Hardware: Shipbreakers Reveals Baserunner

As you may know, me and RTS have never been great bedfellows. But if there’s a way to make me want to start caring, it’s to give all the units a compelling back-story. The depth to which the former Homeworld developers behind Hardware: Shipbreakers are going, people are going to be able to write passionate fanfic about the recently introduced Baserunner.

If you want to learn more about all this, definitely check David and Jim’s interviews with Rob Cunningham.

The closed beta is due to start sometime soon, but guaranteed access requires a pretty hefty $100 purchase of a game that hasn’t even revealed how it will be played yet. It’s no wonder fewer than 400 have been sold so far. However, we should finally see details for that this very eve.

In the meantime, start writing those tales of the farming years for those all-terrain workhorses.


  1. Ultra Superior says:

    I hope this game delivers, because it looks tremendously good art-style-wise.

    • CrispinFister says:

      It certainly does but I wonder what the actual game looks like. $100 is way too much for me to risk on something that could still end up being yet another disappointing game taking advantage of nostalgia-nerds.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      It’s a Free to Play RTS with a focus on social media by a bunch of artists, not gameplay designers or programmers. There is no way it’s going to be good or succeed in the long run, and any short timeframe success they have is going to be based entirely on Homeworld nostalgia.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        You probably see the glass half-full when it’s actually full.

        That also means you’ll be probably right.

      • pupsikaso says:

        Unfortunately, this is the same feeling that I get. When they started mentioning how the game is for the modern market with multiplayer and “social” aspects a huge red siren started going off in my head. Ex-Homeworld devs or not, artists or otherwise, games that try to incorporate “social” media or anything else that is “social” nowdays usually end up being utterly shit.

        Oh but how I want it to be a spiritual successor to Homeworld. Imagine what Homeworld could be like today (but rather on the ground instead of space, which actually doesn’t change all that much). That’s the kind of game that I want.

      • PatrickSwayze says:

        Go away Gearbox

    • TechnicalBen says:

      I hope it fails. Anything as pretentious as this, asking for money without showing (or at the least listing/writing) gameplay, product specs or ANYTHING is rather a big ask. It’s not economically or logically sound IMO.

      • PatrickSwayze says:

        Take that back.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Oh, the game will be great. The F2P and the pricing less so it seems. I’m not holding any hopes out for anything to survive the F2P drive (it’s a massive directing force) except the artwork, sadly.

          Oh, I see there is gameplay in some of the vids now. Looks exactly like HW1/2. So as said, the artworks survived. No idea if the gameplay has (as it’s F2P, who knows what will be cloaked behind a veil of cash).

      • pupsikaso says:

        To be honest there hasn’t been much of anything logical in any economy in the past decade, so the $100 price tag doesn’t much surprise me.

        But then again the whole pay for alpha access is a pretty new system, so obviously people are testing the boundries until it settles into something more or less stable.

  2. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    That art design is amazing!

  3. PatrickSwayze says:

    Best Homeworld voice: Mothership.

    Best Hardware voice: Baserunner

  4. Teovald says:

    Why does this game have to be Free to Play ? I am still very interested in it, but that’s a letdown.

    Between this and Planetary Annihilation, 2013 could turn out to be an extremely good year for this long forgotten genre.

  5. Muzman says:

    The art in this is amazing. I hope the style carries over to the in-game (not always easy to do)

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    $100 purchase of a game that hasn’t even revealed how it will be played yet… And has been announced as free to play.

    • Teovald says:

      and for a F2P game.. I guess that it will translate in a lot of in-game curreny, but that’s still a lot to ask for.

  7. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    I have no problem with a 2,000 ton mobile command unit ‘catching air’ while moving at speed over desert dunes; after all, there’s nothing to say LM-27 sits at earth normal gravity.

    But pulling a hand brake turn at 80mph will still **** up your day if you’re wondering the corridors with the commanders morning pot of tea :P

    • Teovald says:

      The physics of the thing had me puzzled as well. I questioned the size of the vehicle multiple times during the video. I guess that you can always invoke ultra strong futuristic alloys and arbitrary gravity to explain its movements..

      • HisMastersVoice says:

        As far as I’m concerned, every single human being on that vehicle was spitting kidneys after that air jump, arbitrary gravity or not.

        • Teovald says:

          Unless they invoke some kind of Physics breaking mechanism like a gravity dampener, that seems to be the most likely result, yes..
          I am not sure why they decided to make this vehicle move like some sort of dune buggy, it is a bit ridiculous and it ruins its scale perception.

          • Chuckaluphagus says:

            I’d argue (for the purpose of pointless Internet arguing) that, if you have a civilization that has mastered interstellar travel, that civilization has also mastered “gravity dampeners” or “inertia cancellers” or whatever you want to call them.

            Not disagreeing with you about it messing with the perception of scale, though. I prefer my enormous trucks to handle like enormous trucks, not radio-control models.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yeah, they’d set up this huge, chunky workhorse…then suddenly had it powerslide like a dune buggy. What.

  8. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    But what does it actually do? Gah, it looks pretty but what does the base runner do??

    • Simes says:

      MCV equivalent, at a complete guess, although the implication from the videos is that it’s faster-moving than the typical lumbering base hub.

