Wednesday, September 29, 2004

For the People, By the People: Monday through Wednesday

Bridge Commander: now hosts the Galaxy Captain's Yacht by Mr. John, the Le'Duk by Mr. John, the MVAM Fusion Cube v1.1 by Mr. John, the NX Galaxy MVAM Fix by Masterwindu, the Windrunner Prototype by Starforce Productions Team, the K'Tinga Class Battlecruiser by Wraithzero, and the Brinok by zeljko. And from the BC Universe forum, new mods include Dragon_UK's Borg E-Bridge Retexture v1.3 and Borg Crew v2.0, Zombie Zan's Melak Warbird, DJcube's Scrolling Mutators Pak, and Adonis' Borg Cone.

Freespace 2:
Gai Daigoji's nineteen-mission Neo Terra campaign can now be downloaded.

Homeworld 2:
TheStressPuppy has begun a mods tutorial thread in the HW2 Star Trek forum. Links have been added to a research tutorial, ship exporting in Maya, and weapon configuration information. HW2 Warlords, a Star Wars TC, has been updated to v0.30 Patch 2.

DamoclesX has posted another update on his upcoming B5 TC and is looking for mirrors.

Flight Commander Update

The CIC has a development update from Eddie Benowitz regarding his Wing Commander-inspired freeware space sim, Flight Commander.

Nexus Preview

GameShark offers a preview of Mithis' Nexus - The Jupiter Incident, which is based upon the single-player demo.

Star Trek: The Neutral Zone v2.0

As seen at STGU, Cateia Games has released v2.0 of their arcade space shooter, Star Trek: The Neutral Zone.

Void War Interview have an interview with Jay Barnson of Rampant Games on their just released space-sim Void War.

Source: Blue's

X2 Download Updates

Egosoft has updated the download page for registered X2 users with a new script (Station Management Software) and fixes/updates for other scripts.

Combat Log Analyzer v0.09 and Blog Update announces that Combat Log Analyzer v0.09 is now available. This EVE tool allows players to analyze combat logs. A change log is also online.

There's also a new dev blog by Oveur regarding packets and information from players.

Void War (Officially) Released

Rampant Games has announced the release of their space combat title, Void War. As previously announced, a demo can be downloaded and the game may be purchased online. Thanks to Veloxi for the news (via Blue's).

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

DarkSpace v1.4822

DarkSpace has been updated to v1.4822. From the change log:

- Removed the gadget destroyed messages.
- Implemented new priority based queue for sending data to clients. This queue will hold nouns/verbs in memory until enough bandwidth is available to send to the client.
- Increased the scope of the syncronized ship verb to global, since the new priority data queue will keep the verb from flooding low-bandwidth clients. Ships in the metaverse will update their positions more often, preventing ship ghosting near spawn points.

Over the past few day or two, there have also been developer updates on the UDP layer and beta testing.

ATFW Status Update

Updates will be slow in the next little while. I'm currently in the middle of a move, which is complicated by the fact that I will be in temporary housing for about a month and then have to relocate again (although next time it will be a much more manageable distance). If you have news, as always, send it to me or feel free to leave the news in a comment.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Haegemonia v1.10

Digital Reality has issued a patch for Haegemonia:

New 1.10 patch for Haegemonia. This small file is for use for players with new generation graphic cards. If you experience the problem of having "invisible units" after loading in a saved game, please download this file to get rid of that problem.

Thanks to Blue's and 3DGamers.

For the People, By the People: Sunday Drive Edition

Bridge Commander: serves up the New England (Cruiser), the Xindi Aquatic Dreadnought, and the TOS Total Uniform Conversion Mod.

You can find BlazeMe's Extra Cargo and Weapons mod at the Lancers Reactor.

Freespace 2:
Singh was kind enough to offer a description of his campaign, which made yesterday's FTP, BTP:

With almost the entire GTVA forces and systems annihalated after mutual destruction with the Shivans, it is upto the surviving forces at the Aleph system to re-explore the remains of the battlefields and pick up the pieces of a once-proud empire. But the re-exploration of GTVA space reveals a dark secret of what exactly had happened, and of things to come.

There are new screenshots from Blackwater Operations.

Klingon Academy:
Bobby has released the intro movie for The Korvat Incident campaign.

Vega Strike:
etheral walker shows off his Narn Frazi fighter.

Reven is looking for beta testers for his Turret AI script.

EVE Developer Blogs has new developer blogs from CCP Hammer (loot drops) and Hellmar (adding game time to accounts).

Saturday, September 25, 2004

David Braben Interview

CVG chats briefly with David Braben about the upcoming Elite IV, which is apparently still in development and also "still a long way off". Thanks Blue's.

For the People, By the People: Saturday

Bridge Commander: hosts a Sovereign Class bridge retexture by Captain Raven and a Th'Nor Light Cruiser by Wok.

Lancer's Reactor has word of the Omega Systems Beta v1.3 by Cooler Cheater (single-player and multiplayer add-on) and the Rebalance v3.5 Beta3 Music Teaser Pack by Zod.

Lastly, a patch has been released for the TNG mod, bringing it to v2.2. According the Starfyre Studios' site:

This patch fixed several crashing errors and problems that were going on. It's much more stable and the number of console errors has been greatly reduced.

Freespace 2:
The Starfox mod is looking for help. Singh has posted screenshots and an update regarding the upcoming campaign, "No Turning Back". Deepblue has posted a Babylon Project-related mission, "Reciprocity".

After much discussion about writing a new Hardman on Captain Zedo's boards, Ian Martin confirms that a modified Hardman will be included in the UIM01 patch, and that he also intends to write a new version in the future, along with source code.

Klingon Academy:
Moogle has released a Fenlon Class Monitor, a Saladin Class Light Frigate, and an Akula Class Light Destroyer.

DamoclesX has posted an update on the status of the B5: Hold the Line mod.

Void War for Free

The CIC will be giving away three copies of Void War that requires only the skills and brain-power required to fire away an email. Details are at the CIC, of course.

SWG: JtL Rebel Pilot Guide

The official SWG site presents the "Getting Started as a Rebel Pilot" guide.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Nexus - The Jupiter Incident Demo

As seen at the official Nexus site:

The Battle at Stonehenge

The Gorgs, a wild, militant warrior-race, have attacked battle station Stonehenge in the Cyrus System. You, in charge of the defenders of the battle station, are facing critical numerical superiority. Three tiny base-defending frigates and one small tactical destroyer are the remaining forces of the human fleet. Your ships only have limited weaponry; you and your fellow humans need help. Either your ships rely on their speed and succeed in breaking through the blockade, or you launch a surprise attack on the enemy and destroy the radio jamming device.

Be a part of events prior to the release of Nexus - The Jupiter Incident! Familiarize yourself with a small group of characters from the game! Lead them to victory!

The demo is one mission and can be played on three difficulty levels. With a couple of ships at your disposal you need to defend a space station while trying to get help and not be noticed by your enemies, the Gorgs. Pay close attention to all communications as you are thrown into the action immediately.

The official site lists mirrors; Blue's also has a list.

Void War Released

The full version of Void War is now available for purchase; you can also check out a demo (a very reasonable 10.5 MB download) before you buy.

SWG: JtL Chat Log

SWG Stratics has posted the log of yesterday's Star War Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed chat. Topics include formation flying, ship upgrades, and landing areas.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

For the People, By the People: Thursday

Bridge COmmander: offers Mr. John's Death Star II v1.0.

Today, Lancers Reactor sports Acid's Starfriar (a modified Starflier), Asmo's Shroud, The Next Generation v2.1 (bug fixes), an updated DP Mod for's Open Beta Server, and a Jet Black Civilian Skin by Megatog615.

Nexus - The Jupiter Incident Interview

Accompanying their preview a few days ago, Eurogamer also has an interview with HD Interactive's Zsolt Nyulászi, who talks about the game's history and well-known name changes (including a fun bit on the "most stupid name of human history"), the completion of the game and its impending release, and the game engine.

EVE Agents Blog Update scoops the latest blog update by CCP developer t20 regarding agents.

For the People, By the People: Wednesday

Bridge Commander: hosts a Lt. Commander Roper bridge mod by Quillick that replaces Miguel with the author of the mod. (Nevermind that I instantly envisioned Mr. Roper from Three's Company and thought it was a bit extreme--but not totally implausible--that he'd join Starfleet just to get away from Mrs. Roper.)

Lancers Reactor has a screenshot from the Privateer: The Reckoning mod.

Freespace 2:
After a couple of days of database errors, Hardlight Productions has reemerged from the black (and white).

Ian Martin has stated that the beta test mentioned yesterday should begin in two weeks. All slots have been filled.

The Commander's Space Station offers another ship building guide. This one focuses on the X Shuttle.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

New Void War Designer Notes Entry

The latest (and last) entry of the Void War Designer Notes is now online. This entry covers pick-ups and why they were included. The entry also states that Void War is very close to release and that the team is in bug-fixing mode.

Starshatter v4.0.3 Released

Matrix Games announces the availability of Starshatter v4.0.3:

Starshatter v4.0.3 is now online. You can grab your copy by clicking on the Members link from the main page and following the links to Starshatter or by going to the Downloads page. We recommend that all Starshatter owners update to this release version as soon as possible. Take a look at the change list below:

This patch fixes the following issues with
Starshatter 4.0.0

1. Fighters no longer marked killed in action when landing
2. Reduced damage radius on starbase
3. Improved landing path for allied starbase
4. Increased atmospheric AI hard deck to reduce ground
5. Campaign medals now properly awarded after completing
6. Increased stand-off range for starship target approach AI
7. Added wide-screen video mode support (1280 x 800)
8. Player self-destruct penalty is now correctly applied
9. Attack target command has been made ship-specific
10. HUD shows velocity as a negative number if ship is flying
11. Starship missiles no longer target mines
12. Added "Hold" order to tactical view Action menu
13. Campaign mission generator can now handle players assigned
to fighters stationed at ground-side starbases
14. Smooth-scrolling side views in F1 cockpit camera mode
15. AI pilots acknowledge RTB and Dock radio orders
16. Built-in data files are now filtered from the mod config
17. Adjusted aim-point for ground targets
18. Adjusted mouse wheel sampling for greater throttle precision
19. AUTO time skip will now exit when player gets near enemy
units - both for safety and to remove a minor exploit
20. Carriers will now bug out to a random sector when threatened
21. Corrected campaign scoring of sorties and kills for fighter
22. ILS hoops are now easier to see when using HUD daylight
color setting
23. Self-destruct may now be bound to a joystick key
24. Fixed aiming parameters for port-side point defense batteries
25. Fixed starboard hardpoint on Falcon fighter

This patch fixes the following issues with
Starshatter 4.0.1:

26. Fixed several CTD errors
27. Increased carrier sensor range by 50%
28. Improved carrier AI response to threats
29. Improved fighter AI RTB behavior
30. Added limited hull repair to severely damaged starships
between campaign missions
31. Fixed minor object placement issues in Hegemony order of
32. Improved point defense weapon aiming
33. Carriers will no longer bug out to a planetary sector

This patch fixes the following issues with
Starshatter 4.0.2:

34. Fixed a CTD when exiting mission with fighter on runway
35. Fixed a CTD associated with ship destruction during battle
36. Fixed a rare CTD associated with certain save games
37. Fixed fighter AI landing behavior
38. Fixed campaign duplication when deploying empty mods
39. Fixed system override function in engineering screen
40. Improved strike fighter targeting of enemy starships
41. Fixed hostile weapon damage when friendly fire is disabled
42. Added support for specular texture maps
43. Corrected several scripting errors in Operation Highland
44. Fixed minor object placement issues in Dantari order of
45. Fixed parsing of Galaxies in packaged mods

DarkSpace Developer Update

Faustus gives another update on network code changes, the queing of nouns (game objects), and a timeline for a testing patch and the live patch.

EVE Blog Updates

EVE Portal reports on blog updates by TomB (NPC pirates and spawning issues) and Oveur (the recent Tranquility server cluster updates).

Homeplanet English Distribution Poll

Nick has posted a thread and poll at the Homeplanet forum regarding the release of an English version of the game.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

For the People, By the People: Tuesday

Klingon Academy:
Marcus has posted his Peregrine fighter for download.


The Commander's Space Station hosts a Design Studies for Ship Building. Reven's made available a tutorial on scripting.

Hardwar Patch UIM01 Update

Ian Martin posted the following update on the UIM01 Hardware patch:

A quick update:-

The clicking bug is fixed.
The W buffering is done.
The navigation problem from Alpha to Haven is fixed.
New grafix added.
Compression added to large outgoing link packets. Still testing, a random sample compression rate is 17% (lots of same bytes!) to 92%.
More to do on the link game.
Need to be able to build Hardman.

I hope to have it out to beta test in early October now. I plan to let 6 people have it for 2 weeks, longer if a fatal problem shows up.

Who'd like to test it? The first 6 private messages with an email address are welcome to help.

