Author Topic: Beephkake-Shivan War!  (Read 27396 times)

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Offline Stormkeeper

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Stormkeeper: So, today we have FreeSpaceFreak. Leader of the ASW team...

FreeSpaceFreak: Heya.

Stormkeeper: Which by the way stands for Ancient-Shivan War, in case you've been living under a rock. So, FSF. Tell us, when did ASW start?

FreeSpaceFreak: Ehh, must be about a year and a half back IIRC... ShadowGorrath posted a thread ... May 6, 2008.

Stormkeeper: And when did you take over from ShadowGorrath?

FreeSpaceFreak: A year after. Somewhere in May 2009. He was losing motivation, so I kicked the project to life again.

Stormkeeper: So who was on the team when you kicked it back to life?

FreeSpaceFreak: SG, Droid803, freespaceking, maelstrom0511 were active.  You and Esarai were inactive.  Esarai did the HTL Kato, and started an HTL Akrotiri, but he has a bazillion other projects.

Stormkeeper: While I just dropped off the internet for a while.

FreeSpaceFreak: Uh-huh

Stormkeeper: And now how many people does ASW have?

FreeSpaceFreak: Since I joined, we recruited Starwolf1991 and Tantalus53, so that makes 9. Mobius has internal access too, from a deal we made with INF, but he's vanished .

Stormkeeper: What deal was that?

FreeSpaceFreak: Well, we were gonna get more exclusive INF stuff (Shivans), and Mobius would help us figuring out the HUD gauges table and SG would also get INF internal access. But well, apart from the internal accesses, that never really came into effect.

Stormkeeper: I see. So, how much work did you have to do to finish Act 1?

FreeSpaceFreak: A lot. Two missions, fixing all others, making them cohherent, briefing icons, the interface, the mainhall. And the intro cutscene

Stormkeeper: If I recall correctly, the mainhall seemed fine.

FreeSpaceFreak: Yeah, it is.

Stormkeeper: I mean back then. I don't recall anything on it that needed fixing.

FreeSpaceFreak: Oh, well, I wanted to improve it with my newly-acquired Blender skills. And it needed to be updated anyway, with the new Kato, so the final one was rendered.

Stormkeeper: Which is the one we have now.

FreeSpaceFreak: Yep.

Stormkeeper: I noticed in your 'to do list' above you didn't list any ships. Were all the ships done by the time you took over?

FreeSpaceFreak: Well, there were no critical ships. But anyhow, I gave the Phylaki and Zakros a make-over, so FSK would texture them. He had already done the Attis and Tylisos, so these are low-poly. The Kato I just re-unwrapped.

Stormkeeper: Any plans to HTL the ships?

FreeSpaceFreak: Not right now. But I can already say there's an HTL Satyr coming your way, in Act 3, and a brand-new corvette that's never seen before.

Stormkeeper: Brand-new corvette? Any pics?

FreeSpaceFreak: Well, why not. Hold on. There's also a new fighter, but that isn't textured yet.

Stormkeeper: Well, just show 'em.


Stormkeeper: That's the corvette?

FreeSpaceFreak: Yep

Stormkeeper: And the fighter?


FreeSpaceFreak: A stealth fighter, so it looks... Unconventional. Or at least it should.

Stormkeeper: Hmm. Quite. If you didn't tell me it was a fighter, I'd think it was a freighter.

FreeSpaceFreak: Heh

Stormkeeper: So, I believe you're currently working on Act 2?

FreeSpaceFreak: Yep. Missions are the main thing to do. There's 11 of them, and just a couple FREDders, so it might take a while.

Stormkeeper: No major table changes, fx edits to happen?

 FreeSpaceFreak: Well, most of it is already there. All ships have been added. For ASW 3.6.12 there's still more work to do. A re-release of act 1, with lots of things fixed.

Stormkeeper:So will the ancients get beamz?

FreeSpaceFreak: No, that's one thing for sure. That would enable them to punch through the Lucifer's shields, and so destroy it.

Stormkeeper: Hmmm. Point.

FreeSpaceFreak: Which is not quite how it went.

Stormkeeper: Will there be voice acting for Act 1?

FreeSpaceFreak: Well, probably not, unless someone else wants to take it up. I'd rather focus on bringing you more campaigns, though. There's a total of 5 Acts, so enough work to do.

Stormkeeper: I thought there were only 3?

FreeSpaceFreak: New leader, change of plans. :p I'd rather release things more frequently, to be honest, while the previous campaign is still "fresh in the mind". And so the team doesn't lose motivation.

Stormkeeper: So the acts will consist of about a dozen missions, +- ?

