My Hero Sandbox
[2010-Aug-03] A Little Background!
Since the personal project I've been working on was revealed recently on the ol' freedomreborn.net forums - I decided to post this
to share a little more information about the game development work I've embarked
on (embarked on quite a while back, but more on that in a bit).
And then I heard about Freedom Force and got very
excited about it. Real-time? 3D?, moddable? Wow! As my running this site
shows, I think the FF series was a great success and brought lots of fun to
me and many others (as I write this, it's almost 10 years since I first heard
little about me -- obviously, I'm a lifelong comics geek (and
guitarist/songwriter, but that's another diary). Essentially growing up with
superheroes, I always thought, why doesn't anyone make a great superhero
Back in the 1980s and 90s, before I even heard of Freedom Force (I
first heard about it
while it was in development in 2001), I had mapped out the superhero game of
my dreams. Inspired by things I'd only read about on the net, like the
original Champions and Guardians: Agents of Justice
(games which never were completed or released - go ahead, Google 'em), I'd
designed my perfect game - complete with basic RPG stats (Strength,
Speed, Agility, etc.), Powers (Shields, Energy
Blasts, grenades, Flying, etc.), random missions and scenarios (alien invasion,
rescue hostages, foil bank robbery, time travel, alien world, robot armies,
ancient evil, etc.), and other little goodies (design your team's super HQ,
gain "fame" points and add labs, costumes, weapons, more team members).
I am a
computer software developer by profession, but on the biz
application/database side - definitely not on the game visuals side, so my
game was (in my head) a turn-based affair. Basically, a superhero XCOM
or Heroes of Might & Magic or D&D Gold Box Series. I
started doing things in languages I knew like Visual Basic, Delphi, etc.
Probably still have some of that code lying around. I did figure out all
the basic RPG mechanics and game flow.
Now, I haven't been active in the FF world in recent years (really since
2005) due to personal issues I'd rather not get into. I don't even currently
have either of the FF games installed on my PCs. I do, however, keep in
touch with a handful of folks I met online during the FF heyday. Funnily
enough, I have not yet met any of them in person, but I count them as close
friends. We chat on a private forum about all sorts of stuff, only a small
part of it FF-related.
The Dream Reborn
back on Jun 3, 2007 (it's handy to have a forum to track the dates for you
:) ), I posted this:
I got an email recently from someone re: my
hero recipes for FF. It's been a looong time since someone tracked me down
about FF. I said I'd check my files and send him what I could (he wanted the
list of what meshes/skins I use - I may have it somewhere).
The other guys on the forum were interested and encouraging, so I
spent the next month or so doing some VB prototypes (I still have all this
code) - it showed how the new game would be a host for individual "comics"
(mods). The initial screen lets you pick what comic you want to play and
then you're in that game. I built a rough hero editor (used micro heroes
artwork for placeholders and assumed turn-based game). The codename was "FF
Tactics" (Yeah I know there's a Final Fantasy Tactics) as it was turn-based. However, I couldn't get my head around
how to do the art part of it, so I lost interest and stopped working on it.
started me thinking that with Windows Vista already out there - FF (and
FFv3R?) may soon no longer be playable. (Anyone know if they work on Vista?)
And it's a shame, as there is no other way to satisfy a real
superhero game fix. Sure, the MUA and JL:Heroes of the world are fine, but
the FF series had a lot going for it. (customizable, moddable, the
I started thinking wouldn't it be great if there
was a new project to build a FF-like framework that we could still play
around with and it would even improve the FF we all know. Things like more
attributes than the usual 5 (10? 20?), more granularity in the stats (1-100
instead of 1-10?), Some of the FFX-like stuff, etc.?
I'm not a good
enough C++ programmer to make it happen, but maybe someone will pick this
Or maybe a turn-based strategy version (like XCOM which is said
to have inspired FF in the first place). I was around when FF was still a
rumor and I'm pretty sure going to RTS-type game play was something that was
added later. But maybe a tactical strategy version could work (and I'm
probably a decent enough programmer for that ).
rambling, but I thought I'd throw it out there for your thoughts.
Super 3D Pandas!
I never forgot about the game though and kept
googling the net for ideas/tools. Finally, on Mar 29, 2009 (thanks again
forum dates), I posted :
After much googling over the past few
months, I stumbled across this:
Tommyman (one of the folks I met through FF who I consider a good friend), pointed out to me that Bearded had found it a few months
before but no one had been able to get the Max importers working. I thought
it looked like a great game development tool. Tommy said he'd look at it
a totally free 3d engine that can be used for commercial purposes
originally developed by Disney and used for their 2 mmo games (pirates and
and best of all - it's programmable in Python!
be what could be used to build the new game we were discussing a while back.
And then on April 4, 2009 - Tommy had done it! One of
his FF meshes converted to Panda
! (see the milestone pic with a blue naked dude on this page!)
major step we were off and running!
Freedom Force Info
Alex's Hero Conversion Tips
JLA v Avengers - Once and For All!
The JLA Mod
Setting The Scene
Making a list, checking it twice ...
My Hero Sandbox
A little background
Fast and Furious
Magical Mystery Tour
They pull me back in!
By The Numbers