Today I'd like to feature a couple of military assets that we have shown in some screens around, but that have not been described yet. I'm speaking of two fighters, the Gecko light fighter for The Coalition and the Warthog medium fighter for the FCA.
The former is partially comparable to the FCA light fighter, the Hawk. It holds four weapon hardpoints, two for primary guns and the remaining ones for secondary ordnance. However, similarities with the FCA counterpart end up here.
The gecko is an “heavy” light fighter, in fact it weights at full load around 30 tons (an average of 20% more than the Hawk), this of course means more room for weapons as well as more armor. The chassis is also more resistant. This fighter has been developed, along with the Alligator, for great reliability and strength.
Finally thruster disposition allow this fighter to be better in strafing/lifting maneuvers than the Hawk, although its slightly slower in top speed/acceleration and less agile in tight turns.
The other fighter I present you today is the Warthog. It's a medium interceptor fighter, in fact it weights around 45 tons and its unique credo is similar to the one that inspired the FCA Destroyer class: pure firepower.
In fact the whole fighter is constructed around a very heavy primary weapon hardpoint that runs along the flight axis of the vessel, with the muzzle ending below and even farther than the nose of the ship. This slot is capable to hold guns of a similar caliber of those mounted on the heavy flaks of the FCA's Frigate class.
In fact it's possible to mount weapons such as the heavy Rotary, the MAC and also the same heavy flak that is turret-mounted on the Frigate. Moreover, the fighter allows to mount four more weapons on slots that are the same of those seen in the Hawk/Gecko: two primary and two secondary hardpoints, the former mounted in the wing-base and the latter ones inside the wings.
The fighter is fast and it's quite agile. However, due to the muzzle of the heavy gun ending up below the cockpit, there was almost no room for powerful front-downwards thrusters. So this fighter is capable to perform tighter pitching rather than pull-outs; this of course is going to stress pilots when they are in need to chase lighter fighters or to outmaneuver incoming missiles.
Of course the design of this fighter renders it quite extreme. On one side you have an asset that is capable to be a real threat to much heavier enemy units, such as the Alligators or even against capital ships' turrets or engines.
On the other side this ship is somewhat limited in payload when taking advantage of the extra firepower. In fact munitions for the heavy gun (whatever type is chosen) do weight a lot, so there's low available room for armor as well as for secondary guns or missiles; in fact most of the time pilots won't be able either to fill up all the lighter slots.
In few words this fighter won't last much when left unsupported, because it's going to be ammunition-hungry as well as prone to field repairs, due to the limited armor that can be employed.
On the other side I'm glad to announce that now the relatively “underdeveloped” gaming industry in Italy has reached an important achievement by officially entering the Confindustria (which is the Italian Employers Federation), through the constitution of the Italian Videogame Developers Sector (Filiera dei Produttori Italiani di Videogiochi), that is formed by these Italian developers: 7th Sense, Adventure Productions, Artematica, Black Sheep Studios, DigitalFun, EVE Interactive Studios, Frame Studios, Idra Editing, Imagimotion, Kalicanthus, Milestone, Pix Rev, PM Studios, Raylight, SpinVector, Twelve e Virtual Identity.
This event has been greatly promoted thanks to AIOMI.
I can say this is really a major blow for the whole Italian industry; despite what you may think until now videogaming (and its industry) in Italy has always been underestimated and/or wrongly advertised also by the general media, probably worst than in several other countries.
Once we will set up formerly our developers status we'll glad to be a part of this.
At the following link it's possible to download the AIOMI's press release document (in Italian):
AIOMI is also involved in the italian edition of the EDGE magazine; a double page interview about us has been featured in the current April issue, thanks to Vincenzo Lettera, who is also the former editor of IndieVault, that previewed our game there too. Click here for the preview (Italian)
Here is the link to the PDF file format of our interview (in Italian):
Sooner or later I may decide to translate the interview in English so that even our non-Italian public will be able to read it, stay tuned in our forums.
I still have some more things to say today: I wanted to inform you all that we've opened a Twitter channel for our game that is reachable at Twitter.com (thanks to Fabrizio 'Warfox' Bernardi). So lead there and subscribe to keep yourself informed if you like this “2.0 web” thingy.
Then again we've tried to re-issue a page on the Wikipedia; until it stays on here is the link: En.wikipedia.org
Furthermore, if you wish, it's possible to follow us even on ModDB though our dedicated page: Moddb.com
Finally developing is going on well; Morfeo has reworked some tools for the game, especially the model/mesh exporting one, that now is extremely more efficient than before.
To let you understand, “before” I had to export one file for the higher detail, another file for the mid-level of detail, another one for the physical model and so on. Furthermore, the highest detailed meshes required several time to be exported (even 10-15 minutes for neither 2 thousand poly); the whole thing took an entire (of course error free..) afternoon to implement a fighter, for instance.
Well, now everything is far simpler: one file! All the needed meshes are compiled into it, and it's utterly faster than before (few seconds for exporting everything!).
This is a major step that will allow us to add, in future, far bigger models in the game than those we could implement until now, in particular the space stations/structures, that before this new tool were.. a real pain to put in the game.
Stay tuned as usual :)