Author Topic: New life for Freespace?  (Read 12699 times)

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Offline Venek

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New life for Freespace?
This might be coming across as being hopelessly hopeful (I know, bad pun, so slap me), but given the popularity of the game on GOG.com and the relatively well-publicized efforts of the fine folks of SCP, I can't help but wonder if there might be some developer out there who'd be interested in bringing the Freespace franchise back from the dead. I've been reading some reviews on GOG.com by people who've bought it and, while it's akin to drinking Kool-Aid, they're all extolling the virtues of the game. It's consistently among the top sellers on the site and I'm sure that Turey's site for downloading the FSO installer has seen a big bump in traffic.

So, am I being an old-fashioned romantic or could there be life ahead for the space sim genre?

 

Offline Hades

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Actually, there is a developer who is interested in bringing it back, Volition, but there's not really a market for that type of game and Interplay is selling the IP for an "insane" amount.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 12:27:00 pm by Hades »
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Offline The E

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Re: New life for Freespace?
There is a company that has expressed interest in bringing FS back. Small, unknown studio, called Volition or something like that.

As for the spacesim genre.....Hard to say. Maybe, if LucasArts' efforts to bring back X-Wing are a success, and if the new MechWarrior can rekindle interest in more complicated games, then yeah. I guess it could just become reality.
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Offline colecampbell666

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Re: New life for Freespace?
People need to learn how to think again first... FS2 is too complicated for most standards, most of my friends (on the intelligent end of the spectrum) didn't make it past training 2 before getting bored. People need to change.
Gettin' back to dodgin' lasers.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: New life for Freespace?
That's because the training missions are, in fact, boring.

 

Offline Venek

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Actually, there is a developer who is interested in bringing it back, Volition, but there's not really a market for that type of game and Interplay is selling the IP for an "insane" amount.

Oh, what a shame. I know Interplay folded a while back and then got themselves out of bankruptcy, but I guess some things never change, huh? Well, at least I can still play Freespace SCP.

 

Offline Nissan

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Re: New life for Freespace?
People need to learn how to think again first... FS2 is too complicated for most standards, most of my friends (on the intelligent end of the spectrum) didn't make it past training 2 before getting bored. People need to change.
Yeah, I got a couple friends hooked recently; they happened to be the ones who listened when I told them to sit through the training because it'd be worth it. The rest were like "forget training, I wanna play NOW", skipped to the first mission, realized they didn't know how to move or target or dodge missiles or do anything important, and lost interest. :rolleyes:

These days, people want games that they can just pick up and jump right into the action. FreeSpace simply doesn't work that way...
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Offline colecampbell666

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Re: New life for Freespace?
People need to learn how to think again first... FS2 is too complicated for most standards, most of my friends (on the intelligent end of the spectrum) didn't make it past training 2 before getting bored. People need to change.
Yeah, I got a couple friends hooked recently; they happened to be the ones who listened when I told them to sit through the training because it'd be worth it. The rest were like "forget training, I wanna play NOW", skipped to the first mission, realized they didn't know how to move or target or dodge missiles or do anything important, and lost interest. :rolleyes:

These days, people want games that they can just pick up and jump right into the action. FreeSpace simply doesn't work that way...
I find that a complex (and I mean complex, not complicated) game is more immersive.
Gettin' back to dodgin' lasers.

 

Offline headdie

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Re: New life for Freespace?
People need to learn how to think again first... FS2 is too complicated for most standards, most of my friends (on the intelligent end of the spectrum) didn't make it past training 2 before getting bored. People need to change.
Yeah, I got a couple friends hooked recently; they happened to be the ones who listened when I told them to sit through the training because it'd be worth it. The rest were like "forget training, I wanna play NOW", skipped to the first mission, realized they didn't know how to move or target or dodge missiles or do anything important, and lost interest. :rolleyes:

These days, people want games that they can just pick up and jump right into the action. FreeSpace simply doesn't work that way...
I find that a complex (and I mean complex, not complicated) game is more immersive.

problem is we live in the console generation so anything that uses anything more than two analogue sticks (and its often too much to use more than 1 axis on both sticks) and 6 buttons is 'too' complicated for the average gamer in the developer/publishers eyes.
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Offline Snail

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Re: New life for Freespace?
I recall someone on the Volition staff saying that any FS3 would likely be on a console.

And that, by extension, probably means it'd be a watered down arcade-y game.

