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HLP Newsletter - March 2017

No time to explain! Check out the newsletter! See the new campaigns, see the bugs fixed, see the models in progress! Quick, before its too late!

Campaign News

Campaign Release - Just Another Day 2.22: You Can (Not) Be Serious

Axem (the guy writing this) has a fun new campaign out. It's pretty cool and people have said its fun. So if you like high school girls saving the universe to disco while having fun, you may want to check it out and have fun. (What I'm trying to say is, it's fun)

Campaign Re-Release - Cardinal Spear

Admiral Nelson gives two classic campaigns a refresh to work with the latest mediavps and builds. First up is the venerable Cardinal Spear, released 18(!!) years ago. Set during the 14 year war, you and your comrades are in a cunning Vasudan general's sights.

Campaign Re-Release - Bem Cavalgar

Next up, Admiral Nelson re-releases Lt. D's (aka Blaise Russel) non-linear high-level strategy/space sim operatic Bem Cavalgar. Set during the Shivan invasion of Vasuda, you must attempt to save as many civilians as possible, while battling Shivans and dwindling supplies.

Update - Diaspora

Karajorma has posted some very pretty screenshots from one of the next Diaspora campaigns in progress. Being highlighted is a new Cylon ship, the Acolyte, and the Valkyrie-class Battlestar.

Update - Star Fox Event Horizon

UndyingNephalim posts up a new video showing off some really crazy stuff for Star Fox Event Horizon. Like propeller ships in a forest, battling over lava fields and catching some rays at the beach. Craaazy!

Update - Shattered Stars

Bryan See would like to tell you, "the restructuring of my mod pack is almost complete (with the Caranayodhin, Jayamalla and Shuuro based on the AF Corybant, AF Archanes and AB Silenus; three of which are on the ASW Act III dump), and FREDDing of missions will contiune in a matter of days."

Coding News

by niffiwan

We're into the second month of bugfixes and there's certainly been a lot fixed in Feb, 48 pull-requests merged for bugfixes. Great effort!

Since we're in a feature freeze, we'll put the spotlight on interesting bugfixes!

Here's the current bugs scoreboards. Firstly we have Mantis bugs & Github issues, mantis is down a bit but github is about the same. Since there's been a lot of bugs fixed we can only conclude that they're mostly new bugs found in the last month. 

(Mantis includes 30 feature requests not including HPC)

Next up we have Coverity issues, they're continuing to slowly fall.

m!m has posted some ideas for integrating a new UI framework into FSO. Or put another way, provide a much simpler way to customise UI screens. This would be a super addition to FSO, as anyone who's tried replacing the existing menu's could tell you, it's fiddly & tedious to replace all the UI elements, because there's thousands of them and even buttons that look the same are in reality slightly different images. Even if it's just the offsets that are slightly different. There's also some quick screens created with the integration work that m!m has already completed. Head over, take a look and post! I'm sure all our modders would ~love~ to have a UI that isn't restricted to 1024x768 anymore :)

Nyctaeus has created a thread about the changes in the PBR rendered which are affecting how non-PBR models are being rendered. Namely the diffuse maps are hard to see which reduces the amount of "dirt" visible in textures. At the same time chief1983 has posted in the same thread about issues with models looking too smooth/glossy. Even asteroids... it gets rather complicated if you're not a ggraphics & lighting expert, but Swifty is investigating to see if any workarounds are possible. I guess it's one of those transformation events, where a new more-realistic model of rendering assets means that it's quite hard to have the same look that the old approximated rendering model had.

Well, ngld returned last month and made some updates to Knossos & Nebula. This month? Talk about opening a can of awesome! In conjunction with mjn.mixael we've seen a new design in the style of Steam or GoG Galaxy move from mockups to new screens integrated with the code within days. Awesome work, I'm still blown away by how good this started looking in such a short period of time. Here's what the current dev builds look like:

I can't wait to see what's next, so head on over, give Knossos a test and report any bugs you find! And if you python & have some time, take a look at the issues list and see if there's something you could contribute to bring this closer to its first official release :) 

X3N0-Life-Form has posted an update on this ability management framework script. A buff system has been added, however refactoring calls before further progress can be made. Keen to see this progress further, and maybe see some screenshots soon? (hint hint ;))

Modding News

Pack Release - Starlancer Models Dump
Krevett62 releases an updated pack of Starlancer ships, now mostly complete! The assets may be a bit outdated to current standards, but they still have that sharp 1990s look to them. So where's that Starlancer conversion?

WIP - EAD Lindos
Nyctaeus reveals the ugly might of the Earth Alliance's Lindos, redone and now with textures. If GTVA gunners can't hit that from 50km away, I don't think there's any hope for them.

WIP - Warehouse Station
BlackWolf has another very nice looking civilian station in progress. A warehouse for your containers, fighters and anything else you may need stored in the vastness of space.

WIP - Excursor Corvette
Starbug continues to pump up their United Terran Republic Fleet with the Excursor-class corvette. It looks like it fits in nicely with the rest of the fleet, can't wait to see it have textures!

WIP - Whitearrow's Heavy Frigate
Whitearrow gives us nice preview of some very intricate details on their Heavy Frigate. I really hope those still be baked on the normal map, because I don't think any mortal is capable of UV mapping those!

WIP - Longprobe Y-Wing
CountBuggula shows off a Y-Wing Longprobe recon fighter for Fate of the Galaxy. As an Imperial sympathizer, all I really see is a really easy kill… *evil face*

What Are You Working On
In WAYWO, we have some WIPs of the Lindos (previously shown here) and another Corybant remake, and another Lego ship from fightermedic.

Screencap Contest

This month's theme was Mano e Mano. Two ships. No escorts. Final Destination. And the victor this month is…

Niffiwan's duel between a Mon Calamari cruiser and an Imperial Star Destroyer. I really like the cool blue light and the shadows, especially on the ISD. Very nice!

Honorable mentions go to JSRNerdo's pics (what's with the resolution man?) and karajorma's battle of man and toaster.

Darius - 1
niffiwan - 1

This month's theme is… nothing! Free month! Do whatever you like! Just make it awesome.

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.