The Lancers Reactor posted some fascinating information regarding the development of Digital Anvil's long-awaited Freelancer title: namely that Microsoft has tapped Jorg Neumann to replace Chris Roberts... and that they plan on displaying the first post-Roberts version of Freelancer at the E3 in May. The entire Wing Commander community will be waiting with baited breath to see what changes have been made to Roberts' original amazing -- albeit technically impossible -- vision...
The guys over at Fleet Action have decided to handle the Bengal Strike Carrier in future releases of the famous Homeworld mod... the carrier will simulate 18 laser turrets. The Bengal and Fralthi II ships for Fleet Action are slated for release in the future. Simulating the Bengal is often perplexing to modders, because of the difficulty of discerning the entirity of her armament.
Niels informs us that he has created a Wing Commander-esque shareware game, featuring space combat and trading. You can find out more about the game, called "Smugglers", here. Here's his press release... it sounds like fun!
SMUGGLERS is a strategy-trading game for PC Windows. Play as a smuggler, pirate, trader or soldier in a science-fiction universe.
Vega Strike posted another technical update to their website. HellcatV is seeking a VC++ experienced individual to attempt to compile the game for Windows... if you fit the bill, contact him immediately! Here's the new features...
Smuggling is a tough business. You have to be careful not to run up too huge depts to the loan sharks, evade the planets military and make still a profit - fast! SMUGGLERS takes you to a fascinating tour into a growing science fiction world. Which role you choose is up to you. You can be a true smuggler, a common trader, a bounty-hunter, a pirate or even join the military.
"You maybe won't believe me, but I am addicted to this game" Avatar, one of our betatesters.
SMUGGLERS is a strategy-trading game for PC Windows. Its featuring a game of ultimate freedom of choice. Nobody is telling you how to play the game. You decide which challenges to face. Nothing is impossible in SMUGGLERS. Its action ranges from peaceful trading to attacking whole planets with large battleships.
Awards and top ten ratings:
On 3th April 2001:
Filemine.com: Smugglers got the JEWEL award and is listed on the front page. "Smugglers is a very fun game that calls for a bit of skill and ingenuity on your part." - Matt Tribe (email@example.com) in the official filemine review.
FileTransit.com: Smugglers rated 5 of 5 stars. On spot 6 of the top 10 downloads and on spot 9 of the top 10 rated.
SuperShareware.com: Smugglers on spot 7 in the top 10 (from 11293 applications)
I finished a really complex lighting system (in addition to the multitexturing) that can support arbitrary numbers of point source and directional lights using an optimal number of hardware lights...the lighting effects should be top of the line and accelerated!
Additionally I finished adding Triangle Strips and Traingle fans (as well as quad strips) to the model format, so a model optimizer and tesselator are both pending. (expect curved surfaces also!)
ashieh has put tremendous work on the game physics and multiplayer expandability. and has almost completed a preliminary AI that will almost do what you click it to... He uses quaternion rotations, etc to compute physics between physics frames. So all is certainly not lost, and expect a really cool demo out as soon as I get help compiling it in windows with VC++!
The Wing Commander Saga mod for Conquest has updated, reporting that they are hard at work determining details -- determining admirals, special weapons and so forth. Much like the Fleet Action mod, they're also developing a Bengal class ship. I guess you can't keep a good Strike Carrier down... StarSaint also posts word that a 'secret' project is being worked on -- if it turns out as well as their Sabre did, it should be exciting!