FreeSpaceFreak: Yeah, about that. Depends of what all happens, of course. But we'd better not make them too long, since 5 dozen is 60 missions already.

Stormkeeper: Yeah. An epic length.

FreeSpaceFreak: Twice the FS2 main campaign. A ***** to FRED.

Stormkeeper: After releasing all 5 acts, will you toss them together and release them again as 1?

FreeSpaceFreak: Well, we probably will.  That'll then be our final thing. After that... I don't have any plans to continue ASW after that.

Stormkeeper: Besides disappearing individuals, how many other roadblocks did you run into?

FreeSpaceFreak: Hmm, well, none I can think of, really. RL, of course.

Stormkeeper: Mmm. Always a major mod roadblock, that one.

FreeSpaceFreak: Yeah, too true.

Stormkeeper: So ASW really didn't run into any major problems?

FreeSpaceFreak: No, I don't think so. Partly, of course, because we're not doing any major new stuff so it all went pretty smooth.

Stormkeeper: That's quite true. So will there be new Shivans and/or Ancient ships in other Acts? Besides the ones we've seen, of course.

FreeSpaceFreak: There aren't any more scheduled. Of course, if we get a really good-looking ship, it'll go in, but now I'd rather focus on upgrading the existing assets.

Stormkeeper: Better textures and all?

FreeSpaceFreak: The textures will depend on FSK, as he's the only texturer we have. But yes, beter models ... And *maybe once* weapon art.

 Stormkeeper: Wepon art? Will you update the ancients' shuriken cannon?

FreeSpaceFreak: Yes, that's been done already. But no I mean, for the loadout screen. Rotating gun animations etc, but that's rather low on the priority list, since it's a lot of work for little gain.

Stormkeeper: Oh. By weapon art I thought you meant fx.

FreeSpaceFreak: fx?

Stormkeeper: Effects. The bolts and all that.

FreeSpaceFreak: Oh, well, if we get around to that. Most of it already looks pretty good in my honest opinion. The Shuriken has been replaced for 3.6.12.

Stormkeeper: That was one of the most memorable things for me during ASW. Shuriken bolts.

FreeSpaceFreak: Heh, I imagine it was for many people... It was just an idea I had when I just joined. SG liked it, so it went in.

Stormkeeper: Well, it certainly stuck. What's not to like. Shuriken = Ninja = AWESOME

FreeSpaceFreak: Initially, the Cannon looked like a rotating bar too.

Stormkeeper: Oh wait, I think I remember that one too.

FreeSpaceFreak: Yeah, but that went out, replaced by an effect by Esarai

Stormkeeper: And then came the shuriken, right?

FreeSpaceFreak: The Shuriken was in from the beginning as well. Thing is, you need something round for it to look good from every angle. And we didn't have that, so it remained.

Stormkeeper: I loved it. I daresay many people loved it.

FreeSpaceFreak: The Shuriken? Hmm, even more people hate it, judging from the release thread.   It's been replaced by a beamglow now.

Stormkeeper: =( I loved it. Anyway ...  Will the ancients have shields later on?

FreeSpaceFreak: No, they won't. They're a species too proud of themselves to adapt. Obviously, their biggest mistake, so you won't see them change substantially, throughout the acts.

Stormkeeper: Hmmm.

FreeSpaceFreak: If only they had learnt from the Aesdherians, instead of wiping them out...

Stormkeeper: Maras and Nahemas are post FS1 ships, but they appear in ASW. Will you be providing any explanation for that?

FreeSpaceFreak: Hmm, well, no. The Shivans are an enigma. Why they do things, is unknown to all other races alike and such. Really though, an explanation wouldn't satisfy many people. Everyone has his own theory.

Stormkeeper: That's true ... Did you figure out a name for the Ancients? Like Beephkakes?

FreeSpaceFreak: Heh. Not really. We'll try to remove "Ancients" from the modpack as much as possible, but the designations ("AD Achladia") will probably stay. Unless the team decides otherwise, of course.

Stormkeeper: BD Achladia. I suppose that would be weird ... But wouldn't it be a bit difficult avoiding situations where the Ancients call themselves?

FreeSpaceFreak: Bah, I don't think so. "Us", "Our race"... Heh, OD Achladia (Our Destroyer). We'll see, that's a job to decide on for 3.6.12

Stormkeeper: Beephkakes is as good a name as any. :p

FreeSpaceFreak: Of course, but I don't like the sound of it. Sounds too much like beef-cakes. So nyeh :P

Stormkeeper: Well gentlemen. I tried. :p

FreeSpaceFreak: lol

Stormkeeper: Anyway. I'm pretty much done with my questions. The floor is now open to questions.

