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 Post subject: Interview with Lancer Solurus *
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:40 am 
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[align=center]Welcome to another addition to FreelancerCommunity.net! As Freelancer ages, and us too, we thought it was time to start honoring those who have helped to make this such an enjoyable adventure. From tool makers to coders to mod builders to board admins, welcome to the 'FreelancerCommunity.net Interviews'!

I have gathered most emails for these prominent members of our community and have sent out many of them (but not all). If you think you deserve an interview, feel free to email me [email protected]. You may also nominate someone for an interview, please give me their email.

Interviews will be posted in the order I get them back and will be showcased for at least one week. All interviews will be archived in our forums for prosperity.
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Interview with Lancer Solurus for Solurus mod and many many tools.

What names have you been known by in the Freelancer Community?


I have only been known by Lancer Solurus only. I have been using that name since 1985, long before Freelancer came along.

What part of the world do you live in?
Memphis Tennessee in the USA

How old are you?
I just turn 40 back in March, I'm getting old...

How many years have you played Freelancer?
I started playing Freelancer 2 days after it was released and I have been having fun ever since.

Have you released or helped to build a mod? Please describe it.
Yes, I wrote Solurus Systems MOD topping out at over 700 megs. I also started on a Star Trek total conversion but this was about the time the GLS started disappearing so I stopped making it.
I have also help out more MOD makers than I can think of with problems and adding new features.

Have you written a tutorial? Please tell us about it.
Multiple tutorials, you can find them scattered across several websites including my own. Now it looks like an ALE tutorial will be next on the list...

Have you created any tools for the community to use? What does it do?
Yes, I have made quite a few programs that are specifically for Freelancer. Probably the most well known program is the FL Error Checker. It took me 4 months to write that program and it is still being updated.

FL Error Checker - for finding errors ranging from misspelled names to missing hardpoints
FL Clan Editor - used to manage all of the reps in a MOD
DBS Autoupdater & Creator - made for those who have their own hosting on the web, a fully automated autoupdater for Freelancer
FL Cargo Exchanger - used to swap out cargo on a player's ship, used to overcome the problem of FL not supporting the use of cargo for bartering
FL Player Cleaner - used to clean player account files, removes bad hash codes and it completely automated, can also be used to make a hash list for reverse hash lookups
Ioncross Game Data Maker - allows a server op to quickly generate game data file for their MOD
FL Weapon Balancer - a weapon calculator and scanner, helps to balance weapon classes
Hash & CRC Calculator - shows signed and unsigned hash and CRC codes, also shows the correct value for the effect_crc used for ALE fx entries
ALE Editor - used to decompile and recompile ALE fx files

I have created many others that I have never released though, I even ripped the entire game at one point, there is about 500 megs of data in the original FL files...

Have you ever been an Admin of a mod community or website?
Yes, I am at this moment. I am the owner of Digital Brilliance and also an admin of Universal Modding.

Okay, let's get to the meat and potatoes! How and when did you first get involved in the wonderful game of Freelancer?
I got involved in it 2 days after it came out. During the first 2 years I did nothing but play it, mostly in MP. In 2005 when WTS went down, I decided it was time to start modding. So came about SSM which became quite popular back when there were still alot of people playing. With so few players now I recently took it offline and let the owner of The Rift use it for his USA server.

What aspects of Freelancer are you most interested in?
At this time - special effects with the ALE files

What groups / clans have you been affiliated with?
I have been the leader of many clans, most notably the Federation on SSM. I don't mind playing as a regular player but I am a leader at heart. I tend to be the owner of a clan...

List your accomplishments and projects you have participated in.
I have written entire languages, graphic engines, animation programs, tools, rippers. I am currently in the middle of writing a new game engine that is just as easily moddable as Freelancer.

List any awards, offices or positions you have held.
I am the main manager of an electronics repair shop, I have even been called upon by NAP (North American Philips - Philips/Magnavox products) for technical support on their own products

How has the Freelancer scene changed since you started playing?
It was pretty good a couple of years ago when the scene was still strong. Then I started noticing that alot more players began to cheat and it did cause the loss of several servers. It does look like the interest in the game has started to pick up again.

Are you currently active on any servers?
Not really, I play WTS, the Rift and sometimes on SSM when I put the server online.

What mod really stands out in your mind?
WTS for the massive updates since I have last played
NS Universe for his dedication to perfection
FL:WT for the new special effects and the wild systems
I haven't played many lately so I am not an expert in this area

What do you find most interesting about Freelancer...the single player aspect, clan wars, being a pirate, a cop, vanilla servers, hugely modded, Star wars, what?
I prefer modded servers. I wore out the vanilla version long ago. I am a Star Trek fan and prefer to play on servers with those ships in them.

What will be your role in Freelancer in the coming years?
I will continue to release new programs for it as long as there are modders. Once I get my game engine up to speed that will most likely dwindle.

Describe in detail any memorable Freelancer experiences.
Hitting a planet at 200k and bouncing halfway across the system

Why do you spend countless hours building mods, making tools, answering questions or writing tutorials?
Because I love to do it. I am very skilled at it and like to share my work.

What other games do you regularly play?
Armada II, Empire Earth, Maelstrom and Monopoly

Do you have any hobbies other than games?
Programming, building computers, drinking beer and playing with my wife ;)

Is there anything new coming up in the future for you?
Turning 41, ughhhh

How do you view the future of Freelancer?
I see the player base increasing for the next few months while the stores are selling new copies. Once that is over with the players and server ops will have to keep the interest alive in it or it will slowly dwindle away to nothing.

Can you recommend any others in the community for an interview?
Forsaken, Louva Deus, Colin Sanby, Cheese on Toast, Friendly Fire (I believe u already did him), Torch, Chips, Wodka, Nightstalker

Are there any last things you would like to add?
Keep playing, there is many more things to come

Thank you for the interview! It is the contribution of folks like you that help to keep the game and the community alive!
Your welcome

The Freelancer Community Team.

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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 9:50 pm 
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700 mb's! I remember playing Solurus for a week. Sadly, there weren't enough players to keep my interest. What did you put into that mod that made it so big?

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 Post Posted: Fri May 02, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Everything, I built entire systems, planets, bases, stars, ships (450+) and many more things. I used my own custom software for updating which means I could update at any time and the players could still play. Sadly a huge clan war started and it ended up killing the server. It was fun while it lasted but after that few would play on it. I am still updating it though with the new ALE stuff and playing on it by myself.

It is one of the largest FL mods out there and hopefully someday somebody will want to host a copy of it.


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