stuff to tanks as individuals or one upgrade effects every tank you have in game and the new ones you will build in the future.

Rocket Tank should be a mix of rocket and missile from advance wars, deadly to all ground and air units. something like low speed low hp 5 tile range and heavy damage. Also it shouldn't be able to hit the 2 tiles around itself 

Siege Tank - This should be similar to an artillery, deadly to all ground units, maybe Harkonen can have an upgrade that allows splash damage around the tile it hits.

Unique Tanks - Sonic tank will be something like an artillery with 3 tile range, it will damage all units between itself and the target tile. The Devastator will be a giant tank with various upgrades. The Deviator will be similar to a rocket tank with shorter range (maybe same range as an artillery) that will mind control enemy for a few turns

Infantry - Infantry classes can be recognized from their backpack colour and items held. I tried to keep details minimal for polycount reasons but they still seem a bit too high, I suppose ideal can be around 3000 tri's or so. The less the better. Unnecessary details can be removed some more.

Couple of quick ideas that need to be expanded on; 

Base building can be simplified or completely removed. Players may capture strategic structures such as refineries, wind traps, factories, starports etc instead of building them.

Players can start with an MCV (Mobile Command Vehicle) not a Moile Construction Vehicle since this game wont have any construction aspect. Just like the initial "Settler" units in Cvilization games, players can scout the map with the MCV and unpack once they find a suitable location. (However it is not advised to run around with the MCV as the sooner you unpack the sooner you start the game. 

- Once unpacked the MCV will be able to deploy infantry units, trikes and quads. Infantry can start capturing unoccupied buildings while trikes and quads can be used as scouts or early rush elements. 

- MCV can also be used to unlock low level upgrades to units. Capturing a Tech center will allow better upgrades

- MCV will act as the heart of the base, the player is defeated if the MCV is captured or destroyed by enemy.

More advanced structures will need to be located on maps and captured using infantry;

- Barracks and war factories will allow the production of additional ground units, These buildings should be close to starting locations

- Wind traps will allow the player to earn a small daily income. Maybe you need to capture a few wind traps before you can capture more factories and barracks so the wind traps can act as a building cap.

- Refinery will allow additional income. I like the spice collecting stuff, so when a player captures a refinery, an automated harvester will spawn on the refinery and move automatically to the nearest spice field, harvest it for a few turns, bring it back to the refinery and convert spice into credits. Capuring refineries and harvesting spice and waiting the harvesters to return back to the refineries will be the main way of earning money

- Tech centers scattered around maps will allow access to the production of more advanced units. If a players have captured a factory they can build basic vehicles, if they capture a tech center they can now produce high tech vehicles from captured factories. capturing a tech center will also allow the MCV to research better tech upgrades for units. Researching these upgrades will also take time so the tech center should be guarded until the MCV finishes all upgrades.

- Starports can be captured to activate the black market and purchase cheaper but damaged units from the smugglers (or units sold by other players?)

Any true Advance wars multiplayer veteran would know that AW game mechanics have issues with exploiting ranged and meat shield tactics. Measures should be taken to stop that. For example tanks should be able to drive over infantry units or the game should have unit cap to stop meat shield spam. air units should be able to pass over or stop on tiles occupied by ground units etc.

Sand worms should wander randomly (they should probably have their own turn once each player has made their moves) and eat stuff they find. 

Dune 2000 Stuff

Stuff below is closer to the original westwood franchise.


The crests of House Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos...

House Atreides

The Atreides home planet is called, Caladan. It has a warm, calm climate and the lands are lush and green. The rich soils and mild weather combine to make it a agricultural planet. In the recent centuries industrial and technological growth have added to the prosperity of the Atreides.

House Atreides has been a prominent power for thousands of years. They have a long tradition of being and just administrators. Their people are loyal, hard working, and rather peaceful. The Atreides leaders are intelligent and noble and the Atreides have a great devotion towards duty. Atreides were one of the first Houses to come to Arrakis and are well prepared for the conditions they will have to face.

