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Author Topic: Ewzzy's FF History  (Read 1474 times)

Offline Ewzzy

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #60 on: August 05, 2021, 09:16:38 PM »
I've got so many topics coming up but I'm going to take a diversion to into games that aren't Freedom Force at all. Let's go on a walk.

I was reading The CRPG Book's write up on Freedom Force.


I saw another reference to FF in a section on CRPGs that never came out.


Turns out there was a computer RPG based on the Champions tabletop game that got a full cover story in Computer Gaming World.




The game never came out but it's clear there was a hunger for a superhero RPG at least as far back as 1991. As the CRPG Book mentions a lot of the features promised here would eventually be delivered in Freedom Force. Also, get a load of that George Perez art.


A decade later, Computer Gaming World would give FF the cover story. As an aside they mention all the times we almost got a real hero game.


More unreleased superhero games! What have we here?

First up is The Indestructibles from Bullfrog Productions and Peter Molyneux. Also known as “M.I.S.T. – My Incredible Superheroes Team” We've got a few screenshots and a bit of description, but it seems this never got far despite a promising engine. As with everything Molyneux touched it was overly ambitious. 1995 was a bit early for flying around a full 3d city in real time.

Read more on Unseen64

Next up is Guardians: Agents of Justice by Simtex and Microprose. It was supposed to be like X-Com but with Superheroes. (something often said about Freedom Force before release) Some reports say it was even in the X-Com engine. The company behind it closed in 1997 before it came out.

Read more on Unseen64

Finally from that article is the actually released but extremely weird Superhero League of Hoboken from 1994. Creator Steve Meretzky is know for games like Leather Goddesses of Phobos, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls.

You start the game as The Crimson Tape. He's got the power to generate organizational charts from thin air. No use in combat, but he makes for an effective team leader.

That's the last game from the article, but only because they didn't know about the internal Lucasarts proposal for Justice Unlimited. It was worked on from 97-98 and meant to be like Diablo but with capes.



This is not to be confused with Lucasarts' released but failed 1992 multimedia superhero game/cartoon/comic Defenders of Dynatron City.


These games were all from before FF but there's another PC superhero game that came out at nearly the same time. Hero X came out 3 months after FF but looks like something from 6 years earlier. You can create your own character through a simple hero maker, or play as Hero X.

The little bits of coverage it did get very explicitly call it out as shovelware Freedom Force.


Even a few years later it's used as a canonical example of a cash-in game.

I appreciate the editor calling out I Was an Atomic Mutant as a cheap PC game that's worth playing.

Good luck getting it to run today. On Windows 10 it hangs at 1% install as it tries to overwrite the Comic Sans font with its own identical version.

I got it running in a Windows ME VM. Expect more in the future.

I love all these also-ran heroes so I spent some time putting together some skins.


Download The Crimson Tape

Download Hero X

Download Champion

That's all for today. As another quick update, my order of the FFVT3R bonus disc arrived and it is choc full of concept art not available anywhere else online. I'm still sifting through all of it, but keep checking back on this thread for more updates.

Offline SuperPoweredYank

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #61 on: August 05, 2021, 10:50:57 PM »
OMG you made a Hero X skin you absolute legend! :thumbup:

Online Randomdays

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #62 on: August 05, 2021, 11:06:03 PM »
I remember reading PC Gamer and CGW back then and looking forward to these coming out, and disappointed when they didn't. I did play and finish the Hoboken game - it was cute and fun to play, but more an adventure game than a RPG.

RD

Offline Ewzzy

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2021, 03:42:14 PM »
OMG you made a Hero X skin you absolute legend!

Thank you!

Some notes on these skins: I tried my best to make these without any of the common base skins. Instead I pulled from the built-in Irrational made skins. A lot from the CapeMan skin with added musculature from The And, boots and gloves from Blitzkrieg, mouth and nose from Bullet. Crimson Tape needed an appropriately doofy face so his is pulled mostly from DejaVu. I also tried to make these fit really common meshes rather than skope on details. I figured male_alpha, male_muscular_cape, and male_cape fit that bill. I was looking at my old skins from 10 years ago and I was consistently using C6's base and doing everything to make my skins look just like his. I hope these feel more unique. I still struggle with hair. I feel like I could spend just as much time on hair as the whole rest of the skin and it still wouldn't look right.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 08:50:51 PM by Ewzzy »

Offline deanjo2000

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2021, 05:48:45 PM »
I really like them, hair is something I struggle with to be honest. I think the boots on the yellow guy is really great and unique.
https://www.mediafire.com/folder/da3a3y1ac4uqp/FreedoForce

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Offline Ewzzy

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2021, 04:06:25 PM »
Alright gang, I've been working on some bigger scale projects but I've been holding onto this for TOO LONG. That means it's time for the
Freedom Force Concept Art Blowout!


