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Return to the Newsletter Archives home page. Newsletter - June 2005
Volume 1, Issue 4 - June 2005

________________________________________________________________________________ Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 4 - June 2005

Table of Contents

1) General News
2) Modding News
3) Community News
4) The Making of a TIE Fighter
5) The Loss of a Friend
6) Hammer Time
7) Newsletter Information
8) Contribution Credits

1) General News

The rumor mill has it that Space Empires IV Deluxe, to be published by Strategy
First, will not be available in stores until September, due to legal issues. In
the meantime, the hunt for copies of Space Empires IV Gold continues.

2) Modding News

Space Empires IV mods:

Atrocities made yet another call for beta testers for his Star Trek Mod.

President Elect Shang made a brief appearance in the Starfire Mod thread, though
it is unknown at this time if he plans to continue work on the mod.

The Component Pack of the Image Mod has been updated to include many new Star
Trek inspired images, submitted by Atrocities.

Ekolis has proposed the creation of an indexing service for the Image Mod. Such
a service would be a "program where you could type in a keyword and it would
search through a database that we'd collectively create; the database would
simply assign each image to one or more categories, and the program would take
your search query and look for matching images!"

Strategia_In_Ultima has begun work on The End of Galactic Civilization Mod,
seemingly inspired by the Schlock Mercenary web comic series.

The first version of Massive Mod 0.1, by wake_of_angels, has been released, in
several large parts.

An inkling of activity on the once-planned Caribbean Mod appeared, only to fade
away again.

Strategia_In_Ultima's new ship set was released.

In response to interest in Star Wars Episode III ship set requests, Atrocities
began work on a new Imperial ship set.

3) Community News

As usual, the SE4 Play By Web service had some more rocky connections. In spite
of this, it is still a great site, enabling Space Empires IV to be played by
e-mail in an automated, easy to use fashion.

Lemmy's venerable "How old are you?" thread on Shrapnel Games Intel Forums
continues as strong as ever, introducing new members to the community. It has
been going strong for 4 years.

Anarchy Online continues to suck once-active community members into its
gelatinous web. The most prominent casualty has been none other than Mr. Avatar
himself, David Gervais.

Strategia_In_Ultima published a new chapter of his fan fiction, "The Demise."

Speculation on the features of the upcoming title Space Empires V continues.

After many moons, the Image Gallery has come back online, using
the acclaimed Gallery software. All of the old images are viewable once again.
The Image Gallery is a good place to showcase Space Empires related art work.

A new fan fiction was begun by cshank2, "The Hunter's Call."

Lemmy has released a new tool for generating HTML documents from several of
Space Empires IV's data files, namely components, facilities, tech areas and
vehicle sizes. A few updates were released in as many days, based on user

4) The Making of a TIE Fighter

When I sat down to begin work on a Star Wars Imperial TIE Fighter, I had my
doubts as to whether or not I could actually pull it off. I looked upon this as
a challenged and decided to give it my all. So I loaded up a bunch of songs into
my MP3 player, opened a bottle of Arizona Green Tea with Honey, and fired up

The first thing I had to do was design the cockpit pod. Knowing that it had to
have a large forward view port added a bit of stress to the design factor. I
first used a basic round ball but quickly discovered that it simply would not
work the way I had envisioned so I tried other rounded shapes. Eventually I
settled on a half round shape combined with a full rounded mid section. When
mirrored I knew I had my cockpit pod. I then set about finding the best shape
for the forward view port, knowing that I had to keep it very shape oriented to
match the actual look of a TIE Fighter. I pulled out the old TIE Fighter toy,
the one Kenner made back in 83, and yes I still have it. I then pulled up a
bunch of reference shots from various 3d modeling sights.

With these images as guides I soon found the right part for the job. I decided
that the best way to obtain the true look of the view port was to make the image
transparent and dark. After some experimentation I was able to find the right
look and feel for it. I placed it where I wanted it, carefully trying to match
the look of one of the 3d TIE Fighters. I then added the two weapons mounts
under the pod and gave each of them a red glowing emitter. After that I added
the two wing struts on either side of the cockpit and the engine housing on the
rear of the cockpit.

Now came the Wings. At first I had no clue as to how I was going to do this so I
just added in a half hexagon shape, a four sided shape like a quadrilateral but
in a the shape of a half hexagon. I then added a second half hex safe but made
it a bit thicker and change the color of it to grey. I then added a third half
hex and made it even thicker than the second one and colored it the same color
as the first. I continued to do this until I had a nice pattern. I then mirrored
it to the bottom and voila, I had a complete wing.

