open source

Freespace 2 Modding

One of the most excellent elements of the game Freespace 2 Open (or of course the original, Volition's Freespace 2) is the capacity for modifications. It is possible to develop an entire campaign of missions which string together into a story, to modify or create ships and weapons, to script FS2 in Lua, and to do any number of other fairly amazing things with it. But by far the most common is to create new missions. In this article I'll give a brief explanation of some details of modding that I learned developing my first non-simple mission.

Freespace 2 Open Campaign Modules

Freespace 2 is one of the finest space combat flight "simulators" that has ever been made, and Freespace 2 Open, a product of The Freespace 2 Source Code Project (SCP) is a truly excellent free, Open Source version which you can play on Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X. But what happens when you have played it? There's multiplayer support, so there is theoretically infinite replay value, but there may come a time when you can't or don't want to play versus other humans, and have already exhausted the campaign. What to do?

Freespace 2 Open

It is considered axiomatic among gamers that a game that's good when it's new is always good - if it doesn't have staying power, it just wasn't that amazing in the first place. There's a few games that, years after their release, we're still playing - games like Tetris, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, the original Quake, or for that matter Asteroids. Each genre has at least one game that fits this description. In the space flight simulator category there are really three games which stand out significantly: Tie Fighter, which was really the first truly-3D spaceflight sim with believable capital ships; Wing Commander, various versions of which (especially Privateer) are still being played avidly; and Descent: Freespace along with Freespace 2, two titles from Volition that years later are still the benchmark for such games. The list would also not be complete without Elite, which is arguably the game that really defined the genre to begin with.

Free GPS Sharing on Windows

Let's say you have a GPS and you want to use it with multiple applications. On Linux, this is easy, because basically every program today utilizes GPSd for GPS communications. GPSd connects one or more clients to one or more GPS devices, and also has support for NTP (for providing time information.) However, it does not support Windows (and in fact they are fairly nasty about it) even though it's a fairly simple trick when using Cygwin.

After spending several hours looking, however, I did finally find a free (as in beer) solution that works for Windows XP. It involves the extremely hard-to-locate (but not any more!) gpsd from gps3d...

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