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Homeworld is a real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sierra Studios on September 28, 1999, for Microsoft Windows. Set in space, the science fiction game follows the Kushan exiles of the planet Kharak after their home planet is destroyed by the Taiidan Empire in retaliation for developing hyperspace jump technology. The survivors journey with their spacecraft-constructing mothership to reclaim their ancient homeworld of Hiigara from the Taiidan, encountering a variety of pirates, mercenaries, traders, and rebels along the way. In each of the game's levels, the player gathers resources, builds a fleet, and uses it to destroy enemy ships and accomplish mission objectives. The player's fleet carries over between levels, and can travel in a fully three-dimensional space within each level rather than being limited to a two-dimensional plane. Homeworld was created over two years, and was the first game developed by Relic. Studio co-founders Alex Garden and Luke Moloney served as the director and lead programmer for the game, respectively. The initial concept for the game's story is credited to writer David J. Williams, while the script itself was written by Martin Cirulis and the background lore was written by author Arinn Dembo. The music of the game was written by composer Paul Ruskay as the first title from his Studio X Labs, with the exception of Samuel Barber's 1936 Adagio for Strings, considered the defining theme of the game, and a licensed track from English rock band Yes, "Homeworld (The Ladder)". Homeworld is listed by review aggregator Metacritic as the highest rated computer game of 1999, and the fourth-highest on any platform for the year. Critics praised the game's graphics, unique gameplay elements, and multiplayer system, though opinions were divided on the game's plot and high difficulty. The game sold over 500,000 copies in its first six months, and received several awards and nominations for best strategy game of the year and best game of the year. A release of the game's source code in 2003 sparked unofficial ports to macOS and Linux, and three more games in the Homeworld series have been produced: Homeworld: Cataclysm (2000), Homeworld 2 (2003), and Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (2016). Gearbox Software purchased the rights to the series from then-owners THQ in 2013, and released a remastered collection of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 in 2015 for Windows and macOS which was also highly regarded. Gearbox announced the fifth game in the series, Homeworld 3, on August 30, 2019; the game development is being crowdfunded through Fig, and is slated for a Q4 2022 release.
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