The DC Universe According to Grey is my love letter to and personal take on the DC Comics Universe. It is a massive, sprawling mod, including literally hundreds of characters, all painstakingly crafted, customized, and balanced, with as much faithfulness and completeness as I could manage, all playable in the sandbox mode of the greatest superhero game of all time, Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich. The mod also includes dozens of maps and over half a dozen different campaigns for a wide variety of DC characters. It’s got a Bronze Age flavor with modern narrative sensibilities, and it is packed with four color heroes. The mod includes everyone from the most famous DC characters, like Batman, to the ridiculously obscure, like...well, all of the Atom's villains! This mod gives you control over some of your favorite superheroes and lets you fight for justice in four color glory! Solve mysteries with Batman, battle undersea foes with Aquaman, or face existential threats with the JLA!

Post news Report RSS Developer's Diary #3: Lex Luthor Just Won't Cooperate

This is a summary/overview of the progress of the mod. It is also meant to serve as a guide to modding, full of helpful tips if you're interested in getting into FF modding. Mostly, it's a way to show off what I'm working on and gripe about troublesome missions. In this diary, I match wits with the nefarious Lex Luthor.....or at least his part in a mission (#17)! Plus, I show off some new artwork and characters from the community!

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Time for a new Dev Journal as I continue working on updating and expanding my massive DCU mod. This one covers mission 17 of my JLA campaign (one of many!), as well as offering a preview of some new new skins and such. If you're a DC fan, fond of superheroes, or just love great games, I invite you to join along with me while I work with the greatest superhero game of all time, the wonderfully mod friendly Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich!

Before we get started, here is some basic information:

This mod is created using EZScript, a Python interface designed by M25, a fellow much brighter than me, which simplifies the process of scripting and makes it more accessible. The terminology I use is based on a familiarity with that tool. You can learn about that HERE.

You can learn about the basics of modding in FF HERE.

Welcome back Freedom Fans! Today's journal covers some more testing, but it also has a teaser for something that is just starting to come together!

I have been working on testing the final expansion JLA mission (other than the JSA conclusion missions), #17. This features the conclusion of the Injustice Gang storyline, with the League ambushing the Gang in their headquarters, much to their surprise! I drew heavily on the excellent JL:TAS two-parter, "Injustice for All" for inspiration for this story. Like the second episode of that arc, we begin with Batman captured and with the League rushing to his rescue. However, Luthor has an ace up his sleeve, and the villains have backup in the form of the deadly dangerous Amazo!

I thought hard about putting Amazo into his own arc also based on JL, but I figured that I needed to concentrate my storytelling in this campaign in order to get the most bang for my buck because of how much time and effort it takes to create a single mission. I can plot out endless stories, but there are only so many hours in the day to actually make them. Thus, I have a less than optimal setup, but I think it makes for a nicely dramatic mission.

Screenshot 34

Anyway, because of my stacking the deck against my players, I decided to give them a way out in case they found Amazo too much to handle in addition to the other villains. Using a setup I've used often before for turrets and other defenses, I gave Amazo a "kill switch" of sorts. I created Amazo with a custom encounter, giving him a custom name so I can deal with him between encounters, but I also created a switch in that encounter, which, when flipped, triggers a CS that kills Amazo (bob). To give the players a hint, I put in a time-delay CS to tip them off. Check it out here:

Encounter: Meanbot1
Type: Custom
Actions: switches exist, villains fight heroes
Villains: amazo named bob
Secondary Objective: "Disable Luthor's new weapon" for 2500 prestige
Switches: ff_science_equipment
Marker: warehouse2
Next: None

Start Cutscene:
Wait for 240 seconds
Hero says, "Look! If we can get to Luthor's equipment, we might be able to disable the android!"
Red Arrow on warehouse2_object1

All Switches Turned Off Cutscene:
Camera on bob
Play effect effect_electricalburst at bob
bob says, "Nooo! I had only live...!"
bob is killed
Play music music_05_fort_ft

The mission itself was, once again, a bit of a mess at first, but fortunately, it was mostly an easy fix. I had mixed my metaphors again in the main CS where the heroes confront the villains, using 'real' names (black_manta, cheetah, etc) instead of the substitution names I had given those characters so I could manipulate them between encounters (wet, cat, etc). That kept the CS from playing. You see, I had split the villains into two encounters, with Luthor in one and the rest of the Gang in another. I did this because I had to get clever to work around Luthor's Energy Shield interrogation bug, which I described in the first journal entry. I had a devil of a time coming up with a workaround.

Screenshot 35

The simple thing would be to just use a Cutscene encounter with a new Lex after the defeat of the first, but this would mean you wouldn't have to defeat the entire team to win. I tried using that strategy, but starting the CS with a "Starts When" condition, triggered once the other encounters are finished, but those are always temperamental. It didn't work, so I tried a LOT of other things before settling on an unorthodox solution.

Screenshot 36

I made the final encounter a custom one, with conditions to turn off Lex's AI and the "Allies Want to Chat" condition, meaning he's interrogatable, without having to be defeated first. This means that you won't be able to talk to Lex until there are no enemies near by. It's not a perfect solution, but it gets us much closer. Now, chances are, players will finish off everyone else before trying to talk to Lex. Unfortunately, the Chat encounters have never really worked, but I got around this too. I made the CS the End Cutscene for the encounter, so even though a Chat CS won't work, as soon as the players click on Lex, the End CS plays, which has the same function. And, viola, we've got a functional mission that even has some neat features.

With those intermediary missions finished, I'm on to the new JSA missions!

First, however, I haven't just been working on testing. No, I've been hard at work updating and tweaking other parts of the DCUG as well, and with the help of our ridiculously talented and awesome community, I have a few new additions to show off.

There are a ton of really fantastic meshes, skins, and skopes out there for my favorite hero, Aquaman. However, as you might imagine, I'm a tad picky about him, seeing as he is my favorite. So, with the help of the community, and especially Detourne_me, I got an all-star team of mesh, skope, skin, and keys to create my ideal Aquaman for FF. I also tweaked his powers and abilities, and he's now more awesome than ever. My new build incorporates his magic trident and gives him more options in a fight. I even changed up his aquatic telepathy to use the 'doot-doot-doot' sound effect from the classic cartoon!

Screenshot 24

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This awesome Aquaman deserved equally awesome villains, so I asked Deanjo2000 to customize some new versions of Black Manta and Ocean Master. The results are just plain stunning! Dean really did an exceptional job on both, but his Orm is especially great because he was able to take my vague, unhelpful requests, and turn them into a really nice version of the New 52 look for the character that also incorporates some classic elements as well.

Screenshot 33

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And finally, Detourne_me came through once more, providing me with something I expected to be quite tough, and doing it in record time as well! Feast your eyes on a classic piece of DC war-comic history....the Haunted Tank!

Screenshot 23

These are only the beginning, too! I've got several more skopes/skins from Dean and from others that I'm going to be using to update and expand the mod in the days to come. I'll post some teases for such updates in these journals from time to time! Come back soon to hear about the new characters being added to the already massive roster!

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