If you have time to test, be sure to check out the thread at Captain Zedo's.

B5: IFH Update Coming Soon

I've Found Her Project Leader Renderer has posted an update at the B5: IFH forum:

The update, in general, is ready (including skirmish mode). It was in beta-testing stage for quite some time, right now we're fighting with some modelling issues. As soon as we fix them, the update will be released.

DarkSpace Developer Update

Faustus has posted another developer update on the DarkSpace developer announcement board. Again, this post regards connectivity and networking issues.

SWG: JtL Updates

Lucasarts has revamped their Jump to Lightspeed website, with information on starships, sectors, and playable races. One of those races--the Sullustans--are featured in an article by artist Jason Minor at Further, SWG Stratics reports that cap ships will not be not playable. Lastly, SWG Stratics will be hosting a House of Commons chat with SWG developers on Wednesday, September 22 at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST.

UPDATE: The House of Commons chat has been postponed until Thursday, September 23 at 5 PM PST/8 PM PST.

B5: SCTS Site

Carlos sent word that B5: SCTS has its own site now. The site also includes various B5 mods for Starfleet Command 2.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Nexus Preview

Eurogamer previews Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, offering details on the space strategy combat title from Mithis based on a presentation. Thanks Blue's.

Heads Up: Babylon 5 Starship Commander Tactical Simulator

(And we will be referring to this one as B5: SCTS in the future.) Thanks to Darkblade at the HLP forums for pointed out the existence of B5: SCTS, a freeware game in the style of Starfleet Command. The developer is Carlos Bott, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. I contacted him for futher information (including whether the game was still in development), and here's what he had to say:

The game is definitely in production. I just coded the jumpgate and jumpgate vortex effects, and am currently working on a planetary atmosphere glow effect.

The game's idea is based upon Taldren's Starfleet Command Series. The B5: I've Found Her Fighter Simulation was also an inspiration for the project.

Since re-starting the program in June, I have changed the graphics engine from TrueVision3D to Conitec A6 Game Studio, due to better and advanced graphics possible with the engine (particle, vertex and pixel shaders).

I have most of the Babylon 5 ships from the Babylon 5 Wars board game (from Agents-of-Gaming) models converted for in-game use. I have used the Homeworld B5 mod as a starting point for the models, but will use models provided by DamoclesX (doing the B5 Starshatter Mod), and by Atherohaven. I have coded basic navigation within a system and have begun programming on the ships systems (some ships having up to 24
weapons hardpoints alone). I will be using RazorAI for my AI system once that AI package is released. There will be an alpha test, which is about six months away - primarily due to my Computer Science teaching duties with the University of Maryland, followed by a private beta and a public release. A non-Babylon 5 version generic combat game is also a possibility.

We'll keep our eyes on this one and continue to report as it progresses. Thanks to Carlos for the quick response.

For the People, By the People: Monday

Bridge Commander:
New today are Madon's Enterprise A bridge modification, Banbury's random encounter script, Defiant's distress call mod, and Defiant's QBautostart Extension 0.7.

skyshooter's released FL ID Referrer 1.06 (at Lancers Reactor), which allows modders to view, edit, and create infocards in Freelancer.

Privateer 2:
Thomas Perl's patch for Privateer 2, which allows the DOS version of the game to run in Windows, has been updated to v2.0. Thanks CIC.

Vega Strike:

etheral walker shows off his Centauri Sentry Fighter, Whitestar, and EA Freighter.

Steve Robertson on Paper Models

And in the Independence War realm, Steve Robertson has posted information on modeling a station and on the corvette model:

Doing a station would be no more difficult than any other model really. Salt-lake is mainly cylinders. The main rotating section might be tricky - you'd probably have to use a wooden dowell for support.

The I-War standard 'hangar' station should be fairly easy to do.

I must get going on the Corvette. I've re-moddelled a lot of it to give it a buildable structure, but I need to re-do the textures.

Ian Martin on Hardwar Design and Source Code

At Captain Zedo's, Ian Martin has given more information on the design of Hardwar and on whom might own the source code now:

The design was a mutual thing, a group effort, but Gremlin insisted that the videos and plot be placed withing the game.

The source code would have been owned by SR, and that ownership would presumably have passed to the liquidator.

Freelancer: TNG Mod v2.0 (Really, Truly, Seriously)

The Freelancer TNG mod v2.0 has been re-released; everything seems good (hasn't been pulled since yesterday), so this should be the appropriate proper one. Really. What is the TNG mod?

The Starfyre Team of Reynen, Bob the Dog and Spawn have done an excellent job of adding to the Freelancer Universe. 10 systems, 14 factions, 75 custom ships and upgradeable power supplies, engines, scanners and tractor beams but the highlight of this version has to be the flyable stations. It's quite a site to see one flying around.

For those of you new to the The Next Generation MOD your in for a real treat. This Singleplayer and Multiplayer compatible 90 Meg modification of Freelancer adds tons of all the goodies that make playing Freelancer exciting.

Read more at Lancers Reactor.

Cross-Platform EVE?

CCP's Hallmar recently posted (thanks on the feasibility of porting and supporting a cross-platform EVE:

Hellmar writes on the official EVE site:

Noticed this petition about adopting EVE to more operating systems. This topic has often been discussed here at CCP but it always boils down to were we should focus our efforts, i.e. should we port to Mac and/or Linux or concentrate on making existing platform even smoother.

Nothing would be done until after Shiva of course, I would still be interested to hear what you think.

- Hellmar

There is a thread at the EVE Online forums regarding this issue.

Starflight III and Ur-Quan Masters

Since we were out of commission for a while, I hope you'll forgive some late news (I have faith in your generosity of spirit). Nick points out that back in August, the Starflight III team released the Navigation Tech Demo. Nick also shared with us that The Ur-Quan Masters (that would be Star Control 2 incognito) v0.3 is also available. So if you've missed these earlier releases, do check them out. Thanks, Nick!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

For the People, By the People: Sunday Drive Edition

Bridge Commander:
MadJohn has released a stack (not recommended) of Battlestar Galactica ships for use with Bridge Commander, including the

Colonial Shuttle, Haphaestus, EA Destroyer, Mineral Ship, and Armistice Station. Grab those at BC Files.

Freespace 2:
Kazan has released VP Maker v1.6. New features include:

  • "old" interface available

  • VP to VP Copy (accessable via "old interface")

There are newish screenshots at the Twisted Infinities website.


Snakebite has released the Alien Moth fix, which now allows players to complete the game's plot using the Alien Moth. Also, see this thread at Captain Zedo's.

Homeworld 2:
The good news: the Freespace 2 TC for Homeworld 2 has been updated to v.33 (beta). The bad news: the bandwidth for the month has been exceeded. If you have hosting space or simply want to know more about the latest changes in the TC, please have a
look at HLP's thread on the topic (and thanks to HLP for the heads up).

Klingon Academy:
Moogle's released another ship and now offers the Sydney Class Corvette.

There are some additional screenshots from the B5: Holding the Line mod.

SWG: JtL Imperial Pilot Guide

The official Star Wars Galaxies site offers a "Getting Started" guide for the Imperial Pilot class, which will be available in Jump to Lightspeed. Thanks SWG Warcry.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Vega Strike v0.4.2

From the "I swear this wasn't posted on the fifteenth" file, the Vega Strike team has released a new version of the Windows version of the space sim to v0.4.2. Changes include the inclusion in an insystem FTL, trading stats, and several other changes for mod developers.

Freelancer TNG v2.0 Mod (And No, Not that TNG)

I haven't really begun to seriously cruise the fansites yet, but this mod is so huge, I think it deserves its own post. Starfyre Studios has released its 90MB Freelancer modification--The Next Generation v2.0. This is one meaty mod, so I'm only going to post the twenty-nine point list. Please check this post at the Lancers Reactor for full notes and a download link.

1. Over 75 new ships added to the Freelancer Universe.
2. Over 500 new pieces of equipment (Weapons, shields, engines, thrusters, upgrades, and more)!
3. Over 20 new commodities for you to buy and sell.
4. Over 40 new music tracks for systems, bars, and intros.
5. Over 45 new sounds for various equipment & weapons.
6. 3 buyable battle stations for players.
7. Core return program for expensive ships.
8. 10 additional systems.
9. 14 additional factions.
10. A gauntlet in the arena for players to run with over 20 grueling trials.
11. Internal police featuring Starfyre creators & ships.
12. New costumes for Trent, Juni, and King.
13. An arena system where players can test there metal against NPC or PVP.
14. Planets use a new system for docking, no more old docking rings.
15. New Freelancer menu with advanced options (Difficulty level, more graphic, key, & sound options).
16. Player ships now drop loot when killed.
17. Greatly improved ship customization options.
18. New movement & ship controls.
19. Upgraded graphics, sound, and physics engine.
20. Massive explosion / weapon enhancements.
21. Greatly enhanced “Identity” engine.
22. Greatly improved AI tactical & offensive capabilities.
23. Improved & more difficult single player campaign mode.
24. Anti-Hack / Cheat systems to help improve game integrity.
25. Police system for administrators.
26. New solo missions, Capital ship missions.
27. New group missions, Battle stations.
28. Different starting ship.
29. An extremely comprehensive & detailed manual.

EDITED (September 19, 2004): Not the mod you're looking for--apparently, the posted mod was not ready for primetime. Lancers Reactor has pulled it pending the release of the correct file.

Friday, September 17, 2004

For the People, By the People: Friday

Klingon Academy:
Moogle has uploaded his Tyrusian Imperial Fleet and the Regula R1 Class Station. Also, diforce has released a SFC conversion for KA--the Galor Class Warship.


There are even more pics from the B5: Hold the Line TC.

Vega Strike:

Two more from etheral walker--the Centauri Personal Liner and the (non-canon) EA Tempest Class Cruiser.

Independence War Paper Models Website

In Southern parlance, hot damn. The Independence War Paper Models website is now online.

Steve Robertson also answered a question about the models at the IW forum:

The Freighters were made using the original textures as a base. Hot4Darmat has tweaked them extensively, however. In fact he had to place each panel of the texture MANUALLY on the photoshop outlines as he couldn't get the textures to work in the paper model program.

The C-Fighter has been completely re-textured, as the textures on the original model weren't very detailed at all (It was after all very small on your screen). I'm fortunate in that I worked out how to get the model with textures into the editor.

Hot4Darmat also used the original, unmodified models, but I had to re-model the C-Fighter to make it buildable. I also added some extra detail that was present in the cut-scenes, but not in the real-time model.

A lot of work went into making the models, I hope you all enjoy building them. Let's see some photos of them when you've finished them!

Thanks go again to Steve Robertson and Hot4Darmat for the models and the site.

EVE Developer Chat Log

Eve-I has a log of the September 15 chat with Oveur and Kieron (and various other CCPers). Topics include the manufacturing process, blueprints, bloodlines, research, skills, and ship recharges.

EVE Online 14-Day Trial

As of September 14, offers a 14-day trial version of EVE. Thanks Nick Kal.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Interview with Jay Barnson of Rampant Games

Recently, I chatted with Jay Barnson from Rampant Games, developer of Void War. I want to thank Jay for the great answers and the quick turnaround. He also sent two screenshots (1, 2). Enough preface. On with the interview.


You’ve mentioned previously that development began on Void War in December 2002 but that it didn’t become the serious, day-to-day obsession in your life until Summer 2003. How long had you been thinking of developing a space combat title? Has the state of the genre and any of the genre’s recent releases altered your concepts? How have your concepts for the game changed over time?

I’ve been wanting to do a first-person, in-cockpit space combat game since I first discovered video games. One that I think of that really blew me away as a kid was a sit-down arcade game called Starfire—by Exidy, I think. They had speakers right behind you that rumbled the whole cockpit when you shot down the enemy ships (which as I recall looked close enough to a certain movie property’s enemy ships that they were lucky George Lucas didn’t pay them much attention). When I taught myself computer programming as a twelve-year-old, it was to make games, and doing a 3D space combat game was always high on the list of things to do. Many years later, when I first played Wing Commander and X-Wing, the idea was re-invigorated. In fact, that was the point at which I decided to make a go of making games professionally. When I finished college, that’s just what I did.

Void War’s design was inspired by disappointment and frustrations with other multiplayer space combat games. I had some buddies who enjoyed LAN games of combat flight sims and the few multiplayer space combat sims. We’d have such a great time with the missions and dogfights of the flight sims, but the space combat sims just left us feeling flat. One point of contention was the lack of physics. In flight sims, managing your “E” or energy—speed and altitude, rate and radius of turn, etc.—is EVERYTHING in a dogfight. That’s what made it fun and exciting against other players. But in space combat sims, you just kinda point at the enemy and shoot. We thought that just adding some degree of Newtonian physics to the games would solve everything.

We were wrong, as a point of fact. But it was a good starting point.

