After the destruction of the Capella star, the Epsilon Pegasi system was all but cut off from the central core of the GTVA. Newly isolated behind the still-dangerous formerly rebellious systems of the NTF, and savaged by the Alliance-wide recession triggered by the Shivan invasion, EP suffered a steady economic and social decline. Decimated by military funding cuts, the GTVA presence in EP is small and distinctly undergunned, allowing the criminal element to flourish. Worse yet, entirely new and apparently unstoppable weapons have seen these pirates go from a criminal nuisance to a serious threat to the Alliance's ability to control the system. As a newly posted pilot aboard Blackwood station – the central Alliance outpost in the sector - your mission is clear. Defeat the criminal forces, discover and shut down the source of their new weapons, and protect the civilians of EP. But just where such a simple mission will lead is something nobody could ever predict...
So, obviously, we've been quiet for awhile. On ModDB, we were archived, and outside of ModDB, we've been near silent. For quite some time. Well, that was largely because we were pretty comatose for quite some time. Without diminishing the contributions of others over the years, TI is largely a labour of two individuals (Myself and Vasudan Admiral) and when we're busy/lack motivation, nothing happens. When we are motivated, however, as we have been for the last six ro so months, things move pretty quickly, and so they have been.
Today, I'm about to upload the TI Act 1 "Alpha". Of course, that's just a useful name - at the level of completeness we're at, it's more of an internal Beta, we just call it that to distinguish it from the "true" beta, that will be going out to external testers in a few weeks.
So, what to expect? Well, it's only Act 1, I'm afrraid, so it wont be the full TI extravaganza. Many of our big ticket features will be absent or only making minor appearances in this act, and it's (relatively) short, compared to the rest of the campaign. But, in my opinion anyway, it's fun, well balanced, tells an interesting story and offers up some innovative new gameplay experiences, as well as classic FS gaming.
Public release date for Act 1 is hard to pin down - all our assets are in-game, but a two of them have unfinished textures. Also, testing will take some time, and there are some non-critical (cutscene) missions that still need to be either tidied up or added to. But the amount of work is trivial compared to what's already been done, especially in the last 6-8 months. If I were guessing, I'd say 4-6 weeks and we'll be out publicly, but there are factors we wont be able to control in there.
So now, I guess the only other question is "What about the rest of the campaign?". Well, I can guarantee that it wont take as long as Act 1 has taken. There are a lot of assets completed, and a few missions - Act 2 is quite short, and pretty much entirely FREDded already, but needs some improvements in the atmospheric simulation to be release quality. Also, we're hoping that the release of Act 1 will trigger enough interest to get a couple more volunteers on board - one more FREDder and one more modder would do wonders for our productivity (If you are either of these things and want to hlp, let me know now! :p). So I guess that we're anticipating a pretty significant cut in the wait time between releases, though the folly of definite release dates for mods has been proven over and over again, so I'm hesitant to be too much more specific than that.