 

Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
People need to learn how to think again first... FS2 is too complicated for most standards, most of my friends (on the intelligent end of the spectrum) didn't make it past training 2 before getting bored. People need to change.
Yeah, I got a couple friends hooked recently; they happened to be the ones who listened when I told them to sit through the training because it'd be worth it. The rest were like "forget training, I wanna play NOW", skipped to the first mission, realized they didn't know how to move or target or dodge missiles or do anything important, and lost interest. :rolleyes:

These days, people want games that they can just pick up and jump right into the action. FreeSpace simply doesn't work that way...
I find that a complex (and I mean complex, not complicated) game is more immersive.

problem is we live in the console generation so anything that uses anything more than two analogue sticks (and its often too much to use more than 1 axis on both sticks) and 6 buttons is 'too' complicated for the average gamer in the developer/publishers eyes.

Actually, with some simplifications to the targeting system (ditching less important controls like 'target target's target"), you could easily fit FreeSpace onto a console controller. You have six axes (sticks + triggers), 12 buttons (face buttons + stick clicking + shoulder buttons + start + select + D-pad, and simple context menus could add even more functions. Console controllers have so many buttons that many old people won't play a modern console because the button-laden controllers intimidate them (a keyboard at least has the advantage of being laid out like a typewriter). Hell, you could free up buttons by requiring a multiplayer headset and giving commands to the AI through voice--"Alpha 2 attack my target" would cause Alpha 2 to break off and attack your target. This is not the SNES era where you couldn't really make anything more complex than Star Fox due to controller limitations.

Also, you don't have to present a whole bunch of different controls and features all in one boring training mission. You could thrust the player in medias res with limited functionality and a largely scripted first mission where new functions are introduced through voiceovers and/or pop-ups, teaching the player how to play the game while providing pretty explosions and giving them a taste of combat.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 01:51:25 pm by Woolie Wool »
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

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Offline Polpolion

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Re: New life for Freespace?
 :wtf:

Freespace isn't so complicated that you can't skip the training missions the first time you play it. You just need to learn the controls, and for most people, that doesn't take three training missions. People that get bored during the training missions are normal people, and people that can't play FS without the training missions probably aren't interested in playing games period.

All the training missions do is atmosphere to the process of learning the controls, all while lengthening that process out to 40 times longer than it has to be.

 

Offline headdie

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Re: New life for Freespace?
People need to learn how to think again first... FS2 is too complicated for most standards, most of my friends (on the intelligent end of the spectrum) didn't make it past training 2 before getting bored. People need to change.
Yeah, I got a couple friends hooked recently; they happened to be the ones who listened when I told them to sit through the training because it'd be worth it. The rest were like "forget training, I wanna play NOW", skipped to the first mission, realized they didn't know how to move or target or dodge missiles or do anything important, and lost interest. :rolleyes:

These days, people want games that they can just pick up and jump right into the action. FreeSpace simply doesn't work that way...
I find that a complex (and I mean complex, not complicated) game is more immersive.

problem is we live in the console generation so anything that uses anything more than two analogue sticks (and its often too much to use more than 1 axis on both sticks) and 6 buttons is 'too' complicated for the average gamer in the developer/publishers eyes.

Actually, with some simplifications to the targeting system (ditching less important controls like 'target target's target"), you could easily fit FreeSpace onto a console controller. You have six axes (sticks + triggers), 12 buttons (face buttons + stick clicking + shoulder buttons + start + select + D-pad, and simple context menus could add even more functions. Console controllers have so many buttons that many old people won't play a modern console because the button-laden controllers intimidate them (a keyboard at least has the advantage of being laid out like a typewriter). Hell, you could free up buttons by requiring a multiplayer headset and giving commands to the AI through voice--"Alpha 2 attack my target" would cause Alpha 2 to break off and attack your target. This is not the SNES era where you couldn't really make anything more complex than Star Fox due to controller limitations.

Also, you don't have to present a whole bunch of different controls and features all in one boring training mission. You could thrust the player in medias res with limited functionality and a largely scripted first mission where new functions are introduced through voiceovers and/or pop-ups, teaching the player how to play the game while providing pretty explosions and giving them a taste of combat.

i though the keymap card supplied with FS1 was complicated,  tbh i think i would take a lot to master, any one played resident evil 4 on the PC with a PS2 pad its a nighmare.

