Merry May everyone! April came and went, leaving us with wonderful spring weather... Right?
Well anyway, the age old question of when we will see FreeSpace 3 was finally answered! The answer though, may not surprise you
. Well let's get to what we were up to last month.
Well we only have one big piece of news this month, FSPort 3.4 was released,
updating the FreeSpace 1 total conversion with many new assets, including a totally redone and remixed soundtrack by none other than Dan Wentz, the composer for the FreeSpace games! Radical!
Oh Axem, I just realized that you Forgot this release.
Oh apparently there's a second release this month! Isn't that neat!
Well it looks like the SCP was 19 days too late when it came to releasing a new build to punk the newsletter. But to make up for it, they've gone onto a completely new revision number. Yes 3.7.0 RC1 was released!
The 3.7 builds include new pilot code that let players use the same pilot for any number of mods without crashing. Give it a play and help squad bugs!
Now technically there's still a code freeze, but that's not stopping some people from showing off new features they're just itching to add.
For example, Yarn's coded Adaptable Hud Scaling
. This allows the hud to automatically scale to your resolution, without having to scale from preset resolutions. This will surely help the crazy people with 3+ monitors.
Zookeeper's been hard at work with stuff like Auto Spread Shields
, which allow shields to fit to the shape of the ship without a shield mesh plus a bunch of other small features
, all of which I would love to see ingame.
Are you on a platform like MacOS or Linux and want to peak into the VP files, but you can't, because the programs are all Windows only? Well FreeSpaceFreak has you covered with WxVPViewer!
You too, can discover the hidden files in those VP files you keep downloading.
Are you on Windows 8 and want to peak into VP files, but you can't, because the programs don't follow the Metro interface, and that really bugs you for some reason? m!m has you covered with VPGUI!
Technically this was from last month, but I missed it.
The scripting board was sort of quiet this month, but FelixJim's updated his in-mission tech room script.
Contains some new features, such as viewing your own ship, viewing your weapons, and viewing your enemy! Freaky stuff.The ORFg Tychicus/GTFg Unamit
comes to us from Korbar and Scooby Doo. With those two large looking turrets on the front, it looks perfect for giant BEAMS. Modders, do not disappoint!
fightermedic releases a stand alone fighter cockpit
for anyone that wants to add it to their own mod. But just keep in mind, that not everyone's a fan of complete immersion. But i must say, it does look pretty cool.AndrewofDoom's released a ship pack of Sword-like ships
for anyone to use. They don't come with tables (or chairs), so you'll need to craft your own. Perfect for the modder that needs more ships.
Inferno shows off a WIP shot of their amazing GTSD Bastion flagship.
Dat runway.Apologies for missing this
headdie made a tanker container
, for people transporting mass amounts of Pepsi and/or Coca-Cola. Comes with a converted pof and table, but its not quite textured. So its up to you to finish that last part!
And just 3 hours after that tanker container, Doko shows off his tanker ship!
Why, this could carry even MORE Pepsi and/or Coca-Cola! Not released yet, but I do hope we'll be able to see it done!Admiral MS shows off his latest work with the RTS Mod,
and holy cow, does it look like an RTS. Attacking specific subsystems? Queued orders? Creating waypoint paths? This is amazing stuff.
This month on ScoobyWatch: The Scimitar!
Those overachievers working on the MediaVPs give us updates on 5 ships. The Alastor, the Anuket, the Ra, the Hermes and the Shivan Comm Node. We'll have all of those ships done in no time!AlastorAnuketRa Escape PodHermes Escape PodShivan Comm Node Textured!
Homesick is quite a fitting title for this campaign. Also fitting would be "How Could Things Get Worse?" As the name implies, the campaign takes you far from the GTVA systems and you and your friends are trying to find a way home. Along the way we get some insight into how the citizens of the GTVA think and how the GTVA thinks, atleast in the window that Blaise Russel constructs; which I know that there's some of you who think its sort of rubbish.
I think what I liked most about Homesick was the transition from a sort of easy-going atmosphere into one where the laid-back inhabitants are thrown into a deep and dark pit. The campaign starts with a command briefing about applying to join the GTVA. However all positions are filled, save for being a janitor. So naturally, you join the Custodian Mercenary Group (because quite frankly custodian sounds much better than janitor!). So when you fly out for the first few missions, you get to know your wingmen. Out of 7 fighters that fly with you, 3 have distinct personalities and are sort of immortal (which helps in the long red-alert series missions).
