While writing this progress report, I was wondering if I could use a single metaphoric word or phrase to summarize LCW's progress, but found none that would be adequate, the reason being that in one respect, LCW is in high gear, in another respect, it is at a snail's pace.
In the previous progress report, I mentioned that I intended to revise how the plot ends. This didn't happen, partly due to laziness, lack of motivation, and occupation with other projects. However, I collected some ideas, through brainstorming, so I wouldn't say no progress was made at all. If I can find a place to insert one or two of these ideas into the plot, the brainstorming was worth it.
In regards to missions. While no new mission was added, the four we already have have gone through some major updates, mission 1 in particular. Now, mission 1 is playable in both fighter and bomber roles, and I added a cutscene to the end as well. Here are two screenshots of said cutscene:
In other news, I added two civilian stations to the mod pack, but I'm in a dilemma whether to keep them or not. On the one hand, they are rather low-poly, and anyone with some aesthetic sense would see its texturing as awful. On the other hand, I'm in a need for a big, (civilian) station for one of my mission ideas. In this mission, you attack a bunch of parked bombers in drydock. The bombers are scattered all over the station's surface, which gives us an opportunity to include an atmospheric "dogfight around a big station" kind of fight. Here's a screen of said (early WIP) mission:
Now, if you paid attention, you may notice I contradicted myself here. I said I added no new missions, yet here's a screenshot of a "new" mission.
First, this is just a concept, not a full-fledged mission. I don't know how to add this mission to the campaign without it ending up as what the community calls a "filler mission." A filler mission is a mission where nothing happens to move the story forward. It's just there to lengthen playtime. Remember Into the Maelstrom? That's when you escort a convoy to the Colossus in the main FS2 campaign. Apart from giving you the impression that the Colly is now ready for its next deployment, it adds nothing to the plot. The next mission (or the campaign) would not have lost anything of its narrative value had Volition decided to drop the mission. While there are community members who don't necessarily view some fillers here and there as a bad thing, it is the pet peeve of many, so I'd like to avoid this kind of mission as much as possible. The solution is to integrate this mission in some way. I'm working on it... but if it turns out that it needs to go, it will go.
Second, this is a very early WIP, and I don't call this FRED-created something a mission until it has everything that makes a mission a mission: briefings, messages, directives, mission goals, etc.