“And until recently, the Flood has not stirred,” said the hologram.
Ucos Mantrinoee asked, “Why, then, did the blessed Forerunners leave us?”
The display read >>INQUIRY RESULTS: NO MATCH<<
The other Sangheili looked to the floor, either disappointed or ashamed.
“However,” replied the hologram, “there are very few reasons why an advanced race would simply self-destruct, even when one factors in the Flood. Regardless of how, the fact remains that, eventually, civilizations collapse, get replaced by larger and more dynamic ones, or destroy themselves. And in this case I may point out that their weapons of mass destruction were activated, and that they did in fact die. The most pertinent question I would personally like answered is whether or not the Reclaimer activated the rings by Forerunner order; or an even more chilling prospect, did they act alone, perhaps misguided by someone or something?.”
- Excerpt from The Ones Before by Devrous, coming soon to Fan Fics
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0523 hours, April 4, 2007 (Military Calendar) \
Sol System, Planet Earth \ FS2H Main Office
As promised the FS2H Weekly Update is back. I’ll be answering some of the questions asked about FS2H and throwing out what it will and will not do. Dangerous territory, but ultimately needed. Remember that it is still in development and your ideas or requests can still make it into the game. So feel free to tell me what you think would make FS2H awesome for you. So, strap yourselves in for the Q&A. Some of the answers are simple, and some are almost essays in themselves. ENJOY!
Q: When will FS2H be released?
A: That’s a tough one. I’m aiming for a teaser trailer to be released soon, and after that I’ll be putting together a demo version so people can see what it is basically all about. Expect the demo sometime in May. Of course, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to host it here or not *pleads to Louis* As for the actual, full-fledged version? My goal is before Halo 3 comes out. I have no illusion that someone would rather play FS2H than Halo 3! But my goal is to have the full version, complete with Chapter One, to be ready sometime during the summer.
Q: Will we need a copy of Freespace 2 to play?
A: Nope! FS2H will be stand-alone. No CD required. But I would suggest playing through Freespace 2. For one it is a good game, and secondly it would give you a superlative grasp on the controls. I’ve found that (from the few people who have tested FS2H for me) those who’ve already played Freespace had to kick up the difficulty to be challenged as much as first-time players.
Q: How big will the game be?
A: Not sure yet. Ballpark range is from 260MB to almost a gigabyte. I’ll get a more definite figure as we get closer to the release date. The demo should be really small, though; about the size of a Halo 2 cutscene.
Q: Will we see FS2H in the high-res goodness of FS2Open?
A: Yes. I am currently using FS2Open 3.6.9 build. It’s been the least buggy for me so far, and it looks great!
Q: Will we be able to have in-atmospheric battles?
A: That one is TBD. Not in my original plans, since in-atmosphere skyboxes didn’t exist when I started. It would be cool, and fans of modern air combat sims would surely get a kick out of flying a SkyHawk to shoot down Banshees. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Q: Did you make all the ships models or did you just port them from the Halo games?
A: Every single model was handcrafted using Blender by yours truly. The Longsword and Pelican I managed to get accurate almost down to their last vertices. The others are either my best-guess from watching the Halo 1 and 2 cutscenes, my imagined designs for the ships described in the books, or completely original.
Q: Will I need a joystick?
A: Yes and No. You could just use the keyboard, but you’d be a sitting Grunt for all but the oldest and most weak fighters you’ll face. A keyboard just doesn’t give you the dexterity, unless you’re just THAT good around the keys. Not sure if using a mouse would work, though. Hmmm…
Q: What’s the third chapter about?
A: Haha! Nice try:-P
Q: Will we be able to play as the Covenant?
A: Though I feel a pang of regret every time I blow a Longsword to atoms, you will be able to fly the Seraph. The exact means of “how” or “why” is part of the big surprise, however. I’ll also go ahead and say that there is a ship you’ll pilot later that is neither Human or Covenant…
Q: Will there be any “dagger” or “knife” fighters?
A: Yes, there will be fighter fighters, not just fighter/bombers and interceptors. You’ll be able to pilot a very wide array of spacecraft. You won’t be stuck just using the Longsword. Most missions will give you a choice of which craft you’ll pilot, and the ships most often available are the Longsword, a few true fighters, and sometimes bombers. Also, as of this posting I have 63 ships modeled. Most are human, 11 are Covenant, and three are neither; plenty of ships to choose from.