I also rebelled against the trend of increasing complexity. As the genre has evolved, so has the task-overload for players. It seemed that the games kept giving players more and more things he had to control, rather than giving him more things he could do with what he already controlled. Does that make sense? Kind of a breadth-versus-depth issue. My concern is that the increasing complexity and difficulty of controls were scaring off potential new players—which meant the genre could only shrink. So with Void War, we tried hard to keep the number and difficulty of controls to a minimum. And wherever possible, we tried to prevent the player from making mistakes due to ignorance.

An example of this was the missiles. A missile guides in on a locked target. So what happens if you fire without having a lock? Originally, the missile just fired straight ahead. A lot of players, new to the genre, didn’t understand about locking a target, and wondered why their missiles never hit anything. My first response was to say, “Hey, learn to lock a target before you fire a missile.” But then I thought about it, and said, “The player’s rushed and new. Why shouldn’t the game—or the ship—automatically figure out what he’s trying to do and just DO it?” So launching a missile automatically locks the target most directly in front of you, and new players don’t get frustrated anymore.

There are six ships available in Void War. Can you list the ships and give some specs? Is there any particular influence you can cite regarding ship design?

Well, the specs are currently in flux, as we’re constantly tweaking them for balance. The ships differ in a lot of ways. You have thrust and turn “power” relative to their mass. You also have what I jokingly refer to as “space drag”—your ships do slow down in Void War’s version of space. Not realistic, but more fun. Then you have hull strength and shield strength—when your shield goes down, your hull takes damage, and when your hull goes away you explode. Shield regeneration rate. You have a maximum speed for each ship—another concession to gameplay over realism, but it works. Blaster configuration is actually pretty significant in the game—whether your weapons cycle one at a time (giving you a rapid rate of fire) or fire all at once (bigger punch) and how they are spread. The firebolt, for example, has more of a “shotgun” configuration—four blasters positioned far apart which all fire at once. It’s very easy to hit, but you can only fire slowly, and it’s hard to hit with all four shots at once. But if you do, your opponent will be hurting.

Each ship also has special abilities, which really make them unique. The Renown has a “vampire” attack, which drains power from a nearby enemy ship to augment its own. The Nighthawk has a “hyperspace” ability, which is kind of a “panic button” borrowed from several classic arcade games (not to mention the original videogame, SpaceWar!). It teleports the ship to a random location. My favorite trick in multiplayer is to fly directly towards a pick-up in the Nighthawk which is right in front of a dangerous obstacle. I hit hyperspace right before I collide—if my timing is right and the connection isn’t too laggy, I’ll hyperspace out to safety and leave whoever was chasing me to deal with smashing into the side of an asteroid.

We’ve broken the ships into three categories—beginner, intermediate, and expert. The beginner ships are the Firebolt and Intrepid. These two ships are slow, experience lots of “space drag” so beginners won’t have to fight inertia so much. Knowing how beginners tend to play, these ships are also geared more towards offense and getting into ‘slugfests’—they have powerful hull armor and very straightforward offensive special abilities.

The “Advanced” ships are very fast and nimble, slide a lot due to inertia, are a little more fragile (though the Tempest regenerates shields at an incredible rate), and have special abilities that are a little more subtle. But they can fly circles around the less advanced ships—though you’ll need a great deal of skill to be able to fly them effectively.

The “Intermediate” ships include the Nighthawk and the Renown. They fall in-between the two extremes.

Guns will be primary weapons and from my understanding, must be used to complete any kill. What other sorts of weapons are available? Are there any counter-measures?

Guns are the main attack in Void War, by design. We wanted it to be a game about gunnery, not lobbing missiles at long range from behind space stations. But guided missiles are fun, so we didn’t want to get rid of them entirely. The solution was to make missiles that have a debilitating effect, rather than a lethal one.

Easier said than done. We brainstormed as a group to come up with different effects missiles could have that would be powerful but not overwhelming. Except for the explosive missile, they all have temporary effects—the duration based upon how crippling the effect is (the most crippling missile—the EMP—has the shortest duration of only about five seconds). In the end, we settled on five types of standard missiles:

EMP Missile: Completely wipes out a ship’s controls and sends it spinning
Warp-Web Missile: Slows a ship’s acceleration and turn ability
Ion Disruptor Missile: Wipes out all stores and regeneration of a ship’s special ability
Leech Missile: Prevents a ship from regenerating energy levels (for shields, engines, and blasters)
Explosive Missile: Standard damage-dealing missile

We were worried about introducing a new control for countermeasures, and so instead the main defense is simply to dodge the missile (or dive behind cover). Since we already had controls to roll the ship, we also added a chance for missiles to lose tracking of you if you confuse them in a violent roll. This added another layer of depth to the game, as only skilled players can really control their ship in a roll like that.

There are pick-ups in maps. What types of pick-ups? Will these pick-ups be available only in multiplayer or in single-player as well?

The pick-ups are in all modes. There are pick-ups for each type of missile. There are also two defensive pick-ups. One is a “hardened shield” pickup which cuts all damage to your ship in half and also prevents any of the debilitating effects from working against you while it is active. The other is the “Stealth” pickup, which takes you off everyone’s radar and makes you impossible for missiles to track.

There are two “healing” pick-ups, for lack of another term. One recharges all of your ship’s systems (GREAT when you are still under the influence of a leech missile), the other repairs damage to your hull (the only way your hull ever gets repaired).

There is one other type of pick-up that only appears late in the campaign game.

The pick-ups were a hard design choice. My dev team and testers kept suggesting ideas for pick-up items in the game. This drove me up the wall! “This isn’t a first-person shooter,” I protested, “It’s a space combat “sim” with a taste of realistic Newtonian physics! Nobody’s going to take it seriously if it has pick-ups!”

After fuming over it for a few months, I realized they were right. Did I want Void War to be taken seriously or did I want it to be FUN? Fun had to win out. Once I added pick-ups, they COMPLETELY changed the game. The pseudo-Newtonian physics combined with small objects you WANTED to collide with added a whole dimension to gameplay! It was amazing. And of course it started a lot of complaints about it being too hard to grab the pick-ups, especially in the advanced, twitchier ships. BINGO!

Tell us about the campaign. How many missions are included? Are there any branching points in the campaign?

I want to say around twenty-three missions in the campaign… I don’t have the game in front of me right now to double-check. It’s not branching…that would be something for a larger game (one I sure wouldn’t mind doing in the future…) We had a lot of fun with the storyline. Originally we were going to do something serious and conventional. I played with a lot of ideas, but needed to keep it very simple. I had trouble creating something short and simple that wasn’t also hackneyed and cliché. In the end, I just said, “Ah, screw it. Let’s have FUN with clichés.” So we have a somewhat tongue-in-cheek plot. Maybe not laugh-out-loud comedy, but definitely erring on the side of fun.

In single-player, will the player ever have wingmen, or will the player fulfill the role of one mad pilot against the universe?

Mostly one mad player against the universe. He does have an ally towards the end of the game, but she’s got her own problems to deal with, so the player won’t get much help from her.

Did you have any gameplay goals in mind for the campaign that would make Void War different from other space combat titles?

The focus for the whole game was to do a game about DOGFIGHTING—the thrill of one-on-one combat which could be taken to many-versus-many. Flying and fighting. I wanted to pull the focus away from conflicting mission objectives, management of multiple flights, and complex systems. In a sense, we’ve ended up with something that is kind of a hybrid between a first-person shooter and a space combat sim—the best of both worlds. While I think there could be room for a more complex, mission-based Void War game in the future with the really unique space dogfighting “core” that we have, I wanted to concentrate on the basics and really make that shine.

Void War: Crunchy or chewy?

Crunchy. Way crunchy.

You’ve spoken quite a bit about the hybrid flight engine and the reasoning behind using one (namely to force combat to depend upon the person’s skills and not the machine’s skills). What’s been the response from your testers? Is there a learning curve for players who have never had experience with a Newtonian engine and the capabilities of that kind of engine? Is the engine adjustable in single-player (i.e., can the engine be dumbed down)?

The original concept that excited people was to take the physics from the classic arcade game, “Asteroids”—just enough of a realistic “feel” to make it cool and different. When we actually got that going, though, it turned out to be a lot less fun in 3D, when you can’t see the whole battlefield. Even guys who were proponents of the idea admitted that it wasn’t much fun. I toned the physics down a little and made it easier to control.

I added difficulty levels which have a slight effect on the dynamics (mainly, they reduce the damage you take from impact against obstacles when your flying skills aren’t up to snuff). But mainly, we addressed this problem with the three categories of ships. The beginner ships are very forgiving and easy to fly. When you are comfortable flying those, you can move on to the Intermediate-class ships, which have a lot more “slide” to them. The advanced ships are definitely for players who enjoy a challenge, but they compensate for that by having really amazing speed and maneuverability.

The battlespace contains various obstacles, such as gravity wells, which can also be used as potential weapons. What other obstacles will figure into maps? And are these typically included in campaign missions?

We re-use battlefields pretty freely between the campaign and multiplayer maps. We also have little anti-gravity repulsors which are sort of the opposite of hypergravity wells. They push ships back. We have space stations, asteroids, a space “junkyard” of sorts, the scene of an old battle with the wreckage of a capital ship, and some single-player missions with moving, destroyable asteroids. We have a colossal asteroid mining town on the side of an asteroid, with tunnels inside the mine you can fly through. And more—including an obstacle that shoots back…but that should give you an idea of how Void War doesn’t actually have much “void” in it…

I’ve seen nothing regarding modding. Will players be able to create new maps and missions or modify ships and weapons?

We’re going to be releasing mod support in stages. Modding was too important for us to rush. It’s something we want to do with our own game—expand it, grow it, add new campaigns and maps, etc. So we spent a bit of time trying to make Void War easy to “grow” post-release, with an automatic update utility built into the game, version checking, making sure people are playing with the same version and mod, etc. Initially, modding will be limited to adding your own models, music, and (some) ship characteristics. Later we’ll be able to add all-new battlefield and campaigns. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to figure out a way to add new special abilities, missile behaviors, or pick-up types. But we’ll be working on it.

There will be a free-for-all (deathmatch) and team-versus-team modes in multiplayer. Can you describe some of the team modes?

Team-versus-team is really a team-based version of free-for-all.

What is the maximum number of players allowed in the same match?

Thirty-two. It might get a little laggy without a pretty beefy host with a lot of bandwidth, though.

Will joysticks and/or gamepads be supported, or is Void War playable only via a mouse/keyboard combo?

All of the above. I really just play with keyboard and mouse, but I had a big supply of gamepads and joysticks from a previous life… Well, that, and I’m a flight sim fan. And a bunch of people were up in arms at the merest SUGGESTION that I didn’t need to support joystick and gamepad. So I caved under the pressure—and besides, it was the right thing to do.

Is multiplayer peer-to-peer only or does it include a dedicated server mode?

Rampant Games hosts a matchmaking service for all Void War players, but we won’t run an official dedicated server for the game, like a massively multiplayer game. If you want to make your game open to the public, you just set the game to “public” and host a game—anyone else can see your game and join it online. In fact, just last week we added a pure-server mode for anybody who wants to host a dedicated game server themselves.

Greedo shoots first. Hans shoots first. Greedo and Hans shoot, err, first. What do you think Lucas will do next with the infamous Mos Eisley cantina scene?

ARGH! George, you got it right the first time! Just leave it alone!!!!!

Perspective: Are both first- and third-person allowed? Do you have a preferred flying style? Is there any point where a person might be forced to fly in third-person, or is this just included for the more console-y gamer types?

It’s actually pretty handy when you are trying to get your bearings—you can look ahead and behind in third person. There are some levels where that’s really necessary (the asteroid mine comes to mind…)

Mostly I play in first person. It’s too hard to aim in third person.

Let’s talk HUD. Can it be configured? What sort of information will the player find on the HUD?

Nope. It’s kept VERY simple. You’ll see your ship state: current power levels and hull strength, your quantity and type of missiles, how many special ability uses you have in queue, any special conditions currently active on your ship.

You also have a radar display, score, chat box (in multiplayer), important messages and warnings, a velocity indicator, and a “gravity” indicator (letting you know when you are being pushed around by some external forces).

If you have a target locked, you’ll see some basic target information (shield and hull status) superimposed above his image if he’s on-screen, or an “off-screen indicator” to show you where to turn to find him otherwise.

On some of the screenshots and in the trailer, there is an area in the right side of HUD that appears to be missing data. Is this an area where details about a target would be listed?

The bottom row is for showing your special ability usage. The area above that is a special status indicator. If you get nailed by missiles, you’ll see that area get pretty busy as you get leeched, EMP’ed, and warp-webbed all at once…

Will the player have to engage in any sort of power/energy management?

Yeah. There’s my concession to complexity of controls—though we tried to make it very simple. You have three energy-using systems: Shields, engines, and guns. You can re-prioritize them by the use of three mode keys: “Offensive,” “Defensive,” and “Flight,” corresponding to guns, shield, and engine. That determines your top priority. You swap the second and third priorities by hitting the key again. Testers have found it a very simple system that works really well!

