Author Topic: HLP Newsletter - September 2013  (Read 7960 times)

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Offline Axem

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HLP Newsletter - September 2013

It's back to school season! Well, for those with their places of education that are not blown to bits anyway... So how did we use this last month of summer vacation? Let's find out!

MatthTheGeek works some magic and has released an alpha release to port Wing Commander Saga to the FreeSpace Open engine. Now you can enjoy things like shadows and sun beams (with the right engine builds) as you shoot giant kitty cats.

AndrewofDoom has released a slightly updated version of his SHMUPSpace, now at version 1.2. There's some reworked balance (like the player becoming a one hit wonder) and other small tweaks. So get out there and shoot em up!

BlackWolf posts a scintillating preview for his pre-FreeSpace 1 mod, Frontlines 2334 (gee I wonder when it takes place). It sounds like he already has a fair amount done. Perhaps we will see some great things from down unda.

Droid803 is LOOKING FOR TESTERS to help him TEST the next patch for Dimensional Eclipse. Do you know how to test? I mean, really test? Replaying a mission 50 times, actively trying to break missions? If so, then this might interest you!

3.7.0 Final Watch: Not out yet, but it sounds close! Or maybe the SCP guys are just trolling me... (I'm watching youse!)

Animated PNGs! One of the holy grails we've been missing! The problem has been that the tools never give consistent results and putting it into the engine sounded like a pain and a half. Well now there's a kickstarter that promises to help standardize that mess. While the goal has already been met, there's still good reason to donate to it! If HLP as a whole, can donate $2500 to the project, we'll get our very own port straight from the devs! (We are about $1650 as of writing) Just follow these instructions to make sure your pledge gets counted as part of the HLP pledge!

And on the scripting front, we have FelixJim showing off again with a Simple Animation Script. It looks simple, and amaaaazing. I just have to think how to put this into JAD... (But that's what I think all the time anyway)


The Dagger continues to put another dagger into the Vasudan fighter fleet, with the GVB Setep! The Vasudans are surely setup to win.

Shivan Hunter has at long last released his modular station, the GTI Europa! Mix and match the station parts however you want! And then blow them all up!

And if that wasn't enough, Shivan Hunter releases another fighter, the small and nimble TF Electron. How shocking!

fightermedic has just been on a roll with making new ships, and luckily he's put everything into one thread for easy viewing, complete with download links. Check them out!

Pretty New Things

It's a fine line between coding and modding with this, but it was in the modding forum. Kobrar44 has been playing with shaders and shown off his work with per-pixel gloss shaders. Preeeeeety...

Unknown Target has put together a scrap yard of some ships he's made, mostly incomplete ones. Here's hoping that someone will resurrect them and bring them back to life!

Okay, so what does this Col Hornet have for us here... GTF Hydra? Double seater strike Ezechiel?! I must be dreaming! The model is still in its early stages, but we do have some nice concept art to gawk at for now!

An4x has a pair of ships in progress, a transport and a heavily Nexus:Jupiter Incident inspired destroyer. Dude, finish some of these awesome ships! Some of us would like to use them, you know!

So, The Dagger, it appears you can do more than just make amazing Vasudan ships. Your Heimdall Node Buster is PROOF! It's like a Hecate go its neck stuck in a pasta press. I don't blame the Hecate, not at all... (Safety first, children!)

Work in Updates

Hey Steve-O's how's that Durga/Saracen doing?


whitearrow: Status report on your heavy frigate!

Very good! Carry on.

headdie, how's that Wayfarer coming along?

That's some nice added detail and a unique asymmetrical rotator there. Hope to see it finished!

Lepanto, how's that Vasudan bomber going?

AO baked on and preliminary texturing in progress, sweet! I'm sure this is going to look amazing.

The Showoff Club

Oddgrim, how will you make us feel inadequate today?
A mega thread with a fighter, a miner and some rocks? Fine...

And I guess we can't forget download link to that fighter...

Scooby, what do you have for us today?
Released the Seagull/Skyhawk huh? (Link at bottom of the post)

And some WIP work on a strike bomber!

There's a neat thread over in the FRED forum, preventing mission tedium. It goes a little all over the place, but the original idea was "how do you make missions interesting and different from the repetitive and archtypical escort and attack missions?"

