Over the past ten years, ever since we saw the last of the critically-acclaimed Homeworld series, a number of key developers working on games for developers Relic left the studio. Many of them have now settled in at a new home, Blackbird Interactive, where they're working on "an ambitious and original sci-fi social strategy game" called Hardware.
Among them are Rob Cunningham, who aside from being one of the founders of Relic was also Homeworld's art director. There's also Aaron Kambeitz, the lead artist on Homeworld. Alongside them are guys like Cody Kenworthy (a former Relic art director and visual development supervisor) and former EA Sports guru Yossarian King, who had a big hand in each of the publisher's FIFA, NHL and NBA franchises.
Hardware is set in a future sci-fi world dominated by Long March Industries, a "ruthless interstellar megacorporation" that controls a lucrative mining planet. This basically entails keeping an eye on the galactic gold rush that's descended on the planet, with the teams of miners coming in to explore, dig and fight each other forming the guts of the game.
Blackbird say you'll be commanding "a fleet of massive vehicles" in your travels/fights, and that the interaction between players will make Hardware "the world's first planetary-scale social strategy game."
Which may be true, it may not be, who knows. We've seen nothing of the game other than concept art, but given the pedigree of the artists involved and how damn pretty it looks, I figured it was more than worth sharing.
We'll hopefully have more on Hardware in the new year, because damn, this art is hot.
Oh, and Homeworld fans should note: look closely and there are spaceships buried in the sand...
UPDATE - This predominantly tech-based article from Gamasutra earlier in the week actually has a few scant details on the game.
Our game is completely new - new IP, an unusual camera, a curious mix of client and server requirements - it will take a ton of experimentation to prove out gameplay ideas and confirm and refine our design.
For us at Blackbird, platform requirements were nebulous. We wanted to launch on social networks like Facebook, and then move onto mobile platforms including iPhone and Android, but tablets looked pretty good too, and a standalone PC build for Steam distribution also made sense. Consoles were a possibility in the future, depending on the success of the game.