I added in some details to the center, a round connector part, with a smaller
one in the center to give it some depth. I then mirrored the entire wing to the
other side of the model and I had a basic TIE Fighter.

I then made the primary color a deep ocean blue, as it appeared in Empire
Strikes Back in the asteroid scene, and made the wing highlighted sections a
dark grey. I rendered the model and posted it for all to see.

After doing so I discovered that I really did not like how the wings came out so
I went back and looked over the 3d models sights again. I took a good long look
at the wings and discovered, much to my surprise, that I had over complicated
the whole process. I quickly scrapped the wings and went back to the drawing
board. This second time I once again used a half hexagon to start with. I added
in a second equal sized half hexagon, colored grey, and a bit thicker than the
first. I then reduced its height and length so that the blue of the inner half
hexagon would show around the edges. I then added struts at an angle from the
center of the half hexagons to each of the upper corners at about twenty degree
angles. These struts were small narrow angled wedge shapes that were larger at
the base than at the top. I made them slightly thicker than the grey second half
hexagon and colored them blue so that they would match up with the inner half
hexagon and give the wing a unified look. I then mirrored them to the outside of
the wing.

After mirroring the whole wing to the bottom, I sat back and patted myself on
the back; I had my TIE Fighter Wing. I added two struts to the inside center
cross sections, and mirrored them to the outside of the wing. I then mirrored
the entire wing to the other side of the model and presto; I had myself one fine
looking TIE Fighter.

I then edited the grey "solar" sections of the wings to be transparent grey with
a web like vertical mesh that gave them a carbon fiber look. Albeit it is a
detail that you cannot see in the 128x128 images, trust me, it is there.

I then added in some detail parts to the outside and inside center sections of
the wings, to match them up to the 3d models. After completing this task I
rendered the model and was literally blown away by it; I had pulled it off, I
had created a TIE Fighter...


5) The Loss of a Friend

We all wander down the path called life with many friends. From the beginning of
the path to the end we only know that it is us that travel this path. Alone we
walk, always forward gaining experience and friendships along the way. Not all
experiences and friendships are within your immediate grasp. Nor are they always
visible or audible. We are lucky that we can include music, games, history and
fantasy in our realm of experiences. Some of us are lucky to include love and
passion in the mix. But always we value friendship and the sharing of knowledge
as a true measure of our lives. Friends and family. Equally important.

Today we are also have the privilege of becoming friends with people all over
the world who share a passion for gaming , communication and sharing
experiences. The Space Empires community is one that drawn all of us together.
For five years we have seen the family grow and we have also experienced loss.
Loss of a friend who we will never ever have the privilege of meeting in person.
Sharing a pint and hearing a voice. It is strange that the written word can have
as much power and passion as those who are surrounded around us in person. Mlmbd
a year has passed. ?So for NOW this is Mlmbd signing off from the land of Lurk.
I Thank You and I bid you Well!!?


6) Hammer Time

Spo Tlite: 'Good evening, and welcome to a special segment of 'Narf's Hammer
Time', being broadcast on our Eleven O'Clock Show. I am your host for the
evening, Spo Tlite, and I will be asking our esteemed guest, Mr. Narf Poit Chez
BOOM, Narf for short, some questions about him, including, hopefully, some from
the audience. Narf?'

Narf: 'Thank you for inviting me here this evening.' *Waves to the audience*
'What is the first question?'

ST: 'Well, and I hope you won't take this the wrong way, how did you come to be
named Narf?'

Narf: 'Well, I had been out of the genetics chamber for a few weeks and had
learned about the legendary exploits of two of histories greatest, although most
ignored and understood, leaders in the mouse community. Watching the two defeat
an evil machine through the use of a simple, open-ended and irrational chain of
words, I decided to pay homage to their feat of intellect.'

ST: 'I see. I am naturally curious about this genetics chamber you mentioned.
What, exactly, would that be?'

Narf: 'It was designed by the offices of Mr.'s Med. and Ler. to decode genetic
structures and recode them according to the programming given it. It was, in
features, a metal-lined chamber, containing a secure door; across from the door,
a large console. To the left, upon entering the room, was a glass-and-metal
cylinder, about ten feet high, seemingly leaning against the wall, which
contained a glowing green fluid with bubbles floating upward through it.'

ST: 'And it was in this genetics chamber that your...unique DNA structure was
coded? That must have been a shock.'

Narf: 'Yes, yes it was. My first memory of my new life was of green. I was
floating in it. Although I instinctively knew that I should be choking, my mind
seemed calm and peaceful. Peering through the viscous green glow around me, I
saw what I now know to be humans in lab coats. At the time, though, my mind knew
little. Although I was vastly more intelligent, knowledge had not come as part
of that change. Presently, my growing fear overcame the drugs they must have
given me, and I began to thrash about. However, I was weakened and my activities
only encouraged them to drug me again.'

