Set over 30 years after FreeSpace 2 and about 50 years after INFASA, INF SCP tells the story of GTVA's contacts with the Earth Alliance and the sudden re-appearance of the Shivan threat...

Report article RSS Feed 2010/08/02 - A status update

What we're currently working on and what we need. Please note that we're still hiring, so apply if you're interested!

Posted by Mobius89 on Aug 2nd, 2010

Need of a status update

With the recent re-boost in modding activity, we recognize that nothing has been done to inform the community about recent developments in Inferno. This status update is meant to provide information regarding the upcoming publications and current WIPs.

It's hard to determine how and when INFASA will be released, as there are many aspects of development to be carried on (read below). For now, we can ensure that a lot of importance is given to plot, FREDding and a series of features, like the revolutionary OCP (Onboard Computer Program) system and many other additions to the Inferno continuity.

After the main objectives are taken care of, efforts will be focused on improving even more the quality standards of the main campaign and enforce usage of the Fiction Viewer, which is a powerful storytelling tool, to give yet another boost to INFASA's plot.

News on Inferno SCP and Inferno: Alliance 2

The main projects, INF SCP and INFA2, are currently on hold, but there's something in the works in the planning phase of both projects. Although INF SCP is supposed to be developed before INFA2, the latter may be started when the former is nearing completion. For those who don't know it, INFA2 takes place in Sol many decades after INFASA, and is centered on the unification of the system under the Earth Alliance.

The Earth Alliance, which possesses beam and Nano technologies, faces the Jovian Coalition and the other outer colonies, which have more effective Nanotech but specialized on using batteries of torpedoes and missiles to compensate the lack of beams.

The reason why we don't want to rush INF SCP and/or INFA2 is simple: INF SCP is a remake of INFR1 and is intended to be definitive. With the technological advances seen in INFASA, rushed INF SCP and INFA2 would be obsolete even if they take place many decades after INFASA itself. At first, this may seem a bit controversial and unexplainable, but we're available to provide the explanations followers need to fully understand the reasons behind these choices.

Most of the work that is currently being done on INFASA, however, will prove useful to both INF SCP and INFA2 so, under a certain point of view, progress is being done on all Inferno projects and the time spent in the FS1-ish project that INFASA is surely isn't wasted.

Descriptions

From now on, the team will focus on ultimating and publishing a series of accurate descriptions of the new Inferno continuity, starting from INFASA. The creation of a fiction showing what INF SCP's plot will be like may also be developed and published in the process. Obviously, work on these descriptions should not be interpreted as an additional obstacle to the final release. Here's a list of the first descriptions you'll get to read soon:

The Ricochet Effect - Improved description of the RE, with proper references to the new INF continuity and explanations of the parameters that will influence subspace jumps in Sol.

With the Delta Serpentis jump node collapsed and no active nodes in Sol, the system's subspace field started becoming poorer and subspace jumps began to be very limited in range and started requiring too much energy, effectively influencing Sol's economy, politics, and military strategies.

Sol after the Great War - The collapse of the jump node and the RE had certain consequences on colonies throughout the system, which had to adapt to isolation and try to survive as subspace jumps became harder and harder. Tension between colonies culminated with the Secession, a system-scale conflict fought in multiple fronts which led to the creation of indipendent colonies, such as the Martian Republic and the Jovian Kingdom. By analyzing the most important events and individuals who have been pivotal, the descriptions will introduce players to INFASA's intercolonial scenario.

The Martian Republic - The first Sol faction to be described will be the Martian Republic, and future faction descriptions will follow a similar style. History, terraforming, population, economy, navy, army, destroyers, notable units, OCPs and intelligence will all be described, and many biographies about the most notable Martians will also be present.
Biographies are integrated with the presence of fictions, showing critical (or typical) events of a notable Martian's life.

There are many veterans of the Terran-Vasudan War, so references to that conflict (among other things) will be present. Fictions are also used to provide info regarding armies and ground warfare.

Metaeroplankton - One of the keys to terraforming is Metaeroplankton, name given to an artificial phylum (or paraphylum) of Protista which has been created to live in the air and make appropriate changes to atmospheres. First introduced in Earth's atmosphere, Metaeroplankton has been effectively used in Mars and is also known for the failed attempt to terraform Venus.

The description will provide accurate information about the creation, first uses, accidents and development of these small life forms. At first they may seem totally unrelated to a sci-fi universe, but they're necessary to introduce certain technological developments that will be seen in future INF releases. Several genera and subgenera of Metaeroplankton will also be described, with the probable presence of pics showing them.

