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Homeworld: Shipbreakers 
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Post Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Looks like Blackbird Interactive got the rights to some Homeworld IP and have re-branded Hardware: Shipbreakers as Homeworld: Shipbreakers. An FYI, Blackbird is made up of many of the same people who worked on the first Homeworld game (one of my all time favorites!)

On the one hand, I'm very excited about a new Homeworld game (even though Cataclysm and 2 weren't all that great) but on the other hand, can a game with ground combat even really be called a Homeworld game? Sure, it may take place in the same universe but to me, Homeworld is a space opera. I guess I'll have to see how it turns out.

Some links:
http://blackbirdinteractive.com/
http://homeworld.wikia.com/wiki/Homeworld:_Shipbreakers
http://homeworld.wikia.com/wiki/Blackbird_Interactive

On tangentilly related news, looks like there's also an HD remake of Homeworld 1 and 2. No Cataclysm though. I, for one, can't wait. I really really hope the Homeworld 1 engine got updated. Or even better, if HW1 was ported to the HW2 engine. Not having to leave the battle every time I wanted to build was such a welcome change.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:21 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
I've been disappointed thus far with Hardware, which is a browser-based Facebook-style "casual" game, so I have mixed feelings about the news. It's great that the Rob Cunningham and the ex-Relic guys at Blackbird have been re-associated with the Homeworld franchise, but I don't see that Hardware had anything at all to do with Homeworld (aside from its art direction).

I'm more interested in what they might do in the future.

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:29 am
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
As a quick note, Shipbreakers is not a browser based or Facebook-style game (anymore). That was a move they made because of lack of funding originally, but now the game is slated for a full retail release.

Personally I am really looking forward to the game. In case people missed it, at the Gearbox Fan Day recently they talked about a number of Homeworld-related things, including Shipbreakers. You can find the VOD of the event here: http://www.twitch.tv/gearboxsoftware/b/461312123

The at-times-awkward-due-to-technical-issues-but-still-very-informative-and-I-think-interesting Homeworld talk begins at 39:30 minutes in.


Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:49 am
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Arioch wrote:
I've been disappointed thus far with Hardware, which is a browser-based Facebook-style "casual" game, so I have mixed feelings about the news. It's great that the Rob Cunningham and the ex-Relic guys at Blackbird have been re-associated with the Homeworld franchise, but I don't see that Hardware had anything at all to do with Homeworld (aside from its art direction).

I'm more interested in what they might do in the future.


Eh. What are you talking about?

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
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Eh. What are you talking about?


Afaik the game was first known as "Hardware:Shipbreakers".

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:36 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
but it do sound nice. hope to see more of it.


Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:05 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
they have announced that shipbreakers is moving from its F2P model to a more conventional model after signing a deal with gearbox to use the homeworld and included major financial investment into blackbird and the game by gearbox


Fri Oct 04, 2013 1:24 am
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Arioch wrote:
I've been disappointed thus far with Hardware, which is a browser-based Facebook-style "casual" game, so I have mixed feelings about the news.


This isn't correct. I got to test some of the early builds, and as far as I can tell there's no expectation of silence on my part, so let me say that at no point did I ever see a build of the game that was facebook style or casual. It was built in Unity3D, a game engine that is being used to build PS4 launch titles, and which also can deploy games to be run in a browser with the Unity Webplayer plugin. So yes, it did run in a browser, and it did use facebook for managing the tester authentication and game access and so forth, but that was a convenience for testing, not the game's necessary ultimate home.

What I saw of the game was essentially a standard RTS in core design. I know they were exploring F2P ideas, but I didn't see their marks on the game design, and my understanding is that with gearbox's money behind them they're switching gears to a more traditional game structure, so theres that.

I'm not super excited about the game myself for a variety of reasons, many of them related to my investment in the Homeworld series to date, but I still feel that these misconceptions about it's genesis shouldn't weigh it down.

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Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:28 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Siber wrote:
Arioch wrote:
I've been disappointed thus far with Hardware, which is a browser-based Facebook-style "casual" game, so I have mixed feelings about the news.

This isn't correct. I got to test some of the early builds, and as far as I can tell there's no expectation of silence on my part, so let me say that at no point did I ever see a build of the game that was facebook style or casual. It was built in Unity3D, a game engine that is being used to build PS4 launch titles, and which also can deploy games to be run in a browser with the Unity Webplayer plugin. So yes, it did run in a browser, and it did use facebook for managing the tester authentication and game access and so forth, but that was a convenience for testing, not the game's necessary ultimate home.

