Report article RSS Feed A year in review and update on mod release date!

This Star Wars Space Sim mod for Freelancer is almost complete. In this article, we look at some of the accomplishments over the past year and update you on our upcoming release!

Posted by FW:ToW_Sushi on Dec 2nd, 2011

I always enjoy the MODDB awards as it's a great way for development teams to look back at all the hard work they've done over the year.  When I look back at the amount of things accomplished for this mod, it's truly nothing short of epic.  We are now 95% finished for release with only a few features left to add.  In this article I will highlight some of our milestones we've had since the last MODDB awards as well as as well as update you on our release date.

We started off the year with a HUGE update to the mod with w0dk4 bringing normal and specular mapping to the DX9 conversion.  W0dk4 has spent an incalculable amount of hours updating the graphics engine with just stunning results. For more information on how he did it, click this link! Here is the first in-game development video of his outstanding contribution to the mod and Freelancer modding!


Soon after w0dk4 brought this to the mod, we started to make use of it and FriendlyFire spent over 40 hours making custom and specular maps for the Imperial Star Destroyer.  In doing so, he was able to trim over 100,000 polygons from the model and improve performance significantly for the mod.  Take a look at his brilliant work below:


In the early summer, our mod went to its Beta phase of development with over 20 testers combing through the mod searching for bugs and errors. Through their tireless effort we fixed over 400 bugs and made the mod that much better and closer to release. 

While the testing team was busy searching for bugs, W0dk4 pushed the DX9 conversion that much further by bringing anti-aliasing support to the mod. Check out the stunning results below:

Please click the images below and view the original to see the true beauty of this graphical improvement:

Anti-Aliasing

Anti-Aliasing

We also saw the addition of some incredible models/textures to the mod, largely due the talent of our development lead Sizer. He worked tirelessly on countless models over the past few months and made our Star Wars galaxy that much prettier!  Take a look at some of collection below:

New Corellian Cruiser [Textured]

New Strike Cruiser

Now, I could go on and on about what else the development team accomplished over the year but I feel that would be a bit of an information overload for our fans.  Thus, I will save the rest of our accomplishments for another article later on this month. 

Release Date


Back in the summer we slated the release of the mod for December 15th 2011.  The main reasoning behind that choice of release date was that the Star Wars Galaxy franchise was coming to an end and what better way to start a Star Wars mod like ours in an attempt to fill the gap that SWG left.  Over the months since the announcement the development team worked extremely hard in trying to achieve this goal.  About two months after our release date announcement, the team was rocked by the news of a release date of an even bigger Star Wars game, Star Wars: The Old Republic. 

The team discussed frantically about what we should do with our release date.  As a development group, we had spent thousands of hours, over three years of development, trying to bring the best Star Wars experience to Freelancer.  And now, after all this effort, our release date would be eclipsed by one of the biggest, and most anticipated, Star Wars titles in years

With that said, after weeks of discussion, the mod team has now agreed that it would be best to postpone our release to spring 2012.  I know that many of you will be disappointed by this change, but I do hope you can appreciate our reasoning.  To end this article off on a bright note, the extra time will give the mod team to add a few more features we wanted to add before release - (mainly graphical improvements that W0dk4 will hopefully show you all in a few weeks time). 

I hope that you have enjoyed the progress the mod has made over the year and look forward to our upcoming release.  We wanted to say thank you for all the support our fans have shown us over the years.  You are the driving force that keeps us all working on this mod.  We'd also appreciate a vote for the MODDB mod of the year awards if you feel we are deserving.

Thank you all and look forward to more updates on this mod in the upcoming weeks!!

As always, any comments, suggestions or questions are welcomed!
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Post comment Comments
bucky699
bucky699 Dec 2 2011, 10:24pm says:

I can only say one thing, great summary.

But also BOOOOOOO to the change in release, my reasoning is that The old Republic my be great and big, but it's space combat sucks. Thats what this mod is all about. When people want to fight in epic space battles they'll come here, not to the Old Republic.

