Just finished this, I'm not good at writing reviews for things so I'll keep it short:
Narrative/Writing: ehh, to be 100% honest, it didn't feel natural- the pilots seemed overly jock-ish in situations where any other person would either maintain professionalism and/or be silently terrified. Overuse of F word. (Protip: swears lose meaning the more they are used both IRL and in writing.) Some of command's early decisions seemed over-the-top. Also I could barely stop myself from shooting down Nelson.
I second this. Exile's writing doesn't feel natural to me either, but then as I understand it, Exile's writers learned English as a second language and it shows. (Which makes sense, because IIRC Nyctaeus and many of Exile's designers are from Poland.) After I got back to HLP a few months ago, I offered my editing services to Nyctaeus to edit Exile's story and dialogue so that it reading it doesn't seem so choppy or forced, as well as to get rid of the (more) nonsensical technobabble such as the stuff about Object 419's "biometal" or "biocrystalline" core components. And don't even get me started about Doctor Banner observing Object 419 "emitting gamma waves" while still being in the same room with it without radiation protection. Seriously, gamma wave exposure is DEADLY. I changed all references to Object 419's gamma waves to "quantum pulses" instead. It evokes ETAK without directly mentioning ETAK. Which reminds me, I also deleted (and will delete if I find more) any in-game mentions of ETAK because that's a huge plot hole for Exile: How could the Terrans fleeing Sol know anything about ETAK if they were trapped in the Sol system while Bosch was running around using ETAK in the Shivan nebula?
It's stuff like that that really irritates me about poorly written Freespace mods.
But I have good news. I'm just about done editing the species table file, which contains the bulk of Exile's backstory found in the techroom. Holy crap
, the history entries in Exile's techroom really
needed the edits I made in order to make sense of them because I couldn't sense of Exile's backstory with all the misspellings and mixed metaphors. But I (like to think that I) edited them well enough that the text should be a lot more coherent now. Once I polish it up after a bit of clarification from Nyctaeus on one or two last minute issues, I'll send him the final corrections of the species tbl file.
Of course, the species table file is just the start of my work: I still have to edit the ship descriptions in the ships table, the weapon descriptions in the weapons table, the messages table (to make sure they're grammatically correct) and finally the fiction text files. (I've already done some piecemeal editing in these files.) And once all that is done, I'll have to edit the in-mission dialogue. I expect I'll need FRED to do that but hopefully it won't take too long; I'm just editing in-mission messages, not reprogramming the missions themselves. I can't use FRED worth a damn.
I expect that I'll be working on this for a few more months but I expect to get it done before Exile's next update (whenever that might be).
The work continues.
EDIT: I've only played the first 2 or 3 missions in Exile and I haven't read anything of these discussion posts, because (believe it or not) I'm trying to avoid spoilers, as strange as that sounds. For the purposes of my editing, I have to remain unaware of Exile's overall story so that spoilers/details of Exile's story I already know about don't throw me off from a "first-time reader's" perspective. If I know too much about Exile's story as I edit it, then I might miss a plot hole or other error that won't make sense to a first-time reader/player who won't have the background knowledge to resolve that plot hole.
Yeah, it's kinda like the guy editing a screenplay who has to tell the test screen audience, "NO SPOILERS!" Weird, but that's the kinda stuff that happens when you edit a story several years after it was released.