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.
This article details the updated graphical engine w0dk4 has created for Freelancer.
Posted by FW:ToW_Sushi on Feb 11th, 2011
Welcome back to another Freeworlds: Tides of War update. "Finally!" you might say. We have indeed been very low on developer activity over the last couple of weeks (or even months). Nevertheless, we are still working on the mod and we are committed to actually releasing it. So dont worry, we are here to stay.
For those who have been brave enough to follow us, be prepared for some more eye-candy: We recently got Normal and specular mapping working! Now, being a gamer that keeps up with the industry you might not be impressed at all. However, we are talking about a now 8-years old game engine based on Direct3D8. This and deferred rendering have been huge steps towards bringing the Freelancer engine to current state-of-the-art graphic levels.
On the technical side, implementing normal mapping was really no easy undertaking, since we had to change the existing Freelancer mesh formats to handle the tangent/binormal data that is required for normal mapping. Normal and specular Mapping can greatly enhance existing models, giving them a lot of depth. You can see the difference in the following dev-video where at some points I switch normal and specular mapping on and off:
Normal maps by Dr.Knickers.
Coming back at our developer activity problem, we are actually searching for interested people that would like to help us out. We've had multiple developers go AWOL and others just being plain busy in real life. However, I think we've shown that we are an ambitious project that is well worth the effort.
Due to our normal/specular mapping breakthrough, we are actively searching for any talented texture artists and/or modelers that can help us out with specular and normal maps.
Also, if any Freelancer developer is listening, we are searching for an .ini coder to help us with mod development in general. We are only looking for experienced Freelancer developers though, since our mod structure has become quite complex.
Finally, we are looking for C++/C# programmers to help us with tools and engine hacks around our mod and Freelancer.
If you're interested in helping us, simply write a short but informative application to email@example.com or contact us via PMs here at ModDB or at our developer website.
Stay tuned for more updates!