Report article RSS Feed Carrier and NPC Control Demo

This STAR WARS mod for Freelancer is pushing the boundaries with player controlled non-playable characters! Take a gander at this video!

Posted by FW:ToW_Sushi on Dec 19th, 2012


We have been working on several fronts to bring this STAR WARS mod to completion.  Much of this entails devising new ways to make our envisioned gameplay features reality.  Several weeks ago an old Freelancer modder, Devast8or or Dev for short, came back out of retirement and officially joined the Freeworlds team to try his hand at making AI more poignant in our universe.

Through the magic of our hooking program, he's been able to make NPCs spawn at will and respond to a variety of orders, such as joining formation or attacking specified targets.  This obviously has huge implications for our dedicated capital carrier craft as well any other ships that can bring fighters into battle.   We thought that since the MOTYs are well under way, and since this is the season of giving, we'd show you a teaser demonstration of the preliminary work on this front.  Remember, this is very much a WORK IN PROGRESS and what you see in video is expected to only get better by the final release.  Enjoy the video!


In related news, for those of you that have been following us for a while, we may have found a way to make some turrets controllable by AI.  We're very much in the preliminary area of this effort, but I thought I would throw it out there as yet another thing to look forward to.  And please, if you like what you see give us a VOTE in the upcoming mod category!

Until next time!!!
 ---
 If you like what you see, and have been playing, please don't forget to tell your friends, your communities you frequent and social sites like REDDIT/Twitter about this mod. Player word of mouth goes a long way and we'd appreciate any of the support we can get for this mod of ours! Thanks everyone!

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WhiteEarl
WhiteEarl Dec 20 2012, 5:38am says:

Sad is that with actual fighter and bomber damage there is no need for carriers

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zomgbay
Zomgbay Dec 20 2012, 6:00am replied:

Oh ye of little faith!

Making fighters like these feel meaningful will be highly relevant to our interests once this system is ready to be added. We will do what must be done.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TSP-FriendlyFire
TSP-FriendlyFire Dec 20 2012, 1:14pm replied: Online

I'm sorry, what?

Sure, don't expect fighters to pop down an ISD, but bombers and especially patrol boats are dangerous against capitals.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sanguinius
Sanguinius Dec 20 2012, 6:15am says:

Lol dude you are hilarious :D

Anyway couple of questions:

Will there be an option to spawn

Only Fighters
Only Bombers
Mix of those 2

Also i see they owned that "big" ship in like 15-20 seconds, how will they fare vs. other small ships, they are kinda harder to hit and we all know FL AI sucks ???

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zomgbay
Zomgbay Dec 20 2012, 7:06am replied:

So I mentioned/mumbled it during the video, but if you didn't catch it I had set the corvette's HP super low for the purposes of demonstration and explosions. That was not intended to be an accurate depiction of intended balance. Fighters like the TIE Interceptors I used in the video will still be best used against other fighters. As far as the AI being terrible, Freelancer AI is not utterly useless but I wouldn't expect it to replace players by any stretch; these NPCs are intended to be used alongside player fighters whenever possible.

Regarding control over what you launch, yes a system to that effect will totally exist. We haven't come to final decisions over how exactly the system should be set up, but generally carriers will be able deploy units of their choosing into different groups. These groups can then be commanded independently, so that for example a squadron of your bombers could be sent to attack a capital ship while your fighters engage enemy bombers.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sanguinius
Sanguinius Dec 20 2012, 7:44am replied:

Wow awesome news about bomber/fighter system.

Yeah i didn't know you put low hp on that corvette, that explains a lot :D.

Thanks for the fast response and keep up the good work!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Roberto*Cofresi
Roberto*Cofresi Dec 20 2012, 9:10am says:

As ALWAYS..... awesome feature; But to be honest I am growing bored to hear about how awesome the MOD is gonna be some time in the unknown future. All this videos are basically a tease. I played the demo and was yet another tease. No one plays it any more (do they?). It has been over a year that the imminent release was announced and pushed back. Enough already... By the time it gets release no one will be around to play it.

I appreciate the work that this MOD requires and the desire to do a great job (which obviously is paying off), but the MOD is nothing if you lose your fan base waiting for its release.

my $0.02

-1 votes     reply to comment
Expack
Expack Dec 20 2012, 9:25am replied:

Try telling that to the Black Mesa development team. They developed their mod for 8 years, yet still had a strong fan base!

+3 votes     reply to comment
PringleMan
PringleMan Dec 20 2012, 9:26am replied:

While that is absolutely fair, also try to keep in mind that they are trying to make it as complete as possible before launching it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that these guys have very very little free time to work on this stuff. They are also playing with an engine that was NEVER intended for these things. Digital Anvil had plans for a lot of these things but were forced to release without any sort of hooks or anything to allow for this, so this has all been done with extremely clever coding that should not really work in the first place.

Imagine trying to make a toaster cook a pot-roast. Sure, with some clever work you could pull out the elements and arrange them flat, but you would have to totally take it apart and really make it work for you.

As for the matter of the fighters replacing player fighters, also keep in mind that the construction mechanisms for these carriers in the actual mod will make them prohibitively expensive to field a large number of them. It will not be like normal freelancer, or even freeworlds in the past where you could spend a solid day trading and have more than enough cash to buy a capital. And even so if they end up being too good, they can just dumb down the AI to make them something to worry about, but not something that is inherently better than a player by any stretch.

edit: That was not supposed to sound mean or anything. I also think that because this is a mod for an aged game, you are not really going to lose anyone that was not already sold on the idea the way you would on a mod for a young game.

+4 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 20 2012, 9:24pm replied:

Thanks for the reply PringleMan

+1 vote     reply to comment
TSP-FriendlyFire
TSP-FriendlyFire Dec 20 2012, 1:18pm replied: Online

This entire feature has not taken time away from the main points of the mod's development, as Dev was not expected to work with us and thus he didn't have any specific work to do. We basically told him to go crazy on whatever he wanted to do, and he made this.

The rest of the team is still working away at the mod's primary features, which aren't finished. It is a lot more dangerous to release an incomplete mod that bleeds out its fanbase in a few weeks than to release late and lose a few people. Looking at the stats also tells me that if we're losing people, we're gaining more than enough to balance it out.

+1 vote     reply to comment
LuckyOne
LuckyOne Dec 20 2012, 11:53am says:

Outstanding! I can't believe how much you are pushing this old game... I bet even Chris Roberts himself would approve your work on the game he wanted, but never got the chance to make (well, until he finally started the Star Citizen project)...

+1 vote     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 20 2012, 6:19pm replied:

Hehe, thanks for the comments

+1 vote     reply to comment
ADTeam™
ADTeam™ Dec 20 2012, 12:49pm says:

Outstanding, impressive work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 20 2012, 6:19pm replied:

Thanks.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Edweird
Edweird Dec 20 2012, 3:30pm says:

Pretty darn awesome for a thing meant to be "on the side" ... Great work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 20 2012, 6:19pm replied:

Ya, Dev's pretty great!

+1 vote     reply to comment
EASTEDERD
EASTEDERD Dec 20 2012, 5:38pm says:

I don't care what people say, this game is WAY better than what any of us could make.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi
FW:ToW_Sushi Dec 20 2012, 6:19pm replied:

Well, dunno about that, but we're trying our best to make it a game all would enjoy.

+1 vote     reply to comment
PringleMan
PringleMan Dec 20 2012, 8:36pm replied:

Absolutely! I am quietly waiting for the mod to fully launch and then I plan on spending a lot of time on it. :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
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