Originally created by Volition Inc to run Freespace 2, the FS2_Open engine has been radically improved so that the engine can now compete with modern space combat simulation engines.

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0 comments by The_E on Dec 22nd, 2011

Good day, esteemed people of moddb.

Today, I want to talk to you about FS2_Open. This has truly been a long and productive year for all of us here at the FreeSpace Source Code Project, and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you all about the work accomplished so far.

As some of you may know, we have recently begun moving to the Release Candidate phase for 3.6.14, which marks the last release in the 3.6 series of builds. This release comes with a host of features that make the previous release look positively antiquated by comparison.
Aside from the usual stuff, like bugfixes, new sexps, and more functions for the lua API, our retired code wizard taylor has given us a new rendering code that not only improves performance by much, but also streamlines our post-processing pipeline so that new effects can be worked in effortlessly. We also have a reworked HUD system, courtesy of Swifty, that makes the HUD configurable in ways never dreamt of before.
Yes, I hear you say, we know, you told us this in July, have you guys done nothing in that time? Well, no. There are a few new things that have happened. First, Swifty did another magic trick and introduced us to depth-blended particles. What this means is that particles and explosions no longer do horrible clipping when they intersect with models, making them prettier and more realistic than before. Then there was newcomer Valathil, who did some other minor tweaks that resulted in us having a framework for per-ship shader effects, which allows some very cool stuff like Star-Trek-ish cloaking fields. He also introduced thruster distortions, making thruster effects much more chaotic and lively. And because that wasn't enough, he also took a close look at our movie playback code, and removed one of the major bottlenecks that prohibited the real use of 720p video in FSO. So all hail Valathil.

Okay, now that we have the old stuff out of the way, here's what's going to happen after the 3.6.14 release. We're currently heavily testing the new pilot code, which reworks the way we've been writing our savefiles. As longtime users know, these are prone to corruption if one doesn't follow a few guidelines; the new code eliminates most of these issues and makes the whole thing much easier to work with. Additional things we have in the pipeline are SDL support on all platforms, which will lessen the differences between Windows, Mac, and Linux builds, as well as a new godray effect and, for the first time, shadows. Yes, that's right. Shadows are finally making their way into FSO.

Wishing you a framebuffered Christmas, this has been The E. See you next year.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 12)
jpd101 Feb 8 2013, 12:52am says:

Is the updated freespace open engine anything like the modified Starlancer engine used in Freelancer or could it be made to look like that.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Nanoelite001 May 6 2012, 5:34am says:

i think i just jizzed myself... it sucks how space combat is almost extinct :C

+1 vote     reply to comment
lightning_games Nov 30 2010, 4:55pm says:

can you make stand alone games?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Quanto Dec 8 2010, 8:23pm replied:

Stellar Assault is planned to be stand-alone also, though release is still a way off.

+2 votes     reply to comment
The_E Nov 30 2010, 7:50pm replied:

Yes. While only one standalone game has been released so far (The Babylon Project mentioned above), there are other total conversions being worked on, like Diaspora.

+2 votes     reply to comment
SourHyperion1 Mar 1 2010, 8:33pm says:

if the game is free where can i get it?

+2 votes     reply to comment
plowman Sep 10 2009, 2:03pm says:

Is this a free engine for public use (say if you wan't to make a game) or not?
Not that I know anything about this but I was just wondering :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Karajorma Nov 13 2009, 11:25pm replied:

The engine is free to use for any non-commercial project. You can't sell anything made using it but beyond that, you can just download it and get to work if you wanted to.

+2 votes     reply to comment
fdslk Apr 8 2009, 1:41pm says:

How do I install the engine editor? D:

+2 votes     reply to comment
Ichiman94 Dec 30 2009, 4:46am replied:

already in the installer (FR.ED - Freespace editor)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Mobius89 Aug 15 2009, 11:51am replied:

Engine editor? What are you refering to?

+2 votes     reply to comment
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