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berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

I've got Sand in my everything! Let's Play Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak



HOMEWORLD!

Pretty much. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is the fourth game in the Homeworld series, and the first in chronological order. This game takes place 110 years before Homeworld 1, and tells the tale of the mission to recover the unusual artefact discovered in the Deserts of Kharak - the Khar-TobaJarakai Object.

Yes, the developers made no secret of the end goal, even as the characters in-game have no clue to start.

Is it any Good?
It's not a 3D game any more, due to taking place on the surface of Kharak. That doesn't change the fact that this is still the same design team that created the first Homeworld, and without the horrible development cycle of Homeworld 2. I would place it at about the same level of Cataclysm, though for different reasons. The plot is well paced and written, the mechanics are simple and well integrated, the graphics are beautiful.

The LP itself

Like my previous LPs of the Homeworld series, this will be a subtitled video LP. There is a difficulty setting, but I will keep that at 'Normal'. Videos will not cut anything out, though I will definitely fast-forward through the long waiting/resourcing sections of the game.

At the end, I will do skirmish runs with both factions, then perhaps play some actual multiplayer with some willing Goons.

Previous LPs?

Yes. I did Homeworld, Homeworld: Cataclysm, and Homeworld 2. Only HW1 has immediate plot relevance, and its manual is recommended reading. HW2 can be ignored (thankfully). And Cataclysm? Well, the Somtaaw are back, and the Kapisi has the same spirit as the Kuun-Lan, as the later missions will show. Though you don't need that game to understand this one.

Spoilers?

NONE! None whatsoever, unless I bring it up in a video first. I recognize that not everyone will have played or experienced Homeworld before watching this LP, but there are plenty of points where foreshadowing needs to be illuminated. Therefore, this LP will contain spoilers about the other games, but please don't spoil them ahead of time.

VIDEOS


Skirmish Matches

Art and Other Images

MShadowy produced two sketches/drawings of what the Kalash (Missions 04 and 05) may have looked like when it was intact. They are included here:



I got an image of the religious carving in the Gaalsien base from the starting cutscene of Mission 08. Have a look, and see just how much history is referenced.

This is another image of the Kiith symbols found in the Khar-Toba. I kinda like it, and used it as the image for the last mission instead of the mission patch.

berryjon fucked around with this message at 15:34 on Apr 5, 2016

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Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


I'm so glad you are doing this, as I was on the fence about buying Deserts of Kharak. Now I can see if the game is worth it.

Sel Nar
Dec 19, 2013



Torrannor posted:

I'm so glad you are doing this, as I was on the fence about buying Deserts of Kharak. Now I can see if the game is worth it.

Considering the comparison to Cataclysm, You can safely argue that it's pretty much at the golden point of 'great mechanics, sine-wave difficulty, and a compelling story'

JamieTheD
Nov 4, 2011

LPer, Reviewer, Mad Welshman

(Yes, that's a self portrait)

It's weird, it doesn't look like rotoscope so much as digitally painted textures over a model in set lighting, but it's still masterfully done, and I've not really seen that done before, so props either way. Also liking how fluid the combat and animations look... Can tell there's a lot of polish work been done here, and I really appreciate it.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

JamieTheD posted:

It's weird, it doesn't look like rotoscope so much as digitally painted textures over a model in set lighting,

I call it rotoscoping due to how I saw it when I first played the game - that's what my mind jumped too.

radintorov
Feb 18, 2011


One minor nitpick I'm having with the game is that they keep referring to Rachel as, well, Rachel: it feels a bit weird that every other officer is referred to with their role except for her, despite being the chief science officer.
It is admittedly the only thing I'm finding off for now, and I'm looking forward to seeing how good this game actually is, though the positive comparison to Cataclysm is making me hopeful that it is (and that I may have to get it myself ).

The cutscenes remind me a lot of the Thief series with the art direction they chose for it and the background chatter so far provides a lot of minor details on what's going on.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

radintorov posted:

One minor nitpick I'm having with the game is that they keep referring to Rachel as, well, Rachel: it feels a bit weird that every other officer is referred to with their role except for her, despite being the chief science officer.

Actually, a lot of people get names - in the post mission debrief. The Inel Officer is Nathan S'Jet, for example.

Speedball
Apr 15, 2008



Homeworld. Now actually taking place ON a homeworld for once.

bony tony
Aug 9, 2013



This game is really pretty. The units have clear visual cohesion and design (I imagine that the Gaalsien units are similarly cohesive), there's a clear sense of scale to everything (unit production facilities notwithstanding), and the constant radio chatter gives the whole situation some great auditory texture. Homeworld seems to work fairly well in 2D, as well.

If I were going to play one Homeworld game, it'd be this one. I tried the first game, but couldn't get my head around the spherical thinking.

radintorov
Feb 18, 2011


berryjon posted:

Actually, a lot of people get names - in the post mission debrief. The Inel Officer is Nathan S'Jet, for example.
Yes, but he mentioned that while recording his personal log, not during the "go / no go" phase of getting the ship online for example.
Again, it's a very minor nitpick, but I was wondering if I was the only one that thought of it.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

radintorov posted:

Yes, but he mentioned that while recording his personal log, not during the "go / no go" phase of getting the ship online for example.
Again, it's a very minor nitpick, but I was wondering if I was the only one that thought of it.

