Author Topic: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed  (Read 8432 times)

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Offline Stormkeeper

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Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
Stormkeeper:  If you weren't here last week, we were discussing Silent Threat : Reborn, the wildly popular re-make of the original Silent Threat. So. The story. I know you pretty much used the original ST storyline. Except patching up plot holes and the like.

Galemp: What there was of it.

Goober5000: Yeah. It was basically an outline, which we filled in

Galemp: Basically we had to figure out what the ST story WAS, like, who were the GTI, what role did they fill in the GTA, why did they rebel? Where did the Hades come from? The first and last command briefings in the campaign, that dealt with the GTI as a whole and the Hades specifically, were the first things we wrote. Once we had the back story structured so that it fit, in-universe, with what was canon, we expanded on it

Goober5000: Another thing is that the last mission of the original campaign was widely panned, so we had to figure out how to make the Hades awesome

Stormkeeper:  So who was responsible for thinking that stuff up?

Goober5000: Galemp did pretty much all of the story writing for the first few years.

Galemp: I came up with most of the story outline, structuring the GTI and giving them their motives. The tactical movements of the GTI in the early and late stages of the campaign were mostly Goober, analyzing the missions and the events therein.

Goober5000: There was some outside inspiration as well; I credit Mad Bomber with his Phasing Jump Nodes tech entry which neatly solved the puzzle of how to get the Hades into Deneb while giving it something to do.

Stormkeeper:  So how much of the current ST:R was written by you two?

Goober5000: "written" is a complicated word. It was a very organic process, and there were many times where Galemp and I just brainstormed over IM.

Stormkeeper:  So most of it was created by you two?

Galemp: I'd say so, yeah.

Goober5000: Yeah, pretty much all of it. As far as actual word-smithing, I rewrote the command briefings several times.

Stormkeeper:  Was it difficult? Coming up with something and making sure it stood with in-game data?

Galemp: There were plenty of posts in the public forum that were along the lines of "how about the GTI does blah blah blah", and they were all thinking far too small.

Goober5000: Heh, yeah, many of the posts said "I want to see the GTI do X”, but without any reasoning behind it.

Galemp: We were building on the in-game data and the rich history of conjecture that's followed the two games. Silent Threat for the most part seemed to have been neglected.

Goober5000: What was foremost in both of our minds was how to build a history behind what you actually see in the missions.

Galemp: Indeed. Like, in the original mission 3, there were two Orions, but why were there two Orions? We kept both but took the opportunity to actually have it make sense and do a lot in the mean time. Characterization, exposition, lots of things in that one moment. Bosch's brief comments about building on the GTI's research lead to a few interesting ideas, too

Goober5000: And then there were some tantalizing threads in the original ST that were suggested but then cast off. Like the concept of Lokis being stealth fighters.

Stormkeeper:  So you were trying to bridge FS1 and FS2 with ST:R?

Goober5000: I wouldn't call ST:R a "bridge" between FS1 and FS2; it's very much a FS1 era campaign, but we did try to tie it in to the FS2 background history, including reinterpreting the antagonism of the Terrans and Vasudans in the context of their later unification.

Galemp: And there are cameos and appearances to tie them together. For instance, the NTD Repulse now has a full and rich history. So after we determined what the story actually was, we set about moving around the missions, to fit that story. It's basically in three parts-- One, covert ops with the GTI as an introduction; Two, bringing the Great War to the Shivans and driving them into oblivion; Three, the Hades Rebellion. All of the existing missions fit into one of those arcs, and then we made a few more missions to fill in the blanks.

Goober5000: Galemp did a fine job of taking the original haphazard mission organizations and turning them into a coherent series of arcs. We only had to trash one mission -- the one where you capture a science cruiser out from under a HOL destroyer

Galemp: Yeah, we cut out the HoL completely

Goober5000: It made little sense; and the HOL didn't have much to do with anything

Galemp: In the Phoenix game, which we'll talk about later, I sort of wrapped up the HoL in regards to what they were doing in the ST:R time period.

Goober5000 : There is one single line about the HOL in the campaign; it's where Amentep says that his fighters repelled a HOL assault against the Orff. It's just there so players remember the HOL is still around during that time; just not the focus of the campaign. I imagine it's primarily being dealt with by the Vasudans, similar to the plot of Shrouding the Light.

Stormkeeper:  For missions; who designed the missions? I remember you two saying last week that the missions underwent constant discussion. But before FREDding begins, the missions must have had a general outline.

Galemp: Ahem, allow me... This is the Mission Status Mark II thread ... Created February 2003!

