North America: Q4 2003
Europe: Q1 2004
Developer: 3Map Games
Publisher: Russobit-M

Interview by: Matthew Patterson

Let's be honest: it's been a while since a good space sim has hit the stores. The days of Elite are over, and the space sims genre seems to be the dying one. But there is still hope, in the form of 3Map Games' and Russobit-M's Homeplanet – a “classic” style space sim. The game has already been released in Russia, and enjoyed quite a success there. The game was still in translation stages for the rest of the world, when news that Homeplanet will have a MP addon reached the gamers. Both Homeplanet and the addon will be released at the same time, possibly in the same box, first in North America and then Europe.

Hi, please introduce yourself and your role in this project.

My name is Michael Zubik, and I am the project leader, artist and designer of Homeplanet Add-on.

Can you introduce Homeplanet to our readers please?

Homeplanet is the battle spacesim, and its main feature is real Newton physics. The player has to drive the killing flying machine to complete his battle mission. Sometimes he does it alone, sometimes with his allies. And, often he finds himself in the center of bloody space battle with a lot of ships. The newbie pilot has to defend his rights in the boundless space. To win, the player has to drive different spacecrafts effectively. Also, he is able to take spaceships, which are controlled by AI, under control.

Why did you decide to split the product into two releases?

There was no decision to split the game into two parts. The game is very specific, and it was very interesting how players will appreciate it.
Just after the release of original HP we have received a lot of positive responses and proposals, and there were some people who wanted the Homeplanet to be continued. That's why we decided to create the multiplayer add-on, which will have the multiplayer mode.

What new features will the release bring?

There will be no complete changes in engine or in gameplay.
We prepare new singleplayer campaign, and the action in it will take place after the end of original Homeplanet plot. Now, the player will play the part of the definite character, and there will be some characters which will follow the player through all the game. Also we plan to fill the game with some small, but interesting features, like shooting from the machine-gun ring, realistic locations - you will be able to fly over the planet, to come closer to it.
Also, new clan, some new ships and locations will appear.

What sort of modes will the game support - Co-op? FFA?

We plan to make two modes: Cooperative - joint walkthrough of the campaign and Deathmatch. Also I want to mention that one of the players will play the main part, and that will make him the key person of the game. If that player is killed, the game is over.
Also there will be some separate missions where the players will be able to play against eash other - like convoy defence or attacking the linear ship.

Can you give us an example of how the multiplayer games play out? I.E Where you start in space, how and what you fight?

The multiplayer will be played as usual.
There will be chat in the game, where the players will meet, then they'll have to choose their side, ship and weapons, and then the mission will take place.
If this is deathmatch, the players will play team vs. team, if this is co-op or the separate mission - the objectives which the team needs to win.

How many players will be supported? - And how many servers will there be at the launch of the add-on?

The game will support up to 16 players. The number of servers is not yet known, but we plan at least one.

What sort of connection do you need to play online? Will dialup be good enough, or will it be too slow for online play?

The dialup will not be good enough for the game. Probably you'll need higher speeds - like DSL.

When will the two games be released in North America and Europe?

Irina Semenova, Russobit-M's PR Executive: The game will be released before Christmas in North America, and in the beginning of 2004 in Europe.

Anything you would like to add for the Gamers Hell readership?

I really hope that you'll like our Homeplanet, and you'll spend a lot of time playing this game. We promise to bring you new interesting games!