Pong Creator Returns, Paddle in Hand

By Published July 30, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Nolan Bushnell, famed father of electronic games, has announced his glorious return into an industry that desperately needs a new idea, and who better to bring one?  Bushnell invented the arcade token-system as we know it through his Chuck E Cheese business, founded the gaming industry through his hit Pong, and now looks to leave us dumbfounded once again with an FPS/RTS combo game, available for free this year.

Battleswarm: Field of Honor, a "mashup between StarCraft and Starship Troopers," hopes to bring the industry a new genre entirely.  Players will be able to switch between FPS and RTS mode, either commanding units from birds-eye, or taking control of a unit to blast away the scummy aliens. While in FPS mode, you play as a "human soldier out to destroy alien bugs," and while in RTS, the player will "control [their] bugs, such as swarming, move them around on the terrain to take on humans." 

Nolan admitted that his purpose for developing the game is more personal than for monetary gain, stating that his kids have no problem kicking the founder of electronic gaming's butt.  "Battleswarm is really about me being able to play against my sons.  They're all avid gamers and like first-person shooters.  The problem is, as you get older, you lose some reaction time, and as a result, I'm getting slaughtered by them."  Bushnell continued, "A RTS game, however, is more my [preference], a good resource game is what I love.  Battleswarm is both an RTS and a shooter, a mash-up between StarCraft and Starship Troopers, if you will.  You can switch sides, too, if you feel like an RTS isntead of a shooter, or vice-versa."

The game will be free to play online, however it will use a microtransaction system.  When asked about this, Nolan said, "Nalancing the game is critical -- both with the RTS and FPS elements, and in paid versus free play.  There will be some segregation, yes, which is part of the solution, but from what we've seen (at Developer Reality Gap), is [that] a really good player doesn't need to buy extra resources."  A press release states that the game is due for the late 2009 period, but how will it survive the brunt of StarCraft II?

Stay tuned for more screenshots and videos, currently there are only two screenshots: the one above, and this one -

Sorry about the poor quality, it was captured secretly on a camera-phone at the games unveiling.

Keep it locked as we uncover more info!

Last modified on July 30, 2009 at 3:05 pm
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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