Author Topic: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)  (Read 6100 times)

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Offline Darius

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RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)


Recommended Build: 21.4.0 Stable



Two weeks have passed since the events at Morik. Stuart Ross, disillusioned by his experiences as a Federation exchange pilot, is contacted by an old friend from his backwater Navy posting to take up a mercenary job in the fringes of colonised space. This seems like a perfect change of pace - until Ross realises that you can't always run from your past.

Set in an original universe where the discovery of hyperspace has led to a Golden Age of human colonisation and technology, Solaris takes place during a time of great changes. However, this is also an age of extremes - the Great War left several planets ecologically devastated, including the cradle of humanity, Earth. Like the Cold War of the 20th Century, humanity is faced with terrifying new doomsday technologies that have the potential to bring about Armageddon.



Features:

  • Standalone total conversion
  • A new 12-mission campaign
  • Fast-paced challenging combat that rewards smart play
  • Uses an overhauled AI to create dynamic, intelligent enemies
  • Cinematic battles
  • Epic soundtrack





Gameplay tips:

  • Unlearn everything you know about dogfighting in FreeSpace! Solaris combat is fast, the AI is deadly and movement abilities such as strafe and glide are critically important to dogfight effectively.
  • Jink around! Make extensive use of strafe, glide and velocity changes to stay alive. Make yourself as unpredictable as possible. Fly in a straight line, you get hit.
  • Your cannons autoaim in a cone that depends on difficulty level. If you're having trouble landing shots, try decreasing the difficulty.
  • It's dangerous to go out alone! Fly with support wherever you can. Your capital ships' point defenses are a resource available to you in combat, utilise them at every opportunity.
  • There are no shields, but your repair drone is a fast and nimble support ship that allows swift hull repair.



This project would not be possible without the generous contributions of the Hard-Light community.
Solaris makes use of assets donated by a multitude of artists and contributors over the years, as well as utilising in-engine features from the Source Code Project.

Solaris is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
This means that you can use anything you want from Solaris (models, missions, backgrounds) in any way you wish, as long as you don't try to sell it.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2022, 06:55:41 am by Darius »

 

Offline Dilmah G

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Congrats on your release, Darius! This is a certified 10/10 time, and even I, a total Solaris scrub who took three full months to finish the OG version, managed to finish this in less than a calendar year. There's more tasty gameplay, an engrossing story, and most importantly for my fellow scrubs - a liberal use of checkpoints! Full spoiler-tagged review to come soon.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Mega, loved the first, the second will no doubt improve on it. 
Campaigns I've added my distinctiveness to-
- Blue Planet: Battle Captains
-Battle of Neptune
-Between the Ashes 2
-Blue planet: Age of Aquarius
-FOTG?
-Inferno R1
-Ribos: The aftermath / -Retreat from Deneb
-Sol: A History
-TBP EACW teaser
-Earth Brakiri war
-TBP Fortune Hunters (I think?)
-TBP Relic
-Trancsend (Possibly?)
-Uncharted Territory
-Vassagos Dirge
-War Machine
(Others lost to the mists of time and no discernible audit trail)

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That one time I got permabanned and got to read who was being bitxhy about me :p....
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Offline Nyctaeus

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Poverty, covid, dictatorships, xenophoby, wars, environmental crisis and BioWare game releases will not end today.

But this is still gonna be a great day! Everybody! Think about it for a while: Solaris 2 is released! Despite all of the **** happening around, I assure you that this day will be great one :].
Exile | Shadow Genesis | Inferno | Series Resurrecta  | DA Profile | P3D Profile

Proud owner of NyctiShipyards. Remember - Nyx will fix it!

All of my assets including models, textures, skyboxes, effects may be used under standard CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

 
Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Congrats on release! Just started another run-through of the 1st campaign to see the changes! However I found a bug...the support drone refuses to undock with either me or AI pilots after completing rearm/repair. Just discovered this in the 1st few missions
« Last Edit: October 09, 2021, 04:20:25 pm by CapellaGoBoom »

 

Offline Darius

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
That seems to be a recent bug that has since been fixed for the next nightly. In the meantime you could use the most recent stable build (Solaris was developed for 21.4.0).

 

Offline starbug

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Congrats on the new release! i am just downloading it now and sooooooooooooooo looking forward to playing it!
http://www.youtube.com/user/AnubisX1

if there is any consistancy with the Shivans, it's their lack of consistancy - -Norbert-

 
Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
That seems to be a recent bug that has since been fixed for the next nightly. In the meantime you could use the most recent stable build (Solaris was developed for 21.4.0).

Thanks for that! Just wrapped up the whole storyline thus far :) Seeing all the Rebel Galaxy capships was dope!

 
Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Is this Act 2 of ???

 

Offline Darius

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Putting up an update for the third mission of act 2 (13.fs2) that soft locks if events happen in a certain order. Hopefully this fixes the bug.

 

Offline 5thAce

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Wow, I just finished act 2 and I very much enjoyed it! The story was very "Expanse like" if you ask me, much to my approval! I'm looking forward to whatever the future holds for Solaris!

 

Offline Rodo

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Well hello there!

Came back to a bunch of new content, downloaded this one with Knossos and tried to run the first campaign but I'm getting constant crashes with "Failed to wait until uniform range is available! Get a coder."
I'm guessing I borked something in the install, anyone has a clue what can I do?