I would like to think that I know a thing or two about making interesting missions, but I don't like to boast. So let's look at someone equally, or more, qualified about this subject. TopAce and this month's spotlighted campaign, Luyten Civil War. TopAce has been around since like, forever, working on so many missions and campaigns, that its no surprise that his missions aren't just "archtypical escort and attack missions".

I guess we should go over the story first. So the Luyten system government (plus its navy) has decided to withdraw from the GTVA, and obviously the GTVA won't be having any of that! There's no hidden goals or super surprising twists, its mostly a straight military affair. The GTVA waltzes into Luyten without any trouble expecting an easy fight, but the Luyten people have some surprises and spies. I was expecting things like Shivans or Ancients like the usual twist is, but we stay on a fairly level and focused course. No real complaints there, and its nice to have a campaign where the stakes aren't unimaginably high. Instead of the whole galaxy, this conflict is just limited to poor old Luyten. (Which I guess is still kind of big)

So just how does the GTVA waltz in? Wouldn't you think they would set up Mjolnirs to protect their jump node? Well they did, so you need to go in and deactivate it. Hey, these enemy fighters are new, why can't we fly them?! Well I think I'll just go and STEAL SOME.

Oh my god is right. This IS the best fighter eveerrrrrr...

What's this? Attack a mining station with parked bombers all over it, with a military installation right next to it? I guess I better... choose my entry vector and then destroy the fighterbays on the military installation so it can't launch fighters! Attack a convoy, I think I'll...well, I'll keep that one quiet for now to avoid spoiling ALL of TopAce's secrets. Now, these ideas may not make "realistic sense", I mean swiping those Ezechiels without any real hassle seems too good to be true, but it doesn't matter. Because its unique and fun. We may be amateur storytellers, but we're game makers first and this shows why.

Plus you know, beams.

And for the... 5 of you that like to fly bombers instead of fighters, TopAce has the missions detect this and change the mission to more suit your deviant lifestyle (not that there's anything wrong with that!). By that I mean, instead of maybe 2 wings of fighters jumping out, there's a wing of fighters and a cruiser. Same with difficulty settings, there's all sorts of alternate arrangements to how you want to play the mission and now the mission arranges itself for you. It's a nice way to introduce replay value without having to go too far to get it.

Speaking of difficulty, its one of a few little complains about the campaign. There's some points in the campaign where it seems a little unfair for a new player. I must have played the parked bomber mission on medium like 10 times before rage-very easying it. I know some of my own missions can be prone to that sometimes, and there is some of the joy in a mission is to find an expert method at mercilessly executing a plan. Also my wingmen range from "adequate" to "shot out of the sky in 15 seconds", I guess I've gotten spoiled by other campaigns. I guess what I'm trying to say in that meandering paragraph is there's some rough spots, and depending on your attitude, you'll either jump for joy after finishing though rough spots, or make for the very easy button.

So I guess I'd like to end this review by saying, if you've ever come across making a mission and think "How do I make this interesting?" play Luyten Civil War and gain inspiration. You don't need to steal ideas from it, but look at the missions and how they added new and unique gameplay ideas to them while keeping it familiar.

Next month lets go to an oldie, Pandora's Box! Let's hope that by playing it we don't open up a well of pain and misery.

by mjn.mixael

Last month's theme was Fleets. This one was kind of a tough choice!
Betrayal with this very pretty shot of an Orion fleet and nearby planet.

There were several honorable mentions... so just go look at the whole thread again.
Screencap Scoreboard:
ssmit132 - 1
X3N0-Life-Form - 1
FreeSpaceFreak - 1
mjn.mixael - 1
Belisarius - 1
MatthTheGeek - 1
knossosfs2 - 1
Betrayal - 1
Still no runaway winner yet! Most have MOAR screenshots submitted each month! So here's another opportunity...
September's theme which is... EXPLOSIONS! KaBOOOM!
Watch those HUD gauges (especially that sneaky FPS gauge) and check out the Screencam Script to help you win a badge and bragging rights. You can see the rules and the previous winners here on the Wiki.

