Author Topic: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!  (Read 38562 times)

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Offline Devrous

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"Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
It's summer and I've finally built my new computer, so FS2H is back with gusto!

Feel free to read these posts. I'll soon start putting new posts on here instead of just links.

Links to hosted News about FS2H
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Teaser Trailer
Week 5

And now week 6...

1430 hours, May 17, 2007 (Military Calendar) \
Sol System, Planet Earth \ FS2H Main Office

FS2H is back with a vengeance! After four weeks of tears, dashed hopes, and dollars thrown away, my new computer is finally built and kicking some serious butt. I have finished more FS2H content in the last two days than in the two weeks prior to my computer struggle. Models form, load, texture, and save in a snap. I can actually take in-game movies without massive lag. It takes me half the time to complete a mission, and almost no time at all to load the game itself, so testing has been easier too. All in all, it has been worth the wait.

At this time I would like to dedicate a moment to the one casualty of this new computer crusade. Apparently my old C Drive fell prey to data corruption on part of the disk; the part with every word/excel document I've ever created on it. Ironically, it was one of the few folders I didn't back up before I built my new machine; I thought I'd just pop it in as C Drive on my new machine.

Two novels, about thirty short stories, financial records, random ideas jotted down, most of my FS2H publicity screenshots, and sadly, all of my FS2H roadmap/timeline files. Most of all of the above is still in my head, but there are some parts of these things that will never be recreated. Anyone who has ever lost data can atest to this.

Let us take a moment of silence and remember the good things that once made up 'ol C Drive.



During my computer-less month, I stumbled across an odd sighting. A friend of mine moved out of their dorm room and gave me the left over supplies so they wouldn't need to take it home in their car. It just so happens that a familiar symbol is on this paper towel. See if you can spot it. (If you are a Bungie fan you'll know)



Strange, isn't it?

Finally, I'll point out that I will not be enjoying the Halo 3 Beta with the rest of the world. I've spent pretty much all my extra cash on getting this computer to work, so no copy of Crackdown for me. Summer is here, so I have more free time--hooray! Till September 25, I'll be on XBL in Halo 2 or working on FS2H.

Alrighty...back on topic!

Music

Masilius has been cranking away at the music much more than he had led me to believe. He told me today that he's not only done with most of the voice acting, he has finished every musical piece for both the demo AND Chapter One! He said he wanted to surprise me, and he sure did. The few tracks he's let me hear are wonderful, and I'm sure you will love it too.

In addition, I hear his band is about to start practicing the song they wrote for FS2H. They haven't let me hear any of it, naturally, so we'll see how it comes out.

Gameplay



Creating missions for FS2H have been as hard as making the actual content. Missions must be fun. They need to be full of enough action to stave off boredom, so one can see the problem with making space fun yet realistic. If humanity makes it to the stars in the future, there is still a lot of empty space. Traditional tactics here on Earth are limited. Things like gravity and, well, the ground, make it hard to think about what tactics will be employed in the future. Movies and TV shows like Star Wars, Star Trek (all billion of them), Wing Commander, Firefly/Serenity, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, etc.have different ways of showing space battles. I categorize them into two types: "Sea in Space" or "Air in Space." Anyone who has seen Star Wars: Episode III could tell that it is "Sea in Space." The capital ships barely move at all. They slowly cruise around the battlefield taking shots at one another until they get close; then they unleash hell. But it is like watching a World War II naval battle. Most of the ships have the same 'up-down' orientation and they move amazingly slow. Only the fightercraft move with any grace or speed. Star Trek, on the other hand, is a "Air in Space" example. The ships move around quickly, arching up and down and weaving through one another. Even the capital ships move like sporting yachts.



What's my point? Unless you were near a larger object, there would be no 'up' or 'down' in space. Space battles could have ships in all sorts of odd orientations, having almost random pitches and yaws. I could see a fleet aligning to the same vectors at first, but once they engaged the enemy they could move at any angle in any direction. This would make it more like submarine warfare, only they could see one another, and they could do flips and rolls since there would be no gravity.

