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Homeworld:@(0.2.35.0) P#9 - REMASTERED VERSION OUT

  1. #1

    Homeworld:@(0.2.35.0) P#9 - REMASTERED VERSION OUT

    Homeworld:@ is a long-running total conversion project for Homeworld 2. It was founded on a dissatisfaction with the design and story of Homeworld 2, aiming to produce an alternate sequel to Homeworld 1 and Cataclysm. Over time we've produced assets and logic, such as our improved explosion effects or 'horde mode' style wave survival mode, that have been incorporated into multiple other mods, as well as new ships based off a mix of internally-produced concepts, community artwork, and variations on original unrealized Relic concepts. Some of these ships have also made their way into other mods as well.

    Our ambitions are and have always been high, and the release of Remastered puts many of them that were far away much closer to hand. Past classic versions can be found at our moddb page, and once a few lingering issues are hammered out we should have a new version up for download both there and on steam workshop.

    With the number of assets we have to convert, and some kinks in the conversion pipeline at present, a Remastered edition of the mod is still a little ways further off than the next Classic release, and a version that really takes advantage of the opportunities Remastered offers is further off than that. But we do have a development branch working on it, and I've recorded a video showing off some of the things that are currently working well. The new graphics engine really kicks things up a notch, even for assets that haven't seen any updating.

    Last edited by Siber; 7th Mar 16 at 9:02 PM.
    A.K.A EatThePath
    Co-founder of Homeworld:@
    Stories

  2. #2
    Since Feb. 2000 herbyguitar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lamar, Missouri
    Really, really nice.

  3. #3
    A quick update: The final classic release should be rather soon, though it's waiting on a thing or two that I can't quite predict the timetable of. And it got a few last minute revisions I wasn't expecting! Updated WIP models, not finished models, so don't go too crazy.

    I'll show off the most visible one now, the mothership placeholder got swapped with a newer WIP.

    Old:


    New:


    Old:


    New:


    Armed:


    Keep in mind this is WIP. If you love it or hate it, feel free to speak up. Please be detailed about any objections you have, though, knowing people reject it isn't very useful without knowing why.

    Work is also happening on the update for HWR. Visual updates are tricky, and the graphic asset port is largely waiting on updates to the RODOH-HODOR pipeline. Ships mostly make it through playable, but there are some kinks, and We'm not interested in trying to correct them manually when RODOH updates might do it. With that being the case, my personal focus has been on testing skirmish balance and implementing features that were previously not viable, with a focus on getting all the UNH fleet working right first, placeholders and all. Once they're all tidy I'll move on to working in another faction. If you don't mind the occasional rough edge or crash, or half your fleet being untextured bricks, and you'd like to play test games with me or with other testers, please send me a PM and I'll get you set up with that.

    There's also a discussion thread in the Game Mods\Relic Game Mods\Homeworld 2 - Tanis Shipyards\Mods in progress forum which has all the old discussion about the mod and past updates. I'll be posting updates in both threads until the last classic release gets done, at which point I'll transition permanently over to here.

  4. #4
    Those paying close attention to our ModDB image feed may have noticed mention of doci7, or even comments from him. He has indeed found himself able to contribute once again, and has wowed us. I'll let his own words speak for him, the following is copied from a post he made on our Gearbox forum thread.




    Before exhibiting the actual mod content, I felt the need to show the marvelous inspiration behind the work. For those who have not seen it before, this is a rendering of HW@'s Taiidan Republic Destroyer, imagined and illustrated by Talhydras, or as many know him from the old Relic Forums, Avatar II. A very dang long time ago, I saw this picture and was amazed that with such a beautiful design as this, nobody on the team was actually making it at the time. I try to be patient about stuff but my eagerness to see this ship exist eventually led me to attempt to go well beyond my actual skill level and make it for them. After working closely with them for some time, trading the model back and forth with Avatar for tweaks, adjustments, realignments, and a little hi-poly adaptation for ambient occlusion mapping, the texturing started. And it got almost nowhere. But after years away from the project, I finally got back to it, and with Dark Sentinel's updated HW1 Taiidan Destroyer as a guide (as well as the source of some of the verbatum details), lots of encouragement, feedback, and suggestions from the team, a finalized set of conventional textures was at last completed.





