When I was working on this project four years ago, I wanted to make a pure all out shooting game. And that's not all, the missions here require a strategy just like basketball. Stray off from the objectives and you will surely lose the mission. However, in some missions, just to shake the minds of potential gamers, I sadistically, deliberately placed objectives that are utterly useless and a different, radical strategy is the actual solution and they will just have to figure that out and improvise. Which is actually the same with real life. You're superior officers tend to make bad calls (they often do) and its up to you to set it right. I was once with the military, The Philippine Marines, when I was younger before I discharged myself. I knew what it is like fighting a war, skirmishes that I had with the Mindanao insurgents. A number of my friends got killed, I was wounded myself. So I tried to incorporate what it felt like here in this game (whew, I must be insane). You will find that it will be overwhelmingly challenging like a real war. And its not just a war, its an epic, you'll be smacked in the middle of a galactic war. Hundreds of fighters, endless waves of them. Numerous big ships involved. To other gamers, it would seem like a chore. Well, it wouldn't be an epic if we only have 2 to 4 enemy wings to deal with, would it?
But then a pure all out shooting game is not enough. Everything must be justified in a story line. The story might be effective if I had adequate CG programming skills, I just do not have that talent nor can I make it in a FRED cut scene. I might make the dialogues in a mission but I feel it will just be dull. I wanted action, avoiding long dead air in a combat mission. In dogfights, there is no time for small talk. The only solution for that is to put the story in the briefing screens, we could place the dialogues there. That would be a good idea ---But no.
In the end, I decided why not just go back to the tradition of Freespace 2 where command briefings will give you the current news of what's happening and the briefing screen is what it was intended to be. Now, that was a challenge. Then it hit me. Why not make a sequel from FS2? And not only reading or watching or playing the story of John Richter. This time, the gamer (you) is John Richter. Placing you in the seat of the character. Where the Command briefings and the briefings and the in-game dialogues are directly addressed to you. And the missions themselves are the story line that you get to experience first hand. Not just reading about an obscure mercenary. You get to play the role and as the missions unfold from a seemingly unrelated chain of sorties, you will suddenly find yourself playing an important role in a war campaign that will decide the fate of the GTVA and becoming the greatest hero of mankind. That is if you survive the nerve-racking missions.
The "Battle of Endor" type missions (BoE) were indeed problematic as it involved a number of destroyers and more than a hundred fighters. I wanted to depict the missions effectively in an epic scale without sacrificing PC performance and game stability. That is also the reason why I only use models with fair number of polygons, models that are not too heavy (and my computer is not that high end). Usually in BoE missions, player actions don't account much because all hell brake loose. But I designed those missions in such a way that your decisions and strategy will spell the fate of
your fleet. Leadership is the key. Command your wings, you're not alone out there.THE OLD VERSUS THE NEW
The original release of the Mod was flawed and crappy beyond reason. I was a newbie at that time. There were tons of details that I had overlooked, from mission scripting, model errors, to grammar and spelling. Those feedback in the forum were indeed helpful and I am thankful for those posted those comments. I have learned a great deal. Because my mod was dependent on the Blue Planet releases, I got a message from one of the creators saying that their mods were updated constantly and that means "The Aftermath" will be broken. I got discouraged and did not update my mod anymore considering my meager knowledge in mod making at that time. Actually, Cyborg17 made a compatibility fix for the mod and he have done a great job. I was inactive for about three years...or maybe four...Crap! I cannot even remember when I first release my mod. Until one day I happen to visit the HLP site and I found posts and comments about "The Aftermath" and the credit, of course, goes to CT27. Players were downloading this. I had requested SectorGames to take the mod down but, apparently, they didn't. And that got my attention. So I decided to resurrect the mod and did a lot of research and testing. Cyborg17 have already fixed most of the model issues, so I used his compatibility fix. After about a month, I have managed to release "The Aftermath" from its dependencies, the Blue Planet mods (that's when I made the post about the mod in the HLP forum). From then on, everything fell into place, modifications, grammar and spelling editing, re-balancing. It is also at this time that Cyborg17 offered his help in model fixes and testing. So I am no longer alone in this endeavor. The changes from the original are huge. I have modified the look of the game interface, the screens and their buttons (edited individually more than thousand of them) but not the layout, if only I have control over that. Ten in-game soundtracks, seven briefing music, and 1 main hall music were added (I will add one more main