WC4 Mod For Homeworld 2 In The Works (June 5, 2006)

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
I'll upload the .hod files and send you the links. Do you need the original meshes too or is it OK if you have the "multi-mesh" version only, with the sub-meshes being separated into various files? What format do you need them in, .obj, .dae?
 

gavinfoxx

Rear Admiral
So in a recent version, the AI seemed broke when ordering my ships around, that big ships wouldn't really target enemy ships and close to engage. I was playing Kilrathi when this happened. Can you confirm that we don't actually HAVE to play fighter and bomber based combat?
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
That should not happen. Might be an issue of having several type of weapons with different ranges. Use the "Attack Move" button if you're not sure. Ctrl+A, then tell your ship to move at a position and they will do it while attacking either the last target defined or any opportunity target.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Ok, people, we've got some good news all around.

First of all, I am happy to say that I was mistaken. After discussing with a programmer at Phoenix Interactive (the modding team behind the Stargate, Mass Effect and Halo mods), it appears that I misunderstood Gearbox plans for future updates, and the current 3D files ingame will not be made obsolete in a game-crashing way. That means the cool capital ships from Wing Commander Saga are here to stay, and most likely future-proofed!

The other good news is that since Phoenix Interactive released a demo with campaign missions and their main programmer was cool enough to give me some advice over Skype, I've been able to use their template to start programming single-player content. I want you people to understand that the status of this work is unreleaseable due to a major lack of support assets like soundbyte integration, music, etc., BUT, and this is a really big but, what is currently working, and I tested it five minutes ago, is a completely scripted mission, here the first mission of Wing Commander IV:

You have a pair of individual named fighters. As soon as they get close enough from Orlando Depot, they get attacked by a flight of Razor. Then, after dispatching the pirates and getting in close proximity to the depot, Seether arrives, nukes the Depot and jumps out. The player can then go to Bluepoint, where the fighters will automatically land as soon as they get close enough. Once the fighters landed, a shuttle takes off, and the player can send it to a jump buoy, where it will automatically jump out, ending the mission. It's a lot of scripts and macgyvering, but it works, which means that more complicated mission structures can be set up from now on. Also, what would be nice and immersive would be to play the relevant soundbytes from the game when each scene happens.

The less than good news is that we are having some weird issue with some of the new 3D files, which sadly cannot be easily solved, so we are trying to find out what mess them up in order to add the next Border Worlds and Black Lance units to the game. In any case, though, I'll try and see if I can start working on some single-player missions based in the Wing Commander III timeline, for which we have all the required assets.
 

Bergsdoom

Petty Officer
Best. Christmas present. Ever.

Seriously, I've been checking this thread every day since September 23rd for updates because this mod brings back so many good memories...you guys rock!
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
OK, ladies and gents, it's going to be an early Christmas: I'm pretty confident in the mission now, and I'll be uploading the update tomorrow when I get to my lab's good internet connexion. There should be some heavy stuff as I had to tinker with some ships and you'll have to redownload the bigger models. In any case, to start the mission, you'll simply have to select it under "Extra Missions" in the main menu. It's definitely winnable, but here, it's real war, which means that you have a limited number of assets and you will have to use them properly to win... particularly those very, very fragile Thunderbolt VII, heh heh. The mission should be relatively simple while covering a lot of the stuff you can see in the Wing Commander games, except for the poker games and the inevitable betrayals. :p

Keep in mind that this release is more a tech demo than anything else, though. Anyway, to give you an idea of the creative process for a mission, here is the structure:
  • Write down a rough idea of what the mission will be.
  • Write down precisely the assets of each side and what actions will need to be scripted for the mission (objectives, reactions to your presence, etc., until the victory or defeat).
  • Write the scripts.
  • Create the critical assets for the mission (campaign-only named ships with specific properties like the ability to jump on their own for the convoy transports) without which the game will CTD.
  • Test-play the mission and debug the **** out of it to make sure all the scripts work as intended.
  • Create the flavour assets for the mission that will make it releasable (icons for the new ships, possible soundbytes extracted from the other games, music, pictures, etc.), as far as I can, at least: no soundbytes, for example.
If you have ideas for a specific mission to create, what I will need will be the first two steps as detailed as possible and some time. :)

Edit: yep, did some last-minute correction to keep it winnable without cheating. You're going to have fun. Not Kurasawa 2 levels of fun, but I think it's going to be a tad challenging.
 
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L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
And this is it, the 3.25 version of the mod is now online and working. I did a quick check, the mission is working. I left a small typo crashing the skirmish in one configuration, but that should be corrected within ten minutes (the time for the mod to be re-checked and uploaded to Steam once again) of the time of writing. Edit: OK, fixed.

Enjoy, and do not hesitate to submit me some feedback!
 
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Lilja

Ensign
I wondered why HWR was updating itself this morning, thankyou very much - I just lack time to play it.

I would have thought that perhaps the best way to do missions in the beginning is to copy the basic campaigns from the games / books.

