As some of you may know by now, I've been very much involved in the modding scene for the game Freelancer for the past years. I'd like to present you the latest project I've been working on.

First, what is Freelancer? Freelancer is a 2003 game from Microsoft and Digital Anvil, Chris Roberts' brainchild (of Wing Commander and now Star Citizen fame). It's an arcade space simulator with a persistent multiplayer component where you can fight and trade your way to glory and fame. The base game is still very competent, with an enjoyable storyline featuring voice actors such as Jennifer Hale and George Takei. If you're curious, I strongly encourage you to play it.

But enough with introductions. The project I'm speaking of, Freeworlds: Tides of War, is a Star Wars total conversion for Freelancer set shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi, the last movie of the original trilogy. Since 2008, we've implemented more than a hundred of the most famous Star Wars ships from the X-Wing and TIE fighter to the Imperial Star Destroyer and MC90. We've stripped the game to its core and recreated the Star Wars universe in as cohesive a fashion as we could, featuring the likes of Coruscant, Hoth and Yavin, as well as huge space stations like Centerpoint.

On top of all this Star Wars fan glee, we've entirely rebuilt the Freelancer engine. Once a serviceable but ancient DirectX 8 engine, we are now running on a fully overhauled DirectX 9 engine with the likes of deferred shading (enabling each and every projectile and explosion to cast light), normal and specular mapping, antialiasing, reflection mapping, anisotropic filtering and brand new planet shaders, with even more to come (possibly shadows!). Just about every single component of Freelancer's graphics were improved in some way, making the game hold up against much more recent titles.

To round it off, though, we need good gameplay. On top of hopefully balanced fighter and capital combat, we're working on much more involved features such as a proper, Star Wars-style hyperdrive, a Homeworld sensor-like "tactical overview", dockable player capital ships, a complex factional and influence system allowing the great factions such as the New Republic to wage war on one another and capture territories in a constantly shifting galaxy, and much more.

We have a somewhat old multiplayer demo still running, but for the time being what we'd like is some support towards the ModDB Mod of the Year awards. We've made it to the Top 100, but we need help to reach as high as we can go!

If you want to support us, just vote here, it only takes a few seconds:

We're filed under "Upcoming", the sole mod for Freelancer in that category.

Thank you all, and feedback is very much appreciated. With some luck, you'll hear more from us in early 2013!