Greetings Fans and Infidels,
It has been an eventful year for us… many things have happened, some good, some horrible, some beyond amazing. So let's begin… a story of our history, by STROBE:
Modding is a great experience. We encourage all aspiring artists and developers to try it, attempt their dreams, and live the adventure. We started our mod in 2010, went public in 2011, and holy crap it is now 2020… a literal decade of amazing times with this community whom we have loved to share our passion with. We started YVAW with a mission: “To Bring the Novels to Life”, our original motto, but the mission was really to change public perspective on who the Yuuzhan Vong were… to encourage Star Wars fans to go out and read the novels--they are amazing (New Jedi Order series), and are honestly the best reads out of all of them, with maybe an exception of Shadows of the Empire, and Shadows of Mindor – because let's face it, who doesn't just love a great character with a pointy hat ;) . We truly wanted to create a fan appreciation of the daring attempts the authors undertook to break away from the stagnancy of only hearing stories of the Empire fighting a Rebellion and to try something different… something more… something better. In this attempt, we feel we have been successful, for so many now know who the Vong are, which when we started, nobody even cared about.
With this mindset, I created a mod team with modders who wanted to share in this vision, and people who I thought also wanted something different, something more, something better, and who also shared my same values of honesty, cooperation, support, and respect for one another. It was hard, and as I like to say, ‘not many have survived along the way…', but as a Team, we persevered… at this point, I must make mention of 2 loyal allies, team mates, dear friends who have stayed with me through thick and thin, 2 people who never lost the faith, and have always been there to assist me with anything I have really ever needed… Wariscool, my senior coder since 2012, and Revan, my literal right hand who honestly I could not live without since 2013 – 2 people who have saved this project through all and any hardship, who have started with the most minimal of experience and talent, yet transcended to be 2 of the most knowledgeable modders in the entire community, 2 people who answer my daily text messages and requests and orders every minute of every day…. and who I consider 2 people who I owe so much appreciation and thanks to, my dear friends.
We faced many challenges as a team… still we continued, and in one way or another, proved that most of our concepts were in fact accomplishable in this game engine, but ultimately not all together, for we just had too many ideas that could not all be contained in the very dated Alamo engine. We had always stated that we were a ‘learning project', a development group that strived to test out every idea, and we were the first to successfully accomplish many ideas, despite not publicly sharing them. This knowledge base that we created allowed us to continually recruit more and more candidates who would become full time members to our team, expanding our ambitions and causing more of a desire to make something that was not just another mod, but something different, something more, something better… and as we continued to develop, we recruited talents that pushed our achievements even further, such as the wonderful Doci, whom without his assistance, the Vong just would never have been fulfilled to the vision that we wished them to be… And thank you also Silva, who joined our ranks to help solve some of our coding issues and much more. Members, who went above and beyond, in not just taking a chance to work with us, but believed in our vision, and believed in the comradery of what our team held sacred, and what future plans we wished to do.