In multiplayer, will players be able to paint their ships or apply skins to stand out?

Not yet, no.

How many multiplayer maps will be included?

Seven, initially.

You created your own engine. What aspect of that engine are you most proud of?

The fact it works.

I’d done some engine development in my past life as a game developer working for major studios, but this was my first time creating the whole thing from scratch. All the cool bits that you think of when you develop an engine can be whipped out pretty quickly—it’s all the work involved in supporting it that is such a pain. Importing file formats, tracking down bugs.

Now that you’re approaching the end of the development cycle, is there anything that you would have liked to have include that didn’t make it into the game?

Plenty. But that’s what free updates, expansions, and sequels are for, right?

We’re treating Void War as a living project. It’s done and finished and cool as it is (and hopefully *knock on wood* relatively bug-free), but we intend to keep enhancing it as long as people keep buying and playing it. When I started working on Void War, it was because it was a game that I WANTED TO PLAY. So I’m my first customer. (Gee, I sound like a Hair Club for Men commercial.) I expect we’ll keep improving it to make it even more of the game that LOTS of people (I hope) want to play.

When do you expect to release a demo? Will it include single-player and multiplayer modes?

Within the next week or so, if all goes well in testing. Which is a little iffy, considering I foolishly added some major last-minute features. But hopefully they’ll be worth the delay. The full version will be released at the same time.

The demo will include an abbreviated single-player campaign, two playable ships, sixty minutes of single-player time, and multiplayer in three battlefields. The multiplayer is limited to five minutes at a time, but doesn’t count towards the sixty total minutes of single-player.

Void War will only be available for purchase online. Has pricing been decided yet?

$24.95, though we are planning on discounting it for early adopters the first month.

Will Void War be available only on Windows machines?

Unfortunately, yes. The engine is all DirectX based. I’d love to port it to Mac—or have someone else port it to Mac—but there’s no plans for that right now.

Your FAQ lists the following as requirements:

800MHz Intel/AMD
GeForce 1 or above
OpenAL-compatible soundcard

Are these still the standing requirements? What about other specs—memory and hard drive space, for example?

It’s hard to call on memory, because the operating system takes up such a widely variable footprint. You’ll probably need about 100 megs over and above whatever your OS uses for best performance.

Hard drive space—I haven’t checked recently. The full version is about 18 megs compressed in the installer. So it’s minimal.

Ramming: Viable option or a waste of time?

What? That’s no way to treat an expensive space vehicle!!!!!!

(Actually, the Tempest is REALLY good at that, since its special shield makes it invulnerable to collision damage while it’s up. But you didn’t hear that from me. I’d NEVER engage in such dishonorable means to win… Really… Well, almost never. Not THAT often, at least.)

Is there anything else you’d like to say about Void War?

It’s just been a really wild experience working on Void War as a small, “indie” developer. None of us work full-time for Rampant, so it’s been almost a hobby project for us, allowing us to take some crazy risks with experimental gameplay. But we got to satisfy some of our own creative demons for this game, rather than the demands of some guy in a suit telling us what his numbers show the market is currently buying. It’s been a great experience for me, and in the end I feel really pleased with the result. Sure, I’d love to throw in more expensive content, dozens more levels, and a lot more features (and hopefully we’ll be able to do some of that), but I think we’ve got a tightly focused game that really succeeds in providing an awesome, satisfying, and unique experience for the player.

And give me more people to shoot at online… :)

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Void War: Screenshot 2

Void War: Screenshot 2

Void War: Screenshot 1

Void War: Screenshot 1

Ian Martin Speaks

As previously reported, Ian Martin has a slice of forum at Captain Zedo's. He's answered a few questions regarding Hardwar:

Hardwar 2:
We did have a design for Hardwar2 which was never really pursued. I don't have a copy of that which I think only extended to a couple of pages of ideas anyway - it was a prequel I recall, before the society collapsed.

It was probably a shape from our first game, Slipstream 5000, which featured a globe of Earth during the startup screens.

We may have experimented with the globe in the sky (which always seemed blan to me) at one stage, possibly to turn into a hazy Saturn through the fog; I recall creative disagreements about it. Incidentally the water was originally a similar colour to the sky - technically correct of course but not obvious that it was h20, so blue it became. Blame me for that.

No there were no plans to move HW1 into space!

Software Refinery
I don't have any contact with anyone involved in the project, but there were 2 programmers and one artist principally responsible, plus the designers, musicians, sound effects etc that came via Gremlin.

The Forty-five Degree Roll
I think that the general consensus was that Hardwar should not be a flight sim - there are too many world limits to allow that anyway. The moths may be regarded as transport helicopters, perhaps not the best thing to do barrel rolls in.

The Swallow does not really belong in Hardwar, as I stated elsewhere - it comes from a demo in which it would have had full flight capability.

For the People, By the People: Thursday

Battle of Endor:
Once upon a time, there was a freeware Star Wars game. Then, a Star Trek fan made a modification and called it "The Invasion of Cardassia". Star Trek and Star Wars. Hand in hand. We're deeply moved, too.

Please check TFN's page for requirements, screenshots, and for more about the mod. (Thanks go to Omniscaper on the HLP forums for the heads up.)

Lancers Reactor has word of HardCMP v1.0.0, a hardpoint editor for ships and other objects.


There are new hyperspace screenshots at the B5: Hold the Line forum.

DarkSpace Developer Update

Faustus has penned a new thread at the DarkSpace forums regarding lag and disconnects.

SWG: Jump to Lightspeed preview

IGN has a preview of the upcoming space-combat expansion to Star Wars Galaxies. It talks mostly about making the Ithorians playable characters.

Source: Blue's

Elite Starfigher video

The official website for Elite Starfigher has been updated with a new gameplay video. I'm guessing it's the 'trailer', but I'm not entirely sure. Damn me and my lack of foreign language knowledge.

Source: Blue's

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Star Trek Online Interview

HomeLan Fed speaks with Perpetual Entertainment's Joe Keene about Star Trek Online. Most of the interview is very general, with Keene not willing to discuss specifics so early in the development of the game (it's not due for release until 2007, after all), but there is confirmation that there will be some type of team space combat.

Vega Strike: B5 Gorith Fighter

etheral walker has posted a pic of his Narn Gorith fighter, which will presumably one day make an appearance in B5 Universe, which is a Vega Strike mod.

For the People, By the People: Wednesday

Lancer's Reactor features of the Asgard Stock Exchange (which runs only on the Asgard server), an LSF Trent costume, and the launch of the Bettlenet server.

B5: The Great Wars has scooped up CnlPepper's EA Omega model.

Additionally, they have word of screenshots of Meurig's (Homeworld: Freespace) EA Explorer.

Elite Starfighter screenshots

There's some screenshots of Elite Starfighter on their official website. The site's in German, but pictures speak a thousand words - it sure is purdy.

Source: Blue's News

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed Screenshots

SWG Warcry has posted some new screenshots of the new Jump to Lightspeed expansion. You can have a gander at them here.

Pardus Goes Alpha

Pardus, an online multiplayer space strategy game, has gone alpha. About Pardus:

Pardus is a Massive Multiplayer Online Browser Game (MMOBG) playing in a future where traders, pirates and other pilots of various races and factions strive to gain wealth and fame in space.

The game is being worked on by Austrian students of the Vienna University of Technology since summer 2003. It is programmed in PHP, with a MySQL database running in the background. Our main motivation comes from the joy of working as a team to create a project of such a great setup. Also the programming and the opportunity to learn and to realise our combined ideas in a game give great satisfaction.

For more about Pardus, check out the official site and the manual. Thanks MOO3 Guardian. Releases Client Side Patch Installer has released a client side patch installer; this installer is required for players who want to use DNet for Empires at War and/or Orion Pirates campaigns.

Ask Ian Martin Forum

Captain Zedo's now hosts an "Ask Ian Martin" forum, where you can ask Ian Martin questions about Hardwar (as I state the obvious).

B5 EA Omega Model

CnlPepper has posted pics of his EA Omega model at the B5: I've Found Her forums.

More Jump to Lightspeed Beta Slots

Star Wars Galaxies Vault is offering an undisclosed number of beta slots. To win a slot, you'll need to slide a piece of fan fiction or fan art their way. Best entries win slots.

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

The following preview was originally posted in November 1999. I visited Red Storm in October of that year, and I was really looking forward to Vanguard. I found out for certain the next year at E3 that Vanguard would never come to be. This is one of the few previews of the game that ever surfaced in Vanguard's short lifetime.

The preview starts in a fictional mode and segues into a more standard format.

I've also posted the media given to me by Red Storm.


I recently attended a top secret command briefing with United Forces specialist Juan Benito on board his flagship, Red Storm. Juan shared highly classified information regarding the United Forces on-going struggle against the Hierarchy of Man (HOM), as well as giving me a good look at the ships and weapons I'll have at my disposal when I take command of my own United Forces Starship next summer. I've smuggled these documents and information back to our flagship, ATFW, for potential UFS captains.

Just the Facts
The year is 2512, and a large portion of our galaxy has been colonized by the human race. The Allied Cultures and its military branch, the United Forces, find themselves at odds with another government, the Hierarchy of Man (HOM, Hierarchy). While the AC is a democratic conglomeration of independent human governments (i.e. the UN with teeth), HOM is a quasi-fascist, religiously fanatical government bent on conquering the galaxy and destroying those who do not share their beliefs. HOM also has a very collective mindset; add that to their fanaticism and willingness to go all lengths to spread their ideology, and it's clear that both the AC and the player face a very dangerous foe.

Over the course of the game, the player will function as captain of three different starships, beginning with the Gladiator Class Frigate, then the Guardian Class Heavy Cruiser, and, finally, the Warrior Class Dreadnaught. Each ship promotion brings an increase in size, power, and weaponry. At the beginning of each mission, the player will receive a briefing from Rear Admiral Josef Kolenko. Once the player's orders are received, the command officers may give advice pertaining to the mission. Your bridge crew consists of First Officer Commander Mercedes Chen, Tactical Officer Lieutenant Commander Fletcher Tarrant, Engineering Officer Lieutenant Commander Dorian Lucas, Navigation Officer Lieutenant Cassandra Eden, Communications Officer Ensign Julian Santiago, and Marine Officer Major Raja Chandra. Each officer has a unique personality and strengths and are also invulnerable throughout the game. You'll need to depend on them to ensure that your missions are successful.

The game, while following a very strong plot line spread out over four episodes and twenty missions, will also have "bubbles of non-linearity" where the player will have more freedom to explore the system. The non-linear experiences (i.e. reconnaissance, feint attack on a enemy base, etc.) can also result in making the primary event mission easier to achieve success. This game is definitely not nearly as open as Elite, but you also have more opportunity to explore than in Independence War.

What Does This Button Do?

Put your joystick away for Vanguard. All movement and orders are orchestrated through the use of the mouse and keyboard. Since the player is not actually firing the weapons or steering the ship (this is a starship captain sim and not a fighter sim), the mouse-keyboard combo is basically a necessity.

The game is split into three main interfaces-the Tactical, Navigation, and Engineering Interfaces. Each interface plays a distinct role, and all three are critical to ensuring that your commands, tactics, and strategies are a success. The Tactical Interface (TI) is used during starship combat, while the Navigation Interface (NI) is used for strategic reconnaissance. The Engineering Interface (EI), which is optional, allows you to tweak ship systems' power levels and to conduct repairs.

Blow It Up

The main focus of the TI is your starship. You have a 360-degree field of vision from a third person perspective. You may survey the field of battle while your ship is centered and prioritize targets. Once you're ready to take on a HOM ship or two, you may switch to Advanced Targeting Mode by clicking on any ship in the area. ATM will focus the viewscreen on a chosen enemy to easily allow you to target subsystems, to watch as the ship disintegrates, and to even watch the destruction of the ship. One of the visual benefits of using the ATM is the use of multitexturing, which basically drops three layers of skins on the ship. As the ship takes damage, a deeper layer will be exposed. Also, debris is belched from the ship once it's damaged. Instead of simply dissipating after a few minutes, debris may stay in the same general area of space for the duration of the game. Massive chunks of debris may even cause catastrophic damage to your ship, so it's something you'll definitely have to keep an eye on during battle.

To actually reign destruction on your enemy, you'll have to set weapons as hot. As captain, you have the ability to set your targets (it is possible to fire at multiple targets), but the player will not actually fire weapons as in a first-person space-sim (unless you're up to firing each weapon manual to keep up with an enemy ship that is using its full crew to fire back at you). In general, you'll need to place your faith in your crew to actually make the shots. Weapons available include standard laser cannons, railguns, warheads, mines, and the directed energy projector (DEP), a weapon that allows you to drop enemy shields from a distance.

