Hard Light Productions


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HLP Newsletter - September 2017

It's back to school time! As you ready yourself for another year of education, be sure to remember the 3 R's. Reading (newsletters), releasing (new stuff), and replying (to amazing content). I'll help you with the first one, but it's on you to do the other two!

Campaign News

Release: FreeSpace Port Mission Upgrade Pack

Novachen releases a whopping 89 single player missions for the FS:Port that slightly enhance gameplay and fix bugs (like the Lucifer just suddenly appearing in a certain FS1 mission (which was actually there since retail!)). These aren't remastered missions, like Trivial Psychic was doing, but just some further polish to missions nearing 20 years old. There's quite a few changes, so check out the list and then replay some of your favorite missions!

Release: FreeSpace Port German Retranslation Package

Of course, Novachen didn't stop with that mission upgrade pack, they've also released an enhanced German translation package! So tell your German friends to get them playing again. I know Germans just crave space sims, so it shouldn't be that hard, right...?

Dev Update: Wings of Dawn

Something missed from last month's newsletter, was another cool (and neat) update video from Spoon, showcasing the new animations and visual novel segments of Wings of Dawn. Hard to believe this used to be a game engine with space fighters. (Also, if you have not already, be sure to check out Enioch's amazingly well written and engrossing Wings of Dawn web-novel that just wrapped up!)

Dev Update: Exile

If you are curious about how Exile will play, there is now some additional gameplay information for you. Things like how support ships will resupply and how certain fighters will handle. Also mission length, prepare yourself for 15-20 minute missions! (with checkpoints luckily)

Dev Update: Mantle

Kestrellius lifts the lid on their in development campaign, Mantle. They don't say much about it aside from being about a neo-Hammer of Light cult, getting lost in space, and fighting for survival. Sounds pretty cool. It sounds like the first segment (13 missions) will be ready very shortly!

Dev Update: The Lost Generation - Ashcroft

0rph3u5 has some new fluff lore to help set the stage for his mysterious campaign. This concerns the motivations and past of the title character, Sam Ashcroft. What sort of wonders does he have on his mind? Hopes? Dreams? Neo-Terran Gold? We are warned to 'Procceed at [our] own discression'

Dev Update: Star Fox: Event Horizon

UndyingNephalim has some cool new character art renders up for Star Fox: Event Horizon. They do look pretty amazing, I'm sure they'll fit right in with the rest of the ambitious mod's content.

Axem's Campaign Outlines

And now something from me, Axem. I've started releasing a few campaign outlines for campaigns I am 99% sure I won't get to. So instead of letting the ideas die out, they're there for you to read and be inspired or daydream.

Coding News

FreeSpace Open 3.8.0 Final Released!

At long last, 3.8.0 is out! Major kudos to all of the coders, testers, and modders that helped get FreeSpace Open as far as it has. Now you may be asking, just what is in 3.8.0? All sorts of features, just to name some of the big and visible ones…

  • APNG animations
  • Physically-Based Rendering
  • SDL2
  • Improved shield effects
  • New particle system
  • TrueType Font support
  • FFMpeg video rendering
  • And so much more...

Check out that link for a slightly more in depth rundown and what each feature actually does.

And now that 3.8.0 is out, the code freeze on new features has been lifted. And in the barely 2 weeks since the freeze was lifted, there has been a wave of activity. Here's just a sampling of what's been added to the code for the next major release:

Modding News

Minos Re-released!

Nyctaeus has rebuilt the Ancient capital ship Minos to a much needed modern standard. Doesn't look so ancient now!

GTF Hydra Released

At long last, Col. Hornet's amazing looking GTF Hydra has been released! I've been following the development of this fighter for quite some time. Finally glad it's out!

What Are You Working On

Over on in 'WAYWO', we have missiles, planets, ships in progress, and some turrets up for grabs from TrashMan!

Screencap Contest

Last month's theme was "Slice of Life". I wanted to see some nice images of everyday life… in space. And we had some just great entries. I wish I could award them all winners! But I this month's trophy is going to Deathsnake's very nice Torgo Sector Base shot.

The lighting is great, the composition is balanced and that giant planet in the background just sets the mood perfectly. Honorable mentions go out to CKid for that cool future city from Shadow Genesis and tomimaki's images from Between the Ashes.

Darius - 1
niffiwan - 1
tomimaki - 1
thisisaverylongusername - 1
Frikgfeek - 1
Nyctaeus - 1
DahBlount - 1
deathsnake - 1

Again, no one has the lead! It's now a 8-way tie! I wish I was doing this in purpose… Just 4 more months to go before we crown the next contest winner of the year, and it could go to anyone. Anyone at all! Even someone who hasn't won a month, or even entered yet.

So this for this month, the context theme will be: United

Show an alliance of cultures, fleets and peoples. The more diverse, the better!