Boom! Another proto-Alchemiss! She's very first draft sorceress. Looks like someone drawing Clea from Dr Strange from memory.


The Ant! The basic concept is there but with even more "teenager doing his best. Check out those elbow and knee pads! This is a guy who has fallen off a building before.


The Zipper? THE ZIPPER!? Oh yeah baby the man we know as Bullet was once suggested as The Zipper. What else is there to say about this first draft speedster?


El Diablo has so many of the ideas in place with none of the stylistic flair. You get the Hispanic fire guy but you don't get the super in this.


Almost nothing of what makes Microwave into Microwave is here in this stage. You've got the powers and name but that's it.


I feel like whoever drew these got the name Manbot and went "yes sure I can draw the Machine Man Aaron Stack". Man Bot has more pre-production art than any other member of the team and none of it resembles this at all.


Finally, for the first draft art we have Man-O-War and Sea Urchin. They look so so different and maybe craziest is the name "Oceanus". I had a low res version of this image for a while but could never read that part. It blew me away seeing it here.


And now what you've all been waiting for. I finally found full body art of proto Man-O-War and Sea Urchin. He's got no eye patch yet and a more symmetrical and regal uniform. She's blonde, without a skirt, no boots wrist cuffs, and less cutesy overall.


This Shadow here is more femme fatale than the final version. Is her projectile supposed to look like lipstick? Maybe changed for the better.

NOW FOR SOME  :ffvstr: CONCEPTS


Quetzacoatl's got a championship belt. Red Oktober has gloves. Not much to say but we're still getting started.


Entropy is much more symmetrical and with bigger hair. Maybe the strangest part is being able to see her eyes.


Tombstone here looks pretty different and... I think this is more than it seems. In a 2009 look back at FF artist Rob Waters had this to say:

I fully believe that this Tombstone art is the 1960s Tombstone that was designed for the original game. Wow!

But that's not last discover I have to show today...

There are several stages of Tricolour art. I wasn't sure if they if they showed up in cutscenes or other materials, but then I found something that blew me away.

Off to the left... that's a fully 3D modeled Tricolour that looks almost nothing like her final model.

Then I found screenshots in game that showed off this extremely different mesh. I had scrolled past these a dozen times without realizing their significance.

That's all for now... but next time I'm bringing concept art for characters that never made it into the game at all. If you've been enjoying these looks back, please check out my personal FF site where I've added brand new retrospectives of my own skins from as far back as 2002. It's a window into another era.

I truly wanted to continue my stream of custom skins to recreate some of these proto characters, but they are so wildly different from their final meshes. If anyone with better meshing/skoping skills wants to collaborate on Man-O-War, Sea Urchin, Shadow, or any others I'd love to collaborate with you.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2021, 04:09:42 PM by Ewzzy »

Offline UnkoMan

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2021, 12:14:34 AM »
I love Golden Armour Man-O-War and blonde Urchin.
I think I actually like them better than the final ones.

Your detective work is cool! I remember some of these games for sure.

By the way, anybody can look this up but... Hero X gameplay footage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tiiJKtm0zM
Stylistically gives a bit of a Jagged Alliance 2 vibe, which I'd always wanted a super hero version of since I first got the original FF.

Offline Epimethee

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #67 on: August 16, 2021, 12:02:01 AM »
Nice work again, Ewzzry! I don't remember seeing most of these, apart from Machine Man-Bot and Tricolor (who redid that mesh? I have it somewhere)

…And yes, I’m curious about these bigger-scale projects too! ;)
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Offline SuperPoweredYank

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #68 on: August 16, 2021, 12:16:20 AM »
I love Golden Armour Man-O-War and blonde Urchin.
I think I actually like them better than the final ones.

Your detective work is cool! I remember some of these games for sure.

By the way, anybody can look this up but... Hero X gameplay footage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tiiJKtm0zM
Stylistically gives a bit of a Jagged Alliance 2 vibe, which I'd always wanted a super hero version of since I first got the original FF.
Feel obligated to warn you as a (former) owner of this game. It's not very good, lol.

