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Work in Progress / Star Trek Trader - Returns

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Kenjar
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Posted: 27th Jul 2007 02:10 Edited at: 19th Aug 2007 00:57
Star Trek Trader
Work In Progress


Goals

Procedurally generated universe.
Almost to scale space.
Smooth transition between warp and impulse speeds.
The Star Trek Universe explored by the play from a civilian angle.
Real time and accelerated time modes.
Stock Markets.
Ships you can upgrade.
Illegal hardware upgrades.
Subsystem combat.
Real Time Combat.
Trade routes.
Empire borders.
Criminal records with different empires.
Dock at bases.
Choose your own path, bounty hunter, mercenary, assassin, trader, miner, pirate, smuggler, explorer, stellar cartographer, rading undeveloped worlds, or combinations of several.
Membership with empires and criminal organizations (Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and Orion Syndicate, Ferengi etc)
Introducing a completely new concept to larger companies. Restoring real imagination to Star Trek Gaming.
A fully interactive 3D engine.

The dream:

Imagine exploring the Star Trek universe from a completely different perspective. A civilian, with true freedom to go anywhere and do anything. Then live with the consequences. Start off with a simple shuttle making small time passenger and cargo runs. Earning enough credit to purchase a larger ship, to make bigger runs. It works for Elite Frontier, why not Star Trek as well? We have impulse, and warp drive, a massive universe to explore. Perhaps you'd like to make big credit's by smuggling Romulan Ale from Romulus to Earth? Or take an assassination contract with Section 31, The Tal'shiar or the Obsidan order? Finding worlds and characters willing to sell illegal technology. Purchase a decommissioned Excelsior or Constitution hull, clear it it out to carry as much cargo as you can, or loading it with illegal technologies such as Military grade phasers, Klingon military Torpedoes and an out of date Romulan Cloak. Or just purchasing reflective armour that allows you to escape long range sensors. Or buying an aged D7 or Brel cruiser from the Klingons and tripping it out with with the Sona's subspace weapons. Taking contracts with the Orion Syndicate? Even bribing people to clear your criminal record. With such a dynamic, populated fictional universe, why do game developers always do the same thing over and over again, from the same tired point of view? This isn't the the ideal federation, the universe isn't always fair. Does that mean you have to be? And can you live with the consequences afterwards? Smuggle, get paid by empires by selling them updated star charts from unexplored regions. Discover dangerous Phonomina and ultra rare minerals. Or just duke it out with a Klingon boarder patrol. There's such much that could be done!

The reality

Yeah, most of that's not likely to happen really. But it's like aiming for a boxing bag, you don't aim for the target, you aim beyond it. There's absolutely no reason that a procedural universe filled with stock markets, bases, planets and worlds. There's no reason we can't buy new ships and upgrade their technologies. And most of all, there is absolutely no reason at all, we can't demonstrate to the larger companies that they don't have to make endless space combat and FPS games. They can do something unique to the star trek universe. Star Trek MMO may help do this, but perhaps we can teach companies. This game may never be finished, it may be taken down by the property owners, but perhaps we can also send out the message that Star Trek is imagination. And it's time companies actually used their creative potential, and give us the interactive universe Star Trek deserves, or we'll make it ourselves!

The progress.

Star Trek Trader isn't a new idea, I presented it to the community almost two years ago. My own art, programming and organisation skills where not up to the task at the time, so I'm rebooting this project from the start. It will still be written in DarkBASIC Professional. This tool is ideal for prototyping and independent development within small teams, without millions of dollars in resources. It's powerful and flexible enough to produce what I want. Plus I already have permission from a large number of model makers to use their ships and designs within the game. This game is NON-PROFIT only, and will remain that way, unless of course CBS or whoever own the star trek prosperity wants to take the idea and develop it commercially. Above all else, I'd like to capture fans imaginations, and present them with a real universe, the universe that's been in the making for 40 years. We have the technologies and the means, now lets help companies take it to the next step.

Old Screenies:







Design Document


Introduction:

Behind every decent game, the must be a plan. So here's what I've got so far.

Combat Physics Design Princibles


Normal mode:

While under the influence if normal engine and star trek technology, will be the classic, roll, turn and pitch style. Much more akin to Bridge Commander, Klingon Academy and even Star Fleet Command, though we will add another axis of control.