The Atreides are not known for attacking first but instead defend themselves well against the attacks of the other Houses. The Atreides start out trying to be diplomatic but this strategy will not work and all out warfare between the houses is imminent.

House Harkonnen

House Harkonnen comes from the dark planet of Giedi Prime. They have spread across the universe with the evil tactics. The Harkonnen are a cruel people and can be ruthless towards both friend and foe in their pursuit of control of Dune.

House Harkonnen is the most savage House in the universe. The Harkonnens have a history of using violence and fear to achieve their objectives. Status for the Harkonnens is taken not given. If a soldier kills his commander, he assumes that position and is respected by all. The Harkonnens have spent most of their time assembling a large military force and are by far the strongest force on Dune. The Harkonnens are very dangerous as they mainly want to just conquer the other Houses.

House Ordos

The home planet of the Ordos is a frigid ice-covered world. It is believed that the Ordos import their agricultural and technological goods from nearby star systems. Acting as traders and brokers, the Ordos produce no physical products but instead rely upon their merchandising skills to make their profits.

The Ordos are represented by a group of wealthy families who banded together for greater security and have little conscience and seem to gain strength through their sabotage and terrorism. They are protected by their great wealth and their status as a great House is unaffected by their long history of deception. This is the first we have seen of the Ordos as they are not mentioned in the Dune books by Frank Herbert.

Quick sketches of mentats of each house. Designs are based on the Dune 2000 versions. The Atreides Mentat Noree Moneo, Harkonnen Mentat Hayt de Vries, and Ordos Mentat Edric O (this dude was super cool, his costume, and the inhuman weirdness of his acting, fit the ordos so well.)
Mentats can be used as talking head pop-ups below the screen to give direction or brief the players before missions start or give tips on events happening during the mission or something. MAybe you can pick from a bunch of mentats with different powers like in C&C Generals 


Infantry - useless. poor damage, poor hp, poor sight, poor speed, more useless then any other infantry from any other westwood game.

Trooper - rocket guys and for blowing up tanks and trikes and quads

Engineer - without any APC to carry him, engineers in dune are usually pure defensive.

Thumper - has a device that is meant to call sand worms when you deploy. The concept is to deploy this guy to enemy spiece fields so worms would eat their harvesters, havent seen it work once.

Saboteur - Ordos special unit that acts as a stealth suicide bomber. Blows himself up but doesnt cause any real damage.

Fremen - Native warriors of Dune, effective against any targets. Fremen are stealth units and can only be seen once they come within range of other infantry units. Not bad

Sardoukar - Elite troops of the empire that do decent damage to other units.

Trike - recon that is good for finding spice deposits or enemy bases.

Raider - House Ordos uses a slightly improved trike named the raider. Its slightly more expensive but has more hit points and better weapons.

Quad - recon with anti tank capabilities

Tank - its your average main battle tank

Siege Tank - this is meant to be long range artillery but it feels more like short ranged anti infantry. I know its pointless to compare two games with totally different rules but considering starcraft was out round the same time, SC had a siege tank that could shoot 2 screens ahead. This thing can barely shoot 2 tiles.

Rocket Tank - Another type of artillery, this one has AA capability and can do decent damage to whatever it hits.

Carryall - Transports harversters between spice fields and refineries.

MCV - Westwoods traditional way of building bases, Mobile Construction Vehicle's Deploys into construction yards that can build stuff.

Sonic tank - The special unit of House Atreides. Shoots sonic waves that damage everything on its path

Ornithopter - Atreides aircraft that drops 9 bombs on target (3 carpet bombing runs)

Deviator - Ordos special unit that shoots a green gas missile, hitting enemies with green gas allows you to take control of enemy vehicles. Coz Ordos is green, gas is green, you paint them green they aid you till paint comes off.

Devastator - Harkonen special tank. Following westwoods tradition every westwood game should have a giant (and usually useless) tank. Well, this is it. Its so slow that it takes ages to reach any destination. But thankfully has the ability to blow itself suicide bomber style... well worth the effort after spending so much money on it and being disappointed. 

and some totally unrelated pixel art of a sand worm and wind traps