MISSION 3- GHOSTS (ST-03) -Goober5000-
MISSION 5- CLOAK AND DAGGER (ST-07) -Goober5000-
MISSION 7- THE WAIT (ST-11) -Alikchi/Galemp : -
MISSION 9- THE RETURN TO ROSS 128 (ST-10) -Goober5000-
MISSION 11- BETRAYED (Formerly 'EXODUS' ST-09) -Galemp : -
MISSION 12- EXODUS (NEW) -Blaise Russel/Goober5000-
MISSION 13- FORCED HAND (NEW) -Goober5000-
MISSION 15- SECRETS REBORN (ST12) -Goober5000-
MISSION 18- LAST STAND (NEW) -Goober5000-

Galemp: Playing with Fire later became He Who Rides the Tiger.

Stormkeeper:  So those are the individuals we have responsible for the designs?

Goober5000: Not exactly.

Stormkeeper:  What d'ya mean?

Goober5000: well, it was originally pretty balanced between me and Galemp :  -- we each had 9. But then I insisted on redoing mission 2 and 15. And for a while there were two competing versions of mission 5.

Galemp: While Voice Acting was being recorded, we were modifying the missions for MVP compatibility/enhancement. Mission 5 was the biggie.

Stormkeeper:  Why?

Galemp: Ok, well, if you'll recall, the original mission had potential, but wasn't very interesting.  It was the one where the pirate attack cripped the installation and the GTC Leto. There was an 'ionizing field' which was supposed to cause sensor interference, but didn't really work. So, what I really wanted to do was set the whole thing in a full nebula. 'Volatile gases escaping containment, limiting sensor range', which I thought would be really neat.

Goober5000: So, made a great mission, but he and I had different ideas in our minds about how it would play out. In retrospect, I regret pushing so hard for my version. :(

Quote from: Internal Thread
Goober: I think you and I have different takes on what the gigantic explosion means...  you say it makes the whole place radioactive, so to speak, making combat difficult.

GE: But how would we do that in-game?

Goober: I say the shockwave from the explosion destroyed the station's defenses, so that it's particularly vulnerable until reinforcements arrive.

Galemp: Goober wanted to use the Boadicea as the installation, which I was adamantly against.

Goober5000: Essentially, his interpretation was that the ionized gas made everything a mess, so the GTI had to come in and put everything in lockdown, while my interpretation was that the ionized gas would have dissipated in the interim, but the defenses on the other hand would still be out of order. And the Boadicea made sense to me as an asteroid base, as opposed to a vanilla installation.

Galemp: Eventually I conceded that the Boadicea MIGHT work, but we couldn't use that, and the nebula, so we ended up using the Boadicea and no nebula. That I was happy with, as there were some other events in the mission that I liked, dealing with the pirates. If I may quote...

Quote from: Internal Forum
GE: OK. How about this. Some Apollos jump in, maybe with an Amazon Adv. or two, and head for the cargo. You intercept, easy. Then the pirates go after the crippled cruiser. You're drawn away from the cargo, feeling smug that you've thwarted their little operation. Then the recovery freighters jump in, and you're given the orders to scan. Once one is revealed, the pirates break off their cruiser attack and go back to engaging you, trying to stop you from attacking their freighters. OK. How do you propose we use the Shivans? When should they start arriving, and what does Command say about it?

Goober: not much changed from how I had them originally... they crash the party but are too disorganized to present much of a threat

GE: So, let's organize our objectives. Primary: ensure safe recovery of cargo. Secondary: ensure survival of GTC Leto. Secondary: ensure survival of escape pods. Bonus: kill Shivans. There's an idea, the scattered Shivans can go after the escape pods.

Galemp: So the way I had it, there was a sort of interlude where you intercepted Athenas and guarded the Leto for a while. The way the mission is now... I don't know who wiped out all my events and wings, but I'm still upset at losing that. I just didn't have the energy to keep fighting it.

Goober5000: I'm going to see if I can find the wingmen voice actors. That mission deserves to be released.

Stormkeeper:  Something I was wondering. It's been a long while since I played the original ST. But I can't clearly remember any characters standing out. But ST:R clearly has memorable characters. Were they brand new, or did you just help exisiting ones come to life?

Goober5000: Memorable characters; yes.:) This is part of our emphasis on a history behind the missions. ST tried to do this, but failed hilariously. For example, in the original ST, the unnamed second admiral eulogizes Admiral Scott. I assume the mission designer figured that if it worked for Admiral Shima and Admiral Wolf, it would work here; however, you never really get attached to the Krios in the original Silent Threat, nor do you really know the commanding officer. Furthermore, there's no buildup of suspense or threat -- boom, suddenly the Krios is destroyed. So, if you go and reread the original ST's eulogy, it's basically making Admiral Scott into a paper saint.

Galemp: We tried very hard to make Admirals Scott, Tess, and Glaive into memorable characters, and the Krios, Soyakaze, and Repulse into memorable ships.

Stormkeeper:  Was it hard?

Goober5000: Hard to make them characters?  No, not really. But it didn't happen overnight either. We did a lot of thinking and brainstorming.

Galemp: I have to credit the voice actors, though. They really brought the characters to life. Glaive's delivery was spot-on.

Stormkeeper:  How long did scouting for VAs take you?

