HW Remastered Modders - Older and Wiser?

I first played Homeworld when I was 12. I probably had no idea what a mod was, but I found a few later on and enjoyed them. There was a Kadeshi vs Raiders mod that inspired me to look into how mods were made, but I didn’t get very far. By the time 2003 rolled around I was a bit more clued-up and I hit the modding scene fairly soon after completing the HW2 SP campaign. I probably over-estimated my ability and I didn’t have much sticking power, so I ended up signing up for a few things but ultimately not producing much of any value to the community before another game had come along and grabbed my attention.

In the intervening time I have worked on a few mods for other games, completed a university degree and worked in a job where I have had to write code and do some 3D modelling. I’ve been exposed to project plans, events on teamwork, etc. In short, I have seen a bit of the world.

My point is that the “1999 me” and the “2003 me” had little chance of contributing anything of value to HW mods. Now however, I feel as though I could (and intend to) have a good bash at it. This is one of the main reasons why I was excited about HW Remastered.

I wonder how many others have similar stories? If so I take it to be an encouraging sign. We may see some great work from modders who played HW1 and HW2 and have been tempered by age and experience.

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Good topic. :slight_smile: I learned how to use 3D modeling software after realizing it was possible to mod Homeworld. I’d only ever been exposed to stuff like Unreal Tournament maps before that.

I started with Wings 3D then moved onto Blender. Learning those skills has snagged me a few freelance jobs since then. :smile:

Already at work prepping assets for BrickSpace Remastered edition! :smiley:

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In 1999 i was 35. I was already dabbling into Starfleet Command modding in the form of texture editing. That is where i first used Photoshop. However it was Classic Homeworld that made me dive head first into 3d modeling. My art left much to be desired back then, Considering HW had a 32 meg texture limit, and any poly count over 1000 tri’s was considered ridiculous. Yet we pulled it off. With the hardware standards, and hard code limits of 1999.

Now i am 50. My art has improved greatly since 1999, and i now use poly counts in the tens of thousands. Despite that i never considered going professional. I view modding, 3d modeling, and texturing as a hobby, and if i went pro this would become a chore. Instead of something that i enjoy doing.

The one thing i did learn from Homeworld modding was that in some cases “less can be more”. You don’t need a 100k+ triangle model, or outrageous texture resolutions to represent your art. When a 6000 tri model, and GOOD lower resolution textures can (and in most cases does) look better. A good artist can represent his/her art in as few polys as possible. My experience with Homeworld modding helped Sins of a Solar Empire overcome a very big issue that almost killed the game. A 2 gig Hard Coded crash problem. With the help of a mod I created called The Sins Optimization Project. It quite literally solved the 2 gig crash issue, and the developers used the project as a guide for the most recent Trinity patches, and Rebellion development.

Now Homeworld returns bigger, and better than ever. Am i going to mod it? Damn right i am!

The answer to the OP’s question is BOTH. Older, and Wiser :wink:

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Older, yes. Wiser, I hope so. Busier, I look back at the time I spent with HW2 and can’t comprehend how I could be that focused again…
Sorry for the long story in advance…

I have been modding for a long time, starting with rewriting code on data casettes on a VIC20 (warfish!) to doom and duke nukem levels, command and conquer bytecode editing and then into the quake era and total annihilation. Homeworld one in general was too much fun to play to spend time modding and enjoyed the mod work of others and just tweaked around the edges. The engine limitations also presented a large barrier.

When homeworld 2 came out I was eager to dive in since I was able to quickly realize how flexible the engine really was after decompiling my first big file and reading through the extensive documentation and toolset that was provided soon after release. I won’t lie, it was frustrating, tantalizing and infuriating to see how close the HW2 engine was to the space RTS engine I had dreamed of since HW1 was released, and the mod community pushed it Hard. Months of fighting the toolset, lots of cheap beer, late nights and millions of Polys, hardpoints and pixels later Warlords was released. There were also so many great community contributions, discussions and tools and experiments, ridiculous experiments that payed off big. But as time went on it was obvious that there would be no more support, that many of the engine limitations would never be resolved in an efficient manner (lua version, sob group control, collision issues, hardcode on races, hyperspace wtf ,toolset support, etc) and it was time to move on. I don’t believe I released a definitive version of Warlords beyond .6 and even that had some scripting errors that broke research and game modes.