+5 votes     reply to comment
TSP-FriendlyFire
TSP-FriendlyFire Dec 2 2011, 10:40pm replied:

Problem is, the first thing this mod is about is Star Wars. Before we can tell potential players how we're different (i.e. better :) ) from TOR, we need to catch their attention, and in that regard we're competing with all the marketing weight EA, BioWare and LucasArts can field.

We may not be on the same arena in terms of gameplay, but we sure are in terms of fanbase and marketing.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Holtmart
Holtmart Dec 6 2011, 8:08pm replied:

Problem is, this is a mod. and your sir, are insane.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sanguinius
Sanguinius Dec 2 2011, 11:21pm says:

I must say i'm very disappointed with the change of the release date. People, including myself are going to play SWTOR no matter if you release this mod 15th of December or Spring 2012 and you will never get as much players as SWTOR, its beyond impossible. There are 1032 watchers of this mod and as far as i know a single server can hold around 100 players, so even if lets say 500 people go and play SWTOR you still have 500 more playing this mod and that's around 5 servers. That's why i don't see the point in postponing the release date. And i agree with bucky699, SWTOR is focused on "Land Combat" but their "Space Combat" suck donkey balls(ships move themselfs all you do is click mouse button to fire), while this mod focuses on "Space Combat". I played SWTOR beta weekend but i was looking forward to this mod and 15th of december :(

+3 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 2 2011, 11:26pm replied:

Oh, the idea isn't to get as many players as SW:ToR, we'd be deluded in ourselves if we think that. That being said, we don't want this mod to be cast in SW:ToR's wake. By waiting a few extra months, we can release the mod to an eager audience of SW enthusiasts that are looking for something in the realm of space combat.

This wasn't an easy a decision, let me tell you. But we felt it would be best for the mod and community as a whole just to hold off a bit longer for optimum results. We appreciate the patience.

+4 votes     reply to comment
FW:TOW_Hakre1
FW:TOW_Hakre1 Dec 3 2011, 1:04am replied:

Any chance of a pre-release for those of us who are impatient and want to try it out before release? :P
Either way, keep up the good work.

+7 votes     reply to comment
w0dk4
w0dk4 Dec 3 2011, 7:35am replied:

I am pretty sure once some more crucial gameplay features are ready, we will have another closed beta testing - however a much larger. We will probably accept almost everybody who whants to test the mod, because we need to do stress testing and gameplay/balance testing.

Stay tuned for around January/February for a more open beta test.

+6 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 3 2011, 11:42am replied:

Yep, hope to have that by Jan/Feb

+1 vote     reply to comment
R3bornSh4dow
R3bornSh4dow Dec 3 2011, 2:25am says:

I won't play SWTOR, that being said, but I can understand why you've changed the release date and I accept it. The more time you have, the more time to polish it.

+6 votes     reply to comment
R3bornSh4dow
R3bornSh4dow Dec 3 2011, 9:32am replied:

Oh and before I forget it... I'm so looking forward to this: "(mainly graphical improvements that W0dk4 will hopefully show you all in a few weeks time)."

+4 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 3 2011, 11:43am replied:

Much thanks, for your patience and understanding. I look forward to the graphical improvement too, as W0dk4 is keeping it underwraps from everyone :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
huggiesunrise
huggiesunrise Dec 3 2011, 3:54am buried:

(buried)

Thought long.. about what to say..

I re read the post. Over and over. I didn't understand what "optimum result" you were trying to achieve. I mean your not competing with tor.. but you are trying to attract enthusiasts? Why say it NOW? and not when you hear the tor announcement Tor wasn't secret when galaxies announced its shut down its wasn't rocket science to guess either.

Let me dispel that right now. All your going to attract and get from the freelancer community is WHOS LEFT. Sure some of us old guys can bring our friends back for fun but your not getting anyone new.

Whos left? vanilla players, riddick, disco-cancer. new russians and croats.

If you guys want a community to keep this thing going? and not turn into some gorgeous empty art project no one plays like shattered worlds or the other superior mods out there, its going to take time. Time you guys should have started on awhile ago.

