Apr 2, 2013

Hardware : A Spiritual Successor To Homeworld?

You've probably never heard of the relatively new startup called Blackbird Interactive, but after hearing about the type of talent they're harboring that might change your mind. Founded by longtime veterans of Relic and EA, this studio might be small but the folks leading it pack a quite punch. Among them is Rob Cunningham, the man behind the incredible, award winning art direction of Homeworld as well as Dawn Of War and Company Of Heroes. Following his departure from the studio in 2007, he set out to start fresh with familiar faces bringing along Aaron Kambeitz (Lead artist on Homeworld 1&2), art director Cody Kenworthy (Company Of Heroes, Dawn Of War 2, Space Marine) and uber engineer Yossarian King to form Blackbird, expanding the team with incredible talent over the course of three years.

Incidental similarities or intentional homage?
Hardware touts itself as an immersive social-strategy game, in which players embark on a planetary  gold rush to unearth the riches of a mysterious desert littered with the wrecks of ancient starships. BlackBird interactive is hoping to create a persistent experience for players centered around controlling massive vehicles specialized in exploring, salvaging and fighting on LM-27. Watching the trailer I couldn't help but notice some strange similarities in design language, a natural carry over from working on Homeworld or perhaps their attempt to create a spiritual successor to the series?

Even in concept, the idea of massive vehicles harboring smaller, specialized vehicles bears a rather striking resemblance to the way Homeworld's massive motherships functioned, as seen in this official concept released when the game was first teased. Speculation aside, I couldn't be happier to see the core group behind some of my personal favorite RTS games reuniting to create the games they've always wanted to, free of publisher input and all that nonsense. The company is already accepting beta registration over on their website, if you're so inclined. Check out some of the amazing art released for the game below

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