Hardware’s Creators Give Us Reasons To Be Excited

We are irrationally excited about Hardware: Shipbreakers. Insanely excited. And it’s not often that a strategy game gives us reason to be able to say that this early in development. With the gameplay reveal still lurking over the horizon (set for around June) we’re not even able to show you exactly how this RTS will work, and yet the excitement bubbles to even higher levels. Why is that? Well, there’s the amazing concept art, and a founder of Relic, and art-lead from Homeworld, Rob Cunningham, telling us that it’s “The ultimate vehicle fantasy,” but he would say that, wouldn’t he? And concept art for games always looks pretty good these days. Why, then, should we be so giddy with hyperbole?

I’ll tell you. Oh, and there’s a brand new trailer down there, too.

The first reason to be excited is the developer itself. Vancouver-based Blackbird is a thirty-man team, many of whom previously worked at Relic. Aaron Kambeitz and Cody Kenworthy are two of the best game artists in the business. As an RTS team, there’s hardly a finer pedigree.

For a game concept, there could hardly be anything cooler: “Hunt for riches among a graveyard of derelict starships on the mysterious planet, LM-27. Reclaim precious cargo and adopt exotic technologies from the space-wrecks littered across the desert wasteland. Combat hostile competitors, equally desperate for wealth. Survive harsh storms and burning temperatures.”

Put the two of those things together, and oh my.

“We are envisioning an epic sci-fi roadtrip where the player gets to experience all of the crazy, amazing fun you’d have from controlling units that are epic in scale,” says Cunningham. “To clarify that: we’re on a desert planet, far away. This is an exo-recon/survival mission! You want a thing that inspires confidence. This is Paris-Dakar but madly in the future.”

It’s a game of PvE, and a game of PvP, set in a giant world of wrecked starships. Salvage and space archaeology as a game concept to underlie reasons for conflict and co-operation. You can understand why I am frothing with excitement about this. Cunningham makes that worse as he talks about the beauty of giant machinery with an air of familiarity: “Understanding all of your options and customizable upgrades is critical to a new vehicle models success, as well as understanding their function, and mission optimization. Trucks are utilitarian, while the Prius is for those who want to save on gas mileage, and the BMW M3 is for those wankers who want to go fast without regard for others…” He goes on to explain that this stuff is reflected in his world: “You can customize all your units. This is the persistent element of the game where our players can invest in, manage the capabilities of and optimize the functions of their fleet.”

Great big vehicles hauling abandoned technologes from the guts of a dead planet. Yeah, that’s the stuff. And that’s been beautifully rendered so far by the concept art. It’s clearly very important to Cunningham to allow concept to meet reality, as he explains: “There’s always a market for good style regardless of any trend, but at the same time technology has brought ultra-realism to the screen, and people aren’t wowed by that stuff much any more. Just being in 3D is no long impressive. They are hungry for a style and ethos in a visual approach. They always have been, of course, but it’s particularly acute now. People are going to respond to a unique style even more than they might have done ten years ago.

“I think we’re entering a wonderful age where the delta between dream and reality is getting narrower and narrower. For Hardware, the concept art is extremely similar to the game. You can get one of the world’s best concept artists to make an image and know that you can pull that off.”

“You’ll see a transition from the concept art to the gameplay,” says Cunningham. “The transition is amazing. The guiding vision is our concept art and the in-game art visuals will parallel the quality of the concept art in all regards. That was a key criteria for me in founding Blackbird, our visual quality of concepts needs to make it into the gameplay just as it has in our other products.”

Oh, but there’s more to be eager for. And that’s the idea of a huge world to explore and work on. Cunningham’s accounts of it thrill me to the core. “This is an immense world,” he says. “A very deep fiction, and for that, we’ve created a new technology that can display amazing terrain. That terrain is a backdrop of the session-based gameplay in the same way that ‘outer space’ was the setting for the original Homeworld, the first real-time 3D RTS game. In that way, Hardware is the spiritual successor to Homeworld. The terrain is immense just like the vastness of space is immense. “

This latest trailer, as you can see here, nods to some of the ways in which Blackbird are going to try and explain their formidable creation: “This Prospector’s Guide is our in fiction device that allows us to convey game backstory and gameplay information to the player in advance of it being deployed in the game,” says Cunningham. “Ideally we can gauge the interest of our audience and players by how they are reacting to certain concepts before they go into the game. This allows us to deploy the most compelling and sought after content and features first. This was a critical part of Homeworld and we’re bringing that fiction ‘DNA’ element along with us into Hardware.”

