Author Topic: Phoenixes and Earth Defense  (Read 3366 times)

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Offline Stormkeeper

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Phoenixes and Earth Defense
Stormkeeper:Ladies and Gentlemen, we have here part of the Earth Defense Team. First up, we have Shiv...

Shiv: O hai

Stormkeeper:Snail.

Snail: Sup

Stormkeeper:And finally, Nighteyes.

Nighteyes: Hi

Stormkeeper:Who I've never met before to be painfully honest.

Nighteyes: I'm new around here :)

Snail:  He's awesome. <_<

Stormkeeper:So. First things first..  Nighteyes; who are you? Itroduce yourself. What do you do for ED?

Nighteyes: hmm well, I'm 24, from Israel. I love to do effects, and some animation, so for ED I'm doing an Intro movie.

SnailHere's an example.

Stormkeeper:Just an intro movie?

Snail:  A lot more than just an intro movie.

Nighteyes: Before ED I made some effect, new explosions for the community. But since then I redid many of the old ED effects, including a new shockwave, flak, explosions and other cool stuff :P

Shiv: Plenty of cutscenes have been planned that Nighteyes is going to render

Stormkeeper:That's quite a lot. Do you get paid?

Nighteyes: :lol: No, its a hobby :P

Snail:  Amount of work he does he should get paid, really. Here's another snippet from the opening cinematic.

Stormkeeper:So, what exactly is ED's premise? Snail?

Snail:  ED is basically one possible conclusion to the FreeSpace storyline...  The aim of the mod is basically to be as close to the original two games while adding in something new and exciting into the mix. Sort of like Inferno, but a bit smaller in scale. The premise is more or less what the GTVA will find when they re-enter Sol.

Shiv: In addition, we're going to reveal secrets about Bosch, ETAK, Colossus an many other things.

Stormkeeper:So will we be seeing a lot of familiar ships?

Snail:  A lot of familiar ships mixed in with a few new ones

Shiv: I wouldn't say that Snail.

Snail:  New ones including the ones we've seen before in StratComm's fleet pack, with a few original ones made by our own modders.

Shiv: We've got currently lots of our exclusive stuff.

Stormkeeper:But storywise; basically it's a bridge of some sort between FS1 and 2?

Snail:  It aims to resolve the mysteries of the FreeSpace universe while taking the player on one hell of a wild trip.

Stormkeeper:What sort of mysteries?

Snail:  What happened to Bosch...

Nighteyes: I wouldn't say its a bridge between FS1 and FS2... its more like a continuation of FS2...

Snail:  We'll try add a bit of background about the Shivans.

Shiv: I'd say more than a bit. :)

Stormkeeper: How long will ED be?

Snail:  30 missions, separated into 3 acts of 10 missions each, but that's subject to change

Nighteyes: We are striving to give a real and satisfying conclusion to the FS saga :)

Shiv: Right now we're preparing the first Act, similar to FS: Darkness Rising/FS2: Colossus. We want to release something faster for you, instead of keeping our stuff private for ages

Snail:  Earth Defense's development cycle's a pretty interesting one, it started out as a Polish mod I believe... Originally we were part of a larger mod known as the Phoenix Project, which is now dead.

Shiv: Exactly.

Snail:  Since then we've basically completely re-imagined the entire mod. This means, that we've re-imagined it in  June 2008. The "old" Earth Defense ended with the demo - that tangent is basically over now. The Earth Defense Demo is essentially an entirely different mod from the current material we have.

Shiv: Just forget it and prepare for something much better.

Snail:  Put it this way, there isn't even a fleeting resemblance.

Stormkeeper: Phoenix Project? What was that?

Snail:  The Phoenix Project is a perfect example of over-ambition completely killing a project. It was supposed to have over 100 missions and like a thousand new ships or something. Because we were part of this umbrella project, Earth Defense really went absolutely nowhere.

Stormkeeper: 100 missions and a thousand new ships. That sounds slightly like inferno, but not even inferno has 1k ships.

Snail:  The culmination of this failure really came when there was some last-ditch attempt to release the Earth Defense Demo before Christmas, which was only 50% complete at the time

Stormkeeper: Where you in the ED team then?

Snail:  The Earth Defense Demo was made by shiv alone

Stormkeeper: Shiv solo'd ED demo?