Our team has learned a lot over the years… from our humble beginnings of where many of us first started to learn 3D modeling and examining basic xml code to now where we can rival anyone in 3D model making, have invented new methods of texturing that are even beyond what some game companies are capable of creating, the secret knowledge of how to create shaders, the ability to utilize trimsheets, development of specialized scripts and so much more… In the spring of 2014 I had an idea… a thought for something greater than just the mod… it was just a fledgling thought, but one that I knew had potential. As our mod progressed, I kept careful observance of members’ growth in skill and accomplishments, our people were getting better and better at this hobby. In 2018 I shared these initial thoughts with some members of our team, and in 2019, the most dedicated members of our team were invited to discussion about a New Project… something that could be greater than just our modding efforts. We started to change the direction of our modding endeavors… we promised our fans a mod, but as developers we wanted something more. We began to focus our efforts in an attempt to compile a demo of our accomplishments. The beta testers had worked hard for us to assist us in creating a stable multiplayer version of our mod that was able to showcase many of our accomplishments and abilities. We used this demo to justify our team’s strengths and knowledge. By this time, I had developed a full concept for a brand new game… a unique brand new style of gameplay that was built around a new Science Fiction IP… yet still drew upon elements that were cherished by fans of the game where we all originated from (EAW) by incorporating ship combat and a galaxy map with conquerable locations-- something that fans of EAW could relate to but also provided all the ideas that they wished for yet were missing in EAW… We had started chat groups on our discord servers to hear what fans actually want from a space game, we listened intently and took notes. We wanted to not just create a mod anymore, but create something that has the potential of becoming the most epic space battle game that all fans have yearned for yet have never been given…
We took our ideas, and we began creating a separate team while simultaneously working on the YVAW mod. We began to start not just a team of modders, but the beginnings of an actual company. We made contacts with professional game designers outside of the EAW community, and found 3 who are working with us. We recruited 2 additional professional programmers. We prepared plans for a game that could actually deliver a true cinematic experience that benefited from our knowledge of PBR shading and our unique texturing approaches. We began to work on 2 projects at once, and have been developing our New Project simultaneously alongside the Vong Mod while using the Vong Mod as a testing platform to try out new ideas and receive beta tester feedback on new concepts we were attempting. We designed a custom render pipeline, designed the right pacing for our game rhythm, and developed cutting edge workflows for high end visuals while embracing the power of procedural tools to increase production power. We have spent time already on creating assets such as procedurally generated asteroids such as these:
We spent time studying lighting techniques, soft shadows, reflections, and of course our custom PBR:
And we developed new techniques for modular workflows and rapid model construction utilizing high poly assets with minimal engine performance loss:
We have organized a staff of 8 full time employees, 3 volunteer staff, and several part time contractors who are offering assistance – several who are employed currently in the gaming industry. We are becoming a very real deal.
We have worked very hard on preparing our New Project and developing our initial presentation of our new game idea, our new IP, our new story line full of new ship designs and a whole universe around it to prepare presentations for some investors who have been watching our progress. Now, after a full year of work on this New Project, we are very happy to announce that we have a sponsor, and have secured initial funding to further develop our project and continue to work towards making it a reality. We are happy to announce that the hype is real, we are making an actual real game. Not Star Wars, but something different, something more, something better.
This is an incredibly exciting time for our team, especially after all the hardships we have sustained. Our continuous efforts, our unbreakable loyalty and support, our true and endearing friendships to each other-- have allowed us to survive and see our dreams now start to become a reality. So, we are happy to announce that we are in the final stages of wrapping up our first release of YVAW. It may sadden some to hear that we will not be able to fulfill all the great ideas we wished for in creating a mod, but we hope that our fans can understand that when a once in a lifetime opportunity arises – a chance to make something bigger and better, a chance to make a real game of our own, it is just an opportunity that we cannot pass up. Life flies by… time is short, and only so many opportunities such as this come about if ever… We intend to release our YVAW mod soon, aiming for a release in about the next month. But for all the questions we have been receiving on ‘why things are delayed’, ‘why is it taking so long’, what the heck is our team always doing, we are now happy to finally be able to announce what has actually been going on the past year.
We are officially 1 year into development of a brand new game.
We have already created a new discord for the new IP, and as things develop, a website will be created in time to promote the New Project further. We wish to invite everyone there in time to follow along with our progress and support us. Our generous sponsor is giving us initial funding to get started and due to the obligations of our NDAs and Contracts we are prohibited in what we can say until we have a working demo of the New Project, but we will be able to share little sneak peeks here and there. We have grown with the community, from novice modders to now emerging professionals ready to join the open market. We won’t be able to succeed alone, we will need fan support along the way, and we want to share our journey with all of you.
This is a truly momentous time for our team. We have worked hard, and are excited to show our accomplishments in our soon to be released Vong mod, but even more, we are very excited to finally announce our plans and hope that everyone continues to follow our team’s growth and development as we enter our next phase and bring you all the epic space game you have always wanted.
More details SOON, thank you once again for being our loyal fans, and we hope as always to keep you ‘pleasantly surprised…”.