Goober5000: Ugh, ages. Let me look at the timeline;  July 2007 - External beta testing is complete; voice acting auditions open.

Galemp: Voice acting administration was entirely under Goober's control. I give him a lot of credit. He generated and split the scripts, sought out voice acting guilds, solicited auditions; evaluated auditions and posted them for us to evaluate, contacting the actors we wanted to use and hired them; managed the tons and tons of files we got and coordinated with the voice actors. All this while administering the boards and dealing with Phoenix. He really deserves a pat on the back.

Goober5000: Well, Phoenix came later... but yes, there was a lot of overlap during the last few months

Stormkeeper:  VA guilds?

Goober5000: Yup yup. VA guilds = forums for amateur voice actors. So, there are a few VA guilds around. Basically, HLP for voice acting. There are two major ones, the Voice Acting Alliance and the Voice Acting Club and then there were the professional sites, which I didn't focus on at first. So, when you contact voice actors they appreciate it if you have 1) a finalized script; and 2) a character description

Galemp: This is where we had to define a lot of the characters that we've been writing for

Goober5000: Yeah, so the main characters were easy... But it was a bit of a pain to figure out personality backgrounds for nameless wingmen :D And for many, many reasons, voice acting couldn't start until all missions were final FINAL. (due to lag between first and final lines, voice actor availability, possibility of re-voicing lines, etc.)

Stormkeeper:  Which took forever.

Goober5000: Yep. So, we hit GO time in July 2007. First round of posting on amateur forums yielded limited results a fair number of auditions, but very few good ones. And even fewer that actually sounded like adults. One thing I found that surprised me -- there are a lot more competent female amateur voice actors than males. I think the reason behind that is that usually male AVAs play a computer game and decide they want to voice for it, whereas females are usually people who want to go into voice acting anyway, and thus are more likely to be good at it. So, this went on for eight months, during which we cast and recorded very few roles. Then, the next thing happened

Goober5000: March 2008 - Voice123 rolls out service for non-profit and low-budget projects, which provides a much-needed supply of adult-sounding voices

Stormkeeper:  And ST:R 'joined up', so to speak?

Goober5000: Yup. Previously, you could only sign up paying projects,  but then they opened it up for non-profit / student / charity / educational projects. So we signed up under non-profit and surprisingly, a large number of professionals don't mind doing pro bono voice work. :) I really give props to Voice123 -- both for the service they provide, and for the people we found using it. Things really picked up in March, and increased in pace logarithmically until the end of the year :p The last hurdle we had to jump was post-processing. Unfortunately, we suffered splash damage from the BTRL breakup, and our voice post-processor quit, two months before release so I ended up taking on post-processing in addition to my other duties.

Stormkeeper:  Moving on. Goober had to do post-processing. Is it difficult?

Galemp: Well... There were really two stages. One, all the voice files had to be equalized to the same volume and exported in the right format. Two, the effects we're used to hearing. Message beeps, radio effects, etc.

Goober5000: Volume equalization, noise removal, radio effects, static...  which had to be compatible with retail, by the way.

Galemp: Then there was the massive task of editing the Vasudan lines. Which, as of last December, was still unfinished but it's done now. We should really release them in another VP.

Goober5000: I plan to. Another huge help was Tolwyn... he basically saved the day with the radio filter. i.e. the sound effect that makes in-mission messages sound different from briefing messages. If Tolwyn hadn't been willing and able to do the radio filter for us, we would have missed our release date, we made him a core team member in appreciation.

Galemp: Vasudans were tough, but Goober pulled through again with his 'snippets’. Talk about those, why dontcha.

Goober5000: So, snippets. Originally, I had planned to use the Vasudan language from Phoenix, and get someone to record actual Vasudan language. Now we were working on the Vasudan voice effect in conjunction with our BTRL friend based on instructions we received from Dan Wentz (which I posted in the FSPort public forum) So, after our producer quit, and looking at how much work remained for the untranslated speech, I said to myself, okay, this is not going to work... we need to shift strategy. Now, if you go back and listen to the original FS1 vasudan voice files, there are some places where you can hear the untranslated speech but the voice actor isn't talking over it. So, what I did was go through every single Vasudan line in the entire FS1 voice vp, and carve out all those one- or two- second snippets of Vasudan voice :p Then I handed the whole collection to Galemp : , who in turn reconstructed them into full-length files, and overlaid our translator actor's lines on top.

Galemp: A bit like assembling a ransom note out of magazine clippings

Goober5000: That's a good way to say it

Galemp: It wasn't much fun... except for the filenames Goober chose.

Stormkeeper:  Oh?

Galemp: He spelled out what the snippet sounded like

Goober5000: Hehe. "i like strawberries i like yoyorsh"

Galemp: Well, let's see. ‘cring-a-moo-sing.wav’, ‘genemamix.wav’, ‘yeah-right-savage.wav’ and my favorite, ‘you're-a-thief.wav’.

