Post news RSS FXmod: RPG Mode ClosedTest & Our Plans for Homeworld3

We are rolling out a Closed Test for our RPG Mode. Read on to find how you can participate, and what our plans are for HW3!

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Hello Hello, this is WildHeart speaking. How do you do?

At this time we're roughly half a year after the release of FX 1.39, and with Homeworld3 on the horizon the big question is: "What now?".

The short version is that Yes, we'd definitely like to try modding in HW3. The long version? You can read that below:

The Future of the FXmod

With the release of FX v1.39, the FXmod project has been put "On Hold". We are currently waiting for Homeworld3, which should be a lot easier to mod thanks to UE4. For us, it simply doesn't make much sense to go out of our way and have sleepless nights over building newscript libraries now, in HWRM, when a lot of that hard work will soon be obsolete in Homeworld3.

The other pieces of the puzzle are our real life situations, and the fact that we have more or less exhausted everything that is possible in HWRM. The increased frequency of "Out of Sync issues", which we later learned are caused by the true ballistics aspect of the 2.0 patch, meant that the mod's core concept (8 playable races in Multiplayer) had to be reconsidered. To that end we started creating additional Single-Player Content and features instead while working on RPG Mode. Then, Homeworld3 got announced.

Q: "What are the FXmod's plans for HW3? What about RPG Mode?"

HW_Lover: "It mainly depends on the difficulty of modding HW3 and the ability to mod HW3 at all, which remains unknown for now.

If it is possible to mod HW3 and it is easy enough, we will focus on building the RPG Mode in HW3.
Or, in case modding HW3 is easy but making RPG Mode on it is not, we will continue making RPG Mode on FXG in HWRM. But other than RPG, there will only be some fixes left for FXG in HWRM."

We'd like to wait and see what HW3 brings before we invest more time into developing RPG Mode in HWRM. But it would make little sense to move onto HW3 without RPG Mode having been unavailable in Homeworld Remastered at all..

RPG Mode Closed Test: How to Participate?

So to that end, after talking with Hw_Lover, we decided that we will be releasing what we have on RPG Mode so far by means of a CLOSED TEST BUILD. This build features a (very) early DEMO version of RPG Mode - there are no quests and few maps. More than anything, it is intended as a showcase of the core systems that we have made for RPG Mode so far, and for playtesting these systems.

If you are reading this and are interested in trying out the RPG Mode's closed test, you can find the instructions on our Discord. We welcome your feedback and thoughts on RPG Mode so far, and would like to know you would like to see from it in HW3/HWRM. Those ideas and wishes will help shape this mode going forward.

Q: "Can I help develop RPG Mode?"

HW_Lover: Models are always welcome. But what RPG Mode needs most are the designs of this HW universe we are going to build."

For those who are interested in helping, I advice you to get an idea of the HW universe we are trying to build by playing the RPG Mode Closed Test. You can use the Discord for discussing and giving feedback, I'll get the results via one of our guys.

HomeworldRM18 40 44 87

The FXmod: Past & Future

The future of the FXmod will be centered around the development of our RPGMode. I'd like to interject with some more background information as to why we came to this decision below:

Back in the days of HW2Classic, the selling point of the FXMOD was that it ported over all races from HW1 and made them playable in HW2. In the present day, that is not something special - many mods have done it, though maybe not at the scale we have. But back then it was a big deal, especially since we added many new ships and features on top.

2015. Homeworld Remastered was released, and while it was great to see Homeworld get the love it deserves, there were a number of issues. Engine limitations and an overdose of out-of-sync issues (we recently learned this was caused by the "true ballistics" aspect of the 2.0 update) killed the Multiplayer aspect of FXG and many other mods.

So, while Hw_Lover and the others kept working on RPG Mode, which had been in development already, we also started making new Single-Player content instead, which had been neglected since the FXCommander days. This resulted in 3 brand new SP missions, 2 new tutorials, and the pride and joy of the HW:RM version of the FXmod: our 33-stage challenge mode, The Shimmering Path.

Now, after considering all options, we think that our focus going forward should be RPG Mode, regardless of whether that will be in HWRM or in HW3.

So far, the FXMOD told our story of Homeworld's 8 races - through Deathmatch (and later, the new Single-player campaigns). However, in the HWRM version of our mod some models still are using HW2C textures even now..and even the HD HWRM models will probably look outdated and of low quality in Homeworld3. Besides the fact that we'd have to redo and redesign all existing units, there is also the notion that the "8 Multiplayer races" model from HW2C has run its course by now.

