BREAKING NEWS: The Darkening on GOG (September 19, 2013)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Amazing news: GOG has released Privateer 2: The Darkening for digital download. The release includes manuals, wallpapers and a copy of Origin's Official Guide to Privateer 2! Pick up your copy here.

Developed by Erin Roberts and a team at "Origin UK" and released in 1996 between Wing Commander IV and Wing Commander Prophecy, Privateer 2 is an oft-overlooked classic. It introduces the Tri System to Wing Commander's lore, an engrossing and dark region of space artfully constructed. In addition to its Privateer-style gameplay and extensive world building, it introduced actor Clive Owen to the world as the player character/lead, Lev Arris!

In honor of this latest release, GOG is also running a special 48-hour Wing Commander promo! You can pick up the rest of the series at a heavy discount! Learn more here. The ideal time to pick up extra copies for your best friends, spouses and pets! GOG is now just two releases away from having the entire set of DOS and Windows 9x Wing Commander games available for sale.




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Original update published on September 19, 2013
 
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Red Baron

Rear Admiral
I should start giving GOG full control over my bank account and just ask for some pocket money if i'm hungry.
 

Oceankhayne

Commodore
Does anyone know if there's a way to remove the heavy interlacing in the fmv's? I assume there isn't any since my old pal mr. search engine failed me. Between that and some of the gameplay decisions made on this game (stream weapons, the cargo options, few planets and stations and a **** ton of "nav" points, really?) this really isn't my favorite WC game. Don't get me wrong, I'll still play it, and have a decent time with it, but this game and WC V (inc. SO) don't really have that Wing Commander "feel", IMO. If there was some way to deinterlace the fmv and transform the travel system into something better than just pressing J 2500 times a min, even with the stream weapons the game would be a blast.


EDIT: as a side note, I was looking on the site for the old midnight editor i used to use, the wiki said the editor was MIA, a quick search engine stop later, and low-and-behold a copy. Might save someone else some time.
 

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Oggy

Rear Admiral
Wow, need to pick this up!!!
haha, I agree Baron, I might as well just have all my wages paid straight into their account
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
We're working on a patch that removes interlacing. It's working pretty well, but there's still some bugs to iron out so stay tuned.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Downloaded it, played it. And yes, the first thing I noticed was the interlacing...I thought you could switch it off in the menu, but no. Still, I only flew two or three missions but I immediately felt at home again. And the characters are all so crazy, it's really bizarre.
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
We're working on a patch that removes interlacing. It's working pretty well, but there's still some bugs to iron out so stay tuned.
That alone is good news. However, if it's feasible, is there any future potential for adding subtitles?

I know that's a hideous thing to ask for, much worse than deinterlacing. You'd have to detect which movie was being played, and then load up a script for that movie, complete with timestamps, then display the text without interfering with any other screen content. Even the script part (with some means of working out which cutscene to look up) would make a huge different. In the Darkening cutscenes I've watched, I can barely discern one word in three. That seems like a serious hazard in a game full of such bizarre and potentially dangerous characters.
 
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Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I have to admit: even though whenever possible, I play a game (or watch a movie) in English (generally without subtitles) - when English is the original language -, I have more problems understanding the voices in Priv2 than in any other game (it's the first time, I got to play Priv2 in English though). Not so much in the videos (yet) but more the in-flight communications, especially some of the pirates. I guess I'll be getting used to the voices though.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I was looking through some older interviews not too long ago, and apparently the system for putting subtitles into the video exists. However it was extremely cumbersome for the Origin UK tool to do all the keyframing by hand more or less... THey didn't have access to the tools used at Origin proper so while the code allows for subtitles they never ended up doing them for the game. I'm sure it would be possible for fans to add them, though for an accurate version we do need the proper shooting script to double check our temp script over at WCpedia.
 

