Developer Blackbird Interactive has revealed quite a bit of detail about some of the audio/visual aspects of the upcoming space-based strategy game Homeworld 3. Detailed in a post on Steam, the studio talks about bringing fully-animated 3D cutscenes to the game’s campaign, as well as how the game’s audio works.
While the original Homeworld and its sequel featured cutscenes that largely involved static images with narration and voice acting, the cutscenes in Homeworld 3 will instead feature characters-based cutscenes that will be fully modeled and animated. Cutscenes will feature key characters in the game’s story, and will be pre-rendered.
On the audio side of things, Homeworld 3 is being designed with a single core idea: “Humanize the fleet”. To help with this idea, the game will feature a speech system that hopes to bring life to its moment-to-moment gameplay. This includes a new take on the traditional “barks” that real-time strategy games feature when commanding units.
Each ship in Homeworld 3 will have two voices. One will be the primary bark that lets players know what the ship is doing. The second voice will be there for the sake of atmosphere and story, and will only be audible if the player zooms in really close to the ship in question. This chatter between ships will happen regardless of whether the player can hear them or not, and players will be able to stumble into conversations between ships.
Homeworld 3 will also feature Unreal Engine 4’s Physically Based Rendering system, which allows the studio to realistically simulate how light would interact with varous materials in space. This will allow the game to have dynamic lighting and real-time surface reflections, as well as shadows and global illumination.
On the gameplay side of things, the real-time strategy title will feature dynamically-generated nebulae that can affect how a battle plays out. For example, ships flying into a nebula will be able to make use of the gas cloud’s ability to hide it from enemy sensors. Homeworld 3 will feature realistically-simulated gas to help generate these nebulae.