The coming together of two loves – my beloved Mac Mini and Frontier First Encounters!

Today is a GOOD day, it’s one of those days of revelation where the past and the future meet and all is well. It’s a day where the simplest and cheapest of things makes your heart fly with delight and the world is a better place all round. I had assumed that such a day would not occur until the release of Civilization 5 (the ONLY reason I still have a Windows PC is to play that one game!) but that rant will wait until September for the rant today is almost as noteworthy.

First of all, a preface. I have ALWAYS loved the final Elite game of the series, regardless of all the bugs, the crappy graphics and so on. For those whom want more info, click here. It’s open-ended play made it infinitely more immersive than modern games which more often than not are just a linear passage of preset scenes and scenarios. And so in the beginning there was Gametek and they were good but the game wasn’t. Widely accepted to be the buggiest game ever to get released, it bombed quicker than a B-17 over Berlin in 1945 but all was not lost.

Enter the mighty and totally awesome John Jordan and the recompiled replacement version of the game called JJFFE. The man has worked for YEARS improving the game and frankly I’d buy this man a drink anytime, which was great if you actually get an original copy of the game to play it legally, which of course most people couldn’t.

After a lot of messing about and procrastination, and after a campaign I had some small involvement in getting the game released as shareware (feel free to verify that by searching the archives of the newsgroup alt.fan.elite by the way), Frontier: Elite 2 and Frontier: First Encounters were both released as shareware on PC with the former also being made available on the Atari ST and Amiga as well.

This rant is a huge thank you to Paul Roberts who has ported SDL JJFFE 2.8a7 to the Mac. Download it via his website here but be aware that you will need to have access to some of the original FFE files too AND make sure you pay the shareware fee if you play the game properly and support Frontier Developments by so doing.

For those Windoze users who think that every game has to have the latest flashiest graphics, check out GLFFE or FFED3D but be aware that some work will be involved in getting the game working as you want it.

Now dear reader, I’m off to search for a few credits of profit between Farece and Vanguess!

admin posted at 2010-8-7 Category: Computing