Remake X-Wing!

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We need a current-gen (at least for PC) X-Wing game. These are some of my favorite games, and I know I'm not alone. The X-Wing & TIE series had, and still have, enormous followings to this day. A brief internet search these days will show forums, sites, blogs, and more signs of present-day gamers exchanging info on how to get their fifteen year-old X-Wing games to run on 64-bit Windows 7. For all these reasons (and more below) I think the best way to do this is:

REMAKE X-WING, TIE FIGHTER, and XW ALLIANCE with CURRENT GEN TECH FOR PC.

It's been long enough--over a decade, which might as well be a million years in gaming terms. These games have past, present, and probably future popularity, not to mention they rated very well critically. And, one would have to assume, they produced a decent amount of money for LucasArts.

Old gamers would eat this up for obvious reasons. I still fire this game up once in a while.

New gamers would eat this up because you could easily implement online cooperative play. Hear me out: A strong single-player game is still a MUST, and would be the CORE of the game (after all, most of the games we're talking about were single-player only). But the same strong story-driven missions would be as good or better with a few buddies along for the ride. I believe X-Wing/TIE would produce a better more solid base for online play than the simple "free for all's" of Battlefront's space battles.

Star Wars games are doing better than ever, profit and interest-wise, especially with Battlefront's multiplayer emphasis. And what were people aching for after Battlefront I? Space combat! It's both a current area of activity and a current area of need--people are still appreciating and clamoring for more serious simulation combat in the Star Wars universe.

Here's what I'd like to see:
Graphics and sound updated by a decade. This is easy—people on the internet are already doing this between various X-Wing upgrades (DarkSaber's Ultimate Craft Pack) and conversions (Descent FreeSpace conversions). Again: This part is easy.

Strong focus on story. Everyone LOVED the story elements of TIE Fighter. They really pulled you into the game. Why haven't we seen anything close since then? The old X-Wing missions, TIE missions (with Emperor's Hand side objectives, of course) and Alliance missions were strong. They really pulled the gamer into the world/mission. The great old missions would link to the main plot (sabotaging the capital ship carrying Death Star plans, destroying the prototype of Darth Vader's new TIE, escorting the wounded from Hoth). These connected with the plot of the movies in such believable ways you really felt like you were part of the larger saga.

Strong focus on the Original Trilogy. The cartoony nature of the prequels does not lend as well to the more serious Sim Combat genre as well as the slightly more serious nature of the OT. In every sense the organized 'military' feel was stronger in the old movies, so ... focus there! No missiles that explode into tiny robots that take your ship apart, no crazy force powers, no droid enemies, just good ol' ship to ship combat (the kind that was inspired by WWII, according to Lucas himself).

Scenes like the massive battle intro to Episode 3 could make the cut too, but the struggle would be to make silly things like scraping the buzz-droids off each others' ships viable in a "real-life" sim type game. The size, frenetic action in all directions, and ambience were awesome, but you'd have to cleanse the kid's stuff. The Original Trilogy holds up better for sims.

So, with all that said, let's look at Hollywood's criteria for a viable remake or reboot:
1.Time frame: It's been a long time since we saw these games.
2.Crowd appeal: It's there!
3.Money potential: Very little input and they could sell millions of units
4.Doable project? Yes! Compared with current games that have realistic animated CGI 'actors,' the tech and effort for zipping ship-models around the screen is very easy—and cheap!

Come on, LucasArts! There is enough interest and market for a solid, realistic, sim (not arcade!) Star Wars game based largely on the Original Trilogy! We'll buy it.

Batman--Getting closer!

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Batman: Arkham Asylum is out, and getting great reviews. It's drawing game-world comparisons to The Dark Knight as the best comic game ever.

IGN posted a great piece on sequel possibilities. The described B:AA as a mix of Metal Gear Solid (see my Splinter Cell references re: gadgets & stealth), God of War (for combat-a great improvement over Spidey's boring/simplistic button mashing), and Resident Evil (I guess they are mostly talking cinematic feel/atmosphere here). These are basically the same elements I was hoping to see put into an open-world game.

Arkham Asylum might be great, but Batman needs to widen his domain, and find ways to manage the whole of Gotham City and its various criminal problems. If you follow these links, you'll see they even got my 'gang war' idea in there!

http://comics.ign.com/articles/101/1019740p1.html

http://comics.ign.com/articles/101/1019740p2.html

Batman Locations

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By Movie:

Batman Begins

  • Wayne Manor
  • The Batcave (with elevator, well,and waterfall entrances)
  • League of Shadows HQ, Mountain, and Glacial Lake
  • Gotham's El-Train
  • Wane Towers (train hub)
  • The Narrows (with bridges, heavy atmosphere, etc)
  • Arkham Asylum (in the Narrows)
  • The Docks
  • Rooftop courthouse
  • Slums (Rachel drives through)

TDK

  • Parking Garage scene
  • Gordon's MCU
  • Underground/waterfront chase highways
  • Half-built skyscraper (Joker showdown--with sonar feature)
  • The Ferrys
  • Mayor's Office
  • DA's Office
  • Hong Kong skyscraper scene
  • Batpod chase
  • Maroni's nightclub
  • Gotham's Bank (Joker robbery/investigation)
  • Bruce's Penthouse
  • Makeshift Batcave below Penthouse

