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xx HLP Newsletter - April 2014

April 05, 2014, 10:28:34 pm by Axem
great short story that our own Battuta got published in a sci-fi publication. Its about an interstellar alliance that got cut off from their home system because of aliens. And now that they've discovered the ability to go home, they decide to uproot this silly peacemaking movement that took hold while they were gone. I definitely urge everyone to read it. It might even make a cool video game adaptation one day!

Anyway, let's check out March's activities.

Diaspora's got a new release candidate for its 1.1 patch, this one fixes a problem with landing on the Theseus.

Lorric has released his unfinished missions for his on hiatus Wings of Dawn campaign, Evacuation of Alpha Draconis. Be sure to scoop them up before the forum ninjas take them away.

The Hound continues to dig in and work on his first few missionsBW reports that he's closing in on getting the campaign finished and out there!

And Rheyah had some other tidbits about the progress of Shetland. It sounds like its coming along very nicely as well.

by niffiwan

The big news this month is that the The_E has stepped up as the new leader of the SCP! Congratulations are in order for taking on this new responsibility. Also appropriate at this point is a big thank you to chief1983 for the effort he put in as the previous leader.

And now for a little copy-pasta; here's a list the new features which have been committed to trunk in the last month.  These will all be in the latest Nightly Build which are posted (for Windows at least) each day that there is a change to the trunk code. Check it out if you're feeling brave or are developing mods, or if you just want to help with testing.  Just remember that the nightlies also have the latest bugs as well as the latest features (but hey, it's better to find bugs in a nightly build than in the next release!)
New features!

  • Add a scripting hook variable that specifies the mouse buttons - m!m (so scripts can tell *which* mouse button has been pressed)
  • Add hud-set-custom-gauge-active and hud-set-retail-gauge active - Axem
  • New method of handling quotes and comments that examines lines character by character like most languages do - Goober5000 (or, comments inside quoted strings no longer break stuff) 
  • Stop briefing/credits/mainhall music with scripting - Axem & niffiwan
  • Add briefing icons for ship-with-cargo and wing-with-cargo - Goober5000 (more variety in your mission briefing) 
  • Fix interface graphics scaling/stretching issues - Yarn (i.e. adds pillarboxing or letterboxing to maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio in the interfaces)

Here's the current bugs scoreboard, it's either been a nil-all draw this month, or we're keeping up with the bugs, depending on your point of view...
fixed new delta outstanding
Coverity (this month) 1 1 0 433
Mantis (last 30 days) 13 13 0 187

fightermedic started a thread about navigation subsystems affecting maneuverability, specifically that when they take damage the ships maneuverability drops.  This is similar to a previous thread from Dragon. The thrust of the discussion is generally about where this feature would best be implemented, in the engine & controlled by the modder, or in the mission file and controlled by the FREDer. If you have thoughts on the matter, swing by and leave them in the thread.

ngld has teased us all (and especially Mjn :)) with a patch to implement some new mainhall capabilities. In short it allows new "action areas" to be defined in mainhalls, which would very neatly tie in with Axems new Journal script! Pretty exciting... except that ngld seems to have vanished :( Come baaaaaaack pleeeeeease....

After I mentioned it last month, m!m has now posted a preview+builds of Chromium-in-FSO. Just what your Raptor WSO needs to be able to post on HLP during the slow parts of a mission. Or you could use it to create custom interfaces in HTML, both out-of-mission and in-mission. Go give it a spin and help find/squash all the bugs! :)

Uchuujinsan has resumed a thread about the collision detection in FSO which has generated a large number of posts. The discussion has mostly concerned finding ways to reduce the number of narrowband collision detection checks that are performed by refining the broadband check. While that is far simpler said than done some small improvements have been found by caching the broadband checks.

It's been a bit quieter on the installer front this month with a single (just one!) release for Goober's installer. The new features include OpenAL installation on Windows, localisation support and some preliminary support for installing retail VPs from the GOG installer.

