What if? Cataclysm races for Multiplayer

We’ve been told time and again that the Cataclysm source code is lost. The Cata devs claim that this isn’t the case and nobody’s actually talked to them from Gearbox, but it’s understandable that GB wanted to get the product out of the door before working on any ‘might be’ options. I think that’s entirely fair.

We’ve been told that the source code- and by extension, the original art assets/recordings are needed for single player campaign, and that there’s lots of stuff- some story mechanics that wouldn’t fit in easily without that code. Some of that might be accurate, some of that… well I don’t work for Gearbox, so I can’t say.

But let’s put all of that aside for a moment and consider that it should be entirely possible to port the two Cataclysm races to the Remastered/HW2 engine for use in multiplayer long before any, if it ever, an attempt is made to make the Cataclysm story campaign available.

High audio fidelity isn’t really needed for battle chatter/ship announcements, and it’s easy enough to rip the existing audio files for that. The ships should all be functional in HW2, with a couple exceptions that would need some custom code, like infection beams, workers, the docking ships, the mimics, micro ships- okay a fair bit of custom code, I get that.

But I think it should be entirely possible, and more than that, that it’s worth doing.

I get that the multiplayer is in beta, and that it needs lots of fixes as is. We shouldn’t be looking to the future until we can get things nailed down here- and I understand that perfectly. That’s why this is a ‘what if’ rather than a request or petition or whatever.

Get the Cata maps, the races, the music for multiplayer… . I know some people weren’t fans, but I love the Cata sound track. And I think it’d be the best thing ever to have a six way duking it out online with every race represented. Maybe even hire Norsehound or one of the old Relic modders and release Turnaic and Kadesh races, for a full representation eight player matchup.

And then there’s how all the different ships interact. Cata’s ramming frigates are pretty cool and I’d love to see them, the beast’s options, while mostly infected taidan stuff, is eerie and cool, especially with the infection beam and missiles making them a constant threat. Leeches/microships would be pretty interesting since they’re hard to detect and would be useful for lots of stuff…

There’s all these possibilities, and I just want to thank Gearbox for giving us hope again. You’ve remastered and re-released the game, and you’ve said that you’re not done- that it’s a living breathing project that you’re not just going to abandon. So whatever it is, I’m looking forward to what comes next, be it patches, new content, the mod tools- whatever.


addingcataclysm in SP would cool too

There’s still the ingame assets and the source code would need to be redone anyway since it’s HW1, it doesn’t fit in the HW2 engine.

So the “source code is lost” argument is invalid, they just didn’t want to do it, and I don’t blame them so much is totally different from both HW1 and HW2 that it would throw a wrench into everything. It might not even be possible to implement the infection mechanic or external building or linking fighters to form corvettes. Also they had different voices for each ship, something not implemented in HW2.

I would love that… However I’d rather see that in an entirely selfmade engine done from scratch… In that new engine which would contain all gameplay mechanics in their real form and not just simulated or ported over it might work. As for balancing that… It’ll be tough but with the proper math formulas in place surely possible… Not to mention having game options such as classic or simplified as hw2 used to be by the mechanics and physics.

Don’t get me wrong I like the Remastered editions and I’m very fond of them. But technically Hw1 Rm for all it’s beauty is still not much more than a mod for Hw2 with the reappearance of the Sp Campaign…

Of course if they would release it for mp beta Rm etc. I would still buy it but possibly with lower expectations as I had them when I first heard of the portation prior to the release.

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I think it could be modded in relatively well, the only complicated parts could be how to translate the HWC ships to module-based stuff for HW2’s engine and how to code wings-based strikecraft.

But other than that… oh wait, Beast infection. That could be really iffy to code.

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Wouldn’t say that for the modders back in HW2 yes it was merely impossible. but for them it’s a matter of few lines of code… But many aspects of the entire engine would have to be to rewritten. The way salvaging works for once would have be to extended so it works with weapon damage of a certain type as well as the salvage ships. But seeing that even extending upon present code was to much for them I doubt that it’ll be that easy for them. Either due to costs or time efforts.

An entire new engine partially based on some principles based of the other 2 engines though would probably be x10 faster and more efficient in creating than rewriting code segments and testing and extending etc… It would also give them unique abilities for their own internal things they need to do. Either coding in a fast down-loadable content system with which they can work and expand upon. Or writing a map editor that works with a preset file system. So users can create their own adventures etc… Not to mention less messy code and the waste of time to learn an ancient messy system in and out. I always thought that the file structure system in HW1 & HW2 were a pure mess tons of files all roaming around inside that big with only barely any sort of structure. Not very modding friendly in my opinion.

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I’ll admit that I’d love to see Cataclysm remade in the new Remastered engine.

Heck, if Gearbox ever decide to make a DLC to that idea the original team is even still around to contact for advices or informations.

Vancouver gamedev studio Kerberos Productions(developpers of the Sword of the Stars series who recently went indie after a debacle where publisher Paradox forced them to release SOTS2 in an unfinished state) is actually made out by a large amount of the Barking Dog Studios team who worked on Homeworld Cataclysm.

