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Emerging Details

By ToxicShock - 2nd April 2014 - 11:28 AM

As more details of GreyBox and Petroglyph's eagerly anticipated new RTS title, Grey Goo are revealed, we thought we should keep you up to speed with some of the latest information, as well as some further intelligence on the game's three factions; the Beta, the Humans and the Goo.

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Resource Gathering

All factions use one resource, an underground gas called "Catalyst". The Goo faction can also consume enemy units and structures.

Catalyst may be found in concentrated areas or stretched into lengths on a map. The Beta and Human factions place a Resource Node on the Catalyst field and the Catalyst is conveyed from there to Refineries. In contrast to other Human structures, Human Resource Nodes need not be connected to their base (see below). Players can chose whether to place their Resource Nodes on the most concentrated areas for a higher rate of collection or on less concentrated areas that may be uncontested or easier to defend. We have seen that once deployed, Resource Nodes may be moved and deployed elsewhere.

Harvesting is automatic for the Beta and Human factions, although harvesters can be harassed or killed. Both Harvesters and Resource Nodes may be replaced separately. As we understand it, Harvesters may be automatically replaced, possibly without cost.

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Human Base with Resource Node

In contrast, the Goo gather catalyst by placing their Mother Protean (the Mother Goo) over a catalyst field. The gas is digested to grow the Mother Protean. Its size is the primary measure of the resources available to it.

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Goo Mother Protean gathering resouces

Epic Units

All factions will have an epic unit, although it appears that players in a multiplayer game may be able to exclude use of epic units. So far, we have seen only the Beta and Human epic units in action.

The Beta epic unit is the Hand of Ruk. Built from a Beta Power Hub (see Base Building, below), the Hand of Ruk can house six other units and/or nearly any Beta structure and contains a manufacturing plant that can build as fast as any stationary factory. It acts like a flying fortress, dispensing nukes.

The Human epic unit is known as the Alpha. It has been described as a giant robot containing a single Human. It is protected by a force-field which, under heavy fire, will overload and explode, repelling foe. It also has a powerful Laser, which can burn through enemy forces.

The Goo epic unit is known as the Purger. It is formed directly from a Mother Protean. Little more is known of it at this stage.

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Beta Epic Unit: Hand of Ruk

Base Building

We already knew that base building was to be a core element in Grey Goo game play and it is apparent that the base architecture for each faction is markedly different.

Beta bases start with a Headquarters structure or a Power Hub that has a fixed number of slots. The facilities attached to the hub determine the units it produces. The base can be centralised or spread over distinct locations, each defined by a Headquarters or a Power Hub. Power Hubs come in three sizes with two, four or six slots, although it was previously suggested that the largest hub provides eight slots.

The Human base structure is centralized. That is in keeping with Humans being defensive in nature, although we know that Humans can teleport units. Players start with a central Headquarters and spread their base from there, using conduits to supply energy to each structure in the base. The conduits can be destroyed but redundant conduits can be built in anticipation of that. It seems fair to assume that conduits will be an important tactical consideration in play by and against Humans.

The Goo
We now know that the Goo are, indeed, nano-machines. Their bases (known as Mother Proteans) are mobile and can devour and grow as they go, spawning other Mother Proteans or smaller Proteans (Small and Large Proteans). Small Proteans spawn light Goo units and Large Proteans spawn heavy Goo units. The Goo have been described as structure independent. Goo units can traverse obstacles (such as terrain) and some formed units can traverse all terrain. One can see how that fits well with the earlier descriptions of the Goo as "unpredictable".

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Beta Headquarters with Refinery, Small Factory, Tank Tech and Artillery Tech attached.

Air Units

Both the Beta and the Human factions have air units for scouting and air and ground attack. The Goo does not have air units.

Unit and Structure Production Mechanisms

We now know that, for the Beta and Human factions you pay for both units and structures as they are produced and not in advance of building them.

Unit Upgrades

Upgrade research will be applied across all applicable units, regardless of where the upgrade is researched. We can expect upgrades in five categories for each faction, with three choices for each upgrade.

Population Cap

The gameplay footage we have seen suggests that there will be an overall population cap for units. From what we saw, it appears that that cap is presently set at 200 units.

Walls and Static Base Defences

Walls (or their factional equivalent) are set to be another important feature in Grey Goo game play. Across the factions, they have one thing in common; they create a fog of war, although that has not been apparent in any of the game play footage we have seen.

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Beta Wall

In keeping with the factional differences, the Beta walls are modular and can be garrisoned with other units, forming a turret. It appears that that is the only form of static base defence available to the Beta. We have seen a Beta wall in action now and it appears that the wall, comprising a number of segments, can be made at variable lengths with a proportionate cost. Wall segments, if destroyed, can be replaced separately. Beta units cannot pass through their own walls without gates.

Human walls are in the form of a force field, through which its units can pass easily. We now know that Humans can build various forms of static base defence in addition to that.

The Goo spawn moving creatures from Proteans, known as Bastions, which can absorb damage, reduce enemy sighting and act as a barriers.

Path-finding and Unit Grouping

Units can be set to move together in formation, as well as being formed into groups for identification purposes.

Terrain and Sighting

We are told that sighing will vary across different terrains, so that units on higher ground, for example, will have a greater visual range than units below. Foliage is set to conceal certain units and make for ambush tactics. We have seen that in order to attack a unit concealed by terrain, enemy units must themselves enter the foliage.

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Beta unit concealed by terrain

Single Player Missions

It has been confirmed that we can expect fifteen single player missions (five for each faction).


Grey Goo will be distributed via Steam, which will run the online and multiplayer function.

Offline Play

We have been told now that it will be possible to play Grey Goo without an internet connection and that multiplayer will be available over a LAN.


It has been confirmed that Grey Goo will not be free to play.

Release Date

Finally, we have been told that, while the game is presently in a pre-Alpha build, a full Beta release is expected shortly (signups have already opened for the public Beta) and a full release of the game can be expected late (or even in the fall of) this year.

We expect that this will be the last update of this feature prior to the release of the public Beta. If that changes, we'll let you know.

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