At any rate, when you play FS2H, you'll find that it has a certain amount of flexability on how you choose to achieve your mission objectives. Do you run in, fire on a few enemy fighters to get their attention, and then run back to your capital ship so the auto turrets whittle them to peices? Or do you order your squad to follow you as you loop around and attack from behind? In truth, there is no right answer. Whichever tactic helps you achieve your objective is valid, and the game will not penalize you. As the mission designer, that means that a mission I may think is going to be really hard could end up being a walk in the park to someone who figures out an easier way to blow away the bad guys.

For example, one of my test missions had two Covenant capital ships and six wings of Seraphs engage a UNSC fleet. The player has two nukes as secondary weapons. The captain of the player's base ship will instruct the player to use the nukes to down the shields of the covie capital ships. Instead, you decide to nuke the Seraphs. You get an impressive 18 kills within the first 30 seconds of the mission; congrats. However, the capital ships pound your fleet with plasma torpedoes while the MAC rounds get absorbed by their now full-strength shields. If you instead fire the nukes at the capital ships, you may enable the fleet to take down the capital ships, but you and your squad will be basking in a few thousand plasma bolts as all 18 Seraphs converge on you at once. Tricky, eh?

This kind of decision-making problems are going to be strewn throughout the game, so keep your mind open when you play and never think a mission is impossible. I play everyone of these, and I assure you I wouldn't put it into the final release if you couldn't win (or at least live long enough to complete your objectives).

Gameplay Videos

I figured that I jabbered enough in the last few updates about how the game looks and plays that I might as well kick of my return to the surface with some gameplay videos. I hope they whet your appetite. Oh, and don't mind the whole "www.fraps.com" pasted on the top. When C Drive whent dead I lost my registered copy of FRAPS. So until I get it back the videos have that stupid watermark :-(

Dogfighting clips with Battle 101 rocking out
DivX, 16.46MB AVI
Gameplay clips without sound
Rearming - DivX, 1.84MB AVI
Killed while Rearming - DivX, 0.97MB AVI
Covenant shields in action - DivX, 0.34MB AVI
Missiles fired to demonstrate smoke trials - DivX, 0.41MB AVI
Destroying a Mako-class Corvette - DivX, 2.56MB AVI
A Seraph's shields make them hard to kill - DivX, 1.26MB AVI
Several capital ship battle clips put together - DivX, 10.09MB AVI

Hope these make you claw at the walls to play FS2H!

Salutations

I've think I've done enough damage for one post. I'll be back next week with some definite word on the demo. I had planned on the end of May, but I had a month without a computer, so the date has been pushed back to mid-June. Sorry for the added wait, but at least it is coming soon. As always, thanks for the support, and if you have any questions or comments fire away.



----------------------END OF RAMPANCY----------------------------------

Devrous
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Offline karajorma

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Looks pretty good. :yes:

I've always been a pretty big Halo fan (It's about the only FPS I still play) so I'd certainly like to see what you can come up with when it comes to missions.
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!

(...)

----------------------END OF RAMPANCY----------------------------------


 :lol:


That's certainly fascinationg project. :yes: Now, obviously, as my interest has awakened, I have questions... :drevil:


1. Will the Covenant be as monstrously tough as it is in the books of Mr. Nylund? That is, almost unbeatable in toe to toe space battles... kinda like religious Shivans on steroids, except that they do ground battles as well. :shaking:

2. Shall the Covenant use their trademark weapon, guided plasma projectiles? I'd imagine they would look a lot like bigger (and probably differently coloured) versions of light balls in Star Wreck, shimmering spheres of shining death (assuming they were not not filled with light beer, that is). It would require either the SCP crew to enable guided primaries... or, to make the weapon as a secondary weapon that looks like huge blob of plasma... The only way to do that would probably be to make an invisible missile that has particle effect slammed onto it's tail as a thruster. The hit effect shoult be a slow/long animation that spreads the shining plasma across the poor ship it hits and then slowly dims to transparent.

3. Are the wingmen going to have characters or just the standard red shirts? Is there any indication that the UNSC space flight/navy/branch had similar experiments made as the Spartan program(s) on ground forces? As in, to increase the pilots' reaction time, situation awareness, accuracy and tolerance to extreme conditions. :nervous: Wingmen with FS2 AI would certainly benefit from that... ;7

4. Are we going to encounter more Halos than are seen in the games? If so, would you happen to need custom planetary surface texture(s) for them?

