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Funcom Details Survival Mechanics and Alternate Timeline in Dune: Awakening

With the reveal of Funcom and Nukklear’s Dune: Awakening at The Game Awards 2022, details about the open-world survival MMO have been scarce. However, creative director Joel Bylos was more than willing to shed more light on what fans can expect with the new entry in a recent update.

A Tale of Its Own

Set in the year 10199 AG, about eight years after the recent Dune film, Bylos assured wandering minds of the surprises that line in wait, especially with the game using an alternate timeline.

“The alt-history of Dune: Awakening gives us space to create a version of Arrakis that can surprise and delight our players. Rather than interfering with Herbert’s masterpiece by attempting to replicate it piecemeal, we can allow players the freedom to explore an Arrakis that contains both familiar characters and locations and new ones,” said Bylos.

This significant shift is what allows Dune: Awakening to spread its wings and tell its own story, particularly when it comes to characters that are very much alive instead of perishing like in the books, such as Duke Leto.

The potential is there for players to craft their own legends together with familiar names and faces. Making choices will have consequences, and joining up with factions can be both a bane and a boon.

Funcom Details Survival Mechanics and Alternate Timeline in Dune Awakening
Survival of the Fittest in Dune: Awakening

Getting to that stage also requires players to master the harsh environments in Dune: Awakening, a crucial aspect of the open-world survival genre that will only be magnified by the harsh nature of Arrakis.

Beyond the three core elements, the developers are keen on maintaining a sense of tension throughout the player’s experience. With other hazards like quicksand and extreme temperatures to be wary of, it doesn’t take much to know that danger can appear from anywhere on the desert planet. That said, Bylos is also clear in saying the team wants Dune: Awakening to be more accessible for both hardcore and casual players. 

There is a balance to be found between challenging the player and also without being overly harsh. This approach extends to spice and its effect on players as well; maintaining high spice levels can grant new abilities while also keeping health at the maximum. 

Crafting in Dune: Awakening is also taking a different direction, relying on found schematics that feed into the need for exploration. 

“The world of Dune: Awakening is dynamic and the giant Coriolis storms shift the very landscape of the world. As the sand moves, it uncovers buried shipwrecks, hidden entrances to forgotten ecology labs and other secrets. Explorers will always be able to find new things after a Coriolis storm,” Bylos said.

“Survival on Arrakis is about three things: water, shelter and avoiding the worms. As a player, this means – pay attention to your water discipline (prepare), pay attention to your environment (be aware) and always have a shelter location (know where).”

Dune: Awakening will launch on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. Eager players can sign up for the beta at and wishlist the game on Steam.

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