In scripting land I've posted some builds+patch that workaround the 32 character limit for the script-eval sexp. This opens up a way to call any LUA code from a mission which greatly expands the toolkit available to FREDer-scripters. Admittedly it's a little clunky but when combined with Karajorma's patch (which increases the limit to 64 characters as well as adding Multiplayer Key-Pressed) some highly annoying LUA workarounds can be tossed out. And there's always 6500% hull integrity fighters to watch out for in the next JAD! :D

And lastly, Swifty has posted builds+patches for Deferred Lighting and soft shadows!

Veeeery nice :)  Unfortunately there's a few teething issues to be sorted out before this can be added to the code, so keep an eye on that thread and jump in to test new revisions as they become available.

Col Fishguts released a new version of a very iconic ship. The Omega Destroyer from Babylon 5 for The Babylon Project. (Download link at the bottom)
Home One for Fate of the Galaxy. Your eyes can't repel beauty of this magnitude!

Fightermedic's got his bomber nearly finished (though with a lot less red than before. He's also got a neat looking corvette with a lot of neat looking guns. Can't wait to see that in game. (Also where's the campaign for all of these ships?!)

Betrayal is trying his own hand at HTLing an old user made Shivan standby, the SCv Scyllapretty neat and sleek fighters. Loving the swing wings!

Cahdoge continues with his glorious Space Galleon so you can sail the sea of stars in style. I wonder who would win between this and the Volition Bravos?

Hey, look who's back! It's Scooby! He's got a cool new ship in the words, the Tigerclaw! I'm sure we'll see this thing finished up real fast!

On the MediaVPs front we have two WIPs!
First, DahBlount has started on an upgrade for the neglected Zephyrus. A great start so far. I can't wait to blow it up. (I kid!)

Demon HTL.

And now for a special Wings of Dawn section of the modding section:
First Spoon shows off the completely reimagined Champion-class carrier. The ship on the right is the old Champion. It's okay, I'm sure Spoon won't mind if you laugh at that old ship.

And here a truly multi-talented ship. Thaeris made the concept art, Hades modelled it and Spoon textured the Dragonfly-class fighter. Those wings? Of course they move, why wouldn't they? 

And in another team effort Enzo03 modelled, and Andrew textured the Excalibur-class fighter.

And finally, Andrew shows off the giant Knight-class battleship. Can you say, overkill through superior firepower?

The ship set for the new Wings of Dawn is looking a-maz-ing!

This month we take a look at PCS2 and kitbashing subobjects from one ship to another. It can be as simple as importing a docking port model or a turret to combining two ships together in some unholy marriage of metal and durasteel.

Check it out.

by mjn.mixael
Last month's theme was Loneliness. I was surprised at how many different takes on the idea of loneliness there were. So, uh, good job on that!
I couldn't decide, so I polled a few people on what they thought. Ended up with Mpez winning for the second month in a row with this one.

This one came in at a close second!
Screencap Scoreboard:
Ckid - 1
Mpez - 2
As a reminder, we're going to do things slightly differently this year. Our many campaigns are filled with emotional ups, downs, and/or lackthereof. So we'll highlight that with a whole year's worth of emotional themes. I don't care what's in the image as long as it portrays the particular feeling for the month.
It's April, and the new theme is Satisfaction.
Watch those HUD gauges (especially that sneaky FPS gauge) and check out the Screencam Script to help you win a badge and bragging rights. You can see the rules and the previous winners here on the Wiki.

While we're still in a Wings of Dawn mood, the Wings of Dawn forum game has ended and to celebrate this, Spoon has made an amazing video of the ships his stalwart players commanded blowing up the evil fleets he had brought against them. A recommended view, for sure.
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xx The Cryptocurrency of the future. Announcing HLPCoin!

April 01, 2014, 02:43:07 am by Announcements
So we've all seen that Bitcoin has turned out to be a bit of a dud and everyone is trying to get their own currency out to replace it. Here at HLP we pride ourselves on doing things differently so we've decided to make our own currency too. How is HLPCoin different from other cryptocurrencies?  Well we don't force you to waste your computer's time in pointless mining!

