Freeworlds: Tides of War is a fan built Star Wars 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 and Tides of War were the answer to this outcry. The development team of both mods have now joined forces to create an epic new Star Wars TC, Freeworlds: Tides of War.

Post news Report article RSS Feed Incredibly detailed Star Wars Starfighters - New Republic Edition

While the testers are working on the systems, I've gobe back to work on the models to use the full potential of our highly improved graphic engine

Posted by FW:ToW_Sushi on Jun 3rd, 2011

It's nice to take a breather from doing monkey work every once in awhile to do something more interesting, when you're a modder. For me, I'm doing something I always wanted to do for the mod but haven't had the knowledge or time to do before. So, while the testers are hard at work putting Freeworlds: Tides of War's universe map through heavy testing, I've had some time to learn how to create some neat new things for the mod.

As some of you that have been following us for some time may know, we introduced normal and specular mapping in the early part of this year. Now, for those that aren't as computer savvy as other, what this means is that we can get incredibly detailed models without losing performance. We do this through textures. Here's an example of what a normal map and specular map look like, respectively:

Normal Map:

Specular Map:

So, you may be asking yourself, how do these textures add detail to the model? Here's a brief description of each taken from Wikipedia:

Normal Mapping:
In 3D computer graphics, normal mapping, or "Dot3 bump mapping", is a technique used for faking the lighting of bumps and dents. It is used to add details without using more polygons. A normal map is usually an RGB image that corresponds to the X, Y, and Z coordinates of a surface normal from a more detailed version of the object. A common use of this technique is to greatly enhance the appearance and details of a low polygon model by generating a normal map from a high polygon model.

Specular Mapping:

Specular maps are the maps you use to define a surface's shininess and highlight colour. The higher the value of a pixel (from black to white), the shinier the surface will appear in-game. Therefore, surfaces such as dry stone or cotton fabric would tend to have a very dark specular map, while surfaces like polished chrome or plastic would tend to have lighter specular maps.

So, ya, what does this mean to you the player? Well, I'll show you. Below is our newly redone New Republic Starfighters:







Let us know what you think. And don't worry those who love the Imperial ships, they're getting the same treatment and I'll post their videos up early next week.

As always any comments, suggestions or questions are always welcomed!

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Note: Big thanks to the First Strike Mod for letting us use their incredible models/textures for our mod

Post comment Comments
TSP-FriendlyFire Creator
TSP-FriendlyFire Jun 3 2011 says:

Also worthy of note is that Sushi here is now officially a medical doctor!

Congrats man :D

+10 votes   reply to comment
Dwarden Jun 4 2011 says:

very nice , can't wait to see bigger shuttles and ships ....

+1 vote     reply to comment
BlueSunsleader Jun 4 2011 says:

Awesome detailing as always. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cropto7 Jun 4 2011 says:

Great models (and that with not even losing a single FPS haha)

Also congratz with the job Sushi ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
FW:TOW_Hakre1 Jun 4 2011 says:

Lookin good!
One small critique: It looks like you used some sort of normal map generator which made all of the edges sorta rounded, I think you will find the results look much better if you bake normals from a high-res mesh. I'm not saying you have to go back and re-model the x-wing etc. just make some random grebles on a plane and bake out a flat texture, then copy paste them on the UV's in Photoshop.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TSP-FriendlyFire Creator
TSP-FriendlyFire Jun 4 2011 replied:

We're well aware of this. Thing is, would you rather have a third or even less of the models with excellent normal and specular maps, or all of them with good ones?

This is the kind of decision we need to take at this point, and we decided to shoot for having all of them in a good state rather than leaving many without any. We don't want to extend the mod's development by another 4-6 months.

+1 vote   reply to comment
FW:TOW_Hakre1 Jun 4 2011 replied:

Totally understandable, as I said it was a small critique ;D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Wasper Jun 4 2011 says:

Hah, looks like CrazyBump Normal and Specular Map to me :D But that's fine, nothing wrong about it.
Can't wait for a release, just completed the Freelancer story mode again to fill the gap until the release :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Noodlemonk Jun 4 2011 says:

I get ptyalism looking at these vids - you owe me a new keyboard, man!

Congratulations on the degree slash job, Sushi!

+2 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi Jun 5 2011 says:

Thanks everyone!

+1 vote   reply to comment
TALON_UK Jun 6 2011 says:

Aye congrats on the job Sushi, and fantastic work on the mod as always.

+2 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi Jun 6 2011 replied:

Couldn't have done it without your teams awesome models, Talon ;)

+1 vote   reply to comment
jabelcher23 Jun 6 2011 says:

it just gets more beautiful with each update :) keep up the good work guys

+2 votes     reply to comment
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