The Earther Federation of States - A lot of importance is given to Earth's faction, because it'll play a vital role in INFASA. The style of the description will follow that of "The Martian Republic". Due to the nature of the EFoS, which is based on the old GTA, the description willhave certain differences.

Although some of them are very long, they have been designed to be an enjoyable reading and the presence of pictures will make them more interesting. They're not strictly necessary to understand the new INF continuity, as many explanations will be provided in INFASA, but it's a good way to see how the project progresses and what players can expect from it.

Minicampaigns

INFASA is not intended as a remake of the old INFA, only, but will benefit from the release of a number of minicampaigns. Please note that the number may increase, as more effort will be focused on campaigns in a later stage of development.

Because development of minicampaigns has the potential to delay the release of INFASA, these minicampaigns are very likely to be released after INFASA itself, but a couple of them may be included in the main release. Both TSoP and GehG are meant to be used in INFASA's FSPort mode, while Srdp and GlaW are to be played with the very same settings of the main campaign.

The Spirit of Ptah [TSoP]

Some research on the campaign's name would suggest that it's about the HoL's last stand to survive against the GTA and PVE, which have formed an alliance and are willing to defeat the Hammer of Light fanatics. From the GTD Ixion, an Orion-class destroyer, the player takes part in a series of operations meant to eradicate the HoL, and he will also get to use Vasudan spacecraft and land on a Vasudan destroyer, the PVD Hedetet. The HoL have a secret weapon, the Het-Ka, and this campaign will represent a good way to use the new Het-Ka model, much closer to Vasudan standards than its predecessors.

Important feature of TSoP is that the campaign has a lot of cutscenes, showing subspace jumps, landings, important events and so on. Use of fictions via the Fiction Viewer is likely to be done, to describe the battle from the HoL's point of view. Great importance will be given to HoL operatives in the PVN, which somehow manage to conducts acts of sabotage capable of disrupting the most critical operations: that's one of the reasons why the Vasudans, at some point, need the help of more reliable Terrans.

Serendipity [Srdp]

Among all minicampaigns, Serendipity is probably the only one that should be hopefully be released with INFASA: it is, in fact, the sequel of INFASA itself.

Some six months after the Red Ocean War, the conflict which has raged on in Earther and Martian space, an alliance between the two colonies is instituted and joint endeavors are begun to contribute to the raise of its might, which has been damaged by the earlier conflict. In the Jovian Kingdom, however, things aren't going well for King Johannes Frantisek, whose reign is interfering with the development of Jupiter's colonies.
Thinking that Jupiter should remain a second-class colony and therefore should not interfere with the major powers, the King's reputation has fallen miserably and several mass assassinations, apparently ordered by him to restablish order in protests throughout the Jovian colonies, led to the creation of a strong resistance group which is plotting to kill the King and subvert the government. The resistance manages to infiltrate one of its agents among King Frantisek's servants, thus being able to kill him at any moment.

A member of the resistance, during a patrol mission close to Martian space, does not follow his orders and goes AWOL to send a vital transmission to the Martian Republic. Despite being doomed to certain death for what he did, the pilot is satisfied of his achievement and does whatever he could to let the other forces that later captured him find out that he's sent a transmission to the MR.

In exchange of Martian help subverting the government, the resistance promises to give advanced jump drives, necessary to survive in a system where the RE is severely compromising them. The Martians are cautious and send a task force to penetrate Jovian space and take control of the cargo, but don't clarify their intention to obtain the jump drives without actually contributing to the downfall of the Jovian Kingdom. What the Martians surely don't know is that the expeditionary force will discover something that will change completely the future of the Sol system...

Very important in this campaign is the parallelism, given with adequate usage of the Fiction Viewer, between the Martian task force and the fake servant. As the Martian special units advance, the rebellion escalates and the unpredictable happens. A lot of importance will be given to psychological matters: will the servant be able to kill King Johannes Frantisek when the time comes, or perhaps getting to know the King so well may interfere with his actions as a member of the Jovian resistance?

Gehenna's Gate [GehG]

The Lucifer has been destroyed and Sol has been isolated, but the Great War isn't over yet. Shortly after the superdestroyer went down, Shivan forces began to be very easy to eliminate and, at first, it was commonly believed by both GTA and PVN strategists that known space would have been easily secured.

As joint Terran and Vasudan fleets prepare to assault Ross 128, the Shivans begin to show a renewed organizational capacity: first, they attempt to escape to Ross 128 and also introduce in combat a number of ship classes which were unseen before. In that very moment, it became clear that winning the Great War once and for all wouldn't have been that easy and fearing that a second Lucifer superdestroyer is lurking somewhere in Ross 128, regrouping the Shivan forces and calling others to mount an attack, the GTA and PVN prudently carry on a series of operations and the player, from the GTD Veritas, will be sortied to battle the Shivans and also conduct investigations to determine what the Shivans are really up to.

