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HLP Newsletter - Year End 2017

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Happy New Year! I hope everyone's been staying nice and warm (or if you are from the Southern Hemisphere, nice and cool). Here's the fun and exciting things the community did this past December.

Campaign News

Reminder - Knossos is Awesome
If you haven't already, be sure to check out Knossos, the next generation Installer/Launcher. It's now so effortless to get into the game, no needing to find links around the forum for campaigns, it's all there! No need to get dependencies, it knows all about them! Just click and play. Knossos is still in a bit of early access, but your feedback can help make it easier and more stable for newcomers.

Release - Legion's Demise
DefCynodont119 has released their 2 mission mini-campaign for FSPort that chronicles the events of the fated GTD Legion as seen in the FS2 intro cinematic. Plus a little extra! Features include "well-Fredded missions", "hopefully no plot holes" and "things getting shot with beams". How can you go wrong?

FS1 Upgrade News
Trivial Psychic gives us a year end status update on their efforts to make the retail FS1 campaign just a little better.

--- Quote ---"I've added a bunch of more content to "Playing Judas", some of which will make the mission much more challenging, but if you achieve a bonus objective from "Enter the Dragon", you get a boost that helps quite a lot.  "Evangelist" now has a more staged mission, rather than just the destroy-the-Eva mission it was before.  "Doomsday" includes more ships and some sacrifice."
--- End quote ---
More ships and more sacrifice? Unbelievable. Sounds fun.

Coding News

Insights into PBR
With 3.8.0 out, there's a new rendering engine that uses PBR based lighting. This can be a little confusing when making textures for it. This thread by ScoobyDoo has some questions about how it works and a few of us with some experience fill you all in with the subtle details about PBR.

Lua SEXP System
m!m's feature of Scripted SEXPs has been merged into the main codebase. This will allow scripters to basically create new sexps that call scripting functions, making it much easier for the standard lay-FREDder to use readymade Lua scripts in their missions.

And now here's a few other new features that got added to the code base last month:

* Include OpenAL Soft DDLs as part of the build - No need to have someone install OpenAL for the first time now!
* Add support for setting string variables from a XSTR - Great for translating campaigns to other languages
* Add localized subtitle support to the video player - Ditto

Modding News

Release - GVCv Udjat
Nyctaeus releases a new version of the GVCv Udjat, as seen recently in Scroll of Antarkharzim. Comes with two texture variants for all your awesome Vasudan fleet needs.

Release - GTT Anteros
Nyctaeus also releases the GTT Anteros, a tanky heavy transport that was going to be in Blackwater Operations. Now you can use it for your own action heavy missions.

Archangel Test Release
Trashman has a new version of the old standby, the Archangel, available to test. Comes with turrets, missile hatches and new weapons!

MediaVP updates
Over in MediaVP land, we've got some textured shots of everybody's favorite gas miner, the Rahu, and everybody's favorite escape pod, the Ra. Also mjn.mixael is doing the truly crazy thing and is making fast progress on remaking the FreeSpace 1 intro movie!! He's also gotten a community render farm put together to help with the final product, so contact him if you'd like to help.

What are you working on?
This month we've got some of the above ships in work in progress, turtles, stations, Top Gun related shenanigans, and a Vasudan!

Screencap Contest

We were closing out with a free month, do whatever you like to bring in the new year. And who gets the final win of the year? Why 0rph3us with their very pretty battle at a Knossos portal. To me that says FreeSpace in a nutshell. Space battles, beams, death black ships, all against a pretty background and a piece of ancient technology.

Honorable mentions go out to Ckid's cool green Vasudan group, and Thisisalongusername's bombardment of Paris, France from Exile.

Darius - 1
niffiwan - 1
tomimaki - 3
thisisaverylongusername - 1
Frikgfeek - 1
Nyctaeus - 1
DahBlount - 1
deathsnake - 1
BlackWolf - 1
0rph3us - 1

And with that tomimaki takes the Screencap Winner of the Year award, which was no surprise since they were so far ahead. But for most of the year the scoreboard was dead even, it only became a little tilted at the very end.

Some months you make it so hard for me to choose just one. The quality is always so good and a real treat to go through. Kudos to everyone who entered this year!

January's theme will be Warping. Show cool warp effects. Something warping in, something warping out. Something going at warp speed. I'll leave it to your warped sensibilities.

Immediately claiming spot for the Year End Campaign Releases Post

Coming soonish...

Good newsletter as always Axem.
December was a pretty good progress month for the FSU team, well done to everyone lending machinepower to the render farm! c:

Solid work on the newsletter as usual. :yes:

Yep. Very informative. :yes:


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