The amount of revolutionary coding going on at the SCP is astounding. Things like soft shadows and internet browsing are just some of the incredible feats that the coders are pulling off. But there's always been a question of just how efficient the use of hardware could be. Did you know that FreeSpace only uses 10% of your average GPU's power? How could the SCP fully ultilize that 90% of wasted potential? The answer: HLPCoin.

HLPCoin is a revolutionary concept, instead of you paying to play, HLP pays YOU to play! Run FreeSpace Open with the special HLPCoin-enabled builds and FreeSpace Open will begin to mine the HLPCoins. So while you're fighting the NTF or Shivans, you would also be opening up your bright modding future on HLP!

HLPCoin can be exchanged for goods and services at the HLP Exchange. Need that special ship for your mod but have zero skill to make it? Pay an officially HLP-licensed modeller to do it for you! Tired of waiting for Blackwater Operations or Blue Planet and all their secrets to come out? Pay for exclusive undocumented access to internal forums!

HLPCoins could also be informally exchanged between people for their own private investments and services. How you use it is all up to you!

A portion of all HLPCoin transactions will go straight to improving FreeSpace Open for the newest innovations in gaming such as:
Social Media Integration (Link your pilot profile to your Facebook account!)
In-Game Stores (Ran out of Cyclops bombs too soon? No worries!)
Identifying Behavioral Indications in Users to Better Enhance A Casual Gaming Experience (you consent to this by using HLPCoin Builds)
...and more!

Check the test builds forum for builds!
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xx Changes to the way HLP is moderated (For Real This Time!)

March 07, 2014, 04:52:18 am by Announcements
For those of you who use the forums rather than just looking at the front page, we've made some changes to the way we will be moderating HLP in the future. You can find details here.
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xx HLP Newsletter - March 2014

March 01, 2014, 01:40:02 pm by Axem

Why, hello everyone. Welcome to March! Spring is about to arrive... right? (Well, not here anyway.)

You may notice something a little different about me this month. There's a goofy picture under my name, as well as a new goofy title, "Just Another Administraitor". And- wait. That's not so goofy. Pyros are awesome...

Anyway, on to more important news, there is a large discussion taking place about forum guidelines. Be sure to read it and give your input. As well, anyone who's considering releasing content on HLP should read and give feedback on this licensing thread. The more clear these things are, the smoother modders and mod teams can function!

And! Not. Only. That. But if you've got news thats fit to be announced but if its not earth shattering as an announcement or a highlight, please post it in this news ticker thread and hopefully someone will be along quick enough to add it to the news roll above the forum. (Note: This method may change in the near future if we can get something better cooking.)

Thats a long intro, lets get to the fun stuff!

Did you enjoy the single mission campaign The Blade Itself with War in Heaven? Sure you did! Now Lepanto's started a series of missions that follow the great captains of BP as they command their giant starships.

Want to make your own? Lepanto's still got you covered with this tutorial on how to get all set up!

Other than that its kind of quiet on the campaign front. There's lots of small rumblings here and there with Shetland and Frontlines but lets be super patient and not rush greatness.

The Hound's got some first missions he has put up for people to review and give critique. I haven't had a chance to see them yet, but from what other people are writing, they seem pretty cool!

gin's also got his first mission out for people to try for Diaspora. Go slag some toasters!

Oh hey, I also forgot to mention last month, with the release of the 2014 Mediavps, I also re-released Vassago's Dirge to take advantage of the new content and new features added since its original release. If you liked Blue Planet or Transcend, you'll probably like this trip too!

by niffiwan

Another month, more coding and scripting goodness is flowing FSO's way. Hopefully there will be a new stable release soon as it would be grand for both the mediavps_2014 and JAD:XA to be supported by official releases... ;)

And now for a little copy-pasta; here's a list the new features which have been committed to trunk in the last month.  These will all be in the latest Nightly Build which are posted (for Windows at least) each day that there is a change to the trunk code. Check it out if you're feeling brave or are developing mods, or if you just want to help with testing.  Just remember that the nightlies also have the latest bugs as well as the latest features (but hey, it's better to find bugs in a nightly build than in the next release!)