I also tested the game, probably at about same time you did, and I was disappointed with what I saw. You're welcome to disagree with my opinion of the game, but I don't believe I said anything above that was incorrect. The game launched from Facebook and ran in a browser. It played like a casual game, and the makers of the game clearly admitted in the interviews I read that it was targeted at casual gamers, because that was the only way they could get it funded. If that has changed with the Gearbox acquisition and name change, and the game is now being re-targeted as a more mainstream game, great... but I'll believe that when I see it.

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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
The announcement video for the re-re-branded "Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak":


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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
hi hi

It certainly looks pretty. Perhaps the 2 dimensional space will not be as intimidating to the average gamer, but at the same time, that is a rather saturated market to begin with. I wonder what tricks they have up their sleeves to stand out. If they really have an entire world being simulated at once, then that could be very interesting.


Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Gudo wrote:
(even though Cataclysm and 2 weren't all that great)

Huh. Cataclysm is actually my favourite one. I much preferred the controls, resource management and story. Plus Kuun-Laan just looks so much better than the Banana Battleship. I actually completed it, while I got bored of Homeworld 1 in the part where they meet other Hiigarans in a nebula, and just never got around to trying Homeworld 2. I hear its plot was a mess though.

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Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:00 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
I feel I should apologize for my previous post in this thread. In hindsight it seems rather disrespectful. Sorry about that.

Personally, I think I'd find the game a lot more appealing if it wasn't homeworld. I don't like the attitude they've shown with retcons in the past or in current posts about it. I'm probably too close to it, having sunk excessive amounts of my time over the past several years into a homeworld fan project. I'll probably have to wait until it's out and various people's verdicts are in before I can see myself buying it.

P.S. 1, Cata, , , ,2. I could go on at tedious length.

P.P.S. Though I have to say, the game looks to have come a very long way since I last had a good look at it.

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Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:54 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Holy cow, the thread's not dead.

To be honest, I don't know how I feel about Deserts of Kharak. I was not pleased at all with the story of HW2, and the heavy injection of (for lack of a better term) "magic" that changed HW1's science fiction into HW2's techno-fantasy. So depending on how things turn out story wise, this might be the last Homeworld IP I buy.

I see Rob Cunningham is heavily involved, and while I really like his art style, I can't help but be wary, since he was heavily involved in the story for HW2, as was Paul Ruskay. Mr. Ruskay did an amazing job with the sound tracks for the previous Homeworld games, and cleary both he and Mr. Cunningham are talented artists, but I have doubts about their abilities as story tellers.

Thoughts?

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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Ho boy. This is, as previously mentioned, a topic I've poured likely excessive time into thinking about, and grabbing up any scrap of info I can find. Well, you did ask.

In HW1 the writing is credited to Marcus Skyler, a pen name for a teamup of Martin Cirulis and Arinn Dembo. Specifically they are credited as 'script, campaign co-design and manual'. The story concept is credited to 'Dave "The Smoking Dog" Williams". Alex Garden is listed is 'director', Rob Cunningham as 'art director'. Looking at the credits for HW2, Dembo and Cirulis don't appear at all, with quite a few people getting story and writing credits, Rob Cunningham among them.

After HW1 'Marcus Skyler' did go on to do something else, namely Cata. My own stance on Cata is that it's flawed,but I really love some of the things it does, particularly the fleshing out of the setting and aftermath of HW1. It's not really the focus of the campaign, but it's present in it, and it's largely the focus of the (sadly small) manual of Cata. I also think it had some of the best missions in the series, independent of the overall story. They then went on to do other things I don't like very much, so sadly no hidden continuation of the magic there.

I don't want to say everything good was Cirulis and Dembo's doing. Without having been there, I can't say how much of what they did was their own ideas and how much was outlines they were given and executed well on. Nor can I say how much of a creative feedback loop was involved. But I really think the change in writing team shows clearly in the change of style in HW2, even putting aside the very troubled development process it had. Also, the gearbox reprint of the manual included two edits, one backfilling(poorly) for the hyperspace core retcon and one paving the way for HW:DOK, and I feel... troubled, by the idea that these edits are 'okay' because they had Rob Cunningham and Aaron Kambeitz to consult about it, despite them not having originally written that document. Idolized creators going back to tinker with things they weren't soley responsible for in the first place has not always been a good idea.

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Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
I think that writing a good Homeworld prequel set on Kharak would have been difficult even if that had been the intention from the start. To take an unrelated game and successfully transmogrify it into a Homeworld prequel... that's a pretty tall order. I think the best that can be hoped for is that the core gameplay is good, and the game doesn't depend too heavily on the story.