If you "truly" value the fan base of this mod? you ask them.. you get their opinion as to when to release it. Cause the bottom line is.. it doesn't matter. EVERY mod in freelancer lives off its new glow so long before entering an eternal twilight of online but no one playing.

-7 votes     reply to comment
w0dk4
w0dk4 Dec 3 2011, 7:36am replied:

ToR was only part of the delay reasoning. The mod isnt finished and some crucial gameplay aspects are still missing. ToR's release date was the tipping point to delay the mod release.

+8 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 3 2011, 11:41am replied:

I wrote a long reply to what you've commented on in your post but I decided not to post it. Essentially, we're not only going to attract Freelancer players, if you've read our comments section, many people who are interested in SW related space combat are interested in playing our mod. Furthermore, as FF stated, with the release of SW:TOR, it makes it difficult for us to have a full release with the impact we were hoping for - as we've spent three years working on this mod and thousands of our own free time.

As W0dk4 mentioned, we also have a few gameplay features left to bring to the mod for final release. Not sure if all this anger, for a one-two month delay is needed, but so be it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
TALON_UK
TALON_UK Dec 3 2011, 8:23am says:

Have some faith in the mod dev team's decision to delay the release. They have given very valid reasons and concerns regarding that decision, and from the look of the excellent content they have been showing us so far the end product will be well worth the wait.

Keep up the good work guys, you've got my vote.

+8 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 3 2011, 11:38am replied:

Thanks, Talon!

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrPerson
MrPerson Dec 3 2011, 6:24pm says:

I havent been watching this mod long, but am looking forward to it! I am going to buy freelancer just to play this. But since you pushed it back, it just gives me time to try it vanilla or try out discovery. I will still be anticipating the release. I understand your reasoning. There are some people out there that blindly pay for and play mmos without looking around a bit and I also agree that many people will play TOR over this if you had released it on the 15th. Now it will give people a chance to play TOR and see if they like it and if they dont they can give this a chance. Been watching this only a month but am still looking foreward to playing it. Keep up the good work.

+4 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 4 2011, 1:43am replied:

That's exactly our reasoning. Thanks for the support!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Pennypacker
Pennypacker Dec 3 2011, 10:52pm says:

I have waited many years. What's another few months?

I certainly don't mind. The more polish, the smoother the release will be for everyone :)

+5 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 4 2011, 1:43am replied:

Much thanks for the love!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
snackynak
snackynak Dec 5 2011, 4:28am says:

Meh, I wouldn't worry about TOR. It's old republic era, so it's not really star wars anyways :P

My 2 cents: release when it's ready and playable... But not in Spring 2012, delay until the summer if you have to, because spring 2012 is when Mass Effect 3 is coming out and I need my Shepard fix :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
Hitman279
Hitman279 Dec 5 2011, 6:15am says:

I think we all will be able to wait just a few months more, especially if the whole work will be better then :) And i'd like to thank you for the work you've already done and the will to give us an even more awesome Star Wars experience!

And i think snackynak is right: you don't have to worry about ToR! I really liked KoToR 1 and 2 but i think i'm not the only one who wants to fight with and against Star Destroyers making some real space-combat and not those ****** 3000-year-old Sith-Fighter stuff :D

+3 votes     reply to comment
Roberto*Cofresi
Roberto*Cofresi Dec 5 2011, 1:10pm says:

First, I would like to congratulate you (the Team) on all that had been accomplish. The trailer/game looks awesome. Obviously hard work and heavy lifting was employed. So thank you for putting into perspective what it takes to create a MOd of this caliber.

Of course we can wait a few more months for its release. Do we have a choice? But be aware that with great power comes great responsibility!! (I'm such a nerd):-)

I am indeed disappointed about the new released date. But I am more disappointed at me... knowing that I will here on release day eagerly. Such is... the power of the Force !!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Apache1334
Apache1334 Dec 6 2011, 11:10pm says:

fffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!
But seriously. If we have all waited this long for such an awesome addition then I don't see why I can't tough it out for another few months. Great work guys!

+2 votes     reply to comment
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