New features!
  • Allowed the $Weapon class hook condition to work on $Weapon Collision hooks - zookeeper
  • Adds set-motion-debris-override sexp. This can be used to control the presence of motion debris, and overrides any user choice made through the -nomotiondebris commandline flag - The_E
  • Add lua function to get a handle of the current player - m!m
  • Add -no_unfocused_pause option - m!m   
  • Add a SEXP for checking the current state of ship flags - karajorma
  • Make the Mission Objectives editor a little larger. Cause why not? - karajorma
  • Bigger (and better?) Briefing and Debriefing editors - Axem

And for something a little different, here's a bugs scoreboard:
fixed new delta outstanding
Coverity (this month) 23 5 -18 433
Mantis (last 30 days) 7 9 +2 187

And while the subject is on bugs, Battuta has written another bug hunt post - read it at your own peril!

RgaNoris has started a discussion about the subobject vertices limit in FSO.  It seems that all subobjects (including the main detail0 object) are limited to 64k verts due to the use of an unsigned short (16 bit) as an index. The_E has whipped up some code for FSO, it's now just PCS2 that'll need some love to add support there as well. 

After 2.5 years of no updates in the thread, m!m has released some test builds with compressed VP support! This is pretty exciting as modder should be able to package up their mods using ubiquitous compression utilities rather than our collection of custom VP editors. And there's benefits in reduced assets size and better error detection.  Head over and give that build a spin! :)

APNGASM. It's not forgotten, there was a recent update from the kickstarter.  While it has been slower than expected, progress had been made with a stable v3.0.0 release. Command line tools are available, but the GUI isn't quite ready yet.

z64555 has finished a revamp of the FSO debug console.  It's a feature that's practically been forgotten since retail, it provides tools to tweak the behaviour of FSO as it's running. Sounds very interesting, and I want to dig into it to find out what it can do.

ngld has taken Hellzeds bash script and ported it to python.  The result is a nice looking cross platform installer! Windows users can grab a stand-alone exec to run here. OSX & Linux users will need to install dependencies and run the python script for now.

And Goober5000s installer has released a new version as well, squashing bugs and adding new features. It should update Freespace2 to v1.20 and install OpenAL, with the ability to extract VPs from the GOG installer looking like the last feature needed before version 2.1 is released.

Annnnd... maybe I should let Axem talk about his new Journal script :)  I'll just say that it looks really cool, it provides a way for modders to better integrate background information (the technical term is "fluff") into the natural flow of a campaign.  And for an idea which would have a neat synergy with the new script, coders, take a look here...

And to close out, a mysterious magic|man has been integrating Chromium with FSO... what's next? Twitter feeds in your techroom?  P3D in your briefing? Javascript in your HUD gauges?

BW's back with Head Anis of our favorite fish eating, head loving aliens, the Vasudans. Look! They even have scarves! Upgrade your Vasudan fashion today!

Steve-O's got some really great pics of the latest version of the Hyperion (also called the Karuna in BP). No tiles on this baby, just sweet sexy uvmaps.

whitearrow's begun texturing his awesomesauce frigate. What more can you say! (Besides awesomesauce)

ShivanHunter's released a landscape model and a mini-tutorial for making one! Just check that pic below to see how beautiful the scenes can get! Now if only we could get the AI to... not fly into the ground...

Col. hornet is still around, slowly refining his giant Hera Carrier. I'm sure the hangar bays will be awesome to fly through.

fightermedic's back with another Lego-inspired ship. The Venom bomber, which looks to be a fast piece of work.

DahBlount's started to release some information on his own personal mod, and he's also got a WIP of a Heavy Assault Frigate named the Agasaya. And ship certainly looks heavy assault. There's no kill like overkill, right?

cahdoge has begun to take his first steps into 3d modelling with a space galleon in space. He's looking for tips and advice, so if you've got some you can spare him, I'm sure he would enjoy it very much.

