Back in February, we reported that Vancouver-based developer Whitebox Interactive was working on a Massively Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game for the PC set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe called Dark Nexus Arena. Early access to the game will be opened up in Q2 2015 followed by a general release sometime during 2016. In the meantime, we fired over a few questions to find out more about the upcoming game, which were answered by Whitebox Interactive CEO Jonathan Falkowski.
TH: What led to the development of the game?
JF: The idea for this game came to me one day when I was an avid player of League of Legends and Warhammer 40k. I thought to myself why hasn't anyone done this yet? It seems like a natural fit. So I asked some coworkers if they wanted to make it with me and they jumped on the idea. So we started making it, and I approached Games Workshop telling them what we were doing, and they said to continue, but we were doing it without assurance from them. A year later they liked what they saw and we signed a contract with them and here we are now.
TH: What game engine are you using?
JF: We are using Unity.
TH: What will make this title stand out over all other MOBA titles?
JF: There are a number of things we feel this will stand out from other MOBAs. The most important one is that we are using the keyboard to move, and there are no auto attacks. You have to aim every shot. A very twin stick shooter feel. Another clear distinction is the executions we have. So when you put a player down you will get some points for putting him down but more points when you execute him. This puts the executioner in a hold position during that time at which he himself can be taken down. So there is a risk and reward for that action. And we are in the design process for a number of other mechanics that will separate us from other MOBAs. We don't want to be a clone, so we are trying to blend a couple of genres together to make us stand out.
TH: How much influence does Game Workshop have on this title?
JF: Games Workshop Warhammer 40k has a lot of influence on this game. We want to capture the spirit of their lore and put it into our game. Games Workshop itself lets us create our game the way we want to create it, but they do guide us in the art and level to help us make the world come alive.
TH: Any chance this game will be ported to consoles?
JF: There is a chance but that will be much later. We will look at porting it to consoles after we launch it on PC.
As a recap, the upcoming MOBA takes place in the Wych arenas of Commorragh and consists of two teams of four players each. There will be 12 Veterans to choose from, including the Orks, the Space Marines, the Tau Empire and the Tyranids. The Heroes list will include Stormboy, Assault Terminator, Scout and Fire Warrior.
Whitebox Interactive is currently calling on the gaming community to help shape this Warhammer 40,000 title. Interested gamers can head here to create an account on the Dark Nexus Arena forums for providing feedback.