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2008-09-24 - Of placeholders and mission design


Sept 24th 2008 - Of placeholders and mission design

Over the course of the last week and a half, we have had placeholders done for pretty much every model needed for our release. In case anyone is wondering, a placeholder is a not-quite-finished model that is converted early to allow us to get a head start on mission design. These models may be lacking final textures, detail levels or other eyecandy or performance related things, but are otherwise fully functional with turrets, subsystems, docking points and the like already in place. What this means is that we can start making missions (FREDding - After the Freespace Editor) and later swap in the finished models without having to redo anything. And right now, that is exactly what I'm doing.

As our campaign storyline still needs a few touches before we can start working on it, our current focus is multiplayer missions. At the time of writing, we already have five Team vs Team missions completed, in-game and working, along with seven Dogfight missions set in various locales. And that is only the beginning :D Personally, I am currently working on two gauntlet-type missions. In its most basic form, this is a very straightforward mission type where you encounter increasingly large waves of enemy ships, without any need for the players to think or plan a strategy to beat the mission. But this eventually gets boring, and so we aim to do better than that. For one thing, you can expect to considerable variety in the ships you face when going through a gauntlet - Just larger and larger waves of fighters is something we definitely do not want to do. In addition to that, there will also be certain... surprises... to be encountered in these missions where quick thinking and good situational awareness can make the difference between life and death. Gauntlets do not have to be 100% predictable ;)

Other than that, we expect to be able to start work on our main campaign quite soon. As mentioned, it only needs some finishing touches on the storyline and we'll be good to go to work on that. And work will continue on a variety of multiplayer missions, both Dogfight, Team vs Team and Coop. Anyway, I think that will do for now. Back to work... I've got a mission to finish up and plenty more to work on after that :)


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