Thruster mode or Slide mode:

This additional mode, while never seen in a trek episode or game, will help validate Klingon B'rel and other small ships such as shuttles and runabouts habit of forward mounted weaponry beyond simply having everything to bare after de cloaking. This method will allow this ships, that have a low mass, and thus a much faster rate of turn, to spin around, while still travelling along a certain vector. As we know in space, there is nothing to slow you down, short of hitting something or using your own power, so in thruster mode, impulse engines can be shut down, and the ship can turn around and bring it's forward weapons back onto any ship that's chasing it. This mode is commonly seen in Space Combat games such as

Warp Combat

Slide mode will not be available here, manoeuvrability will be massively reduced, so if you want to change direction quickly, you'll drop out of warp, turn at impulse, and launch into warp again. Torpedo's will be most effective at warp speeds, though you will have to be fast enough to get into range.


Downloads


Click here to download
24.5Mb in size
Showcase version 1.0.1
Deathead
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Posted: 27th Jul 2007 02:36
Nice.

tha_rami
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Posted: 27th Jul 2007 02:45
Indeed, looks nice. Sounds nice. Now make it happen.

Good luck!

Kenjar
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Posted: 27th Jul 2007 21:16 Edited at: 27th Jul 2007 21:20
I'm doing my best:

Updates -

Old system based on sync completely scrapped.
New System based on timers established.
Accurate simulation of Sol created with relation between planet and sun size now as accurate as I can make it.
Distance from sun to each planet is now accurate.
Each Planet is set upon a unique orbital path. This is not accurate yet as I need to work out the mathematics behind it.
3 different types of engines installed.
--- Thrusters for fine movement around bases and planets (Max 5% Light speed, measured in 100%)
--- Impulse Engines for Solar System navigation (Max 80% light speed Measured in 10% incriments)
--- Warp Engines for Real Time interstellar Space Flight (Max Warp 9.995 (29087 times the speed of light (approx 1 light year every 18 mins))) This is according to the formula I downloaded.
Labels showing where planets are.
In the progress of fixing multiple key press errors.


I've put together a number of mathematical formula to try and simulate acceleration curves, real time space travel, and distances between world while representing worlds in real size. It's required the unusual usage of Double Floats should should go to show just now accurate I'm trying to be. And 1 unit of space is currently being measured as 1KM. I'm going to experiment to see if I can get it up to 10 or 100 units of space for 1KM to allow for additional accuracy. 64-bit floats and integers are starting to look very attractive as well!

I'd upload a screen shot but it's basically just a green background with labels of planets. I'm going to add distance displays between objects in space, as well as a co-ordinate systems, baring system, speed displays, so players can navigate to the spheres. I'm likely going to be using the eXtends plug-in to simulate space dust, get object distances, and perhaps a few particle effects such as warp drive.

Many of the examples I've designed while writing "The little book of source code" (see www.dcforeman.co.uk) are being in the writing of this program as well.
tha_rami
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Posted: 29th Jul 2007 18:36
In other words: Keep going. This can turn out great!

Kenjar
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Posted: 30th Jul 2007 17:52
thanks. I'm currently working on the Universe Generator, once finished I'll have all the data I need to build a whole galaxy, consisting of thousands of star systems, and many undereds of post-warp worlds.
dark coder
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Posted: 30th Jul 2007 18:33
Quote: "Warp Engines for Real Time interstellar Space Flight (Max Warp 9.995 (29087 times the speed of light (approx 1 light year every 18 mins))) This is according to the formula I downloaded."


But most federation ships can only do 9.6? this would lead to rather boring trade routes unless you had the Voyager Warship complete with 30 torpedo tubes, 25 phaser banks, assault probes and fighter shuttles not forgetting the borg warrior-drones, triple-armoured hull etc.

Kenjar
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Posted: 30th Jul 2007 18:46
Actually civilian ships average anything been warp 5 and warp 9.2, it tends to be high grade military ships that go much faster then that. A Galaxy class is only capable of 9.6 without extreme risk. Though I beleive it can be pushed to 9.8 in a pinch.

