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FPS-Z Fanatics

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Definition

The term FPS-Z was first coined sometime around 2006 of 2007 by a former Tribes Vengeance: Renegades and Ascension developer Rooster128 to help differentiate games like Tribes from other first-person shooters. FPS-Z's are essentially the same as first-person shooters, with the obvious emphasis on movement in the Z axis. Generally FPS-Z's are played in the first-person perspective, but some do include an optional third-person view. Though not the first, many consider the Tribes franchise to be the quintessential and most successful FPS-Z series. While many games before and after included elements of Z-axis movement, the Tribes series completely revolves around this aspect. Although they feature the same freedom of movement, FPS-Z's shouldn't be confused with six degrees of freedom(6DoF) games, such as Freespace, Freelancer, and Eve Online.

History

1990's

In 1998, Sierra On-Line released Starsiege: Tribes, the first of five Tribes games which some consider the land-mark FPS-Z video-game series. It was developed by Dynamix for the PC.

2000-2010

In 2001 Sierra released Tribes 2, the sequel to Starsiege: Tribes. Although movement was a bit different, overall it was very similar to the first game and featured the standard Spinfusor, Chaingun, and Blaster, along with new weapons. It originally included clan and player profiles, along with email, chat, league tables, tournaments and message board functionality all within the game client. In 2002 Sierra released Tribes: Aerial Assault for the PlayStation 2, the first and only Tribes game for a console. It is essentially Tribes 2 ported to the PlayStation 2, and included online multiplayer.

In October of 2004 VU Games released Tribes: Vengeance. While it was met with mixed reactions from the community, it garnered generally positive reviews from the industry. Along with the usual multiplayer modes such as Capture the Flag and Arena, Vengeance also included a complete single-player campaign, the only Tribes game to include one. Due to poor sales, support for Vengeance was cancelled just 6 months after release.

In 2008 GarageGames released Fallen Empire: Legions, a browser-based "spiritual successor" to the Tribes franchise. Like Tribes, movement is based almost entirely around the use of jetpacks. Players are able to either take flight for a few seconds or glide across maps over a cushion of air, essentially replicating the skiing functionality found in Tribes games.

In September of 2009 SouthPeak Interactive released Section 8, which equipped all players players with a jet-pack. It included 32 online multiplayer support, custom load-outs and character customization. The game received mostly average to mixed reviews, with its low server population being the main drawback. In November 2009 Futuremark Games Studio released Shattered Horizon, a zero-gravity multiplayer-only FPS-Z that placed players in the broken remains of Earth's orbital infrastructure and hollowed-out asteroids. It featured 32 multiplayer online support and complete freedom of movement. While it received generally positive reviews, it required a fairly high-end computer which limited its player base.

In December 2009, a mod for Crysis was released as a public beta. The mod, titled MechWarrior Living Legends, allowed players to control battlemechs, while also giving players movement in the Z-axis through short bursts of energy. In March of 2010, a mod for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars called Tribal Wars was released and aimed at bringing back some of the gameplay elements found in Starsiege: Tribes, such as jetpacks, skiing and similar weapons.

2011-Present

In 2011 Hi-Rez Studios started the closed beta stage for Tribes: Ascend, which was then released in April 2012. Like previous Tribes titles, it too featured skiing, jetpacks, large outdoor maps and popular game modes such as CTF, TDM, and Arena. Like Tribes: Vengeance, game critics praised Ascend and gave it high marks, though the game received mixed reactions from seasoned Tribes players.

Not long after the release of Tribes: Ascend, a number of community-developed FPS-Zs started to emerge. Project Freefall technically started development during Ascend's closed beta by Cameron West, also known as Ignorance or Saccaed. Development on Project Freefall started in early 2012 originally on Unreal Engine 3, and was briefly ported to Unity before switching to Unreal Engine 4. Freefall features both skiing and jetpacks, and aims to be very open to modders. Each public build also comes with its source code for those interested.

Former Tribes player and Ascension developer Rooster128 revealed Project Teamsky in early 2013. Early videos showed a game similar to Tribes, at least from a movement-standpoint. While not much information regarding Project Teamsky has emerged, Rooster128 recently shared new images on the project's forum.

Also in early 2013 saw the early development stages of Legacy FPS, or Legacy, by another Tribes player known as SmoothP. Developed using Unity, Legacy mainly focused on creating a stand-alone version of the popular Tribes 2 game mode Team Rabbit 2. While the game saw a brief duration of popularity within the Tribes community, ultimately development slowed down to a point where the community lost interest and moved on. Developer SmoothP eventually came back and started releasing updates in late 2017, rekindling some interest within the community.

Midair (formerly known as Project Z) started development sometime during 2013 by former Legions: Overdrive developers, who now go by Archetype Studios. While the project originally began as a port of Legions: Overdrive to Unity in 2012, it eventually grew into its own separate game roughly a year later. As their website states, Tribes and Legions players will feel at home since Midair will emphasize freedom of movement and a focus on competitive and casual team play. Currently the game is still under development, and recently entered the closed beta / Early Access phase. It is currently slated for a Q1 2018 release.

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FPS-Z Fanatics

FPS-Z Fanatics

44 members Web & Community

For fans of games with unique movement mechanics, such as Tribes, Titanfall, Shattered Horizon, Legions: Overdrive and more.

Legions: Overdrive Community

Legions: Overdrive Community

2 members Web & Community

For developers and members of Legions: Overdrive. Images, videos, and updates are to be posted here.

LOdev

LOdev

2 members Developer & Publisher

This is the development group for the game Legions: Overdrive.

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muheydari
muheydari

thanks for watching our game.
Indiedb.com

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Twitter

Latest tweets from @fps_z

Midair - Midweek Midair presents: The Kryosis Time Trials Ift.tt

23hours ago

A nice play from last night's Legacy play session. T.co

Sep 24 2017

Legacy play session tonight at 10pm EST. Join the Discord to stay updated. Discord.gg T.co

Sep 23 2017

RT @FatalVelocity: We're losing our minds over here, Chris Rickwood (composer for Tribes Ascend) will assist our soundtrack!! #omgT.co

Sep 20 2017

MIDAIR Closed Beta and Steam Early Access are live! Play TODAY! ** Pubs all day! Twitch.tv

Sep 20 2017

Midair - Dev Log #15 – PAX Recap, 0.28.0 Build Preview, and Key Giveaway Ift.tt

Sep 19 2017

Legacy play session kicks off in about a half our. Come chill in the Discord till then! Discord.gg T.co

Sep 16 2017

Legacy play session tonight at 10pm EST Reddit.com via @reddit T.co

Sep 16 2017

Check out this slick new map coming to @playjetball. T.co

Sep 15 2017

Interview: Chris Mathews talks about Midair soaring over milestones and into Steam Early Access Pcgameexaminer.com via @bryanedge_s

Sep 15 2017

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