Offline docdelorean88

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #69 on: August 16, 2021, 05:17:54 AM »
Phenomenal work ewzzy! So many great concepts and now skins! It truly does make me wish we got some further adventures with these heroes. This thread is so fascinating.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2021, 05:21:21 AM by docdelorean88 »
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Offline UnkoMan

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2021, 12:03:41 AM »
Feel obligated to warn you as a (former) owner of this game. It's not very good, lol.

Ha ha ha, oh no. I will definitely NOT try to find it anywhere then.

Gosh, I don't think I've ever seen a similar superhero game that matched up with Freedom Force, ever.
Easy to see why we all liked it so much!

Offline RingsOfReznor

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2021, 07:35:48 AM »
Wow that's some amazing content, cheers Ewzzy!

Begs the question what Minuteman would have done if Mentor approached in that costume... perhaps return to the park bench? Take up statue street performance?
VRANG VRANG VRANG VRANG

Offline Ewzzy

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #72 on: August 20, 2021, 04:20:11 AM »
Begs the question what Minuteman would have done if Mentor approached in that costume... perhaps return to the park bench? Take up statue street performance?
Welcome to the party Rings. You remind me... In my search through the long forgotten realms of FF I found "mentor2.nif" that was just the regular Mentor mesh but with a bigger brain.

Nice work again, Ewzzry! I don't remember seeing most of these, apart from Machine Man-Bot and Tricolor (who redid that mesh? I have it somewhere)…And yes, I’m curious about these bigger-scale projects too! ;)
I'd love to see that mesh if you have it somewhere. As a preview for my bigger projects, I'm trying to do a retrospective on the modding scene in its first year. Lots and lots to discover before it's ready.

I love Golden Armour Man-O-War and blonde Urchin.I think I actually like them better than the final ones.
Me too. I tried my hand as skinning them but I need some real meshing help to make them anything close to their designs.

Feel obligated to warn you as a (former) owner of this game. It's not very good, lol.
Maybe weirder than just being bad, it's not very super. I played for an hour and was just wandering around a local college beating up frat boys.

Phenomenal work ewzzy! So many great concepts and now skins! It truly does make me wish we got some further adventures with these heroes. This thread is so fascinating.
Thank you and thank everyone reading. I've got something really cool today.

As promised last time, this post is going to be all about characters that never made it into the games at all. Let's give them their due in my biggest post to date.

The primary sources for this are IGN's 2009 interview The Past, Present and Future of Freedom Force and Irrational's own 2012 From the Vault article. Just because you've seen these before doesn't mean there won't be surprises.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some of these were designed/proposed for :ff: or :ffvstr: at different stages of development. Some for FF3 which never got past the planning stages or other spin off games.


Big Top and Side Show are both 1970s characters. As mentioned last article, Tombstone was proposed for FF1 as a Batman like character. Presumably these were to be his Joker and Harley Quinn.


Gold Fang and Outback are also from the 70s iteration. These fit in a very Powerman and Iron First Heroes for Hire milieu. Outback is actually reference to the Australian Irrational developers:
Quote
“I needed a new villain and wanted to finally tip my hat to our Australian team,” recalls Waters. “I thought he could be a sort of Kraven the Hunter [enemy of Spider Man] meets Crocodile Dundee. He would make sport of hunting down various members of Freedom Force to claim as his ultimate trophies.”


Computress and Red Dwarf continue our race through the funky 70s. Red Dwarf seems to be like Thor's Surtur (created in the 60s but more iconic for the 80s) but his visual style is decidedly 70s Kirby. Computress is one of the few we have a plot description for:
Quote
Computress’ big distinction was that she was an extension of one of Freedom Force’s classic Villains, Mr. Mechanical. “She was intended to be his ultimate creation – a sort of a Bride of Frankenstein thing,” says Waters. But like all evil creations in comic books, things would have gone wrong right from the start. “She’d up killing him, and then seeing all humans as inferior beings to be conquered by an army of cyborgs in order to take over the world.” And while the plotline never panned out, Waters still has fond memories of what might have been. “I thought it would be great to have her enslave microwave in sort of a love tryst!”


We also would have gotten 70s remixes of known bad guys. Much sleeker and deadlier than before. A creeping problem throughout these is that none of this really speaks to the 70s does it? It's scattershot compared to the surefooted inspiration of Lee & Kirby 60s. This of course is what lead to the Golden Age change for FFVT3R.


