Homeworld and its sequel were real-time strategy games that stayed in the memory mainly because of the atmosphere they were able to create through dialogue, music choices and incredible ship designs. I mentally described Homeworld 3’s upcoming sequel as “more or less the same, but prettier” without giving it much thought.
A new dev update from the developers at Blackbird Interactive doesn’t prove me so wrong as it goes into detail about what ‘looking better’ really means – while getting me excited about a new “flavor layer” for ship-to-ship communication.
First, the post gives a very brief look at the Homeworld 3 cutscene, which was previously first introduced and features “full 3D characters with lip-sync in English.”
Later, he takes a look at biomes, mothership lighting, nebulae, and all the work needed to “bring the ‘terrain’ to space battle” in Homeworld 3.
“In Homeworld 3, you’ll fight your fair share of battles in a cold, dark place,” the post reads. ” but [Physical Based Rendering] This allows us to create levels that each have their own unique visual identity and near realistic realism. You’ll command fleets in low orbit above planets, or explore ancient ruins that float above a choppy sea of clouds. And in each of these environments, your ship’s materials will interact with light with a level of realism that, frankly, seems a little daunting (yes, I’m a little biased here). »
It all sounds appealing, but somehow it’s the radio chatter that excites me the most. When commands are given to units in Homeworld 3, they will respond aloud in two ways. The first is via the ship’s commander, who will be “brief, clearly audible at all ranges”, and will give the player feedback on the situation. This is the “information layer”. Then a second voice will follow, the ship’s tactical officer, who will speak “contextual conversational utterances” that players will only hear if you put the camera in range. This “flavor layer” is designed to humanize your units.
Notably, units will talk to each other, not to you as the all-knowing commander, and go back and forth about what’s going on. You can fall into the middle of a conversation when zooming into the battlefield.
Watch these videos and Read the full developer update I realize: Maybe Homeworld 3 is more Homeworld but looks better and sounds better, but oh my, what a treat it could be if it were true. Blackbird is targeting a February 2024 launch.