Goober5000: Hehe, that was one CP5670 noticed. The filenames were necessary though, how would Galemp :  know to join 23.wav to 178.wav? Phonetic approximation helps.

Galemp: Audacity was a godsend in that regard

Goober5000: to toot our own horn for a minute, the nice thing about all this trailblazing work on the voice acting is that now there are a ton of tools and resources for other projects to use :D The voice acting manager, the Vasudan snippets, even the casting decisions. Blue Planet and BWO are both taking advantage of it, and incidentally, a few voice actors whom we really liked but couldn't find a way to fit into ST:R are being used in Blue Planet.

Stormkeeper:  Closer now to release date. SOMEONE. On your team decided it'd be nice to hide ‘162' in the trailer.

Goober5000: One thing about the trailers, though; I had wanted to make a trailer for ST:R ever since we decided it would be voice acted.

Galemp: Uh, let's not forget the teaser

Goober5000: Yea.

Galemp: Which was, IMHO, much better than the trailer

Goober5000: So, when ST:R was finalized, I video-captured myself flying trough the campaign, and then hashed out a format for a video producer friend of mine to put together. I had only intended to make 1 trailer, but when the original Star Trek teaser came out, I decided that it MUST be turned into a ST:R teaser. So I turned to one of the masters of the FRED cutscene code, Ransom, for help with that. Vasudan Admiral was kind enough to custom-create for us a half-built version of the HTL Hades. And then we stole the spacesuit from Blue Planet. It took longer than we wanted to put together the teaser (due to everything else going on) but it was worth it. And then, if I wasn't ALREADY doing enough work, I had the idea to start a promotional campaign similar to Halo's I Love Bees.

Galemp: To which I said 'it'll never work'

Goober5000: Hehe.

Galemp: But Goob soldiered on anyway and I'm glad he did

Stormkeeper:  Phoenix!

Goober5000: Yes :)

Stormkeeper:  So. You already said Goob came up with it. And I already knew about ilovebees. How much work did you have to do? Did you solo Phoenix?

Goober5000: Well, I made a private forum and invited several HLP story writers (e.g. Ransom, Mad Bomber) and Inquisitor, who has worked in an actual game company. They all thought it was an interesting concept but none of them were really invested enough to brainstorm for me, so I had to brainstorm it all myself :p

Galemp: Once the ball got rolling, though, I started getting into it and submitted a few ideas

Goober5000: This is true. I had my video editor guy put the "162" reference in the trailer, and I created an invisible forum that would serve as a home base for the story, except that unlike VBulletin, SMF doesn't HAVE an invisible forum feature, so I ended up learning PHP to add it.

Stormkeeper:  Obviously you couldn't use a cinema or comandeer a public phone booth. So you had to work exclusively out of HLP. Did that limit you in anyway?

Goober5000: Well, the aforementioned lack of an invisible forum feature was a complication

Galemp: I never knew about that...

Goober5000: *shrug* I guess I didn't publicize it. But actually, the forum really was a good place to put it.

Galemp: But most of what we did was helped by Goober's administrator access

Goober5000: :D That leant itself ideally to the message format; we could have the first post be Aadarsh's message, and the rest of the thread could be comments (complete with custom time stamps). Also, we got chief1983 to help out; he was the one who coded up the Holonet.

Galemp: Which is still active, by the way, if anyone hasn't seen it.

Goober5000: I am really pleased with the project synergy in Phoenix. There were almost a dozen people whom I asked to do things here and there, who all cheerfully jumped in and did their part Chief did the Holonet, Vasudan Admiral contributed a Hades render, Ace did some GTI command briefing frames in the style of Twilight, Ransom made the end-of-game flash animation...) Stormkeeper :  I have to admit that Phoenix was really awesome. Got me hooked.

Galemp: I did some voice acting, some animation, and forged a Vasudan memorandum

Stormkeeper:  So ... a few things. Who came up with the zip-file-as-an-image idea?

Goober5000: Moi. It was a trick I had found on the internet ages ago, and had filed it away in the "useless trivia" section of my brain, turned out to come in real handy for this. And then we used some of our ST:R voice actors to voice some Phoenix-specific lines. Oh, and if anyone wondered what was on the other end of the phone line, that was me too

Galemp: You(Goober) were the puppet pulling the strings

Stormkeeper:  Yes he was. Well, I couldn't make that call.

Galemp: We still have that recording of the phone call; someone posted it on 162

Goober5000: I signed up for a Skype account, and I created a sound board with lines from our "GTI Holonet Monitor" actor. Which was a bit fun, because in addition to providing the phone messages we wanted to provide, I had to create a virtual phone systems with answers to questions that we had to anticipate :p

Stormkeeper:  What if someone had asked a question that you didn't anticipate?

