Freelancer porting of Wing Commander ships

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Where there any expansions for Freelancer? I enjoyed the game back then but lost interest after the storyline ended, I know you could continue exploring the systems and upgrading your ship etc. Not sure if there were side quest missions?
Nothing like Righteous Fire for Privateer, nope. Though there are pretty large mods with campaign missions (I'll have to test it, but Crossfire seems to have added a large follow-on campaign to the main game's, involving the Starlancer factions coming back or something like that). Otherwise, just randomly-generated missions.

The interesting thing is the MP mode that allows the same functionalities as the open universe post-campaign, but with numerous players in it, allowing for some interaction, PvP, PvE and altogether RP. Once the fighter swap is done properly with a correct file architecture set up for easier maintenance, I'll try and see if I can do the same thing for freighters and transports, then capital ships. At that point, depending on interest and modellers' authorizations, a proper release could be done, and maybe we could see with the CIC's staff about setting up a server for some form of Privateer Online. Though this isn't happening soon.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Where there any expansions for Freelancer? I enjoyed the game back then but lost interest after the storyline ended, I know you could continue exploring the systems and upgrading your ship etc. Not sure if there were side quest missions?
Freelancer's storyline didn't have sidequests, but it had an understanding with the people who do ;). You could get randomly generated missions pretty much everywhere, but there were no proper sidequests in the sense of pre-designed optional storylines.

No expansions, either. It would be interesting to know if any expansions were planned. They did apparently start working on a sequel, which eventually got shut down.
 

Ghost

Emperor
Loved the wreckages hunting and those puter systems like Omega, Omicron etc.
Still remember when i found La Hispaniola adrift in space.
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
A few years ago there was an April Fool's gag that completely replaced the Freelancer universe with that of Privateer 2. IIRC missions were never implemented, but otherwise it was a mini-total conversion, with new factions, ships, equipment, planets and commodities. It might be worth a look if you're interested in how the data files are formatted; it's based on a framework that cut down the game to the bare minimum required.

The hard part is building the systems; that's what eventually killed the original FL mods. It's not difficult anymore though; nowadays there are complete GUI programs to map them out instead of having to type everything out by hand. It's probably more creative and tedious than actually difficult, since you'd be starting from scratch.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
A few years ago there was an April Fool's gag that completely replaced the Freelancer universe with that of Privateer 2. IIRC missions were never implemented, but otherwise it was a mini-total conversion, with new factions, ships, equipment, planets and commodities. It might be worth a look if you're interested in how the data files are formatted; it's based on a framework that cut down the game to the bare minimum required.

The hard part is building the systems; that's what eventually killed the original FL mods. It's not difficult anymore though; nowadays there are complete GUI programs to map them out instead of having to type everything out by hand. It's probably more creative and tedious than actually difficult, since you'd be starting from scratch.
Huh, I didn't remember about that one. Thanks for the information, I'll most likely check it, if only for reference on commodities and equipment (file formatting isn't that hard, simpler IMO than Homeworld 2/RM).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I guess I was pretty distracted in 2013, I don't think I ever did more than install this! Excited to check it out now.

Also: BOB HELLO WE MISS YOU! Join the Discord if you can!
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
1569345204794.png

1569345246829.png

1569345694056.png


The work keeps going on porting ships in-game, and here is another sneak peek, the Liberty Dreadnought replaced by a Confederation Jutland from Wing Commander Saga, which makes for a pretty cool sight overall. The Clarkson has replaced the ubiquitous transports, albeit at a relatively smaller size than in the games (though according to the absolutely foolproof CIC's wiki, it is 160 metres long for the Hellcat's 27 metres, and I'm keeping these proportions). I'm taking a look now at collision meshes and internal rooms. No guarantees, but I guess I can check whether it could be possible to use the highly-detailed models I have to get scenes for the internal hangars to use for shops/bars.

EDIT: the collision boxes are done now, so it's possible to take off and land without issue.

1569348913872.png


EDIT: Liberty cruiser replaced by the good old Southampton, just in time for an early storyline mission where I'll go with three of them protect a station and a dreadnought Jutland againt Rheinland Valkyrie Excalibur heavy fighters.

1569352068414.png

1569352097095.png

1569352239495.png

1569352535233.png

1569352624464.png


Dunno about you, people, but that definitely renews my own interest in the game and this little project of mine is advancing.