There also where designs for new 60s characters. General: Star of W.A.T.C.H.D.O.G. was presumably a sort of Nick Fury character. (though really he looks more like 70s Judge Dredd) Mama Bear is... Mama Bear. She gets a special shout out in the interview with Ken Levine teasing artist Robb Waters.


Young Starr is the most quintessentially Jim Starlin character in the bunch. Possibly related to the enigmatic deus ex machina Energy X? Or maybe no plans for him at all:
Quote
“This character was inspired by the cosmic themes that were prevalent in the ‘70s,” explains Waters. “I started with the name and drew inspiration from the outlandish KISS costumes.” When Ken Levine saw the original concept, he coined the tag line  “the man who was never born.” And what does that actually mean? “I’m not sure,” says Waters, “but it sounded great and it would have been fun trying to explore that fiction.”
Thunderclap turned out to be a bit to plain. Easy to see when compared to the more fully fleshed out Quetzalcoatl.
Quote
And sometimes, it’s not that a character didn’t quite fit. Sometimes, they actually fit too well. Witness the straight-down-the-middle Thunderclap! “ I love his design,” says Waters fondly. “But I think he was maybe a bit to on the nose, even for Irrational.” A quick look at the picture tells you pretty much everything you’d ever need to know about this Native American hero. “With a thunderous clap of his hands he would be able to generate an electric bolt to strike his foes down.”


Primordial would have been extremely challenging to implement in game. Only the most extensive mods have had anything approaching this level of morphing and melting. The animated glowing tattoos alone would have been beyond anything seen in the games proper.
Quote
“This was my tip of the hat to the 70’s swamp-men of comics,” recalls Waters. “He was sort of the 70’s tree-hugger character. He just wanted to heal mother earth at any price. He wasn’t necessarily a bad guy in this way – he’s just blinded by his beliefs.”


I'm going to throw this guy out here alone because he's so rare. I found him in an old French website that had stolen all its screenshots from others sites. He's a centaur enemy that would have been a minion along with the Man Bulls for Pan. He's so early that Pan isn't even named yet. I'm certain "Satyr -Centaur" is referring to "Satyr" as his leader. There are a number of reasons why he would have been cut early. He really doesn't add any gameplay ideas that Man Bulls can't handle and he isn't that visually interesting. It's as standard a drawing of a centaur as you can get. Really I think he was cut because horses are just the dirt worst to draw and animate.


Back to the regular sources we have Shifty! He got pretty far in development with fuller model sheets and animation ideas. I have to suspect like the last few he would be cut because his powers are so difficult to implement in game.
Quote
“This was to be an attempt at making a stretchy plastic-man type character,” says Waters. A key to the appeal of the Freedom Force series was its homage to many super hero tropes – but always with a signature Irrational twist. “I saw him as a whimsical villain. He could re-shape in ways that would give him appropriate abilities, such as steamrolling enemies as a giant bowling ball and flying as a pterodactyl.”


I say "cut" because we have evidence of Shifty from before the release of FF1! When I stumbled across "Elasto" here my mind was #@$%*! blown. Not only is he a cut character from the first game but he was revived in the future only to fall short again! Incredible!

Then after digging through old magazine scans I found EVEN MORE about Shifty & Elasto! In the earliest print mentions of FF1 there are consistent mentions of the sort of powers you'll be using.

[2000.9] Reset - Polish
Quote
Claws, wings, stretching your body, biting through steel and concrete...and skills such as stopping time...

[2000.10] PC Zone - English
Quote
As well as your typical superhero characters who can channel lightning or move cars with the flick of the wrist, there will be more off-the wall superheroes who can bounce like rubber or stop time.

[2001.05] PC-Games - German
Quote
While some have deadly weapons of attack with claw-shaped hands, others move elegantly through the air thanks to their wings or with a rubber-like body to even survive falls from the Empire State Building without a scratch.

[2001.5] PC Player - German
Quote
In addition to permanent attributes such as a rubber body that allows you to bounce through the skyscraper canyons like a bouncy ball, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to the skills you can learn.

That's just a few that I managed to find. The real treat is the original press release from publisher Crave announcing FF itself!
Quote
Although characters have powers which can evolve and be honed during the game, all of the heroes and villains that populate Freedom Force boast features such as claws, wings or more complex attributes like rubber bodies which allow the player to bounce instead of splatter when they fall or get hurtled off buildings.

