Over the past month the team has been working on tying up loose ends of mod development. With release date 4 ½ months away, we’re dotting our I’s and crossing our T’s.
With that, the last few ships on our shiplists are being touched up or being completely remade. Sizer, our Model/Texture Lead Developer, has been working around the clock to get the last few of our models in game and textured. Below you can see his completely redone Corellian Cruiser:
Here’s what this awesome capital ship looks like in game with the normal and specular maps applied:
FriendlyFire has been working on improving the effects with the new graphical improvements of soft shading and dynamic lighting that W0dk4 has worked on. He’s vastly improved upon all the explosions, missile/torpedo trails and laser/turbos of the mod. He’s also started to work on some special effects that you’ll see littered throughout the mod upon release. Below is a teaser of one of these such effects:
The other big news is the inherent integration of anti-aliasing to Freeworlds: Tides of War. However, I'll let W0dk4 cover this topic since he was the one to bring it to Freelancer:
Since we have upgraded the Freelancer engine from Direct3D8 forward rendering to Direct3D9 deferred rendering we had a new problem - lacking anti aliasing. This is a common issue for deferred rendering on Direct3D9. Luckily for us, just recently a new post-process image-based anti-aliasing technique has been developed by Timothy Lottes from NVidia. The technique is called FXAA, which stands for "Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing" and is being used by many recent and upcoming games. It offers a great deal of quality while the performance loss is minimal.
We implemented the latest version (FXAA 3.11). If you want to read more on the technique, check out this whitepaper.