Goober5000: MikeRoz did ask one or two of those so I had to revert to my canned "I'm sorry, that option is not available" response. I *did* have one line that said "I'm sorry, that would have been a good idea, but we didn't think to implement it.  Congratulations, you get an easter egg... and a cookie".

Stormkeeper:  Never used that line?

Goober5000: I think I had to use it once for Mike Roz, but he cut me off and said something else :p So he didn't hear the whole thing.

Stormkeeper  Impatient bugger, isn't he.

Goober5000: Well he was trying to get a transcript of the whole thing. So he was going through every option. Interestingly, MikeRoz and faxi appear to have registered on HLP for the specific purpose of playing Phoenix. They didn't register until Phoenix started, and they haven't posted since the last Phoenix thread.

Stormkeeper:  Any meaning behind the name Issac Stone? And we never could get into the restricted section of the Holonet.

Goober5000: Isaac Stone has no specific meaning... Aadarsh, though, does.  And you can get into the beginning of the restricted section.

Galemp: Heh. Isaac Stone does have a meaning, although a meaningless one. :p

Goober5000: O rly? A meaningless meaning... I remember we were thinking about Jacob and Rebekah at one point.

Galemp: According to Biblical narration, Abraham sets out to obey God's command without questioning. After Isaac is bound to an altar, the angel of God stops Abraham at the last minute, at which point Abraham discovers a ram caught in some nearby bushes. Abraham then sacrifices the ram in Isaac's stead. There might be some allegorical connection to the GTI there, but I have no idea what it is. Don’t try too hard.

Goober5000: I was trying to think of good names that weren't necessarily American

Galemp: At the time I was taking a Bible-as-literature class in college, and we were studying Genesis, so those were the names I threw out. So, Aardash.

Goober5000: I decided to use an Indian name for the protagonist, in ironic reference to the Shivans. Thus, Aadarsh, which is Indian for "one who has principles", is the self-chosen handle for the guy battling the GTI and to throw a curve ball, I made his actual name Portuguese, Estavao Figueira. Estavao = Stephen, which is a New Testament reference. Stephen is the first Christian martyr... so our guy Estavao is the first casualty in the GTI conflict. And then General Andreas Rybak, who is GTI chief of intelligence, has an Eastern European sounding name.

Stormkeeper:  So you planned the names to have a linked meaning?

Goober5000: Not really linked, but they're somewhat symbolic. Of course, in Isaac Stone, you have a name that's symbolic of nothing in particular, although the guy leaving a message for him says "give my love to Rachel" who is the biblical Isaac's wife.

Galemp: Heheh. So how about we deconstruct Phoenix, go through the whole thing one puzzle at a time?

Stormkeeper:  One puzzle at a time? That would take quite a while, wouldn't it?

Galemp: Well there were 10 in total

Goober5000: Should we? Cause the puzzles all have threads on the 162 boards

Stormkeeper:  Yea, they do.

Galemp: True. Ok then. Are there any in particular you found fascinating, Stormkeeper?

Stormkeeper:  In particular?

Galemp: I personally liked the Vasudan letter that had to be translated

Stormkeeper:  Yeah, that. You came up with the letters yourself?

Goober5000: it allowed me to repurpose the Vasudan language I had spent the summer of 2008 developing :p Galemp had created the font based, what, on an image that Volition had released, right?

Galemp: And the typeface/script is a reappropriated dialect of Huttese

Stormkeeper:  Rather than actual puzzles, parts of Phoenix kinda confused me. Post dates, for one. Someone, I think it was Dekker? Was rather hung up on the dates meaning something. Does it actually?

Goober5000: Yeah, the dates are simply the dates in the future that Aadarsh posts the messages. It helps give context to his posts... for example, he expounds at length about the devastation of Vasuda the day after it happens.

Galemp: However, due to the limits of 20th century computing, there were overflow errors in translating the actual date to the posted date.

Goober5000: Of course, being dates in the future, they overflow the HLP date system :p  so solving the dates was a puzzle in itself.

Stormkeeper: But no real bearing on Pheonix?

Goober5000: They added flavor to the posts, but it's possible to reach the end of the Phoenix game without solving the dates. Although there is a bonus puzzle which requires knowledge of the date system.

Galemp: Indeed :)

Goober5000: Said bonus puzzle wasn't originally planned, but Galemp had a great idea so we decided to run with it.

Galemp: Actually it was there because we had a gap week.

Goober5000: Hence Aadarsh saying "I didn't intend to post, but I found something too good to not pass along"

Galemp: Every other week we had a puzzle, with interim posts the weeks between, but because of delays we needed to extend the puzzle a little bit longer.

Stormkeeper: Thanks for telling. Heh. Okay. I think I shall open the floor for questions.

Goober5000: K :)

Stormkeeper: Fire away kids. In an orderly manner.

Goober5000: Oh, I guess I should re-emphasize that Phoenix isn't quite done yet, as the "grand prize" isn't finished

Snail:  Hi. Ok, um. Outtakes - We know STR went through a lot of revisions and stuff. And we know that the other Cloak and Dagger mission is going to be released. Any plans to release any other old outtakes and stuff?

