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!)IT'S OUT!
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)Releases:
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.
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.
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
whitearrow: Status report on your heavy frigate!
Very good! Carry on.
headdie, how's that Wayfarer
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?
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.
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 - 1Betrayal - 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!