hall music in time). I have made tech anims (full motion) for the new weapons and CB anims for each missions with a command briefing (only static images, it will take me forever to do almost fifty of them in full motion). I have made a new look for the loading screens and loading bar. The radar blip issue is also fixed, the new ships will have radar icons. I have also replaced some erring models that even Cyborg17 can not fix, models with assert errors that crashed the game. As of now, the models no longer register an error (thanks for the Debug). There are new ships as well because the campaign will be expanded further, new missions will added because I noticed a hole in the plot. The missions themselves are fixed, some are re-done and some are scrapped. The entire mod itself has grown from 200mb to 1.5gb. There are still a lot changes which I cannot keep track but I have tried my best to put them in a list below. This release will be the third version and it is almost done. As of now, I am editing the missions then sending them to Cyborg17 for further testing and if I have extra time I will try to make some animation elements for the main halls.CHANGES IN THE MISSIONS
Missions in Act 1 were re-ordered the second original mission was junked and replaced. Player can jump out mid-mission but with consequences (but in later missions, the player cannot jump out without authorization). Loadouts were adjusted so that it would realistic. I did what I could to correct the grammar and spellings. But I know there will be errors that I overlooked. Some changes in all the briefings were also made. Enemy wings are properly designated except in later epic missions where there will be hundreds of fighters, I don't think I can do that without running out of wing names. The GTVA command will actually mention it sometime in the campaign (although, I do have a list of 297 possible wing names). So in these crazy missions I designated the directives by "squadrons" and not by "wings." What will happen if I did named them by wings? I will have a long list of "directive" events in my editor and not more than 6 (or is it 7?) directives will be shown in the monitor. If I have to re-spawn the enemy wings, I will hide their names like I did in the first mission. I got a feedback before from a player noticing the same wing popping up again and again. There will be numerous fighters in important missions but the priority targets will be designated and directives will be added only if they are relevant. If players get distracted with these unimportant enemy wings ("mission fillers" or "mission populators" is what I call them) and not concentrating on the objective, they might fail the mission. Well, that is the point in all of this. But players need not to worry for I have made full use of the "recommendation" feature. There will be hints.
I also have a plan for two more campaigns and they will be related and intertwined with the main campaign, their plots will cross-crossed each other. I will work on them as soon as the mod is released.LIST OF MODIFICATIONS:
--All the models are fixed. Thanks to Cyborg17
--Changes were made to the new beam weapons. new look and sound.
--new projectile textures and sound for the new weapons.
--A complete new look for the interface, their screens and their buttons. It took me a
month to edit more than a thousand buttons and elements. I can not just duplicate the
images because each of them is "unique" (map sizes and placements); the alignments will
be affected. If I have total edit control over these interface elements, I could create
an entirely new layout.
--added 10 new fully working soundtracks, 1 Mainhall background music and 7 briefing music.
--Enhanced the medal images for the Medal Box and a new medal screen of course.
--Added a Colors.tbl table. I changed the font colors to coincide with the new interface.
--Added shield icons for assets that used generic ones.
--Added Briefing Icons for the prototype ships (except the cruisers), new installations
and new shivan ships.
--New loading screen with new loading bar animation. There will be two load screens per Act.
--New "opening title" image for the the "Intro" mission
--The cut scenes were adjusted. When I tested them , they did not run as I have expected. All of them!
Probably because of the SCP update and I used a crappy computer when I first made them.
--Refined some of the background images and replaced with new ones.
--Replace the corvette "Serenity" with a new ship.
--Replaced the model for the GTT Damascus (table modified).
--Replaced the model for the Warlock with the newly released version (table adjusted accordingly)
--Replaced the model for the cruiser "Adamant."
--Added ship: GTC Minos patrol boat. I am already thinking of a sub-campaign where players
will be able use this.
--Replaced the model for the "Royal Sathanas" with the updated MediaAVP version and I made
new textures for it (just the color hue of the ship's hull but I have made strides to
it's glow maps to make it "royal-like" and distinguishable.
--added a "low-poly" Sathanas. The new Sathanas is highly detailed (63mb model, yikes!) and
there is one mission where I have used dozens of these at the same time. It was heavy for
--Added a Shivan Nahema bomber and its Shivan weapons that can be used by players
(table entries adjusted). There will be missions for this.
--A little editing with map texture of the XJR Phantom and the TF Tiger (just their badges).
--Added radar icons to the Aftermath assets.
--New shield icons for ships that used generic ones