Weapons packages will also be available to the player. Much like Starfleet Command, you'll be able to preset weapon packages and bring them to bear on your enemies either through hotkeys or mouseclicks. Weapons have different effects, so you might want to put together one package to heavily damage the shield while another to cause hull damage once the shields are down. You will also have defensive weapons in your arsenal to help protect your ship against bombardment.

One of the more revolutionary features of Vanguard is the way shields operate. Instead of just pumping more energy to the shields to keep them at 100%, you'll have to keep a close eye on the rate the shields absorb and dissipate energy. If the shields absorb too much energy, the ship will basically implode and you'll be out of the game. If you allow the shields to fall, only a thin hull will separate your ship from enemy fire. Laser cannons, although otherwise weak weapons, can be used by your enemy to add to your shield energy. Large stars also can cause your shield rate to greatly increase. Needless to say, shield management is a very important aspect of starship combat.

I Wanna Fly Away. . . .

In the NI, the player is able to scope the scene and to basically get a strategic feel for the area. the player can cruise behind a star to both absorb energy for shields and to escape sensors while the damage control teams work on the ship. Sensors cannot pass through bodies such as planets, but keep in mind your sensors will also be blinded.

Not all of the action occurs in space. As captain, you'll have three shuttles available for planetary landings. Twenty team members are allotted per shuttle, and there are six crew types as well as twenty variants of equipment to send on missions. You may also send select officers on missions; experience points are awarded to those who take part in missions and survive. The officers are more capable as they gain experience points. However, these same officers are also very mortal (as are all of your ship crew besides the six chief command officers), so you could possibly lose a valuable officer during a conflict, as well. If you lose too many crew members, it's game over, but you will be able to replenish your ranks at starbases throughout the galaxy.

While your crew members are on the ground, don't assume you'll just kick back in your comfy captain's chair and down a cold brew. You will be required to monitor them and to assist them in a any manner they may need. For example, you may have to blast an enemy base from space in order for your crew to meet mission objectives. Or you may need to send additional equipment or other specialists planetside to complete a mission.

I'm an Engineer, Too

Getting cozy with the SI, while optional, could definitely make the difference from being a good starship captain or a great one. The ship can actually run itself and your damage repair teams will automatically prioritize systems during battles, however getting your hands dirty can make your ship much more efficient. Not only can you set damage repair priorities, you can also tweak the power settings for all of your systems, from sensors to weapons.

The player will also have the ability to use stances, which are energy configuration presets. Obviously, you'll want to allocate more power to different systems depending on the situation. A stance will bump weapons to a high level during a red alert and give more power to sensors during a yellow alert, for example. The game will ship with preset stances but will also allow the player to set their own.

How Does It Handle?
While not employing Newtonian physics (which I'll fully admit somewhat bummed me out just a bit), Juan assured me that the capital ships in Vanguard would handle as a capital ship should-meaning slow turns and bulky motion. The faster-than-light drive (FTL), called Nova, takes approximately 25 seconds to charge, and you have to be sure you're clear from gravity wells to enter hyperspace. This means no quick get-away if you're getting slammed.

And in the Other Corner. . .
Although there was no running demo available, Juan shared some ship specifications and diagrams. By far the most frightening ship I've ever seen in my gaming experiences would have to be the HOM Missionary Class Capital Carrier. This monster is over 5000m wide and 2000m long and has three bays for launching multiple HOM capital ships. If such a ship sounds like a challenge to you, rest assured that you will have to take one of these out during the game, although it will be crippled in the mission (thankfully). The HOM ships are generally larger than UF ships and more numerous, thanks to their efficient cloning factories, but are also less technologically sophisticated than their UF counterparts.

You'll have an opportunity to upgrade your ships during the duration of the game at starbases. You'll have to make choices about which systems to bolster, since you're only three upgrade slots per ship. The Swordsman Class Repair ships are also available to dock and resupply your ships periodically.

As most games offer these days, both a mission editor, Genesis, and multiplayer support will be included. Genesis will be unsupported and will most likely not allow for graphics manipulation, but players will be able to create new campaigns and build on the rich universe. Multiplayer will support up to eight players and will be client-server based.

Will Vanguard become a highly successful attempt at the starship captain game? With a strong plotline, a solid design with some innovative features, and great ships and weapons, It's quite possible it will be. I'll definitely be looking for this game when it hits store shelves (August 2000).


Links to media:

ACN Gladiator
ACN Guardian
ACN Patriot
ACN Swordsman
ACN Defender
ACN Warrior
HOM Missionary
HOM Tormentor
HOM Tyrant

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: Hom Tyrant

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: Hom Tormentor

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: HOM Missionary

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: ACN Defender

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: ACN Warrior

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: ACN Swordsman

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: ACN Patriot

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: ACN Guardian

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard: ACN Gladiator

ATFW Retro: UFS Vanguard

UFS Vanguard

Monday, September 13, 2004

DarkSpace Developer Updates

There's a veritable bevy of DarkSpace developer updates, including a post by Faustus regarding changes to network code and a series of posts from Shigernafy regarding fleet management and the new fleet treasury feature.

Polish X2 Updated

The Polish version of X2-The Threat has been updated to v1.4. The file can be downloaded at Egosoft's X site or at 3D Gamers, which is credited for the find.

We're back?

Hey everyone. First off, I'd like to say I'm as surprised as you are. I wasn't expecting ATFW to come back anytime soon - especially since I knew how broken it was. But Beth surprised me by solving most of our problems and simply turning ATFW into a blog, which, at it's heart, is all most news sites really are.

So kudos to Beth on that.

Anyways, since I'm back I might as well go look up some space-sim news for y'all. I think I might go do that.

SWG and Jump to Lightspeed Q&A

SWG Warcry has a Q&A with Julio Torres of LucasArts. The Q&A has a single question regarding Jump to Lightspeed, where Julio confirms that freighters and other ships will be included "after launch". There are no follow-ups, however, including the obvious one about piracy and looting. Thanks HomeLAN Fed.

For the People, By the People: Monday

Lancers Reactor now offers the Epsilon v2.7.1 Data Files for IFSO (IONCROSS Freelancer Server Operator mk.IV). The package simplifies the installation of Epsilon mods to a server. Epsilon itself is a single-player and multiplayer mod that includes new ships, weapons, and hardware.

Freespace 2:
Blaise Russell (BR) has released another campaign for Freespace 2. Here is a description from BR's post at HLP regarding Shrouding the Light:

A year has passed since the destruction of the Lucifer and the flight of the Shivan armada. In the year 2336, the Terran and Vasudan peoples attempt to reclaim their former empires and piece together their shattered lives. However, dissidents and splinter groups from within jeopardise their hopes of peace - fighting for independence or against hated alien foes. In the midst of all this turmoil, you are transferred, from the safety of the 1st Battlegroup of Vasuda to the 13th Battlegroup's PVD Guardian and the troubled hotspot of Deneb. . .

Requirements for StL can be found in the same post or at BR's StL page.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

ATFW Retro: The First Developer Chat

Back in the late 90s (I make it sound as if it were so far away) and into 2000, we hosted a series of developer chats. I'm going through my personal archives and will be posting these so you can read them out of curiosity or some sort of odd perversity. Your choice.

I do not have the date for this first chat, but Maniac was still with SFL, which gives some indictation. All I can say with certainty is that it was before July 10, 1999.

The guests from our first chat included a massive Freespace group (fansites and developers), including Dave Baranec, Adam Pletcher, Mitri Van, and Adam Lawrance from Volition. Other guests included Steve Robertson from Particle Systems (Independence War) and Dan Tanguay and Henry Kropf (then of Vicarious Visions, who developed Terminus).

This log is raw (it shows the topic changes, entrances and exits, and is not spiffed up in any way) and contains all sorts of n00bish mistakes on my part (chaos is not always our friend). I did learn a lot from helping to host this chat and had a lot of fun (and a bit of stress, but nostalgia allows us to conveniently forget such things). Enjoy.


beth_atfw If all of the developers could introduce themselves really quickly so everyone knows who's here, that would be cool. :)
V-Dave ok. top down ?
[DW]DreAdFaq hey, DW outnumbers DC now :)
V-Adam I'm Adam Pletcher, lead game designer on FreeSpace, and part-time designer on FS2.
V-Dave nudges adam
V-Dave I'm Dave Baranec, programmer on Freespace, and lead programmer on FS2
V-Mitri Hey, I'm Mitri Van. I worked on cutscenes and various other things on FS. Currently I'm doing level stuff for Summoner.
V-Alan I'm Alan Lawrance, FreeSpace programmer now working on Descent 4. I will be doing some sound/music coding on FS2.
PS_Steve Hi, I'm Steve Robertson from Particle Systems, One of the designers of Independence War / I-War
JD_Devane nudges Henry
VV-Dan I'm Dan Tanguay .. work on Terminus as a designer and concept artist
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TwinsenEd woah
DW_Wingnut Have you changed the FRED interface at all? In my resolution (800x600) some of the stuff is off the screen...
Henry Hey I'm Hnery Kropf, you might know me from such games as Terminus...
JD_Devane heh
JD_Devane funny Hnery
VV-Dan quickly puts Henry's straightjacket back on.
JD_Devane :)
Henry an of course, i can't spell my own first name :
VV-Dan or nineteen
JD_Devane ?me feels left out for getting no credit
JD_Devane feels left out for getting no credit
V-Dave Ok then. Questions ?
Maniac_SFL OK, let's go with a bread one, what are your thoughts on the emergence of a space-sim community and what do you think fans and developers could do to promote this? (phew!)
V-Dave raises hand
V-Dave Ok
beth_atfw Ooooh, a nice genre question. :)
V-Dave I think the space-sim genre is interesting for 2 reasons
V-Dave 1.) Its very difficult to be unique, and many things have been done "before"
V-Dave 2.) BUT, networking and hardware acceleration is rapidly changin this
VV-Dan Yeah ... it is an older genre than others ...
V-Dave So - I think interest will pick up and we'll see more interesting things
V-Dave And of course, the whole massive multiplayer thing is a big modifier :)
V-Dave lowers hand
V-Adam I think just having different "styles" of space-sim games does the most for the genre. People immediately saw the differences between FS and I-War, for instance...
Olento Q: What do you think is the right way to develope space-sim genre? How ie. role playing features and realistic behavior of environment are going to affect future titles of this genre?
JD_Devane is now known as JD_VV
V-Adam The debates about what people liked the most is only making the genre more interesting, IMO.
V-Dave I would like to see more RPG elements. If you've ever played Space Rogue (and OLD origin game), you'll know what I mean
JD_VV is now known as VV-JD
V-Dave It was an outstanding game that blended the 2 well
[DW]DreAdFaq hey dave, is V going to set up or sponsor things like PXO-wars?
V-Dave FS2 is going to have builtin PXO-wars support. Already does, in fact :)
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V-Dave Tested and working
V-Adam I'm really lagging :(
Maniac_SFL Q: After the Mankind debacle, do you believe online persisten universes are currently possible (technically speaking)
[DW]DreAdFaq kewl
beth_atfw Does Volition have any "massively multiplayer" aspirations (since Dave mentioned it)?
V-Dave Maniac - absolutely. UO pulls in a million a month
V-Dave That's reason to make it possible
PS_Steve I agree

