Relic: Things you didn't know!
As you may know, we turned 20 this year! That makes us rather well seasoned by industry standards, so it’s no surprise that a lot has happened at Relic over the past two decades. We’re sure you’re familiar with our games, but you probably don’t know what it was like behind the scenes.
Well, buckle up! We’re pulling back the curtain to let you in on 20 years of funny stories, cool insights, and general shenanigans!
You probably recognize the iconic Relic mine. In the early days, Relicans felt that they were this unknown force, just below the surface, waiting to explode and change everything. The mine was the perfect metaphor! Fun fact; the Relic mine you see when booting up our older games is the same one featured in the Company of Heroes intro!
A Home New World
From day one, the founding team knew Homeworld was full of potential. However, it wasn’t until E3 1998 that the dream became reality! Stuffed away in a dark corner at the back of the smallest hall in the show, a trickle of inquisitive folks stopped by to check out the demo. Word of mouth spread, and soon that trickle of interest turned into a flood. Before long our small team were giving nonstop demos to huge groups of excited journalists and developers. The queue just kept getting bigger!
At the end of the final day, one viewer told Alex Garden, Relic's founder, that he was incredibly excited about Homeworld, and that he considered it one of the most innovative things he’d seen for a long time. It turns out that that man was legendary game director Peter Molyneux! Peter was so impressed, he said he was going to inject inspiration from Homeworld into his next project, which was the then unannounced Black and White.
Before Homeworld was called Homeworld, the working title for the game was Spaghetti Ball. Why? The early vision featured a strange mass of fighters and frigates circling around a mother ship with vapour trails and lasers connecting the whole thing together. So, we almost lived in a world where Spaghetti Ball was one of the highest rated RTS games of all time!
Back in the early days, Friday afternoon beers were a raucous affair. One Friday, mid-rooftop barbecue, our dear Relicans were feeling generous and wanted to donate some beverages to construction workers building a block of offices next door. But why walk across the road when you can ask them to lower a crane bucket down onto for roof-to-roof delivery? Team work makes the dream work!
Before Dawn of War was a 13-year franchise, it was a hope and a dream while the team was mid-production on Impossible Creatures. We had many rabid Warhammer 40,000 fans at the studio – just like today – who were clamouring to pitch a 40K RTS to Games Workshop. They got the go ahead, the pitch was awesome, and the rest, as they say, is history.
During the early 2000s, we also made a few other pitches, which for one reason or another, never made it to production. One such idea was for a Dungeons and Dragons RTS. Of all the games that could have been, this one is a big “What if?” for us. If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you probably know we’re big Magic the Gathering fans, and regularly have full-scale in-house tourneys.
That’s it for part one. Watch out for part two, in which we’ll recite tales of a great flood, nerf gun shenanigans, Easter Eggs, and more.