Fellow countrymen, made up personas, people with stylish hats, I speak to you as a peer and equal. I am a modder, I make and create. From FRED to modelling, to sometimes coding and sometimes texturing. I am also a player. The challenge of figuring out the best tactics to a complex mission brings me as much fun as just shooting up random hostile ships with no regard.
Chances are you fall into one of those two categories: creator or player. And I'm here to help you out with what you like to do. I'm here to cast a light on what might interest you, or what you may have missed. To give you ideas and inspire you. Or maybe, just look at some really cool pictures.
That's what this newsletter will be all about. At the beginning of each month, we take a quick look back at what's gone on so you don't need to be here every day or every week to stay caught up. From new models, to campaign announcements, to cool new code features, to campaign spotlights and anything else happening around HLP. We'll have it covered.
But for this first issue of January 2013, let's look at 2012.
Through some amazing act of bravery, there were
16 official campaign releases in 2012! That's an average of over 1 a month! Cool stuff!I give you this tribute video to celebrate 2012's releases!
Full Releases in Chronological OrderDusk WarsReleased January 7th, 2012
Dusk Wars finally rises from the horizon. Fight to save all sentient life from heretics! Especially the dolphins!http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=79564.0Burning HeavenReleased January 18th, 2012
Using familiar assets to tell a story in the early Terran days, its sure to burn you up. Completely voice acted too!http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=79660.0Search for Bosch Valintines Day SpecialReleased February 14th, 2012
A love poem to insanity. And bad spelling. And caps. And giant green text. And.......http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=79938.0Wing Command Saga: The Darkest DawnReleased March 22nd, 2012
by Tolwyn and the WCS Team
It's about time! What Wing Commander fans have been waiting years for.http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=80309.0Just Another Day 2.21: Original Very Awesome Mission Pack 1Released March 31st, 2012
by Axem and QueenHolley
Axem takes a day out of his "busy" "schedule" to "fred" some "fun" "missions". (All of a sudden two unrelated missions is a campaign release now, huh?!)http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=80423.0Dimensional EclipseReleased April 22nd, 2012
By Droid_803 and the Dimensional Eclipse Team
Filled with fun and fast paced action with so many new and redone assets, this campaign will surely eclipse all doubt about what you may have heard.http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=80655.0Homeworld: Blue Planet DemoReleased May 25th, 2012
It may be a HomeWorld mod, but with featuring all sorts of FreeSpace ships, how can it not be included?http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=80950.0Legacy of Shiva Part 1 DemoReleased June 4th, 2012
by Legate Damar
A Cardassian makes a 1 mission campaign demo about Shivans trapped in an alternate dimension with Wings of Dawn ships. Fun times had by all.http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81026.0Luyten Civil WarReleased June 15th, 2012
Featuring cut-throat and laser focused military action in an intense fight for Luyten. Brimming with great gameplay, it leaves you with one question: Where do I get more?http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81110.0Between the Ashes: Mefistofele (Demo)Released June 24th, 2012
by mjn.mixael and the BtA Team
mjn invites you to take a peek at his gorgeously vibrant and yet dark reconstruction era campaign. Its ok, I cried too.http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81210.0Resurgence: DemoReleased July 6th, 2012
Jealous of the Shivans invading at Capella, much cooler Shivans invade Mirfak! Everybody panic!http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81319.0SHMUPSpace: Battle of Deneb DemoReleased July 16th, 2012
Side-scrolling? In MY FreeSpace? Pushing the engine to its limit, Andrew gives you a retro-inspired shoot em up demo!http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81443.0Diaspora: Shattered ArmisticeReleased September 4th, 2012
by karajorma and the Diaspora Team
Something about kitchen appliances coming to life and killing. You'd think the Colonial Consumer Safety Board would have something to say about this!http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81859.0Wings of Dawn: StrandedReleased October 25th, 2012
Buffing up his franchise with new characters and a few new ships, Spoon takes you on a journey far far away.http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=82674.0Ancient-Shivan War IIReleased November 22nd, 2012
by FreeSpaceFreak and the Ancient-Shivan War Team
The oldest war of them all comes back for a second part. Unfortunately it will be the last part, though insights into the third part are around for all to see!http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=82887.0Evacuation of Alpha Draconis DemoReleased December 20th, 2012
A last minute release demo for a fan-made campaign for Wings of Dawn. I wonder what it could be about...http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=83179.0
Having spent over a year in the release candidate phase, 3.6.14 has been released
! Yeah, it took us long enough. But don't despair about waiting another year for the version, 3.6.16 is already well underway to being released "soon-ish!" 3.6.16 has a code freeze in effect
so the hard working coders are only fixing bugs, not adding anything new or unstable.
