Post news RSS One incredible month of development

New ship models, Kuat Shipyard, capital hanger project, official FW:ToW gameplay summaries, closed beta testing and more!

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Development Summary:

"Incredible!" would be the word I describe the work done in the past month of Freeworlds: Tides of War. Never before in the history of the mod has so much been accomplished with several developers putting more than 40 hours per week for the last month. While not all of this is pretty eye candy for us to show off here, all of it brings us much closer to bring this creative and innovative mod closer to your computers.

First off, though, I'll start off with something that will get your attention. We were fortunate enough to get two new model designs and textures into game. Both the K-Wing and Strike Cruiser were badly needing a revamp. I set Sizer on the task to create the models. Bouma finished the K-Wing texture and normal map and Sizer created an incredible texture for the Strike Cruiser. I really love the design of both parts of the model and I'm more than thrilled to have these beautiful models into game.

Using this image as a starting point:


Sizer and Bouma created this wonderful new design:

Our new K-Wing
Our new K-Wing

.

Similarly, the Strike Cruiser was created using this image as a basis:


Sizer created this outstanding model and texture:

New Strike Cruiser
New Strike Cruiser

Sizer also created a wonderful new version of Kuat Drive Yards. Inspired by the old designs, he brought his own creative flare to the models to create this:

Kuat Drive Yards

Sizer painstakingly UV Mapped all these models over the past month and did an amazing job. We then decided to get these models into game. Using W0dk4's new model exporter for Freelancer (which is amazing and an incredible new tool for Freelancer), I was able to created a 6 stage level of detail model (more details about what this is here: En.wikipedia.org). What this means to you, the player, is better performance. After the models were complete, Qi, using his programming abilities, placed the models around Kuat Planet to create this:



NOTE: These are just placeholder textures to view the models in game and to test the feasibility of the Ring. I'm quite happy to say with the 6 Level of Detail models per module, we have made this ring quite accessible for all players regardless of computer.

Qi has also been busy building the economy and the website that will house our official server. The website is still very much in development and you cannot register there yet, but for those that are curious to see all the things we'll be doing, I welcome you to follow this link: Official Freeworlds: Tides of War Website

I also would like to say Qi has started his own development blog which can be found here: Qi's Development Blog

Work has also been done on our normal maps. Dr. Knicker has been working on our major faction shiplist for the past month and has handcrafted normal maps for several ships. Below are some examples of the detail you can expect to see in the mod upon release:

(Above is the model without a normal map. Below is the ship WITH the normal map)
A-Wing Normal Maps
(Above is the model without a normal map. Below is the ship WITH the normal map)

TIE Intereceptor Normal Maps

In terms of gameplay development, our section leader in that department, Respen, made a summary of the things you can expect to see on our official server upon release. He has been the main work horse in starting, detailing and summarizing discussions. Without his work, patience and brilliance this mod wouldn't have the gameplay elements that will make this good mod into something extremely enjoyable. Here's the link to the summary article to those that are curious: Summary of Gameplay Elements

DarkForce, our Roleplay Leader, has created faction histories for all our major factions. The background he has created for the faction's will serve as the sandbox that players will roleplay in. I'm quite excited about the work he's done and cannot wait to have it officially posted here for all our loyal fans to see!

FriendlyFire has finished all the engine glows for the ships. I'll be taking some images of them ingame to show you all just how beautiful his effect work is! We also have some wonderful explosions to show you in the near future ;)

Deety did a tremendous amount of work on the systems making sure all their static hyperlanes were in place. He also created new "transit systems" to allow us to have some creativity in some of our system making. Here's a link to the new universe he's created:

New Galaxy Map

He also has been working with Rogue to put scenery pieces into the mod. This will make our systems much more aesthetically pleasing to the player and I believe really enhances the Star Wars feel of the mod. Here's some images showing Fondor Shipyards:

Fondor Shipyards
Fondor Shipyards

Deety, also has started the hanger scenery project in an attempt to further capture the Star Wars experience. While it's still in its infancy, we hope to have a number of ships completed before release. Images below of what he's done:



What's really neat about this project is that these models will be on player and NPC controlled movable ships :)

Currican
, our lead infocard writer/designer, has been extremely busy writing in all the infocards for all the ships/bases/commodities for the game. He's done an amazing job and I look forward to having players having such wonderful descriptions of all the things they can see in systems.

Closed Beta Progress:

In other news, on May 21st, FW:ToW entered Beta phase in development. We have an eager group of 25 testers that have been putting this mod through its paces. They've just about finished one week of testing and have tested all 111 player flyable ships and fixed their ingame camera views. I am so happy with the group and must say a quick thank you for all the incredible work they've done. We're making this a much better product because of their diligence, enthusiasm and excitement about the project.

I wanted to close off with this last link for our fans. While we might not be updating our MODDB page as regularly, mostly due to the closed beta, I still think fans should know what's going on with the mod. As such, I have made the developers worklogs pubically viewable to all guests of our forums. I encourage you all to take a visit if you're curious and feel free to comment on anything that we're doing. This way, you know exactly what we're up to in development!
Work Progress Logs

As always any comments, suggestions or questions are always welcomed!
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Comments
Sanguinius
Sanguinius - - 5,719 comments

What can i say. Pure epic awesomeness, as always :)

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FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi - - 1,450 comments

Thank you!

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pesingun
pesingun - - 9 comments

Just beautiful. Keep it up i can't wait fore that.

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FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi - - 1,450 comments

Thanks! We can't wait until release :D

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Octimus
Octimus - - 222 comments

:D ace

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FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi - - 1,450 comments

Thank you!

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PiratexCore
PiratexCore - - 35 comments

As Sushi said, those of us on the testing team are hard at work trying to find any bugs or errors. It's been quite the experience so far.
We're an international team of testers, and the entire team has hit it off well. It has been very enjoyable to work with everyone from both the testing team to the developers. Everyone has done a fantastic job.

FW:TOW Development team, you guys are the best. :D

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bogie
bogie - - 173 comments

More work on those hangars please! Looking good, can't wait to come try it out.

Collider.com

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FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi - - 1,450 comments

Ya, we'll post images as we go along with the project.

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EL_mdb
EL_mdb - - 21 comments

Everything is looking top notch except for the hangar tex, but as you said, it's only the beginning of the hangar project, so I bet it will turn out great as well. Good luck!

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FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi - - 1,450 comments

Ya, the texture itself on that ship is stretched just due to the nature of the texture attached to the ship. Most others look fabulous.

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Reactorcore
Reactorcore - - 646 comments

Looking forward to explore this mod and its universe :)

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FW:ToW_Sushi Author
FW:ToW_Sushi - - 1,450 comments

You'll love the Deep Core maze that DT created! It's awesome :D

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Apache1334
Apache1334 - - 22 comments

I.... I .... I dont even know what to say.... It full of epic awesomeness....

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