Highest Rated Comments

BBI-JD14 karma

Hi everyone! Great questions...glad to be part of this....

  • Esports, yes, big fans of it. With DoK we knew that the biggest thing we needed to nail was a compelling narrative and sense of immersion. The only way to do that well in an RTS is to have good core gameplay, but we intentionally didn't pursue eSports as well, as that is a lot to bit off. (Make sense? Core gameplay is needed for both eSports and Campaign, but since our main game focus with this one was Campaign, we did Core/Campaign, not Core/eSports.) Anyway, we did develop the Artifact Retrieval mode in mind with creating something new, fresh, and fun to play or watch. We have some of the features that can lay a foundation for eSports, like up to 6 players, leaderboards, matchmaking, chat, etc, but are missing some things like Observer, Replays, Broadcasting. Without getting into specifics, because you never know till it's done, what I can say is that we are actively developing still, and these features are in consideration. (Rory may have mentioned something about Replays in a Forum post yesterday?) We would love to see our Multiplayer community flourish and turn into something worthy of an eSports inclusion. (This all sort of answers/touches on your first 3 points, and 5th.)(I know without a lot of concrete answers, but hopefully with enough "trust us we're paying attention!" to satisfy.)

  • For the 4th question....yeah....what a doozy of a thing to follow-up! I was part of Relic during Homeworld 2, but didn't work on it. Here at Blackbird we not only chose to play in the same universe, but chose to do a prequel. It's WAAAY harder than I imagined! We had so many moments of regretting that decision, but pushed through. Trying to deliver something that is satisfying, true to canon, pushes the fiction further without upsetting, and correctly sets up the pre-existing games is hard. To approach it, basically at the start of the project we did a TON of review. We played the (un-Remastered yet) original games. We got Rob and Aaron to give the team big debriefs on how the original storyline went, plus how they were developed. We created a bible of information. Visuals of the timeline, events that were declared in Animatics, revealed in gameplay, written in the Technical Briefing, debated on the various forums. We cross referenced sources, trying to be sure we could always remember what was explicitly known, and what was implied, and what wasn't legit. We brought David Williams (who was involved in story on the original HW) into the mix. And then we iterated. We changed the events of the story a lot during development. Locations, characters, etc. Mostly in response to what was and wasn't working gameplay wise, or was/wasn't achievable art and time wise. The thread we always went back to was: how do we tell a good story about the reaching of the Khar-Toba? Every time we made an edit, we had to remember to go back to the source and make sure what we were doing was correct for the people of Kharak, pre-Khar-Toba discovery.

Hmm...my first Reddit post! Hope it's a good one.

BBI-JD12 karma

I'm going to jump in on the name comment here. (The p.s.)

Actually, we did have a lot of involvement with the name discussion, Gearbox was an excellent partner in that sense. Everyone was really committed to making a great choice, and we debated a lot of options.

Over the course of development we found that Shipbreakers was leading a lot of people to expect that a big portion of the game mechanic was actually Shipbreaking. It's there, you do it a lot, but it's not like you're actually laser beaming the metal as a player. It's a resource mechanic built around a fiction of Shipbreaking, but not a set of mechanics that you have a lot of choice around. (Your choices are more focused on production, research, combat, discovery.)

Something else over development was that a lot of people we showed the game to, during Focus Groups or the like, were immediately disappointed when the game wasn't in space. (Actually our original Main Menu showed the entire planet from space, and we changed that because it was reinforcing the wrong message.) As a result, we knew that we had to clear up the fact that this was ground based, or consider ditching the Homeworld prefix. Obviously we weren't keen to do that, but I think personally that we ended up in a good place.

DoK is a good abbreviation, and the name has a nice spoken flow.

BBI-JD10 karma

Hi Rob, JAK, Jeff and Rory! Congratulations on the launch of the new Homeworld game! Glad to see you all back in the saddle.

What am I, chopped liver?

BBI-JD10 karma

Get back to work Michael!


BBI-JD9 karma

The reception to the game has been great! It was a very strange and surreal working "under wraps" for so late in development. I'm used to the last 6 months or year at least being "known" and having some insight as to what features seem to be resonating with the future players. We actually paid for a detailed game evaluation by a company called EEDAR back in May or July, and we worked SOOO hard to get the game ready for it, we felt we really pushed the quality bar higher than it had ever been, and the report we got back was devastating! Way rougher review, way lower projected score, everything. We didn't even want to show it to Gearbox! I think the good thing is that it gave us some external perspective, and definitely motivated us to keep reaching. So many amazing things in the game happened after that point, and the team really rallied around the potential. Seeing fans elated about the game, and getting ~90% reviews from PC Game and IGN and Gamespot has just been awesome.

I can't really share details about the budget, but I can say that Paul and his team have been working with us on and off again right from 2013. He did all the music composition, and organized the recordings in India and Czech, and I think the work he did is just amazing. There are many moments in the game that are just stunning as a result of his talent.