As many people now know, all development on Aftermath 2.0 has officially come to an end with Add-on Pack F. Aftermath 2.0 was the most successful Aftermath release to date and not only made its way to many people but saw the mod gather recognition for its efforts in showcasing the best aspects that the Legacy engine is capable of to not only the Star Trek modding and gaming communities but also to the much larger modding communities thanks to heavy exposure at ModDB.
Since late September last year, I decided I would like to do another major release but wanted to hide development of it until the time was right to bring it to public attention. That time has come. Aftermath 3.0 is not just additional features thrown onto 2.0, this new release is a complete rebuild of Aftermath and Legacy itself. Everything that made Aftermath in the past has come in for mass overhauls. Everything in 3.0 is changing.
The first change you will see is the introduction of Legacy's most advanced interface to date, the Nepthys GUI. This new type of interface has built in Ascension features plus many new features of its own such as the QID (Quick Info Display), Showcase Applications and Media modules. Apart from the new features, the interface is a complete new and original design taking the Romulan themed interface into new territory. The minimal look achieves a sense of elegance yet a sinister overtone to bring the interface into a life of its own.
Something very new to Aftermath are the inclusion of new music from one of our new team members. All new music making its way into Aftermath 3.0 are composed by Ermis Koukaris. The track playing in the video is one of his tracks and is the new theme track to the 3.0 intro video. Ermis also has come up with new music for the interface and other races too. More area in the sound department has been made by Trekky which are new effects for some of the new and older races that are in 3.0
Aftermath 3.0 not only ventures into sound for the first time but also into the graphics department too. Featuring a new dynamic lighting engine that gives off more defined light, the changes have resulted in more consistent shadows, more tonal depth to the lighting and more realistic shadows. Other changes to our graphics have resulted in higher detail in the ships and in the environments themselves.
Another groundbreaking effort for 3.0 is the first true enhancement of the Legacy performance engine. What does this mean?? Well through much streamlining of key areas of Legacy, we have officially been able to improve the performance of Legacy itself for all different users. The minimum requirements have been relaxed to allow the low end users more performance without the need to upgrade their computers. High end users have been reporting far smoother and solid gameplay. It is still early days in our performance development but reports from low end users are showing the most improvements with a framerate increase of 40-50%. Mid range users have recorded frame rate improvements averaging around 10fps. High end users have also been reporting frame rate improvements. All this has been achieved along with new graphics to put Aftermath into a league of its own.
As Aftermath has always pushed the boundries, we are also introducing new races into Aftermath. What these have to do with pushing the boundries is one of the races heads into new territory; the Terrans are becoming a seperate race. However, they arent just getting seperated from the Federation. The Terrans will have their own design lineage. This means there will be ships unique to the Terran race such as the Bangor class. Some Terran ships will still be of the Federation with extra's variety but this is the first time the Terrans are being treated as a seperate entity by giving them their own sense of individuality. Some ships already in Aftermath will make a shift over to the Terran race. For the time being, the Terrans are one of a few new races that will be in Aftermath 3.0.
New races also mean new ships. This will be our first release where we pay attention to adding ships into Aftermath. Most of our new ships are developed in-house by Max Loef, Fluxx, Firetroll and Skeeter but we also have ships coming in from the community. Some ships that are making their way into Aftermath are not just a first for us, but also their first venture into Legacy.
AI has always been a very big part of Aftermath and with 3.0 that is no different. Unlike other releases where we have made improvements to the AI, 3.0 sees the introduction of the EAI system (Emotive AI). No it dont mean our ships will throw on the water works when coming under fire, the EAI is the most in-depth AI system created for Legacy. Each race displays their own characteristics and their nature is shown more evidently through characterisations that the EAI emulates. This level of depth is something that has never been attempted before in Legacy and is our largest code undertaking we have attempted since our first physics overhaul.
The team has also expanded too. As mentioned above, Ermis Koukaris is one of our new team members. Newcommer to Legacy modding is Efigy, a new team member that will be assisting myself with promo and be trained in other areas of Legacy. Another new team member is Pheonix from UUM. Pheonix has become a permanent member on the Aftermath team and has already started contributions to the release with ships and more.
There is much more coming in Aftermath 3.0...