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Quick question:  Should some of the later discussion be moved to /Spoilers? I only glanced at it and decided that, given I will probably play this properly at some point, I probably shouldn't be reading some of the comments.  Feel free to delete this question if I misinterpreted and there aren't actually any spoilers or when any spoilers that do exist have been refactored... --Kazuhiko
Spoilers should now have been removed.  --AC

Anyone other that StuartFraser still play this or Cataclysm and interested in trying it multiplayer? --SF, who would be playing the sequel if his computer would run it, which it won't.

An ancient race, whose planet is devastated in a suprise attack by an equally ancient enemy, are pinning their hopes on a single great capital ship reaching their ancestral homeworld.

Yes, it's BattlestarGalactica. Except that it isn't, because the developers weren't given the license. So it's Homeworld instead.

A wonderful fully 3D RTS, with very Babylon-5 style CGI. Some people got horrendously confused by the camera and having to think in three dimensions all the time. More or less everyone who didn't (both of them)
NoNoNoNo-nyo. StuartFraser has never understood how anyone could get confused by the whole 3D thing. What's the problem with it? If you just rotate the camera a bit it all becomes planar for that plane anyway (and in the campaign, you tended to be in the same plane as your main enemy, although the direct approach was by no means always the best one).
Confused because the camera control was untenable and thinking in true 3d is just HARD.  It's not too bad when there's just two fleets - but one of the good things about cataclysm was that, most often, things were more complicated than that.
Addendum.  Also, the distances involved make unit identification somewhat hard, and space is a very very nasty colour, apparantly.  It's not to do with the 3dness of the game, but when you can't tell what's going on because a whole bunch of nearly identical boxy things are firing some numbers of green things across a horrible yellow background - it becomes somewhat hard to play.

thought the game was one of the cleverest and most innovative take on the RTS format ever. The only flaw was a rather limited research tree.

Also possessed of a genuinely challenging and varied campaign mode, definitely a rarity in RTS nowadays.

Looks rather interesting, and rather cool.  An RTS with both a research tree and decent use of 3 dimensions sounds worth looking into.
... *browses http://homeworld.sierra.com/hw/overview/ and http://homeworld.sierra.com/hw/guide/ a bit...*
Yep, I /definitely/ want to play this now :)  --AlexChurchill
You might have difficulty finding it; then again, I suppose it or it's sequel/add-on, Cataclysm ought to be out on budget by now or fairly soon. If you find Cataclysm, let *me* know as I want to play it and can't find it. --SF
I decided to spend my year-old HMV voucher this weekend.  I spotted Homeworld:Cataclysm for 5, and promptly picked it up (they had several more copies, on the "cheap/old PC games" shelf).  (They didn't have any mention of the original Homeworld game.)  I've played the tutorial and the first 2 levels - seems cool enough so far.  I fear the 3D may end up being little more than a gimmick, at least in single-player campaigns, where things may work out being pretty much planar.  I'm sure there are terrifying multi-player strategies for catching your opponent in surprise 3D pincer moves and suchlike.  I'll update this when I've played a bit more.  --AlexChurchill

Check [eBay], searching for Homeworld. The original turns up for as little as $2, and Cataclysm for 4 if SF hasn't got there first ;) --CH
Definitely seen it in Game round here for a fiver, recently.
I'm sufficiently interested to waste 5 on it but am somewhat nervous of Ebay (not having used it much / at all.  How likely is it that the game being offered is actually an original?  Alternatively, since I will be in Cambridge this weekend (Yay!), which Game?  Or will I be stepping on someone's toes, in which case I'll skip? - Kazuhiko
Well... I saw it in the game on East road, just off of Southampton high street - so I doubt you'll be stepping on toes if you buy it in the Game in lions yard ;)
*blink*  You mean there's someone on the Wiki who lives near Southampton?  I thought there was nothing but Mundanes for miles in every direction! - Kazuhiko (who finds it ironic that this is the one weekend when he will not be going into the Game in Southampton)

I have a copy I'm not using at the moment - I'll happily loan it to anyone who wants to play it for a term or so. I'll bring it next term, LMK if you're interested. -- TheInquisitor. PS: The original game, not Cataclysm.
ChrisHowlett has located a pre-owned copy in Enfield GameStation? for 99p. He smells a trade-in.

AlexChurchill has now played Cataclysm rather more (up to single-player mission 9), and likes. Thoughts (edited to remove /Spoilers) include:
Discussion moved to /Spoilers
It is.

