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Offline Axem

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HLP Newsletter - January 2013

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 15 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 Order

Dusk Wars
Released January 7th, 2012
by BTA

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=79564.0

Burning Heaven
Released January 18th, 2012
by LoneKnight

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=79660.0

Search for Bosch Valintines Day Special
Released February 14th, 2012
by xX_LORD_ULTRA_DEATH_Xx

A love poem to insanity. And bad spelling. And caps. And giant green text. And.......
http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=79938.0

Wing Command Saga: The Darkest Dawn
Released 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=80309.0

Just Another Day 2.21: Original Very Awesome Mission Pack 1
Released 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=80423.0

Dimensional Eclipse
Released 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=80655.0

Homeworld: Blue Planet Demo
Released May 25th, 2012
by MatthTheGeek

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=80950.0

Legacy of Shiva Part 1 Demo
Released 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=81026.0

Luyten Civil War
Released June 15th, 2012
by TopAce

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=81110.0

Between 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=81210.0

Resurgence: Demo
Released July 6th, 2012
by mobcdmoc3

Jealous of the Shivans invading at Capella, much cooler Shivans invade Mirfak! Everybody panic!
http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81319.0

SHMUPSpace: Battle of Deneb Demo
Released July 16th, 2012
by AndrewofDoom

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=81443.0

Diaspora: Shattered Armistice
Released 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=81859.0

Wings of Dawn: Stranded
Released October 25th, 2012
by Spoon

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=82674.0

Ancient-Shivan War II
Released 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=82887.0

Evacuation of Alpha Draconis Demo
Released December 20th, 2012
by Lorric

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 15 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

Code: [Select]
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?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 12:22:59 pm by Axem »

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Highlight :toot:

Quote
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?

more blue planets in the next couple weeks!

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Highlight :toot:

Quote
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?

more blue planets in the next couple weeks!

You tease.

 

Offline Rodo

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Hey I love this thing, I'll be trying to get some shots out of ASW for the contest, I'm due playing that after all.

PS: the video was cool, but the music was not very much freespacy or HLPy IMO, nevertheless :yes:
el hombre vicio...

 

Offline Apollo

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
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?

WiH Part 2, Inferno (If we're lucky), and Shadow Genesis.

more blue planets in the next couple weeks!

Yay! :yes2:

EDIT: Oh and are you allowed to make more than one entry for the competition?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 09:03:48 pm by Apollo »
Current Project - Eos: The Coward's Blade. Coming Soon (hopefully.)

 

Offline Axem

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
I don't see why you couldn't have multiple entries.

Also I made a small addition to the Campaign Spotlight: Re: Aeos Affair

The campaign should work with 3.6.14 + mediavps 3.6.12 (you just need to point the mod.ini to the right mediavps). Its very lightweight and is just missions. The FSCRP added nameplates and a sun.

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Now I don't know if there's some sort of standard to be met around here, and if so, fair enough, but if demos are makiing it into the list, I sneaked my demo in 10 days ago, so there you go:

http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=83179.0

As for you Axem, I wonder what this place would be like without you. You seem to be the real innovator around here, the limit pusher, with regards to FRED. If you don't mind, would you mind telling me why you seem to love it so much? I'm just curious.

EDIT: This newsletter thing is very nice btw. I'm looking forward to see how it goes.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 09:53:36 pm by Lorric »

 

Offline Axem

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Alas, when I look for releases, I look for the traditional [RELEASE] in the thread. A teaser could have meant anything from a demo to just some screenshots. ;) I'll add it to the list, but I can't add you to the video.

And in response to your question, I like working with FRED because its so easy to make anything with. A person with zero experience can make a basic mission in 10 minutes. Now, that time tends to go way up as you really learn the program and uncover wonderful ways to do nearly anything, but it really pays off for the players.

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Alas, when I look for releases, I look for the traditional [RELEASE] in the thread. A teaser could have meant anything from a demo to just some screenshots. ;) I'll add it to the list, but I can't add you to the video.

And in response to your question, I like working with FRED because its so easy to make anything with. A person with zero experience can make a basic mission in 10 minutes. Now, that time tends to go way up as you really learn the program and uncover wonderful ways to do nearly anything, but it really pays off for the players.

Thanks. I didn't use release as I didn't think a demo was worthy of it. But maybe it is. I certainly will if I finish it. So I guess I should use it for any new playable content too.

Hmmmm, define basic mission, mine take me like five hours at least for like two minutes of action... it flies by though. And some of the hold ups should have been eliminated now for future missions, especially with today's foray into the FRED board. I'm sure if I was able to do all the stuff right away without making a single mistake it would take much, much less than five hours, probaby less than one hour. A lot of it is balance tinkering as well. I found FRED very hard to use when I first tried doing anything with it months ago, I've probably got it down to moderately difficult now.

Although if you just mean slapping some ships down on the map and that being it, that's certainly possible in 10 minutes, and I've done it before in the early days. Thanks for answering the question.

 

Offline mandobardanjusik

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Thanks for the update Axem, glad to see the community is still alive and kicking, as am I. in case anyone is wondering, I am in a bit of a stall right now, but I will see about getting out of it. And congrats to all the modders who did all the hard work this year, coders and visual resource artists as well!!! Hear Hear!

 

Offline Legate Damar

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Very fun, gives info on a lot of projects and shows we're still making progress.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
As for you Axem, I wonder what this place would be like without you. You seem to be the real innovator around here, the limit pusher, with regards to FRED. If you don't mind, would you mind telling me why you seem to love it so much? I'm just curious.

hem hem

 

Offline mobcdmoc3

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Well, this just made my day. Got a much welcome uber-wave of motivation. :D

As for the Newsletter, great job. That covered much more than I was initially expecting it to.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Hmmmm, define basic mission, mine take me like five hours at least for like two minutes of action... it flies by though.

The Diaspora Quick Walkthrough was designed to give you something playable about 10 minutes after opening FRED for the first time ever. There are very in-roads to modding a game as quick as that.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Huzzah Axem!  Huzzah HLP! Best of luck in the New Year for the HLP Community!
"The answer is me and dead owls don't give a hoot."

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Hmmmm, define basic mission, mine take me like five hours at least for like two minutes of action... it flies by though.

The Diaspora Quick Walkthrough was designed to give you something playable about 10 minutes after opening FRED for the first time ever. There are very in-roads to modding a game as quick as that.

actually i want to hem hem on this guy's behalf too

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
As for you Axem, I wonder what this place would be like without you. You seem to be the real innovator around here, the limit pusher, with regards to FRED. If you don't mind, would you mind telling me why you seem to love it so much? I'm just curious.

hem hem

I don't know what that means. My prediction is it's a "what about me" kind of expression.

You must wait. You must wait until such time as I am able to play War in Heaven. Then if I like it, praise will find its way to you.

I already praised you today anyway  :lol:

Hmmmm, define basic mission, mine take me like five hours at least for like two minutes of action... it flies by though.

The Diaspora Quick Walkthrough was designed to give you something playable about 10 minutes after opening FRED for the first time ever. There are very in-roads to modding a game as quick as that.


I don't have Diaspora. Do you need it to use that?

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Not on any fundamental level.

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
Not on any fundamental level.

Praise or Diaspora?  :lol:

I think you mean Diaspora :)

Where is this thing? I haven't paid Diaspora much attention.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: HLP Newsletter - January 2013
The Diaspora documentation is available from here (I just uploaded it, so it's much newer than the beta version I posted previously). If you don't have Diaspora you won't be able to actually do the walkthroughs but basically this is a hugely updated version of the FRED documentation.

Basically if you're learning to FRED, you probably should read it. I tried to make sure that it covered every single feature of FRED when Diaspora was released so it should cover almost everything the upcoming 3.6.16 builds can do. The FREDdocs you have only cover what retail can do.
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

[ Diaspora ] - [ Seeds Of Rebellion ] - [ Mind Games ]