Id blow a fuse for the first few hours memorizing the combinations to get the AI to disarm a cruiser in real time so i could do it fast enough and not loose the front transport, I presume it would all be done in real time and not pause everytiem you star a journey into the context menus (kills the atmosphere for me)

I agree the targeting system could loose a few functions e.g. didnt know that "'target target's target" existed so have never used it and i wouldn't miss the external views either though burning away from a dying capship always looks cool.

another issue is the voice recognition imho this has always been hit and miss
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Offline Scotty

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Quote
I agree the targeting system could loose a few functions e.g. didnt know that "'target target's target" existed so have never used it and i wouldn't miss the external views either though burning away from a dying capship always looks cool.

But, how else are we going to target untargetable ships :shaking:?

 

Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
You won't.

(Cheater. :P)

Id blow a fuse for the first few hours memorizing the combinations to get the AI to disarm a cruiser in real time so i could do it fast enough and not loose the front transport, I presume it would all be done in real time and not pause everytiem you star a journey into the context menus (kills the atmosphere for me)

For communication, voice recognition. Target the cruiser, say "Alpha wing, disarm turret one". Voice recognition is better than it used to be, you just have to say it in a firm, clear voice (oddly enough automated answering machines with voice recognition seem to get better at recognizing my voice when I get angry at them). We've come a long way from that SNES headset the Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed that could not distinguish between the words "fire" and "****".

:wtf:

Freespace isn't so complicated that you can't skip the training missions the first time you play it. You just need to learn the controls, and for most people, that doesn't take three training missions. People that get bored during the training missions are normal people, and people that can't play FS without the training missions probably aren't interested in playing games period.

All the training missions do is atmosphere to the process of learning the controls, all while lengthening that process out to 40 times longer than it has to be.

I learned the controls in the FreeSpace 1 and 2 demos, which had no training missions or tutorials at all. You were just tossed into missions (easy missions, but certainly not training-style missions) to fend for yourself.

FreeSpace's training missions are just poor. They're boring, the instructor has no personality (compare to MechWarrior 2's instructor, who constantly insults you and compares you to his pet dog--THAT's a memorable instructor), and no surprises happen.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 04:53:24 pm by Woolie Wool »
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
--General Battuta

 
Re: New life for Freespace?
Well, the tutorials ARE a training module, i.e. computer program. It fits the story canonically i suppose. An alternative would be for the community to create their OWN more interesting tutorials perhaps?

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Please do :)
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Offline Woolie Wool

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Re: New life for Freespace?
Having an NTF patrol show up and attack at the end of your training would be an interesting touch.
16:46   Quanto   ****, a mosquito somehow managed to bite the side of my palm
16:46   Quanto   it itches like hell
16:46   Woolie   !8ball does Quanto have malaria
16:46   BotenAnna   Woolie: The outlook is good.
16:47   Quanto   D:

"did they use anesthetic when they removed your sense of humor or did you have to weep and struggle like a tiny baby"
--General Battuta

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: New life for Freespace?
The "teach as you go" form of tutorial has been a welcome development over the past several years.  The Splinter Cell games provide a good example: the original had you run through a rather straightforward training course that went over all of the necessary functions, while Pandora Tomorrow swapped that out by putting you in the same progressive situations within the context of the first mission.  Half-Life 2 operated similarly, including that great little "playing fetch" sequence with Dog that introduced you to the Gravity Gun.  For my money, getting introduced to certain functions as you come across situations where you need to use them is far less immersion-breaking than having to sit through a training mission that's really nothing more than an interactive version of reading the manual.  That being said, though I may find FreeSpace's training missions boring now, I was perfectly content to sit through them the first time through.

i though the keymap card supplied with FS1 was complicated,  tbh i think i would take a lot to master, any one played resident evil 4 on the PC with a PS2 pad its a nighmare.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean here.  RE4 was originally released solely for the GameCube, and its controller worked perfectly fine.  I don't think I ever heard any complaints about the PS2 port's controls, either.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: New life for Freespace?
I haven't bought a new game for months... I find most new games often incredibly shallow. I usually end up playing older games instead... I'm really really starting to dislike this 'console generation' more and more. To the point where I almost start hoping that piracy will destroy the industry so we can go back to the time where gamers = nerds & games = gameplay instead of this gamers = 'cool' & games = grinding or shallow shootan game #13251 bullcrap
*Ramble, rant rant  :hopping: *
I feel like a grumpy old man talking about the good old days when I write stuff like this... i'm only 22 damnit!
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[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them