Frequently Asked Questions


Q: When is Homeworld 2 going to be released?
A: The game was released in North America and Australia on September 16, 2003.

Q: What will the system requirements be?
A: The minimum requirements are: Pentium III or AMD Athlon 833 MHz, 256 MB RAM, GeForce or ATI Radeon 7500 video card with 32 MB RAM, Hardware Transform & Lighting (T&L), OpenGL & DirectX 9.0 support, 1.6 GB hard drive space, 16X CD-ROM, Windows-compatible sound card, Broadband for Internet play, TCP/IP network for LAN play, Windows-compatible mouse and keyboard. The game will refuse to install if the minimum requirements are not met. Recommended system is 1.6 GHz, 512 MB RAM, GeForce 3/Radeon 8500 with 64 MB RAM.

Q: Will there be public Beta tests, and if so when?
A: Although both Alex Garden and Dan Irish said on several occasions that there would be "a number of tests," including "beta discs available at retail," on August 12 it was announced that there will not be a Beta test. So I guess a "beta disc" will be available at retail, but it will be the released product, and you'll get to pay full price to "test" it. 

Q: When does Homeworld 2 take place? Before or after the events of the first two games?
A: Homeworld 2 is set 100 years after the events of the first game.

Q: How many playable races are in the game?
A: According to Alex Garden, the game will ship with one single-player race (the Hiigarans) and two multiplayer-playable races (the Hiigarans and the Vaygr), possibly with more to be added later in possible expansion packs (don't hold your breath). Multiplayer is said to support 6 simultaneous players.

Q: Will the game use the familiar Homeworld style cutscenes and cinematics?
A: Yes.

Q: In the single-player campaign, will you still have a persistent fleet that you keep from mission to mission? How many missions will there be?
A: Yes, you'll keep the same fleet through the 15 missions of the single-player game.

Q: In the single-player game, how many of the original races from the first two games will appear?
A: The Kushan will appear as the new Hiigarans, and the Bentusi make an appearance. The Taiidan remnants are now a part of the Vaygr, the primary opponent. No other races from the previous games make an appearance. And that means no, there are no Kadeshi.

Q: Who's doing the music soundtrack?
A: Paul Ruskay's Studio X, responsible for the music and sound on the original Homeworld, is credited for the music on HW2. YES! is not planned to be on the soundtrack. The soundtrack will feature music performed by live orchestral musicians, instead of purely synthesized music as in the first game.

Q: Will the events of Homeworld: Cataclysm be ignored in the game?
A: Designer Morgan Jaffit has said that Homeworld 2 does not specifically contradict the events of Cataclysm, but neither does it focus on them. Dan Irish (Executive Producer) said that the events of Cataclysm are not mentioned in HW2, but are accepted as having happened.

Q: What new features does the "reworked from the ground up" HW2 graphic engine support?
A: A short-list of items that are supposedly featured: increased polycounts, increased texture size, per-pixel light glows (including a specular "glare" feature), dynamic lighting, specular mapping, location-specific ship damage, bitmapped (rather than vector BTG) backdrops, dynamic shadows, improved explosion and particle effects, and camera panning.

Q: Will Homeworld 2 be more modification-friendly than Homeworld?
A: Relic has promised to release tools and documentation through RDN to help with user modding, but have yet to do so. Some of the 3D tools require a commercial license for Maya, so how useful and mod-friendly they will be in actual practice remains to be seen. Personally, I doubt Sierra will offer any support whatsoever for this game, and thus far Relic has been content to blame their own lack of support on Sierra. I don't see this changing.

Q: What's the deal with the number 15 all over everything? Is it some sort of conspiracy?
A: It's nothing more sinister than artist J. Aaron Kambeitz's favorite number.

Q: Is it "Homeworld 2" or "Homeworld2"?
A: According to the Logo Usage Guidelines released by Relic in
January 2003: "Homeworld 2 should not be referred to as Homeworld II, HWII, HOMEWORLD, or Homeworld2. The official product name is Homeworld 2, however the abbreviation HW2 is acceptable."

Q: Is HW2 multiplayer networking Peer-to-Peer or Client-Server (like Blizzard games)?
A: According to
Programmer Cei Gladstone, HW2 uses a Peer-to-Peer networking model. (If you don't understand what that means, don't worry about it.)

Homeworld Shipyards FAQ

Q: What are these ".big" files that you get the ship stats from? How are they accessed?
A: Much of the game data for Homeworld and Cataclysm is stored in an archive file format called a ".big"; if you look in your game directory you'll see files with that extension (homeworld.big, cataclysm.big, update.big, etc.). The Mod community uses a program (which can be found here, among other places) created by Robert Scharen to extract and view the contents of these files, which range from 3D models and textures to text files containing statistics and scripts.

Q: Are the ".shp" files in the .big the same as those used in the Homeworld Ship Viewer? Can I use the Viewer to see ships in the .big? Can I extract ships from the .big for use in the Ship Viewer?
A: No, no, and no.

Q: Who or what is the "Insidious Spy Network™"?
A: It's my pet name for anonymous sources of information, who for various reasons won't or can't be named directly. Sometimes I literally don't know the source of the information; especially during the Cataclysm preview period, I received a number of leaked pieces of information from carefully disguised sources. (The trademark there is a joke, by the way.)

Q: How is it that Homeworld Shipyards can post magazine screenshots that other sites such as RelicNews or Homeworld Universe say are illegal to post? Aren't you afraid of being sued?
A: Despite what you may have been told, posting screenshots or other excerpts from magazine articles for purposes of news or reference is not illegal. Copyright law allows for the doctrine of "fair use", which is
use of portions of copyrighted work for criticism, comment, parody, satire, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use allows the use of copyrighted material without the owner's consent. While this is not blanket legal protection, the Shipyards is not a commercial site, sells no advertising and has no profit motive, and does not significantly negatively impact the potential market for the games or magazines in question. We've been doing this since 1998, and the developers are well aware of who we are and what we do; to date, we have never been asked to remove or to refrain from posting such images or excerpts.