Author Topic: FRED is awesome!  (Read 5841 times)

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Offline Lepanto

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Yeah.  :nod:

Though it's been over a decade since FRED2 was released, it's remained a robust and effective tool for designing quality missions. Especially with all the additions that the SCP team has piled on over the years, we've been able to do things with FRED that  :v-old: would never have thought possible.

FRED's versatility is a major strength. I'm a quest writer for a Unity-based free MMO, and I'm constantly hamstrung when thinking up quests by how little functionality I have to work with. FRED, on the other hand, gives you the tools to pull off all sorts of tricks with events, variables, and SEXPs to get whatever effect you're trying to create for your mission, and that's not even getting into scripting.

So: why else is FRED awesome, what cool stuff have you been able to do with FRED, what cool stuff do you think FRED can do that you've never got around to doing, etc.?
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Offline Shivan Hunter

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Indeed! I know Battuta has mentioned this as well before w.r.t. Bungie.

I did a semester project this semester in Unity, and did some level design/level scripting. I kept thinking on multiple occasions, "dammit I wish this were FS so I could just <insert SEXP here>". And I hated that scripts always had to be stuck on something when sometimes it made no sense... I had to worry about communicating between them and different instances and conflicts with other scripts and uuuurgh it became this huge mess. FRED's global context of the events editor is so awesome.

also dynamic waypoints ftw

 

Offline Rodo

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Well I don't think it's that cool...

I mean sure it's been performing correctly over the years, and it's quite versatile because it's been kept up to date with new sexps but....nah, it's definitely not the greatest tool out there.

As an example, camera controls are difficult to use, keyboard shortcuts are counter-intuitive and sometimes not even functional.
Heck! you cannot even properly copy-paste without using the mouse.

And god save your ass if you happen to click somewhere you should have not or drag and drop a sexp on a tricky spot, for you'll see what happens when fred decides to crash.

Still, new FRED is coming soontm IIRC.
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline Lepanto

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I confess that FRED's interface ought to be smoother than it is, and it'd be neat to have an improved version. Still, the amount of easy-to-access potential makes it a quality product, I do believe.
"We have now reached the point where every goon with a grievance, every bitter bigot, merely has to place the prefix, 'I know this is not politically correct, but...' in front of the usual string of insults in order to be not just safe from criticism, but actually a card, a lad, even a hero. Conversely, to talk about poverty and inequality, to draw attention to the reality that discrimination and injustice are still facts of life, is to commit the sin of political correctness. Anti-PC has become the latest cover for creeps. It is a godsend for every curmudgeon and crank, from fascists to the merely smug."
Finian O'Toole, The Irish Times, 5 May 1994

Blue Planet: The Battle Captains: Missions starring the Admirals of BP: WiH
Frontlines 2334+2335: T-V War campaign
GVB Ammit: Vasudan strike bomber
Player-Controlled Capship Modding Tutorial

 

Offline Rodo

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Hahaha of course, if it hadn't been for FRED custom content might have been impossible to get from common ppl such as myself.

And on topic... well I've been able to produce some acceptable quality cutscenes with it so.. yeah cool stuff comes out when you have the time to devote.
el hombre vicio...

  

Offline General Battuta

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I am one of the best FREDders on Earth and it is my wholehearted belief that as a total package it is capable of some remarkable **** that 'real' game designers would love to have access to.

It also has some hilarious limitations, but all in all the tradeoff is very much in FRED's favor.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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I am one of the best FREDders on Earth...SNIP...

Stay classy there, Bats.

Aaaanywhooo... it's not just FRED. FSO itself is setup for pure win when it comes to game design (roughly within the confines of space-shooter). FRED gets open access to almost all of FSO's data which is easily swapped around and messed with in real-time with scripts/FRED. Honestly, I think one of the best ways to see what FRED/FSO is truly capable of is to play just about any release of JAD, but especially the more recent ones.
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Offline General Battuta

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Offline The E

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When looking at other engines' editors (especially you, Unity, and you, CryEngine) it always amazes me how much bull**** pro developers are willing to put up with.
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Offline Gortef

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SEXP *tee hee hee hee*

Yes FRED is awesome. Not that I know of any better or worse anyway, but it is awesome nevertheless.
Habeeb it...

