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HLP Newsletter - June 2017

Before we get to the newsletter, I want to highlight something pretty cool being done by an HLPer. Firesteel has started a YouTube series analyzing FreeSpace and the reasons why it’s the single most greatest work of art ever to be authored by living gods (or at least in the Space Sim universe). So give the first episode a watch and stay tuned for more.

Campaigns

Release - Friend and Foes: Retribution

Bomb3rman has released their first campaign! It takes place in the Blue Planet universe and follows the adventure of a pilot trying to keep their head down while the UEF and GTVA fight it out.

"This story is about those people that get caught in between when empires collide and great armies fight their wars. This is about the survival of those you love and need the most. About those who sweat and bleed next to you when the going gets tough.

Meet new friends, make peace with your past, fight the rising threat of a new and powerful militant organization and grasp the opportunity to get things right, finally."

It's 13 missions long and looks like just the thing to play if you've been hungry for some more Blue Planet missions to play.


Release - Yet Another First Mission

And speaking of first releases, Asteroth has released their first ever mission. If you like watching ships blow up, this might be one for you, as it is described as a "horrible BoE 'left all the dogfight weapons in the loadout' mission for all to see and rip to shreds." It's a common mission design that people make when they start (myself included back in the day), and is great to get to know how use FRED. So give it a try and give Asteroth any pointers you might have.


WIP Release - The Great War Augmented - Chapter 1

Trivial Psychic has released the first chapter in their FreeSpace 1 remastered campaign. This attempts to bring some added gameplay and depth to the original missions. It's more than a simple port that was done by the FSPort team, this is a little closer to the FreeSpace Blue that GeneralBattuta had done.


Re-Release: FS1 Campaign Compilation

Admiral Nelson and the FSCRP has put a new finish on some FreeSpace 1 campaigns. We've got The Destiny of Peace, Tango and Eagle Takes Flight all freshly packaged up. Something cool to note is Destiny of Peace was a Mission Design Contest Winner all the way back in 1998 (19 years ago!!), and comes voice acted. And Eagle Takes flight was one of the first campaigns to use modded content (back before the days of modular tables and mod.inis). Astounding little pieces of history.


Re-Release: Windmills

Admiral Nelson and the FSCRP also has re-released Ransom Arceihn's very cool campaign, Windmills. General Battuta gave us a pretty good rundown on why this is a cool campaign.

"You aren't a fighter pilot. You are Command. And you're going to have to make some very hard decisions. No FreeSpace mod has ever offered something quite as startling or boundary-pushing as Windmills. Taking inspiration from DEFCON, Portal, and the best traditions of video game mindfuckery, Windmills is FreeSpace as a strategy game, as a psychological test, as the Battle Room from Ender's Game, as a deconstruction of the pilot's hatred of Command. Perhaps the least-appreciated, most important work of FreeSpace auteur Ransom Arceihn."

I should give it another go and maybe this time I'll be able to win it…


Re-Release: Sync

And just at press time, Admiral Nelson and the FSCRP go for a hat trick with 3 releases this month (or Newsletter Reporting Period). This time its Ransom Arceihn's Sync, all prettied up.

Blurb by Battuta:

"the Sync drive hurls you and your friends into unexplored space and past the edge of sanity. Loosely and eerily related to Transcend, Ransom Arceihn's debut is in it for the story, with gameplay taking amicable but sometimes stilted second fiddle. The slow psychological degradation of your wingmates and companions reflects Ransom's preoccupation with the deprivation and isolation of space travel, the horrors that echo in a space more vast than the human mind."


Dev Update: The Aftermath II: The Blue Guardian

After releasing a monster 60+ mission campaign, herkie423 has decided, that's not enough. So they've announced a sequel to Aftermath, The Aftermath II: The Blue Guardian.

"This time the story revolves around a lady pilot and this will be a character-driven campaign like BP so more dialogue this time. When I say "story revolves around," it means it really does. She will witness her extremely personal struggle, her wingmen's agony, the political strife between governments,  and an unknown force of unstoppable power."