Or play certain selected memorable missions. I suppose it depends on how easy / difficult / time comsuming it is to write a mission.

Now to go and give it a quick go, before its back to studies.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
I wondered why HWR was updating itself this morning, thankyou very much - I just lack time to play it.

I would have thought that perhaps the best way to do missions in the beginning is to copy the basic campaigns from the games / books.

Or play certain selected memorable missions. I suppose it depends on how easy / difficult / time comsuming it is to write a mission.

Now to go and give it a quick go, before its back to studies.
The problem with that is the difference in gameplay between the Wing Commander series and Homeworld Remastered. To explain it better, you are in your fighter in Wing Commander, you shoot at enemies, you dodge missiles and energy bolts, you do a tense torpedo run in the middle of the enemy AAA fire and you come back after saving the day, while in Homeworld Remastered... you cannot do that. Your fighter is a unit among others, and you cannot control it with the same kind of finesse as in a dedicated space shooter. If I made a fighter that reflects the achievements of the games' named characters, then what you would be seeing is a fighter coming in, blasting a dozen enemy fighters without your input and continuing on its way.

Not very interesting, is it?

I can and do have named fighters with better performance all around, but they cannot be übercraft that kill all on sight, because there would be no interaction whatsoever with the player other than "send the fighter here, watch it kill the bad guys, repeat". The engine is of a RTS, and any solo campaign mission must be based on the strengths of such an engine, and that means winning the fight not through the performance of a single pilot but winning the fight before the first shot is fired. The CAG and the Admiral will have to anticipate, react and manage their assets to have a superior situation where they want and when they want. You get to be Tolwyn, without the whole genocide in black suits stuff.

And when you look at the games, the missions that are exciting from the cockpit would be utterly boring in the mod: you have two fighters and at each nav point, you find a wing of other fighters, wait for the combat to finish, go to the next nav point, repeat, come back to base. Sometimes, you find, yay, a single starship you have to kill. Does that make a mission in a game where you cannot pilot your fighter? Nope. The only games from which some missions could be taken, IMHO, would be Wing Commander Saga and Wing Commander Standoff, because these offered much larger fleet action scenes, and even then, those were the high points of the whole story, the crowning moments of awesome in a story where you rarely see more than one enemy starship at once. In a strategy game, such battles are commonplace, dime a dozen. This means that to make them exciting, one must rely not on the simple presence of the starships and the heavy firepower, but on more complex tactical positions where you must think and react quickly to a situation that is very fluid and can mess you up easily.

This is what, I think, this first mission will show you. It is something a single pilot, however skilled, cannot win by themselves, but that a battlegroup aware of its strengths and weaknesses can ride out victorious. It is hard, and I expect that you will fail the optional objective more than once before you get it right, but it will teach you more about your forces than the copy of a WC mission: I did the copy of the first WC4 mission, and it's boring, as it roughly is a barely interactive cinematic in the Homeworld Remastered engine.
 

Lilja

Ensign
I understand that not every single mission cannot be copied, it would be tedious and boring, but the general overall campaigns could be copied.

Where the WC4 games would have several missions within a system (escort missions, patrol missions, and then a final attack mission) the homeworld mod would only have one level instead.

Like you said seeing things from Tolwin's pov and not Blair's
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
I understand that not every single mission cannot be copied, it would be tedious and boring, but the general overall campaigns could be copied.

Where the WC4 games would have several missions within a system (escort missions, patrol missions, and then a final attack mission) the homeworld mod would only have one level instead.

Like you said seeing things from Tolwin's pov and not Blair's
Well, now that you talk about it... have you played the released mission? :D
 

Lilja

Ensign
I have, first time round the transports were destroyed - but thats down to me having forgotten how to play HWR.

Second time round the transports were destroyed, but I started going after the kilrathi.

Third time round will start in the next few minutes (whilst the mrs is out)

How involved is it to make a mission ?
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Heh, it's quite some work as indicated above in the page. Just two things of note: one, you do not need to save the transports to win the mission, they're an optional objective and you can keep going afterwards, and two, as indicated at the beginning, try to keep the distractions away from the missile defence groups, it should help.

But, yep, this is fun. :-D
 

Silver_Fox

Captain
Hi, long time no post but I need to ask a noob question. I am a massive fan of WC III and IV over the others in the series (maybe the interactive-ness of them) and would love to play this creation. Do I need to get hold of some other game or is it playable straight away through Steam, a bit like saga was just download and play? Sorry for asking what may be a silly question.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Hi, long time no post but I need to ask a noob question. I am a massive fan of WC III and IV over the others in the series (maybe the interactive-ness of them) and would love to play this creation. Do I need to get hold of some other game or is it playable straight away through Steam, a bit like saga was just download and play? Sorry for asking what may be a silly question.
If you're using Steam it's probably the easiest route. You need to purchase Homeworld Remastered, but the Mod itself is available through the steam workshop. Just search for Flag Commander in the HW:RM workshop page.
 
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