Snail:  On a very accelerated schedule that basically meant every mission had to be completed within less than a month or so, with a small amount of help from Hery Sasta, known on HLP as "Hery". It really should come as no surprise that when the demo was released it was a bug-ridden mess - It was only half complete at the best when released. After that, Earth Defense went in a completely new direction.

Shiv: I was alone in the end of 2007

Nighteyes: Hmm didn't it die a bit after that demo?

Shiv: I knew that I needed a team...

Snail: And a large recruiting drive started.

Shiv: Yep, and it wasn't easy. The majority of people thought it was a project that wasn't worth any interest.

Snail:  By June 2008, we had a completely new team - The only one left of the 'old breed' was Shiv, really... The Phoenix Project died long before this, with barely a mission done IIRC.

Stormkeeper:How big was the Phoenix Project team?

Shiv: Let me check ... 15 people, 95% of them were Polish modders

Snail:  It was way too ambitious from the start, and being part of that really dragged ED down.

Stormkeeper:So Phoenix was a overly ambitious mod. That eventually failed. And ED rose from the ashes?

Snail:  Yeah, the first half of 2008 was basically a huge recruitment drive. When the Phoenix Project died, the core staff of ED was reduced to basically just Shiv.

Stormkeeper:So how many members are working on ED now?

Snail:  A lot.

Qazwsx: Uhhh...

Shiv: Many talented people known in FreeSpace community

Snail:  A number of them are simply helpers.

Shiv: Let me find the list.

Qazwsx: Well, a medium sized group of active members

Shiv:     * Blowfish ~ Secondary Project Leader, Modeller, model converter, tabling
                        * Snail ~ Secondary project leader, storyline, FREDer, grammar correction
                        * Shiv ~ Project leader, tabler, FREDder, partially effect artist, partially modelling
                        * Mobius ~ FREDer
                        * Hades ~ modelling
                        * Alkan Rena ~ Concept Artist
                        * Moonred ~ Modeller
                        * GenericCorvette ~ Music composer, sound engineer
                        * Lukasz159 ~ 3d animation artist
                        * FreeSpaceFreak - Background and 2d Artist
                        * Daddy Warhol ~ Music composer
                        * qazwsx - 3d animation artist
                        * peterv - modelling, texturing
                        * Watsisname - Background artist
                        * Freespaceking - texture artist
                        * Esarai - modelling
                        * Thantalus53 - FREDder
                        * Nighteyes - 3D animation artist
                        * General Batutta - plot and design guy
Shiv: The list above is the list of current staff
                        *Voyager
                        *LOA--JK47Colonol Dekker
                        *Axem
                        *jdjtcagle
                        *c914-2711
                        *Asprin
                        *Oddgrim
                        *Mustang19
                        *HermeZ
                        *BengalTiger
                        *--Steve-O--
                        *Hery Sasta
                        *Shadow Gorrath
                        *Bengal Tiger
                        *Roland
Shiv: Those are people who helped in the past


Stormkeeper:Quite a group. So; you said you had several new models.

Shiv: Yep

Qazwsx: Yup

Snail:  Yeah, there's a pretty heavy emphasis on new models...

Qazwsx: Should I link to that Hera, Ach, Agais render?

Snail: Yes

Qazwsx:Warning, very large image.

Stormkeeper:Nice. Very nice. Who’s responsible for those?[/color]

Qazwsx:Well, I rendered it.

Stormkeeper: Model and textures?

Qazwsx: Models are by erm...

Snail:  The Achilles and Agias are both by peterv ... Who is awesome ... The Hera is by blowfish ... Who is also awesome ... The textures are all by FreeSpaceKing, who's awesomeness is also notable.

Qazwsx: Indeed. Very notable. Actually, if I recall correctly, I forgot the normal maps in that render

Stormkeeper:Hmmm. Definitely awesome ... Who’s your story writer?

Shiv: Snail with help of General Batutta. They're doing an excellent job, I'm sure you'll be satisfied with the ED plot; however only a little will be revealed in Act I. Act I is only a introduction into something MUCH bigger

Snail:  Yeah, same as how the first Act of FS1 was basically just an intro. The real stuff starts happening a bit later on

Shiv: The real action starts in Acts II and III. However the mission design in Act I will compensate; it’s connected with our backstory, music, effects and models.