Batman

  • Axis Chemical
  • Wayne Manor/Batcave
  • Gotham Cathedral
  • Guggenheim Art Museum

Batman Returns

  • Penguin's Lair
  • Gotham Plaza at Christmas
  • Sewers for walking and Batboat
  • Rooftops for winged-glide
  • Graveyard
  • Shreck's

Open Ended Batman Manifesto

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We need an open-ended Batman game like Spider-man 2 and Ultimate Spider-man. Batman Begins had great voice acting and solid presentation. It looked and sounded good, but it was SUPER-linear. Batman could not do anything until he found the key to the forklift that would open the door.

The recent Spider-man games have done well, and been enjoyable. It's not news to anyone that open, free-roaming games are popular-the recent GTA entries have been the most successful games in years, whether you agree with the moral content or not. Kids and adults alike have loved soaring through Manhattan's skyscrapers and suburbs as Spider-man. The most common complaint? It's too boring and repetitive to beat up the same thugs who steal purses or kids who lose their balloon.

Batman is perfectly poised to capitalize on these strengths, and also remedies all the weaknesses. Spider-man isn't too bright; he just beats up the crooks he catches in the act. Batman does this too! But Batman is also a detective. He can work with, or against the police. He can spend a night prowling the streets looking for trouble, but he can also respond to the Bat-signal and receive "missions" from Commissioner Gordon.

He can find clues to track down major baddies, or catch thugs to interrogate for clues leading to major baddies. He has as solid an array of major villains as Spider-man, but lots more 'levels' of crime to pursue... instead of dumb purse-snatchers and Green Goblin, Batman has the Riddler, the Joker, purse-snatchers, the mafia (this alone has a game's worth of potential challenges/missions), and everything in between.

Not to mention one of the best parts of a Batman game: VEHICLES. Batman can roam Gotham by rooftop, call the Batmobile to him by remote, fly through the concrete jungle in the Batwing, chase down escaping bank robbers, escape the Gotham PD and find his way back to Wayne Manor (a la Begins)... and he ever has a great lair. The Batcave could be a functional hub (like in recent Lego games) and also a trophy gallery. Add all this in with Batman's gadgets, plot helpers like Alfred, the atmosphere of Gotham, and hey-Batman, especially in his latest movie, is all about using his own freedom and creativity to wage a war on crime and evil.

Spider-man 3 had some improvements that relate directly to Batman. First, a map of the city that shows (by color) the over crime suppression, by area. This is a cool way to think of things, and it reminds me of how Batman himself would "see" the city.

Second, it had several low-level street gangs with their own wars and crimes going on, with Spidey dropping in to apprehend them. He also has the power to stop the gang overall, after enough time and enough fights merit it.

Third, Spidey teams up with a good cop to catch bad cops. This is a cheap copy of Bats and Gordon-their relationship is the pinnacle of vigilante & cop team-ups. But the inferior Spidey version still works, and includes a good balance of "get photographic evidence of police corruption" and "beat up the bad cops."

These ideas fit well within TDK's world. We had a couple of bad cops that needed to be rooted out, and also several competing crime oranizations: The Italians, the Chechen's gang, and Gambol's "Street Toughs."

TDK also hit on things like city-wide police acceptance of, or predatory hatred toward, Batman.

As long as it's done the right way, there is nothing wrong with including stealth action segments too. Sometimes Batman is more Sam Fisher than he is Spider-man. People get frustrated when they are looking for action but get forced into stealth, but as long as it is managed appropriately, Batman definitely uses shadows and surprise as part of his approach!

There you have it! Which Batman universe should it be set it? It would be easy enough to match it to the next movie, The Dark Knight, but my vote is for the Animated Series. It had the biggest breadth of style, characters, and stories. Please ... an open-ended free-roaming Batman game has all the makings of an all-time great!

X-Wing Alliance sites for modding

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Official Patch:

http://support.lucasarts.com/patches/alliance.htm

The Ultimate Craft Pack. You haven't played XWA until you've played the game using this update. Basically it updates every model in the game, add a bunch of new ships, and a ton of other neat little things. Also included is the very scary 17.6km SSD.**Note the system requirements, some might still have problems with it**

***NEW LOCATION FOR UCP: (You may have to set the hardware for force hardware 3d or something like that)

http://www.darksaber.pnma.co.uk/

Battle Over Coruscant Ep iii

http://www.vince-t.de/rots_download.html

New Shipsets (prequels, comics, etc)

http://www.mtdindustries.com/xwa/HTML/HTML_Page01.html

Xwing Legacy (still updates)

http://www.xwlegacy.net/

Complete sound updates. Go to the downloads section on the side.
http://smrti.xwlegacy.net/

NVidia cards have a text problem on some resolutions. The top one should work best at all larger resolutions.
http://www.lucasfiles.com/?s=&action=category&id=107

