Modification information summary:
Freedom for Mars – The Story of The Red Planet (the full title of this unofficial mission pack for Chaser) is the episodic modification of my own production. It’s a package of several independent addons connected by the story, which will be unregularly released for download. The aim of this modification is to extend the game step by step with new missions and to compensate the fact that the official sequel/prequel is still not in sight. At the end these packages would bring a lot of hours of fun and remarkable experience. And what should you expect in particular?
The story of these episodic modification brings you to Mars before the original game events take place. You will play the role of fearless John Chaser, at that time one of many rebels fighting for the Red Planet independence against ever growing oppression of Marscorp. Individual epizodes will partially reveal events which happened before the plot of the original game and maybe they explain some unanswered questions.
Maybe you wonder why I have chosen to create episodical modification. The reason is simple, due to my leisure-time limitations to start large project doesn’t make sense because it would be impossible to complete it in a reasonable time. This is the reason why I have decided to release individual missions separately in small packages – episodes. In case there will be minimal players’ interest in project only the first episode will be created. But I believe to create a lot more at the end.
It’s clear to me that majority consider Chaser outdated and production of new content obsolete. But it should be noted that for many players (including me) Chaser became one of the best games ever played. For some it’s the same legend as for others Half-Life is. No wonder that for many of us Chaser is emotional affair and we play it over and over again even nowadays. Thanks to this fact the Chaser community is still alive and this modification is aimed at it at the first place.
From visual point of view my aim is to create mod as close as possible to original game in order new locations being consistent to the rest of the game. So don’t expect dynamic graphical changes. I’m aware of graphic of original being rather outdated but I’m not able to change anything. Besides, the former design has its charm and I want to preserve it in the mod. Therefore I want to concentrate on detailed locations developement, atmosphere and entertaining gameplay.
In this mod there will be several features not seen in any fan mod for Chaser yet, for example proper movie-like animations or absolutely new way of storytelling. You may look forward to revisiting some locations of former game seen only in animations so far. Especially rebel hideout from Chaser’s flashbacks. You will set out from there on your missions and I can assure there will be more but I won’t to spoil the surprise.
It’s a pitty that Chaser somewhat sink into oblivion when released. Nevertheless I hope that thanks to this modification and its epizodes I will be able to draw your attention to this briliant game once more. And maybe some of you will create additional content to expand the story. Despite the fact that the game is graphically outdated I believe that the story and gameplay has still a lot to offer. This is the reason which boosts my effort.
Detailed information about actual state of individual episodes follows as well as story scheme including screenshots (from mod and its developement alike).
Episode 1 - The Base
Introduction episode "The Base" will lead you in the very beginning of rebel movement. That time commander Castor, respected professor and liberty movement founder, decided under growing tension to start the more radical way of resistance. This is the way the first mission starts. It will throw you into mercilles struggle between rebels and ruling Marscorp consortium. Your task will be the destruction of one of the most important structures which supports Samuel Longwood, ambitious busnessman and Marscorp CEO, in his dishonest intentions. Nothing will be as easy as it looks and mission success will be entirely dependent on your ability to acomplish all the goals.
One of many Chaser aspects I have always liked (and I like it more and more at present) is that the game (unlike modern shooters) uses classic editor to create enviroment. The editor is very similar for example to editors based on Quake engine, so the individual level creation is quite simple and without need of another tools.
In addition, Chaser editor is able to create complicated objects out of the brushes (primary structure of each map) and convert them to so called prefabricated models. If you are inventive enough you can create almost all the prefabricated models in editor without any external modelling software. Objects created this way aren’t as perfect as the ones created in 3ds Max for instance, but (despite the fact that they have some flaws) this method is perfect for certain types of models.
During the work on Freedom for Mars project naturally a lot of new objects are created in order to have interesting and detailed levels. You can see how prefabricated models look like and what is possible to create with brushes on two following pictures. If you have great imagination the possibilities are almost limitless. Though it is not possible to create complicated models or human characters, it is possible to create simple ones (boxes, palettes, shelves etc.) in a couple of minutes. That’s superb feature of Chaser because the environment creation in modern shooters is based solely on models created in external software. That means this games are basically non-editable.
If Chaser editor features caught your attention and you want to see how is the enviroment including prefabricated models created, you are welcome to watch it on the following video. I have recorded it in cooperation with Cauldron during the editor work presentation. The video is almost one hour long and you can observe how is each Chaser map created from first brush to final compilation and execution in the game. Chaser editor is in fact simple tool for very effective work. It’s quite hard to find anything similar in modern games. It’s a pity because a lot of modern games deserve some new missions, too.