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(hx) 09:06 AM EDT - Aug,14 2002
Currently in development by Revolt Games, Homeplanet is an upcoming classic fighting space simulator created in the spirit of classical games of this genre, like X-Wing, Wing Commander and Freespace. We got a chance to chat with the game's Lead Game Designer and technical director of Revolt Games company Alexey Medvedev who provided both extensive information and five very impressive new screenshots.
GGMania: First off, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you are
involved in the developing process?
Alexey Medvedev: Hello all readers:. I'm Alexey
Medvedev, Lead Game Designer of Homeplanet project and also technical director
of Revolt Games company. In the game developing process I have both managing and
creative charges and functions.
GGMania: Can you give us a little background on the development team working
Alexey Medvedev: The Revolt Games company was
established in May 2001 in Moscow by a group of former developers from the New
Media Generation Company. I, Alexey Medvedev and Sergey Mironov have stayed at
the head of firm. Revolt got their first break localizing games into Russian,
which is how we came to work with Russobit-M. Now we're in long and trusting
partnership with this publisher. That's why after localizing of several games
including such famous projects as Battle Realms, Rally Trophy, Gorasul, World
War III : Black Gold, Runaway and others, we've decided to offer Russobit-M to
be a publisher of our own projects. They are spacesim Homeplanet and 3D FPS
Neuro. Homeplanet based on an idea that came from Revolt's own love of the space
combat genre and now there are 11 men working on this project. As a key figures
a can also name Oleg Petrov, lead programmer. Our game exists thanks to Oleg and
I can't add something here. Mikhail Zubrik is a main designer who has created
the concept art. All our textures are the creative work of the main artist,
GGMania: How do you see Homeplanet in terms of the type of game you're
making? What is the primary target market for Homeplanet
Alexey Medvedev: Homeplanet is a classic
fighting space simulator created in the spirit of classical games of this genre,
like X-Wing, Wing Commander and Freespace and based on a real Newton physic
model. The player can't trade or fly of his own will. He'll have the accurate
information required for the efficient performance of each mission. We've tried
to move the gameplay to the more realistic side, including complex ship control
(we've got Newtonian physics) and weapons. For example, our most effective
missiles are half-active, i.e. you'll need to guide them using your radar. We
pursue a goal to make a game that will be interesting, and become loved and one
of favorites for space sim fans.
GGMania: From where did you get the inspiration to make this game?
Alexey Medvedev: So, Homeplanet's developing
team had already created its own project in the FPS genre, and our first idea
was a new game in the same genre. We didn't left these thoughts, so for now
we're developing two games simultaneously. And they have the same game
universes. You see, almost all team members are real fans of sci-fi. Gibson's
Neuromancer is constantly in our minds. So, sci-fi and sure cyberpunk in a world
of the future was a basis for our new project. All last fantastical novels and
films and also recognized in the whole world sci-fi creations were sources of
our inspiration. I've called the games of the spacesim genre but here we didn't
want to follow the former canons of such games. We had and have the main object
to make Homeplanet more realistic than all predecessors.
GGMania: What can you tell us about the actual plotline of Homeplanet?
Alexey Medvedev: Let's start from the time of
game actions. By the end of the 4-th century of space conquering age the Earth
Confederation colonial policy have lead to severance of diplomatic relations
with some colonies. These were mostly the planets, rich in minerals. By the time
the Confederation was formed some of them were practically on the same level of
science and technology as the Confederation administrative centers, such as
Earth, Earth -2, Ganimed and "Tsiolkovsky" space research-and-development
station. Having gained the independence and managing to get rid of Confederation
patronage, the enclaves changed their trade and research priorities. Due to such
an aggressive policy they quickly became the biggest trading centers and
acquired technologies unrivaled by Confederation.
The Klouto enclave had a big scientific potential. It
worked on so-called neurotechnologies, and presented bioimplants, that could be
inserted directly into the person's brain. The other model - implants allowing
to interconnect with the other person at distance, transmitting also the
emotional state of "partner", was highly popular. Eventually, Klouto society has
divided into 2 parts, "Clear" and "Neurobound" (people having implants), that
gave rise to the wave of discrimination for those who did not want to implant
anything into their body. From this time many local conflicts had started and
increased into civil war. The first clan formations are dated from this period.
