Another year is slowly coming to a close, and we all know what that entails: the FXmod's semiannual update. Jokes aside, there just is that small chance your initial answer had to do with the more festive inclined activities that accompany this time of the year instead. But as that is of little relevance to those who travel the stars, we will for this newsletter instead assume you are here for the former.
The keyword for this newsletter is "progress". It is something that is not always as tangible or lends itself to clear expression or definition, but nevertheless is always there. One form of progress that I'd like to express through this newsletter is related to one of the mod's main goals: the remastering of each unit in the FXmod in HD (HWRM) texture quality.
As with everything in this life, texturing and remastering takes time. Although we have been able to show previews of units that are being worked on through our [Images] section and releases, I felt that something akin to a roadmap of the "bigger picture" was still missing. The contrast when you take any Kadeshi unit and then put a Turanic Scout or Progenitor Bee next to it can be quite severe. In all cases there are reasons for the differences in unit quality; models such as the Turanic strikecraft did not exist in HD quality prior to the remaster, and in other cases we made units based on the highest quality that was supported in the then-latest entry to the HW franchise, Homeworld2 (Classic).
Nevertheless things can be confusing, and to that end we have made a document sheet of our unit remastering progress for the FXmod. You can use this as a "roadmap" to see our progress both on the FXmod's races and their specific units (up to the upcoming build), but it also elaborates on the various texture qualities you'll encounter in the mod. It can be viewed here:
The link will also be included in the main post, so you can also find it there later.
The main feat of this article is of course the news on the upcoming build, and while we have been able to get quite a number of things done for the next version, for now known as FX v1.35a, we are not anywhere close to having a finished version at this moment in time.
The good news however is that we will release what we have on v1.35 so far as a public beta, and that it will (probably) be up on the relevant Steam page somewhere next week (24~31 Dec). The Steam winter sales are coming, and with the Christmas holidays around the corner we wanted to give you a "present" of sorts and contribute something for you to chip your spare spare hours away with as well. As of such, we'll also be breaking our own upload policy for the occasion and make the beta for v1.35a also available on ModDB (will require manual installation).
Road to the Stars
Although an alpha build of FX v1.35, we still wanted to release this version ahead of time due to the amount of balance changes and some crucial bug fixes it contains. Much of the content that comes with this build has been outlined in the previous newsletter. One of the biggest changes is related to Skirmish Mode - The Shimmering Path; the AI difficulty bug has been fixed, and we have also revised the entire mode. The progress now flows a lot closer to what we intended, with the initial stages both serving as a warm-up and introduction to the FXmod and its races (for new players), and the last ~13 stages being full-on challenges where you'll need to use your wits, tactical insight and skills to come out on top. We hope you will give the fixed Skirmish Mode a (re)try, and carve out your own path through the stars.
The previously revealed Artifact Retrieval mode will also be available in this build, albeit as an early alpha version. Over time, we'll be making further changes and improvements to this mode. If you have feedback and thoughts on what we could do to improve on this mode we'd love to hear them.
You can either download FX v1.35a when it gets here and explore it for yourself, or you can head over to the Forum tab and spoil yourself with the [patch notes] in advance. The introduction/race overview guide has also been updated for this release, and can be viewed here: Moddb.com
Whichever you choose: happy holidays in advance and we hope you'll enjoy v1.35a. See you in the new year!