To explain a bit about the process, the initial set of screenshots were more of a tech demo, but now I'm working on getting the ships consistent with each other in terms of size, as well as getting as many if not all of the game's features converted properly, so I've started again from scratch using the lessons learned in that first run. I've got all of Liberty's units replaced properly now (Arrow and Hellcat for their fighters, the standard Confed shuttle as the freighter, the Southampton and the Jutland for the capital ships) as well as the Rhineland units the player sees in the early game (Evansville Black Lance destroyer for the cruiser, Prowler corvette for their corvette and Excalibur for the heavy fighter) and both transports plus early pirate fighters.

I've got a much smoother workflow now which allows for implementation of ships and stations with the right armaments and collision boxes. A total ship conversion should be likely before the end of the year and the remaining work will be to modify the in-game text and pictures.
 
Last edited:

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Looks pretty nice allready. Would I be able to play the story with this changes or is it just for free play?
I will keep an eye on this. When I am done with my Wing Commander playthrough I would definitly put that next on my list of games to play if I could play the story.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Looks pretty nice allready. Would I be able to play the story with this changes or is it just for free play?
I will keep an eye on this. When I am done with my Wing Commander playthrough I would definitly put that next on my list of games to play if I could play the story.
The story is definitely going to be playable. The screenshots I've posted in the recent post come mainly from the story, and during my tech demo, I played the storyline all the way to Bretonia without incident, flying a Hellcat and fighting Razor or Excalibur on my way. Right now, the files allow a mostly converted playthrough of the entire Liberty arc, with only the civilian crafts remaining to be added (the starter craft, for example, will be replaced by Klavs' Ferret once I resize and retool it properly).

By the way, I'm so much going to take advantage of your presence and ask you whether I am allowed to use the Wing Commander Saga assets for a release of such a conversion.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Nice, so Freelancer is on my list ^^

As for using the models. I don't have a problem with that. Klavs allready released a lot and I think the Homeworld mod also uses some so it should be fine. I think helping each other out in creating more WC stuff is in everyones interest.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Nice, so Freelancer is on my list ^^

As for using the models. I don't have a problem with that. Klavs allready released a lot and I think the Homeworld mod also uses some so it should be fine. I think helping each other out in creating more WC stuff is in everyones interest.
OK, I wanted to make sure. Back then, I asked - and received - authorization to use the Saga assets for the HW mod as a matter of principle and wanted to check again now, on a more general matter since I ended up working on new projects.

On another matter, there is an important element for the mod: I am not using the LOD system and the ships disappear very quickly when they move a bit away from the camera, which is unsightly. Good thing, I set up a fix for it, but it came with an edit of the .exe file of the game, so either I can provide you with the modified .exe file and you trust me or I walk you through the steps to modify the file - it isn't too hard, a hexadecimal editor is enough and I can tell you which values to edit.

For a larger release, the question will have to be asked, since it involves releasing an .exe rather than simply a bunch of parameter files for the game.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
I did say release it as a seperate file so everyone can decide for themself if they want to play with the modified exe or not.
So you have one package with all the models and what else you need and then the exe.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
I did say release it as a seperate file so everyone can decide for themself if they want to play with the modified exe or not.
So you have one package with all the models and what else you need and then the exe.
Fair enough. I guess I'll also add the instructions to modify one's own .exe in any case so that they can use the feature without taking a leap of faith.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
The freighter should be a Tarsus or a Drayman. 😏
I do not think I have a Tarsus model of good enough quality (gotta check for sure), but I am oh so glad that you volunteered to make one!

EDIT: you might get yourself out of trouble, mister, I think I have a suitable textured model in my library. :-P

EDIT 2: nah, way too old and the textures are pretty low-resolution.
 
Last edited:

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Didn't Howard make one of those? Maybe you can ask him.
Looks like so indeed, thanks for he heads-up! Actually, it seems like DI has made one, when I search in the archives. And Klavs as well. Gotta have to grab one of these to get it in-game, it would indeed be a shame to have a Privateer-like without a Tarsus. Maybe edit the early game sequences to have the player start with one rather than a Ferret too.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
I haven't played the game for a long time. Was it possible to have some cargo at the beginning of the story? If so a Tarsus would be indeed a better starting ship.
 
Top