So, the idea is that we will instead use all existing HWRM FXmod assets for RPG Mode instead of bringing the 8 HWRM factions over to HW3 as playable factions. What will come to replace it, if we decide to make other contents besides RPG Mode? Will HW3 even be modable, or will it not and will RPG Mode continue to be made on HWRM? We'll have to see!

Q: "What was the thing you were the most happy to have achieved in the HWRM version of the FXmod?

HW_Lover: "The Shimmering Path. Its popularity and the players' reactions to it are really beyond my expectations. The new AI is cool, too. Easy to adjust, being able to mine, repair ships and dock units, very challenging."

WildHeart: "For me, it's the Taiidan mini-campaign and the "bonus" stages of Shimmering Path. If only you could see all the work that went into the TAI Mini. . . designing a big map, thinking out every possible scenario, what players could do, making sure everything happens at the right time.. Did you know that there are 30+ pages of .lua code just for making the Keepers in HW2 M08 and M10 do what they do?"

And that's it for today! We hope to see you pop by the Discord for the closed test of RPG Mode - and even if you're not participating, you'll still find us there for updates, gameplay tips and matches from and with fellow FXmod players, and more.

See you in HW3,

23-down - - 3,583 comments

I do believe HW3 will yet become to most modding friendly game of all Homeworld games unless of course they purposely encrypt everything and release no modding tools what so ever. But they always had modders in mind even back in the Relic Days and Gearbox too showed interest in a modding scene so I'm confident that we will get to see and experience many wonders of what is to come.

I just hope they will release the MP gaming mode simultaneously this time around or the game will once again die as quickly as it became popular.

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WildHeart|GENESIS| Author
WildHeart|GENESIS| - - 221 comments

I'm mindly worried the game may not be modable beyond custom maps (because of an encryption or somesuch) in favor of churning out paid DLCs for additional content. I fully trust in BBI, but Gearbox' promises on, we've seen the results of 2.0 patch and how far DoK was able to go without a proper modding scene.

But maybe I'm overthinking it! Either way, we're greatly looking forward to Homeworld3!

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23-down - - 3,583 comments

WildHeart|GENESIS| Yes. Lets just hope for the best. Usually the UT Engine is a pinnacle of modder friendliness. But we shall see. You're not wrong of course regarding Gearbox. I just hope they won't end support for HW3 to soon. They usually ended support on their products premature. Time will tell.

The_Preacher Yes. On both statements. Lets truly hope for the best. Companies that still don't care about modders & modding ruin their own products in the long run. It's usually about money and the worry that their dlc's and AddOns won't sell that well if modders released something similar beforehand but in all honesty such a point of view is very outdated and belongs back in the 90s. Modders will gladly incorporate any new dlc with their own mods.

Just think about the Arma Series. Modders released stuff that was even superior to the main games and modders kept the games alive. Battlezone2 - Combat Commander had a vast modding community that kept the game running decades past it's release and even sparked a remake few years back. Think about the Half-Life series or Unreal1 which were among the first games here on moddb to make this very site possible and lucrative.

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The_Preacher - - 820 comments

I hope there will be very expansive moddability of HW3... as HW3 is on UE4, the logic says the devs (and publishers) should have this in mind. If they dont have, I think its foolish in long term.

One can imagine what could have DoK become if there was a proper modding capabilities. DoK was in every way highly interesting RTS that reminded me a lot on old Ground Control franchise, but BBI also wrapped a HW "4D" RTS elements properly into ground 3D RTS DoK.

I think Homeworld RPG mode is something many HW fans are looking forward the most. Mainly because of its non linearity and replayability - while HW always had amazing stories to tell, these stories were strictly linear (they were so good even because of that, ironically). Well, I could only imagine something like Stellaris like global map and large expansive space battle maps of HW... and player making their own story within that. I would say, that would probably be a "peak" HW experience. For player to make their own choices on global scale and alter the story as they see fit.

Overall, good luck with the project. Personally, Im not yet working in UE4 (difference between UE4 and UE5 is not big, and its possible to convert projects easily from UE4 to UE5 apparently), but multiple happenings push me towards it (despite severe lack of time). So, if it all goes good regarding modding capabilities of HW3, we could have finally a HW with most extensive modding capabilities.

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theredmenace_ - - 259 comments

It is a mixed bag. I have seen some say that modding UE games is difficult beyond simple things such as texture swapping. I have also seen how in older versions of the engine (Ue3), people could import custom geometry, meshes, code and so forth into a particular game (Mass effect 1 legendary edition). The caveat is that game has a very intensive modding scene with custom fan created mod tools, so the people modding it know a lot about it. It would be easier with official tool sets, but some things will at least be possible.

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