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HLP Newsletter - May 2017

Howdy folks! The forums on HLP been undergoing some minor renovations lately. We've got some new boards dedicated to cataloging releases, and finally after 16 years, HLP has joined the internet and the general public can have avatars! Express yourself! Now to express HLP with this newsletter!

Campaign News

Interview - Between the Ashes on Space Game Junkie

Our very own mjn.mixael was interviewed by the nice folks at Space Game Junkie. It was so nice to hear them chit-chat about Between the Ashes and FreeSpace in general. Come for the in depth motivations behind BtA, stay for the screaming at FRED. So be sure to give the podcast a listen!

Release - Between the Ashes German Translation

Speaking of Between the Ashes, Novachen has just compeleted the ambitious task of translating the mod to German! Google translate is telling me to say "Gut gemacht!" (Apologizes for the late mention!)

Re-Release - The Antagonist

Admiral Nelson and his group in the FreeSpace Campaign Restoration Project, have just put a new coat of polish on the classic campaign by bigchunk, The Antagonist. The Antagonist takes place outside of the FreeSpace universe. In it you play a pilot escaping from the terrifying Oligarchy in an equally terrifying fighter, the Starcracker. Your only lifeline is the mysterious AI on the fighter, Edward, who has many plans for you...

It's great. Play it now!

Update - Wings of Dawn

Spoon's got someinteresting dev blog entries for Wings of Dawn. Some nice new HUD artwork is previewed. And the later one gets into the differences of roll and bank, and when left isn't really left.

"So boy, was I bamboozled trying to make any sense of this."

Words to live by. Also cool previews of two cool looking fighters.

And just to keep adding to Wings of Dawn news, Enioch has been writing some pretty amazing, fully sanctioned fiction-lore-tomes for Wings of Dawn. You'll gain much insight by reading it. Like who knew invading a system could be so complicated?

Update - FS1 Upgrade

Trivial Psychic has a short update on the FS1 Upgrade project. Some care is being put into making use of unused voice files to make missions feel more immersive, and adding other things like background cruisers and "elaborate cargo recovery." Also a hint of a release... semi-soon???

Update - The Lost Generation - Ashcroft

0rph3u5 has a light preview with some fluff dialog, and the promise of unlockable bonus content!

"'Understand please that as you stand in this hall you stand in a monument of failure. A failure that 30 years of your predecessor's have sought to redeem. For 30 years ago the Shivan destroyer [...] Lucifer attacked Vasuda Prime. It decimated our people, it wiped out entire cultures and it reduced our civilisation to ash and glass.

You and your classmates were born in a time were this is irrevocable fact. To let nothing like it happen ever again has been your duty since the day you were born.'

- Admiral Usor (GTVA), opening speech to the class of 2365 at the Vasudan Imperial War College"

Update - Star Fox Event Horizon

UndyingNephalim keeps coming with some never ceasing to amaze footage from Star Fox Event Horizon. This time we've got trees (TREES!!!), and some large fleet engagements that look like an abolute thrill to dive through.

Update - Shattered Stars

Bryan See has an update for Shattered Stars, announcing that it is going stand-alone and won't need a retail FreeSpace 2 install to be played. He also speaks about started remodeling the fleet packs he is using, which sounds like a lot of work. I think we wish him the best of luck in that endeavor!

Coding News

by niffiwan

First off, 3.8 RC1 is out!

A big thank you is in order for everyone that contributed to this release, especially those who worked on reporting & fixing bugs. This also means that the bug fixing drive has come to a close and it's time to tally up the scores. Over to Goober5000!

The following people submitted bugfix PRs during the code freeze: AdmiralRalwood, chief1983, DahBlount, Echelon9, Goober5000, jg18, m!m, niffiwan, PeterMitsis, Swifty, The E, vazor222, Yarn, and z64555.  A solid thank-you and honorable mention to everyone who participated.  PeterMitsis and vazor222 aren't even official members of the SCP, so special kudos to them!

It was somewhat difficult to choose a metric for judging the number of bugs squashed; I had specifically agreed that any bugfix would count, not just a bugfix in response to a bug report.  I finally decided to count all pull requests merged between January 10 and April 1, inclusive, which were the announced dates of the bug-hunting drive.  I also checked Mantis, but as expected, most of the Mantis bugs that were fixed had corresponding merged PRs.  The one exception to this was Mantis #1185.  Congratulations, z64555, you have the lone non-code bugfix for this period!

And now to the bounties...

AdmiralRalwood, aka MageKing17, and z64555 are each awarded $25 for their roles in solving GitHub issue #1051.

* The third-place prize of $10 is awarded to AdmiralRalwood for 7 merged pull requests

* The second-place prize of $25 is awarded to The E for 14 merged pull requests

* The first-place prize of $50 is awarded to m!m, aka asarium, for a whopping 73 merged pull requests!

* Furthermore, m!m achieves the bonus $25 award by virtue of resolving 21 GitHub issues and 11 Mantis issues (two of which were for half credit), for a total of 30 points, 5 more than the 25 required.  Well done!  This is not even the full story; m!m turned down his award for his role in solving GitHub issue #1051.  Feel free to address him as Bug Hunter Extraordinaire.

To all who received bug-hunting bounties, please send me (Goober5000) a PM and I'll arrange for your gift card.

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 up slightly while github hasn't changed.

(Mantis includes 30 feature requests not including HPC)

Next up we'd normally have Coverity issues, unfortunately Coverity builds are broken at the moment so this isn't getting updated! 

m!m has created a dynamic SEXP interface which, as the name would suggest, allows SEXPs to be added to FSO while it's running. One option this would allow is LUA scripts to be treated as SEXPs, which would make it much easier for FREDers to use scripts created by someone else because the scripts would just show up in FRED like any other SEXP. Very cool, once this is committed to master I'm looking forward to seeing what our intrepid scripters can come up with.

I don't know how I missed this last month; Luke has created a CLI tool for managing VP files, called VPT. It's got a whole heap of useful features, and is a lot faster than VPMAKE. If you've been looking for a new VP CLI tools on Windows, go grab it and give it a go!

Modding News

Release - Klav's Ship Pack for WCS
crazycanuck over at wcsnews, has converted some nice looking Wing Commander ships for use in the FSO engine. Admiral Tolwyn would be very impressed!

WIP - GRW Small Interceptor

Bryan See has a WIP on a fast looking ship for his Shattered Stars mod. And I quote "rest assured, it's definitely 100% alien-like." Words to live by.

Screencap Contest

Last month's theme was "It's a trap!" where I wanted to see what you all could do with ambushes and surprise attacks. So with that in mind, the winner of this month's contest is Thisisaverlongusername's nice shot of The King's Gambit from the retail FreeSpace 2 campaign. What can I say, I'm a sucker for beams.

Honorable mentions this month go to Darius' Delenda Est's fireworks, and Col. Fishgut's old school Battlestar Galactica shot (that one looks like it could be from the tv series!)

Darius - 1
niffiwan - 1
tomimaki - 1
thisisaverylongusername - 1

This month's theme is going to be…  Sense of scale

FreeSpace is known for its huge ships, but that scale isn't always apparent. Show us just how big things are.

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.