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 FS2HWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Teaser TrailerWeek 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 outDivX, 16.46MB AVIGameplay clips without soundRearming - DivX, 1.84MB AVIKilled while Rearming - DivX, 0.97MB AVICovenant shields in action - DivX, 0.34MB AVIMissiles fired to demonstrate smoke trials - DivX, 0.41MB AVIDestroying a Mako-class Corvette - DivX, 2.56MB AVIA Seraph's shields make them hard to kill - DivX, 1.26MB AVISeveral 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.
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