    • belgand says:

      It looks quite a lot like those other trucks, except it’s a bit larger. So it does, uh, truck stuff apparently.

  9. tomeoftom says:

    This looks incredible but no-one – and I mean no-one – has been able to reconcile the F2P business model with a game design that isn’t in some way deeply cynical or hateful towards the player. You just can’t have an elegant game, no less a multiplayer one, which is economically dependent on psychologically manipulating the player into desiring more and more trinkets and utilities.

    On top of the nickel-and-diming, it seems to imply the believe that all these games are better with more stuff in them – that there’s no value in removing cruft and distilling mechanics down to a more minimal set. To me, that’s an utter failure of the designer. Some games, usually sandboxes like Garry’s Mod, Minecraft and so on absolutely do benefit from heaping on complexity and systems, but an RTS is the absolute antithesis of that.

    • HisMastersVoice says:

      DOTA 2 works, since it’s all cosmetics. Warframe is a good example too, despite being a cooperative game by nature. Hawken is doing it pretty well.

      It’s not easy by any means, but not impossible either.

      • fractallatcarf says:

        I was just about to say the same thing! I–and many of my friends–have happily played for hundreds of hours in Dota 2, and have no problems spending small amounts of money for in-game aesthetics when it doesn’t affect the mechanics. The idea that all F2P games are cynical or hateful is just wrong, and I personally hope that Hardware gets its money from aesthetic buys and not mechanically game-altering ones.

    • Koshinator says:

      Path of Exile – nuff said

    • belgand says:

      And this is where we fundamentally disagree. In my mind adding on more systems and greater complexity is what makes a game good. So long, that is, as they serve a purpose and aren’t just thrown in pointlessly. Streamlining and removing bits is almost always the enemy. This division is most prevalent in boardgaming though with Eurogames on one side and Ameritrash on the other. Both have good and bad examples, but they tend to have very different approaches to gaming.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      So wrong, I cba to refute.

    • TheMerricat says:

      I don’t know, Valve has made a good run with TF2, granted it didn’t start F2P.

  10. Iskariot says:

    I absolutely love the design. It oozes Homeworld. No one else knows how to design non-existing fururistic machines that look like as if they are just as real as anything we know.
    If only this was offline single player I would be all over it.

  11. Megakoresh says:

    These cars… My god they are so sexy! Almost makes me sad this is an RTS and not an action of some sort that lets us drive these close up. But I am looking forward to this nonetheless. Whatever Homefront was, this one just oozes passion everywhere. The devs obviously love their game this time around. And that is one of the most promising things one could see about an upcoming title.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      I really really hop you’re being sarcastic abouit wanting it to be “an action”.

      And Homefront….. really? Well, it’s half right, I guess.

      • Lawful Evil says:

        I think he was serious… And he probably thought Homeworld, not Homefront. Such a disgrace!

  12. xfstef says:

    What’s the name of that big bad ass vehicle again ?!?! I’m pretty sure they never mentioned more than 56483650487 times it’s name, so I didn’t get to remember it !

  13. orcane says:

    Isn’t that trailer roughly a week old already? At least this time they’re not trying to make their own PR look like third party endorsements like in the previous trailer.

    Unfortunately namedropping Homeworld and using the same font and concept art style isn’t enough to build hype for me yet.

    There’s actually a glimpse of gameplay in this video:

    • DatonKallandor says:

      You can really see the mobile and social webplatform biting them in the ass in that gameplay video. Graphically it’s atrocious. From a technical standpoint it’s about on par with Ground Control 1. The only thing making it look even remotely good is the art design but even that doesn’t conceal the utterly flat textures, low resolution and simplistic effects.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Okay, seriously, you need glasses and a change in attitude.

        We get it, you’re going to hate on this game forever. Now can you just go away and let those without such ridiculous negativity enjoy what they’re seeing?

        Visually the game is good. It’s a Unity game, so it won’t break that much new ground technically, but the art is really good.

        • DatonKallandor says:

          Graphics are not subjective. Art style is. You can enjoy the art style of Hardware all you want – and so do I (because it’s basically a copy of the Homeworld style) – but graphically it is hilariously outdated. By a decade.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      It literally looks like a 2D Homeworld.

  14. Nintyuk says:

    Gahh I was desperately waiting for it to have a deploy animation true MCV style.

  15. Samuel Verner says:

    what noone mentioned here is that this game will be a free2play title… 100 dollar for access to a free2play titles sounds like a rippoff to me. i know, other companies are ripping of their customers with this “strategy” too, but that doesnt change the fact thats its just ripping off idiots.

  16. Lagwolf says:

    Most interesting video about a game in quite a while.

  17. squareking says:

    That space between W and A in Hardware is enough to fit a billion baserunners. Proper kerning is important!

  18. Tei says:


  19. PedroBraz says:

    “But if there’s a way to make me want to start caring, it’s to give all the units a compelling back-story.”

    You see John, thats where we differ. I belive more developers should adopt the “show, don´t tell” philosophy, rather than spend their time on meaningless lore that dosn´t really add to the game *cough elderscrolls*.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      I don’t think John meant it in the sense of “here, have 200,000 words of random lore!” Homeworld was excellent at creating a world without dumping text.