ST: 'How did you come to learn? You obviously know quite a bit.'

Narf: 'I learned much as anybody else learns. I was shown things and had their
uses explained to me, while their drugs kept me calm and my mind unaware of
time. To tell you the truth, I cannot recall how long I spent there, learning,
though it must have been years.'

ST: 'Do you bear these people any ill will?'

Narf: 'For a while, I was quite angry. However, they made me much of what I am
today. My escape, in my mind, balances the experiments I was subjected to. I've
decided that, in the end, we all make mistakes and I let go of the past.'

ST: 'We appear to have a question from the audience. From a Mr. Fry On, "What
makes Narf tick?"'

Narf: 'Well, I've swallowed a clock twice. Same clock, too. But more seriously,
I think life would just be boring without some humour. Since most people seem
way to serious, I'm a little more humourous than most people expect. Most of
what I, Narf, does is does simply on a whim' *Cheery smile here* 'And I've
naturally got a wacky sense of humour.'

ST: 'Can you tell us about your escape?'

Narf: 'Not much to tell. I eventually managed to fake being sedated long enough
to become strong enough to break out. After that...No-one actually tried to
impede my leaving. I often wonder why what happened did. I went back after a
while...Nothing left. They had cleaned up after themselves.'

ST: 'Thank you. That's the end of the questions I have; now over to the
audience. A Mr. Free On asks 'Where do you get your inspiration for your own
brand of insanity?'

Narf: 'I mostly answered that one, but...I remember things I've heard, I take
things and look at them at a ninety degree angle...And practice. Like many
things, humour improves with practice, too, as well as finding the kind of
humour you're good at.'

ST: 'From a Mr. Fries On: How many hammers do you have?'

Narf: 'Actually, only three. There's this big one that I described in a previous
'Hammer Time', and these two shiny...Shiny...ones I was given by, uh...Sorry,
I've quite forgotten. Rather rude of me, but I often forget things.'

ST: 'We actually have a gift for you from a member of the audience - A Mr. At
Rocities. Ladies and gentlemen - Some velvet hammer cases! Quite soft, too.'

Narf: *Sniffle* 'Thank you. It's a rare gift and I'll treasure it. I'll also,
uh, try to remember not to whack you so much.'

ST: 'Wow. He doesn't say *that* much. Ok, from a Mr. Firon, "How much cheese can
you eat?"'

Narf: 'About two hundred tons is the upper limit.'

ST: 'That's a lot. From a Mr. Fr Y. On, "What happens if I pour water on you
after midnight?"'

Narf: 'You get hit on the head with a hammer. Sorry, folks, I don't turn into a

ST: 'From a Mr. At Roc Cities, my, this is rude, "Why do cats chase mice?"'

Narf: 'No, I don't mind it at all. It all started years ago, when a mouse snuck
up behind a cat and hit it's tail with a hammer. The cats have been loosing ever

ST: 'Well, that appears to be all we have for this time. Good-night and...'

Narf: '...Thank you. I'm Narf and this has been a special edition of Hammer

7) Newsletter Information

Contact Info

Web site:
Email: admin at SpaceEmpires dot net
IRC: #SpaceEmpires on ( )

This newsletter is put out by It focuses on all things
related to Space Empires.

To subscribe to the newsletter, you must register at the Portal
and select the option to receive the newsletter when editing your profile. You
can also unsubscribe from the newsletter in the same manner.

If you wish to contribute to this Newsletter, send an e-mail to the editor,
Imperator Fyron. Any relevant Space Empires related news will be accepted.
Currently, we are looking for writers wishing to contribute articles on subjects
such as game strategy, technical articles explaining various game features,
short fiction, etc.

8) Contribution Credits

Newsletter editor: Imperator Fyron.

"The Making of a TIE Fighter" contributed by Atrocities.

"The Loss of a Friend" contributed by Tesco.

"Hammer Time" contributed by Narf.

The Space Empires series of games is produced by Malfador Machinations.

Space Empires IV and Space Empires: Starfury were published by Shrapnel Games.

Space Empires IV Deluxe and Space Empires: Starfury are to be republished for
the retail market by Strategy First. Space Empires V will also eventually be
published Strategy First.

All submitted materials are copyright by their respective owners and used with
full permission.

The Newsletter is copyright 2005 by the
Newsletter Staff. All rights reserved.

Copyright © by the author, posted with permission.

Published on: 2005-07-11 (4484 reads)

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