The truth does not match the expectations, but is almost equally shocking. If regional security is to be ensured once and for all, the Gate of Gehenna must be closed: countless millions of lives are at stake, and something must be done by brave GTA and PVN officers who are ready to sacrifice their own life in what seems to be a one-way road to hell.

Glacial Warriors [GlaW]

Intended to be the first campaign of the "Secession series", Glacial Warriors takes place in Sol when the GTA's collapse has just begun. Time has passed since the GTA's repression of Isidoros Georgalis' "Warriors of the Hades", a Plutonian movement whose repression resulted in many losses among Plutonian civilians.

With tension between Mars and Earth growing and the risk of a war being tangible, the Plutonians get rid of GTA loyalists in their space and, confident in the Ricochet Effect and its consequences to military strategies, seceede from the GTA and prepare themselves to face any incoming GTA loyalists. With much more effective plans than initially believed, the Plutonians do not suffer any attacks from Earth, as the RE prevents ships from jumping to Pluto directly and the stubborn attempt of the GTD Adamanthea has resulted in the destroyer jumping in the middle of the Asteroid Belt.

Trouble doesn't come from Earth, only: many loyalists have gathered in Uranus and prepared to strike Pluto, but before reaching the remote planetoid they have to face other Uranians and Neptunians alike, which are evidently against the GTA. To succeed, the Plutonians will use their small force to employ coordinated strikes and hit very hard military personnel and civilians alike, turning terror into their most effective weapon. As things progresses, things go so well for the PF that their independence is fully reckognized, but at high cost.

Interesting in the campaign will be the extremely dark environments, where sensors will be more important than visuals and ships can be hardly noticed with extremely poor light. The particular environment, in fact, will significantly improve immersion as the player fights for the "masters of the RE".

Music development and collaboration with ASW

Creation of new soundtracks is proceeding very well, with Georgios Savvinidis and bloodstalker delivering new tracks at comforting rates. At the moment of writing, INFASA alone has over 40 minutes of new, original music, which is all but going to increase. Contacts with other composers are in progress and we expect to hire more artists soon. We'd also like to thank Daddy Warhol and Zajed, who have contributed in the past by creating a number of tracks for Inferno.

Collaboration with the Ancient-Shivan War team is encouraging and progressing. We've given a number of exclusive Ancient ships to the ASW teams in the past, and we're now discussing upgrades of Shivan designs which will be of great use of both projects.

You may expect more updates on this very soon, so stay tuned.

We're still hiring!

The more we do, the more we realize we need to fill certain gaps in the team. Modellers and texturers are a top priority at the moment, as a number of WIP ship designs (exclusive ships or upgrades) is currently waiting UVmapping and other steps necessary to bring the models ingame.
2D artists are also needed to upgrade weapon effects and possibly a few textures here and there, but top importance is given to modellers and/or UVmappers.

An important note about FREDders and FREDding follows: although the requirements for FREDders are very high, other contributors who wish to give FREDding a try to create their own minicampaigns (after they get their texturing and modelling work done, of course) are welcome as long as the campaign ideas fit in Inferno.

We're not really looking for actual cutscene creators, but if such artists are interested on the project and would like to help we'll be more than glad to accept their offer.

The very same principle is applied to programmers who work on the Scripting system, as. Perhaps, when further upgrades of the OCP system will be made public, script creators may wish to take a look and if they're interested enough they may even work on some new scripts to use in INF.

New INFASA screenshots

Screenshot #26Screenshot #27
Screenshot #28

Presenting notable squadrons with an original and quite good-looking effect.

The Ricochet Effect #01

The destruction of the SD Lucifer from FreeSpace 1's last cutscene, but with a number of additions.
Terraforming Mars #01Terraforming Mars #02
Terraforming Mars #03Terraforming Mars #04
Terraforming Mars #05

Mars at some stage of terraforming, courtesy of the artist Neethis. Check each pic for info, and stay tuned: additional descriptions will be posted in the near future.
Inferno SCP/Inferno: Alliance 2 screenshots

Terraforming Luna #01

Worldhoused Luna, yet another courtesy by Neethis. Thanks to domes, whose construction began in the 2350s, it's become possible to maintain an artificial atmosphere in Luna.

Very special thanks to starwolf1991, who contributed to the creation of this update.

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