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There are currently 83 users playing Freelancer on 44 servers.
February. 24, 2020
Updated DX9 Engine for Freelancer Freelancer Mod News
Posted by Sushi on 2011/12/11 4:57:15 (5644 reads) News by the same author

With phase 1 of the MODDB awards coming to an end, the FW:ToW worked very hard over the past several days to convince you why you should vote for us.

In the past 10 days, we've been putting out image after image of our new DX9 engine and some tweaks that have gone a long way making the game look even better than before. FriendlyFire has been working, even when he should be studying for exams, at making this nearly 10 year old game really shine. Below is some of his work with summary of what he did:


One of the key points was to make planets actually look like planets and not foggy, blurry spheres. In order to do this, we scrapped the old-style Freelancer atmospheres and implemented a custom atmosphere shader which reacts dynamically to the lighting and viewing angle, after which we implemented normal and specular mapping support for planets.

Old Version:

New Planet Shaders (Old)

New and Improved:

New Planet Shaders (New)

With this accomplished FF went at work at figuring out how to apply normal, specular and glow mapping to the planets to really make them look even more drop dead gorgeous. The results below speak for themselves!

Kuat Showcase
Kuat Showcase


Although glowmapping has existed in Freelancer for some time, the glow maps never really "glowed". They were a brighter texture than the others, however there was something missing. FriendlyFire figured out a way to bring this missing piece of the puzzle to the DX9 engine for our mod. Below are the samples of his work:

Glow mapping takes certain parts of a texture, usually called the "emissive texture" since it appears to emit light even if it is not illuminated by anything, and blurs them out, reapplying the result on the image. This gives the impression that the emissive texture is much brighter than it would otherwise appear to be.

Old Version

Glow Mapping Implementation

New and Improved:

Glow Mapping Implementation
Nebulon-B Reloaded

Specular Mapping

W0dk4 instituted specular mapping a number of months ago now. However, with that being done, there was still some tweaking to do to get it to really bring our models/textures to life. FriendlyFire again went to work to see what he could...and my lord did he do some excellent work. The video below captures our new and improving specular mapping/lighting:

If you like what you see please don't hesitate to give us a vote for the MODDB awards! We'll be churning out more videos/images over the next few weeks to prove to you why we're one of the best up and coming mods out there!

As always, any comments, suggestions or questions are welcomed!

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