Rga's back with a very promising start to the Moloch! There's nothing fishy about this galactic horror.

Whoa, hold on here. Where's the Oddgrim ship? And the Scooby update?! Please excuse me, I must inform the authorities about two missing people. Everyone, remain calm, don't panic!

This month's modding article is about cutscene sexps. They are a wonderful set of sexps that allow you to have real fun with displaying your campaign. The only problem is that they can be a little tricky to use. So I wrote some stuff on the wiki about the quirks.

Check it out!

Next month will be about kitbashing models with PCS2. For when that ship you want is just needs a few small tweaks to make it perfect...

by mjn.mixael

Last month's theme was Love, and I absolutely applaud the creativity displayed!
Seriously. A beam drawing a heart on a Sath?. Win. A dynamic shot of Freespace's most famous lovebirds?. Awesome. Showcasing JAD's ridiculous weapons. <3! And of course a love story between HLP members, Axem and Mpez. You know there's going to be a campaign featuring them someday!
All in all, though I just had to go with Mpez's attempt to court Axem. Not only that, but I'm Batman.

Screencap Scoreboard:
Ckid - 1
Mpez - 1
As a reminder, we're going to do things slightly differently this year. Our many campaigns are filled with emotional ups, downs, and/or lackthereof. So we'll highlight that with a whole year's worth of emotional themes. I don't care what's in the image as long as it portrays the particular feeling for the month.
So for March, let's explore Loneliness.
Watch those HUD gauges (especially that sneaky FPS gauge) and check out the Screencam Script to help you win a badge and bragging rights. You can see the rules and the previous winners here on the Wiki.

I'm going to be slightly changing when the newsletter is posted. Instead of (roughly) on the 1st of each month, I'm going to go for (roughly) the first weekend of each month. This will give me a little breathing room if I fall behind for whatever reason. Until then!
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xx HLP Newsletter - February 2014

January 31, 2014, 09:43:38 pm by Axem

Welcome to February! The month of love. And judging by the results in this thread, the Temeraire is going to be getting a lot of Valentines! But my heart belongs to another ship, and before I go out and order chocolate for it, lets see what we did in January.

Not quite a campaign, but the aptly named 2014 Mediavps have been released! So many new models, so little room here to tell you about them, so just download it if you haven't already!

Remember how I told you about a crazy campaign in development with Cylons and Shivans and... other things to blow up. Well there's a demo out now! Its a one man, first mod ever sort of thing, so really keep that in mind if you want to try it out.

Battuta's been a posting madman lately, and some of it teases you with the inner workings of Blue Planet: War in Heaven Act 4. There's also neat stuff about Vasudans and BP3, and even a War in Heaven VOICE ACTING DEATHMARCH. Does this guy sleep?

And Diaspora has an initial release on their 1.1 patch, now including amazingly rendered briefing cutscenes. I mean check it out!

And in our frequently updating mini-mod showcase: Black Wolf, working on Frontlines teases us with a picture of a new Vasudan Station, and Rheyah working on Shetland teases us with stock tips that are sure to pay off in 383 years. (I've already put my money away!)

And if you're looking for an updated classic to play, the FSCRP has you covered with a dual release of Incursion and Return to SOL. (Props to Macfie for pointing out I forgot this!)

by niffiwan

Onwards to February... and I'm running out of time to get this to Axem and I can't think of anything decently witty or interesting to put here so have some random blatherings instead... :nervous:  (and yeah, I should really appreciate the weather I have a lot more!!! :p)

And now for a little copy-pasta; here's a list the new features which have been committed to trunk in the last month.  These will all be in the latest Nightly Build which are posted (for Windows at least) each day that there is a change to the trunk code. Check it out if you're feeling brave or are developing mods, or if you just want to help with testing.  Just remember that the nightlies also have the latest bugs as well as the latest features (but hey, it's better to find bugs in a nightly build than in the next release!)