You have Alpha 3, a bit of an airhead. Asking weird questions out of nowhere and doesn't like going too far out of his comfort zone. Then you have Beta 1, a stronger pilot who is more no-nonsense, but she's a little more prone to anger when things aren't going so hot. And Beta 4, our Vasudan friend who likes to analyze our friends and drops us background exposition. He appears a lot more stoic and level headed, even in the face of all the pressure that comes in the story. The interactions between these three save some repetitive missions from becoming totally unbareable and upgrade them to bareable enough. More on that later.Beta 4 is totally missing out on the hilarity that is Two and a Half Zods
So our calamity of errors and screwups begins when the Custodian is escorting a convoy, and some of the transports turn up to be carrying high tech equipment that they shouldn't be. The rather heavy-handed GTVA declares everyone in the group traitors, and starts to attack the convoy. So starts your running from the GTVA and a jump into an undiscovered node with an exploding capital ship behind you later, and you're stranded. So starts your long trek home. And boy, is it a long one. First you scavenge around an old Terran-Vasudan battleground, then a nebula, then a system with the GTVI who appear to be taking 'shoot on sight' with exceptional pride, then another nebula, nebula, nebula, yeah, a lot of nebula stuff. Along the way you pick up some friends, a derelict Fenris, a Vasudan support ship, and even some GTVA Vasudans late in the game.Pirates! Yarr!
A lot of missions are 'Protect the Custodian' and usually it can take care of itself. The challenge is keeping yourself alive. Quite a few missions are tied together with red-alerts (when they work), so going into a new mission with 5% hull can end up being a little more fustrating sometimes. There's never really a warning that you should think about conserving ammo or being more careful than normal, but usually the second-parters are shorter. But I guess what's sort of the most jarring thing about the missions is the quantity of enemies that get send after you, and a bunch of rag-tag mercs with civilian quality hardware takes them all on and wins. This comes with the territory of being a retail compatable campaign, since the AI alone can't really give that much challenge alone, like in the Aeos Affair. So I can't fault it that much, but it still leaves a weird taste when I manage to destroy a bunch of prototype and unknown fighters.
So like I said before, what saves some of these repetitive missions from being totally unbareable are our three wingmen's interactions. Watching them go from "happy-go-lucky" to "oh my god, get me out of here now" helps the tension and builds the atmosphere of really being away from home. Alpha 3 is easily panicked and spends a lot of his time freaking out, leaving Beta 1 to try to smack some sense into him. But even Beta 1 begins to break, especially when the Custodian decides to take a seemingly safer but much longer route. And again, Beta 4 sort of plays a straight man between the two, giving us interesting background info that merc pilots probably wouldn't care to know about. But even in the descent into despair, our plucky wingmen try to inject some humour into everything, such as Alpha 3's description of the GTVA Colossal.
Inevitably, as we go into the final act, we meet the Shivans.Oh don't look so surprised.
This now complicates matters to a whole new degree, going home now leads the Shivans there. But that's not your problem! Damn everything else, we want to go home! This also sets up a very nice and chilling mission in a subspace corridor. The Vasudans you had brokered a ceasefire with are dead-set on making sure the node collapses on the incoming Shivan destroyer, but you still like living, so you need to stop everyone from killing each other, until you get out of the corridor. You do everything from protecting the Custodian, to protecting the Shivan destroyer, to protecting the suicidal Vasudans. And in the end... the Demon destroyer fires a beam that disables the Custodian, leading it to be right in the path of the approaching destroyer. Ka-boom
And then as a reward for surviving this gauntlet of death, you get the GTVA coming to destroy you because they didn't forget that whole initial convoy thing near the beginning.
What a drag.
Homesick tells two tales. One of survival and persistence. Just how long could the Custodian group have kept on going with all these threats gnawing at them? And the other is with an unstoppable foe that could appear around any corner, how far are you willing to go to protect civilization? With all the heavy handedness the GTVA pulls, could you justify their actions to bring everyone into line, to ensure no cracks form that would lead to the deaths of million. And are these actions symptom of the coming Neo-Terran problem?
Anyway, I can see why some people don't like the ending, and I too wish it would have been... slightly happier. But I guess the message is: The universe is a hostile place.
Oh and inspect your cargo!
So this month we dealt with being on the run from authorities, so let's do the same next month with: Burning Heaven
, released just last year!
Fly in battles that helped define the future GTA and GTVA. Fully SCP featured, tons of modded ships and even voice acted!
Last months theme was: Outnumbered. There were some really nice pics this month, but we can only have one winner each month. And that was mjn.mixael and criminally amazing picture!
Hard to believe that the pic is ingame, but it is!
ssmit132 - 1
X3N0-Life-Form - 1
FreeSpaceFreak - 1mjn.mixael - 1
Next month's theme is: GIANT BEAMS. Show me large beams that made FreeSpace so unique when it was released. And I want to see good quality beams, not just a good quantity of beams!
Be sure to check out the Screencap Script
to take great pictures! And I don't want to see any hud in the pictures! NONE!
This month's completely random closing question: what was the first custom mod/campaign you played?