"Soulburner" Video Game Announced: Moonbreaker, by Unknown Worlds


Gamescom 2022, the annual multi-day video game trade show event, started their online reveals and announcements today, and - to the surprise of everyone - we saw a familiar face in one of those announcements! Brandon himself introduced Unknown Worlds' (the creators of the Subnautica games) new turn-based sci-fi digital tabletop strategy game. With minis you can paint? It's called Moonbreaker, and Brandon confirmed on Reddit that this is the project we've seen as Soulburner in a couple of his State of the Sanderson annual blog posts.

Let's start by taking a look at the video, and we'll come back to talking about what we know!

We first heard about Soulburner back in 2015 when Brandon described then as "a kind of space-opera-fantasy-hybrid like Dune or Star Wars." We didn't learn much more about it in the following years - but Moonbreaker is finally here to give us some details. The sci-fi setting is unmistakable, and the official announcement blog tells us our setting will be The Reaches, "a solar system of moons held in orbit by a scarce resource called Cinder." The lore of this universe will be conveyed to us through "fully-produced and voice-acted audio dramas," so Brandon has probably written a few novellas worth of worldbuilding for this; it'll be interesting to find out.

The Steam page reveals a few additional things about the game, including:

  • Early access available on September 29! Fans of Subnautica might be familiar with how long those games spent in Early Access, and how valuable those periods were for the overall (smashing) success of the games, so it's no surprise that we see Unknown Worlds follow suit here
  • In addition to the Early Access, Unknown Worlds will be hosting Preview Weekends on Steam, where everyone will have a chance to check the game out. 
  • PvE, PvP, and a rogue-like Cargo Run game modes

The big selling feature of the game seems to be the fantasy of playing with miniatures (or minis), much like you would in a real tabletop game. Collectors of actual physical game minis often enjoy painting them themselves, and Moonbreaker looks like it's going to offer a similar experience. 

Moonbreaker key art, featuring the game's logo and "Mini ways to play" subtitle on the left, with several of the characters on the right

If all of this looks interesting to you, there's a bit more information and details in the following places:

Edited by Argent

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As I said on Reddit, VINDICATIOOOOOOOOON!

 

Now, outside of my sheer excitement of seeing Soulburner finally come to fruition, this game isn't the game for me. I'm going to try it out, as I would anything by Brandon, but the multiplayer and tabletop focus aren't my gaming preferences. Even if the game isn't my cup of tea, I hope that it's good and that it's wildly successful, as games are a great way to bring in new readers. 

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It sounds like Brandon's involvement will mostly come in the form of the audio dramas. I assume the in-game intent is for the player to listen to these while painting their figures, but for those of us who aren't so much into the gameplay, I'm sure these will get posted to youtube or elsewhere.

For me, the gameplay looks possibly up my alley, but not so much the painting and customizing. I'll be picking it up, and I look forward to ripping the audio from the game files and adding them to my podcast queue!

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Yeah, doesn't sound like my speed but I'll give it a shot. If the rogue-like mode is solid enough it might be something I do for a little bit here and there, between other things.

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so i checked the trailer, and i read this, and i still have't gotten any inkling on what the game is actually about.

now, maybe the marketing guys know what they are doing and in average this strategy is more successful. but me, I want to know facts. especially before committing money and/or time to something

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1 hour ago, king of nowhere said:

so i checked the trailer, and i read this, and i still have't gotten any inkling on what the game is actually about.

now, maybe the marketing guys know what they are doing and in average this strategy is more successful. but me, I want to know facts. especially before committing money and/or time to something

In a way, the game is about the gameplay. What you see is what you get. Story, characters, setting, they're all just dressing for the type of game this is. (This isn't a dig at the game, just how I perceive it.) 

This first look goes over some of the stuff we didn't see in the trailer, but most of it is a deeper look at the mechanics that we did see at least briefly. 

On the bright side, I'm sure we'll get a full promotional blowout once we're closer to release. 

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18 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

In a way, the game is about the gameplay. What you see is what you get. Story, characters, setting, they're all just dressing for the type of game this is.

regardless, i got no idea what the gameplay is. from the trailer it could have been something like LoL, or a roleplaying game like baldur's gate, or even a fantasy version of civilization.

that single line of description in the video you linked tell me instead it is something akin to tabletop warhammer?

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5 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

regardless, i got no idea what the gameplay is. from the trailer it could have been something like LoL, or a roleplaying game like baldur's gate, or even a fantasy version of civilization.

that single line of description in the video you linked tell me instead it is something akin to tabletop warhammer?

It's a turn-based tabletop strategy game. The mechanics beyond that (such as resources like Cinder) are hinted at and/or outright seen in the video linked. But yes, it's like tabletop Warhammer (I guess, I never played Warhammer) with some X-COM thrown in from what I've seen. 

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