The Epsilon Conflict is a cancelled sci-fi RTS game that was in development around 2001 by Starbreeze Studios and O3 Games, planned to be released on PC. The game was focused on the pro-gaming/ e-Sport community and the team recruited two top StarCraft players (Guillaume Patry “Grrrr…” and Victor Martyn “eVERLAST”) to help design gameplay and mechanics.
The project was still in early development when announced and unfortunately they never showed any screenshot. Players would have been able to choose between three factions (similar to the Zerg, Protoss and Terran in StarCraft) and lead their army in a multi-scenario campaign with optional missions. Epsilon Conflict would feature almost 40 different types of units and 9 heroes with unique abilities, gaining experience and new skills, just like in an RPG.
Starbreeze Studios and O3 Games focused most of their efforts on the multiplayer mode, with an Anti-cheat system and audio / text chat between teams and allies. We can find some of the planned features in the original press release:
- Easy and transparent rules of the game that allow you to fully develop your tactical potential.
- Adapting SI making its own strategic decisions.
- Navigation point system.
- Campaign for single-player gameplay with integrated training.
- A dynamic story evolving in 30 missions, with several decisive tasks.
- Cooperative mode for single player.
- Campaign editor.
- An open storyline with an easy way to expand with additional campaigns and scripts.
- Anti-cheat system in multiplayer mode.
- Innovative system of communication between teams and allies.
And interview with Marco Ahlgren (lead designer of the game) was also published on Stomped:
“There will be 3 totally different sides in the game. They will have different production systems, supply systems, tech trees. In short they have totally different game play. That allows for a rich playing experience where you can just play another side when you start to feel bored of one type of game play. We reveal no details about the different sides at this point though.
36+ heroes. We are making a lot of cool/crazy units. This is one of the design phases that I enjoy the most. The craziest units have to be carefully tested though. But you would be surprised if you saw the wicked stuff that we come up with.
We have studied the present multiplayer modes on some different RTS titles. That experience tells us that making 25 different multiplayer modes is no good. The community will settle for the 3-4 best ones anyway. We will have 4-5 well worked through modes. The whole game is suited for tournament play.
We want to make the single player experience more like an “InteractiveMovie” where you as player should get sucked straight into the game and forget the world around then waking up after 5 hours saying, “Wow.” =)
We are working on a E3 prototype at the moment. It is all up and running already, but there is still a lot of functionality left to be implemented. If we wanted to, the project should be signed already. But it is very important to get the “right” publisher for this project. The publisher has to be of a certain size and it is very important to belong to the publishers highest priority titles. It is very easy to get lost somewhere amongst 50 title releases. We demand an 100% commitment.”
A year and a half after the start of the project, the Epsilon Conflict was canned. Rumors say the game turned out to not be as fun to play as they hoped for and Starbreeze Studios apparently feared it would not withstand competition against other RTS.
If you know someone who worked on this lost game and could help us preserve screenshots or videos, please let us know!
Thanks to Josef for the contribution!