The FringeSpace Project


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Fringespace Moves to the Unreal Engine

Fringespace has become a game project, not a mod project, effective immediately. There is lots of work to do, and most of it will be on the back end in the immediate future, but we have decided to move forward with a complete game and will be utilizing the Unreal Engine for all future development.

Before we say anything else, we want to offer a heartfelt thank you to the FSO/SCP team, Hard Light Productions, and the extended mod community that has graciously given to us over the years. We appreciate you all, and we wouldn’t have got here without your help. We’ve given this move a great deal of thought in the recent past, and while we’ve enjoyed working with FSO, and alongside all of the other mod teams, we’ve finally decided that we just can’t do what we ultimately wanted to do within that platform. FSO is a great project, and we wish every mod which continues to use it all the best.

Tachyon: The Fringe’s multiplayer action is still the best space combat experience ever produced in the history of space simulation. Our ultimate goal is to produce a game with all of those elements, with all the enhancements that modern gaming can offer that experience. Unreal’s multiplayer system can give us everything we want in that regard, and the engine can handle all the visual enhancements that the title has always deserved.

For the immediate future, our plans are to build the framework for Tachyon’s unique flight and combat model. That is what makes the game what it is. We still have the same visual assets, and they will be of use in the future – but the core gameplay, especially the flight model – is of paramount importance.

We thank you all very much for your patience. Small projects like this often take twists and turns with the vicissitudes of life. We hope you will bear with us through this change, and that we’ll see you in the Fringe in the not too distant future.

Just as a personal note – it’s good to be back. As some of you know, I’ve taken a very extended hiatus from the project due to family concerns and job requirements. There has never, ever been anything else like Tachyon: The Fringe. Those of you who know me, know that there are very few people who have loved, or played, this game more than I have. Some of those few have worked with us on this project, and may do so again one day. Whatever else this may be, it has always been a labor of love for me to recreate the best darn game I have ever played.

Again, it’s great to be back in the saddle. I look forward to giving you some progress reports soon. Last, but by no means least – special thanks to JGZinv for keeping the faith for so long, and z64 for his herculean efforts over the years. Everyone owes those two a whole heck of a lot.

I’m back in black – and the Demon Pirate rides again in the Arena. Come get some.

-Joshua “RazorsKiss” Whipps

Greetings space scallywags.

It’s been a while since I wrote an update on the project. This will be a bit long, but very important, so please stick with me.

October has historically been a time of change for the project, we started the last week of September 2006 between just myself and RazorsKiss. Over time that grew to about 13 members and reduced back down. There were quite a few stumbling blocks along the way. Some of those in our personal lives, and many functional setbacks.

2006 in the game development world might as well be ancient history. When we looked across the landscape there was barely even a handful of options to “mod” Tachyon into. Things we now consider staples of industry like Unity, didn’t start gaining legs under their projects until 2007 or UE in 2009. It was barren territory and a different universe. As you know we settled into the Freespace 2 Open community and worked within that framework ever since. We’ve had the pleasure and honor of talking to a few of the original Tach devs over the years and I’d like to think we helped our fellow mods at times leading to a positive, if relatively quiet, presence in the community. We’ve been blessed to learn from and work with everyone.

Ultimately however, the last few years we’ve been asking ourselves “where are we and where do we want to go with this?” Around 2016 we honestly stalled. A huge part of that was not having the features we needed to make progress. Can’t finish a HUD, can’t finish a weapon, ship handling, and so on ad infinitum. Coupled with life stuff, hosting being taken away, losing our file management system, it hurt a lot. We backed up everything, so nothing was truly lost, but it’s comparable to being evicted from your house with no notice. You flounder around for a while and have to find yourself again.

So the team has collectively come to a decision, and unlike you often hear with old mods, it’s not us closing down. We’ve determined to abandon development on the FSO mod, and pursue Unreal Engine two ways.

First, UE is now a very mature engine that several other space games have used over time. It practically has a feature for everything, and the forthcoming enhancements make us all that much more excited for it. We have always firmly believed Tachyon has the best and most fun flight model, and it deserves a true high fidelity, complex world, continuation. We’re also aware THQNordic now has a presence in the USA, and when they purchased Novalogic’s assets they called for project proposals for those licenses. If there is any chance at the project going commercial, becoming official, it has to be done on a licensable engine.

Make no mistake, we’re keenly aware this tantamount to starting over, and reinventing the wheel because UE is a toolset. It’s not pre-set for being a space sim. It’s a cold, empty universe, with an instruction set on how to code DNA left behind by the code gods.

To see the ultimate vision we wanted to in 2006 however, it’s a necessary leap of faith. We’re also more experienced now than a couple of fresh-faced mod noobs in 2006. Those years were not a waste.