The biggest research companies and enterprises formed their own clans. Soon the
"Clears" disappeared from Klouto and the power was in the hands of 27 war clans
of Klouto, who had trampled down all industrial and scientific potential of the
Troiden clan was the smallest of the 27 clans. Lance Troiden, the leader
of the clan, was the founder of the group of companies, engaged in export trade
of medicines, neuroequipment and bioimplants. But neighbors were really
discontented by Troiden's success in the science and they had started the
aggression against this Clan. The game actions begin from the moment of Troiden
clan's evacuation from the planet surface. The clan hastily leaves Klouto and
starts the search for a new home. Strictly speaking, this search for new planet
to live on will be the main objective in the game. Before leaving the Klouto
however, Troiden fighters destroyed several enemy cities. The enemy fleet
consisting of several clans was sent in pursuit of Troiden's ships in order to
GGMania: Please describe the player's role in the game.
Alexey Medvedev: The player in the game
controls different spacecrafts of Troiden's fleet in the meetings and battles
with main forces in the game: Confederation, Pirates, other Clans . It is also
possible to control an allied wingmen squad otherwise managed by AI. During the
game, the player will act as a fighter pilot. He'll start as a usual squad
member, who should carry out the orders of his Squad Leader. Later in the game
he'll have the possibility to control subordinates.
GGMania: How is combat handled in Homeplanet?
Alexey Medvedev: The player is subordinated
fighting unit, therefore his are often a part of the common strategic plan, for
example, the plan on destruction of the large enemy ships. It's a complex and
difficult object and its decision includes effective and correct application of
various attacking and counteractive methods. The gameplay includes the full
spectrum of electronic war like suppression and guarantee of work of the
radio-electronic equipment, also systems of arms, and communications. We enter a
concept of tactical planning of ships behavior. The player get ability to choose
the most effective arms with their own physical parameters like weight etc. for
the decision of each specific target.
GGMania: Could you give me the names and describe some of the various
player and alien ships in the game? Likewise, could you describe some of the
weapons and devices you get to use?
Alexey Medvedev: For examples we'll describe
several ships of Troiden Clan, some of them will be playable in the game.
The joint project of main Klouto clans. First built in 740 s.a., before the
clan split, it blended all scientific achievements. It was the first time when
new technologies allowed to create effective and economic engines that were able
to overcome Klouto gravity. The unique engine was also a great resource-saver,
so the service costs were lowered.
Made for Klouto orbital and atmosphere defense, this fighter has a full set of
engines for space maneuvering and aerodynamic fineness for atmosphere flights.
As a result of two flight models combination this ship is not very effective in
fight, but really multifunctional.
The latest Troiden development by the time the game starts. Anticipating the
clan relations aggravation and understanding that clan forces lack a powerful
knockout vessel, the military institute has developed the first bomber
prototype. Tactical and technical characteristics of the prototype did not meet
the defined requirements and the concept was reviewed. This resulted in creation
of Palarmo several years later.
This ship serves to destroy dreadnoughts and space stations. Its size is much
bigger than that of fighters and interceptors. Enormous weapon power and perfect
defense system turn this ship into a real flying fortress. A great means of big
This gigantic ship's development started after Lance Troyden's death. It was his
son's (Riff) order. This ship was originally designed as the fleet's flagship
and it was called after Lance. Riff wanted to show the other clans that his will
wasn't broke and his clan's economic and technological potential was huge.
A giant spaceship with 3x1 km dimensions. This is the main command post. Riff
Troyden spent most of his time here. The ship has it's own hyper gear. A
powerful laser gun is mounted in the bow. Defense laser gun of less power are
mounted along the hull.
As for the aliens, their role was increased in media:
Tere will be very various arms and equipment in Homeplanet with original
parameters not only for different clans but even for different ship models.
We'll tell you a little about arms of 2 clans Plactor and Troiden:
For example the mass shell of standard Troiden's gun less than the mass of shell
in the clan Plactor. And it has a big significance, because in-game damage
mechanics are counting acording on collision impulse.
Also different types of ships have different arms. The bomber Palarmo has more
powerful arms than other ships. It allows to destroy flagships more effectively,
but it non-effective in the close combat because of low speed of shell.