There’s lot of reasons to be excited, but perhaps chief among them is Cunningham’s unwavering confidence in their concept. He says, quite boldly: “There’s plenty of opportunity in the RTS genre as well as the sci-fi genre. Combined, we’ll make another pioneering product that starts a new era of RTS and revives the genre in ways that most don’t expect.”

He says this from the position of someone who has created a studio to make a vision of a game, that comes partly from his experience, and partly from technology finally allow him to do things he’d previously only been able to imagine. “For me personally it’s sort of a combination of market development and technology development. Hardware I was dreaming about in 2007, but what was the market doing? What was tech doing? You couldn’t make Jurassic Park without the CG, make it four years earlier and it would have been a disaster. The same is true here.”

Cunningham’s colleague Dan Irish chimes in to support this claim for Hardware to be striking while the iron of innovation is hot: “Similar to how Homeworld was innovative with 3D, the parallel here with massive terrain and massive vehicles, is being innovative with the gameplay which encloses PvP and PvE experiences, and with the online infrastructure. The technology allows us to produce these gameplay experiences at this scale – connectivity was part of the puzzle that would make this game fun.”

We’re going to see a lot more of Hardware in the summer, with a closed beta happening at the end of the year. Even with everything being clouded in the fog of Blackbird’s PR war, this is one of the biggest blips on the RPS readout.

Watch for more.


  1. Inigo says:

    Logan Cunningham’s drunken brother Jed was an odd choice for the narrator.

    • akrammalik956 says:

      Scarlett. although Charlotte`s artlclee is amazing… on sunday I bought a new Renault 5 from bringing in $4111 this-last/4 weeks and-even more than, $10k this past-munth. it’s by-far the most-financially rewarding Ive had. I started this three months/ago and pretty much immediately started to earn more than $70 per hour. I went to this website, link to bic5.com

  2. MrWolf says:

    Despite the frothing enthusiasm of the RPS hive mind on this one, the lack of any mention of a story-driven single-player campaign has my interest meter firmly set to “skeptical.”

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      To be honest I have no real interest in single-player RTS campaigns right now. I’d much rather play something actually interesting in the multiplayer space. This sounds like it.

      • MajorManiac says:

        Agreed. I like my RTSs Sandboxy and preferably with friends.

      • Gnoupi says:

        To be honest, my experience with RTS online usually involves dying in the first 5 minutes because others are much better than me, or are able to click everywhere in a matter of seconds. So I tend to prefer campaigns.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        You should try Wargame:AirLand Battle. An absurd name but damn good fun.

      • Cinek says:

        I can’t imagine this game without singleplayer. Definitely wouldn’t buy it. We got hundreds of average multiplayer games, I hardly see any need for yet another one.
        So I share the skepticism.

      • Lev Astov says:

        The main reason one might want a good story driven RTS instead of a forced online play one is simple: they are terrible at competitive RTS games. I know, because this is my case. I desperately want to play a game by former Homeworld devs, but I greatly fear how poorly I’ll do in it.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Aside from the fact that they’ll lose me as a customer if there is no single-player campaign, the big problem with multiplayer-only RTS is that so much of any game’s potential is sacrificed to the almighty god of “balance.”

        Perfectly balanced factions are boring. And you don’t need that, in a singleplayer strategy game. You can have factions that are imbalanced, and still have fun playing either side.

        • MentatYP says:

          Agreed. I’m looking for a good singleplayer campaign where you don’t have to have the twitchiest twitch finger in the west to succeed and the factions aren’t just clones with a different color palette.

        • Noise says:

          “Perfectly balanced factions are boring.”

          You know nothing, Zenicetus

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        I’m very interested to see what they’ll do with this. If they end up making a thing where it’s like X-Com but your operations can be interrupted by a hostile dropship landing nearby to compete for the area’s salvage, leading to a pitched battle in which you may choose to retreat with what you can get back to your ship in order to preserve your forces then I will be very interested.

        If it’s of those village manager things where armies are basically abstracted sets of numbers that take X amount of time to complete actions then they can shove right off. >_>

      • Somerled says:

        I agree, but in X years I’d like something with this quality of art direction to still be playable. I want the multiplayer space to keep growing too, but not at the expense of single player experiences. Homeworld is a good example of achieving both in one game.

    • Smion says:

      I don’t know, I still haven’t seen a single RTS with a good story-driven campaign (aside from World in Conflict and even there, it was more the way it was presented than the way it actually played)

      • Phasma Felis says:

        You haven’t played Homeworld, then.

        • P.Funk says:

          Forgive this one. He is young in the ways of the world. Darkness has enveloped us, and he never saw the dawn before the break of evil.

          Pray he discovers GOG and rights the wrongs of his own ignorance.

          He too will one day meet us, after his Hiigara.

        • ORCACommander says:

          Also cnc before generals had a decent enough story arc

          • Brun says:

            Red Alert and RA2 had some great (if rather silly) plot lines.

      • PatrickSwayze says:

        Just finished a replay of WiC this week damn that game is good.

      • Tasloi says:

        Yeah, it’s a rarity to find a good story campaign in an RTS. I usually spend most of my time in skirmish mode provided there is one.

        • PatrickSwayze says:

          I’ve played it once a year since launch.

          I think it’s close to attaining the title as my favourite game actually.

          I still get upset when Bannon dies, even if he is one of the biggest dopes within videogame fiction.

          A shame the multiplayer is depopulated too.

      • Gnoupi says:

        Dawn of War 2 and Chaos Rising both had quite nice single player campaigns, from what I recall.

        Retribution was the example of the “too much”, though. Generic campaign for all races… and you ended up fighting rebels here and there, without much personality.

        It’s possible to have interesting campaigns in RTS, but most games are easily falling into the “ok, so just group a lot of units and clear the map while we talk” trap.

      • Werthead says:

        The original StarCraft (not the sequel)? Ground Control 1 and 2? Hostile Waters? World in…oh, right. Dawn of War 1 and 2 were also all right. Red Alert 2 was gloriously cheesy (and C&C3 as well). I remember enjoying Age of Mythology a bit as well. And of course, Homeworld, Cataclysm and Homeworld 2 (though HW2 did threaten to disappear up its own backside a few times).

        • Brun says:

          I thought that the campaign in Warcraft III was exceptionally well done. It’s probably my favorite RTS single player to this day.

      • Caiman says:

        All the more reason for someone to make one, then.

    • DanielSF says:

      I’m with MrWolf. The lack of mention of a single-player campaign means the needle on my interest meter is barely flickering. Which is a shame, as I loved the Homeworld series and if this were a single-player game, I’d be all over it.

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      Me too. If I want to play with other people I go and play some tennis or rugby outside. I don’t like playing computer games with other people.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I’m afraid I agree. Like Homeworld before it, a huge part of Hardware’s appeal seems to be story, setting, and atmosphere. Competitive multiplayer is basically designed to stomp all over those things and force you to ignore them. You can’t have an atmospheric experience when someone is telling you to L2P NOOB.

    • P7uen says:

      Agreed, would love to wallow in the atmosphere and explore the thingies without having people question my parentage.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      I suspect the multiplayer might end up a little like Dark Souls and Minecraft

    • Mbaya says:

      I feel the same way MrWolf. I’d prefer a single player campaign, but I think I’d be happy enough with PvE (Skirmish style) as long as I can keep it SP or Co-Op.

      Throwing PvP into the mix, while it can be entertaining, often ends up a bit frustrating for me. One sided battles, hostile players and from time to time, connection issues just cause me to give up in favour of other games.

      I’m certainly keeping an eye on this though, the concept is great and I look forward to finding out more.

    • Giuseppe says:

      Agreed. Without a decent single player campaign, I’ll have little interest in getting this game.

    • Jerricho says:

      It looks beautiful and I want to play it but without a single-player campaign its inaccessible to me. I work in the bush in the of middle of Africa with a really dodgy internet connection so multiplayer, as much as I might want it, is not available. Homeworld had a beautiful single player campaign with amazing atmosphere and lovely naration. Why can’t we have that here? I’ll have scarcely any time when I’m back home to play anything to take advantage of having decent broadband.

      On the upside, its helped me avoid the pain and trauma that was SimCity.

  3. squareking says:

    I need some of these images in wallpaper size. NEED.

  4. Guvornator says:

    It’s good to see someone still remembers The Designers Republic

  5. benshares says:

    I’m sorry what? If you follow the link in the trailer (link to blackbirdinteractive.com)

    You see that for $50 you get some e-documents, and for $100 you get a soundtrack, concept art, and beta access… are they INSANE? maybe $10 and $20, but that is ridiculous.