Secondly, we have a sub-goal we hope will benefit all space sim fans. Again it’s 2020, when we looked at alternatives to going to UE there isn’t much out there that’s moddable. So much now is games as a service, or locked down like Squadrons, or dead because it is so old/inflexible. Before we load in the Tachyon assets and approach THQ, we intend to build up the various features that all space sims have needed. This sounds like a ton of work, but really there is a great deal of crossover when you start making a list. We want to document this and offer it as a prepared mod kit to the world to spur space sim development. The bottom line is that we’ll have to largely build this anyway, to make Tachyon. It’s a waypoint on the roadmap.

Are we any less ambitious or crazy than when we started? Nope.

We do however have some renewed vigor in the direction we want to go and some hope for where we are taking things. We anticipate we’ll have an easier time recruiting for the project with this path as well.

Support that I’ve offered over the years for Tachyon will continue. Believe it or not, we are still able to host public games ourselves 21 years later.

If you’d like to help us with the project in any capacity, please join us on our Discord. If you can’t contribute like that, feel free to drop by to chat, or join us for a game in Tach for old times sake. Emotional / fan support is still support, and appreciated.

So FringeSpace is here to stay, and we look forward to opening that megagate to an even more amazing universe for you.

Thanks for sticking with us on this journey.


Multiplayer Setup Guide

Heya folks. We discovered last night that it is once again possible to host and join multiplayer Arena and Base Wars Matches on Novaworld. The “dedicated” Novaworld servers (with their expanded 64-player capability) remain down (probably for the foreseeable future), but you can play again, should you desire. Remember, this is a setup guide for Novaworld games, NOT LAN/IPX. Here’s how:

Step 1) Clean Install

From the original disc, Steam, GoG, or what have you, do the base install. If necessary, especially from an older disc copy, update to 36r, using the updater you can find on our Downloads page. The downloadable versions from Novalogic, GoG and Steam are already updated to 36r.

Note: Older installs of the game, especially modded versions, will have serious issues with multiplayer if you attempt to install the 2.6 multi fix. We strongly recommend that you make a clean install – unless you happen to have a pristine copy, just downloaded and/or unmodified – or have a copy with all of the following steps already completed.

Do not install the following out of order.

Once installed, you have a choice to make. Modded, or unmodded.

Option 1a) Unmodded

If you don’t need to host extra maps, or fly extra ships, don’t install the Tachyon Service Bay 2.0. You’ll have a patch to install, in order to play multiplayer still, however – whether or not you install this mod. The TSB includes MP fix 2.5, which has since been deprecated. If this is your choice, skip to Step 2.

Option 1b) Modded

The Tachyon Service Bay mod (found here) will allow you to select 3 options: The latter two options exclude each other, and each of those two will break the singleplayer game. There’s nothing we can do about this – it’s a limitation of the engine, and what it is possible to do with it.

If you select the first, you cannot use modded Base Wars or Arena ships as a pilot – if you select the Base Wars mod, you can’t play Arena (at all!) – and if you select Arena, you can’t play Base Wars (at all!).

If you play multiple game modes, we suggest that you install a copy for each game mode you want modded – if you play singleplayer, the latter two modes will break it – so you’ll need a separate install for those if you want to continue your campaign!

Also, be advised: The Multiplayer Fix included with any TSB installation is deprecated. You still have to install the MP 2.6 fix at the end.

Multiplayer Fix + Maps:

This option will not break any game modes – and while you won’t have access to the modded ships in this version, you can still play all three game types in a single installation. In addition, you will be able to host a wide variety of modded maps, for both game types. This is a great option for a server installation.

Base Wars Mod + Multiplayer Fix + Maps:

This option will break Arena play and singleplayer modes. What it does is add 10 maps, replace 3 of the ship options for each side with alternate ships – and moves the Archangel/Hammer down one slot, to replace the Phoenix & Claymore. There are a couple of other minor changes – see the TSB readme for additional information. Unmodded BW players can play alongside modded players.

Arena Mod + Multiplayer Fix + Maps:

This option will break Base Wars play and singleplayer modes. This mod adds 19 maps, as well as the Corvus, Enforcer, Demon Pirate, Manta, Gar, Piranha, and Nighthawk fighters to your Arena roster, and unlocks all weapon slots on all ships.

Step 2) Visual Enhancements

If you’ve already got the base game installed, now you need to get it to work on a modern system (Post Windows XP). Download the Visual Enhancements mod. You can find this update here.

This mod is designed to work with the TSB, and adds widescreen and higher resolution support – as well as most of the original graphical effects only viewable on the Voodoo cards Tach was designed for, which were hidden under DirectX modes. The SETUP INSTRUCTIONS file included will tell you how to set it up. There are a couple of common issues you may encounter – the file above will also tell you how to ameliorate those problems.

Step 3) Multiplayer Fix 2.6

The server address has changed several times over the years. This fix updates the server IP for the Novaworld lobby. This can also be found on the Downloads page. Check the readme included with this file, but the basic idea is:

a) Unzip all those files

b) copy them to the install folder of the copy of Tachyon you want updated


d) See you in game!