Gamepad-focused RTS 'Armada' coming from Monaco dev

By Steve Watts, Mar 12, 2014 1:00pm PDT

Pocketwatch Games, the studio behind Monaco, has announced its next game: a real-time strategy game code-named "Armada." But just as it tried to refine the stealth formula with simplicity in Monaco, it's aiming to make Armada feel just as good on a dual-analog gamepad as most RTS games do with a keyboard and mouse.

"With apologies to those devs who have tried, no one has ever made an RTS that played well on a dual analog gamepad," the developer stated in its announcement. "We're gonna be the first to do it right." It notes that it wants to make everything feel like a traditional RTS, citing StarCraft 2 as a comparison, but states that it wants all mechanics to work just as well across both control schemes.

To that end, it's stripping down some of the gameplay. Instead of commanding troops, they'll be governed by AI based on their class. The player will instead control a Champion unit who can build structures, lead forces, and fight. It will feature co-op and competitive play, as per the usual for the genre.

Pocketwatch notes it's only been at work on the concept for about a month, but already has the basic elements in place. The studio isn't sure how long it will take, but seems to think this will be a shorter development cycle than Monaco--possibly as little as six months.

"Maybe it's just nostalgia speaking, but I want to play an RTS game that feels like a battle of wits, not a battle of clicks," the studio stated. "I want to compete at a high level, but I also want to be able to introduce the RTS genre to my friends at a party. I want an RTS where the strategy is creative and complex and the micro is accessible and fun."

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