    • Pliqu3011 says:

      Homeworld was awesome, but not awesome enough to make me spend that kind of money on a (F2P!) game of which I haven’t seen even a second of gameplay footage.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Yeah, it seems like they’re saying you have to put down a $50 preorder if you want a manual.

      Oh, God, and this:

      “STAKE YOUR CLAIM: Land naming rights to the first 2,000 FIRST WAVE VIP PACKAGES purchased.”

      Yeah. Really looking forward to launching an invasion of Buttlandia from xxx420stan. Fuck that.

      • derbefrier says:

        because they will obviously not have any naming guidelines and let people name things what ever they want!

        • Phasma Felis says:

          Whatever guidelines they have won’t be good enough. The only thing “good enough” would be “the designers pick appropriate, thematic names and you keep your mouth shut,” which they’re obviously not doing if they’re giving naming rights to preorderers at all. Frankly, in a game as atmospheric and heavily-themed as Hardware is trying to be, even something innocuous like “Steveland” or “BobsPlace” is gonna be grating.

          The right thing to do from a design perpective is to not fucking crowdsource your worldbuilding. Blackbird’s failure to realize that (or willingness to sacrifice it for more money) makes me doubt their ability to follow through on the promise of that lovely trailer.

          • Hunchentoot says:

            A newly discovered planet, rich in unnatural resources, carved up into plots, then sold to thousands of hopeful prospectors who will own the land they are assigned and everything in it. If they have the guys and the gear to drag it back to their ship, and the the brains to work out how it works they could hit the jackpot. It’s future gold rush, who dares wins, and like those frontiersmen of old, where you lay your hat, you get to name it ‘Soapy Titsville’ . Fuck you latecomers, we were here first and you can like it or go back to your council flat on the moon.

  6. kryobot says:

    Ui, I’m so excited for this! Sounds like a game that can push the whole RTS genre forward. (I shouldn’t get my hopes to high, though… Low expectations are the key to happiness and so on BUT LOOK AT THAT AWSOME CONCEPT STUFF)

  7. Crosmando says:

    >This is Hardware, the newest Free to Play (F2P) real-time strategy (RTS) game from the creators of Homeworld.
    >the newest Free to Play (F2P) real-time strategy (RTS) game from the creators of Homeworld.
    >the newest Free to Play (F2P) real-time strategy (RTS)
    >Free to Play (F2P)

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      I watched with the sound off. Did they really say F2P? That is disappointing to say the least.

      • Crosmando says:

        It’s straight from their website.

      • P.Funk says:

        Its a hard reality. Like any concept, someone has to be able to make it work. TF2 managed to keep most gameplay intact, if you can suffer the hats.

        F2P… F2P… we’ll see. If I would ever bet on a F2P game it’d be this one. Lets hope they can hook me. I want to believe.

        • Lord_Mordja says:

          Hopefully Hardware adopts TF2’s model then. All the progressively gargantuan vehicles are completely free, but you have to pay to give them decorative headgear.

        • Crosmando says:

          Lol wut planet are you living on, the Planetary Annihilation guys got a few million doing an RTS on Kickstarter, it’s pure bullshit that you need microtransactions to finance a game, make a good game and let players buy that game ONCE to own it forever, it’s not hard and anything else is crap.

          This “Hardware” game is just laziness, they are making it multiplayer only to avoid the hard-work on making AI and a single-player campaign, as well as a guarantor of always-online DRM.

          Seriously in the age of Kickstarter and all that jazz, these kind of backward practices need nothing but a good kick up the arse

          • Gnoupi says:

            There is something about multiplayer only titles, and F2P.

            If you are not going the F2P way, you better hope to be the next COD, CS, or Starcraft 2. Because otherwise, you will end up in most cases with an empty community in a few months, even if the game was interesting and/or original. That’s why you can still play Tribes Ascend with a lot of people, while Shattered Horizon, Lead and Gold, and other Plain Sights linger in limbo.

            Don’t get me wrong, F2P done wrong is terrible, and I won’t bother with it. But I’m also tired of buying multiplayer-only games and being able to play them for only a few months on release.

            (There are notable exceptions of course, in which a community manages to emerge and last, like for example Natural Selection 2, currently)

          • PatrickSwayze says:

            Calling the devs of Homeworld lazy?

            Yeah. Okay.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            Hold on, you’re saying that making a massively multiplayer real time strategy game, with all the extremely complicated networking code that that involves, is being lazy?