5. What timeframe will the campaign/missions be located?
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Shame that the Halcyon class is defunct, i would have like d to see more than just the Pillar.... :(

 
Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Just for a quick suggestion: Can you implement near realistic physics like BTLR or at least enable glide and slide? I like fs2 the way it is and all but being able to strafe targets and glide add more strategic depth and control over your craft under fire. If you have to attack a target and maintain your sight on it you will inevitably come under fire and unable to evade without loosing sight of the target.
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Offline Unknown Target

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Neato. I love the shield effects :) Good work, and good luck.



And wow, I seem to have started quite a fad with the BtRL physics. :p

 

Offline shiv

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
I like everything... without explosion effects.
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Offline Devrous

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Halcyon-class Cruisers are defunct...in 2552. In 2515ish they were new, so any missions happening before Halo 1... :yes:

I tried early on to change around the physics. Didn't really have any luck. But I did put pretty high slide values, and I did enable glide. It's nearly impossible to dodge Covenant plasma bolts or laser fire without slide. Most people don't mind getting owned, so long as they had a good chance and blew it.  :lol: 

Gliding is still kinda funny in FS2. I've been toying with some scripts that would auto shut-off glide if you hit your afterburners. As it is now, if you accelerate or hit the burners you just fly faster the direction you were when you enabled glide. You could just turn off glide, which isn't that big of a deal, but the auto shut-off would be a little smoother and user friendly.

Thanks for the comments!

EDIT: For Herra Tohtori...look into my weekly updates. You'll find most of the answers there  :)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 08:23:59 pm by Devrous »

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Glide has been improved a lot in HEAD builds. That's not much use for you if you intend to release this year but for future releases you can use thruster and glide at the same time. :)
Karajorma's Freespace FAQ. It's almost like asking me yourself.

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Offline jr2

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Cool shots, nice work.  :) :yes:

 

Offline Devrous

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No weekly update today due to the massive amount of work being put into getting the game ready for demo release. I have to compile everything into base files and make an executable install, not to mention finishing the demo missions!

But it isn't a total loss. I plan on releasing a few "tour" videos in the next few weeks, and here is number one.

FS2H Tour #1 - DivX, 27.82MB AVI
http://www.sectorgame.com/halo/FS2H/clips/fs2htour1.avi

Enjoy!

 

Offline Wobble73

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
You need a project icon!

And I'm looking forward to seeing this when it's done!  :yes:
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Halcyon-class Cruisers are defunct...in 2552. In 2515ish they were new, so any missions happening before Halo 1... :yes:

No worries then :D I didn't know what year you had it set, I love the novels. Any chance of a Pelican or two?

  

Offline Devrous

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
I've modelled 63 ships as of this moment, and most of those are human I think...

Yes, 11 are Covenant, 3 are niether, and the rest are good 'ol fashion hu-mon. I have several "Chapters" planned, each one their own release, and each one dealing with a different time, subject, and even race. Chapter One will be "Colonial Unrest." It takes place in the 2490's and deals with the biggest insurrection in UNSC history (untill the 2550's  presented in the books, that is). Chapter Two will be in the 2520+ range.

I'm working on a project icon, too   :)  But to be honest I've always liked Bungie's Marathon symbol. But it isn't exactly free to use legally. Then again, this is just a mod; not like I'm selling it, right? In that case, I'll fiddle with it and see if I can't make it FS2-ish.

And if anyone has a suggestion, here's the Marathon symbol:

http://www.marathon.org/story/thatmarathonsymbol.html
http://www.marathon.org/story/thatmarathonsymbol2.html
http://scifiteki.angelcities.com/symbols.html
http://nikon.bungie.org/misc/sloftus_poa_uniforms/Sign-POA.jpg

 

Offline Getter Robo G

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Very exciting stuff... IF you're accepting any voice acting let us know! (reqs etc) :)
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Offline Cobra

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Is it just me or has that attack carrier gained weight? ;)

It looks ****in' awesome dude. Can't wait.
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Offline jr2

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Hmm, about the icon, can't you just ask for their permission?

 

Offline Alan Bolte

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
How's this?
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: "Freespace 2: Halo" is Back!
Pretty cool, like the shield effects, and it will be interesting staying alive in a big boat like the Broadsword(?).  Looks like human ships are going to blow up quite a bit against Covie Capital ships.
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Offline Devrous

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How'd you like to see THAT when you look at the sun!  :shaking: