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There are currently 53 users playing Freelancer on 33 servers.
November. 23, 2017

Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users



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Freelancer, the future?
Not too shy to talk
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Yes I know, what future right? Read on, this may get a little TL-DR. But if you love this game, and I suspect most of you reading this do, then hear me out.

By the way I am Zyos from years back, this is my new handle.

I keep coming back, missing this game and the battles and communities that I was a part of. I'm sure plenty of others feel the same way - the love for this game!

Your thinking yeah there is Star Citizen coming, there are other games like Freelancer - none of which have ever really compared, have they?

Star Citizen is a game designed to run on more powerful hardware, and WILL involve more than just jumping in, shooting a few friends and then leaving at the drop of a hat. That quick pick up and drop arcade style action is core to Freelancers multiplayer, and part of the reason it has endured.

Basically Freelancer still has weight because of this, even when stacked up against the newer tougher kids on the block.

Of course Freelancer in it's unaltered state has some pretty big issues. For one it's not even functional off the bat for most people, they need to apply fixes to even get it to launch. Once they do get in there is no multiplayer due to lack of 1.1 patch or no official server list. That isn't even counting all the bugs we've fixed via community patches since.

When it becomes an effort to bring a game to a playable state, the average game player is just going to delete/trash the game. Which is an almost unfathomable waste to me given what we know, what we can do to this game and how much history we all have with it.

Let's stop that moving forward, my proposal is this:

I would like to get Freelancer out of mothballs, and freshen it up a bit. Not by modding it outside of it's original scope but by updating it to shave at least a decade off it's age. Let's give it a facelift - we are capable of doing this collectively as a community.

I am not talking about modding it to be functionally any different than it is currently, mostly aesthetic and quality of life improvements.

To give you some examples:


  • Apply fixes for OS related issues that have cropped up.

  • Render the game installess, portable (already did this myself)

  • Apply all available patches and eliminate final INI/data errors.

  • Apply HD textures, sounds, music, Hud, pretty things up. (Although I believe would leave that to user choice but offer options).

  • Re-develop in a compatible with Vanilla way, all the elements of a star system (pretty planets, advanced suns etc, just to name a few.

  • Give that same treatment to all of the other systems in the game.

  • Fix problems with cinematics, cutscenes if any still exist etc.



None of the above will fundamentally change anything about Freelancer other than make it more accessible than it's current state.

Collectively across the whole community we have so much knowledge about this game, we are all sat in our own corners of the community not sharing, I realise it has always been this way but surely we are going to cut off our nose to spite our face by continuing this way?

This is something we can all contribute to and I am quite happy to do this with different builds via something like Github (or similiar) as it is vanilla like only, there should be no real conflict over who's modification is better save for the approaches they take.

You can call it a final community patch, one that actually contains the efforts of most of the community, come on people drag out your old projects (or current ones) and help us all make this game what it was.

Freelancer deserves one more shot at life, we have neglected it far too long now.

** TL-DR **
Freelancer isn't dead.
It still stands as a pick up and put down when you want game, Star Citizen etc can't say the same.
Let's collaborate and produce one more community patch to fix some of FLs most glaring problems for new users (this is why we have little to 0 player growth).
We just need to give it an update whilst keeping it pure/vanilla.
What's the point of all this knowledge we have that is mostly being put to waste.
We can teach this old dog some new tricks yet.

So we reach the end of this boring and long post. Unless you skipped to the TL-DR lol. Do any of you that remain have any opinion on this? Perhaps share this vision?

Let me know here, or just discuss it, if it's unfeasible I want to know why in logic, you owe the game at least that much for all the fun and enjoyment and tears and drama it has caused you over the years.

Speaking for just myself? I don't want this game to die, even when there are seemingly better out there. Much like a car, I would rather drive a car that I have a connection/memories with, than sit in a brand new sports car that does everything better, but that I feel no connection with. I have good happy feelings when I think of Freelancer, and I am sure we can have these times again.

I just need people to agree with me to help make it happen

PS: I think my TL-DR needs a TL-DR, ooops.

Posted on: 7/21 15:31

Edited by Bolte on 2017/7/21 15:42:33
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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The problem's always the same: manpower. We don't have enough skilled artists and programmers who aren't already busy with other projects they care more about. "Freshening up" Freelancer is quite the task and what that word even means is entirely arbitrary and depends on who you ask. Some would be fine just upresing the textures, while others like myself would like to just completely redesign every single model keeping the inspiration behind them but throwing away the dated and ugly early 2000s aesthetic.

If you just want to package the game neatly, all you need to do is bundle a few of Adoxa's plugins into an installer. Anything more becomes a matter of taste, and I don't expect people to agree on what to do exactly looking at how wildly different the main mods are aesthetically.

Posted on: 7/21 18:18
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
-Peggy Noonan
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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And I agree with you on that front, this is why I said the only conflict would come from peoples approach, I don't mind rebuilds of existing assets, to improve them. Our CMP and SUR knowledge has come a long way, wrapping SURs to the shape of the CMP for example (I believe that was done anyways). Which wasn't done with the original work. Unused hard points etc, there is plenty of work to be done.

I will admit yes I can patch the game all neatly into a portable folder that can be copied and pasted into multiple separate "installations" with ease. My proof of concept on Portable FL has demonstrated this.

I can even just put all the relevant patches together.

I'm not even talking dedication here. It could be as simple as a random person finds fault with a particular ini, puts up a fix and gets their name in the credits of the project. As little or as much as anyone wants to contribute.

No demands, it's just that before the work is merged in, it needs to be examined before it's put in. The project itself would be visible to the world via something like Github (or a custom/hosted alternative). Completely open.