            You know fuck all about software development.

          • P.Funk says:

            I think you overestimate the power of kickstarter. Planetary Annihilation was exceptional. It was one of the all time most successful kickstarter projects. Not every project is guaranteed to garner as much attention and money.

            People need to keep this all in perspective. Running it without an EA is troublesome financially, and for a new studio that is basically betting on this project, a steady reliable income stream is a good thing if we want to see more in the future.

            I don’t like people who call critical gamers “entitled” but sometimes people sound awfully entitled. The reason we can’t have games like we did 10+ years ago is because the publishers back then were doing a good job of making great games for one time payments. They’ve started to make worse crap, sot he indie developer has to find better ways to finance himself.

            Its not just about not going under, you want these guys to have the bank to make more projects right? In the future? To have bank to suffer some setback as well?

            Sometimes realism is just unfortunately more complicated than our idealistic vision of how something ought to be for the end user.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          TF2 is supposed to be ridiculous. The ridiculousness imposed by F2P mechanics and merchandise fits right into the setting.

          That’s not true of most games, and it certainly doesn’t appear to be true of Hardware.

          • figvam says:

            Allow me to remind that TF2 was very much non-F2P for the most of its lifetime. It only became F2P in 2011.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Let’s see… Planetside 2 is F2P. Hawken is F2P. Warframe is F2P. I don’t recall them being any less interesting, good or fun because of that. Quite the opposite in fact.

          I don’t know why people jump at the idea that F2P must mean Facebook shit games. If the developer is good, there’s no reason to immediately assume the worst. Doubly so when RPS has quite the PS2 following.

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          Personally I’d bet on Dota 2.

          Just saying like.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I wish people could get past F2P as a model for (not) paying for stuff. It can only be kneejerking.

      Tribes: Ascend, Planetside 2, Hawken, Firefall are all F2P games I play pretty regularly, and enjoy. I see no reason why the F2P model is damaging any of them.

      And hell, Team Fortress 2, League Of Legends, World Of Tanks, and others might not be my cup of tea, but they are clearly not suffering from being F2P.

      Hello, Quake 3 is basically F2P now.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        I just dont like being pumped for money ingame. I’d be as annoyed if a salesman knocked on my door every time I finished a map.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          I don’t think I’ve seen one “pumping” in Planetside 2.

          F2P doesn’t mean any one thing. Just as MMO doesn’t mean any one thing.

          • PatrickSwayze says:

            Need to give MWO some love Jim

          • derbefrier says:

            also Path of Exile. Its the best F2P model i have come across so far. I cant do the FPS games with weapons and shit hidden behind a long grind or a pay wall fuck that i hate that pseudo RPG crap in my first person shooters anyway all it does is create a gap between new and old players instead of a good competitive atmosphrere Give it all to me for free up front and you’ll get my money PoE has seen over 100 bucks from me so far….

          • Caiman says:

            Yes, but F2P does mean that it’s a possibility, so you have to excuse the blaring alarm bells every time it’s mentioned.

      • Cinek says:

        Problem with F2P is that usually it means one of these two:
        – Poor quality
        – Greedy developers
        And on top of that:
        – Pathetic single-player experience (if any at all)

        And as Homeworld main feature was EXCELLENT single player I can’t imagine any game pulling from Homeworld legacy to be F2P.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          I wouldn’t assume that BBI (let’s be honest, it’s basically 1999 Relic) is either going to make poor quality games or that they’re greedy. Why not (gasp!) give them a chance?

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Thank you Jim. I’ve been scratching my head at the reaction on this particular element, especially with the PS2 following on this very site.

      • Azhrarn says:

        All of those titles are also multiplayer focused.
        Not something I was hoping for from the developers that gave us Homeworld. :)
        A powerful thought provoking narrative campaign is what I want in an RTS like this.

        Not multiplayer that’ll make most forget the devs even bothered with a backstory.

        As such, no matter that this is by the makers of Homeworld, I have no interest in partaking.
        Others are welcome to do so however. :) It’s simply not my cup of tea.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Eventually you’re going to have to accept that there are people with different tastes in gaming than you have. Either that, or lose part of your audience with terms like “kneejerking.”

        • FriendlyFire says:

          There’s a big difference between “I don’t enjoy multiplayer RTS, so I’ll give this a pass.” and “FREE TO PLAY!? HOW DARE THEY!?”. One is a difference of taste, the other is kneejerking merely at seeing the words “free to play”.

