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    PC 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.

    PC 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 fighters.

    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 2.

    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.

    There 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 2.

    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 of 1999.

     

    Type:
    Space Simulator

    Developer:
    Volition Incorporated

    Publisher:
    Interplay

    Requirements:
    Pentium 200
    32 MB RAM

    3D-accelerated

    Expected Release:
    Quarter 4 of 1999

    Multiplayer:
    Yes

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