Snail:  We aim to have Act I done sometime next year.

Shiv: However, we've released already first example of our backstory.

Snail: Summarised, basically there's a Vasudan civil war going on.

Shiv: I recommend to take a look at it. It's a heck of good read

Snail: Simultaneously, the Terrans are attempting to re-open the Sol Jump Corridor.

Shiv: And then the Action starts

Stormkeeper:So the primary ED forum is Game Warden?

Shiv: Yep, however not many people visit Game Warden, what is a big shame

Stormkeeper:Quite... So 30 missions, right?

Shiv: yeah

Stormkeeper:Split into how many 'arcs'?

Snail:  3, possibly with a few side campaigns.

Stormkeeper:10 each?

Snail:  30 missions, in 3 acts, 10 missions in each act.

Nighteyes: Hopefully we will have a start and ending cutscene for each act, but for now I have plenty of work to do on the Intro :)

Stormkeeper:So will all 3 acts be released as one, or will it be a part 1/part 2 that kinda stuff.[/color]

Snail:  Well, Act 1 will be released separately. The next 2 acts will probably be released separately too ... Or as a full set, depending on the development schedule and how much time it takes to get it done.

Shiv: At the end you'll get a 30 mission campaign just like FS and FS2.

Stormkeeper:So it's been 2 years in development? What were your biggest obstacles?

Snail:  The biggest obstacle has been trying to progress on all fronts at once

Shiv: Explain :)

Snail:  Naturally, changing one thing will really heavily affect others; changes in the plot can cause major setbacks in different areas of development, s uch as cutscenes, missions, etc.

Shiv: Yep, so such a huge mod it's a hard thing.

Snail:  However, models and maps aren't affected as such, which is why it might appear at first that only models are progressing.

Shiv: It happens 20 years after Capella, so there's loads of stuff that'd change

Snail: Which is why some people might whine a bit.

Shiv: But don't think of us like a model-pack, our main feature is the plot.

Snail:  With General Battuta onboard, the plot has stabilised, and missions are progressing. In the last 2 months, more progress has been made on the missions than in the whole of last year

Stormkeeper:So the good General is a FREDer?

Shiv: Nope, he's the plot guy. We want to finish FREDding Act I before 2010 and start voice acting them

Snail:  He designed our missions scripts

Stormkeeper:So ED will be VA'd ?

Snail:  Nominally, but if it takes too long we might not

Stormkeeper:So is casting in progress?

Shiv: We didn't start casting yet, I'm planning to start it somewhere in December 2009/January 2010, but I can't promise, everything can change in the schedule.

Snail:  Development schedule is extremely liquid

Stormkeeper:Yea, I realised that.

Snail:  But we're trying to avoid a Duke Nukem Forever.

Nighteyes: Well, it’s not so liquid in my opinion, we have a destination, and we’ll get to it :)

Snail:  In my opinion, with a bit of dedication it could be out soon

Shiv: I agree.

Snail:  procrastination is really the biggest obstacle :P

Stormkeeper:It always is ... So how finished is ED?

Snail:  Well, it's hard to say. A lot of things are done, but a lot of things are also going to change.

Shiv: But majority of Act I models assets is done.

Stormkeeper:So Act 1 is mostly complete?

Snail:  I wouldn't say that, FREDding is progressing at a fair pace.But things like ships, models, etc. are probably going to be replaced or improved.

Stormkeeper:So out of 10; how many missions are complete?

Snail:  We have the first 4 mostly done, which were basically finished in the last 2 months or so.

Stormkeeper:So after the 10 missions are done, what else is there?

Nighteyes: The next 10 :P

Snail:  ED is a pretty long-term project. The next 2 acts probably won't be released for a while.

Shiv: But it's worth waiting, trust me

Snail:  Everyone is working on Act 1 at the moment.

Shiv: We've got some special things; from a modding point of view, we'll give you many custom Shivan models; the community didn't have many of them previously. Now it's going to change.

Stormkeeper:Exclusive ED stuff?

Snail: Yeah.