Androgeos Exeunt: Right, let me try and remember some... Ah yes. It's been pretty much established in the Ancient Monologues that the Shivans destroyed the Ancients. Will the Lucifer be the one to do the coup de grace?

FreeSpaceFreak: Yes. The Sathani will make an appearance as well though.

Androgeos Exeunt: Another question. Referring back to the monologues again, it is stated that the Shivans "didn't die". In what way do they "not die"?

FreeSpaceFreak: The way of the Lucifer. Although the other Shivans can be killed, the Lucifer cannot, and it clears the way for the rest.

DarthGeek: Will the Saths destroy a star... maybe the nebula featured in FS2?

FreeSpaceFreak: To that I'll only answer ;7 Don't want to spoil everything yet.

Androgeos Exeunt: You said that the Ancients could stand to learn from the Aesdherians. What did they stand to learn from them? Beam weapons? Energy shields?

FreeSpaceFreak: If they had learnt about the Aesdherian beam cannons, they would now have been able to attack the Lucifer. Sure, it would still have been hard, but at least it could be killed. Now, they've signed their own death warrant

Androgeos Exeunt: Heheh ... and so it was. How widespread is the arrogance of the Ancients? Are they still arrogant, even when they know they're losing?

Stormkeeper: Very widespread. That's judging from my FREDing instructions, anyway.

 FreeSpaceFreak: You'll see. Of course, in the face of extinction, no-one can stay that arrogant. But that's not until later acts.

Stormkeeper: Shadow told me to FRED the briefings such that they conveyed an extreme sense of arrogance across all the boards.

FreeSpaceFreak: Stormkeeper: Yep, especially the first acts.  Androgeos: Yes?

 Androgeos Exeunt: I'm trying to remember my point ... hang on. :s

Stormkeeper: He loves you and would like to have your babies. S'at right, AE?

FreeSpaceFreak: O.O

DarthGeek: How much inspiration for the Ancients (their culture especially, from briefings, CBs, etc.) do you take from the Vasudans?

FreeSpaceFreak:Not too much, I'd say. See for yourself in the campaigns ;)

Androgeos Exeunt: Ah yes, I remember now.

 Androgeos Exeunt: Stormkeeper, you brought up the point of the Nahema and Mara appearing during the ASW.

Stormkeeper: Well, not me, t'was MatthTheG.

Androgeos Exeunt: If you take Inferno into consideration, you'll also notice that the Shivans also brought back the Shaitan, despite the Inferno period being long after post-Capella.  Shivans don't seem to be affected overly much by any new developments by the Ancients or any other species, simply because they have at least one ship to counter every aspect of warfare that there is.

FreeSpaceFreak: True that.

Androgeos Exeunt: Ships like the Mara and Nahema may very well have been conceived and built long before the Ancients met the Shivans, except that the Shivans chose not to deploy them as it was probably inappropriate.

FreeSpaceFreak: Very well possible. If you remember the Nahema's tech description: "Either this is a new development, or the Shivans are finally taking us seriously and bringing out their best ships"

FreeSpaceFreak: I guess ASW is going with the last option.

Androgeos Exeunt: And when you look at how the Terrans and Vasudans combat the Shivans, you'll notice a pattern. The moment the Terrans and Vasudans think they've got the drop on the Shivans and are capable of countering their "best ships", the Shivans throw something even better than "their best".

FreeSpaceFreak: Yep. You'll see that in ASW Act2, to a lesser extent.

Androgeos Exeunt: In this sense, the Shivans are attempting to push the targeted civilisation's R & D to their utmost limits. Or, to put it in a simpler sense, they're trying to increase the power of a car engine bit by bit, until it explodes.

FreeSpaceFreak: Heh, yeah

Androgeos Exeunt: Did the idea of replacing the shuriken with a beamglow come after I mentioned it on the ASW thread? :s

FreeSpaceFreak: Yes.

Androgeos Exeunt: I feel a bit guilty, because some members of HLP actually like the shuriken. At the time I brought that up, I thought it was too cheesy, and thought it would be really cool to see a teal SCP 3.6.7-ish beamglow coming out from the Akrotiri.

FreeSpaceFreak: Hmm, well, we could always release the Shuriken as an optional pack... So those who like it, will be able to use it.

Androgeos Exeunt: Cool. :) Here's a random comment. When I first saw that ASW was released, the thing I was most curious about was how you guys portray the Shivans as "not dying". Until I played ASW, I was half-expecting every Shivan I meet to be indestructible. So I was pleasantly surprised at how the last few missions turned out.

