I was around 6-7 years old when FreeSpace came around. The story and the atmosphere had quite an impact on my gaming and artistic preferences. An existential game to be sure. It became a part of how I perceived myself. As a child, I always dreamed of designing my own campaign.
In 2010-2012 I made an effort to create an original story, a 30-mission mod named "Paradise Bird". I'd estimate that the Fredding took at least a few hundred hours. The end result was a kind of a functional mess. I even announced it but never delivered. A shame maybe, "real life issues" made my focus go quite elsewhere.
From a design perspective, the mod is a mess. From a story perspective, it is incoherent and quite odd. It has custom music and loading screen pictures which today, I wouldn't release under any circumstances. Also separate take-off and landing missions (not included in the 30-mission-count). In every mission I included a gimmick. A new mechanic or an innovation, something I had never seen done before. So essentially, it is full of stuff. Not very focused.
The story involves the Post-Capella GTVA finding a Shivan time device in the midst of another rebellion and sending an excursion into the unknown. Using a simplistic time-logic system akin to that found in "Stargate: Continuum", the plot details how the excursion accidentally prevents the Lucifer from reaching FS1 era Terran/Vasudan systems. Resulting in a timeline where the GTA and PVN do not encounter the Lucifer, and the Great War plays out differently, with the Shivans still essentially "showing up." This serves as a narrative method to unravel more about the purpose/agenda of the Shivans.
Paradise Bird also has quite a number of community models, and I personally fiddled with a bunch of tables. 20 of the missions are quite tested, detailed and polished, the last 10 not so much. Partially designed during the 3.6.10 era, it works with 3.6.12 as well. Using debug builds usually showed up a ton of errors
There was nothing very professional about how I solved all the problems, since I did it practically without any outside help and without all that much understanding in coding or programming or computers or computer programs in general.
This is a very preliminary post, but one that might lead somewhere later on. First, I'm trying to remind myself that I should not keep the project in stasis forever, but instead do something about it. That's what this community is all about, sharing our creations. There are at least two options.
First is actually digging out the campaign and testing the missions superficially. Do they function, are they relatively playable? Removing all the nonsense-content. Starting with the unnecessary music and artwork I do not have the rights for. Cleaning up and replacing. At some point, I could share the campaign with the community or at least with someone willing to help clean it up first.
The second option which is largely unlikely to happen, is that I start rebuilding and ReFredding everything from scratch, using the ideas and the dialogue I made up almost a decade ago. Seeing that I don't have much spare time or the necessary motivation available currently, this seems highly unlikely.
Much more likely is that I will do some small Fredding project to warm up a little. See how I feel about designing missions these days, and helping myself with getting some momentum. That is probably after I have played through at least a few key campaigns, after an 8-year hiatus. There are no promises that can be made, but the more I bring this up, the more likely it is that some time could be dedicated. And therefore something may come out of it. And this extensive story and gameplay "wasteland", as it is currently, could actually get a release one day, since FreeSpace doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
There is also a cutscene mission, which I would like to show some time later, should I get it up and running. It doubles as a sort of a trailer.
Last things for now, I would like to thank the whole community and everyone who has made this possible. To leave this wonderful game for so many years and come back to see that it keeps on going, (for example, a new MediaVPs release shows up during a playthrough of the retail campaign) is unbelievable. In 2020. The longevity of FreeSpace through the dedication of many key people here has kept one of my childhood dreams alive on the back of my mind through some trying times. Thank you.
Would very much like to hear your thoughts on all of this