Paradox would like to thank Jim Boone, the producer for FreeSpace
2 for taking the time answer these questions.
PC Paradox: What type of genre would Freespace
2 go under?
Jim Boone: Space
Simulation to be specific, though it is sometimes listed under Simulation.
Just depends on how technical you want to get. =)
PC Paradox: Does this game take off from where
Freespace: The Great War ended? What is the in-game plot? Are there
any characters that should be known in the story?
Jim Boone: FreeSpace
2 takes place 32 years after the end of FreeSpace: The Great War.
The year is 2367. Thirty-two years have passed since
the Great War. The only jump node to Sol collapsed long ago, isolating
Earth from the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance (GTVA), a new government
uniting old enemies. As the Terrans and Vasudans struggle to rebuild
their civilizations, civil war erupts.
Without warning, the Shivans return through a mysterious
subspace portal in the Gamma Draconis system. The Alliance launches
a crusade to eliminate their Great War nemesis, voyaging into a
Shivan-infested nebula beyond the subspace portal.
PC Paradox: Will
there be in-game cinematic and/or movies between levels to convey
the story line? How many single-player and multiplayer
levels will there be? Will there be tutorials?
Jim Boone: There
will be cutscenes in FreeSpace 2. We will approximately the same
number of cutscenes that we had in FS1.
As for missions there will be 30 missions that progress
the main story line, and an additional 9 side-arc missions that
the player will be able to play if they wish.
We have yet to set the exact number of multiplayer
missions but we expect to have around 10-15.
There will also be tutorials in FreeSpace 2. These
will be very similar to the ones we had in FS1.
PC Paradox: Are
these missions, or levels, going to be linear or will there be sophisticated
objectives for each one?
Jim Boone: These
missions will be linear. It is our goal to have the missions be
as immersive as we can make them. With this being our goal we felt
that we could better tell our story through a linear storyline rather
than a complicated branching mission structure.
As for the missions themselves they will appear very
freeform to the player. You will always have a main objective for
any given mission, but you will also have secondary objectives,
and bonus objectives. There are also points where the players main
objectives will completely change during the mission. This really
helps give the missions the feel of being a living environment where
anything can happen at anytime.
Paradox: Will the gamer be allowed to drive more than one ship?
Are these ship able to be customized? How many ships are there in
all? What are some of them?
Jim Boone: The
player will be allowed to pilot approximately 15 ships in the game.
These include bombers, heavy fighters, interceptors, and superiority
The player will be allowed to customize the weapons
loadout for any ship they pilot, as well as all of their wingmen.
All in all we have approximately 100 ships in FreeSpace
PC Paradox: What are some of the weapons that
each ship will be equipped with? Will there be different armor types?
Jim Boone: We have
a variety of weapons in FreeSpace 2 that are broken down into two
different categories; primary and secondary.
Primary weapons are energy based weapons that that
have a number of different abilities. We are designing the primary
weapons to have specific strengths and weaknesses so that the player
will have to give some thought as to which weapon they choose for
any given mission. For example, some weapons may be extremely effective
against an enemy shield, but be completely useless against the enemies
hull. However, if the player uses this weapon in conjunction with
a primary weapon that specializes in destroying a ships hull they
will have quite an arsenal at their disposal.
As for armor types, there are none that the player
can directly choose. Each ship has differing armor strengths so
the player must decide which type of ship will best suit their purposes
for any given mission. For example, if the mission briefing were
to describe a scenario where the player is called upon to help destroy
an enemy cruiser, they would want to choose a heavy fighter so that
they have more armor and weaponry at their disposal, though it will
be at the cost of maneuverability and speed.
PC Paradox: For the AI, what is Volition going
to do to make this game difficult? What type of AI will there be?
Will there be different
types of them?
Jim Boone: With
the AI we plan on basically just giving minor tweaks and enhancements
to it. We are using the same AI from FS1, so now it is just a matter
of touching up a few areas that we want to improve, but as a whole
we were very satisfied with the way the AI performed in FS1.
PC Paradox: Will the gamer be able to edit
his own missions?
Jim Boone: The
player will indeed be able to make their own missions as they did
with FS1. FRED2 (FReespace mission EDitor 2) will be included with
the product for free, and the player will be able to make their
own single and mulitplayer missions with this. We have made a number
of additions to the editor, but in essence this will be the same
editor that we released for FS1.
PC Paradox: Why is there "fog" in each of these
screenshots? What is Volition trying to portray in this game? What
graphics engine will Freespace 2 use? Was it made in-h ouse or licensed?
What are some of its main features?
Jim Boone: The
fog that you are seeing is the inside of a nebula. Certain missions
will take place inside of a nebula. This will change gameplay for
the player in that their sensors will be severely disrupted, and
their vision will be limited. What this means to the player is that
they will never know how large the enemy force is inside of the
nebula. They could be fighting a small wing of fighters and not
realize that a destroyer is rapidly closing in on them. Conversely,
it is much more difficult for the player capital ships to be able
to detect the enemy ships. The player will be required to aid in
the surveillance of any given nebula system.
will also be help for the player inside of a nebula. We will have
ships that work like contemporary AWACS ships which in effect will
help boost the player sensor range while in a nebula. The trick
is that this vessel will be a prime target for the enemy to take
out so the player must make sure that ship is defended at all times
or else they will loose their sensor advantage.
Additionally, we have missiles that we have called
TAG missiles. If the player launches one of these missiles at an
enemy inside of the nebula, it will now illuminate the target so
that all allies in the area will have sensor lock on that ship.
This will be very effective to launch at enemy capital ships inside
of the nebula, as your capital ships will now have a sensor reading
on the enemy vessel and will be able to bring all of its firepower
on that enemy vessel.
The graphic engine is the same that was used in FreeSpace
1, only greatly enhanced since then. This nebula system is a perfect
example of some of the things we have done to the engine for FreeSpace
This engine was made entirely by Volition.
PC Paradox: Will there be a demo? Beta? When?
Jim Boone: There
will be a demo for FreeSpace 2, but we do not have a set date for
when this will come out at this time.
PC Paradox: What are the system requirements
for Freespace 2? Will it be 3D-accelerated? Will there be a software
rendering? When is Freespace 2 slated for release?
Jim Boone: P200
with hardware acceleration. 32 meg RAM.
There will not a software version of FreeSpace 2.
FreeSpace 2 is scheduled for release in 4th quarter