Herkie also adds that it will only be around 35 missions. (Only!)


Dev Update: Star Fox: Event Horizon

UndyingNephalim has some more absolutely gorgeous shots of Star Fox: Event Horizon. You really need to click that link and see them for yourself, all the planetary landscapes and beautiful skyboxes. Words can't do it justice.


Dev Update: The Lost Generation - Ashcroft

0rph3u5 gives us an update to how The Lost Generation - Ashcroft is going. And it sounds like it's going well, like a release semi-soon (no pressure of course!). There's a lot of notes there, but some highlights include a complex IFF system for some very unique situations, the addition of Fury AI (and the painful rebalancing that comes with it), squadron logos, and some cool screenshots and even a video of some gameplay.


Dev Update: Shattered Stars

Bryan See's update of the month on Shattered Stars tells us a bit about making the mod completely stand-alone, refleshing the story (his words there), and some plans for using PBR textures and fighter cockpits.

Coding News

Poor niffiwan has been swamped at work, so I've stepped into this bizarre and unfamiliar word of ""Coding."" (Please send him your best wishes!)

So no fancy graphs this month, let's just… see what I can find that looks interesting…

We're still in the middle of the 3.8.0 Release Candidate phase, so there's not a lot of new stuff, just a lot of stuff that's being fixed. Since we are in that RC phase, you should really download the build, give it a spin with your favorite campaigns and see if you can find any bugs or problems.

Some Github Pull Request highlights this month are:

Reset generic animation type to BM_TYPE_NONE if APNG processing fails. - A bug was introduced with the APNG feature that wouldn't let you use still images for things like command briefings. Well, that's fixed now, so you can go back to that!

Use TrackIR DLL with 64 suffix when compiling a 64-bit build - Useful for the few of us with TrackIR and a 64-bit processor and builds

Readd warning dialog counting - Useful for alerting us poor modders when we've really messed up a table file

Allow rearm start sound effects to actually play - Useful for alerting us poor pilots when rearming has started, I mean we have a busy life as it is trying to not die from Shivans

Allow "+Minimum Distance:" to actually work with automatic convergence - Useful for us pilots with very weird gun configurations in our custom fighters.

Cross Platform FRED: Fact or Fiction? Before there was wxFRED, but now work on that has sort of been restarted. Instead of wxWidgets, the new cross platform FRED will be using qt, so I guess this will be called qtFRED now (how cute). Both z64555 and m!m have been making some good initial progress, hopefully we'll see something cool coming soon.

Modding News

Release - FractalSpace Skyboxes

Nyctaeus has released two sets of absolutely gorgeous skyboxes that deserve to be put in as many missions as possible!

WIP - Starfury

Den5 briefly shows off a nice looking Starfury from Babylon 5. Hopefully it will make its way to the next The Babylon Project release shortly.

WIP - Excursor Texturing

Darius has taken up texturing starbug's Excursor that was previously at the UV mapping stage. Always cool to see collaborations!

WIP - Asteroids

Axem (that's me!) is taking a stab at making some better looking asteroids to litter throughout your missions and gravitate to your escorted ships.

WIP - The Wootfleet

And Wet Orange Ostrich Toilet is continuing work on a whole fleet worth of ships. There is even a video of them in action! (presumably wooting it up)

Screencap Contest

Last month's theme was SENSE OF SCALE.

I feel in love with this month's winner as soon as I saw it, and that is FrikgFeek's stunning shot of a Chimera and a Titan.

That forced perspective, the way the ships just take up the entire frame, I love it all.

Honorable mentions go out to Thisisaverylongusername's Lucifer approach, and 0rph3u5's shots of the Colossus overshadowing everything in its vicinity.

Scoreboard:

  • Darius - 1
  • niffiwan - 1
  • tomimaki - 1
  • thisisaverylongusername - 1
  • FrikgFeek - 1

This month's theme is EVIL.

Arrange your evil looking ships into the most imposing and terrifying formation. I want to feel dread, panic, and a general state of unease.

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.

Highlights

News