As far as visual and aesthetics go, yes I agree it's highly subjective, which is why I think I'd be going for add-on patches that people can apply to it instead of it being merged into the main project, unless it's voted in by majority.

EDIT:
The only thing I am concerned about, is if ship models are to even be touched, the commitment would need to be made to do all of them, as every artist and modeller has their own style, they would have to match across the board. As long as that is agreed, then people can re-design all they want, keeping the same general design/theme as vanilla.

Does that sound fair to you?

All I'm after here is discussing this, I'm not asking anything of anyone just yet.

Posted on: 7/21 18:29

Edited by Bolte on 2017/7/21 18:37:36
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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What I'm telling you is that you'll have trouble finding people for this. There's no bug left in the game that's easily fixed. The INIs have been parsed and reparsed and reviewed countless times, the fixes are already all done.

The only novel work to be done is to package it all, or to build an HD version, and that HD version can't exist because everyone who could contribute to it has a different idea on what it should be.

Posted on: 7/21 18:49
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
-Peggy Noonan
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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I get that, and the first in roads can be done by just me technically.

Appreciate the feedback.

What about some form of consensus on what is added, a vote basically.

Provide the options for inclusion, and then let community decide on what looks best to get the general opinion, and then merge? Yes, I am sure everyone has a different opinion on what it should be, but surely they can all agree on what looks Freelancer like, and what looks different/unfitting?

As far as ini errors go, the last I checked (maybe the version of error checking was old at the time) there were still some errors present, any pointers on what the remaining issues are?

Are we talking as of Quickfix 1.0c the INIs are clean?


Posted on: 7/21 19:05
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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Adoxa's JFLP is the final iteration of all that, it's got way more than Quickfix.

http://adoxa.altervista.org/freelancer/index.html

Posted on: 7/21 20:09
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
-Peggy Noonan
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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Current patch order then?

Posted on: 7/21 20:20
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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Hey! I'm currently redo an old project. Making high res vanilla hud could be quite nice, I am using kHED, I already have done equipment icon.

Posted on: 7/21 21:56
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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That's the Vavle 3D editor right? Examples?

Posted on: 7/21 22:00
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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Here is the model :

And in game it looks great and I have to create UHD ready files, like that FL would be saved for this part.

And I forget to say that FL beta sounds are really high quality so I've started a rip but the files are encrypted and have a weird wet sound. Sadly, I can't play the beta...

Attach file:



jpg  hudequip.khe_Screenshot.jpg (85.53 KB)
5161_597271473a6e1.jpg 1757X988 px

Posted on: 7/21 22:25
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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I have the beta ISO, haven't even looked at it yet though. Filed under to-do for right now.

Posted on: 7/21 22:55
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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I've installed it but can't play...

Here is a screenshot of the hud update :

Attach file:



jpg  screen194.jpg (357.61 KB)
5161_597290e2ccdc4.jpg 1920X1080 px

Posted on: 7/22 0:40
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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Ive to agree with FriendlyFire.
The problems are to find people that would be willing to work on such a project and get the people to agree on something.

I can only speak for myself.
I certainly have everything needed to contribute but my problem is a bit the motivation and also my responsibilty to the players of my mod.
I have to decide if I invest time here into vanilla FL (who almost nobody plays) or if I use that time contributing to further improvements on Crossfire (where at least the player I know have a benefit from my work).
You of course could say "the HD stuff could also be used on mods" but since my mod is HD already there is very little benefit for me and the members of my community.

There of course is the possiblity of further improvements in quality... especially on 3d models. I totally agree with that.
Im just not convinced that more complex 3d models would make FL any better, especially since the OpenGL stuff that currently is in development probably could cause similar improvements without the need to touch every 3d model.

As you can see, right now i am struggling with conflicts of interest and the question "what is worth being spend time on?".

Posted on: 7/22 12:30
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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That's OK.

I'm working on this patch currently, that will both allow FL to be portable (in the sense that multiple copies of it can exist on the same drive, with separate save files and configuration settings, no install needed).

I would like to create a patch that includes everything needed to get the game working, right now it's not always hit play and then jump in the game when you first download it/install it. You have to go looking for stuff, tweak this, tweak that a lot of the time. Hopefully I can package this in a way that allows us to get a little player growth.

I also am rekindling my extension of Arghs XML toolkit, where I will standardise and template scripts for ships, shields, engines etc in their own individual files. The step after that is to webify them so they can be generated via a form.

It'll make it easier for folk to develop in FLMM at least, when they can just drop in a file, and change a few path elements and tweak existing stats. Takes at least some of the work out of it, and may improve quality of work, reduce errors etc.

Posted on: 7/22 17:37
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Re: Freelancer, the future?
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Interesting. A couple of months ago I decided to play Freelancer with Trinus VR. The cutscenes were incredibly immersive, but the gameplay was utterly disorienting. I played it 100% vanilla.
It made me wonder what could make my favorite game more relevant nowadays, so I came back to check whether the community is still kicking and stumbled upon this post.

I've had that idea for quite a while, a few good years actually; to one day claim the rights for Freelancer, remaster it with all engine improvements the community created and new shiny models, then redistribute it on Steam along with the original game as a bundle.

FF and R8R have already said it all, the lack of motivation prematurely buries the idea. Money doesn't seem like an option, we can barely even maintain the forum's host with donation. Crowdfunding just won't work because the game is far too unknown to attract enough people, especially with all the competition at hand.

I'd definitely be glad to spare some time and contribute to such a project any way I could, and later maybe start an actual remaster project with friends once they finish their studies. Hopefully, the community will remain active, or at least keep its data archived till then.

Posted on: 9/8 16:14
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