From what I understand about HW1, most of the early development had focused on multiplayer, and the single-player campaign was something that was rushed together at the end almost as an afterthought. That the single-player campaign was so good was, I think, partly a testament to the talents of the art and sound people carrying the story through, and partly a certain amount of luck.

Cataclysm had a decent story (though I didn't like the divergent way the Bentusi were portrayed), but I don't think the skills of the art and sound team were good enough to pull if off. The gameplay was also heavy on the "lose your entire fleet in bandbox lemming attrition attacks, build more, repeat" RTS grind that I don't care for.

HW2 was, I think a good example of a great art and sound team and improved gameplay but a weaker story.

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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
I'm inclined to agree on the point about luck. I think, given how often lightning fails to strike twice, that especially in big team projects a lot of great games have a large degree of luck in them. Though I'd personally put a giant helping of the credit for my love of Homeworld on the voice acting, for sure.

I also remember that back in the old days of RelicNews people would often fantasize about an RTS on Kharak, but focusing on the heresy wars, not on... armored dune buggies with glowing railguns. Part of my personal disquiet with DOK is something that hit the star wars prequels fairly hard too; HW1 had a very hardscrabble feel, with guns and armor being the initial rule, glowing energy guns and beams further down the tech tree. Now 100 years before in universe we've got... glowing things and giant land-mobile aircraft carriers and all sorts of crazy stuff from the looks of it. It's incongruous in ways I don't like my entertainment to be.

Oh yeah, and 'Rachel S'jet' practically makes my eyes roll out of my head. The obsession with Karan in all the since-released story treatments for HW2 is a big problem in my opinion. Other games should be allowed to make their own memorable characters, not try to keep riding that wave.

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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
The use of an Earthbound name like "Rachel" in the Homeworld universe is a miss right off the bat, and doesn't bode well. It's a bit like... "meet Boba Fett's father, Robert Fett."

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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
I'm inclined to agree. Karan herself is sort of a precedent, being pretty impossible to distinguish from Karen by ear, but there was at least that symbolic twist.

Edit: *looks at start of this post, looks at start of last post, shakes head.* I need to stop using that phrase for a while.

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Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:58 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7beE0NgnmU

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak


Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:20 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
That would seem to be the same video Arioch posted.

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Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:46 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Depends if the name is pronounced as we expect to hear it, rae-chel. Or the ch (chuh) is changed into a different sound such as "shuh" or even K sound. Rae-shel, Rah-shel, Rak-kel, Rae-kel. Until we get an actual audio confirmation its anyones guess. But it'll probably be pronounced as we expect :)


Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:32 pm
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
Siber wrote:
I'm inclined to agree. Karan herself is sort of a precedent, being pretty impossible to distinguish from Karen by ear, but there was at least that symbolic twist.

elorran wrote:
Depends if the name is pronounced as we expect to hear it, rae-chel. Or the ch (chuh) is changed into a different sound such as "shuh" or even K sound. Rae-shel, Rah-shel, Rak-kel, Rae-kel."

"Karan" by spelling is clearly not English. When you're trying to create a foreign-seeming name, it's okay if the pronunciation is similar to or the same as a common name (like "Karan," "Rey," "Jahn") as long as the spelling is different to signal that it's foreign. But if you use the same spelling as a familiar name, especially when it's as specific as "Rachel," "Robert" or "John"), then you've failed to create an alien name, regardless of how it's pronounced and whether or not this spelling is appropriate to your alien language.

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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
You might be surprised how many spelling variations there are of typical english names in (primarily) english speaking countries. I know a few karans as well as karens. One of the ladies I used to work with was called rashel with a CH. I've seen so many variations of Peter over the years I've lost count (or started with memory loss >.> ).

I can understand some concern that typical things make it into a game that feel out of place. I'm not so sure Rachel qualifies in this instance, but understand why it could be seen as not making the effort. Let me ask this, would is have made anyone happier if her name had been Rei'chal S'Jet?


Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:24 am
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Post Re: Homeworld: Shipbreakers
elorran wrote:
You might be surprised how many spelling variations there are of typical english names in (primarily) english speaking countries

I know people with all manner of bizarrely spelled and pronounced names. That has very little to do with my point, which is that if you want to give the impression of an alien setting, you should probably choose a name that is not an obvious, common English name. Even if "rachel" made phonetic sense when compared to the other Hiigaran words (which, you may notice, it doesn't), it's too familiar and distinctive as an English name to feel alien, in my opinion.

elorran wrote:
Let me ask this, would is have made anyone happier if her name had been Rei'chal S'Jet?

No, I would have been happier if they had chosen a different name that was more appropriate to the setting.

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