Shiv: Just look at those bombers. Rendered by Nighteyes, of course

Nighteyes: And lets not forget the beautiful new music we have :P

Shiv: And we'll have a lot of new music

Snail:  Yeah

Shiv: Specially composed for ED by Daddy Warhol

Snail:  Daddy Warhol is a professional music composer

Qazwsx: Herllzz yeeahh

Shiv: This guy is a pro-composer, who's doing the stuff for us

Snail:  Some amazing tracks are coming out of ED

Qazwsx: ED's music is goddamn awesome

Shiv: And whats more, he's a FS-Series fan, so he decided to contribute and do it for free. Want a music sample?

Stormkeeper:Looks like there's a alot to look forward to.

Shiv: There's also another one in GTF Agias preview playing as background music.

Snail:  yeah

Stormkeeper:Omega Team?

Snail:  That's the name of the Earth Defense team

Shiv: Yep, that was the original name of people who were devs of phoenix and ED

Snail:  Omega Team was the name of the people working on the Phoenix Project.

Stormkeeper:What would you do if, just saying IF the original Phoenix is restarted and they want their ED back?

Snail:  They'd be leeching off us if you ask me

Nighteyes: Then we'll just change the name :P

Qazwsx: Well, the ED that the original Pheonix project wanted was completely different.

Snail:  Yeah, we've got very little to do with them now.

Shiv: I don't want to have anything to do with the original Phoenix... However our badges on GW still has an Omega symbol; our GW badges explains it all.

Stormkeeper:So how soon can we expect the first Act to be out?

Snail:  Mid-2010; that's our aim

Shiv: Somewhere next year I guess. We'll try to do our best to deliver it to you in time. However, we want to keep the quality of this mod high, so don't be surprised if there're small delays.

Snail:  Yeah, we don't want a repeat of the Demo, which was ruined by a need to get it out by an unrealistic release date.

Stormkeeper:Well, it looks like ED is in good hands. Thanks for taking the time to join us guys. Do come back once you've released.

Qazwsx: No probs.

Stormkeeper:I'm sure there'll be a lot more to interrogate you guys on.

Snail:  Lulz.

Nighteyes: :)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 11:06:41 am by Stormkeeper »
Ancient-Shivan War|Interview Board

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Offline shiv

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Looks like Snail's going to be a guy who will be answering the questions.
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The Apocalypse Vega - Join the battle! A campaign for FreeSpace 2 Open

http://www.game-warden.com/earthdefence
Earth Defense project - Coming soon...

 

Offline Stormkeeper

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
... Ignore that dang 'alot' smiley. I'm too tired to go and hunt it down.
Ancient-Shivan War|Interview Board

Member of the Scooby Doo Fanclub. And we're not talking a cartoon dog here people!!

 

Offline The E

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
Colors are vile. Primary red and primary blue together in close proximity = badness.
**** every cause that ends in murder and children crying. ― Iain Banks
Join the fun at the HLP IRC channel. Get the latest spam and gossip as long as it's fresh!

 

Offline Stormkeeper

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
* Stormkeeper chokes down exhaustion induced rage, and stomps off to switch colors.

=edit=

Better?
Ancient-Shivan War|Interview Board

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Offline Mobius

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
                        * GenericCorvette ~ Music composer, sound engineer

Quoted for future reference. :P

*Waits for Generic Corvette's wrath*

Hey, I thought Snail was the only ED member being interviewed by Stormkeeper. Good job everyone. :)

 

Offline The E

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
* Stormkeeper chokes down exhaustion induced rage, and stomps off to switch colors.

=edit=

Better?

Much, much better.
**** every cause that ends in murder and children crying. ― Iain Banks
Join the fun at the HLP IRC channel. Get the latest spam and gossip as long as it's fresh!

 

Offline Akalabeth Angel

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
Good stuff.

Contrary to the team's opinion, I didn't find the ED Demo that bad. For a one-man show it was well done. FX were a bit over the top maybe.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
Cool stuff.  I enjoyed that piece of backstory you posted at GW, and I'm looking forward to seeing how you expand on it in the campaign proper.  I'm really digging those music samples, too; it's great that you guys were able to get a professional composer on-board. :)

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
Glad you liked the backstory, Mongoose. It was a pleasure.

 

Offline eliex

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Re: Phoenixes and Earth Defense
Wow. This interview makes me want to play ED even more. An excellent job once again, Stormkeeper.  :D