      • Kiwi The Schwimm says:

        In regards to those examples, Tribes had issues with critical equipment (such as doombringer mines) being locked away from players, it’s certainly better now that it lowered XP costs for everything, but it was an issue. Hawken is suffering from power creep/new mechs screwing up the balance, the technician pretty much negates health management and harassment, which was a major part of engagements.

        Haven’t played much of PS2 but heard that some really important weapons/alternatives were locked behind pretty big grind walls. Can’t comment on Firefall.

        But World of Tanks, ho-boy. How does having superior and more damaging ammo that was available only for the cash currency sound? They have finally changed that to be available with credits, but it’s expensive to the point that you won’t be making any profit. Premium tanks that are better then what they get matched against for a month or two, constant power creep and the absolute longest grind time if you want to actually try to play competitively. World of Tanks is probably one of the most well disguised and exploitative payment systems.

        F2P also brings in the issue that devs are reluctant to remove/too severely nerf something that is damaging the game because people have paid for it. F2P can be a good system, but even in games with good gameplay, it encourages exploiting players in ways that most of them won’t catch.

  8. MonkeyMonster says:

    It looks rather cool and you can see where the paypoints might be but overall concept looks nice.

    Had an instant though after seeing the 2nd vid that if the log containsall known wrecks then there is an expected element of grinding you’d obv have to go through to end up being able to do the biggies – perhaps some element of creating new ones could be portals opening and dumping new wrecks given afai can see how they’ve got there is an unknown. Like the underlying idea of it all and can imagine a shed load of fanfiction and just forum speculation will be created…

  9. PatrickSwayze says:


  10. JimTheDog says:


    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Has the site crashed or something??

      I’m trying to log on but NADDA.

    • foofad says:


      • JimTheDog says:


  11. P.Funk says:

    I see lots of skepticism about the whole F2P thing but I have an… unusually optimistic point of view.

    They say they want to take the RTS in a new direction, bring it back since its supposedly deader than Roosevelt. Well, thats new, thats a risk. The whole gaming world is changing and has changed. It will keep changing. To scoff at F2P is certainly a firm opinion, based on obvious empirical facts from… atrocious outings in development. But shouldn’t the audience be as open to new things as the developers are?

    Risk is inherent in doing anything new, and doing nothing new at all is clearly very profitable (I mean COD, come on). So they need an edge. We can be real puritans and scoff, but there is something of a new paradigm hitting game development. Kickstarter is liberating the developer from the Publisher, but the budgets that free them don’t often allow for excess, such as single player story.

    An RTS without Multiplayer isn’t much of an RTS. A multiplayer RTS without a story… well thats common enough and much cheaper.

    Its a reality check. I’m still hopeful, and excited. Maybe we should stop expecting to get all our hopes and dreams from one source. A good RTS though is overdue. Between this and PA, we may have ourselves a bonafide revival.

    • Zenicetus says:

      “An RTS without Multiplayer isn’t much of an RTS”

      So Homeworld wasn’t “much of an RTS”? Really?

      The main thing an RTS without multiplayer needs is good AI programming. That’s the reason you see so many of these multiplayer-only games out there now; it avoids all that nasty bother of having to write decent AI.

      A good writer is an asset too, for world-building and campaign scripting. But even that isn’t absolutely essential if the gameplay mechanics are good. The Kohan series had abysmal writing, but the strategy game mechanics were fun, especially in sandbox mode outside the main campaign.

      • ORCACommander says:

        homeworld had 3 mp modes. LAN skirmish and internet Via WON. and was developed first as a mp game and then at the end the singleplayer was a added on

  12. MikeTheRed says:

    I feel super special… I was the *first* person to buy the VIP Package off their store.

    Is that the commerce equivalent of “First!” on a news story?

  13. DigitalSignalX says:

    THQ sells Homeworld IP to Gearbox and suddenly “Hardware” is getting some much needed press coverage. Interesting timing (=

    Regardless, good news for rabid HW fans. One of my favorite games ever, and been wanting a sequel, be it direct or spiritual, for over a decade.

  14. MajorManiac says:

    What could have brought those derelict ships to the planet? Perhaps the care-takers from the Ship Graveyard mission in Homeworld. They were very creepy.

    Here is their soundtrack on youtube – link to youtube.com

    • Trithne says:

      The planet’s name is LM-27, but the prospector’s guide has it as 長征27, the characters being chinese for literally “Long March”, the Red Army’s retreat from the KMT in the Chinese Civil War.