Your challenge: Related to the discussion about getting around mission tediousness, come up with an idea for an insane escort mission. Emphisis on INSANE. Let your imagination run wild!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 11:31:20 pm by Axem »


Offline headdie

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
awesome stuff once again :D

added to Reddit and Facebook

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Offline Goober5000

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
Your challenge: Related to the discussion about getting around mission tediousness, come up with an idea for an insane escort mission. Emphisis on INSANE. Let your imagination run wild!

Already done.  He Who Rides the Tiger, in Silent Threat: Reborn. :D


Offline Lorric

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
Your challenge: Related to the discussion about getting around mission tediousness, come up with an idea for an insane escort mission. Emphisis on INSANE. Let your imagination run wild!

Already done.  He Who Rides the Tiger, in Silent Threat: Reborn. :D

Get another challenge Axem, this one is over! :D


Offline Axem

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
You can always do better! If you ever think you've reached the pinnacle of any sort, then you're just not trying hard enough!

This challenge is far from dead!


Offline Lorric

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
You can always do better! If you ever think you've reached the pinnacle of any sort, then you're just not trying hard enough!

This challenge is far from dead!
Perhaps it could be fun. Since it's just about imagination...


Offline MatthTheGeek

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
Your challenge: Related to the discussion about getting around mission tediousness, come up with an idea for an insane escort mission. Emphisis on INSANE. Let your imagination run wild!
Already done. Forced Entry multi. Nothing is more Insane than a mission balanced for Insane.
People are stupid, therefore anything popular is at best suspicious.

Mod management tools     -     Wiki stuff!     -     Help us help you

666maslo666: Releasing a finished product is not a good thing! It is a modern fad.

SpardaSon21: it seems like you exist in a permanent state of half-joking misanthropy

Axem: when you put it like that, i sound like an insane person

bigchunk1: it's not retarded it's american!
bigchunk1: ...

batwota: steele's maneuvering for the coup de gras
MatthTheGeek: you mispelled grâce
Awaesaar: grace
batwota: oh right :P
Darius: ah!
Darius: yes, i like that
MatthTheGeek: the way you just spelled it it means fat
Awaesaar: +accent I forgot how to keyboard
MatthTheGeek: or grease
Darius: the killing fat!
Axem: jabba does the coup de gras
MatthTheGeek: XD
Axem: bring me solo and a cookie


Offline Oddgrim

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
Good newsletter as usual, axem c:
 Hurm, expolitions as a screenshot theme? Might as well jump on that. :p
[GhostOfMjn: I can provide hi res vasudan ass]
[Hades]: we have so much in common we should bang.
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Offline The E

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
Here's an idea for an insane escort mission:

You are escorting the GTD Hithere. The Hithere is fitted with an experimental AI control device that has unfortunately gone haywire and wants to kill everything except its own fighters. Even more unfortunately, this going haywire thing happened while the Hithere was giving a press conference, so there's lots of reporters, groupies, fans and pasta chefs around. Your job then is to get the crowd to keep a safe distance from the Hithere while it is being towed away to a safe rehab facility. You have to talk to people, explain to them why now is not a good time for autographs and stuff like that.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns


Offline Sandwich

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
How about an escort mission that's sort of like the movie "Speed" where you cannot slow down beyond a certain point, or Bad Things happen. Your escort is a show moving target bring attacked by slow boomers.
SERIOUSLY...! | {The Sandvich Bar} - Rhino-FS2 Tutorial | CapShip Turret Upgrade | The Complete FS2 Ship List | System Background Package

"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill


Offline Lorric

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
I've remembered an idea I had for my own campaign, but I most likely won't try it because it would be hard to balance.

The idea was that the player would be tasked with escorting a specific convoy. This convoy would be one of several convoys together. Then well over 100 Cordi fighters would jump in and swarm the convoys one by one with your convoy the last on their hit list, so it would be up to you to destroy the swarm before the swarm destroys all the convoys.


Offline Androgeos Exeunt

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Re: HLP Newsletter - September 2013
Here's a shoddy and unoriginal idea:

Something similar to FS2's last mission, Apocalypse, except that the escaping ships are converging on the Vega jump node from all directions as opposed to one. And add a Moloch corvette as well as a Hatshepsut getting blown up (which might ruin mission balance [even further] if any of its debris hits the convoys).
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Nobody's allowed out over here anyway.   I nominate E (as a fair and just overlord) to arrange a Zoom HLP Social.

wait what