New features!
  • From December; red-alert will now work with ships that appear at some point subsequent to mission start - Goober5000 (the old behaviour was that a ship that was not present at mission start would ignore any red alert data from the previous mission)
  • Add scaling option to Yarns hud gauges - niffiwan (modders can now choose if they want to automatically scale gauges or not; default is the scaling)
  • Allow training missions to also show mission goals - karajorma (pretty much self explanatory)
  • Add support for replaying briefing and command briefing cutscenes - karajorma (say hello to beautiful briefing cutscenes in Diaspora 1.1)
  • add the Call-SSM-Strike SEXP - X3N0-Life-Form (a simpler way to add missiles of subspace doom!)
  • add $Velocity Inherit weapons table option - zookeeper (i.e. the percentage of the parent ship's velocity that is inherited by the weapon)
  • add $Acceleration Time weapons table option - zookeeper (modders can now change the default 1 sec accelerate-to-max-velocity time for secondaries)
  • add "no homing speed ramp" weapon flag - zookeeper (similar to the previous feature, this allows the removal of the 1 sec speed up time)
  • scripting access to ship orders; also allows modifying some order values - Admiral MS
  • add scripting function to get the wing of a ship - Admiral MS
  • add scripting function to get the waypoint-list of a waypoint - Admiral MS (all three of these give more scripting options which will see use in Admiral MS's RTS mod, hurrah!)
  • Add -profile_write_file options to write frame times to a file - from m!m (makes it easier to graph framerates when testing performance improvements)

Rounding out the months coding commits, we had more bugfixes and Coverity fixes. Yay! :)

Echelon9 has created a Newbie Projects wiki page, a list of easy tasks that would be suitable for any new coders wishing to start working on the FSO codebase. This is a great idea to lower the barrier of entry into coding for FSO, and we're always interested in more coders!

Also from Echelon9 is some work on rationalisation of the AI code. The AI code is a fairly scary part of FSO and it's easy to break AI behaviour by accident so rationalisation work is good. As long as we don't break the AI code in the process of trying to make it harder to break the AI code...

m!m has done some work on Shader Refactoring. It's a reorganisation into simpler and more object-oriented code, with a benefit of some performance improvements. The only unfortunate side effect is that this the same area of the code that Swifty has been working on, so there's a need to sync/merge the changes together to ensure that they don't conflict with each other. Regardless of that, it's good refactoring work :yes:

Spicious has released a new version of PCS2. The main features is an increased submodel normals limit, the limit is now 64k total normals per submodel whereas it used to be around 30k or so. Some extra minor goodies are displaying the vertex count instead of the poly/tri count, and some performance improvements.

FelixJim has posted a planned update for the In-Mission Techroom Script. It's still a plan at this stage as there's one outstanding bug that needs code review (calling all code reviewers!!) and to be committed to trunk. Anyway, the plans will remove a number of limitations in the current script - all very cool.

Also from FelixJim is an update to the Simple Animation Script. Chock full of goodies to help modders create freeform briefings, so go check it out.

Now, call off the hounds of pestering because Goober has released a beta of his promised cross-platform installer! On time too, with about 5 mins to spare :) While there were a few serious bugs in the 1st version, these have been cleaned up (congratulations to m!m for spotting the most serious issue) and it's looking pretty good.  While it's not quite ready for a public release more testing is always good, so if you have some spare time download it, give it a go and report back with your experiences.

And it seems to be the season for installers, LogicalMadness has come out of nowhere with a Windows Installshield based installer (the rd in 3 months!). It's also in a beta state and I'm sure he'd appreciate testing and feedback so that it can be improved.

And lastly, since it doesn't seem to be getting much attention here's a reminder about Antipodes 9: SDL Everywhere. This is a feature we (the SCP) want to be in the next FSO stable release, so it would be great to get some more testing & feedback on it. And I'd like to make a special call to anyone who has a force-feedback joystick since one of the main features of Antipodes 9 is SDL support for force-feedback. Not many of the coders have these so we'd really appreciate more testing so we can ensure that the new code works as expected, and we can move closer to being able to commit this into trunk.