Here's the log: https://fsnebula.org/log/616dd5a0b0382161d32001cd

edit:
nvm, fixed it.

Updating my vga drivers... never thought I'd have to do that again. Good 'ol cranky fso I missed your mood swings :p
« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 04:53:13 pm by Rodo »
el hombre vicio...

 
Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Story feedback:

At least Ross is a bit less pissy and seems to understand he blew it with Raptor. I still don't understand how a military officer can go "half pay" and galivant around as a Merc, but it's a nice change of pace.

Speaking of the Merc team, I always enjoy "the little guy/free company" stories set against a larger war. It helps with both the missions and story to feel like you're punching above your weight class. I hope this 3 ship team sticks around for future installments.

The happy, helpful religious band were pretty refreshing as a sci-fi tend tends to view "faith in space" as obsolete or dangerous, rather than just another part of human nature. Seeking Eden/Shambala in space is genuinely sweet, and I hope they do well out there better than the GEFs.

The Combine running another proxy war was interesting and again draws in more parallels to the real life Cold War. It's a nice sense of the fringe along with the Corporate Mercs and Traders out in uncivilized sectors of space.

With the exception of scary gravity super weapons, I hope aliens stay out of the setting. You've got a good vibe going and it reminds me a lot Titanfall, IN SPACE, which is great since that series rules.

We'll likely head back to the larger war at some point, but enjoy smaller stakes stories, and hope the big battles stay balanced with the quiet story ones.

 

Offline Iido

Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Oh, I had no idea that part 2 was out until now! I'll definitely play this soon!

 

Offline Mobius

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
I've just completed my playthrough of Black Sun and wow, I can't wait to play what's coming next in this TC. Any sneak peeks on what the next Solaris campaign will be about?
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Inferno: Nostos - Alliance
Series Resurrecta: {{FS Wiki Portal}} -  Gehenna's Gate - The Spirit of Ptah - Serendipity (WIP) - <REDACTED> (WIP)
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A tribute to FreeSpace in my book: Riflessioni dall'Infinito
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Offline Darius

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Thanks  :yes: I'm looking forward to releasing it at some point.

MatthTheGeek did a stream of the first couple missions of Act 3 a couple months ago

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1594319053

The missions are very WIP but should give an idea of where the story's headed next.

 

Offline SF-Junky

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Thanks! I'd be interested to see how much story gaps will be filled by act 2 (or whether it creates even more questions  :confused: )
I'll answer this one here. :)

Worldbuilding and characters improved a lot. Act 3 brings meat to the universe's bones. Various factions feel credible, realistic and divers. I also liked the characters, particularly Meiks. You're a good writer, keep that up! These people feel really alive and like real personalities. The voice acting adds a lot to the atmosphere here. Is that really all TTS? How do you do it exactly (iirc somebody already asked that in the first thread...  :nervous: )?

I'm sure there's people out there who'd say that this should have been the first act, and what's act 1 and 2 now should be 2 and 3 because this feels a lot more like the exposition. Start small and harmless and then evolve the story into something bigger. I generally like the approach you have taken: Throw some huge chunk of WHAT DA HECK at the player as an appetizer and then slow down a little bit to allow the audience to take a breath, take a step back and take a close look. But I think it's become too extreme. We had an interstellar war, planet killers and gargantuan alien structures in part 1 and this is all completely forgotten in the first half or two thirds of this campaign and nobody even talks about it. The war between the Combine and the Federation should have been more present in the earlier stages of part 2. Not neccessarily by involving these faction directly, but via character dialogues, media broadcasts, etc. Towards the end, you bring attention back to the alien artefact nicely, though.

Two missions really annoyed me tbh. Mission 14 which I haven't beaten without cheats yet. I really think that this is too difficult and needs rebalancing. In mission 15 the beginning is super annoying because these refugee transports are extremely fragile and it's very difficult to fight enemy craft while trying to evade at the same time - moving the Hoshikuzu more into the enemy fighters' attack path to scatter their formation would probably help a lot already. In the second part the mission makes a transition into "sit there and shoot missiles" followed by "disarm a cap ship, take 124"...

In the mission with the bomb (19, I think it was) it would really be helpful to either set the checkpoint right before you start shooting the doomsday cracker or give the player more precise instructions on how to properly disable the freighter without setting the damn thing of. ;)

Overall, I liked Black Sun and I look forward to part 3.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2023, 10:09:39 am by SF-Junky »

 

Offline Darius

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
Thanks :yes:

What specific trouble were you having in mission 14? Is it surviving, the Hoshi getting destroyed or not having enough time to disable the capital ship at the end?

The Hoshikuzu covering the transport is a good idea and an elegant solution to a problem I've been having with that mission.

 

Offline SF-Junky

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Re: RELEASE: Solaris - Black Sun (A FreeSpace Open Total Conversion)
I'm usually overwhelmed by the enemy bombers/gunships. As I said, dogfighting is really tough in this mod. What particularly bothers me is that I often feel that if somebody has you in their sights it's very difficult to evade. Maybe I'm just slow, but it happens so often to me that I lose no less than 30% or so of my hull integrity whenever I'm hit.

The enemy capship escaping has also happened, but not so often. In the beginning, Meiks' advise to ignore the enemy fighters is just not what's the best way to go in my opinion. One missile for each of them asap and then go for the enemy ASMs works quite well for me.