    Be sure to check out the ship in 3D on p3d. For those who have known this ship was in the works for a long time, I hope your patience is justified by the end result. For those who didn't know about this ship at all, I hope it's a splendid surprise!

    But wait, that's not all! Allow me to treat you to this other "inspiring and lovely" doodle:





    LOL. This didn't quite reach the same artistry quota as Avatar's Destroyer concept, but it was enough for me to go on, I suppose. After the team produced this lovely vessel:





    I decided that I really wanted to try my hand at making a Fighter for them that would fit in with the design motifs but still blaze its own path. Mostly I was hoping to make something that would not be built all that much like the body of a fish, lest the entire Tobari fleet would start to appear like different-sized fishes, which apparently I wanted to avoid for whatever reason. So now, after doing my best to flesh-out my doodle and getting much-needed artistic suggestions from the team, we have this:





    You can also find a 3D view of this ship by clicking on these blue letters.

    So there's some updates... enjoy!!!!

  5. #5
    Several new screenshots of the classic version have gone up on our moddb images stream, with more to come. A few highlights:







    Things are coming together, and it's looking good. We don't want to keep people waiting much longer.

  6. #6

    (re)INTRODUCTION
    It's time once again for a new Homeworld:@ version! Because of the new faces that the Remastered Collection may bring to our door, I'd like to give a quick introduction to what we're about and how we do things. If you already know all that, just skip down to the part with the pictures.

    Homeworld:@ is an alternate fan-sequel project. We take Homeworld 1 and Cataclysm as our starting point and build new art, gameplay, and story out from those, discarding all but a few starting-point elements of Homeworld 2. We have a playable skirmish mode with all new fleets, and even new mechanics such as drone frigates akin to Cataclysm's hive frigates. We also have a survival mode where you fight against ever increasing waves of enemies, and later on special extra threatening boss ships.

    We have over 40 fully modeled and textured ships from a variety of contributors. However, new players should be aware that our planned ship lists are large and to fill out the gameplay we've put placeholder models in many roles. These range from untextured rectangles to partially finished actual models. If you're playing the survival mode you have the option of only fighting ships with finished art, though you can still build placeholder ships yourself if you choose to.

    Another focus of the mod is its story content. Packaged with the mod is our own Historical and Technical Briefing patterned after Homeworld 1's manual, which like the mod itself is not finished but already contains lots of information on our expansion of the setting. 100 years have passed since Cataclysm, so there's plenty of new events to cover. Development of the manual and future playable story content is ongoing. Portions of this content, along with information on ship stats, is also available on our reference site.

    NOW, THE THINGS THAT ARE NEW THIS UPDATE



    We've been putting pictures in the moddb image feed of all the new things this update, a total of 11 new ships, so if you want to see more of something there's likely a few more views of it in there. I'll go over specifically what's new.

    The last update introduced the ships of the Frerrn Aggregate, a long-time rival of the Taiidan Empire. This update includes a substantial expansion of their roster, with probe, carrier, scout, assault fighter, and destroyer now all modeled and textured.



    The other side of that rivalry has gotten notable attention too. Started well before the release of Homeworld remastered, even before good screenshots of the remaster, we have our own updates of the classic Taiidan interceptor, assault frigate, ion frigate, and standard destroyer. Then, with a style building off that lineage but still breaking new ground, we have the much more modern Taiidan Republic destroyer, a versatile ship that can service a small wing of strike craft like a support frigate in addition to the traditional roles of a destroyer.

    Last but not least we have the Tobari Star Empire's interceptor. The Tobari are an important player in galactic history, and while many consider them irrelevant in modern times they do posses unique technology and style. The interceptor is the second example of their ships to come to the mod.

    In addition to the flashy updates we've had some revision of placeholders, balance passes, and revision of the enemy lists in survival. As mentioned you now have the option of only fighting finished-art ships in survival if you so desire. The manual also has new information in it, with updates regarding the life of Karan S'jet and new details about the more enigmatic members of the Galactic Council.

    WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

    The mod is now available both as a traditional direct download on moddb, or through the steam workshop. We've also set up a steam group for anyone who wants notice of future news that way. If you get the mod through steam I would recommend being a part of the group as steam does not have any notifications of when mods update or what updates it's downloading. In the future we may also use this group to organize multiplayer sessions if there is enough interest.

    We intend this to be our last release on Homeworld 2 Classic. Those plans aren't set in stone, and of course if any bugs crop up we will definitely fix them. In any case major development efforts will focus on getting everything working in Remastered. To that end a moddb page for the mod will be going up in the HWR section in the future.

    Remastered opens a lot of possibilities for us, and not just graphically. There are things we've always wanted to do but couldn't that are available out of the box, and more that should be reachable with effort. I'm as excited about what is to come as I am grateful for everyone that's come this far with us already.

    I hope you all enjoy today's release, and please don't hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences with us.

  7. #7
    Since Feb. 2000 herbyguitar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lamar, Missouri
    Looking "very" good. The ship styles are excellent!

  8. #8

    On Placeholders and Port Progress



    As we work towards getting a remastered version finally out to you folks, I'd like to say a few words about our placeholder ships. Making ships takes time. A lot of it. None of the team can devote as much time to it as we'd like, and that's been true for most of us for most of the mod's production. With design goals as ambitious as ours, that means a lot of gaps in our finished ship list. At the same time, our ambitions are just as much gameplay oriented as art oriented, and we can't test those ideas without full factions. Spending weeks on building a ship and then finding that we can't make it work after all is something we want to avoid!

    These two facts together lead to the placeholder models you've seen if you've played the mod before. Unfinished models, in many cases just long rectangles with rough textures, filling out gameplay roles. They do the job, but they admittedly look rather unsightly, and not all of them even display all the team/stripe colors of a player.

    Obviously we can't just snap our fingers and replace them with finished ships, but we've been doing what I refer to as a 'placeholder refresh', replacing the lowest effort placeholder models with slightly higher effort ones, some based on unrealized concept art for their ships, some on improvisation, and most on a mixture of the two. I expect this this will be an ongoing feature of future releases, but for the upcoming one we've focused on the placeholders in the UNH ship list. Pictured below are the UNH fighters(minus scout) in one screenshot, and in the other there resource controller in front of the missile, drone, and cloaked destroyers, as seen in the last release.





    And now these same ships as they are in the current development build. For the time being the UNH missile destroyer is disabled and replaced by the republic missile destroyer.




    Special thanks to Doci here, I asked him to do a minimal effort drone destroyer model and he rather exceeded his mandate there. His model draws significantly on as-yet unreleased UNH destroyer concept art, and is a decent indication of what we might do with the class in the future.

    Beyond these new placeholders, many of the unfinished UNH ships now use the appropriate remastered kushan ships. While these ships in some cases diverge notably from how we might have handled an update of them, they never the less are pretty impressive pieces of art and will do the job of placeholders fairly well.

    A word on the mod in general: I don't want to commit to a hard time table, because my estimates have been pretty off in the past and certain things will take unpredictable amounts of time, but we are closing in on a release. I've got a fixed list of requirements for the HWR debut, and anything beyond that can wait for the next one. With any luck, we'll get it out before gearbox's next big update!

    In the lead up to the next release I've been posting our models for online viewing, initially on p3d and more recently on Sketchfab. I took a bit of a break while Deserts of Kharak's launch dominated the community, but will be resuming shortly. If you want to be notified as they're posted, you can follow me on sketchfab where the rest will appear, or on my twitter. I don't use it for much, but will be tweeting these there in the future.

    Next time, we'll take a look at the awesome work Dark Sentinel has been doing in updating the Frerrn fleet to take advantage of HWR's engine. There's already a few screenshots of that in the image feed, but there's more we haven't yet shown.

  9. #9


    NOW ON HOMEWORLD:REMASTERED
    Here it is at last, the Homeworld:Remastered version of Homeword:@. What that means is that the mod now benefits from many new engine features and a fancier rendering engine, and is available through download on Steam. It doesn't mean steam will be our only distribution, the mod versions are and will be available on moddb as always. It doesn't mean is that we've revamped all our art to be higher fidelity, though in some cases we have and in many cases the new engine makes it look like we might have.

    The changeover brings many nice things, large and small. A higher framerate for the underlying simulation means we've been able to make the vaygr assault frigate main gun fire even more bullets, the addition of parallel build capabilities at the engine level means we can get much closer to our gameplay design goals, as does the addition of healing beams and latch salvaging. Changes to how races are handled by the engine let us streamline a lot of clunky things in race selection for the mod, too.