Cool Col. Hornet has continued his amazing progress on the amazing GTCa Hera. Link goes to the first post with an up to date p3d window and wow, that size comparision with the Raynor! I fear how many fighters that thing could carry!

From the depths of the underworld, peterv returns! With presents! The GTF Ierax. A Valkyrie-like fighter that is sure to either ruin your day, or your opponents!

Aesaar and Hades are teaming up to reimagine some of the FreeSpace 2 fighters based on concept art that StarSlayer drew eons ago. Right now there's just the Herc II, the turkiest of all Terran fighters.

An4ximandros has another ship wip (apparently his 10^100 x 10^100th try), and it sure looks like a fun model to fly through while trying to lose trailing Shivan fighters! (Hey An4x, when can we see the other umpthmillion ships?! Sincerely, your secret fan, Axem)

Whitearrow has announced that his heavy frigate is done the modelling stage (with only 60,000 polygons!). So while we wait for that monster to be finished lets enjoy some pretty renders.

ShadowWolf is taking an old fighter, Aldo's Claymore 2b, and given it a bit of a facelift. I can't wait to fly it and pray the engine pylons don't get blown to bits!

In MediaVP territory, those guys are still working hard even with the release of the 2014 mediavps.

Lc4Hunter continues his Iceni model. Bosch will be able to demand access to the Sirius jump node in so much style, that Command will have no choice but to let him go... (Waitaminute...)

Oddgrim continues to use his insane texturing powers for good and not evil by starting work on Hades' insane Leviathan. (Can you find the easter eggs he has hidden on the textures?)

As well Hades gives the Fenris a related update to match the Levithan's new style. Oh Fenris, why couldn't you take more hits and be a little more useful? (FYI Fenris is on the right)

And finally we close this section with Rga Noris's early WIP of a new Moloch! Hooray!

This month's article is about Mission Infrastructure and Checkpoints. It's really long, so I put it up on the wiki. Its got fun and colorful pictures!

Basically I explain a semi-simple system of allowing you to divide your mission into chunks so you can skip to parts without having to play the parts before. This helps with testing long missions. And as a side-effect, it makes adding checkpoints a breeze. Adding the checkpoint was the EASIEST PART.

Seriously, this stuff comes in super handy when you have a mission that has this many events (Thank goodness for multi-monitors!)

Next month: Cutscene sexps, this most idiosyncratic sexps in FreeSpace. And... that's saying something.

by mjn.mixael

Last month's theme was Rage. There weren't too many entries, but some really nice ones showed up in just the last few days.
It took me quite some time to choose the winner this month... I really liked several of the images, but in the end.. I kept finding myself going back to one in particular. I love the angle of the scene and how it draws your eye across the bow of the ship, over weapons and straight to the explosion. Very well composed shot from a great looking mod.
CKid wins the first month of the year with this one.

Honorable mention to Droid's post because that was full of win. Although, I was properly quoted as saying I didn't care what was in the image.. I thought it went without saying that these are meant to be in-mission screenshots! But I give Droid and Lorric extra props for thinking outside the skybox. (C wut I did thar?)
Screencap Scoreboard:
Ckid - 1
As a reminder, we're going to do things slightly differently this year. Our many campaigns are filled with emotional ups, downs, and/or lackthereof. So we'll highlight that with a whole year's worth of emotional themes. I don't care what's in the image as long as it portrays the particular feeling for the month. And yes, February is be the month of Love. (I recommend lots of red or pink colored images!)
Watch those HUD gauges (especially that sneaky FPS gauge) and check out the Screencam Script to help you win a badge and bragging rights. You can see the rules and the previous winners here on the Wiki.

BlackWolf's started a CBAni reference wiki drive project march revolution... thing. Help out and... be eternally satisfied with inner peace.

Also, as if Battuta isn't doing enough, he also managed to kidnap Spoon and reveal all the secrets of his... secrets. (One day I will be kawaii* as Spoon)

(TL Note: Kawaii means cute)

Also props to Rga Noris for taking some pics when p3d suddenly stopped working for me!
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