 

Offline karajorma

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Here's the other reason FRED is so awesome.

The path to becoming a FREDder.

1) Sit down and do the walkthrough.
2) Congratulations, you are now a FREDder.

For all the little niggles and issues FRED might have, you can learn about 90% of what you need to do to use it in a few hours. I've never heard of anything even remotely as easy to learn which isn't hugely limited in what you can achieve with it. I'm firmly of the belief that it is this very ease of use that made sure the community survived in such good health until the source code was released. Sure you can mod other space sims, but they tend to be so specialised that many talented people get quickly discouraged.

That's something I wanted to keep when I wrote the Diaspora walkthrough. I wanted the new people trying it to think "Hey, I wrote a working mission in about 2 hours! Maybe I can make my own ideas for cool missions into something real."
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Offline Spoon

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Battuta :lol:
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
"I am the greatest FRED-bender in the world! Don't you forget it!"

On topic: Yeah, FRED has a unique combination of being easy to use and very powerful.
Compared to other powerful mission editors, the only ones I have used that come close in terms of ease of use are Blizzard's mission editors.
I can't speak for Starcraft 2's tools, but StarEdit and WorldEdit were both super easy to learn and work with for their time. Disregarding Warcraft 3's WorldEdit modding abilities (FSO's equivalent usually involves opening a text editor), when it come to rigging mission events, FRED is so much cleaner to use in most cases.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Yo I didn't say that, there are better fredders than me posting right in this thread.

And yeah, I think Kara's 200% correct. The one and only skill you need to make a killer campaign is FRED, and with a tutorial and a few sample missions to look at, you can make some complex, sophisticated missions on your second or third go.

 
@Batts: I know, I just saw an opportunity to quote Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender :)
(not quite as funny as I imagined, in retrospect, but hey ...)

 

Offline Mongoose

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I wonder if :v: had any real idea of the power behind the utility they'd created to develop this little space sim project.

 

Offline The E

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I think they did. FRED, and the sexp system, are both so open that they must have realized the potential in it while using it, even if they were under constraints that prohibited them from going all-out on the mission design.
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Online Black Wolf

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I wonder if :v: had any real idea of the power behind the utility they'd created to develop this little space sim project.
Probably. The existence of the walkthrough suggests that they were well aware of the potential significance of modding to their game's sales and longevity. Although it's worth remembering that FRED, or even FRED2, as V made it, was significantly less powerful than modern FRED2Open. Still good, of course, but considerably diminished nonetheless.
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Offline Axem

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Correction: FRED is very awesome.

I wonder if :v: had any real idea of the power behind the utility they'd created to develop this little space sim project.

Dear Volition,

I know you worked so hard on this FreeSpace thing, and must repay your efforts with choreographed disco music, shop screens with ludicrous prices, and increasingly gimmicky boss battles that go against all things simulation.

Much love,
Axem

 
And yeah, I think Kara's 200% correct. The one and only skill you need to make a killer campaign is FRED, and with a tutorial and a few sample missions to look at, you can make some complex, sophisticated missions on your second or third go.

Forgive the necropost (I was led to it through Gen Battuta's signature), but I think that having a killer campaign also requires excellent writing. Having a bunch of events and stuff in a campaign is cool, but it's meaningless in the end without a sensible plot and dialogue (*cough* Freespace 3: The Search for Bosh which I totally know was a parody *cough*)

I wonder if :v: had any real idea of the power behind the utility they'd created to develop this little space sim project.
Probably. The existence of the walkthrough suggests that they were well aware of the potential significance of modding to their game's sales and longevity. Although it's worth remembering that FRED, or even FRED2, as V made it, was significantly less powerful than modern FRED2Open. Still good, of course, but considerably diminished nonetheless.

Sucks that all that effort ended up in  :v: going out of business due to an awful advertising campaign :(