If you would like to help get 3.6.16 out the door, be sure to check out this master sticky about getting involved with the SCP.
Even reporting bugs can go a long way to making a better game.
Last year alone, 202 bugs were reported on the SCP Mantis and 388 bugs were resolved! They fixed more bugs than we found! This picture alone is a testament to the hard work the coders have been putting in.
And after the code freeze, there's a bunch of high profile code additions that are slated to go in. From deferred lighting and glowpoints that cast their own light,
to new pilot files,
to even shadows (!!!!).
If you feel brave enough, you can go on down to the test builds subforum
and check out these experimental feature. Carry on coders!
And in more general FreeSpace tools news, wxLauncher,
which is sure to be the launcher of the future, threw out a few major versions this year as well. Not to abuse this soapbox to endorse projects but... this truely did change my life... forever. Be sure to try it so it changes yours too! And there was some more incremental PCS2 updates. Improvements to the BSP code (whatever that means) and other bugfixes to help solidify this essential tool.
But there is one small neat program that I think all modders should take note of that didn't get much attention, FreeSpaceFreak's Modpack Cleaner.
Great for getting rid of all those files you don't know you're not using anymore and slimming down your file modpack size. It is just a beta, so go easy on it.
And on the scripting side of news, there were some neat lua scripts made and one in particular, the Screencam Script,
is pretty awesome. It lets you slow action down to a crawl and orient the camera to let you take the best pictures ever. It would be good for a... screencap contest... wouldn't it?
I don't know if you've noticed, but we've released a lot of campaigns. Like I said earlier, we released
16 finished mod projects last year alone. But sometimes we still don't know which campaign to play next. Maybe we're just not aware of them, or we thought they don't sound like our cup of tea. Even I, Mr Super-FREDder Axem, haven't played some high profile campaigns (I won't say which so I am not mocked mercilessly).
So once a month, I resolve to play through one campaign. Not a big, high profile campaigns like Blue Planet or Derelict. But the smaller, forgotten campaigns. Ones like Burning Heaven or The Antagonist.
This month, I was going to sort of look at the original retail campaigns but I ran out of time working on other important things. So we'll just call this month a freebie.
For next month's spotlight, the steamy month of love, February, I will be looking at the sexy The Aeos Affair. (What's that?)
I'm being told its not that kind of affair. Well then, why is it called The Aeos Affair then?! Geez, whatever. I'll be taking a look at it. I've read that its a pretty hard campaign. Let's see if I can finish it without resorting to cheating!
And just to reassure people that this campaign last updated in 2008 works without errors and warnings for 3.6.14 and mediavp 3.6.12 provided you point the mod.ini to mediavps_3612. Just modify that last line in the mod.ini to say
secondarylist = mediavps_3612;
It's a very lightweight mod. No custom ships or weapons. It was originally made in 2000!
Screenshots are an important part of any gaming community, especially around here. When people think of FreeSpace, they think of a 13+ year old game. The recent projects show that we're starting to rival current generation gaming engines. Routinely we get new pictures and discussions in the Celebration of FreeSpace thread, but here I'd like to be a little more focused. Aim for pictures we can throw up on the wiki and to show other people outside the community.
Thus, this contest! Each month will have a different theme for you go out and take the best spirited picture you can.
Winners get... points! And prominently featured in the next newsletter.
Non-winners will get smaller and not as grand mentions anyway. Cause I'm nice. But no points. I'm not that nice.This month's theme: 2012! The screencap must be from a 2012 released campaign! Make it GOOD. Make it awesome.
Pictures will be judged on how well they show off the project they are showing off and lack of silly hud elements. This includes the FPS counter...
Also, check out the screencam script
to take amaaaaazing pictures.
So, with a brand new year ahead of us, what new mod projects are you looking forward to? And what mod projects are you working on that will get released this year?