What is Freeworlds?
Freeworlds is a fan built total conversion mod for Digital Anvil's Freelancer game that was released several years ago. When fans began to make mods for Freelancer, one of the many things people were keen on seeing was a Freelancer mod based on the Star Wars universe developed by George Lucas. Freeworlds was the answer to this outcry and work began quickly on developing the first versions of Freeworlds.
Multi-Player or Single-Player?
Freeworlds has always traditionally been a Multi-Player Only mod, though a rare and hard to find Open Single Player version has been in circulation of the latest Freeworlds 1.65 version. At the moment, plans are in progress to release an Open Single Player version of the new Freeworlds 1.66 when it is complete along with the normal Multi-Player Only Version. However, it should be noted that Freeworlds is designed primarily for Multi-Player use, so it is better tailored towards that enviroment.
Total conversion is a term that comes up every now and then in Freelancer mods. It essentially means changing as much as possible from the original Freelancer over to what the mod represents. This normally means replacing all the ship designs, system designs and weapon configurations to best suit what the mod is about. With Freeworlds, we have taken this term very seriousily and believe that with 1.66, we will have achieved the most true sense of the word total conversion, changing possibly more stuff within the game design than any previous mod.
How has Freeworlds evolved?
The current version of Freeworlds (version 1.65) has grown over the years with the input of many great coders and fan related feed back. The number of ships has continued to increase as more and more content was added into the game. Some people feel that previous Freeworlds versions have also been lacking in their numbers of new systems added to the mod, though the truth is, each system has been delicately built and balanced, hand crafted and coded to ensure that it as stable as one can make the files associated with each system. Custom factions have been added to the game, replacing the original Freelancer ones, so you will see New Republic Navy and Imperial Naval NPC's flying around in X-Wings and Tie-Fighters. The current make up of Freeworlds 1.65 includes approximately 100 star wars based ship designs, 11 star systems, various star wars related commodities and custom intro animations on the title screen (plus much more than regular players will be aware off).
So what is coming with Freeworlds 1.66?
1.66 is a dramatic change from 1.65 in a number of aspects. For one, you will find that the term total conversion has now been applied to include a number of additional things that previous 'total conversions' have left untouched. Here is just some of the changes that will be included in 1.66 and are either already implemented in the test mods or undergoing testing:
Every space station has been replaced with their own unqiue design.
All the original Freelancer stations have been removed and replaced with Aldebaran's Modular Station Project. This has enabled the mod to not only remove every Freelancer station model from the mod, but also to make each one unique. No two stations are alike in Freeworlds 1.66. Here is some images of some of the stations that you will see in 1.66:
New Landing, Bar and Dock sequences.
Many off the landing, bar and dock sequences have been replaced with new scenes more appropriate to the Star Wars universe and replacing the original Freelancers scenes. At this moment in development, we are hoping to replace all such scenes by 1.66's release, though that will be some task to complete, so it is no guarantees. However, you can be sure that many of the scenes if not all of them will be fresh and new.
New NPC models
Created to populate the bars. Previous Freeworlds version already included new NPC designs like Storm Troopers and Mandalorian Armour. With 1.66, Aldebaran and Jong have both come forward with several new NPC models to add more variety to the NPC's you will meet on the stations and planets.
5 new systems
Bringing the total number of systems upto 16. These 16 systems also include the sum of 114 bases between them, each one with their own NPC populations and place within the economy of the mod. Table One in the complete html document shows details of each system and the bases that lie within each one.
Yep, 270 ships, including new capital ships. These ships have been taken from across the star wars time line and expanded universes, including ships that can be seen from as earlier as Knights of the Old Republic and through the six movies (including designs from the latest Episode III) and beyond. Table Two of the complete html document lists every ship that is currently built and undergoing testing on the Freeworlds test realms.