So. We're finally here.
4 years of on and (very much) off development, good times and bad, and a tremendous experience that i'm glad i stuck with later; and HHF is in a position that i feel happy with releasing to the public.
It's fitting that we're choosing to release this now, obviously MOTY is in full swing, but we're also officially in the festive season, 3 (or 4) days into the advent calendar. It seems the best time to finally let what for so long i've kept quite tightly wrapped up and secure out into the wilds of the internet.
I'm aware the above is very focused on my self, and i'm going to give some time to the other people who probably deserve more credit than my self for bringing you what you'll be playing today, but i'd like to take a short time to express how much this means to my self - to finally release something i've thought about and worked on pretty much daily for the last 4 years, and just generally be a bit more personal about HHF.
4 years ago (When i was 15 and had silly hair), i started HHF with a few users off the Halowars forums - no doubt they will pop up in the comments below and stake their claims to credit. We loved Halo with a passion, we'd all played Homeworld 2, it seemed to us silly that no one had ever combined the two. What should have seemed sillier is that a group of people who'd never modded or really been involved in any modding communities decided they could create what was becoming a more and more ambitious mod on an engine which even then was half a decade old.
Still, we were ambitious - For some reason i assigned my self the role of 3D modelling, something that before i started HHF i had always thought of as some sort of black art that only other people could understand while i hid away doodling on paper and making forum signitures. Not only that, but i'd also unconciously made my self leader of the entire project with a team that were all very independant and half under the impression they were also in charge.
We were recieved warmly by the moddb community, and ever since have made our home almost exclusively here - I thank the staff here immensely for creating such a great community, which was integral to us continuing the project even through the harder times, and the community it's self for supporting us for so long and after so many broken promises from us.
Months turned to years, things went from bad, to great, to worse, we had alot of great people join and leave, until last christmas i was ready to give up. I have to thank Insanelymatt for stopping that from happening, he kept the mod afloat for long enough for Zero to join, bringing with him something we never really had before - Good quality textures, as well as the will to simply learn what ever he could to help out. With solid models and solid textures, we managed to attract a more than solid coder - Aliah, who brought the other element we never really had before; the ability to change fundamental things in homeworld such as AI behaviour, ship mechanics, and general gameplay. With both of them, we finally had a team capable of making a real mod, one with great visuals as well as great gameplay, which you'll see a glimpse of with this release.
So, thank you to both of you, everyone else who has contributed to HHF over the years (Even NT.), the members of various other mod teams who have helped immensely, the moddb staff, and the moddb community and fans. A massive <3 to you all.
Now, don't take that as a "Cool, we're finished with this now". What you're playing is still very unfinished, but unlike previous builds you may have played, this build will be completely supported, constantly patched and updated - We're releasing this fully aware of the problems with it, but we're happy with it in it's current state, and in the belief that this is simply a foundation for what we have to come.
We have a lot to show off in this build that you probably haven't seen before unless you stalk Zero's majhost, as stated, there's no Covenant currently in - We're leaving them until we feel happy with the UNSC as a stand-alone faction, and then devoting our full time to them. This build is also lacking something that we really did want to include, and all blame for not including it falls upon my self, however we will hopefully patch it in some time around or after Christmas - Along with a new miner ship and the Marathon.
Bundles of fury - A miniature Marathon with twice the attitude, the Talos is a class of ship designed to bridge a gap you will most likely notice - the massive gap between the power of Cruisers and Destroyers. While right now our best cure for that is the Kindjal bomber as a counter to Cruiser firepower, the Talos and the other light cruisers, when implimented, should hopefully make the game a bit less cruiser-end heavy.
Also to come is a complete research tree and a fully fleshed out resourcing system designed to stretch your economy accross a large portion of the map, and bring harrassment and map control into the spot light in terms of strategy. These will take longer to include, but we consider them top priority. All the while, we'll be fleshing out the unit roster with newly designed ships, modules, etc.
You'll find the download links below - Please use the adfly link, it's safe, and it contributes a bit of cash towards the developers through no cost of your own - However, we've also set up a Donations link (We've looked at the Microsoft rules, it's perfectly legitimate) in case there's any of you who would like to help out a little more. While we'd like to make it clear we don't expect you guys to give us money, the money will go towards supporting the mod either by paying for a new domain name, or paying for all the caffeine products that fuel mod development.
It's in .rar format, simply extract it and install the .big file to your homeworld 2 data folder, then modify the start up targetline. If you're unsure, there's a more detailed readme file inside.
And our forums for now:
Keep an eye out for events which may or may not happen such as live streams or developer matches - Remember, we made this for multiplayer, and while the AI we have is pretty good, you're going to enjoy it so much more playing with your friends and other fans. Using Hamachi or other similar services is a great way to connect, and Cas has set one up that hopefully should facilitate some games for you guys, but we encourage you to set up your own and organise your own matches with other fans, preferably via PM. We're working on setting up forums for this purpose, and if anyone has any experience with things like setting up IRC chats we'd appreciate them to get in contact with us about setting one up.