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HLP Newsletter - December 2016

We're in the final stages of 2016 now! What sort of amazing releases and surprises await us before the year closes out? Hard to say, but we have a decent haul of campaign news this month, so let's check it out!

Campaign News

After months of teasing, Herkie423 has released their enormous 68 mission 10 act-long campaign, The Aftermath Reboot. Tons of ships, weapons and words for you to chill with.  It's also HLP's latest hosted project! So stop on by in the forum and say hi!

Bomb3rman releases the first few missions of their WIP campaign, Friends and Foes. It takes place in the Blue Planet universe, in that 18 month period between Age of Aquarius and War in Heaven. So help Bomb3rman and give some feedback on their first even released missions about friendship and unbreakable bonds!

PVD_Hope releases a mini campaign entitled, Lost. Which is a brief story if the subtitle is to be believed. As PVD_Hope explains,

"Lost is a short story about waking up in the middle of nowhere. Your goal is to uncover the story from what little hints you're given, and hopefully discover your destiny. I tried to avoid too much blatant exposition, and some of the details are left up to you."

Sounds interesting! I can only hope it ends better than Lost the TV series...

Kestrellius gives us a WIP single mission release to play with Blue Planet called Revelation. While it doesn't use the BP assets, it was built with it, so it might be a good idea to play with it anyway. What sort of revelations are we in store for? Well as Kestrellius explains,

"The campaign is supposed to be sort of a rags-to-riches thing -- you start out with horrendous kit, and end up flying retrofitted Dragons bristling with Kaysers and Trebs."

Now, that sounds like my kind of mod!

Continuing this uprise of WIP activity, Jackho has tossed out Road to Orum'Pur to play with FSPort. They're asking for general feedback and spell checking if you can spare an hour or two.

0rph3u5 hands us another preview of The Lost Generation - Ashcroft with screenshots of foreboding scenes and some neat squad logos going on the fighters. Also it sounds like there could be a release soon, maybe just in time for Christmas! (No pressure of course!)

UndyingNephalim's miracle of the month with Star Fox Event Horizon? Weather effects for FreeSpace. Witchcraft or magic? You decide!

Spoon throws us a behind the scenes peek at what's forthcoming in Wings of Dawn, including how he sets up his art for animation for the visual novel segments. Also included is a short preview vid of how it all looks in action.

Dukka teases us with a short update for Children of Rosenthal. Just some thoughts about revisiting old missions and realizing they have somehow become terrible and must be rebuilt. Buddy, I think all of us have been there a million times. Also includes a neat pic.

From his nuclear bunker 60 miles down, Bryan See transmits an update for Shattered Stars. There's a video and some progress on a mission and utilizing new features for FSO like particle tables.

And Exile is coming back at full speed. Have a mystery screenshot to celebrate!

Coding News

by niffiwan

Getting close to the end of the year means everyone is busy! Just not with FSO coding right now :)

New Features List (targeting 3.8.0)

  • Cleanup/shield refactor (z64555) An old PR meets its destiny! This is a cleanup of the shield management code with the player & the AI now using the same code paths. Easier to maintain code is good!
  • Refactor tracing subsystem (m!m) This reworks the builtin to FSO tracing/profiling code. Since it allows coders to hunt down performance issues, this is a good thing! Say it with me again, easier to maintain code is good :)

Here's the current bugs scoreboards. Firstly we have Mantis bugs & Github issues, both are about the same as last month:

(Mantis includes 33 feature requests not including HPC)

Next up we have Coverity issues, which have again dropped slightly, yay for incremental improvements.

Trivial Psychic asked a question about allowing cargo to be jettisoned with configurable speed, in order that ships can dump their cargo on the run. Sounds like a great idea when you're under fire (HEY LOADMASTER! Hurry up before the Shivans vaporise our.... *skkkeerrrrrrrr*). And in quick order, Goober5000 has created a PR to implement the exact changes, woohoo for fast responses!

Rear_Admiral_Tarsus appeared asking about the use of splash screens for his trace viewer Sounds intriguing, better tools to analyse performance are always good. If you have created the screens proposed to the used, pop on over & give your blessing or otherwise about their continued use. Or if you have any questions about how this works, go ask em!

X3N0-Life-Form has relased his Ability Management Framework script!. Well... by his own admission it's not 100% there, but who cares about cleaning the modpack or proofread manuals. Just dive in and get cracking pilots! Congratulations on the release! Hopefully it'll be really helpful for modders.

Modding News

Betrayal takes the cover off the GTCv Eurynome, a fierce looking shock jumper with beams, missiles, and a lot of hurt. Texturing is already underway so there might be a release soon-ish!

Trashman is back from the dead and has some pieces to a modular station set. There's some WIP parts up for download with more to come, so stay tuned!

Over in 'What Are You Working On?' we have a Viper (pictured), some other WIP shots of the Eurynome and Neptune's first ever ship, modelled, textured and in game! Good job!

JSRNerdo has a download to a mod pack for their now deceased Solarwar. No screenshots provided so we can only guess the content was so amazing that pictures could not contain their majesty. Apparently it has some rad music, so maybe check that out at least!