"What about Homeworld 3?"
First and foremost, some sincere recognition to all of our contributors. We've been fundraising since January of this year, and yesterday was our biggest day ever with an astounding $5,897 donated by 128 fans in a single day! We can't thank you enough for the amount of support, both in donations and in writing that all of you are sending our way.
On a humorous note, YouTube decided to run our IndieGogo pitch video through their automated Closed Captioning service. The results were less than stellar and have more to do with Lenin and Monkeys than Homeworld... Still, we recommend giving the video a second look with captions turned ON: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcsXkj88-KQ
Moving on to our update: The fans have spoken, and the resounding question is:
"What about Homeworld 3?"
Up until this point, all of our demos have focused on Homeworld: Touch. To a fault, this is largely due to a "Create and Show" attitude at teamPixel as opposed to a "Talk and Wait" attitude, but we agree with all of the messages we've been receiving that the fans deserve to know more about our ideas for Homeworld 3. Given that Homeworld: Touch is a remake, while Homeworld 3 is a brand new creative challenge, there is simply more tangible material to show of Homeworld: Touch this early into production. Unfortunately, we are not a massive game studio that has been funding and cooking up a Homeworld 3 trailer in secret for a year to reveal to the fans. With these challenges aside, we would like to share our conceptual plans for Homeworld 3 with you today, and we will continue to demo more tangible gameplay through videos as our prototypes come together.
What Homeworld means to us...
Our approach to a Homeworld game is largely defined by that special significance Homeworld holds for us, and the three main pillars of Homeworld which we believe should be upheld for future games. Our Three I's of Homeworld:
- Innovation - We see Homeworld as its own genre in the Space RTS universe. It's fully 3D nature, immersively minimalistic interface, and deep gameplay define the perfect space RTS game to us. We feel this is a genre that deserves to advance innovatively through the latest technology, modern input methods, and expanded gameplay creativity.
- Imagination - From the first bone-chilling musical notes to the final cinematics, Homeworld presents a thriving universe where even the emptiness of space is filled with adventure and mystery. We want gamers to be able to explore more of this universe, and through modding, we want gamers to integrate their own stories into the various corners of the Homeworld galaxy. (More on this later.)
- Industry Meets Community - Homeworld is one of the industry's most historic examples of players connecting with each other not just as fellow gamers but also as fellow indie game developers. Thanks to the modding community, the Homeworld franchise continues to receive fresh (and FREE) content 10 years after the last entry's release. We want to continue and to expand this tradition by creating a Homeworld framework more open to customization. We want to reintroduce veterans and introduce new players to Homeworld modding, so years from now, they too might graduate toward making their own games.
Engine, Framework, and Platforms
We are building what we are titling our "Entropy Framework" on top of the Unity3D game engine for the production of multi-platform Homeworld-genre Space RTS games. Modularity and accessibility are being kept in mind very early in the process, so as much as possible will be open to core game bundles as well as mod bundles for customizing our games. Platforms including PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android will be targeted as appropriate for particular game entries. The demos we've been showing of Homeworld: Touch on the iPad actually already run on all of the platforms we just listed. We've built-in traditional Homeworld keyboard + mouse controls along side the touch gestures.
Our Proposed Games
Most of our development efforts will go into the licensing and production of Homeworld 3. Homeworld: Touch will use Homeworld 3's engine with assets ported from the original Homeworld. If we can reach our stretch goals, we'll remaster the original Homeworld's assets up to modern standards. Last, we don't believe in punishing gamers for buying games; Our productions will be DRM-free on applicable platforms in addition to controlled distribution platforms such as Steam.
Homeworld 3 - A glimpse of our ideas...
Homeworld 3 is more than just another game. It's more than just a sequel. Homeworld 3 is a complete expansion of what it means to play in the Homeworld universe.
The core mechanics of Homeworld campaign levels and skirmishes will remain familiar to veteran Homeworld players, but with more polish and new opportunities. So far, we've made advancements to ship physics and scripting that will open up new gameplay possibilities and combat tactics. All movements in our engine are driven by physics torques and forces that ensure ships will properly respond based on their power, mass, and even nearby gravitational forces (be they natural or caused by weapons). A lot of the awkward physics glitches and trickery seen in previous Homeworld games will be implemented instead with more realism and gameplay utility.
Beyond your ships, your environment will play a much larger role than in past games. Constructing defense towers atop immense space platforms, occupying derelict space ruins, and colonizing nearby planets may define some of your battles.
All of these game elements and more are being woven together into a powerfully-driven cinematic campaign that will serve as the traditional backbone of Homeworld 3's story. So far, we've written 11 chapters posing a variety of conflicts, environments, and personas for players to encounter and we continue to revise and expand.
But this is only just the beginning of our vision. We're taking an open-galaxy approach to the Homeworld 3 universe, and while players will have a core campaign arc to follow throughout the galaxy, side missions will open up as players progress, gain requisite ships/technology, and trigger events. These missions will be a combination of deliberately written side arcs as well as procedurally generated skirmishes and mini-arcs. We'd like to open this story branching system up to the modding community as well, so players can mod their own variety of stories, ships, and scenarios in their own corner of the galaxy for other players to discover.
Now, it doesn't always sense for your entire fleet to arrive in full force for every mission. (Suppose your mothership may even be unavailable in certain circumstances.) When selecting a mission to play, your Deployment Manager screen will allow you to choose which available fleet resources to commit to an operation whether it be a small strike fleet or your command ship and her mighty fleet. Be careful, if you fail, you may not get your ships back; however, the rewards may justify the risk!
All of your accomplishments will bring advancements to your fleet as a whole, and your mother base (whether it be a mothership, station, and/or even a planet) functions as the central hub for all fleet decisions and deployments. Your playing style, successes, failures, and choices will all play a role in customizing your fleet strengths and specializations as you make your way through the campaign.
Usage of Funding
To clarify for a very common question we often receive, the majority of our funds and effort will go into licensing and Homeworld 3. Given the nature of Homeworld: Touch's assets, that project is actually a much smaller endeavor which is easier to demo early in production.
We thank you all for your generous support! Please continue to send us your feedback. We are listening, and your ideas will help drive the future of this project.