Dev Blog #10 – More playtesting and more history (ok, mostly history)

First time here? Start with Dev Blog #1!

Want to help? Join us. We are still working on it!

Recently, an old friend, who also happened to have play-tested the original d20 game and the original video game, was in town for a conference, and his schedule allowed a visit. So, we made plans to sit down to play over a few beers and hot dogs from the grill.

Ironically, many years ago, my friend and I were fans of a video game company named Volition, especially their space-themed game Freespace and Freespace 2, and that day they released an announcement that made me very nostalgic.

In addition to being an avid player of their games, about the time we were starting to work on the original Lore video game, Volition was going through changes, and there was an opportunity to “rescue” the source code from Freespace 2 from purgatory. The lead architect at Volition, a guy named Dave Baranec, announced plans to release the source code. A small group of enthusiasts, including myself, worked directly with Volition to finalize a release as a “near” open-source release of that code (no commercial releases, no for-profit endeavors) and arrange for hosting. I had been working with Max Gaming for a bit by then and made sure that Max Gaming helped provide some of the original infrastructure to host it. This was long before the hosted source repositories like Github came along, so we had servers for the source control, bug trackers, and other collaboration tools and websites sitting on computers in physical offices (those were the days!), and collaborated with the existing fanbase websites, like the venerable Hard Light Productions, to make sure the code had a stable, loving home and a virtual space for developers to collaborate. I ran the project for a couple of years, eventually handing the reigns to a younger generation. And while I left as the project lead long ago, they are still going strong.

The game engine has been used to continue the Freespace universe and several other game projects, such as the excellent Babylon 5-themed game, a Battlestar Galactica game, a Wing Commander game, and many others. It has inspired a generation of developers.

I’ll come back soon with the results of our playtest, but I’d encourage you to Hard Light and grab the installer and check out this bit of game history that continues to be made!

This time, for sure, the playtest!