      I’m thinking it’s a series of stops along an exodus route?

      Edit: A not-necessarily-voluntary stop, I suspect.

      • MajorManiac says:

        Thanks. Thats interesting stuff. I do love games with a mystery that slowly unfolds as you progress through it.

      • ORCACommander says:

        LM does stand for Long March. The planet is called LM-27 because it is the 27th planet Long March Industries owns. as for the historical parallels i can not comment

  15. Easy says:

    The first 10s of the music sent chills down my spine and brought me back to the first time I booted up Homeworld; it was 1999 I think. I shared a flat with my best buddy in Scotland and had recently purchased a whooping 15″ CRT. Ah, nostalgia, you alluring mistress…

  16. HisMastersVoice says:

    Is there a game there, or is it a kickstarter in the making? I haven’t seen even a glimmer of gameplay so far and while the team being ex-Relic is great, it would be just as great to be able to look at something more than fancy concept art.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      They’ve got no plan for Kickstarter as far as I can tell. They’ve already had playable builds and private tests and have been toiling away at this for a while.

      A KS for it would easily rake money in, mind.

  17. Shooop says:

    Can anyone describe what there is to most look forward in this to those of us who didn’t play Homeworld?

    • FriendlyFire says:

      No. Go play Homeworld, it’s the best way to grasp what’s going on.


      • Shooop says:

        I’m completely shit at strategy games. They always come down to nothing more than hording enough resources to mount a tank rush.

        Should I just not bother?

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Homeworld has no tanks, so you should be safe.

          Seriously, it’s a very good campaign which is fairly different from the norm. It is, however, fairly hard, and I don’t think there was a difficulty slider. You can probably find guides to help you out though. It most certainly is worth playing.

          • Shooop says:

            It’s hard to find a copy of the game and there’s no guarantee it’ll run in Windows 7, so I’ll probably have to torrent it.

            But I’ll give it shot. I really like the soundtrack, compliments the setting so well it’s scary. And there seem to be a handful of player introductions floating around the web.

          • squareking says:

            I just installed HW1 from the disc on my Win7 64-bit comp yesterday — it works just fine. HW2 runs perfectly well too, and you’re just a command-line tweak away from getting native resolution nirvana. PLUS they’re both supremely pretty games, especially HW2.

          • Shooop says:

            Went ahead and snagged it, and even just after finishing the tutorial I’m in awe.

            I hope someone has a copy of it for sale somewhere out there. And is the sequel worth looking at too?

            And it’s impossible to get the game running with OpenGL on Windows 7. Using compatibility mode always results in an error.

        • bill says:

          I don’t like RTS games and i’m not that good at them. Homeworld and Hostile waters are about the only RTS i like and I finished.

    • Trithne says:

      No. It’s hard to explain what it was about Homeworld. It’s a perfect convergence of gameplay, atmosphere and worldcraft. It was pure strategy, no frills, no gimmicks. Whoever could use space and planning best would win. It was set entirely in the depths of space, yet everywhere felt like a place with a history and stories to tell. Your enemies were only ever seen as two-tone spaceships in the endless black, but they had character and soul. If you haven’t experienced it, you’ll find it difficult to appreciate it.

  18. Thiefsie says:

    Who is their artist as I want to choke down more pictures of theirs…?

  19. PatrickSwayze says:

    So is anyone hoping for something like Ground Control or World In Conflict set in a massive desert with scarce resources and loads of COOL FUTURE STUFF?

  20. wodin says:

    When it described the type of games they are wanting make on their “old” website..i.e F2P and inspired by Casualsocial gaming….I left quickly.

    I see casualsocial has since been dropped though…

    No single player no buy or no play as it’s f2P.

    I don’t want to be competing against people I don’t know..Gaming for me is something I like doing by myself in the whole…the only game I’ve ever enjoyed online was Red Orchestra.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      Red Orchestra really was an oddity, wasn’t it? I almost feel like it was completely acompetetive somehow. It gave me none of the “must be higher on list” vibe I get so often from FPS.

  21. tholm says:

    I am a fanatical homeworld fan and would love to support this by only a 50 dollar and 100 dollar option for a game we haven’t even seen any gameplay yet? Waaaaaaaaaah?? Blackbird interactive needs to look up how other kick starter campaigns have run.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      They aren’t kickstarting. Given that they’re free to play I dare say you couldn’t even call it a pre-order. They’re pretty much just selling stuff.