FreeSpaceFreak: That wouldn't make for a very enjoyable campaign, would it?

Androgeos Exeunt: Exactly, which was why I was curious as to see how you guys did it. I'm quite pleased, actually, with the way the last mission turned out. They just kept bringing in ships until the Ancients were completely exhausted. That sounds like something the Shivans would do in FS1 and FS2.

FreeSpaceFreak: They're the first species the Ancient meet that they cannot wipe out... And yeah, it does. Remember Their Finest Hour?

Androgeos Exeunt: Yeah, or Mystery of the Trinity... Has anyone ever suggested "Altairians" for a replacement for the name "Ancients"?

FreeSpaceFreak: Yes, someone has. But who said they come from Altair?

Androgeos Exeunt: Hmm, yeah. :s

DarthGeek: They wouldn't call the system Altair, either - it's like us calling them the Ancients.

Stormkeeper: They came from the planet Beeph.

DarthGeek: :P

Androgeos Exeunt: NO U

DarthGeek: no u

FreeSpaceFreak: To be honest, we haven't yet decided where their Homeworld will be. But it probably won't be a known system.

Stormkeeper: Hiigara.

Androgeos Exeunt: Well, if the homeworld's involved, it won't be any time soon, I think.

FreeSpaceFreak: The Shivans gotta find it first.

DarthGeek: from the FS Reference Bible: "The Ancient homeworld is described as being "near to Vasuda"." Wait, well that's from the Wiki entry, but not from the FSRef bible, IIRC.

FreeSpaceFreak: Yep, it is. We'll take that into account. But what is "near"?

FreeSpaceFreak: The Ancient Empire spans hundreds of lightyears (well, including Verbek). So "near" might still be five jumps away.

Androgeos Exeunt: Five jumps ... where's the nodemap...

DarthGeek: Here.

FreeSpaceFreak: Hey! I said we hadn't yet decided!

Stormkeeper: I think Altair isn't within 5 jumps.

Androgeos Exeunt: FSF: Yes, we know, but there's no crime in random guessing. :)

Androgeos Exeunt: Altair's 4 jumps away from Vasuda.

Stormkeeper: 1 jump after Altair?

DarthGeek: Wat, Altair's 3 jumps. Which is really a moot point seeing as how jump nodes are inherently unstable.

Androgeos Exeunt: Whoops, I was looking at the 101 nodemap. XD

FreeSpaceFreak: Each act is built around a monologue, so suit for yourself when you'll see the Homeworld :P

Stormkeeper: Well, discussion aside, any further questions?

Androgeos Exeunt: Nah, I think I've asked everything.

Stormkeeper: Alright, then that concludes this interview. Thanks for dropping by FSF, and feel free to continue with the discussion.

FreeSpaceFreak: I really should have breakfast now ... 11AM.

Androgeos Exeunt: Don't worry, FSF. I skipped breakfast today because I woke up at noon. Went straight for lunch.

FreeSpaceFreak: You are invited to bring the discussion to the ASW forums, if you want. And on that bombshell, I'm out - see you guys :)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 04:16:00 pm by Zacam »
Ancient-Shivan War|Interview Board

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Offline Mongoose

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Nice job.  The Act 1 release was one of the most immersive settings I've ever seen in this game, and I can't wait to see what you guys come up with next. :)

Oh please make the Shuriken Cannon an option. That was just too awesome to go by the wayside. :D
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -DEATH, Discworld

"You can fight like a krogan, run like a leopard, but you'll never be better than Commander Shepard!"


Offline Snail

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You know this would probably get more attention if it was made a bit more explicit that it was related to ASW.


Offline Aardwolf

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Is that a retextured and smoothified SSJ Dante?


Offline Droid803

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No, its not, its facing right. The spikes point backwards, like the rest of the Ancients ships.


Offline Mobius

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Re: Beephkake-Shivan War!
Nice work, the use of pictures in interviews seems very effective. They may be used for a variety of purposes and I would have loved to see more of them in this interview. ;)

Glad you mentioned the collaboration with INF. I was the one who suggested it and I still think the ASW team is taking full advantage of the Ancient models (me and Woomeister agree on terminating you with a fleet of SSJs if they're used badly! :p) for us, since INF's plans to use Ancient ships were a bit vague and hardly fit with the rest. Unfortunately, I can't provide a lot of assistance and my help is somehow limited to supervision and further management of the deals between INF and ASW. :( Without considering this, I really like how things are going and I'm pretty sure ASW will become a notable mod.

Carry on! :)