Well, she's a Hero Unit in an RTS. Of course everyone is going to use her name, rather than calling her "Baserunner" or "Science".

Also, something I didn't mention in the second video - when a general unit levels up, they do get a name when you click on the unit itself. All the LAVs are piloted by someone from the Kiith S'Jet, the Armored Vehicles are Kiith Soban.I really need to find a point and sit down with unit chatter. and just cycle through them all. Possibly a bonus video.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Wow. This actually looks pretty good. I just... wow. Didn't see that coming.

radintorov
Feb 18, 2011


berryjon posted:

Also, something I didn't mention in the second video - when a general unit levels up, they do get a name when you click on the unit itself. All the LAVs are piloted by someone from the Kiith S'Jet, the Armored Vehicles are Kiith Soban.
That is a really cool level of detail.
I'm more and more impressed by this.

EponymousMrYar
Jan 4, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.


Also on the fence about getting this (monetary issues non-withstanding) so glad that this is getting an LP!

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

anilEhilated posted:

Wow. This actually looks pretty good. I just... wow. Didn't see that coming.

Didn't see what coming? Because there's a whole lot of "WHAT?!?" coming.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

berryjon posted:

Didn't see what coming? Because there's a whole lot of "WHAT?!?" coming.
Oh, sorry. The game being actually good.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker

Excellent. New Homeworld LP, and it looks like a good game as well.

Superstring
Jul 22, 2007

I thought I was going insane for a second.



Good to see the game being LPed. I really enjoyed it even though I feel there are a number of flaws holding me back from loving it.

Something I picked up on in the first video, at around 7:20 the base PA system announces that the carriers Fiiskire and Akalon have been destroyed.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20 - 4/2/20





I know Homeworld 1 had a lot of neat setting information in the instruction manual. Is there any explanation as to how their culture somehow came up with the idea of land carriers? It comes off as very "We needed to include a mothership in a land based game....sooooo..."

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

Superstring posted:

Something I picked up on in the first video, at around 7:20 the base PA system announces that the carriers Fiiskire and Akalon have been destroyed.

There are flaws in the game. The midgame is weak, and the fate of the Sakala could have been handled a bit better. Which is why I equate it with Cataclysm - good, but not great.


Two down. Three to go.

Kurieg posted:

I know Homeworld 1 had a lot of neat setting information in the instruction manual. Is there any explanation as to how their culture somehow came up with the idea of land carriers? It comes off as very "We needed to include a mothership in a land based game....sooooo..."

Originally the Baserunner, Rachel's vehicle, was supposed to be the primary unit, but in development, things changed. I like the Kapisi though. Think of it less as a Mothership, and more as a Carrier.

Treuan
Jun 30, 2011

Go have some COFFEE with CREAM or something! Because I'll tell you something! This is a happy place!


I'm really excited to see you doing this this! I'm still on the fence about buying it, so hopefully this LP can convince me one way or the other!

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Kurieg posted:

I know Homeworld 1 had a lot of neat setting information in the instruction manual. Is there any explanation as to how their culture somehow came up with the idea of land carriers? It comes off as very "We needed to include a mothership in a land based game....sooooo..."

There are no seas on Kharak. Every term we use for naval stuff, they use for desert stuff. It makes some sense that they would try to make a mobile airstrip just like real people do.

Lazy Gun
Apr 7, 2009


Fun Shoe

I really like the physics on the smaller vehicles we've seen (the base runner, LAVs, and the resourcer). It really gives them a sense of presence and character.

FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


Speedball posted:

Homeworld. Now actually taking place ON a homeworld for once.

Except it isn't. At least, not ours.

Onean
Feb 11, 2010


I loved the little banter about intelligence sources in the background of the second video. Looking forward to this.

Captain Bravo
Feb 16, 2011

An Emergency Shitpost
has been deployed...

...but experts warn it is
just a drop in the ocean.

Tasteful Dickpic posted:

and the constant radio chatter gives the whole situation some great auditory texture.

This cannot be repeated enough. During a lull in the fighting of episode two, I heard an ops officer berating a captain for acting on information received from unapproved sources, then saying that off-the-record they were probably doing the right thing, and until actual game dialogue cut in on the tail end of that I didn't realize it wasn't actually part of the mission. It feels really, really natural, and I loving love it. Just as much as I love friendly interceptors flying low over the mission and the commander announcing not to fire upon them. It makes the world feel lived-in.