At that point I made the source models and textures freely available for any mod, shelved warlords and currated mods for a few other games such as empire at war before moving into sins of a solar empire (great thanks to Lavo on continuing SOSE to this day) I also continued to create models and textures on a special request basis, but moved most of my modding time into coding from scratch. Much of the last 5 years has been spent with xna, directx11 learning the core functions of a game engine and making small prototypes of various gameplay ideas. I even came close to getting a hw1 like game out of proof of concept but realized that it would never scale without extreme effort and time and how I hate UI coding with an infernal passion.

Between family and work my time to mod has been reduced significantly and my desire has been focused on a lot of different gameplay ideas. That being said I am very excited to see what remastered brings.

TLDR; will we see another warlords? Depends on the efficiency of the toolset\conversion and if some key features or limitations got addressed. Otherwise I have some original universe ideas.

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I can barely remember the specifics, but when Delphi first cracked Homeworlds .BIG format I tossed out a very quick mod. Mainly just to say I was one of the first, but also to see what could be done.

I gave each drone an ion cannon. It was glorious. I never really got hardcore into modding though, I’m perfectly happy mucking around with tweaks but I dont have the patience to do the much more extravagant stuff that requires lots and lots and lots of trial and error. But I am lazy :stuck_out_tongue:

And there is the down side to getting older (though i wouldn’t change anything for the world)… Once you finish school, Get married, Have kids of your own, and get a decent job. Your free time for modding all, but disappears. Plus at my age staying up all night trying to fix mesh errors, or getting that one last texture done is pretty much out of the question. I NEED my SLEEP! :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW Good to see ya old man :wink: Hows it going.

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Things are going well, sleep would be welcome! I am glad to see a lot of familiar faces around here. Hopefully a few more come out of the woodwork as we get closer to release.

Welcome back EJ! I for one am looking forward to a remastered version of Warlords! And just in time for Episode 7 too! :smiley:

Levi here maker of Homeworld universe ready to kick some butt and chew bubble gum=)

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Homeworld, a game loved by many. For me, i discovered Homeworld as a demo on a magazine CD disc called SuperCD back in 1998. Later on when i got the full game (wich later broke into peices due to faulty Disc Drive.).
I later aquired Homeworld Cataclysm, and after playing it so much that made your head spin, i got bored, so, i tried to search for new maps for Homeworld Cataclysm.

I did found 3 maps for HW:C (All 3 was packed in rar files, in a rar file lol).
I liked them and i wanted more, so my search on google was Old Homeworld maps..
But isntead of finding maps, i found Jst-Online.

From there, things just skyrocketed, and this is where i learned how to mod :slight_smile:

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HW were the first game that i played online, i had a lot of experience with gaming by the time but 0 expirience on multiplayers (except for 1v1 on consoles in fighting games), since then i have been playing online basicly everything, i’m a lot more skilled, and back then i were pretty decent already, now i’m excited to see how well i’m going performance, can’t wait.

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I was walking through Walmart one day, in the games section, and stumbled upon a new game called Homeworld. It was December of 1999. The picture on the front of the box intrigued me. I’d never seen anything like this before. It looked awesome and I had to have it. I took it home, loaded it up, and was completely blown away. I don’t remember how many times I played through SP but it was a couple of months later when I found the modding community. This was perfect. I found the perfect game and now I found people that could bend the rules. Well, I became a rule bender also.

