Editorial, Mod News

Games That Inspire Us | WDB #91

Today we’re taking a look at some of the games we love, and how they inspire the development of our mod.

Games That Inspire Us

Freelancer

First, we must dispense with the obvious. Without Freelancer, none of what we’re doing would be possible. Without the adventures of Trent, Juni, the Osiris, the Nomads, and everything else, we may never have had the foundation to create an open-ended Star Wars universe full of commerce, combat, and exploration all at once.

Of course, what we have now is almost barely recognizable as Freelancer any longer. The various graphic upgrades, client and server-side code hooks, and new features have all coalesced into a monster a lot of potential that we’re still trying to coax out. Nevertheless, without Freelancer and its dedicated modding community, we’d never have gotten this far. The X-Wing Series

Though it’s clear that Star Wars, in general, is where we take our inspiration from, our combat models and approach to universe design are most definitely taken from the X-Wing series of PC games.

The last of these games was X-Wing: Alliance, released in 1999, though the series does live on through digital distribution platforms like Good Old Games and Steam. In them, you’ll find something of a lightweight flight simulator. Each mission plops you into the cockpit of an iconic Star Wars vessel, from X-Wings to TIE Fighters, all the way up to Corellian light freighters similar to the Millenium Falcon.

The missions give you a series of objectives to complete and convey the story through briefings and chatter with other pilots. Our upcoming scripted events aim to offer some of this experience to our players. Additionally, we’ll be making an attempt to implement fixed gunsights in Freelancer (something that’s never been done before), to further emulate the type of combat seen in the X-Wing series.

The Rogue Squadron Series

The Rogue Squadron series is, to a certain extent, the little brother of X-Wing. Where X-Wing could be challenging to the point of frustration, Rogue Squadron takes an easier, more lighthearted approach to combat and even mission design. Our aim, with regards to NPCs, missions, and events, is to find a healthy balance between challenge and arcade-like fun.

The graphical fidelity of Rogue Squadron is also something we take a cue from, as is the default third-person view (something it shares with Freelancer), which is something we aim to keep even after we apply fixed sights to our ships.

Star Wars Galaxies (Jump To Lightspeed)

Though Star Wars Galaxies is more traditionally remembered for being a truly deep (albeit controversial) sandbox MMO, its expansion Jump To Lightspeed is certainly on our list of influences. Some of our station and ship models are inspired by Galaxies, and its fighter handling is a bit similar to Freelancer as well, which, though not a direct influence, is certainly something we point fans of JTL to when we discuss our mod.

Guild Wars 2 (Event Design)

At first glance, it may seem like a bit of a stretch to make comparisons between our Star Wars mod and a Fantasy MMORPG, but Guild Wars 2 does offer something we consider to be essential to the fun as we go forward.

Guild Wars 2 is a game that doesn’t have quests in the traditional sense. Though there are some NPCs that offer rewards for completing certain tasks, GW2 features world events that all players on the map can participate in for rewards.

Looking at the image above, for example, the player’s minimap will point them towards the area where an event is taking place. Once the player arrives within the given radius, they are automatically taking part in the event, which other players can join or leave at will. Upon victory, the player is rewarded with XP and loot.

We’ve mentioned scripted events several times as one of our major features going forward. Every star system will have events that trigger at certain times, and players can participate in these events to collect loot and experience. Depending on the area and a player’s faction, there may be different enemies and different goals/outcomes. We’ll also use these events to convey stories in the game.

Planetside 2

It’s true, our inspirations span many game genres, even shooters. To be fair, though, it’s not the shooting aspect of Planetside 2 that we take inspiration from, but rather the approach to unlocking abilities. Except in our case, we won’t be unlocking abilties, but ships.

Though this, like scripted events, has not been fully implemented yet, the XP you gain through completing events and destroying enemy ships will be used to unlock ships that are farther and farther up the tiers as you progress.

For instance, you may start out as the captain of a lowly Corellian Corvette, but through hard work, dedication, and just a little bit of combat proficiency, you’ll begin to move up through the ranks, unlocking frigates, destroyers, and perhaps eventually a fearsome battleship like the Imperial Star Destroyer.

Now that you know where our inspiration comes from: What games drove your desire to check out Freeworlds: Tides of War?


Community Links

Recruitment for the New Republic and Empire are open! Send your applications to Kalis and/or Volume_9 and they will get you sorted right away. 

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For the latest development videos, please check out our YouTube Channel! Or, visit us on the Freeworlds Forums, Facebook, or leave us a comment or question here and the developers will respond! We also have a Steam group that’s updated weekly with our news posts, and our community is always welcoming new gamers!

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