So there are a lot of problems with HWR, aside from a bunch of bugs, many important gameplay features from the first game are not possible in the second.
My question is, why did gearbox decide to use the Homeworld 2 engine?
Homeworld 1 came out in 1999, it was followed by Homeworld 2 just 4 years latter.
However it’s 2015 now, that’s 12 years latter. The homeworld 2 engine is three times as old now as the Homeworld 1 engine was back in 2003. Why was the decision made to use an engine more than a decade old? Wouldn’t it have been easier to re-implement both games in a modern engine such as Unity? Such an implementation would have featured support for modern hardware out of the box, and could have implemented the best gameplay features of both games. It would have also likely been more stable.
What we were promised was a remake of both Homeworld games, what we got was a patch and a mod for Homeworld 2.
The reason why we are seeing bugs of a certain type like we did last time when HW2 was genuinely ‘new’, is because they could only get their hands on an earlier version of HW2 that did not have those bugs fixed. There is an interview with a dev about it.
Using a different engine would have meant implementing everything from scratch (basically making a new game) and that was never the idea. they used HW2 engine because it was easier to raise to modern graphic standards than the HW1 engine.
but if i where you i would not be crying over the bugs and “missing” features because as from what i have seen in the ships and wpn files SEEMS the remastering isn’t over yet.
so far i have found code reminiscences of scripts for fuel consumption (using sub systems as fuel tanks and the health of the subsystem as fuel), repair pda, Support frigates hyper spacing with docked strike crafts and attack flight paths that would allow HW1 corvettes to work as they were supposed to be. many of them are this close to work, but needs some changes in the game’s engine or a lot of updates in tons of files
For example, the fuel consumption script i found seems to work but has no way to tell the user how much fuel is left and there are still missing functions for capital ships to repair strike crafts subsystems to “replenish the fuel”. The HW1 corvettes attack flight paths require creating a new set of ships families and corresponding attack flight paths for HW1 fleets only, so they can coexist with HW2, which would also requires to update all ships and weapon files (that’s a shit load of work)
by just looking at the sheer amount of work to be done to implement just one of these features, i would not be surprised if GB decided to let the game be published in this state so they could monetize it and then implement these features based on vox populli… that or wait for the community to implement the solutions and then adopt the best approaches in the vanilla game (way more cost effective )
PS: I have even saw some interesting solution to allow strike craft to auto dock based on the ships behavior and overall SOB_Group health
Sometimes the long hard road is the best path(for consumers), right now its like trying to say chess and checkers are the same game. they aren’t. if a whole 2 engines is what it would have taken than that’s what should have been done. and really I dont see why they would need to make both games on the same engine, aside from developer convenience. unfortunately it seems developer convenience has resulted in calling checkers, chess.
aslo, lets not assume gearbox developing/finance strategies. when a game is released, its cause its as close to finished as it can get, unless you want to pay developers to play the game for months looking for bugs that may/may not exist. if it was released this way its cause thats what gearbox wanted it to be. unless they said somewhere, ‘heres a crudy version until we can make a proper version’ its unlikely to be their strategy to finance the second engine.
There was never going to be a remake (something that people can’t seem to understand)
This was a remaster that turned into something much more. if you completely remove the HWR and just keep the two “classics” you could call it a NORMAL game remaster. Then they started updating the art assets, then added HW1 assets, new net code and renderer, and we got HWR as a TOTAL BONUS.
it amazes me that people see it as a letdown because of this.
It’s called Homeworld Remastered, not Homeworld Remake. Gearbox is trying to introduce HW to a new generation of players while keeping the game true to it’s roots for the long time fans. I for one enjoy having both games running on the HW2 engine. It has a familiar feel like putting on an old pair of shoes that fit just right. The old engine works and works well. The bugs are mostly minor and will be fixed. Just give them some time.
Remaster is a different thing to remake.
If they were to remake it then no one would be playing it until next year and it would have cost twice as much to buy and god knows how much to develop, there is no “copy game” button in Unity.
I’d say the march of time caught them up. When their scheduled release date approached at a rate of knots faster than there ability to iron out all the bugs (by a wide margin I’d say). They were left with only three options, delay it, put it out as early access, or release it as is.
The first and second are tricky, as your moving the goal posts on a product a lot of people have already paid for, and an unexpected early access at full price (even considering the preorder discount) would also put a fair few noses out of joint.
Which only really leaves option 3, get it as close as you can, use the flood of information that will come in about all the things that are working bass ackward and try and be hot off the mark with patches and fixes the moment your product leaves the gate. which to be fair they seem to be doing (So far).
To the OP’s question, as I see it we are where we are because of the decision to produce a unified multiplayer platform. this has to be the tail that’s waged the dog here and left a chunk of an existing player base grinding its teeth over an inelegant port into the HW2 engine.
Without the desire for an all singing and dancing multiplayer set up*; all the reasons to Not use what is in effect a 12 year old engine carry a lot more weight and might have possibly tipped the decision over into using a more modern Game engine to base the HW1 remastering/remake. But I guess we will never know.