GGMania: If you were allowed to pick one ship and only one ship to play which would you choose and why?
Alexey Medvedev: Our choice is Draizer. It's an
attacker of Troiden Clan, armed by three guns and six rocket. It's the most
maneuverable and mobile ship in this class. The comparative analysis showed the
superiority of this ship in the most part of training fights.
GGMania: Which engine is used in Homeplanet?
Alexey Medvedev: Homeplanet is based on our
in-house engine, developed by lead programmer Oleg Petrov and colleagues.
Here are the main features of the engine:
- dynamic color light
- dynamic LODs
- bumpmapping (prospective)
- compressed textures
- T&L usage
- Vertex and Pixel Shaders support (prospective)
- Open GL
- Truform Technology
GGMania: What the current system requirements are for Homeplanet?
Alexey Medvedev: We'll call two standard variants:
Minimum system requirements:
- Win 95 - 2000 - XP
- Pentium II 350 Mhz processor.
- Riva TNT2 with 32 Mb video memory.
- 64 Mb system memory.
- Sound card
- Latest drivers for video and audio card
Recommended system requirements:
- Win 95 - 2000 - XP
- Pentium III 866 Mhz processor.
- NVidia GeForce 2 with 64 Mb video memory.
- 128 Mb system memory.
- A3D or EAX sound card
- Latest drivers for video and audio cards.
GGMania: The interface is always the most important thing, especially in this
genre. How will the interface handle all of the game's complexity?
Alexey Medvedev: The "game's complexity" which
we note in the interface will be showed in two points:
- possibility of choice of arms and equipment before the beginning of the
mission. But you'll be able to do it just in the cases, when the fighting
situation will allow it.
- tactical map for control of wingmen like in RTS games. This map will be
available since the player will get a possibility to control a flight.
GGMania:; How many missions will there be, and how much will they differ
from one another?
Alexey Medvedev: There will be 21 missions in
the game and each of them will differ from another. Tasks are vary from
liquidation of all objects in the field of vision to surgically exact
diversionary operations. Sure missions will also include traditional tasks like
escort, patrol, destroying of flagships and so on.
GGMania: Will Homeplanet include scripted in-game cutscenes? Will there be
many, and what degree of importance will they have within the overall game
Alexey Medvedev: Sure we'll include in
Homeplanet scripted in-game cutscenes, but not in big amounts. They'll appear
just in important moments of the game, according to its plot.
GGMania: Can you tell me a bit about the mission editor
Alexey Medvedev: We use our own map editor, but
it is not a public version of editor yet.
GGMania: What will make Homeplanet stand out from other action-oriented space
games, especially those currently in development?
Alexey Medvedev: For today it's modern to
create a space strategy. But in our case the element of strategy is presented in
comparison with other components of gameplay. I.e. at the certain stages of game
you will have opportunity to control a small group. First of all our game is a
fighting simulator, for the intensive close combat.
GGMania: What were some of the features planned for the game that never made
Alexey Medvedev: I think we haven't such things.
We've carried out our plans and now we have some time and possibility for of the
game graphics. All last time we use pursuing this goalt.
GGMania: Will the game include a multiplayer mode?
Alexey Medvedev: We are not planning to include
multiplayer modes in the first releasing version. We're going to work on
multiplayer just after the single-player release. Sure we want to find out and
to create something new and interesting in the multiplayer mode too, but right
now, we haven't enough time for it. And for now we're ready to hear all wishes
and offers of gamers concerning multiplayer features with pleasure.
GGMania: Currently what is the status of the current progress of the game and
when can we expect to see it in stores?
Alexey Medvedev: Now we're in the final period of
the creation of Homeplanet. This autumn the game will be released and will
appear in stores.
GGMania: Do you plan to release a playable demo?
Alexey Medvedev: Yes, we'll release the playable
demo-version this month already at the Leipzig Game Convention; everybody'll
able to see it at our booth # F 08 in the Hall 3. There will be three missions
in the demo.
GGMania: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview, is
there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Alexey Medvedev: We'd like to thank your
magazine and your readers for the interest to our game and hope, you'll like the
final version. We're also glad to invite everybody to our booth # F 08 in the
Hall the at the Leipzig Game Convention, where we'll be able to tell and to show
you much more about Homeplanet.