For a while it was just tweaking the ship stats and learning the limitations. Pretty soon “Dmille” and I started a mod team HWEX, then another, Kadesh. Then I started a new mod. T(uranic) vs K(adesh) mod with “tech” and a few others. Discovered the EBG secrets… I had made many interesting discoveries but never got recognition for them. Finally was able to talk the devs into releasing the liflist program for HW and HWC. I learned how to make the game stand up and bark. Delphy and I had a conversation one day about the smoothing groups and his HWSE program he wrote for us… Our smoothing was solved and HW modding was at its pinnacle. A few short months later HW2 came out.

In the interim (around 2002) I came across a group of modders that were above and beyond any I had encountered before. They were talented, friendly, helpful, and supportive. This was the SOA team. Here is where my 3D modelling took off. Before this my modeling skills were relegated to kit bashing and distorting pre-existing meshes, but now I had found a better way. I decided to go whole hog into building ships from scratch. My first project was the Klingon BOP. I animated it as much as any HW ship had been animated. The team loved it and supported me fully. Stress Puppy (Major Stress) Was part of this team and we even collaborated on a model. I started and he finished. That in itself is amazing.

Back to the story: I had played through Cat and even modded it. This new HW2 was very strange and non familiar. It was nothing like what I’d been playing and modding. I tried playing through it but only made it to the last level before giving up. My modding was over.

Jump forward a few years and to the group I’m with now, STC. I’d been out of modding for several years when I decided to revisit the Relic boards. I ran into a group of modders that were porting Star Trek into HW2. Since I’d been in the SoA team that seemed like the path to take. I was hooked again. HW was in my blood once more.

Nate from STC is my buddy. I’ve never met him face to face but there isn’t any thing I wouldn’t do for him. That’s the real beauty of what we do. We have the opportunity to actually get to know other people from other parts of the world and become friends. What we do with that is up to us. We can either embrace it or blow it off.

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I still consider myself new to modding, but I have experienced this and it’s fascinating.

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I have never really been much of a modeller or texturer… or scripter or coder. What I seem to do best is the modding equivalent of herding cats! :cat2:

My journey with Homeworld started with Homeworld 2 actually, I was living and working in China in 2008 and I had just bought my first post-XP computer (an Acer with Vista on it). To celebrate I went down to the shopping district in XuJiaHui in Shanghai where they have a big bunch of electronics stores all crammed into a shopping complex. In there I bought a few knock-off games and one of them was a “Homeworld Compilation” disk with HW, HWC and HW2 on it.

Only Homeworld 2 worked out of that though (to this day I’ve never gotten a copy of Cataclysm to work), and immediately I was hooked. I played through the game twice and felt cheated at how the multiplayer just wouldn’t behave and that’s when I noticed some of the mods which were out there. Warlords, the B5 mod and more consumed hours of my life but there was never a Star Trek mod. In my search for this gap in my mod library I found the relic forum and the founder of the old “Star Trek HW2” mod PhatBoyGeo. He’d done 4 or 5 ships at the wrong scale with some rudimentary FX but it was brilliant to see. I talked to him and got a copy of the files and started poking around with them, the first thing I did was scale the ships and then things took off from there. Stargazer submitted a Borg cube and we brought him onto the team, I asked @herbyguitar if we could use his BOP from SOA in the mod and he said no, I’ll do a better one for you! We got a release out on Moddb before we started having trouble with the mod founder. Eventually we realised that his contribution had been so small that we could just remove our work from STHW2 and with only a very small amount of extra work start our own mod with our own new direction. And thus STC was born :smile:

Much like @herbyguitar said, we’ve made some good mates along the way and I look forward to buying him a drink if I ever get over to the US (as well as any of the other STC team mates I may run into!). I don’t think I should get all of the drinks I feel he’s owed to him in one go though… It’s not good to drink that much in one go :wink:

I was so excited about HWRM that I have moved up to big-boy tools like Photoshop from Paint.Net and 3DsMax from Milkshape. Both of which still confound me, but with the wonderful friends I’ve made along the way, and new friends like @Major_Stress and @Dark_Sentinel I feel that we’re going to keep HWRM compelling for at least as long as we kept HW and HW2 alive :smiley:

I’m migrating to the third block … slowly … ehehehhee
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