V-Dave And UO is constantly coming up with new stuff, which keeps V-Adam coming back
DW_Wingnut Are you SURE there is a repeat a sexp event in FS1???
V-Dave He keeps getting killed by llamas, though
PS_Steve Personally I'd love to play a persistent universe space-sim.
DC_Zarathud asks Q: What impact do you think the release of the Wing Commander and Star Wars movies will have on the space sim genre?
VV-Dan Nod ... just putting something out and not expanding it won't get people to come back.
Maniac_SFL so would I, which is why i asked :)
PS_Steve However it's probably a long way off.
VV-JD raises hand
VV-Dan More people will be buying Star Wars games ...
V-Dave Zar - not much.
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VV-JD To answer DC's question...
V-Dave Star Wars will help Lucasarts, though
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Olento Because it looks like you're interested in massive multiplaying environments (man I like that word...), what do you think is the best way to earn money out of it? Should customers pay monthly with a credit card or checks, or do you think it's better to sell the game with somewhat higher price without monthly payments and therefore get more users for the game?
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VV-JD The opening of Wing Commander and Star Wars should help the operation of space-sim's,
Maniac_SFL nice question :)
PS_Steve If any of us run game adverts in the Starwars movie intervals it will help us too..
PS_Steve He said slightly seriously...
VV-JD because the fact that since everyone is all hyped-up (for lack of better terms) about these movies, and they will say, "Hey, if the movies are awesopme, the games should be just as cool"
V-Dave sets mode: +o Adam
V-Dave sets mode: +o VV-JD
VV-Dan I think people buy Star Wars games only because they are Star Wars ... not necessarily because
Adam is now known as V-Adam
VV-Dan They are space sim fans ...
VV-JD and itll save them the 20 bucks for seeing the movie again
VV-JD lowers hand
VV-Dan So I don't know if it will have that much impact on space sims in general
VV-JD Well,
V-Dave Hey, where is Origin anyway?
VV-JD It could renew the
Maniac_SFL Q: What do you think is better, inventing a new universe for a space-sim or using an established univers like Star Wars or Star Trek, which can take the foucs off game play...
V-Dave New new new.
VV-JD Hype of space-sims in general
DC_Zarathud In their massively multiplayer online world, I'd expect V-Dave grinning
V-Adam no kidding. Too chicken to show. :)
beth_atfw I doubt they'd say too much about the massively multiplayer situation right now, anyway. :)
Maniac_SFL Someone forgot to tell them :)
VV-Dan Working with licenses will always have restrictions.
PS_Steve Both have advantages and disadvantages - With X-Wing Lucas arts didn't have to create an intro movie to get the player to 'buy in' to their universe, as we did with I-War
V-Adam maniac: Hard to say. As a developer, I prefer working in an original universe. Much more creative freedom, and the long-term franchise potential is larger.
VV-JD is now known as JD_Devane
V-Dave And - if you get lucky like Star Wars, you have almost a license to print money
V-Adam steve: That's true, too. Original universes have to work harder.
PS_Steve yes, much more creative freedom, but with an existing franchise you have an easier job as you have plenty of reference material.
Olento Q: Do you think space sims should have lots of non-electric material included in the box, like most of flight sims, or are popular online manuals the way to go?
Olento I like manuals :)
DW_Wingnut I prefer the manuals...
Henry Personally, I love big spiral bound manuals.
Maniac_SFL non-electric material :) i agree printed manuals are better
PS_Steve i prefer manuals. it doesn't seem like you get your moneys worth if all you get is a CD and CD inlay
Lorien-GA Steve : mind telling us what PS is working on now that I-War has fully shipped?
PS_Steve Even though the game is far more expensive to produce than a manual :-)
DC_Zarathud In a world of electronic gadgets, paper still has its place. :)
V-Adam Olento: in-game tutorials always rock, IMO. If you can train players in your game that way, then do it. It's much easier to learn things in-context rather than a manual.
V-Dave Tell that to marketing ;)
Maniac_SFL good point
V-Dave slaps V-Alan around a bit with a large trout
V-Dave Say something, foo
PS_Steve our next release is going to be Independence War Deluxe. This will include the original game, plus an all-new campaign called 'Defiance' played from the indie side.
V-Alan ouch
Lorien-GA oh :)
VV-Dan Cool
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Redag What's the schedule on that Steve?
Maniac_SFL ladies and gentlemen: i think we have a SCOOP :)
DC_Zarathud hmm...the bad-guy add-on packs?
PS_Steve Quarter 3 1999 (Maybe Quarter 4)
[DC}Overlord is now known as DC_Overlord
dudehere whee
beth_atfw Sweet. :)
dudehere we get to fly patcoms?!?
Lorien-GA very:)
Redag How many missions is 'Defiance' slated for?
PS_Steve No, but you get to fly an Indie Corvette.. and some other things too..
dudehere aww...but still...yay!
PS_Steve 18 missions
beth_atfw Will Deluxe include some new mission editing tools?
Lorien-GA brb ,. need to reboot :(
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V-Dave changes topic to "Space Sim Developers Chat! 4:00pm Eastern (V-Alan has GAME) "
dudehere I've already seen a classic version of Independence war...
PS_Steve We've improved the script language, with new commands, which will make programming easier, but no new development tools.
PS_Steve All you need is a text-editor
VV-Dan Sounds nifty.
dudehere yay!
JD_Devane wait a second....
PS_Steve we're just about to release the texture converter so that users can create their own custom ship textures
JD_Devane youre saying that if we have a text editor... That we can script?
Olento so you believe that in the future space-sim community will play an important role in the development of genre, like it does in the current FPS community?
V-Dave Olen - absolutely.
V-Dave The FS and Descent fan pages mean a LOT.
dudehere If this isn't a trade secret, what 3d software was used for the creation of Iwar's cutscenes and intro?
V-Adam olen- Sure. A big fan base would benefit any genre.
beth_atfw So the texture converter will be out fairly soon? Within the next month or so?
PS_Steve yes... You can get a mission devkit from the independence war website - all you need is a text editor (though a programming one is useful)
DC_Overlord FS means alot! :)
V-Dave And as everyone knows, mods and conversions keep games alive much longer.
JD_Devane is now known as VV-JD
TwinsenEd very much so
[DW]DreAdFaq amen dave, is FS2 gonna have easier MODing?
DW_Wingnut Q: V - Will there be support for custom tbl files on PXO? Even if it does count towards your points?
Methodica Are you going to be releasing any more info on FS for moding.
PS_Steve beth, yes. All we have to do is document how to use it. Of course we're busy with the Indie Campaign so we have to fit it around that
V-Dave We've added the ability to use variables within sexpressions, so heck yes
V-Mitri Yeah, feedback from the people you're developing for is always important. Once you get detached from that, it's like, "Why are you making this game and who are you making it for"
V-Adam wing: Mods will not count towards the PXO stats.
Maniac_SFL what do you think of the fact that the "newborn" space-sim developping companies seem te be much more active in the community then the old ones like Origin and LucasArts?
DW_Wingnut But you can use them?
PS_Steve The fans of I-War mean a lot to us - they've made the IWar message board a real community.
V-Dave Wing - of course you can, but your stats will just not get saved
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IceFire sorry im late
dudehere hey icefire
V-Dave For FS2 we're going to take things a step further and checksum model data, table data and mission data
beth_atfw hi icefire
V-Adam wing: not sure. There's nothing stopping you today from using them, as far as I know.
DC_Zarathud Hiya, IceFire
V-Dave Maybe even checksum the .exe itself
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Redag Steve, is 'Defiance' an outgrowth of the mission disk we've heard about before, or is that still in the air?
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Payne # Appears as XENO
Olento what do you think... should community have lots of small sites dedicated to certain topics, or huge all-in-one sites with commercial goals?
PS_Steve Well they're more established than we are. We're building up a customer base, so customer support is very important, and for us it always will be important.
V-Adam Olento: room for both, I think.
Olento of course the ideal situation is one where both exist...
DC_Overlord I know your going to release mod tools with fS2..will each player be able to be flying his/her own custom ship in the saem game?
DC_Zarathud Even though your customers will hunt you down and ask you questions until you squeak :)
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V-Dave Ah.
DC_Overlord same
V-Dave The plan right now IS to release all developer tools once FS2 comes out
[DW]DreAdFaq V: are you going to patch the FS1 checksums or just leave them and concentrate on FS2??
IceFire is now known as PFS_IceFire
V-Dave Including BSPGen
V-Dave And probably the MAX exporter
dudehere developer tools are always good
PS_Steve Redag - defiance is the mission disk. There'l be some sort of rebate for existing owners, but I don't have the details yet.
V-Dave So you'll be able to do everything
V-Adam overlord: Correction, we'll be releasing the model tools sometime after FS2 release. I really doubt they'll be on the CD.
V-Dave Yes - after release
V-Adam dread: Probably leave FS alone.
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IceFire heyas
Lorien-GA Steve : Do you expect the Deluxe pack to be released worldwide at the same time?
[DW]DreAdFaq damn, FS could really use a better checksum
IceFire finnally got on
V-Dave Dread - how?
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IceFire is now known as PFS_IceFire
dudehere's Colin!
V-Adam overlord: that would require in-game data downloading of models and textures. Not sure that will happen, those can get huge.
[DW]DreAdFaq models, client side TBLs
Olento Q: Will Mika Häkkinen win the WC of coming F1 season? :)
V-Adam dread: client tbls are checked now.
V-Dave n
V-Dave oo
V-Dave er
V-Dave no
Maniac_SFL Q: is the add-on campaign going to be released seperately as well or am I going to have to buy the whole game again?
V-Mitri Maniac: I would agree with PS_Steve. Also, I think the thing you're talking about highlights the difference in the operating structures of places like Origin or LA and us here.
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[DW]DreAdFaq well i saw a herc go 500 and the guy still got stats
DC_Overlord V-Adam: Understood. Mainly asking about it for LAN Party games :)
PS_Steve It's the US first, as we have to translate the European version. I don't have release dates yet. I hope the European version will be soon after the US, but I can't say when yet.
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V-Dave Ah. Yes - client side hacks will be accounted for
DW_Wingnut Q: V - you currently "qualify" missions that give points on PXO is there any chance you would do ones with custom tbls?
V-Dave We may even add the option to not allowed hacked clients to join, altogether
V-Adam dread: Not sure how he managed that. I'd ahve to see it.
PS_Steve At the moment the publisher has decided to not release it separately :-( But there will be a rebate for existing owners.
Lorien-GA steve : both publishers?
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V-Adam wingnut: unlikely. We only have a limited amount of time to spend on validation. Validating a whole mod would be much, much more work.
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[DW]DreAdFaq adam- i dont know either but it cant have been server side TBLs, it was in my game and i always make sure to delete them before going to PXO
PS_Steve Lorien: Only one publisher: Infogrames
DW_Wingnut darn
Maniac_SFL Q: Will the european release of the Deluxe version integrate the changes from the US version directly ?
V-Adam dread: *shrug*
Lorien-GA oh its not an activison one this time round? I see. ok
PS_Steve They'll be the same game, except the European version will support french and german too.
DW_Wingnut Maybe you could set up so that missions don't needed to be validated, BUT there is a points cap that can't be exceded unless the mission is validated?
PS_Steve No decision has been made on the details of the European release yet.
DC_Overlord V - Any thing is great as long as it dosen't turn into something like Battle.Net: Cheating there is ridiculous
[DW]DreAdFaq yeah i know, i HATE it when people cheat on me. thats why im so concerned about the checksums
beth_atfw Can you give up any minor plot info about Defiance? Will it be set to occur simutaneously with the actions of the original I-War?
Lorien-GA Steve: do you plan an on-line demo for the extra campaign?
Olento I hate it that games must be translated into other languages
Olento English is just fine for me...
VV-JD :)
V-Adam wingnut: allowing mods to advance stats is just not high on our list, I'm afraid. It would skew the stats in a way we'd rather not do.
Olento in fact I think it's awful when games are translated in Finnish
Maniac_SFL Do you think there should be more female characters in space-sims and should developers take the female public into account better [Beth :)] ?
DC_Zarathud I'd expect balance would be extremely impossible to validate, right V-Adam?
V-Adam dread: a dedicated hacker can get around any checksums. Completely cheat-free game is not possible, but FS2 will be more resistant.
PS_Steve beth - it occurs simultaneously with the original, and expands on the original plot. Some events in the campaign correspond directly with events in the original game.
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DC_Zarathud I agree with you there Maniac_SFL. We should encourage females in space sims.
V-Adam zara: yep. It would be like a whole different game. ONly reason we can validate FS missions now is because we know the current balance by heart.
DC_Overlord V - Think was asked before in FDl but. Will the by any chance be a stand-alone server (only) port for Linux?
Olento how the development of *computers* will affect space sim genre, will we see better and more complex graphics or larger game world and more features?
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DC_Zarathud Nice Q, Olento.
PS_Steve We like to include strong female characters in our games. We also try to represent different races and cultures too.
V-Adam overlord: That's not very likely, but we're still discussing it.
beth_atfw It would be nice to see more females presented in sims in an intelligent manner, yes.
V-Adam over: It's not easily ported.
DC_Overlord V-Adam: hehe include some 'standard' female pilot pix in FS2 :)
PS_Steve I think code expands to use the resources available :-)
V-Adam We had a female commanding officer in FS, and a female pilot picture to choose. But I hear that not everyone knew it was a female pic. :)