Q: In Freespace 2 you couldn’t pilot capital ships. Will you be able to in FS2H?
A: Freespace 2 capital ships basically were turret-monsters that shot at each other. In the Halo Universe, UNSC capital ships are, more or less, big flying guns with engines! So, yes, you’ll be able to fire off some Archer missiles and pound a Covie cruiser’s shields with MAC rounds.
Q: Wouldn’t balance between human and Covenant forces be a major issue?
A: Indeed it is, and was a central problem I knew needed to be carefully thought out in order for the action in-game to be believable and accurate. According to the books, the general ratio is 3:1 in capital ship combat. Commander Keyes, while aboard the Iroquois, thinks to himself that four Covenant frigates would be an even match for seven UNSC destroyers—definitely not 3:1. However, he was comparing four frigates to seven destroyers (FRIGATE < DESTROYER). All of this information made capital-ship combat easier to balance. Fighter combat was trickier. The Seraph is purely a fighter and is roughly 24m long. The Longsword is a heavy fighter/bomber/interceptor, and is 64m long. To equate this with today, the F-22 Raptor in the USAF is about 19m long and the B2 bomber has a 52m wingspan. Ammunition capacity is much greater for the B2, the larger vessel. If stealth was ignored, we put them in space with (no need to produce lift), and armor plates were slapped onto the airframes, The B2 would outgun the F-22 with superior munitions capacity and could survive a lot more punishment due to heavier armor. The F-22, however, would outperform the B2 in agility, and would most likely win a battle if there were no missiles involved. After all of this, could we say that we would need seven Longswords to equal four Seraphs? I think not. In Eric Nylund’s First Strike, we see Longswords battling Seraphs. The way I interpreted the scene is that the three Longswords that left Bravo One to engage the “swarm” of Seraphs were probably successful in at least taking them with them, if not tying them up for a good length of time before being destroyed. The verbage used a few paragraphs later suggest a dozen new Seraphs diving towards Bravo One, and Knife Two-Six makes a futile attempt to engage all twelve. *takes a deep breath* I made several assumptions from all of this information. A Longsword carries four ASGM-10 missiles and each should be able to destroy a Seraph or in the very least severely damage it. If the “swarm” was a dozen or less, the opening assault by the three Longswords would have quickly neutralized them. But since he uses swarm once and then a dozen later, I assume he means more than twelve. The 110mm and 120mm cannons probably dish out a good amount of punishment, but you have to hit the annoyingly-agile alien fighter to do any damage! So for fighter-based combat, I’d say that the human forces have built a better ship by far. Keep in mind, though, that the Longsword is much, much bigger, and that the ASGM-10 missile is enormous compared to man-portable rockets. HOWEVER, the Covenant still have the advantage in sheer numbers. *WHEW!*
Q: Will you have your own website?
A: In due time. As of now I am at the good graces of one Louis Wu. (THANKS!)
Q: Will there be original music or a bunch of spliced-together Halo clips?
A: I’ve been a band nerd for 13 years, and I love creating new things. With some help from local talent and Halo fans everywhere, I’m aiming for a good mix of the best music on Earth, a.k.a. Marty music, from the Halo 1 & 2 soundtracks, fan-created tunes from m.p.o., and some original work by myself and a few local Halo fans that happen to be pretty handy with a guitar and keyboard.. I’ve emailed Edgen, who has done fantastic halo-based pieces, to see if he’ll let me use a few of his tunes, for example.
I tried to answer all the questions either emailed to me or put as replies in the forum posts. If I missed a question, or if you have some new ones to ask me, feel free to email me any time. If I get enough new ones I’ll make a second Q&A post later.
Another week gone by, another update written and posted, another homework assignment put off. But before I leave I’d like to show off a few shots of some of the UNSC ships in orbit around a familiar object…
This should look familiar…
And if you ever followed the First Strike mod Crispy Spartan had going about a year ago, here’s something you may recognize
Shout-out to “Chaos” of the former First Strike Mod for Halo PC – His original artwork inspired my Orion Frigate
Drool. Debate. Eat at Sonic. Enjoy.
Peace and see you next time!
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