Hard Light Productions


HLP's server costs are $80 per month. We rely on your donations to stay online. Find out more »

HLP Newsletter - November 2016

It's now November and we have a quality harvest coming in. A big campaign releases and a bunch of new and redone ships for your campaigns. Let us get right to it then!

Campaign News

Mjn.mixael and his team release Between the Ashes: Slaves of Chaos! This reconstruction era campaign puts you in a system where tensions are hot between the Terrans and Vasudans, and of course, you the player are there to, at least, try and calm things down. But typically that's easier said than done. So get hype and download this fully voice acted campaign today!

Relative newcomer Bomb3rman out to make a bang with their first mission EVER. This one takes place in the Blue Planet universe, and is apparently about friendship. Why aren't more campaigns about this?

Herkie is lurching slowly to the massive The Aftermath: Reboot release, and boy it sounds close now. The big VPs are uploaded and all that's left to do is the missions, fiction and tables. Herkie is also looking for Beta Testers so if you've got some free time, give Herkie a shout!

And speaking of Beta Testers, PVD Hope has a super short mod that needs Beta Testing. I have no idea what it's about, it could be anything. Maybe it's about space cows. Or maybe... FreeSpace 4.

0rph3u5 attempts to satiate our desire to  learn more about Of Shivans and Men with a through transcript of a news broadcast that explores the differences in Terran and Vasudan culture. Definitely something to exercise your thinking muscle with.

But that's not all 0rph3u5 has for us this month. We've got a preview of an until-recently-shelved campaign called The Lost Generation - Ashcroft. You play as a reservist (aka cannonfodder) for the NTF and take the opportunity to consider life and what it means. And hopefully stay alive too. Some assistance is being requested to help finish it off before the end of the year, so again if you've got some spare time, let 0rph3u5 know!

Bryan See has his monthly update to Shattered Stars ready for us. There's going to be a bonus mission by woutersmits, PBR assets and a wholly redone Ancient fleet. Sounds quite ambitious!

Another month, another amazing quality video from UndyingNephalim for Star Fox Event Horizon. This time we're over Fortuna, Eladard and the Orbital Gate.

Niffiwan has some very nicely composed screenshots from Fate of the Galaxy. They certainly look like they're from a AAA game engine (well, maybe they are...)

Coding News

by niffiwan

There's been about the same amount of github activity as last month, lets dive in and see what it was!

New Features List (targeting 3.8.0)

  • Use FFmpeg for audio stream decoding (m!m) A follow on from using FFmpeg for video, this (& PR1005) switches audio to use FFmpeg as well, allowing the removal of the dependency on Ogg/Vorbis libs. It also simplifies the code, allowing the removal of the wav/acm/ogg code.
  • Add alternate pof for use in techroom (niffiwan) A really simple feature, this allows an alternate model ship to be displayed for a ship in the weapon loadout screen (hmmm.. should have named the PR better...)
  • Add isWeaponUsed scripting function (DahBlount) This change lets scripting determine if a weapon is loaded, and to load a weapon. Very useful since generally FSO only loads weapons at mission start, so new weapons otherwise can be invisible (doh!).
  • Add option for showing video debug informations (m!m) In addition to "what's on the tin", this allows text to be rendered over a playing cutscene. Did someone say customisable captions? ;7
  • More file types for data/config (X3N0-Life-Form) A simple feature, this allows more file types to be used in the data/config directory. Namely .tbl, .tbm, .xml & .csv.

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 dropped slightly (almost noticeable on the graph over 2.5 years)

Cobra has reported a game breaking bug that was related to the timer. Thanks to m!m the most visible game breaking bug is fixed, but there's still an issue with the message log times, and unconfirmed reports of other timer related issues (??). If you come across anything like this in your playing, gather as much info as you can and report it, so the coders may venture forth to do battle with Codethulu can find and squash the bug(s)!

X3N0-Life-Form is on a roll with his Ability Management Framework script. It looks like an alpha release / demo is imminent, before the end of the month (you've got few days left depending on your timezone :)) Jokes aside, this is looking very cool, can't wait for it to be released!

Modding News

To start off this busy release month, we first have Col Hornet releasing the EFF Sabre. A very nice space fighter for space fighting. Looks almost near future, but I'm sure it would fit in any timeframe.

BlackWolf has a mod for Aldo's old Leto fighter, the Leto-A. I'm guessing the A stands for Amazing. The Leto-A has rocket pods on the wing tips and added secondary capacity under the wings.

Fightermedic serves up another 'htl-light' for the PVF Anouke. It's amazing how little some ships need to look brand new.

BlackWolf has also released a redone version of the Vasudan cruiser Neith, originally done by blowfish based on the original model by Strattcomm. Perfect for a pre-FS2 campaign.

Ah, we're not done with the Vasudans yet. Betrayal has released the PVD Atum, an unholy mashup of a Typhon and Hatshepsut. With so few nice looking Vasudan destroyers, I'm sure this will be a welcome addition to any mod pack.

The Dagger is back after a long absence and offers a large bundle of planet graphics to spice up any boring backgrounds you may have in your campaign. I'd say don't go again but... I do like new planets...

BlackWolf STILL has things to show us this month. This time a preview of a redone GTI Acheron, one of the oldest custom installations for FS2. And it looks like a fine remodel too.

AndrewOfDoom gives us a sneak peek at a redone Euryphaessa and gives us news that Dimensional Eclipse is still active and that we should buy him a new middle mouse button. (Maybe a Kickstarter???)

And over in What Are You Working on, we have a WIP Boreas and a cool looking Vasudan HUD and a few other neat tidbits.

Screencap Contest

September's theme was Preparing for War. I love it when I have a tough time choosing a winner. There were some very quality shots this time!

But I just was constantly drawn back to this beautiful screen by Niffiwan!

Screencap Scoreboard:
Betrayal - 1
Spoon - 2
Black Wolf - 1
Erebus Alpha - 2
Darius - 2
Tomimaki - 1
Niffiwan - 1

The new theme for November is Vasudans.

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.