HH-Soft-2 but nice female pilots please g
V-Adam guess she wasn't femenine enough or something.
PS_Steve Adam - difficult to see with a space-helmet on!
[DW]DreAdFaq ive been looking for female pilot pix for AGES. (not dressing up, it was for a site!!)
DC_Zarathud Looked a bit more Asian than female, V-Adam
V-Adam steve: her helmet was off in the barracks picture.
PS_Steve Adam - oops forgot :-)
V-Adam zara: there are Asian females, you know. She was both.
PS_Steve hehehehe
[DW]DreAdFaq except for that half-breed standard pilot there are only images from SF series
VV-JD hehe
VV-JD whoops
VV-JD lagg
beth_atfw I think alot of women are turned off to gaming because it appears to be within the male's realm; inclusion of more female chars would make them feel more at ease, I think. But there are also society also supports the games=teenage male theory, although that seems to be changing a bit. :)
Olento I don't want female pilots that are included just to suck in teen players :)
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Maniac_SFL I'd really like to know about linux ports for any of the games too, show some support for linux pls :)
Maniac_SFL Yep not like putting in Ginger Lynn Allen then
PS_Steve Maniac - We're not planning to support linux, sorry :-(
HH-Soft-2 olento: as long as lara croft does not reach the space-sim genre ;)
V-Adam It's difficult to justify Linux ports from a commercial standpoint.
DOLey T&A in space :)
DC_Zarathud HH, I'm going to make a Laura Croft Pilot Pic just for you then :)
Olento hh: ya ;)
HH-Soft-2 zara: haha
V-Dave We should just stick a helmet on the Forsaken ad chick's ass and make it a pilot pic
DOLey V-Adam: I think linux servers would be great
V-Dave ;)
V-Adam has to leave soon. :(
Lorien-GA V-Adam - check Carmack's laters remarks at sCary's for that point.
HH-Soft-2 i liked that one female in Baldur's Gate...
DOLey most of the Inet Servers out there are linux based
V-Dave That would get the younger players
V-Adam doley: servers are different. It's possible we'll do that, but not certain.
DOLey yeah
Maniac_SFL are MS os's even stable enough for servers?
V-Dave sure
V-Dave NT is fine
[DW]DreAdFaq now now, not all of us teenagers are over-sexed little buggers
Olento Linux community would grow much faster if there were more commercial games available... we need some pioneers there
Redag With all this talk of Defiance, how is I-War2 going?
HH-Soft-2 maniac: our D3 server runs on NT since the early beta test phases... thats multiple months now
Lorien-GA Olento - you could say the same for the MAC community btw
PS_Steve I-War 2 is in development, but It's not due out until next year.
DW_Wingnut V - I have an interesting idea that is still under contruction, it has custom tbls, with 3 possible player ship, one fast, one average, and one heavy, and custom weapons, it's taking a while to sort out because it really needs a repeat sexp, its a _new_ idea for a multiplayer game based on a mixture of real sports, is there any chance to make it a validated mission so that the winner gets something like 1000 points per win in a game?
DC_Overlord Hee Hee us 'old-folks' (42 here) like this stuff to :))
[DW]DreAdFaq WOW!! 42!!
Olento lorien: probably, although I've no experience on mac's
V-Adam wingnut: Like I said, it's very unlikely we'll validate custom-mod missions.
[DW]DreAdFaq youre old enough to be my dad!!
V-Dave Wing - there _IS_ a repeat count for events.
PS_Steve Wow - older than me - 32.
Redag Uh oh, the geriatric squadron is edging in!;)
beth_atfw Will the FS2 beta testing open up in the future? Or will it just include those who signed up and made the cut in February?
V-Dave beth - I would think it will remain closed.
DC_Zarathud A question IceFire wanted to ask, Beth. :)
Maniac_SFL Q: What do you guys think of Origin's Secret Ops distribution system - do you think quality sims could be created this way (i personally was disappointed with SO)
DC_Overlord And most of us can afford the the new toys from you delvelopers :)
V-Dave is 23
VV-JD is 14
HH-Soft-2 is 23, too
DC_Zarathud is 26
beth_atfw He seems to be having problems. :( So he can thank me later. :)
Redag is 22.
V-Adam maniac: Not sure what they're dist. system really was. It was just free, right?
PS_Steve Maniac - it was a very interesting method.
HH-Soft-2 geez, you looked older when i met you, dave ;)
V-Dave :|
V-Dave :D
Maniac_SFL releasing new episodes every couple of weeks...
V-Adam is 27
Lorien-GA 27
V-Dave slaps V-Adam around a bit with a large trout
[DW]DreAdFaq is 14
V-Mitri is almost 27.
dudehere is 56
[DW]DreAdFaq 56?!??!?!?!?!
V-Adam maniac: There's definitely room for that (episodes-per-week kinda thing), but money has to be made on it somewhere.
Lorien-GA dudehere really??
dudehere lol
DC_Overlord Ahh..finally outdome :)
dudehere not really
Lorien-GA heheh
[DW]DreAdFaq thats almost old enough to be my grand pa
beth_atfw hehe
dudehere just wanted to see the reactions
Lorien-GA i would interview u if u were:)
Lorien-GA ehhehe
DC_Zarathud I think the idea was to eventually charge for downloading, V-Adam. Cut out the publisher and go directly on the Internet
dudehere lol
PS_Steve Unfortunately we wouldn't be able to afford giving a game away for free..
beth_atfw hehe, you blew your chance for an interview, Dude :)
V-Adam zara: Oh. But Origin self-publishes.
Lorien-GA hehehe
PS_Steve Zara - that's probably what origin was testing
dudehere aww...wait...beth...waaaiit
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DC_Overlord I fell lonesome..Q: is the a small over 30 group that plays sims?
beth_atfw It was more of a test than a product for Origin. That's my opinion, at least. :)
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dudehere Origin was just seeing if it was feasable to distribute a game over the net
Olento doh
PS_Steve Adam - yes, but you don't have packaging costs, and reduced distribution costs.
DC_Zarathud Which is silly, since lots of people will sit around downloading something for FREE (see the piracy thing), but pay for it? Never...
dudehere And Origin doesn't self publsh do they, the go through EA, their parent company...right?
V-Adam steve: surely.
Lorien-GA I was told they did it to keep the fans happy .. after the UP lawsuit.. though that sounds a little lame
DC_Zarathud $50 is worth having the CD in my hands
Lorien-GA UO i mean
V-Adam dude: EA does distribution only. Origin is the publisher.
beth_atfw Well, SO was pretty lame. :)
dudehere Oh...i did not know that
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dudehere beth: lame?!?
DW_Wingnut someone logging this?
Lorien-GA beth : i guess it fits then:)
DOLey I have been
PS_Steve The internet is still a bit slow to distribute something like I-War or Freespace...
beth_atfw I didn't enjoy it, Dude.
beth_atfw I am.
DC_Zarathud Think Origin saw FS and I-War and said...oops, can't sell it. Gotta give it away
V-Adam steve: yeah, I'll say. :)
V-Dave Whee
dudehere opinions opinions :)
V-Adam laughs
Maniac_SFL yeah that 115 meg d/l was a pain
V-Dave Yeah - but you got a free virus with no purchase necessary!
Lorien-GA a huge pain .
beth_atfw Missions were awful; no variety, tedious, and repetitive.
dudehere That 115 download was well worth the trouble :)
V-Adam haha, dave.
beth_atfw Although, in all fairness, I couldn't even finish it because I was far too bored.
Olento which one is more important: realism or gameplay?
V-Dave Gameplay
V-Adam gameplay
beth_atfw gameplay
V-Mitri Definitely.
Lorien-GA same here beth
dudehere gameplay
V-Dave Its the reason FS doesn't have asteroid physics ;)
Maniac_SFL same here, SO had no story whatsoever and was way too repetetive
V-Dave =o
PS_Steve In the UK we don't have free local calls. By the time you've downloaded the game you could have bought it cheaper from a store :)
VV-JD gameplay
river How far away, time-wise, are players from having moons--any kind of airless bodies with gravity-to interact with?
dudehere Steve heh
DC_Overlord V: Dont know if I should bring this up, but have you heard of the recent outcry of latcency on the PXO FS Server?
DW_Wingnut sadly, I have to leave :( I'll have to get the log... good.. bye.. all...
Olento I guessed that one
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V-Adam reality is quite boring sometimes. Playing a game suggests you're bored with reality in the first place.
PS_Steve Gameplay. Even in I-War we put gameplay over realism.
Redag The most important thing is understanding that the two aren't polar opposites, so long as you pay attention IMHO
DC_Zarathud Reality is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes. :)
PS_Steve bye wingnut
V-Dave Overlord - we've moved PXO inhouse. I suspect 99.99% of that were simply because of setup problems.
DC_Zarathud cya, Wingnut
V-Adam overlord: We had some complaints, but they've died off. I think a lot of it was DNS problems of some sort from the move.
dudehere yeah...B5 sim looks to have both...
V-Dave THey should be flushed out by now.
beth_atfw Bye Wingnut. Have a good one. :)
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Yakbutter question..any v guys know about the bad s-exp in the multi mission Last Hope?
V-Dave explain
PS_Steve Our fans keep asking us to make the next I-War game more realistic, but we'll only add realism where it enhances gameplay.
V-Adam I have to split. Thanks, everyone! Was fun.
V-Dave Bye, Adam
V-Mitri See ya, Adam.
PS_Steve bye adam
Yakbutter i the grant-medal s-exp it says alpha 1 must hv departed to get the medal
beth_atfw Bye Adam...thanks for dropping by. :)
DC_Zarathud Bye, Adam
Maniac_SFL bye adam
VV-JD bye adam
V-Dave Is this in Fred?
Lorien-GA hmm here is a thought: why are harcore space sim fans nicer to hang out with that quakers?:)
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V-Dave or in the game itself?
Redag Just please grant us combat parity as an option Steve..:)
beth_atfw Depends on who is in the crowd, Lorien. :)
Lorien-GA good one beth :)
Yakbutter well, it wont let u get the medal unless alpha 1 departs..
DC_Zarathud Question: any developers here discussing a plan to branch out and cross-fertilize the space sim genre with strategy? Like Homeworld or old WC Armada?
V-Dave Yak - is this in Fred or in Freespace itself?
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Yakbutter which doesnt make sense
Yakbutter fs itself
PS_Steve Redag -- sometimes you have to make compromises :)
V-Dave Zar - that's an idea I've been dying to explore
Lorien-GA DC - homeworld is a space sim??
dudehere Nope
V-Dave You get a crash?
dudehere homeworld is a 3d enviroment strategy game type thing
PS_Steve Didn't battlezone try to do something like that?
DC_Zarathud Those are examples, I'd think.
Lorien-GA i know .. but DC said its a sim:)
Yakbutter V-Dave: not a crash, but it wont grant the medal even if u complete all objectives
dudehere ohhhhh
DC_Zarathud Something where you'd have the cap ship of I-War or the fighter of FS mixed with a strategy
V-Dave How do you know you're supposed to get the medal, then?
DC_Overlord Yak - I think mission has to be Campaign to grant-medal..but not sure
Yakbutter i looked at it in fred
Redag Nothing frightens me so much about Homeworld as the fact that the developers seem to /like/ Battlestar Galactica..:)
PS_Steve hehehehe
V-Dave BG ownz
dudehere There's a scary thought
beth_atfw It's a space-sim/strategy hybrid. You're allowed control over combat situations. ATFW considers it to be a mix and we report on it.
Yakbutter DC_Overlord: it can be single
DC_Zarathud BG is awesome
V-Dave is now known as Starbuck
beth_atfw hehehe, BSG
DC_Zarathud if you grew up on Starbuck flying around
DC_Overlord ?? K
dudehere hmmm
dudehere huddles up in a corner...mommy I'M SCARED!!!
DC_Zarathud pays homage to Starbuck. Cried when my Viper fighter got tossed in the trash by mom
VV-JD heheh
V-Mitri Heh. I have a gold cylon sitting on my desk. :)
DC_Zarathud since it had "shooing parts"
dudehere i'm TERRIFIED!
VV-JD :)
Henry i had the shooting parts Cylon fighter :
VV-JD chuckles
Starbuck is now known as Boomer
Yakbutter so..about the bug?
dudehere Boomer?
Olento when it'll be possible to command REALLY big ships? I've always been looking forward to this.. using navigation computers and giving commands to crew
Olento it'
Olento it'd be cool
dudehere is now known as Fubar
Olento anyone planning something like this?
Boomer Yak - its not a bug. It probably was just determined that it wasn't worth fixing at that point.
DC_Overlord Im surprised "Darth_Maul" :) hasnt done a BS:Galactica mod yet :)
Boomer Darth who?
Boomer ;)
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Yakbutter Boomer: i think its a bug cuz a lot o people arent getting the medal just because alpha 1 dies
DC_Overlord The one who made the Starwars mod..
Fubar hmmm...planet of war looks fuunnkkyyy
HH-Soft they killed alan!
DC_Zarathud doh!
DC_Overlord Nobody knows who he is :)
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HH-Soft darth_maul?
DC_Zarathud If you need a good attorney to use the "Chewbacca defense" you know who to call...
V-Dave Yak - its not a bug. If there was a problem with the mission, we just left it there. Probably because it didn't matter to the campaign itself.
Maniac_SFL Q: What were the major inspirations for your games?
PS_Steve any more space-sim questions?
V-Dave sets mode: +o Alan_L2
VV-JD yes
Olento gotta go..
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VV-JD I have a space sim ques
VV-JD Just a quick one
Redag For all you development houses, what's the one paragraph description of the money-doesn't-matter space sim you'd like to do?
TheDude Steve are we gonna learn more bout aliens in the next one?
DC_Zarathud ooh...nice Q, Redag
PS_Steve TheDude - I can't say :-(
Yakbutter V-Dave: its a multi mission, not part of a campaign...and id say its worth fixing since it took me a while to figure out about that s-exp in the mission
VV-JD Now, With a "persistent universe" Is it possible for the universe to run out after a certain amount of time?
TheDude Steve oh ok, I take that as a yes, I'm reporting a yes :)
PS_Steve I think a persistent universe game...
VV-JD or is it just "there"
Lorien-GA heheh thedude:)
TheDude :)
V-Dave Yak - I disagree. Everything Fred related is "unsupported". If we'd never release fred, it would never had made a difference.
Lorien-GA :)
TheDude -GA = GA Games?
Lorien-GA yup . you?
Yakbutter V-Dave: but no one can get the medal unless they know how to use fred!
V-Dave That's exactly my point. Its not part of the game itself
PS_Steve TheDude - it's just as likely to be a 'no' - I can't give any plot details.
Yakbutter V-Dave: i view the s-exp as a mistake...a super-easy-to-fix mistake...
DC_Overlord V: I hear Fred2 is gonna 'make mission designers cry' in joy of all the new features , any truth?
V-Dave Yak - it is _NOT_ an easy fix. We would have to patch the game.
V-Dave Overlord - Fred2 will have several new features, but its not going to be massively different.
V-Dave Basically - just all the new stuff that FS2 supports will be in there.
DC_Zarathud So we don't have to rewrite the FRED FAQ from scratch V-Dave?
V-Dave And a few tweaks here and there.
V-Dave Heck no.
Redag Can you give us any technology details then for IW2?