The trick is to add an Elite Frontier style time system. I may even add two options for the player, realistic simulation, and arcade play. The basic difference will be that the player can stay in warp in real time, or choose an Elite sytle hyperjump system, where you choose a planet and go into warp then come out in that system a fwe seconds later, with the game clock added to by X amount of time, perhaps with a random variable or two that allows players to be attacked and brought out of subspace,tractor beams, tachyon nets, there's a wide range of options to choose from.
Mr X
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Posted: 4th Aug 2007 16:31
Keep going on this project. It's very nice.
P Tew
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 00:29
Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!! I am huge Star Trek fan and the ideals behind this game and the story and concept of it are exactly what I have been hoping for for a long, long time from the big games companies that make the Star Trek games but they haven't got a clue any more! This looks awesome! I hope you can build an excellent game!

If you need any help then contact me, my experience is small but I have a lot of good ideas and strategies that I've been dying to use for a Star Trek game. Check my profile for my email address and contact me if you need to. I'd love to help.

Keep doing a good job.

Well done.
Diggsey
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 00:45
Actually, it's possible to get over warp 10 if you slingshot around a large sun, thus causing you to travel back in time This has been done at least twice in star trek

Code Dragon
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 01:01 Edited at: 19th Jan 2009 21:46
Oooh, nice. This is going to be good, I can tell.

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Mr X
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 11:44 Edited at: 12th Aug 2007 11:45
Quote: "Actually, it's possible to get over warp 10"


In the last part of Star Trek The Next Generation, a future Enterprise goes some levels faster then warp 10 without travelling back in time...
NeX the Fairly Fast Ferret
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 12:06
Warp 12, I believe it was.


Since the other one was scaring you guys so much...
Kenjar
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 14:17 Edited at: 12th Aug 2007 14:22
In "all good things" the warpscale was adjusted. If you look at the current TNG scale, it's arrived at the point where we're using numbers such as 9.975 for voyager. It may not sound like much of an increase from 9.6 (the max obtained by the enterprise when running from Q in the farpoint mission), but a curve from zero to infinity is used in the warp scale, so the higher you go, even 0.001 is equiv to many hundreds the times the speed of light, as you get even closer to the top of the scale 0.001 will become many hundreds to many millions times the speed of light.

When you achive Warp 10, then according to star trek lore, you occupie every single point in the universe at the same time. It doesn't actually have anything to do with time travel.

The only time, time travel occures is when you combine a certain warp speed (or combination of subtle speed changes) with gravity, folding space back on itself to such an extent that you can manipulate your position within the forth dimention (time). You notice every time a crew used warp speed to travel back, they where travelling around a star, our sun, and in TOS trying to break away from a massive gavitational force. This is in keeping with current theories reguarding time dialation around super gravity objects such as black holes. The closer you get, the faster time runs. Combining this with space folding technology (warp drive) the effect becomes time travel.

So no, the rusty old Brel in Star Trek 4 never hit warp ten. Warp ten and time travel are two seperate things entirely.
Windsept
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 18:00
Very nice. I really hope this game turns out as you plan it too. If you need help building the universe you could probably use Celestia. It has a huge amount of stars and planets in it's database.

Good Luck

Windsept

Kenjar
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 18:18 Edited at: 12th Aug 2007 18:19
I'm going down the Elite route for universe generation. If you look at Universe Generator (another WIP) thread you'll see most of my effort has gone into that so far. Like Birth of the Federation, and games like Diablo, the user can seed any number of different universes.
aticper
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 20:37
Well, if you can make it work, it looks like it could have a lot of potential.

I'm not paranoid. Stop thinking that I'm paranoid!
Diggsey
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Posted: 12th Aug 2007 20:46
Please make it have borg in

Code Dragon
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Posted: 13th Aug 2007 03:19 Edited at: 19th Jan 2009 21:46
And it would be cool if you could get infected by the borg too.

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Mr X
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Posted: 13th Aug 2007 13:08
Wouldn't it be hard to make so you can be a borg in an realistic way? With al the "voices of the others" things and everything? But anyway it would be awsome with some borgs in it.

Quote: "This is in keeping with current theories reguarding time dialation around super gravity objects such as black holes. The closer you get, the faster time runs."