Goober5000: I was thinking of that when str05 came up. We probably could; in fact I have several backups of ST:R at various stages, so we could release it as it was in January 2004. It would be definitely recognizable, but not nearly as polished (and not voice acted)

Stormkeeper: Any 'Stop laughing there, pilot!' lines?

Galemp: Hmm, outtakes. But sadly, none of the voice actors sent us any outtakes :(

Goober5000: I had hoped some would

Flaming Sword:  Any freudian slip outtakes? :P

Goober5000: I think that falls under the general outtakes category, so no. :p There are older versions of mission 2 and mission 15 that we could release. I rewrote those, but the old versions are definitely playable, although they are a bit different story-wise.

Snail: Ok.

RedSniper: In 'He Who Rides the Tiger' why is there no Shivan model on my fighter? I died the first time by switching to external view looking for it.

Snail: Yeah me too. :D

Goober5000: Mmmmmmmm.... Well, I spent ages and ages and ages trying to find a good way for a Shivan model to appear. Unfortunately, the scale doesn't work.:( Your fighters are 30 meters long, and the Shivan is 1 or 2.

Snail: :(

Galemp: We considered making it a missile, fired from the Faustus' weapon turret, or a ship launched from its hangar.

Goober5000: And I mean, directly -- and it's impossible to pinpoint a model or weapon or ship with that accuracy in retail. Or even SCP, come to think of it

Snail: Ok. Another question. Are you going to do any other new "in house" FSPort campaigns? I heard a remake of Operation Templar mentioned.

Goober5000: We aren't planning anything on the scale of ST:R, if that's what you're thinking

Snail: Well, even a few mini-campaigns?

Goober5000: Take it away, Galemp! Talk about Templar single player.

Galemp: OK, so, here's what we got. The Great War main campaign, is done. Silent Threat: Reborn is done.  Currently for FSPort v. 3.2 we would like to do Operation Templar. It will be using mostly FS1-era tech, but the Prometheus R, Akheton SDG, and Cyclops Torpedo will be introduced.

Snail: So would that be a simple touching up a la the Great War main campaign or more of a reimagining like STR?

Galemp: More of a touch up, with a few alterations. The  Nagada Outpost is being replaced with the Vasudan Asteroid Base, for example. And the whole thing is undergoing a two-tier rebalancing: first for single-player, second for FS1-era weapons.

Snail: Cool. So you'll also be using the retail voice acting for Templar?

Galemp: We will maintain all retail voice acting, but we will also be enhancing it

Snail: Cool

Galemp: Taking snippets and generic lines from the FS2 actors to suit our needs. Then, there's two other campaigns which currently exist only in my head. First, the long-suffering Vasudan Imperium campaign, where you fly as a Vasudan during the Great War. There's exactly one completed mission you can download from that. Second, the cross-generational TVWP-FSPort-NTV Koth campaign that I, Alikchi, and BlackWolf came up with years ago, which is effectively dead.

Snail:  Vasudan Imperium campaign you say... Very interesting, I thought that was dead.

Goober5000: :(

Snail: Huh. TVWP?

Galemp: Goober?

Goober5000: Where does TVWP come in? The way I heard it, it was focused on reconstruction, with a special emphasis on the Repulse, and how it moved from a GTI ship to a NTF ship.

Snail: Cool. Sounds very interesting if it ever gets done :P

Galemp: Well, the campaign is centered around Koth. First, as a rookie pilot in the T-V war, and then as a veteran pilot in the Great War. Both of which you play as him. Then he's your squadron leader under the GTI in ST:R era. And finally in the FS2 era you're a pilot stationed on the Repulse.

Snail: Hmm. Never really viewed Koth as a very deep character myself...

Galemp: So you'd get to play in the TV-War and Great War as the GTA, then as the GTI and NTF. Not a deep character, but he did have a NAME, and a very memorable exit from the campaign. So, I thought there was potential there. In any case, it's just an idea and hasn't gotten anywhere. Next question!

Snail: Ok, so next question, you guys seem to be very knowledgeable about the whole FreeSpace canon and all these Easter eggs appeared in ST:R. Any plans to "expand" FreeSpace lore or at least fill in a few gaps and so forth outside of custom campaigns, like an Unofficial FreeSpace 2 Reference Bible or something.

Goober5000: Well, there used to be FSURP :p But the wiki took over from FSURP, and I think it does a much better job

Galemp: Well, I think ST:R speaks for itself.

Snail: For example, those post-war regional blocs which everyone seems to ignore in their campaigns.

Galemp: That reminds me, we need to remove the Ratna from the Jotunheim's drydock so it can appear in PI :)

Goober5000: Ack, no. PI isn't compatible with ST:R. The three science cruisers in the Jotunheim's drydock represent the GTI's three major projects.