*Its a noteworthy goal, but I’m curious as to how many people as a percentage of purchases actually go on to use the multiplayer features ?
Unfortunately for them, they had already moved the goalposts twice before we had a late release of the product as it stands. Noses were out of joint in December of last year.
But I put it to you like this: which is more damaging for a brand, making a public release adjustment and taking the opportunity to get longtime player mechanical feedback before an “official” release, which then occurs amidst much hoopla and celebration, or having a broken launch with easily compared gameplay and mechanical failures, which the company then has to clean up after – in an ideal sense – for the next six months or more?
I would say the last decade of release experiences would suggest that the former would have the advantage of at least being novel and the latter all too common.
Gearbox hasn’t even committed to releasing patches on a regular schedule, something which much smaller software houses like Keen (tiny developer of Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers) have proven is not even possible but advantageous over a year-long, very public, alpha/beta development cycle. In fact, Gearbox hasn’t committed to anything at all in terms of patches, though we do have repeated reassurances that our feedback is being seen.
What I’d like is reassurance that someone who actually played Classic Homeworld put their hands on this product for 10 or 15 minutes before it’s all release – because, despite loud protestation, a blind three-year-old couldn’t miss the mechanical and statistical failures which sit before us like ships at parade rest with the mothership.
The truly inelegant part of this whole thing is that it’s not even a particularly good port of Homeworld 2 into a violently hacked upon HW2 engine.
I’ve been a fan of the franchise from day one of CHW’s release, so I am no stranger to broken net code, weird lag, and the whole 9 yards of the way multiplayer can break. When HW2 came out, we got to experience a whole new class of ways that such things can fail. However, in the last 15 years – 15 years! – it’s not as if network synchronization code has become less stable. On the contrary, network stacks, network operations, and long-term multiplayer game platforms have become so stable that the idea of thousands of people playing a single game all at once on the same cluster of servers with a minimal expectation of network weirdness has become not only the norm but the backbone of a huge part of the industry.
I’ve played a lot of Homeworld over the years, and at its worst it was probably slightly less performant than what we have in the HWRC build.
That’s a rhetorical conceit known as “damning with faint praise.”
My suspicion is that the number of Homeworld players who go on to engage with multiplayer is somewhat higher than the average release of most games of its genre. (I have to speak directly to “most games of its genre,” because a number of really powerful games in terms of popularity are based on multiplayer experience. Call of Duty has an incredibly high multiplayer engagement level – so much so that the fact that they have an extremely large fan base who never touch it, in fact the vast majority, surprises everybody involved with it. RTS games tend to be fairly multiplayer-heavy, and one with as lengthy a multiplayer history as Homeworld has a little bit extra on top of that.) Gearbox really ought to be able to tell us exactly what those numbers are – but we’ll never see them.
I’d also like to say something that I haven’t heard anyone else mention but which is really important to a lot of us. This game isn’t called “Homeworld 2 Remastered”. HW2 doesn’t get top billing. HW2, quite frankly, is not why most people bought this game. Classic Homeworld is. While I am perfectly happy to accept that an engine update was absolutely required, HW2 had most of the bits that were important, and as a result there were going to have to be some changes, what we received – especially in the case of the campaign – was not acceptable. Full stop.
When the game as played doesn’t even visually resemble the original, when the game as presented doesn’t even function like the original, when functionality which is directly part of the interface simply doesn’t work – that’s not an issue about remastering. That’s not an issue about being “caught in a time crunch.” That’s basic Q&A. That’s basic due diligence. That’s the least that one can expect – for the software to do what the software says it will do (possibly including keeping your fighters in a formation in the shape of a claw).
When you go to release with that big a hole, you need to have your feet held to the fire. You have to be put on the defensive. You should be. It’s not a thing that should ever have to happen and it’s not something is a company that you should want to happen.
In a real sense it doesn’t matter what percentage of purchases actually go on to use the multiplayer features, because the single player features simply don’t work. It’s that simple. It is that direct. The HW1 campaign, almost from the first moment, demonstrates broken bits of the game – from the first mention of “evasive mode” (which is an error so egregious that it should never have seen the light of day, especially and particularly because so much of the audio was recorded and re-examined that there’s no way that no one noticed there’s nothing in the interface anymore that actually matches that dialogue), to bandbox orders not working at all in mission three (or ever), the failures are impossible to miss.
I’m willing to give multiplayer a bit of a mess because they had at least the decency to have it continue to be marked beta. The campaign content has no such excuse, nor should such excuse be asked or granted. There’s no excuse for it.
I maintain that it would’ve been far better for Gearbox to keep HWRC in the incubator for another six months and release “early access” to Collectors Edition and preorders during that time for the immediate feedback on what was obviously broken. That could’ve been a bit of a public relations coup, if played correctly. It wasn’t. In fact, quite the opposite on every point.
And that’s very sad for a franchise that deserves better. And Homeworld does.