Post news RSS "Shadows of the Great War" Second Anniversary Update

Today marks the second anniversary of SotGW's release. We at the SerRes Team would like to share updates and screenshots on what's coming next!

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Second SotGW Anniversary Update
Check out the calendar! Today is October 16th, 2022, which marks the second anniversary of the release of ‘Shadows of the Great War’. As we are making progress on the next release, named Entanglement or Entgm, we at the SerRes team thought it was a good time to share with the public the latest news and updates on the status of SR.

What’s around the corner?
The next SR campaign to be released will be Serendipity - or Srdp - set in 2342. Several screenshots of this campaign have been shared with the public. From these, you can see just how deep the setting ventures into the Reconstruction Era – the Era that followed the Great War of 2335.

The second Entanglement campaign has not been formally revealed - yet. That said, in channels such as our Discord server the abbreviation of its title has been made public: HesT. What “HesT” is short for will be revealed in the future. No further details can be shared yet, but as you can tell from a few of the pictures, this campaign will be centered on the almighty Hades, the Galactic Terran Intelligence Superdestroyer, meaning that it will take place sometime around 2335.

But that’s not all. As well as working on the two new campaigns, we have been busy improving Gehenna’s Gate and The Spirit of Ptah, the two campaigns released in 2020. The next SR update will include these enhancements as well, such as: plot additions, more ships, checkpoints and compatibility with upgraded graphics. These features should boost the gameplay experience of these two campaigns – so not only can you enjoy Serendipity, but you will also have a very good reason to go back and replay GehG and TSoP as well!

Music development
Now, an update from ShadowsOfLight, our fellow music artist!

As the primary composer on the Series Resurrecta team, I wanted to share a bit of a blog about my work on the team, which has been focused on the Serendipity campaign.

My additions to the soundtrack – most of the music, but not all – are quite a whirlwind journey that starts in December of 2020: Mobius, the project lead, messaged me on SoundCloud to ask if he could use one of my recently created tracks in the mod. This was right around the time I was doing a significant refresh of my virtual instrument toolkit, and looking for ways to practice working with my new additions. I happily gave permission to use the track (“Melancholy Revelation”), and asked if there was any other music I could help with. This is where the journey begins… (Note that some details are left out to remain spoiler-free.)

My first task was to write two standard FS mission-suites that had a bit of an exotic element to them – one of which was meant to sound heavy and desperate. The first of these, “Resurfacing Mystery”, went over quite well with the SR team, making use of a moon guitar to create a bit of an exotic vibe. The second, “Losing Our Stars”, while liked by the team, did not have the intensity desired; a tabla and eastern flute were used as exotic elements for this track. Thus, a third mission track was created: “Ruinous”, meant to musically crush the player under the weight of a terrible in-game situation. I think I pleasantly surprised the team with the depths of despair that this track took them to…

It felt good to get back into writing music for FS mods, and from this point there has been a relatively consistent rotation of FS-related composing in my life (both in and out of the SR space). This is a good balance to the more carefree, optimistic side of my usual personal projects…

There were several tracks that I wanted to make, which came without an explicit request from the team. In the spirit of Series Resurrecta, I decided to dig up one of my old mission suites – which was never publicly released – and give it a complete reimagining. This made it into the soundtrack as “Forging Through the Black”. It is a little bit different from the rest of the OST for this reason, with the battle section being driven with more of a rock/metal feel in the drums, bass and guitar. The briefings “Something Out There” and “Starset” were both created without a direct request from the team. I wrote Starset as a way to celebrate the release of the 0.0.7 internal candidate; it was an attempt to capture the feeling of James Bond in space, in the form of a trailer track, and ended up turning into a team favourite. The main menu track, “Into the Abyss”, was something that I wanted to add to ensure completeness to the Serendipity soundtrack – even though players don’t necessarily spend a lot of time in the main menu, I feel that it is important to remind them that this is not vanilla FS, and help set the tone of the mod. The somber mood is punctuated by a middle-eastern guitar called a saz, which also finds its way into a couple of the standalone tracks. Finally, one of the playtesters felt that the original briefing track selected for the first mission didn’t properly fit the mood of the mod, suggesting it would be better to have a briefing track that was anthemic without being peppy, and so “Might of Adhara” was born.

The final requests from the dev team were big ones, and resulted in some of the work I am most proud of on the OST: four standalone tracks that play at key moments in the campaign. The first of these ended up being “Wreckage of Serendipity”, something to keep the player company while they explore <REDACTED>. Meant to be relatively innocuous, not melancholy like much of the rest of the OST; this song sweeps through with some gentle arpeggiations and a steady processed beat. The second, “A Keeper Among the Ruins”, was to take the place of a well-loved track taken from another source, which plays during two of the saddest moments of Serendipity. The original selected track was too short, and I needed to replicate the mood as best as possible while creating something unique. Luckily, the combination of a choir, gentle synth arpeggiation, saz, cello and classic FS-esque synthesizer did the job.

At this time, I shouldn’t reveal the titles of the last two songs, as they contain some spoilers. They were created for epilogue scenes at the end of the game; two possible endings with two different contexts. The first continues with a slightly “exotic” theme, using the saz to drive the main melody - a bit of inspiration for this song was taken from the most ancient song known to our modern world, the Hymn to Nikkal, which dates back to 1200 BCE. The second epilogue track required something that was both unique to Serendipity, and unique to the FreeSpace soundscape in general; it has a folky, celtic feel to achieve this uniqueness. The unique elements are layered on top of the familiar vintage synth beds and cinematic chord progressions, which I’m hoping will result in a fresh, epic track that still feels like it fits in the FreeSpace universe. I couldn’t think of a better way to end the soundtrack than this particular song.

It has been an absolute blast to write the OST for Serendipity. The SR team has been extremely supportive of my work, and puts a lot of their own passion into these campaigns. I am excited for the community to see how it all comes together, and excited to once again share a little bit of FreeSpace into my wider group of fans. The feedback, suggestions and prompts given by the team - especially Nyctaeus and Mobius - have helped push me to make some killer tracks.

Long live <REDACTED>!

Screenshots by team member Colt

shadowsoflight777 - - 1 comments

To add to the blog post, here is a .zip file containing teasers for all of the music I've created for Serendipity:

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