The Ultimate craft pack fix. I needed it to beat on of the missions as a stupid frigate kept destroying itself. It sucked.
http://www.tftc.gaylenol.com/html/downloads.html

You'll need Xwing Install System install the "Xmod" UCP Patch.
http://www.flyingtemple.com/downloads.php

Fun stuff to look forward to:

TIE Fighter total conversion. I'm still praying to every holy being that this gets finished. There hasn't been an update in a while, but I did email the creator last month and he promptly (3 hrs later) responded that it was indeed still active and that it was undergoing beta testing still.
http://www.tftc.gaylenol.com/

XWing Alliance in the NJO. The site is down as of me posting this, but there was activity on the project within march of this year and the site was up earlier this week, so I hope it's just a small web problem.
http://www.njoproject.com/

Misc sites:

If you have a technical problem, chances someone here has had it too.
http://forums.lucasarts.com/forum.jspa?forumID=13

X-Wing Alliance Upgrade project:
http://www.xwaupgrade.com/

Has a good list of links:
http://www.bluephantom.de/

For the hardcore:
http://www.ehtiecorps.org/

Here's AlliED, software for creating your own missions.
http://www.troyed.com/x-wing/DLAlliED.htm

NEW: Episode 3 Intro Battle

http://www.moddb.com/mods/episode-iii-battle-over-coruscant(same as above)http://vince-t.de/rots_download.html

Oblivion Modding Sites for LOTR remake

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Oblivion Real Estate http://www.oblivionsrealestate.com/

MERP Middle Earth RolePlaying Beta http://www.tesnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=24551

Middle Earth Height Map http://www.tesnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=18592(I believe MERP includes this already)

Helm's Deep

Planet Elder Scrolls Oblivion Mods http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/fms/TopRated.php?content=oblivionmods

... and tools http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=OblivionUtilities.List

The Elder Scrolls (TES) Nexus http://www.tesnexus.com/

Open Cities: No entry lag, ride your horse straight in, but slows the framerate and alters surrounding terrain http://www.tesnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=16360

Open Better Cities: for more ideas on the same track http://www.tesnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=17084

... and all of the great content on Planet ES and TES Nexus, including castles, towns, quests, etc.

AND--from a forum stikcy:

To unpack mods use one of the following:
WinRAR (avaliable in multiple languages)
http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm

or 7-zip (English Only)
http://www.7-zip.org/
Both will work with unpacking .rar and .7z

Sites:

Elder Scrolls Site
http://www.elderscrolls.com/home/home.htm

Patches for Oblivion
http://www.elderscrolls.com/downloads/updates_patches.htm

Elder Scrolls official forums
http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/

Construction Set Wiki (for anyone who wants to learn to use the CS)
http://cs.elderscrolls.com/constwiki/index.php/Main_Page

CS Wiki page about mods (includes how to install, if you're not familiar with modding read it)
http://cs.elderscrolls.com/constwiki/index.php/Oblivion_Mods_FAQ

Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages (lots of TES information)
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Main_Page

Information on soul gems and enchanting
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:Enchanting#Soul_Gems

Sites containing Oblivion mods
TESSource
http://tessource.net/index.php

Planet Elder Scrolls (Explanation on how to download on the next post)
http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/

Guides to tweaking Oblivion
http://www.tweakguides.com/Oblivion_1.html

Sites with information on Oblivion
www.betteroblivion.com/
http://chorrol.com/

Equipment Database (Vanilla only)
http://www.gamebanshee.com/oblivion/searchequipment.php

Spells Database (Vanilla only)
http://www.gamebanshee.com/oblivion/searchspells.php

Site about textures
http://devnull.devakm.googlepages.com/obliviontextureoverhaul

Utilities
Oblivion Mod Manager (OBMM)
http://www.tessource.net/files/file.php?id=2097

Oblivion Script Extender (OBSE)
http://obse.silverlock.org/

Incremental Saver (makes a new normal save for each autosave or quicksave to avoid save corruption)
http://tessource.net/files/file.php?id=2937

BSA Extracting/Browsing Utility
http://cs.elderscrolls.com/constwiki/index.php/BSA_Commander

Mods
Performance Mods (All Strongly Recommended!)

Operation Optimization
http://www.tessource.net/files/file.php?id=10510

Low Poly Grass
http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=OblivionMods.Detail&id=1479

Streamline (needs OBSE)
http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=OblivionMods.Detail&id=2684

Oldblivion (only for those with very old PCs who don't mind sacrifying graphics just to play Oblivion)
http://www.oldblivion.com/

Miscellaneous Mods
Poisoned Apple Cure Mod:
http://tessource.net/files/file.php?id=3104

Unofficial Oblivion Patch (Strongly Recommended!)
http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=OblivionMods.Detail&id=1417

Unofficial Shivering Isles Patch v1.0.0
http://tinyurl.com/2hxfbf

Unofficial Official Mod Patch v6 (This fixes the so called Official Plugins)
http://tinyurl.com/yuy6rj

Custom Race Fix (use this if you intend to use a custom race and do not intend to use the unofficial oblivion patch)
http://tessource.net/files/file.php?id=1815

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