TimeLancer was a vision, to tell an epic story where the player gets to choose their short-term fate. It still remains a vision, and that's what I came here to discuss.
A conversation I had with the guys at Nomad Legacy lead me to revisit this mod, along with the train of pleasant memories involving it. However, that's not the main reason I returned to ModDB and wiped clean any old cringe from my profile. I'm making an even more "revolutionary" mod that completely shifts FL's gameplay into something along the lines of Everspace. I'll make a page as soon as there's progress, as the mod will be completely open-source and will use a launcher to manipulate FL's files.
Anyhow, back to the main topic of this post. TimeLancer is a MAJOR production, although back then I insisted it won't take too much effort. I now realize it better the more I think about it, since I work a full time job and have so many side projects I want to get done with.
So what's our plan?
- Juni, TimeLancer Mission 1: Liftoff
I'll list everything I wanted this mod to have, and explain the challenge behind it:
- Multiple choice with multiple outcomes
While fully possible with simple mission scripts, it's somewhat tedious to implement. It'll have to eventually be one long mission file containing every possible path you can choose to play through, so it requires some extra tooling to work with. I'd love to make a tool for that, only had I the time to do so without hesitation.
- New voiced characters
I can only do so much voices with different accents before you start realizing it's me dubbing everyone. I have met a few guys who'd gladly do a few, so that's feasible. But the redaction and preparation of files to be used in FL is ultra tedious, and thus, would probably require more professional tools that I don't know if I'll want to invest in.
- Original Soundtrack (OST)
As much as I love using StarLancer's tracks, this mod is its own creation and I want it to have its own soundtrack. I'm definitely not a pro, and it will take me a LOT of time. I remember how back then I started collecting samples, but lost them somewhere in the transition between computers. And then again, professional tools cost money, and it's something I have to really think about before doing.
- Cloaking device
Yes, I said it, All fear the cloaking device. Back at the day it was impossible without single player console, which I don't want in this mod. Now, with more "recent" breakthroughs, it's possible to bind with hotkeys which is really great :)
- Imported StarLancer models and weapons
Since Crossfire already did it, I asked the big boss over there (way back at that time) to use them in my mod. No problem here, except that the models look very dated and the texture is really messed up in some. So this is up to the fans, I'd love a challenge to re-model them in a more FL-like fashion, and maybe even HDfy them further up the scale. I could use a good polish for my modeling skills. That is, unless you guys want the exact original models, then I'll just fix the textures up for you.
So these are the challenges I'm facing with this decision. Freelancer is a good game and really needs some awesome new content, which I potentially can make. But not without the help of my fans!
If any of you can provide skills to help in this mod's production with any of the above challenges, please let me know. The more interest you show, the more motivated I'll be.
To cut up some loose ends, I've uploaded the latest version of the original TimeLancer I worked on back then. It's on my Mega drive, waiting for you to download it.
There's a few catches with this version: You'll have to dock Rochester and meet Orillion in the bar without the game telling you to, and you'll have to turn right when flying to Rheinland from Texas. The left path is not implemented properly and will most likely crash your game. But the voice acting I put there is surprisingly good, as opposed to the cringe I expected. Also, feel free to look at the source code. (please ignore the clutter)
Thanks for reading and sticking along with me this far,