Author Topic: FSThing  (Read 336 times)

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Offline sigtau

  • 29
  • unfortunate technical art assclown
Hoo boy, it's been a while.

For those who converse with me on the Discord server, you know what this is. For those that don't, strap in.

For those who don't remember me, I was an HLP member back in '08 or '09 or so. I used to make ill-advised, overly grandiose, unintentionally comical mods because I was an undiagnosed, autistic 13-14 year old at the time who had no idea what he was doing. Still, that hasn't dampened my love for these games. In the time I've been gone, I graduated high school, finished undergrad, got a job in the games industry, *left* the games industry, and then started doing mostly gamedev in my spare time while working a more chill software engineering job. Nowadays I'm an ASD-diagnosed adult who puts his foot in his mouth on occasion, but still hangs around here regardless of that.

Enough of my life story though, that part is more for people who might/might not remember me from back then or for newbies who need a bit of context. I hit a massive, major depressive spike last year, and found it difficult to work on passion projects of any sort. Around this time I had started hanging around in the Discord again after years of lurking the forums as well as IRC when it was relevant. I did a playthrough of all the canon FS games as well as some fan favorites like Trimurti and Vassago's Dirge, as well as starting off with War in Heaven (which is cool!). While playing those games, I got to looking at a warp-cone model and thought to myself "yknow, I've acquired some skills over the years, I bet I could design that as a particle effect in another engine."

So I did. Then, I thought, why not have some ships come out of the portal? It's not complete without a ship. So out comes the GTF Apollo from the FSPort MediaVPs, and in it goes into Unity. Neat!

What about something bigger? Let's be sensible, we'll do a Fenris.

This pattern carried on for a while, adding more and more things just to play around with.

One thing led to another, and I sit before you today having recreated a ton of FS mechanics and functionality, to the point that I have something that looks a bit like a pre-alpha present-day FS game in another engine.

I had codenamed the project folder "FSThing," because it didn't really start out as me trying to remake anything, but despite this, it just continued to be called that as time went on. Over on the Discord, that's what everyone calls it, so FSThing it shall be (for now).

Note: For grad school work, I had to turn in a portfolio piece I'd made for myself (I chose FSThing), then improve it a bit later into the semester. The video linked below is intended for that audience, one not so familiar with FreeSpace; hence the pointless 'dev commentary' annotations at the end.

Things that should be addressed
Am I remaking FreeSpace?
In the sense of "port the game to another engine for fun?" Sure. In the sense of "to release a complete game or mod?" At this time, no. Maybe one day, if I'm brave enough. Not right now. Besides, I'm not really here to upstage FSO, FSU, or anyone else. I'm using FSU assets, after all.

Are you using FSO code?
No. There is no FS retail or FS open code in this codebase.

Can you put it on GitHub?
Unfortunately, no, because it uses input managers, some postprocessing shaders, and other assets that aren't available for free. I could put the code up, at least, so people could see how this works, but I haven't done that.

What engine is this?
Said it before, but in case you skipped to this section: Unity. I'm a trained and seasoned developer in the Unity ecosystem and released a few small games with it already.

Why are you doing this?
I like FreeSpace, and this gives me something to keep my skills sharp. That's really the point of it all.

What liberties did you take with this?
Quite a few, but it's hard to explain in this post. I'll write a reply sometime tomorrow and explain myself further. I'll also probably post some more video clips showing bits and bobs and things y'all might find interesting.


Anyway, that's that, for now. I'll probably have more to post about in the future. Hope it's neat enough!
Who uses forum signatures anymore?


Offline Iain Baker

  • 29
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Impressive pilot  :p
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Offline Trivial Psychic

  • 212
  • Snoop Junkie
Nice.  Enemy AI seems better, but missile tracking seems much improved over original FS code.
The Trivial Psychic Strikes Again!