Snail: The Ratna I'm assuming is ETAK. What were the other two?

Goober5000: You're thinking too small :D

Galemp: Oh? Three major projects? Please do!

Goober5000: Project Eumenides is basically finding out what makes the Shivans tick in all respects... including dissection and human-Shivan hybrids. For example, notice the names of the other two cruisers in He Who Rides the Tiger. From the original Silent Threat: "Command suspects the GTI may also have Shivan captives at Jotunheim for the purposes of biological research and the development of viral weapons."

Snail: In this mission, you will be tasked with guarding a GTI science convoy as it transfers its cargo to Beta Aquilae.  The convoy consists of three Faustus-class cruisers: the GTSC Moreau, the GTSC Idun, and the GTSC Ratna.  The cruisers are carrying research and prototypes for Project Eumenides, the GTI's most highly classified weapons program.

Stormkeeper: Prototypes.

Goober5000: :nod: And read the next stage.

Snail: You will escort the cruisers as far as the Beta Aquilae jump node.  Upon reaching Beta Aquilae, the cruisers will be joined by a second escort and taken to a secret location.

Goober5000: Hur hur hur :p

Snail: That IS the next stage! (

Goober5000: Where's Jotunheim?  hmmmmmmm?

Snail: Beta Aquilae :( So if you had reached the node would the "second escort" have splashed us?

Goober5000: They wouldn't have needed to. The cover story is that it's a highly classified weapons program. So the pilots think, okay, yes sir, and they hand the ships to the next escort team. The GTI is not going to tell you "The cruisers are carrying captive Shivans for Project Eumenides, GTI's genetic & biological Shivan research program."

Snail: So let's go back a bit, what are the GTI's main three projects?

Goober5000: Again, the names of the other two cruisers -- Moreau (Island of Dr. Moreau) and Idun (goddess of immortality)

Snail: What about the Ragnarok and Valhalla?

Goober5000: the GTSC Valhalla was in the Hades shipyard during the Hades mission; Project Hades. The GTSC Ragnarok is from the FSPort multiplayer mission that references the Serkr bomb; the Ragnarok = GTI weapons research.

Snail: And the Moreau and Idun are...?

Goober5000: Now those are the top three projects -- I'm not discounting the possiblity of other projects that weren't kept at Jotunheim. The names of the other two cruisers -- Moreau (Island of Dr. Moreau) and Idun (goddess of immortality)

Goober5000: the Idun represents the GTI's belief that Shivan biological research could help the Terran race in some positive biological way. Perhaps not immortality, but even in general biological knowledge. After all, the Shivans are a much older race than Terrans or Vasudans.

Stormkeeper: So Moreau is the merging of the humans and Shivans.

Goober5000: Yeah. Not necessarily full-grown hybrids, possibly embryonic research.

Snail: Ok, I suppose that ties that end up. So next question I guess?

Galemp: Phoenix logo

RedSniper:  Yes. that.

Galemp: Tom Fetterolf! And me!

Goober5000: Yes! And Volition!

Stormkeeper: Volition?

RedSniper: Isn't it seen in the FS2 intro? Or am I delusional?

Goober5000: Yup. It's on the Hercules.

Snail: :O Never noticed that.

RedSniper: So ... Wat

Stormkeeper: ...Wut. So it was in the game the whole time?

Goober5000: I time travelled back to 1999 and convinced them to put it in the intro

RedSniper: Good job

Galemp: Heh

Goober5000: With all the other inconsistencies, they didn't bat an eye at including fan art. But seriously, it goes along with Galemp's original idea that the Legion was a classified GTI vessel

Snail: I do remember a certain burning Faustus...

Goober5000: And since we see a unique squadron logo in an era when there were no unique squadron logos (at least from what we see in game, anyway) it stands to reason that the logo didn't represent a squadron. So, I decided it must represent the GTI. Which solved the faction logo problem nicely... we had in-game logos for GTA, PVN, HOL, GTVA, and NTF, but not GTI. So, Tom Fetterolf was a coworker of mine who does graphic design. I brought it to him and asked if he could reproduce it and over the course of many lunch hours, he and I collaborated on that logo. We sent Galemp the scene file and he cleaned up the fire effects and turned it into a command briefing animation.

RedSniper:  Yeah.. seeing a Loki fly by with that logo on it was one of the defining moments of ST:R for me.

Galemp: The image itself is Tom's, and I animated it. We had tossed a few ideas back and forth about the GTI squad logo, but when Goob suggested the Phoenix it was a unanimous decision.

Snail: You guys should make a documentary. "The Making of STR"

Goober5000: Heh. Well, that's pretty much what this interview is.

Galemp: I'm really glad we settled the whole GTD Legion issue as well

Snail: You really should. There are bound to be a few things you didn't cover here right?

RedSniper: May I just say: Earlier incarnations of the Port just didn't have the right 'feel' of FS1, but with this latest version you guys nailed it!

