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Fund Homeworld's return to gamers through Homeworld Touch on iOS/Android and Homeworld 3 for Windows/Mac/Linux!
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Keeping your legacy Homeworld games running (in Widescreen!)...

Posted by teamPixel, LLC (Creator)

Dear Homeworld fans,

We hope to have another prototype demo for you soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to answer another of the most common questions we receive in our inbox.

How do you get the older Homeworld games to run on newer computers and can you play them in modern screen resolutions?

Here are the settings we use on our dev computers for testing (read: enjoying) the legacy Homeworld games while we work on our ideas for a new game. Your mileage may very, so please let us know how well our solutions work for you and share if you have alternative settings.

If we're able to license and re-release any of the legacy Homeworld games, we hope to ease some of these steps by updating the core game executable (if source assets are available) or releasing a new game launcher that will automate some of these steps.

*Be very cautious when editing your system registry. We take no responsibility for any harm to your system due to user error.

Homeworld 2

Homeworld 2 works out of the box for us. Be sure to install the latest patch (v1.1).

You can achieve custom widescreen resolutions by setting the width (w) and height (h) flags in the shortcut target.

Homeworld Cataclysm

Cataclysm requires a 4-step process.

1) Install the latest patch (v1.01)

2) Add the "/disableAVI" flag to the shortcut target. For us the game crashes during the intro videos, so this flag skips them.

3) Under shortcut Compatibility, choose "Windows NT," "Disable desktop composition," and "Run this program as an administrator."

4) Run Windows REGEDIT and navigate to "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Sierra On-Line\Cataclysm". Your location may differ slightly, so you might need to search for "Cataclysm" instead. Our machines need Cataclysm to run under Direct3D rather than the Software renderer, so change deviceToSelect from "sw" to "d3d" Your video card requirements may differ. You can also adjust screenDepth, screenWidth, and screenHeight to match your display settings. In our example, we're using a 1440 by 900 pixel monitor with 32-bit color depth. Be sure to set these using "Decimal" rather than the default "Hexadecimal"

Homeworld

The original Homeworld requires a very similar configuration to Cataclysm.

1) Install the latest patch (v1.05)

2) Under shortcut Compatibility, choose "Windows NT," "Disable desktop composition," and "Run this program as an administrator."

3) Run Windows REGEDIT and navigate to "Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Sierra On-Line\Homeworld". Your location may differ slightly, so you might need to search for "Homeworld" instead. Our machines need Homeworld to run under Direct3D rather than the Software renderer, so change deviceToSelect from "sw" to "d3d" Your video card requirements may differ. You can also adjust screenDepth, screenWidth, and screenHeight to match your display settings. In our example, we're using a 1440 by 900 pixel monitor with 32-bit color depth. Be sure to set these using "Decimal" rather than the default "Hexadecimal"

Conclusion

We hope our settings might help out some veteran owners of Homeworld itching to replay the legacy games. Have you been able to get Homeworld to run on your latest hardware? Please share your settings with us if you have found an alternate solution.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      BRBonobo on

      @Andy Melugin That is indeed the best way to edit the resolution (for compatibility reasons), but that is not all you can do with that lua.
      You can also edit the textureQuality minLOD maxLOD anisotropicFiltering enableVsync and shadowResolution tags as detailed in this thread:
      http://forums.relicnews.com/printthread.php…
      The game is actually future proofed, so that you can bring the detail levels up well beyond what was in the original game.

    2. teamPixel, LLC Creator on

      @Banshee, some graphics drivers will scale the odd resolutions automatically for gamers. Others require config or registry edits to avoid having parts of the screen render off the edges.

      @Andy, thanks for that alternate method for setting Homeworld 2 resolutions. That is definitely useful to those who are launching it on Steam or directly through the Windows taskbar.

    3. Andy Marcelli on

      Hey there,
      Figured I would throw in my 2 cents about the resolution issue. I've played through HW2 many times over the past, well about a decade at this point, and have always had problems setting the resolution in-game. The screen would always go out of control and I would get left in a menu I can't see the accept button on anymore. (Latest res I played with was 1680x1050, on a Radeon HD 7950, Windows 7) The solution I used this time, is the same as I have used every time. You have to create your profile in game first. Then go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Sierra\Homeworld2\Bin\Profiles\Profile1 (or wherever you have put it, also no matter what you named your profile, it will still be listed as profile1) Once there you just find the PLAYERCFG.LUA file, open it with notepad, and find the resolution settings in that file and edit them manually. It seems like more work than it is worth, when other methods are to simply, as has been mentioned, edit the shortcut properties. I just never went with that route, especially lately since I launch everything now through Steam, and don't want to bother with all that when editing the profile settings gets you setup perfectly every time.
      Anyway, thought I would share that. Thanks for reading.

    4. Missing avatar

      Bansheedragon on

      I dont understand the need for those registry edits at all.

      I run on a 1650x1080 widescreen resolution when I run the games and have never had any need to do anything beyond updating with latest patch and running in compatibility mode for win NT.

    5. teamPixel, LLC Creator on

      @Banshee, good point. Our rig is Windows 7. Most of the registry edits can be ignored and are only necessary for widescreen/custom game resolutions.

    6. John Vanderbeck on

      Really the #1 problem with running older games on newer hardware, is the graphics drivers. As odd as it sounds, newer graphics drivers often don't play well with older games.

      For example the only way I can RELIABLY run Knight of of the Old Republic is to install old graphics drivers on my computer.

    7. Missing avatar

      Bansheedragon on

      You dont mention what windows version you use here, and I find the way you go about getting the games to run overly complex, including registry editing which I'm personally extremely skeptical of dealing with.
      Its far too easy to foul up something if you dont know what you are doing with registry editing, been there and done that myself..

      I run Win 7 myself and never had any problems getting the games to run.
      What I have done are quite simply update the games with the latest patches, and then run them in compatibility mode for Win NT, no more no less.
      I had the occasional crash mid game, but its rare and I never had any problems getting the games to run at all
      And I run them with a resolution of 1660x1080, on a Geeforce GTX 560Ti GFX card.

      I suggest you try it before starting with any registry editing.