Not only that, but their team even include the writer(Arinn Dembo, who worked under nom-de-plume Marcus Skyler at the time) who wrote a good deal of the history of Kharak and the Kiiths(notably Kiith Paktu and Soban) for the original Homeworld 1 game manuals.


Beast infection is actually really easy using the HW2 salvage mechanic. Basically all it’d be is a weapon that causes a ‘boarding’ to take place, but with the beast subversion audio/dialogue/visuals as the bar fills up. Just as with normal, players would lose control of their ships around when the bar gets to 75%, and after that the ship would switch teams.

Getting it to bounce might be slightly harder, but all you’d really need is bouncing would depend on the type of ship it hits initially and the targets in range, both of which are calculable, or they could shortcut it based on ‘mass stat’ like Cata did.


While I heartily endorse a Cataclysm re-master, and hold out hope… in my opinion it would be better/more efficient to put some Cat flavors/ships/tech into HW3 to gently ease them back into canon.

Just because Relic said they weren’t “canon”… well, that doesn’t mean a thing to us fans. :smile:

MP Cataclysm races blended into our existing ones would most likely need a new engine to be economically feasible. As much as the devs love the game, someone has to pay the bills. :smile:

Now if we are all open to accepting the changes required in races to get everyone over to the HW2 engine in any form we can get… then have at it!

Things I would like to see in some form again someday -

Ramming Frigates

Hive Frigates

Mimic Tech

Self-propelled super-cap mini-siege cannon ship - same range/less power/point defenses

Infection/takeover at range - ship comp hacker torps if need be


Repair Bots

Is there an actual source for this? Did relic actually flat-out say that it isn’t canon?
Even though there’s nothing in HW2 that acknowledges the storyline of Cataclysm, there’s nothing in HW2 that contradicts or clashes with those events.

Cataclysm feels like it falls into the abyss of “canon unless stated otherwise” like Opposing Force and Blue Shift in the Half-Life series.

they couldn’t even get fuel and ballistics mechanics in WITH the help of source codes, what makes you think they can get all the mechanics of cataclysm in WITHOUT the help of source cods?

maybe the “fans” should take off their rose colored glasses and realize the story, writing, ship design, etc were all sub-par, and relic wanted to disavow any connection to it. i wouldn’t be surprised if the source code was lost intentionally, as in, they made no effort to save or recover it.

Maybe the “haters” should take off their hate infused glasses and realise that the game was well praised and received almost nothing but good reviews. I’m actually surprised HW2’s source code didn’t get lost instead, because despite whatever relic felt about the game, Cataclysm had a higher average review score than HW2.


The source code might be lost, but most of the devs are actually still kicking around(In fact, most of them work at the same studio, Kerberos Productions, which also include one of the writer who worked on the original HW1 game manuals specifically the lore part of it).

Heck, the HW1 source code(and the HW:Cata code which it spawned) was such that even one of the devs who had to work with the HW1 source code to develop HW:Cataclysm felt that if he had to remaster HW:Cataclysm he wouldn’t make use of the source code(either HW1 or Cata’s who was based on the former) to develop a remaster whether or not it was available.

Apparently, it was that messy.


Beast beams could be flat-out overpowered. Maybe if they were a timed effect or had a huge cooldown. Wouldn’t mind AI-controlled Beast ships, though, as mobs.

Somtaaw could be very interesting.

I fully intend to get both beast and somtaaw working in HWRM for the homeworld universe remastered mod when i get a pc that works for the game sigh=(


Wont be until after early april mind u

will it feature remastered models or just ported ones from circa 2000

Well the beams existed in HW:C. So much for balance. :stuck_out_tongue:

so far no one has even posted on the mod page i put up and im having issues finding people for the jobs i got in mind.

Apparently Gearbox themselves seem to have pondered Remastering Cataclysm: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/139695-Gearbox-Homeworld-Cataclysm-Re-Release-Comes-Down-to-Finding-the-Source-Code

While back in this article they mentioned the challenge of the lack of source code and Barking Dog having gone under, this small bit makes me feel a potential Remaster DLC is nonetheless a likely possibility:

Even so, he didn’t completely shut down the possibility of a remastered edition of Cataclysm. Even without the source code, Martel indicated that “there are some clever things [Gearbox] might be able to do if there was enough interest.”

Not only that, but while Barking Dog went under as a studio, most of the folks who worked on Cataclysm actually founded their own studio, Kerberos Production, which is actually still kicking around as we speak: http://www.kerberos-productions.com/category/news/

They’re notable for being Sword of the Stars(a series of 4X strategy games)’ developers. In fact, the original Sword of the Stars saw a grand-menace encounter called the Puppeteer which was pretty much a shout-out to the Beast they had developed back in Cataclysm, even sharing one of it’s quote as an easter egg for Cataclysm fans.

So technically speaking while the source codes are lost the original devs are themselves very much still around to hire as potential advisors or help if it ever sound like there would be enough demand for a Remastered Cataclysm DLC.