Then in what may be the VERY FIRST interview about FF there's a quote from Ken Levine himself:
Quote
Attributes are more or less permanent features of the heroes and villains. They can be simple things like claws or wings or more complex like a rubber body, which allows you to bounce around if you fall off a building.

In all my time researching the development of FF this has become my favorite discovery. From the earliest moments to the last gasp Elasto was there waiting for his moment to shine! That moment is today. I've created brand new skins for Elasto and Shifty ready for download.




Download Elasto and Shifty

These are based on the Plastic_Man mesh by Texas Jack (actually based on the KennX skope with the skoped on parts removed because finding meshes in 2021 is  :banghead:) Now is the part where I ask for your help. My meshing skills are at best out of date and more accurately non existent. If someone could take up the cause of molding the mesh to form Elasto/Shifty's distinctive head shape I'd be forever in your debt. Has there ever been a character that deserved to the deluxe treatment? After his decades of living in the shadows?

Offline docdelorean88

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #73 on: August 20, 2021, 04:41:29 AM »
Mind definitely blown Ewzzy. Holy cow.
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Online Randomdays

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #74 on: August 22, 2021, 11:16:28 AM »
These are all great. Thanks for posting all this work, and returning to FF and making new skins

RD

Offline Ewzzy

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2021, 09:39:13 PM »
Here's a quick one that I've had ready for a bit. Something I'm super interested in is the modding community existing before the game was actually released. In my research I've found indications online that the character tool came out as early as June 2001. (the installer points to August 2001) Along with it was a series of generic hero meshes.


First out the gate are generic_hero & generic_hero2. These are nigh identical to male_cape & male_belt. The .tga files are different and the keyframes are missing some animations including a variety of melee and ranged attacks.


The male_alpha equivalent generic_hero3 and comes with a totally unique skin. This weirdo has been one of my favorite finds in all my research. I mean... just look at him!

That's a guy who appreciates video game history.


Worth noting that male_basic is generic_hero4. Just fun to think about the most basic mesh being the 4th released. If there's one of these you've every actually needed to download it's generic_hero5 because there's no equivalent version in the released game. It's the male_basic mesh but with a cape. Obviously a lot of skins got released for it back in the day.


Next up is generic_heroB & generic_heroB2 the equivalents of male_heavy & male_hulking. Curiously these don't have any sort of skin outside of a tinted wireframe. Almost all of these meshes include wireframes with TEMP in the name. Found in a readme that TEMP meant template not temporary. That never stuck around.


For the ladies, generic_heroine is female_longhair and generic_heroine3 is female_basic. There's more going on with generic_heroine3 than just being unfinished. She's got heterochromic eyes and the tga file is 512x512 not the standard 256x256 of all other official FF skins.

Annoyingly, I don't have the original download for the mysterious generic_heroine2.

I know Mienk at some point modified the mesh into female_mediumhair and Ooleyman into female_shorthair. (Both seemingly lost?)

Then it seems Interceptor modified that into female_straighthair and fl_straighthair available on Alex's site. There's a lineage and it exists because Irrational provided the .max files with these meshes before the game was even released.

I've also found references to male_rotund as generic_heroC and male_suit as generic_heroS. All downloads for those are dead and doornails.

Download the generic meshes here.

If you have the original files that I'm still missing PLEASE get with me. Generic_Heroine2 is obviously what I'm looking for most but I believe there might be more I don't even know about.

Online Randomdays

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2021, 10:58:02 PM »
Nice new update.

 :thumbup:


I've got both Mienk's and Ooleyman's meshes.

For female_shorthair, I have 4 skins - Marrina by Tzar Ivan, DC's XS by Greycount, Wonder Woman Justice Lords by C6, and Schism with no readme.

For female_medium hair I have 7 skins - Andromeda and  Catspaw by Lord Ehmsidy, Shrinking Violet by "DJ" - I'm assuming Dark Jared, Rita Farr by Cmdr Koenig, the CotU June Robbins by the Vigilante, and Capitalist 3 and Red Trinity 3 by Firestorm.

Let me know if you want them, and I can post them either with or without the extra skins


Offline doctorchallenger

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #77 on: August 31, 2021, 01:14:50 AM »
Thanks for this trip down memory lane, E!

I just went through my old Champions rpg stuff. The guy in yellow with the cape (great skin, btw) was a sample character in the 3rd edition rules called Sunburst, fyi.

