What Happened to Homeworld: Cataclysm? (Part One Maybe?)

Why No Love for This Game?

Why No Love for This Game?

With all the talk of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 getting an HD makeover from the folks at Gearbox, I had to wonder…what happened to Cataclysm? I’ve not played Cataclysm, but I’ve been told many a time it’s the best in the series, but it seems to be something of a black sheep, as a lot of folks seemed to skip it since it wasn’t from Relic directly. Regardless, I wanted to find out what happened to this entry in the series, so I first contact friend of the site Paul “Rorschach” Tobia. You may remember Paul from the podcast we did on Sword of the Stars.

In that podcast, Paul said how he knew the folks at Kerberos, and how they used to be Barking Dog Studios, the folks behind Cataclysm. I therefore contacted Paul, and he put me in touch with some of his friends at Kerberos. After writing a polite email about the issue, I got this reply from Chris Stewart, a producer at Kerberos.

Hi Brian,

Thus far Gearbox hasn’t talked much about Cataclysm. Technically, it’s part of the same IP, but assets and code are less directly available, so I don’t know if they’re keeping mum on it until they know what they can and can’t make available, or if they think because it was made by another company, the rights are distinct from 1 & 2 – though with all third-parties involved basically dissolved, I doubt that’s the case. I hope they don’t think it’s not of interest to gamers!

There should have been code copies at Barking Dog, Relic, and Sierra. Sierra’s would be long gone, and I don’t know what the archive situation at Relic was in regards to Cataclysm, but Barking Dog’s are certainly gone as well – where to, I don’t know, we haven’t been involved with Barking Dog / Rockstar in over a decade, and at least two different offices. Cataclysm existed in a weird space where Sierra wanted an expansion to the series, but Relic wanted it separated from the main line, hence the “standalone expansion” marketing oxymoron. Relic was pretty dismissive of Cataclysm, so I don’t know what they would or would not have saved.

It’s possible that stuff still exists on back-ups that went to another Rockstar office, but honestly I doubt it.

All music and sound assets (VO, dialogue, etc.) are still archived at Studio X Labs, last I checked, at best quality – theoretically the base Cataclysm, using just a retail copy, could have it’s sound up-scaled, since it’s no longer constrained to a CD. I’m not sure about removing or spoofing the Securom DRM – I’m sure if the pirates can work around it, Gearbox could work around it, without having to find the source assets. But I’m just thinking out loud.

That probably doesn’t help you much – if you have any specific questions I can help with, let me know, I’ll do what I can.

There’s some good information in there, to be sure, but I wanna know more. Chris gave me another lead to follow, which I plan to, so that’s where I’ll leave this for now. If I find anything further I’ll let y’all know. :)

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Comments

  1. Michael says

    Thanks for pursuing this! Cataclysm is one of my favourite games of all time and a worthy part of the Homeworld saga. I’m looking forward to hearing what else you can discover!

    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Welcome to the comments Michael, and it’s my pleasure! Hopefully something good will come of it. :)

  2. says

    Agreed, I played the living shit out of it in multiplayer. It was stable, required little bandwith and just performed well. Two very different sides and still relatively balancd…pure awesome.

  3. Timmaigh! says

    Wow, that is interesting read, thanks for sharing….and yeah, please do more investigation on the subject.

  4. Andrew says

    Best game ever. Please do keep us updated. Cataclysm is in my top 2 games of all time. FInished homeworld 2 again yesterday and started cataclysm today… its so much better its actually scary. an HD version of this would make me sell all my other games and quit my job!

      • Andrew says

        I envy you. Seriously. if you havnt tried it you are in for a serious treat. Unlike many games of old that dont age terribly well, cataclysm defines what makes a game great. it actually will make you reflect on what you have been playing and rethink a few thinks… quality at its best. i really hope they give it the dress it deserves.

  5. Jared says

    It’s been awhile, but have you found out any more info about Catalysm? It’s my favorite game of all time. Many good memories from the multiplayer. Thanks for what you’ve already provided.

    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Hey Jared, welcome to the comments. I’ve not yet heard anything, but I’ll poke at it again to see if anything pops up. ;)

  6. Steve says

    I just learned myself about the HD remake for HW and HW2, it would be a shame to not have an HW Cataclysm HD remake. The story was just great.

    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Sigh, yeah, apparently someone else entirely has the rights. I need to actually play it myself as well.

  7. Steve says

    Make sure you are using WinXP computer, been trying to install it on Win7 and so far have not been able to.

    • Lothal says

      Make sure it runs as administrator and add /dsound /heap 1073741824 /enableSSE /forceSSE to the target-line in your desktop-link to force the game to run better.

      • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

        Hey Lothal, welcome to the comments. I’ll give these a try next time I try Cataclysm, which I’ve actually never played. :/

  8. Darren says

    Steve you need to run the installer as an administrator. A bit of googling will give you your answers.

    Please please please let this most awesome of the trilogy be re-made. The massive ZOT gun is the closest to a wave motion cannon (Star Blazers) you can get in gaming.

  9. says

    It would be wonderful to see this game remade…
    Or if we could at least get a high quality audio pack. I’d love to hear what that glorious music sounds like in proper bitrate :)

    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Welcome to the comments hok, and yeah, it’s as deserving of an HD treatment as the other two at the very least.

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