Stormgate and ZeroSpace

By Zhenyi Tan

Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games have become less popular in recent years. Many developers have left Blizzard, which was then bought by Microsoft. After that, even more people were laid off. So, it seems less likely that we’ll see a new RTS game like StarCraft 3. This is probably not surprising given the rise of more accessible mobile games and the steep learning curve associated with RTS games.

I grew up playing StarCraft and Warcraft 3, so it’s sad to see the RTS genre becoming less popular. But recently I’ve found some promising new RTS games made by smaller teams. Two games that stand out are Stormgate and ZeroSpace.


Stormgate first caught my attention when several StarCraft 2 developers left Blizzard to form Frost Giant Studios. The game is a lot more polished now, with two of the three factions now playable and even a (small) pro scene.

Stormgate is very similar to StarCraft 2, both in gameplay and faction design. The Vanguard is very Terran-y, the Infernal is very Zerg-y. Based on the cinematic, it seems like there’s a third faction that’s very Protoss-y, too.

This approach has its pros and cons. If you liked StarCraft 2, you might also like Stormgate. But I hope they solve some of the problems that plague StarCraft 2, like the “deathball”.


ZeroSpace, on the other hand, is different from the traditional StarCraft model. It has a map with a top, middle, and bottom lane like in MOBA games. It also has heroes and towers that give you bonuses.

You can gain experience points in the game. But gaining XP doesn’t level up your heroes. Instead, you use them to develop a talent tree for the entire faction. There’s also a system for hiring mercenaries.

Base management in ZeroSpace is greatly simplified. You only have 1 worker per base. If your main building or workers die, they get resurrected for free. And the workers don’t even need to be there when you build something.

ZeroSpace seems to be an attempt to bring back MOBA concepts into RTS. (The MOBA genre originated from the DotA custom game in Warcraft 3.) I think the game is a fresh take on the genre.

I no longer play RTS games due to life and work commitments, but I’m still a fan of the genre. I wish the best to the teams behind Stormgate and ZeroSpace. If they do well, they could help revive the genre, and maybe we’ll see more RTS games in the future.