Apr 162008

Ok, I’m going a little bit Battlestar Galactica crazy this week. This made me look up an old project that I found during Season 3. Just over a year ago I ran across an amazing new demo of Beyond the Red Line (BtRL). This flight simulator uses the revamped Freespace 2 Engine and a TON of fan made models and mods. There are only 3 campaign missions, but there is multi-player support. I played this a lot back in November/December of 06. Sometime after that I moved on to other things, partially because it became harder to find good multi-player games to join. It looks like the developers have kept up their hard work, and have been rewarded with the #1 Independent Game of the Year for 2007 over at ModDB.

A full campaign is under development, but for the time being the main content will be created by other fans. One of the interesting features is that anyone can create their own missions using the FRED editor. The interface looks a bit too intimidating for me to work with, but I’m sure other people will have no problem with it. I’ve helped test a couple custom missions which required some tweaks here and there. The possibilities seem endless.

Another important feature is that the physics engine has been modified so that you can do maneuvers similar to those performed in the TV show. You can rotate and blast someone behind you without changing direction. Back when I played it, you could turn on rotation and turn around, then kick in the afterburner and immediately be going the same speed in the new direction. This wasn’t very realistic (you’d be turned to mush), and from what I’ve read, it has been addressed since the last time I played. I’m hoping that as the project gets closer to completion that there will be easier to find multi-player matches.

Here are a couple of game play videos. These are low-rez on YouTube, but you can get the high-rez over at the official site’s video page (requires the free DivX web player).

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