Goober5000: awesome :D

Snail: Yeah. Awesome.

RedSniper: I think the interface was what finally made it feel... complete. And the old-school ship .anis

Galemp: Is there anything in particular you guys want to see in the next version?

Snail:  Eerier backgrounds. And get rid of those planets backgrounds that seem to appear in every mission. It's breaking the "vast void of space" feel FS1 had. In a few missions would be cool, but now they seem to appear practically everywhere.


There you have it, the ST:R interview, finally up. As always, the full IRC log is up here. Now, I'm gonna take a double strength aspirin and hit the sack. Any other questions pertaining to ST:R can be asked here, and then you may perform the Black Sacrament and hope either Goober or Galemp deigns to answer your question.
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Offline Snail

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
About time innit.


Offline Mobius

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
Very long, interesting, and with a feeling of real conversation. That's what happens when a lot of people join the conversation, right? The atmosphere is very nice, and seems like I can imagine you all while you're talking about ST:R in Real LifeTM. :D

For some strage reason, I totally missed the Holonet. The word is not familiar, but I didn't know what the Holonet was really about. Once again, shame on me for ignoring the obvious. :(

Oh, by the way - I noticed quite a few references to things we haven't seen in ST:R (unless they were mentioned in briefing or debriefing stages which are showed if certain conditions are satisfied so that I could tragically miss them), so I was wondering if you have a "ST:R Reference Bible" (or something similar :D) in mind, where canon and fanon are mixed altogether.


Offline Snail

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
Oh, by the way - I noticed quite a few references to things we haven't seen in ST:R (unless they were mentioned in briefing or debriefing stages which are showed if certain conditions are satisfied so that I could tragically miss them), so I was wondering if you have a "ST:R Reference Bible" (or something similar :D) in mind, where canon and fanon are mixed altogether.
Yeah a fanon bible would be really great.


Offline Galemp

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
Hmm, the 'Reconstruction Era' timeline on the wiki neglects ST completely. Would anyone mind if I tossed in what we have from ST:R?
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Offline Mobius

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
To be honest I don't see how adding additional info (providing that their color marks the fanon nature) wouldn't be appropriate. I mean, the whole History category of the Wiki is full of fanon stuff to fill the gaps... adding more doesn't harm anyone, IMHO. :)


Offline Stormkeeper

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
I don't think anyone would mind if you tossed in ST:R stuff, GE.

These days I've been wondering if we should show ST:R to [V].
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Offline Galemp

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
And I've been waiting for 3.6.10 Final... now that that's out, of course, I gotta wait for the 3.6.10 MVPs to be Final Final.
"Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he's supposed to be doing at that moment." -- Robert Benchley

Members I've personally met: RedStreblo, Goober5000, Sandwich, Splinter, Su-tehp, Hippo, CP5670, Terran Emperor, Karajorma, Dekker, McCall, Admiral Wolf, mxlm, RedSniper, Stealth, Black Wolf...


Offline Galemp

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
If anyone's interested in the ST:R Timeline, you can find it on the Wiki here. It should provide you with some additional insights.
"Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he's supposed to be doing at that moment." -- Robert Benchley

Members I've personally met: RedStreblo, Goober5000, Sandwich, Splinter, Su-tehp, Hippo, CP5670, Terran Emperor, Karajorma, Dekker, McCall, Admiral Wolf, mxlm, RedSniper, Stealth, Black Wolf...

Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
Even though you can't possibly be expected to do all the things you would want to, with all the constraints imposed by present projects and RL I do think that sometime in the future you might want to consider Vasudan Imperium.

There's just so much that you could do with viewing the war from the Vasudan side. That would probably mean a team though and I think that the best thing about that would be to tie-in somehow with the stuff TVWP is doing.

Then again, that's just me. Hope I didn't bother you guys too much. That's some class-A work you have done in there. Both with the port and with ST:R
The memory of playing and actually finishing up Descent:Freespace is a very dear one to me, even if I have to admit I was more of a Star Fleet Command at the time. Thank you for keeping the dream alive.
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Offline MikeRoz

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
y hello thar
Rave reviews of my previous posts:
"Wow.  Just wow.  Well, just about the whole post is devoid of reasonable technical merit and accuracy." -Enki
"Wow, he just wasted about an hour of his life." -MachManX
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Offline Galemp

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
You again!!  :beamz:
"Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he's supposed to be doing at that moment." -- Robert Benchley

Members I've personally met: RedStreblo, Goober5000, Sandwich, Splinter, Su-tehp, Hippo, CP5670, Terran Emperor, Karajorma, Dekker, McCall, Admiral Wolf, mxlm, RedSniper, Stealth, Black Wolf...


Offline Vretsu

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed

ST:R was a masterpiece.  :yes:


Offline Goober5000

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Re: Silent Threat: Secrets Revealed
Thanks!  As Battuta said, that makes all the hundreds of hours of hard work worth it. :)