Vitenka wrote this interesting line: It actually sounds like it's using more of the 'almost RTS elements' from a FlightSim than otherwise.  Could I ask you to elaborate what you mean a little?  --AlexChurchill

Best examples would be FreeSpace (or its sequel,the imaginatively named FreeSpaceTwo?) - or possibly JumpGate?.  These games do not have real RTS elements, but they emulate them in a plot, by having certain ship and missile types resupplied only infrequently, by various technological developments occuring (some based upon player action or inaction) and by pretending that the global economic model is of import to the plot.  Games as old as F16-FighterPilot? employed these methods, though crudely.  The seamlessness with which the illusion of real strategy and progress is becoming more seamless - but we're not there yet (with disasterous consequences when the player-base works out how to exploit the flaws)  In such a FlightSim game, these elements are usually not directly controlled by the player - but respond to the players actions.  So, for example, if the player manages to complete a bonus goal of protecting a convoy ship which the plot had written off as a likely casualty, they might be rewarded with a shipment of better missiles than they usually have available.  Does that explain what I mean?  The player has no control over the resource gathering in such games, but is given the impression that such gathering and directing the output is taking place and can be influenced.  More importantly, if the player messes up then the penalties make sense.  --Vitenka
(Actually, in JumpGate? the economic model is real - it's just the 'what gets built or invented next' that is completely out of the players hands.)  --Vitenka

Okay, that makes sense. I hadn't really come across that aspect of FlightSims, although I've only played about 2 genuine flightsims anyway (FA-18 Interceptor and the fabulous Wings?, although it's probably stretching it to call that a FlightSim too).  Homeworld (:Cataclysm) may well use a number of such things in the single-player campaign.  I get the impression that one piece of research I did in mission 7 or 8 wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't performed a certain (optional) action, and the game would have quite happily let me continue for the rest of the 1-playe campaign without being able to build one or two types of ship which depend on that research, and without even knowing that I'd missed anything.  I approve of this - it reminds me of the SecretLevels? in things like Mario games which if you didn't go exploring, you wouldn't have a clue you were missing anything.  --AlexChurchill

Could I ask you in turn to elaborate a little on this phrase?  The seamlessness with which the illusion of real strategy and progress is becoming more seamless - but we're not there yet (with disasterous consequences when the player-base works out how to exploit the flaws)  --AlexChurchill

Yeesh, what language am i speaking, martian?  (Reads sentence fragment)  Gleeble-weeble-spork!  I am speaking martian!  Um, let's see.  I meant that early attempts to put this kind of thing into flight-sims was laughable - it was very obvious what actions would trigger pricesly what effects, and perhaps more to the point, made no actual difference to the game.  Sometimes, worse, it would only make a difference very late on - so decisions made whilost still learning how to play would prevent you having any chance at winning.  The integration of the two types of game-style has continued - but they are not seamless yet.  In every game I have seen, it is possible to game the rts-like portion.  Worse, some games seem to rely upon this (in that the game becomes practically impossible to win unless you play the RTS portion perfectly)  JumpGate? is singled out here - though the reactions to learning for definite that the rts portion was in fact scripted, and would in no way be diverted from its intended course were not massive abuse of the system, they did lead to a massive outflux of players.  I should owe you an apology for the unintended incomprehensibility of my excessive terseness, but instead I implore you to learn martian.  --Vitenka

I could read the manual, but it's probably easier to ask here. In the original, I have a Repair Corvette. When it is selected, hovering over other ships shows a little red-cross icon - presumably "Repair". But clicking simply selects the other ship. So how do I institute a repair? --CH
You either right-click or double-click, and I can't remember which without loading a game up and trying it myself. --SF
I think that pressing Z and then clicking works, but again I can't check without loading a game up. --Requiem

Cataclysm is currently being LP'd on SA; SF [donated this video] to the effort, showing the way you really shouldn't play mission 3 but which is more fun than hyperspacing out.
Hee, yay. Makes me really really want to replay this. I already spent quite a number of hours trying to get VirtualBox? working running Win98... when I eventually succeeded, the frame rate was dismal and there was no sound. One of these days I'll plug in my old computer and reformat it as Win98 purely for the purpose of playing Cataclysm. It was fun. --AC
Also, I assume I must be misremembering, but I didn't think you got Mimics until rather later than that? --AC
I can run Cataclysm on XP, for whatever that's worth - it needs the 1.01 patch, but it behaves (that video was recorded from XP). Mimics appear in the second mission - that's the third. The technology that makes them substantially better doesn't appear (as I comment) until much later, mission 7 or so. --SF


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