For the ones who don't know it, Neo-Terra Victorious is a resurrected project. It was started several years ago, and the old NTV team managed to release a small demo of the main campaign. The demo featured a series of missions that took place at the very beginning of the Neo Terran Front rebellion.
Sadly, the old team did not manage to get NTV done.
The old demo may be uploaded here to ModDB, so it will be available for download. Players are advised, however, that the Demo may not work properly with FreeSpace Open.
2. The new NTV team
A few months ago, the NTV board on Hard-Light Productions got resurrected. NTV caught my interest because I partially played the old demo and liked the background idea behind it.
I decided to post this thread on HLP and made my ideas public. Unlike many other fanmade campaigns that feature rebellions to the GTVA authority, NTV should (IMO) remain very close to the canonicity of FreeSpace. The NTF is a canon rebellion described in FreeSpace 2, so its characteristics should not exceed those we have seen in the game for the sake of eyecandy. In many other rebellions, in fact, the opposing factions come out with technologies and forces they shouldn't have. I thought that a good campaign based on the NTF should stick with canon without compromising the pleasure of playing it.
Galemp (AKA GalacticEmperor) is a fellow member of the FreeSpace community that works hard on the FreeSpace Port. He also was a member of the old NTV team, so he decided to contact me. In the following discussion, I decided to become a full NTV member and Galemp assigned the role of project leader to me.
I don't like being considered the project leader of NTV - I prefer to assign that role to Galemp, even if he claimed that he would act as a supporter of the new NTV team (and not as a full time contributor). Nevertheless, progress on the modpack and the campaign depends on me so the project is on my shoulders now.
3. New ideas for a modern campaign
Although the demo was enoyable, I seriously considered the possibility of coming out with new ideas. The main difference with the demo is the fact that NTV's timeline will being only a few dozen hours before the very beginning of FreeSpace 2. It's worth noting, in fact, that the old demo started with the beginning of the NTF rebellion (18 months before FreeSpace 2). I don't exclude, however, that the new NTV project may be expanded to feature a minicampaign that takes place during the beginning of the rebellion - that'd be, in my opinion, a very nice addition to the NTV continuity.
One of the key words that I use when discussing the new NTV continuity is plausibility - as I stated before, the NTF is a canon faction whose limits are very well known. My intent is to exploit those limits in a way that wouldn't negatively affect gameplay. Back in December 08, Stormkeeper asked for an interview about Neo-Terra Victorious: you can read the result here (HLP) or here (ModDB).
4. Mods and other additions
It's true, using modifications is very common in the FreeSpace community. Just like many other campaigns, NTV will feature a series of modifications to the main FS2 settings. The most notable ones are listed here:
A. Ships and weapons from the FreeSpace Port
We know from FreeSpace 2 that the NTF made use of old GTA assets, including the famous GTF Hercules and GTF Loki fighters. Many other GTA units that made FreeSpace 1 unique, like the GTF Apollo and the GTF Valkyrie, weren't included in FreeSpace 2. Thanks to the FreeSpace Port, however, it's possible to import those assets and use them in FreeSpace 2.
Using those models would hopefully add variety to the campaign without compromising plausibility - it was quite possible that the NTF made use of many other FS1 ships, at least at the beginning of the rebellion.
B. New ships and weapons
Correct - you will see exclusive stuff in NTV. In the image section, you can already see the new concept of the NTF's advanced version of the GTF Loki-class recon fighter, the GTF Lupus (or Ragnarok, since the name may change), made by Galemp. Other models were developed by the old NTV team, and they may be included in the new package providing that they will be brought to modern standards.
Other additions include modified FS2 weapons with different parameters and the interesting armor types. Working in tandem with damage types, armor types are intended to add more realism to NTV. The default FS2 settings do not alter the effectiveness of weapons, meaning that a given weapon will have the same effect on its targets, despite their nature. Thanks to armor types, ships will be more resistant or more vulnerable to certain weapons. These edits don't apply to ships, only, as they will influence the resistance of pretty much every single asset, including combat spacecraft. Small fighters, for example, will be vulnerable to heavy weapons (like laser shots coming from big turrets) while ships with strong armor plating, like the GTCv Deimos-class corvette, will be more resistant to beam fire.
C. Full implementation of characters
Unlike FreeSpace 2, NTV will feature a notable number of various characters. Although they won't have specific characteristics, like callsigns, their behavior and opinions will hopefully be remarkable.
Many characters are part of the so called "Lost Generation" of Terrans who were born after the collapse of the Sol jump node in Delta Serpentis and the fall of the GTA. Admiral Bosch, the leader of the Neo-Terran Front, has always focused part of his propaganda and ideals on to the Lost Generation. In order to represent that, many characters will be young people dealing for the first time with the atrocities of war.
D. In-game cutscenes
Thanks to the Source Code Project coders, FreeSpace Open has an incredible number of new features. NTV will take advantage of many new features, including in-mission cutscenes. Thanks to those cutscenes, in fact, it will be possible to show wings taking off from a destroyer and jumps to different locations of a given system. In the first mission, the player's squadron will be ordered to escort a small convoy to the outer orbit of a planet: thanks to the advanced additions introduced by the SCP, you will see the convoy and the escort fighters jumping out from the first sector and enter the second sector. Obviously, it's possible to do many other things.
5. Estimations on the release date
It's very hard at the moment to come out with a reliable release date - NTV's concepts are in constant maturation and progression, meaning that a lot of stuff can be added and/or changed in any moment (and that would seriously affect the release date). It's quite possible that the NTV team will release a demo in the foreseeable future, so stay tuned!