I also checked the key frames for generic hero B and B2. Both have the dancing Keyframe (titled "whee!"). So now skopers have easier access to that!

Keep up the great work!

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2021, 04:59:09 AM »
Looking through some of the things I've got, I've got a generic_heroine2 and a generic_heroine4 (both looking like I got them from the Skindex), but both are modified by Mienk, so obviously not the originals.  I checked through all of the Freedom Force Mesh YG files, and it's not in there, either (although the 70's meshes were).

Besides the shorthair skins RD listed, I've got a Marrina by C6, and a Dazzler (by Tetragene, of course).
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Online Randomdays

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2021, 03:28:23 PM »
Hey Panther - tried to send you a pm but your box is full

Can you send me those 2 skins - randomdays@aol.com - or up them somewhere?

RD


Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #80 on: September 02, 2021, 03:00:04 AM »
Hey Panther - tried to send you a pm but your box is full

This old thing.  I thought that was fixed when we moved hosts.

Quote
Can you send me those 2 skins - randomdays@aol.com - or up them somewhere?

The Marrina skin was part of an Alpha Flight pack, which is on Alex's site:  http://alexff.com/downloads/C6/AlphaFlight_8Pack.zip

I don't even remember anymore where Tetragene's site was, or what it was called.  I'll send you that one (from the pilot Pryde of the X-Men).
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Online Randomdays

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #81 on: September 02, 2021, 09:21:57 AM »
Thanks Panther. I had checked Alex's site for the individual skin and didn't see it.

RD

Offline Ewzzy

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #82 on: September 03, 2021, 09:21:25 PM »
Looking through some of the things I've got, I've got a generic_heroine2 and a generic_heroine4 (both looking like I got them from the Skindex), but both are modified by Mienk, so obviously not the originals

Please send them my way!  :)

I've got some notes that I should have included in that post. I've got release dates for some of the generic meshes:

8/21/01 - generic_hero2 (Hero Without Cape)
9/04/01 - generic_hero3 (Alpha Hero), generic_heroB (Bound Hero), generic_heroB2 (Massive Hero)
10/9/01 - generic_heroC (Obese Hero)
10/22/01 - generic_heroS (Hero with Suit)
11/05/01 - generic_heroine3 (Female Hero)


Less info today, but I've got some archive.org links to things I've backed up there along but haven't posted here yet.


https://archive.org/details/freedom-force-official-bonus-meshes
These meshes and skins were released officially on the Freedom Force Modforce site by Irrational Games. All but the Female Versatile meshes include .max files for modeling in 3DS Max.

Have a few dates for these as well.
5/6/02 - Soldier
6/10/02 - Shadow & Instinct

Soldier is so incredibly early and is likely the first post-release content. Irrational had this to say about it:
Quote
"A custom mesh by Irrational that proves that Patriot City isn’t just for superheroes anymore."
and
Quote
"Patriot City Defence Force soldiers are equipped with a high powered assault rifle,
camouflage suit and kevlar helmet. Three camouflage variants are provided for jungle,
desert and urban conditions. Tough and well-trained, these grunts are capable of
taking on just about anything that might threaten the safety of Patriot City."
Something about that is hilarious to me. There seems to be other unreleased bits in these promo screenshots for it. Take a look.



For a while Irrational would put out promo renders for new characters. I can't find any such thing for Daemon, FV, or Trenchcoat.


It really felt like there was a steady stream of fresh official content from FF for a while there. BTW Daemon, strangely does not seem to be related to Instinct and Shadow from The Lost.

As for female_versatile, I've got so much more I need to learn about how that came about. One of many research aspects I'm working on is the timeline of hexing and skoping and when FV made that an official part of the modding process.

Speaking of official modding process...

https://archive.org/details/freedom-force-custom-characters-meshes
3DS Max files and animated heads for the custom characters of Freedom Force. The mesh/skins are identical to what is already included in the retail release. Only the inclusion of the .max and head.nif files are unique.


https://archive.org/details/official-meshes
Freedom Force Character Models for 3DS Max. All officially released by Irrational Games for modders. The mesh/skins are identical to the retail release. Only the inclusion of .max files for modeling in 3DS Max is unique.