Yakbutter V-Dave: and u said its not part of the game itself? i think when someone cant get a medal because of a mission designer's botch up...
DC_Overlord V: Will FS2 have an internal Pilot Points Display or do I have to write PointView2 :))
PS_Steve redag, sorry - it's too early to say anything about I-War2
V-Dave Yak - this is a moot point. For all I know, the designers left it out on purpose to disable it.
V-Dave The point is, it doesn't break anything, and it doesn't change the mission. Its just an artefact in there.
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V-Dave Lint, if you will
Yakbutter V-Dave: if they wanted to disable it, they should have left out the entire s-exp all together...
V-Dave is done arguing over this
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DC_Overlord HAA HAA
Maniac_SFL re - my comp crashed ! :(
DC_Zarathud don't hound V-Dave
V-Dave 0wnz j00
Yakbutter who's hounding him?
Maniac_SFL did i miss anything?
Yakbutter i was just asking a question...
DC_Zarathud grins
Lorien-GA Steve - mind telling us what you think on the B5 space sim? (please don't say "hmmm, looks cool!":))
DC_Overlord V: Will Fred 2 be noticablly sp different with more features
DC_Overlord V: Will FS2 have an internal Pilot Points Display or do I have to write PointView2 :))
beth_atfw How about a general ? for all the developers...which space-sims are you looking forward to...besides your own games, of course? :)
V-Dave V-Dave Overlord - Fred2 will have several new features, but its not going to be massively different.
V-Dave Overlord - total points is something we wanted to hide from the players. However, we may decide to change this
VV-JD If i may ask a question.........
PS_Steve I can't really comment on B5 - I've only seen a couple of early screenshots
V-Dave We haven't talked about it yet.
VV-JD All your games have radr... right?
V-Mitri I'm actually kinda curious how Origin is going to pull off Privateer Online, if they actually get around to it.
VV-JD How is it implemented...
VV-JD ???
V-Dave Radar?
VV-JD yah...
VV-JD like a way of navagation
V-Dave What part of it?
VV-JD How is it implemented?
PS_Steve I look forward to all of them. I love space-sims, and I'll play them all.
VV-JD Meaning... how is it used??
DC_Overlord Well..the outcry was that players above 50,000 at the time could see there points..why not all :)
DOLey PS_Steve: will you be at E3 this year
DOLey ?
V-Dave Used by who - players?
VV-JD is it like... "bleep, Bleep, Bleep"
VV-JD yes
VV-JD used by players
DC_Overlord PXO now shows top hiding points now :)
V-Dave Um. It represents where in space the targets are.
VV-JD I mean......
PS_Steve Someone will be. I may be there (if I'm lucky - someone will have to demonstrate IWar deluxe :-) )
VV-JD What is it looking like???
V-Dave Have you played Freespace?
V-Dave That's what it looks like.
VV-JD Ohh.. ok
Yakbutter ok here's a question...whats the special-check s-exp do?
PS_Steve I've completed freespace - I really enjoyed it.
VV-JD thanx :)
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V-Dave Steve - thanks :)
VV-JD dave - thanx :)
beth_atfw All of them Steve? :)
Lorien-GA I feel a group hug coming up :)
PS_Steve I thought it's by far the best of that style of Space Sim.
DC_Overlord I still enjoy it (FS)..just hit 100,000 last night :)
beth_atfw hehe
PS_Steve beth, yes, all of them. :-) (Being non-partisan here)
V-Dave yak - the special check is basically a magic # that code uses to do special scripted stuff
TDawg I think it's the greatest also
V-Dave Basically - Freespace 1 campaign specific stuff
beth_atfw Hehe, ok, Steve. :)
DC_Overlord Even with the massively terriblr lag to New Zealand, but thats NOT PXO/V fault :)
TDawg can fighters go into fighterbays?
V-Dave They can come _out_ of fighter bays.
PS_Steve I think it was great that Volition released Fred with Freespace.
TDawg will fs2 allow this
V-Dave Hey, I just realized something. Derek Smart PhD isn't here :)
V-Dave What up with that?
Maniac_SFL LOL
beth_atfw hehe...
Henry Oh man, opening the floodgates now!
DC_Overlord I flew into the fighter bay of the Hellfire in a single player mission and didnt see any :)
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Lorien-GA he is in NY .. that is why. would be fun if he was though:)
Maniac_SFL But let's not get into the flame war now ...
V-Dave :p
DOLey Derek is in my appartment right now
HH-Soft cant you also get inside of fighter bays of friendly capitol ships?
DOLey we are chucking beers
V-Dave heh
PS_Steve I think its a shame the space-sim newsgroup is so taken up with flame-wars...
V-Dave :)
Lorien-GA heheehhehe
DOLey j/k
VV-JD hehe
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V-Dave Nah - we have invisible poly barriers on the most of the ships.
HH-Soft not the big one.. how is it called again?
V-Dave V-Frank Capezzuto exploited it way too much
beth_atfw Yeah, I agree, Steve. Not a happy group of people who like to frequent that group. :)
V-Dave The Orion?
Maniac_SFL Q: What do you guys think of the quality of user-made missions in general?
HH-Soft the one with the big landing place
V-Dave Maniac - in general I unfortunately don't have the time to play many
PS_Steve Dave, no - a shame, as it could be a great group.
HH-Soft the biggest terran ship
DC_Overlord The Hellfire seems to have the barrier in Multi but not in Single
V-Dave From what I see on the FDL though, there's a heckuva lot of effort going into them.
V-Dave Heiko - The Arcadia?
V-Dave (space station) ?
HH-Soft dave: exactly!!
V-Dave :D
Yakbutter oooh ok 1 more the heck did V use that targeting thing for the asteroids? like in
Yakbutter sm-106a?
V-Dave Heeehee. You should subscribe to the FDL
V-Dave Basically - its cruisers and cap ships on the players escort list
DC_Overlord :) V-Dave: If you think there is alot now..wait till the V mod tools are out after FS2
V-Dave They'll get the special targeting
V-Dave Overlord - I cannot wait :D
HH-Soft shameless plug FDL rulez btw /shameless plug
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PS_Steve Any more questions before I leave?
TheDude None from me...thanks for coming Steve...
V-Dave Steve, I have one.
Redag Not that I can think of. Thanks for that surprise announcement, very exciting stuff.
PS_Steve OK dave
V-Dave Is I-War a full-scale sequel, or a 1-year one like FS2 ?
V-Dave er
V-Dave I-War2
beth_atfw Thanks for dropping by, Steve. :)
DC_Overlord Err..Sorry us 'Hard Core' FS'ers seem to be monpolyising V's time :)
beth_atfw And, yes, thanks for the I-War Deluxe info...can't wait to play it. :)
Lorien-GA thanks Steve!:)
PS_Steve I-War2 is a full-scale sequel, it's an entirely new game. Defiance is an improved version of the original I-War
Maniac_SFL yes thx for answering all our crazy questions :)
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V-Dave Cool. You guys get to have some new fun ;)
V-Dave (in the way only developers can!!)
PS_Steve it's ok! Glad to be able to announce Defiance at last!
DC_Zarathud cool
PS_Steve Well we've expanded since the original game - we now have 15 people working here, as opposed to the 6 who worked on I-War.
HH-Soft only 6? wow
V-Dave Wow
V-Dave Freespace 1 had almost 20
DC_Zarathud i give u credit then
DC_Overlord I have general Q: Do you guys have office Lan Partys with your games , or is it all work and no play ?? :)
PS_Steve Working for Particle is a lot of fun - the best job I've ever had.
V-Dave Overlord - we play a _whole_ lotta games at Volition
Lorien-GA bye all. thanks for your time.
HH-Soft ...only seldom their own ;)
V-Dave We've even got a full-time Tribes clan
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V-Mitri Yeah, but not usually our own. 8) Though, we just recently had a big D2 inhouse
V-Dave (#2 on the OGL ladder :) )
V-Mitri That too.
DC_Zarathud Tribes is cool
HH-Soft the only guy who played d2 with us was mike kulas himself ;)
PS_Steve We're always playing games at lunchtime or after work. Mostly FPS.
DC_Overlord cringe Whos the best pilot ? :)
V-Mitri Yeah. Half-life is a close second to Tribes.
beth_atfw hehe...
V-Dave Hmm
Maniac_SFL =)
V-Dave Well
beth_atfw This should be interesting. :)
DC_Overlord Yes
V-Mitri For FS or Descent, Overlord?
DC_Zarathud FS
DC_Overlord Fs
V-Dave I'd have to say Brad Johnson (lead mission designer), although Jim Boone (our producer) is also damn good
Redag Will PS or Infogrames release a full Defiance press release? Any chance the fan sites could get it if so?:)
V-Dave I'm pretty good, as is Sandeep Shekar
V-Mitri Pete's up there too.
DC_Zarathud Hmmm... DC v. Volition match next FS Frenzy?
V-Dave Yeah. But all us old guys are out of practice
PS_Steve redag - soon. I'm really releasing a little teaser here. The promotional machine will get into gear soon.
V-Dave DC - perhaps
Redag *grin* Cool Steve.
beth_atfw Who needs a press release when you already have the info? :)
DC_Overlord The reason I love FS is it dosent cater to the "Death Match" gene.. I love co-op
V-Dave Stockholders
V-Dave Overlord - I hear ya.
PS_Steve well, maybe a press release will be able to give out more info than I can :-)
DC_Zarathud You know the webmasters are going to splash it all over the web for you
V-Dave Its what makes FS unique
PS_Steve Zara, yes!
V-Dave Although, I just put in old-school dogfight mode, by popular demand
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DC_Zarathud That's a good question -- do you feel that webmasters can give you as effective press as traditional marketing?
beth_atfw Yeah, but you have to wait longer for the press release. Much better to know about a project than to have to wait for the full details. :)
HH-Soft dave: geez, but you didn't implement sliding by "popular demand", did you hoping not?
V-Dave :)
HH-Soft phew
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HH-Soft (c:
DC_Overlord Luckily you dont seem to have the 'Player-Killer' syndrome that hit and destoyed Blizzards Diablo
VV-JD heheh
Maniac_SFL the space-sim public is more mature :) *coughs*
DC_Zarathud traitor sexps help
VV-JD The "PK" syndrome did kinda destroy that...
DC_Overlord I have never been 'intentionally' killed by someone in a co-op game
VV-JD I have....
VV-JD It doesnt feel good
VV-JD :(
V-Dave Amazingly, one of our biggest culprits was MikeK
V-Dave :)
DC_Overlord I absolutley loved Diablo until that crap started
VV-JD agrees
DC_Zarathud i had fun even with PKing on Diablo until EVERYONE had the mega-cheats
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DC_Zarathud after 10 minutes of fireballing each other, we found out we were both big cheating losers :)
TheDude JD when can we expect Terminus?
VV-JD ????
Maniac_SFL when it's done ? :)
PS_Steve anyway, must go. Good luck with Terminus and Freespace2!
V-Mitri Bye, Steve
DC_Zarathud cya, st4eve
TheDude bye
VV-JD TheDude- Direct that to DOLey.. sorry
beth_atfw Thanks, Steve...ttyl. :)

Redag Later Steve
V-Dave BYe Steve. Thanks for coming
VV-JD Later Steve
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Maniac_SFL *spent WAY too much time reading the terminus FAQ at ST*
Henry Thanks, and bye!
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DOLey Terminus should be coming out later this year
DC_Overlord cya
TheDude k...well I have to go now, c ya guys later
V-Dave Ok. I'm gonna run too
V-Dave Thanks for coming, all
Maniac_SFL bye
beth_atfw Thanks all for coming. :)