Isn't it quite the opposite? The closer you get to an object with an superstrong gravity field, the slower time gets (actually that's the fact of everything with an gravity field. Even an apple has that effect, it's just so extremly small you don't have to care about it at all). Times goes faster in space then on mother Earth. That was what I've learned in school and in at last one book.
qwe
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Posted: 16th Aug 2007 06:04
re: earlier discussion

warp 10 is infinite velocity

as warp factor approaches 10, velocity approaches infinity. where warp 1 = the speed of light C. thus it's a logarithmic way of measuring velocity

4 player 3D space combat sim! Coding nearly finished! Visit WIP thread!
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=112036&b=8
Raven
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Posted: 16th Aug 2007 06:38
so in reality, Warp9.8 and Warp9.9 would be further apart speed wise than Warp1 and Warp2?

I'd hate to be at the comm saying "capt'n we've reached warp 9.99999999293177412" .. probably say "capt'n we've reached f-ing fast speed!"

tiresius
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Posted: 16th Aug 2007 08:17
Kenjar this looks really cool. I'm a big fan of TNG, now if only I could afford their DVDs!

1 light year per 18 minutes sounds too slow. I mean, it might be accurate to the show, but I think the closest star system to Sol is 4 light years away. Will a player really wait 80 minutes to get there?

I'm not a real programmer but I play one with DBPro!
Kenjar
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Posted: 16th Aug 2007 13:16 Edited at: 16th Aug 2007 13:21
Pfft, everyones obsessed with borg! Sorry guys I have no plans to add them, they are really a Federation military problem, I'm really trying to show the universe from a different perspective. But upon saying that, I fully intend to have scripting in the game where you can add your own custom missions. So once this is finished, you'll be able to write all the borg in you like! Also Janeway destoryed the transwarp hub, they where effectively crippled there and then. By setting it in that time period I can excuse the "legal" sale of up to Ambassador hulls at least. I hope to program in "illegal" ways of getting other more advanced hulls, or at least salvage rights from damanged fed military vessles. But going the salvage rights route will mean the federation either buy it off you, or strip out all sensitive technical systems. Of course you could just sell it to the romulans for three times the federation would pay. But you might be caught and banned from federation space! But this is all a dream right now, the reality comes next.

The plan at the moment is quite simple. I intend to get the universe generation in place. It will only be one empire right off, the federation, and a simple trading game. This is an achiveable goal and will allow me to develop physics, naviation, starsystems, combat, AI, etc. I need to develop these key eliments before I do anything else, and I need to do it in such as way that the software is modible.

When this is done, I'll turn around and decide what else should go in the game. But I think we can all agree that having a Universe to fly in, a stockmarket to sell on, a BBS to read, and systems to explore/ trade/ mine are the first major prioties, then an actual graphical engine and physics model to fly your ship in, has to take priority. (The previous items can be accoplished with text).

If anyone wants to do something interesting, and highly useful, I could really do with a proposal for a currancy system, and a list of tradable items (replicators, optical chips, bionural gel packs, etc) and items to smuggle (tribbles, romulan Ale for example)
Mr X
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Posted: 16th Aug 2007 14:56
One word. Awsome. But about the scripting thing, that would be very nice.
Kenjar
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Posted: 16th Aug 2007 16:33 Edited at: 16th Aug 2007 16:35
I hope to launch a quick graphics demo featuring 3 runabout class ships that will be featured in the game. Here's a quick image of the first one. this screen shot is taken directly from a DarkBASIC Professional window as in real time render, so this is how it will appear in game, in it's basic form.



Obviously I want to get glows, some kind of hull shader, perhaps bump or releif, and a few blinking lights going at some point.

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Dr Manette
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Posted: 16th Aug 2007 16:49
Wow, a very nice model indeed. This sounds like a very good idea, I've personally never been a fan of Star Trek games because they're usually very hard to control and get into. Yours seems to be much more immersing and free formed.

Kenjar
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Posted: 17th Aug 2007 01:58 Edited at: 17th Aug 2007 02:08
Star Trek Trader

Model and Logo showcase


This latest upload is a showcase program designed for test beding new shader and visual technologies. As the models are improved, shaders deployed and other special effects added. I will add and compile these to the showcase program, allowing everyone the chance to see Star Trek Traders engine being deployed. This will give people the chance to provide feedback and suggestions for improvements.

The new logo was designed and created by Raven, I'd just like to take this chance to say "Thanks Raven!".

The source code is included, this program makes use of the Sytx plugin for it's splash screen and progress bar. The rest is pure DarkBASIC 6.6b

This program was developed on, and tested with Windows Vista 64, so providing you have the latest direct x 9.0c installed, this software will be completely Vista 32 and 64-bit compatible.