Another thing I like is how the units move During the first mission I thought it was kind of stupid how the dune buggies were shooting while driving, it felt like they were just trying to copy/paste space fighters into the 2D map, and I thought it was clunky. But when the second mission rolled around and I saw how the actual battles played out it suddenly made a lot more sense. The way that railguns operate, and the niche that the buggies fill dictates the way they drive. The units that you'd actually expect to stop and fire, the Assault tanks, do. It really drives home just how different things operate on Kharak, and make me sincerely appreciate the care and detail that's been put into the design, a complete 180 from my initial impression.

One final thing, it seemed like the Galcian transmission was griping about the planned expedition, like they were responding to impending aggression with a preliminary strike. I guess that's not how it's going to shake out, but I didn't really get the same disconnect that you seemed to imply we were seeing?

Sindai
Jan 24, 2007
i want to achieve immortality through not dying

Captain Bravo posted:

One final thing, it seemed like the Galcian transmission was griping about the planned expedition, like they were responding to impending aggression with a preliminary strike. I guess that's not how it's going to shake out, but I didn't really get the same disconnect that you seemed to imply we were seeing?
I thought exactly the same thing.

Xenoborg
Mar 10, 2007



Its probably going to come up more, but I liked the part in the Galcian message where they listed going to space as one of their grievances. Implies that had taken the practical effects of their hiding on Kharak thousands of years ago and integrated it into their religion. Sort of like pork being banned in several religions originally for health reasons and then it became just a part of the mysticism.

1stGear
Jan 16, 2010

hey kid how's the cake


Gaalsian.

RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.



Games Idiot Court Jester


Xenoborg posted:

Its probably going to come up more, but I liked the part in the Galcian message where they listed going to space as one of their grievances. Implies that had taken the practical effects of their hiding on Kharak thousands of years ago and integrated it into their religion. Sort of like pork being banned in several religions originally for health reasons and then it became just a part of the mysticism.

You'll want to pay attention to some background details in later cutscenes about that.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

Xenoborg posted:

Its probably going to come up more, but I liked the part in the Galcian message where they listed going to space as one of their grievances.

The thing is - the Gaalsein are quite willing to talk and use diplomacy. Yes, they're religious extremists who take their views on what is and is not seriously, and have been in a technical state of war with the northern Kiith for 3 centuries. But they will still talk if that gets them what they want. And they tried to talk the Northen Coalition out of sending an expedition to the Khar-TobaJaracai Object years ago and failed.

Doesn't help any that about the only ones who could possibly independently verify some of their religious claims with documents are those assholes, the Somtaaw - demanding that anyone who wants to look at them has to go through the whole 33 temple Shining Path.

Rick_Hunter
Jan 5, 2004

My guys are still fighting the hard fight!
(weapons, shields and drones are still online!)


I thought it was well known by now that Kiith Gaalsien view Kushan habitation of Kharak as punishment from Sajuuk and any kind of effort to leave as heresy?

Sylphosaurus
Sep 6, 2007


Yeah, the Gaalsien are religious fanatics and any kind of diplomatic talks that didn't stop the spaceprogram completely would probably not even be of interest for them, at most they'd probably stall for time in order to launch more effective surprise attacks.

gently caress Kith Gaalsien is what I'm trying to say here.

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE





Hmmm, as powerful as the sun? Is the hyperdrive a fusion reactor then?

Sylphosaurus
Sep 6, 2007


Slaan posted:

Hmmm, as powerful as the sun? Is the hyperdrive a fusion reactor then?
Since Homeworld 2 stated it's an oh so "special" hyperdrive core, it's probably running on pixie kisses and unicorn farts.

Speedball
Apr 15, 2008



Since most of the units are vehicles with turrets on top, the game still has the "everyone fights while still in motion" thing that Homeworld games have always had. Interesting.

Before it was because they were all fighters and bombers in outer space, so naturally everyone was always in motion. Here it's because we're playing Twisted Metal: The RTS meets Mad Max.

RBA Starblade
Apr 27, 2008

Going Home.



Games Idiot Court Jester


Slaan posted:

Hmmm, as powerful as the sun? Is the hyperdrive a fusion reactor then?

Breach in starboard fusion chamber.

FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


RBA Starblade posted:

Breach in starboard fusion chamber.

Speaking of Homeworld 2, one of the gripes that caused me to lose interest in it very quickly was that, unlike the two games before it, you never had a moment to rest. At least as far as I played, you were always under attack, and if you weren't hyperspacing out under fire, you were doing so the instant the last attacker died. You never got a chance to organize your fleet, make upgrades, or even just take a breath, and it was almost painful, like someone had applied dynamic compression to the gameplay intensity at way too high a level.

Does Deserts of Kharak avoid that?

EponymousMrYar
Jan 4, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is my enemy.


There were some decent enough lulls just in the first mission.

Then again, twas the first mission.

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Phy
Jun 27, 2008





Fun Shoe

wiegieman posted:

There are no seas on Kharak. Every term we use for naval stuff, they use for desert stuff.

Well, there was that one Kiith whose motto was, "I can smell the sea", because of a pilgrimage they made across the vast empty desert to find an actual body of water. But that's out of the HW1 manual and I don't know yet if it's been made noncanon.

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