Human Resources pits robot death machines against ancient tentacle monsters

Human Resources

"The humans invoke the tentacled Ancient Ones in a last-ditch effort to stem the Machine onslaught," the Human Resources Kickstarter explains. "This proves unwise." And with that—and nothing more than that—I was sold.

The setup for Human Resources is easily the best thing I've heard all day. Humanity's relentless quest for technological advancement has led to the rise of machine sentience, and predictably, they're not happy with their lot in life. As automated factories churn out hordes of unimaginably destructive war machines bent on wiping out organic life, Cthulhu-esque monsters from another dimension are summoned through dark rituals in a desperate effort to stave off extinction.

"This proves unwise."

The great thing about this is that you can play as the machines or the monsters, but not the humans. Humans, in fact, are the game's universal resource—hence the clever title—providing the energy that sustains both sides as they battle to deliver shards of the shattered planet Earth to their—that is, your—all-powerful leader.

Human Resources is being developed by Uber Entertainment, the studio behind the recently-released RTS Planetary Annihilation that earned more than $2.2 million on Kickstarter in 2012. In an update posted today, Uber addressed concerns that the new project will draw resources away from the old one.

"We realize that some of you might take this news as concerning, so we wanted to come out and say this: work on Planetary Annihilation will not stop if Human Resources funds; both games will have a team dedicated to these separate projects," it states. "In other words, things will stay the same. A Planetary Annihilation team will continue its amazing work on the game, and you’ll keep receiving new updates with new features, fixes, and mechanics. Meanwhile, a separate team will roll into pre-production on Human Resources."

The Human Resources Kickstarter is seeking $1.4 million, a big number at any time and especially in light of the recent news that support for Kickstarted game projects has dramatically declined in 2014. But as Uber pointed out, this isn't its first rodeo. "We have the technology, the passion, and the knowledge to create Human Resources, and we’ve shown with Planetary Annihilation that we can carry a bold new idea from pitch to final polish," it wrote. "Planetary Annihilation has taught us a great deal about creating an executable timeline, designing deliverable rewards, and setting realistic goals. We believe we have set achievable targets for Human Resources."

Even so, it's an uphill battle: At the time of publication, the Kickstarter was sitting at just shy of $50,000, a decent start but a long way from the finish line. The Human Resources Kickstarter is live now and runs until November 4.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.