Oceankhayne

Commodore
Depends on how they're done I guess. The easiest method would be to lay the subs into the video, might as well use the vhs source at the same time...(assuming you can even encode into that format) I don't know what type of api the win95 ver uses for gfx, I'm assuming directdraw, since it was easier to implement. The toughest thing would be figuring out what hooks are used for the subs, and the format they have to be in (I'm assuming close to the same as wc4 if the code was already there as you've said). Couldn't tell you really, my only experience with programming is C++ and Java source and even then, I only have experience with it from an engineer's pov. I couldn't begin to tell you how to deconstruct compiled code. The interlace fix is terrific news, though. I'll probably be able to enjoy the game more once that's released.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
I've picked this up, but not had a chance to install it yet, does anyone know though whether it's the deluxe (win9x) version or the normal (dos), I can't remember if the ddraw patch was implemented for priv2 deluxe, but if it was it could help with the interlacing!
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
I'm finding it impossible to play. Laggy as hell, can't get joystick to work, can't even open up in-flight options (alt-o)! I'm sure it must just be my system, but is anyone else having similar issues? I can't really tweak the .conf file easily, it's not laid out particularly friendly. I've tried playing around with the cycles & frameskip in-flight, but just seems to make it work.

Frustrating! Really hoped to re-live this game a little!
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I'm finding it impossible to play. Laggy as hell, can't get joystick to work, can't even open up in-flight options (alt-o)! I'm sure it must just be my system, but is anyone else having similar issues? I can't really tweak the .conf file easily, it's not laid out particularly friendly. I've tried playing around with the cycles & frameskip in-flight, but just seems to make it work.

Frustrating! Really hoped to re-live this game a little!
Sorry to read that. It gets a little choppy when I'm facing planets or larger ships very close (freighters) but besides that, it runs ok, including the joystick without me changing anything from the GOG-settings.

(On a sidenote: the gameplay may have its flaws but damn, I really like the freighter designs.)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I'm finding it impossible to play.
Wow! So GOG really *does* let you experience the game exactly like it felt back in the day :D.

On a sidenote, while I'm really trying to bite my tongue, so as not to spoil other people's fun, I will say this just once: I am continually amazed just how many people love Privateer 2 in spite of its awful flaws. Good for you guys - for me, it was torture playing through it even the very first time, and this is the only WC game I have never gone back to and never will. I loved the bizarre storyline, the characters, the videos were remarkably quirky, and if someone patched up the gameplay, I'd probably like to experience the story once more. But as it is... well, as I said above, good for you guys who are able to see past the flaws and enjoy the game regardless.
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Wow! So GOG really *does* let you experience the game exactly like it felt back in the day :D.

On a sidenote, while I'm really trying to bite my tongue, so as not to spoil other people's fun, I will say this just once: I am continually amazed just how many people love Privateer 2 in spite of its awful flaws. Good for you guys - for me, it was torture playing through it even the very first time, and this is the only WC game I have never gone back to and never will. I loved the bizarre storyline, the characters, the videos were remarkably quirky, and if someone patched up the gameplay, I'd probably like to experience the story once more. But as it is... well, as I said above, good for you guys who are able to see past the flaws and enjoy the game regardless.
I am looking forward to playing it DESPITE it's flaws. It really is a bit of a nostalgia trip, just to see if it's still pretty awful (gameplay-wise) or whether I was just overly critical back in the day.

To me the most obvious flaw was the difficulty scaling. I played through the game only once, with only the starting ship, doing only story missions, as I realised early on that spending the time upgrading to better craft just 'upgraded' the rest of the universe along with me. Best way to completely void any sort of feeling of achievement. I played to watch the FMV's. Then cheated, bought the most expensive craft & gear, played for about half an hour post-story, then put it away and NEVER TOUCHED IT AGAIN.

So thats why I've gone and downloaded it now - just to see if time has matured it. Like a fine wine. (although, ageing a crappy wine just results in vinegar 10 years later. We'll see.) That's IF I can get it working nicely. I must have hit the jackpot with my system at the original release date - it played absolutely perfectly for me.
 
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