    And of course, there's the visual updates.

    ART UPDATES
    With the graphical features Remastered makes available, Dark Sentinel has gone back and revised all the Frerrn ships with normal maps and other graphical fanciness.



    This release also includes the glorious fully textured republic missile destroyer.



    This release also includes our new, Space Engine produced backgrounds. They're a bit of a stylistic shift from standard homeworld backgrounds, so we're interested in hearing how people feel about them. That said, they're unlikely to go away. We need a way to produce new background for our single player plans, and space engine is a huge labor saver there. But if you have detailed feedback on them, we may be able to find ways to act on that feedback while keeping those advantages.



    A reminder: We have over 40 fully modeled and textured ships from a variety of contributors. However, new players should be aware that our planned ship lists are large and to fill out the gameplay we've put placeholder models in many roles. These range from untextured rectangles to partially finished actual models. If you're playing the survival mode you have the option of only fighting ships with finished art, though you can still build placeholder ships yourself if you choose to.

    MULTIPLAYER TESTING
    The features of remastered and some changes we've made in it's wake have meant a shakeup in how skirmishes play out. Currently we have attempted to balance deathmatches for UNH vs UNH only, the other faction is not tuned well to face up to them. The amount of playtesting we've managed to squeeze in is limited, and none of us are exceptionally proficient PVP homeworld players. We need more games and more players to refine this. If there's interest in the community I'm going to try to organize some community games, timing to be announced on our [Steam fangroup]( http://steamcommunity.com/groups/HWATFan). If you're interested in participating and that doesn't work for you, let me know what would and I'll see if I can make it happen. Unfortunately I can't promise any regular times, but if people show interest I'll aim for a session a week, and I'll do my best to take the available times of interested parties into account if they speak up.

    And of course if have feedback from skirmishes or PvP games of your own we'd love to hear about it.

    ASSET PACK
    It has always been our policy to make our work available for the community to use, both to encourage other projects and to make sure that if we vanish from the net someone else could conceivably at least take over maintenance of the mod. With the changes to modding in Homeworld Remastered simply providing our blessing and files doesn't quite get that done anymore. To that end an asset package has been made available for download too, that provides all the source files HODOR needs to rebuild our HOD files if anyone needs to. If that means nothing to you, don't worry about it, just download the release method of your choice and ignore the assets download.

    WHAT'S UNFINISHED
    Adapting to the salvaging and repair mechanic changes has been taxing, and isn't completely finished. Salvaging in the mod in particular is a complete mess and I wouldn't recommend trying to use it. Repair should generally work, using the returned healbeam mechanics. If you have any issues with repair not working, please report them so we can fix them.

    There may also be some issues with animation, but those should be rare. If you see any, let us know.

    WHAT NEXT
    Any day now gearbox will be releasing a new patch that is very exciting, and promises to bring back the formations that didn't make the transition from HW1. I fully expect this to cause a compatibility break, but I also expect to be able to adapt to the new system relatively quickly. I plan to do a update of the current version ASAP after the patch comes out, for pure basic functionality, no waiting on tons of polish or any new content we're working on.

    That said, even if it's only a five minute job to update my copy of the mod, packing and uploading the mod can take hours at least, and worse in some cases. I'll get it done as fast as I can, but it won't be instant. Making everything use the new features to their fullest extent and rebalancing our ships to the new systems will take even longer, but will come after.

    Past that, we have a few avenues for progress. One is to continue refining multiplayer factions, in particular the Frerrn are ready to get split off into a third faction with minimal added placeholder ships needed for that. From there, the confederate+vaygr fleet needs some work to break it into some kind of parity with the UNH's armed mothership. There's also a fair amount of low-hanging fruit to be had in improving placeholders for those fleets without enough finished art, and of course art production is continuing.

    Past all that, the single player mission project we've talked about in the past is not dead, though it will most likely wait on the big patch before being finished up. In the wake of that patch, expansions to or improvements of survival mode may aso become possible. We will have to wait to see what the patch brings.

    THE GOODS
    The mod can be obtained on Steam, http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile.../?id=636887139 or on our ModDB page, http://www.moddb.com/mods/homeworld2/downloads

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