They released these over a long period of time. Weirdly the soldier ant mesh was released first. Still disappointed the FFVT3R 3DS max files never got released but Blender has made those less needed.


https://archive.org/details/freedom-force-demos-tools
Freedom Force Demos & Tools

Throwing this out there too. It's the rest of the official downloads.
Demos
   Freedom_Force_Demo_sm.exe - Freedom Force Demo without sound
   Freedom_Force_Demo_lg.exe - Freedom Force Demo with sound
   ffvttr_demo_en.exe - Freedom Force vs the 3rd Reich Demo
FF Tools
   Character Tool.exe - NIF Character viewer
   Character Tool Update.zip - Small Fix for Character Tool
   FFExporters.zip - NIF Export plugin for 3DS Max
   Patch 1.3.exe - Updates CD version of Freedom Force
   Screensaver.zip - Windows Screensaver
   Freedom Force Editor.exe - Mod toolkit
FFVT3R Tools
   FFVT3R_Exporter_Max51.exe - 3DS Max NIF Exporter without Character Studio
   FFVT3R_Exporter_Max51CS4.exe - 3DS Max NIF Exporter with Character Studio
   FFVT3R_Mod_Tools.exe - Mod Toolkit

Things I'm still looking for:
  • TestMod - A sample campaign that follows the walkthrough in the Editor Documentation. Useful for comparison when learning the editor.
  • Mac Screensaver "freedom.sit"
  • Tangle Beam FX: A custom power FX created by the Irrational Team.

If anyone has those or links to news/promotion about the releases for these old downloads send them my way. If you have info about Female Versatile and how it was released to the community I'd be very interested.

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #83 on: September 04, 2021, 12:15:21 PM »
Ewzzy - great stuff as always.

I've been looking for the Test mod as well, as have other people. It might be really lost.

I've uploaded the female_shorthair and female_medium hair to my mega site under requests, with all the skins I have for them.



Panther, not that it doesn't work on female_shorthair, but the C6 Marrina is actually for female_bob.

RD

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #84 on: September 04, 2021, 04:19:40 PM »
I found the test mod in my old archive.
I think this is the original tangle beam you are looking for (Dates and file structure seem right) but I'm not 100%

Test Mod: https://www.negative-10.com/ff/testmod.zip
Tangle Beam: https://www.negative-10.com/ff/tangle_beam.zip

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #85 on: September 04, 2021, 05:06:32 PM »
Yay Goggles!

 :thumbup:

Offline Ewzzy

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #86 on: September 05, 2021, 04:53:30 PM »
I just went through my old Champions rpg stuff. The guy in yellow with the cape (great skin, btw) was a sample character in the 3rd edition rules called Sunburst, fyi.
I also checked the key frames for generic hero B and B2. Both have the dancing Keyframe (titled "whee!"). So now skopers have easier access to that!
1) That is great info and now I know I'm gonna have to collect some old Champions books. :D
2) I totally missed that animation was in there!


I found the test mod in my old archive.
I think this is the original tangle beam you are looking for (Dates and file structure seem right) but I'm not 100%
Thank you so much for these! I've added them to the archive.org page now.

I've uploaded the female_shorthair and female_medium hair to my mega site under requests, with all the skins I have for them.
So cool to see these. Looking at the readme's I'm now even less sure about what generic_heroine2 actually was. Lots more to find out there.

Looking through some of the things I've got, I've got a generic_heroine2 and a generic_heroine4 (both looking like I got them from the Skindex), but both are modified by Mienk, so obviously not the originals.
I'd love to take a look at those. I'll still be hunting for the original downloads, but they'll help.

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #87 on: September 05, 2021, 05:46:11 PM »
That reminds me of a Rock Band video I saw ages ago with Freedom Force characters in it. I don't think this is the one - but I could be mistaken - I doubt there's a lot of these out there

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJtiJZ9SASw

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: Ewzzy's FF History
« Reply #88 on: September 07, 2021, 04:02:19 AM »
Panther, not that it doesn't work on female_shorthair, but the C6 Marrina is actually for female_bob.

Huh.  Not sure why I put it there, not sure if I was experimenting that much at that point or not.  I'm more inclined to think I saw someone say it worked for both meshes, but I definitely see a hair_bob01.tga in there.  The file dates are Apr 2003, but I doubt it's an earlier version than what's in the pack on Alex's site.

Looking through some of the things I've got, I've got a generic_heroine2 and a generic_heroine4 (both looking like I got them from the Skindex), but both are modified by Mienk, so obviously not the originals.
I'd love to take a look at those. I'll still be hunting for the original downloads, but they'll help.

Sent.
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