What a week it has been. More and more information is coming to light about the heavily anticipated Homeworld Remastered Collection due out February 25th of next month. Here are the basic facts that we know so far:
When is the Homeworld Remastered Collection coming out?
Feburary 25, 2015
Where can I buy a copy of the HW:RC
Currently available via the Steam store located here http://store.steampowered.com/app/244160/
A collectors edition was made available that will include a copy of the game, an art book and a model of the HW2 style Mothership that lights up.
Can I still order a Collector’s Edition!?
Unfortunately the US Amazon store is currently sold out. Gearbox has indicated that the Collector’s Editions were limited run items and there will not be any more made. Currently the only places known to have Collector’s Editions available for sale is the Amazon.co.uk store. It has a USK and PEGI versions of the game available for shipping outside of the United Kingdom.
What is included in the HW:RC?
The Remastered Collection includes both remastered versions of both Homeworld and Homeworld 2 single player campaigns as well as the classic (original) versions of both games.
Do they have multiplayer? What about LAN play?
Yes. Currently both the remastered versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 will have multiplayer capability up to 8 players on a single map via Steamworks. In addition to that, new multiplayer modes and the surprising ability to have Homeworld races play against Homeworld 2 races in a single map. It is currently unknown what the lobby status will be like for the classic versions of the games as they relied upon WON.net and Gamespy; both of which are now defunct. Multiplayer beta for the Remastered Collection will kick off on the 25th as well. Brian Burleson said that balance will be something they are going to have to work with going forward as the multiplayer goes on to properly address balance issues between the HW1 and HW2 ships.
What about Homeworld Cataclysm, is that included as well?
Unfortunately no. To source our resident Homeworld insider guru the legendary Uberjumper himself and others; the problem currently is that the original non-compressed, pre-compile raw assets are no where to be found. Barking Dog Studios was bought by Rockstar and made into Rockstar Vancouver years ago. Eventually that studio folded and was merged into the rest of Rockstar and presumably moved around. During those moves, mergers, and buyouts the original Homeworld Cataclysm material was either lost entirely, wiped out, or is currently lost in space. For all intents and purposes it is considered lost to this day.
The licensing factor of Homeworld Cataclysm is coming into question one at the moment, but it seems that according to a post located here: http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showpost.php?p=5193628&postcount=7 THQ appears to have owned the rights to Homeworld Cataclysm at the time of the auction. So at present it can be assumed that presumably Gearbox owns the rights to it.
Will the Remastered Collection have mod support?
Yes!! During the Homeworld Panel at PAX South Brian Burleson (Executive Producer on the Homeworld Remastered Project) indicated that the game will have mod support via the Steam Workshop. It was not said exactly when mod tools will be released, but we can most likely expect them after the launch of the game once the tools are finalized and ready for community distribution.
What is the extent of the Remaster?
That is a long answer and best detailed by watching the various videos from PAX South below. The short version:
- Full modern support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 / 8.1 for both the remastered and classic versions of the game
- Completely remastered audio from the source DAC tapes that Paul Ruskay had in storage
- The original voice actors brought back for re-recording of their original lines and new ones. Heidi Ernest, Michael Sunczyk are reprising their roles as Fleet Command and Fleet Intel, with Heidi now voicing Karan S’jet in Homeworld 2! New to voices we can be expecting will be the the voice actor for Emperor Riesstiu IV the Second giving life the Taiidani Mothership. Sadly Campbell Lane the voice of the Bentusi and the narrator of the Homeworld series passed away last year before the remaster.
- Homeworld 2 engine has been gutted and had an entire overhaul to meet modern graphics support and hardware. The game will be able to scale all the way up to 4K resolutions.
- Homeworld 1 assets have been rebuilt and ported over to the new engine.
- Backend for multiplayer has been ported over to Steamworks (note it is unclear if this translates to the Classic versions as well)
- Completely re-worked GUI
- Game size of classic versions was ~1.5GB in size; Remastered Collection is reported to be over 20GB in size
Where can I see all this amazing Homeworld Remastered information and gameplay!
IGN looks to have gotten exclusivity on the gameplay footage and the Homeworld Remastered panel so check those out on their official Youtube channel.
Check out the Launch Trailer for the game here:
Homeworld Behinds the Scenes Panel (video for some reason starts 38 mins in):
38 minutes of gameplay footage:
Will anything be changing with the mechanics of Homeworld 1 and Homeworld 2 in the remaster?
Currently it is unknown what the extent of the remaster will have on the gameplay mechanics of both Homeworld 1 and Homeworld 2. Currently based on the videos seen from the gameplay footage the original HW ships still make use of their original formations and tactics, however it is unknown at this time is how fuel, salvaging, the ballistic trajectory for weapons, hit recoil, and of course the build queues will be handled in the remastered version.
Who is Blackbird Interactive and why are they helping Gearbox?
To quote right off their website:
Blackbird is a private, independent game studio headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company was founded in 2007. The founders are a team of experienced and successful video game industry veterans including senior EA staff and founders of Relic Entertainment.
In 2010 development started with an ambitious sci-fi game entitled HARDWARE. Inspired by Homeworld, a franchise developed by some of BBI’s founders, it was originally planned as a Free to Play (F2P) real-time strategy (RTS) game. After Gearbox Software bought the Homeworld IP in 2013, a deal was signed at PAX between Gearbox and BBI to turn HARDWARE into the next game in the Homeworld franchise.
Rob Cunningham, other former Relic devs, and many other game industry vets are working on Homeworld: Shipbreakers the forthcoming “prequel” to the original Homeworld game. Rob and others who helped form BBI were some of the original developers and artists for Homeworld. They have been instrumental in helping Gearbox remaster the game and help them bring Homeworld back to life.
Check them out at http://blackbirdinteractive.com/
So wow quite a lot of information to go off of. So far Gearbox has been fit to keep a lid on most of the finer details that we are keen to know about. The demos and gameplay seem to show a massive improvement in graphical fidelity that is impressive to see for a 16 year old franchise. As a long time member of Relicnews and lover of Homeworld, I am beyond excited to see Homeworld get new life again. Many former members of the community have been coming out of the woodwork and just as excited as those new folks seeing Homeworld for the first time. Hopefully we will learn more details as the month marches on.
As soon as we get more information we’ll update you with what we got. Until then, hang out on our forums meet the community and stay a while!