  22. Ernesto says:

    I bet they already have names for their DLC/updates:
    Hardware: [Freightercutters, Yachtrecyclers, Steamersalvagers,…]

    What’s with the subtitle anyway. Ok, Hardware is not very creative, but Shipbreakers doesn’t help either ;)

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      I disagree! I think it’s a reasonably clarification. This way people won’t wander into the game expecting to use the aforementioned hardware for farming, or bridge construction, or possibly home computer assembly.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      I’d expect some of it is just… keyword optimization. Yeah, dumb, but “Hardware” gives you a LOT of results and a new game would have to have quite the marketing machine to climb up search engine rankings. With the subtitle, you suddenly eliminate virtually all unrelated results.

  23. Wedge says:

    I would be oh so excited were this a roguelike arcade/sim ship battler with heavy customization and exploration, and not an RTS =/

  24. Ramacc says:

    While I don’t really villify F2P models or even mildly dislike them, I’m a bit disappointed that it’s being applied to THIS game. I can understand that it makes the most sense business-wise, and I’m definitely a fringe case. But it worries me. I run on wireless internet which works decently enough for what I need, and I can play with a couple of friends in a private game of Terraria, but the connection isn’t fairly strong and will disconnect itself whenever so much as a light wind blows.

    If this was any other F2P game, I probably wouldn’t care. If this was any other RTS game, I wouldn’t care, either. But it’s this game. Homeworld, for me, was the one RTS series that grabbed me and never let go, nearly 14 years later. And I likely won’t be able to play this supposed spiritual successor due to personal circumstances briefly touched upon earlier in this post. I won’t rail against BBi for wanting to do something “new” (details are still hazy, it seems) with the game, and adding in a dedicated single-player campaign or even skirmish mode, of sorts, would likely detract from the actual planned game. And yet, news of this depresses me.

    There’s also my own personal belief that memorable F2P games will simply disappear later on down the line. What will a company do when the game proves to be no longer profitable? Or if they want to work on a new project? Will they continue to run the servers at cost? For most games, it probably wouldn’t affect me at all. There are but a million more shooters/MOBAs/strategy games to latch on to. But these ex-Relic employees have made so heavy an impression on me with but two games, that when the time comes to pull the plug on Hardware many years down the line (depending on how successful it becomes, of course), the game will no longer be playable. All of the love put into the game will merely vanish. Nevertheless, that’s something that we’ve not really experienced just yet, MMOs aside, and it will no doubt vary from game to game.

  25. Iskariot says:

    It was announced as a social RTS if my memory serves me right.
    Not my thing at all. I do not want social. I love to be alone with my bits and bytes.
    The interaction with humans mostly turns out to be time consuming and time wasting at best and annoying and irritating at worst.
    I love the design though. It is mouthwatering beautiful.
    If this was single player I’d be all over it.
    A large part of my time with the Homeworld games was spent enjoying the ship designs and this is of the same incredible quality..

  26. HumpX says:

    Whenever I hear “prospector” i always think that someone should look into a modern MMO based off of Fred Pohls “Gateway” novels

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      That would be great fun. The only game in which you die because you turned on something that turned out to be a Heechee food blender and you couldn’t work out how to turn it off before it blended you and your entire team.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      Someone should make a game on the “Gateway” pronto.

  27. Splynter says:

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes YES.

    I re-installed Homeworld the other day in light of all the news surrounding it recently, and it’s still amazing.

  28. SuicideKing says:

    I see a boomerang with a gun turret.

  29. wodin says:

    No single player means no need to programme an AI..which to me is a cop out..lazy development or a quick and easy route.

  30. hazer says:

    While I’m really disappointed in the lack of single-player, I’m a little concerned about the fact that they are releasing “founder’s” packs with absolutely nothing shown yet.

    Sure, there’s the homeworld look and feel, but there are absolutely no details as to what your money gets you, except for guaranteed early access. They want people to pony up 50-100 dollars on a couple trailers and a style? Not even semi-concrete details as to what your money gets you.

    Sure they may get people to commit and become F2P “whales”, but Founders packs don’t always translate into legit whales. I’m a MWO legendary founder, but haven’t put any additional money in, and have no plans to in the remotely near future.

    But looking at all this Shipbreakers stuff did just get me to reinstall Homeworld 2.

  31. nbringer says:

    The concept is great, but I want offline single-player.