Enjoy!



Click here to download
24.5Mb in size
Showcase version 1.0.1
[href]null[/href]

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Mr X
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Posted: 17th Aug 2007 13:47
Awsome. Seems to have the Star Trek feel over it, and if you continue with that, it will be very nice. Keep up the good work.
Kenjar
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Posted: 19th Aug 2007 00:56
Combat Physics Design Princibles


Normal mode:

While under the influence if normal engine and star trek technology, will be the classic, roll, turn and pitch style. Much more akin to Bridge Commander, Klingon Academy and even Star Fleet Command, though we will add another axis of control.

Thruster mode or Slide mode:

This additional mode, while never seen in a trek episode or game, will help validate Klingon B'rel and other small ships such as shuttles and runabouts habit of forward mounted weaponry beyond simply having everything to bare after de cloaking. This method will allow this ships, that have a low mass, and thus a much faster rate of turn, to spin around, while still travelling along a certain vector. As we know in space, there is nothing to slow you down, short of hitting something or using your own power, so in thruster mode, impulse engines can be shut down, and the ship can turn around and bring it's forward weapons back onto any ship that's chasing it. This mode is commonly seen in Space Combat games such as

Warp Combat

Slide mode will not be available here, manoeuvrability will be massively reduced, so if you want to change direction quickly, you'll drop out of warp, turn at impulse, and launch into warp again. Torpedo's will be most effective at warp speeds, though you will have to be fast enough to get into range.
GatorHex
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Posted: 19th Aug 2007 06:29 Edited at: 19th Aug 2007 06:34
Star Trek, didn't the do away with money/stock markets when they invented replicators? I suppose the Ferengi and Klingon might still use money though

"Buy my pot noodles, buy my pot noodles!", "no thanx mate, i can just replicate 'em"

DinoHunter (still no nVidia compo voucher!), CPU/GPU Benchmark, DarkFish Encryption DLL, War MMOG (WIP), 3D Model Viewer
Kenjar
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Posted: 21st Aug 2007 16:36 Edited at: 21st Aug 2007 16:53
Yeah, they didn't ever provide an ecconimic system in moneys place though. All we really know is that no one gets paid anymore for their work!

Deep space nine blew all that out of the water though, with the Frengi and gold pressed latinum. Human's, bajorans, cardassians and klingons all seemed to use the currancy.

It was very much the only intersellar currancy that really ment anything. Simply because Latinum can't be replicated apparently.

The currancy system I will use will be the following:

100 Slips = 1 Strip
20 Strips = 1 Bar
15 Bars = 1 Brick

My intended future exchange syste will be.

1 Federation Credit = 1.4 Slips
1 Klingon Credit = 0.7 Slips
1 Romulan Credit = 1.1 Slips
1 Cardassian Credit = 0.12 Slips
1 Dominion Credit = 1.2 Slips
1 Breen Credit = 0.4 Slips

The federation is the largest group of co-operative races so it makes sense their currancy would be worth more.

Klingons tend to waste alot of their empires resources on warships, weapons etc. We heard in Star Trek 6 that the Klingons miltary program was so great it needed the federations assistance to survive the praxis explosion.

Romulans have always had cloaking technology and a strong development program in place. While they'd trade umongst themselves mostly, they are relitively untouched by other powers.

The Cardassians basically lost the war, had their empire ravaged by the dominon, and Cardassia suffered massive military and civil damange. Plus all the ships it needs to replace from fighting the Federation and then the dominon and breen as well.

The Dominion basically control a whole quadrent uncontested, they'd be larger then the federation. But at the same time the founders where badly affacted by that virus.

As far as I'm aware the Breen are still on their own, with only a limited number of systems. I'm not sure it's even worth adding them.
Kenjar
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Posted: 27th Aug 2007 19:35 Edited at: 27th Aug 2007 19:56
I know this isn't strickly related to this game, but it's a rather good CGI animation called Star Trek Aurora, like trader it's set from the non-military perspective of the star trek universe. For an amature production it's really good, and worth a watch.

Star Trek Aurora
Squelchy Tom
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Posted: 27th Aug 2007 21:31
looks great, cant wait to see the finished game, however long it takes

glad someone is doing this :0

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