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Menu Map

avatar Crash

In the game, there has been for some time, an 'overview map', showing all the various solar systems in which the game takes place, but there is no way of accessing it in the compiled releases.
This is because it wasn't finished to the point where I was pleased enough to show it off.

Equally, it would've meant adding and re-arranging menu options, in order to access it, and it was hard to see how to shoe-horn it into the flow of the game's briefings and levels.

Now that the briefing screen's 'intra-solar system' map works in principle, I figured that the simplest, most streamlined thing is to make a scaled-down version of the overview map for the mission select menu screen.
That menu will still show the auto-generated thumbnail of the level itself, when the mission selector matrix is highlighted, but before that, when you click "Start", it will give you this little overview.
The white brackets (which need some embellishment) move to the corresponding solar system as you cycle through the levels.

Looking back, I guess the hidden map was at least the start of an earlier attempt at what's just been put into the mission briefing screen in the last version.

So ... not finished, but I wanted to show that I hadn't just released 0.84g and decided to stop for another while.
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v8.84g Released

avatar Crash

It's done.  Use the link the right-hand column to download.

I tested it and it looks OK.  Let me know if anything seems off with it.
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Articulated, 3D-printed Dai-X - Updated

avatar Crash

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Fan Artwork - IrresponsiblePics

avatar Crash

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Breaking the coder's block ...

avatar Crash

I don't want to release 0.84g until I have the 'planet map' thing in the briefing, which is something that I wanted to have in the game for a long time, so that the player would have an idea of 'where they were'.

Since the first chapter of missions takes place in the Simetra System, and the player returns there to defend it at the end of the game, it makes sense to kick off by starting to create a moving model of that solar system.

It wants a bit of fine-tuning, some overlay elements and some labels for the planets.
For level 1, it will get an animated path to indicate the location/course of the alliance fleet.
For level 2, it will have an overlay to represent the asteroid belt.

I think this is going to be quite cool.... if ... I can ever get it done.
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Smart watches

avatar Crash

Little while ago, I noticed that my old G-Shock that fought alongside for 15 years started to get intermittent problems with its solar power.
It's been damaged and repaired lots of times and Casio no longer have spares to fix its module.

I 'invested' in a Microsoft band to take some pressure off it. Microsoft hasn't made these in years and the app was cancelled afterwards.  You can pick these up for £20 new on eBay.

You need to use a band unlocker app for Windows to activate these bands over USB cable to make them work now.
Once you do that, they're pretty sweet, even without Microsoft's app. 

I noticed as I re-watched Zentrix the other week that all the characters make heavy use of their smartwatches to communicate with eachother.
We went from 2003 when the show was made and they didn't exist to now where they're all-over.

At the same time, I went to feed the hens yesterday and this thing warned me that UV was high and gave you options for monitoring it.
That reminded me about Ninestein's 'Tim' smartwatch in Terrahawks, which tracked the level of toxins in the air given off by Sram's green alien blood.

In 2065, nobody will remark at Brains talking to his watch.
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Armoured Sylph

avatar Crash

Happy Easter to all!
I doodled this while in a meeting.

The super pack for the Sylph increases the ship's range, resilience and firepower.
I figure that, additional to the super pack, two large missile containers could be attached to back of the ship, containing anti-ship missile missiles, rather than the anti-aircraft missiles normally stored in the internal bays.
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Infinity Magazine Article

avatar Crash

When reviewing the front page updates, I remembered that I had added the specific pages from Infinity magazine's article on Star Fleet to a hidden directory on the site for safe-keeping.

Since some time has passed since the relevant issue was published in 2020, I figure nobody will mind me making the directory public.
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Keibunsha Encyclopedia 56th Edition

avatar Crash

This arrived over FedEx the other day. There are 3 pages given over to Star Fleet, including one of the 32 colour pages.
I finished the scans.  Click on the image above to check them out.
I'm not sure what show features on the left of the above image.
The things in the upper-left remind me of Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog, but 10 years or-so earlier.

On the shipping label, it mentions "BILL SENDER".
How great would it be to work in shipping and have the name Bill Sender?
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Ruby 2

avatar Crash

I finally got my printer working again to print the outline from Shonen Jump.

I intended to do a colour version of Ruby this way initially, by hand, but this way, we see the outputs of both methods.

I received the Kubunshu encyclopedia that has a little summary on X Bomber, but haven't scanned it yet.

At the same time, I won an auction on a Showa colouring book that I'd not seen before.
It's smaller than the others but has a unique cover.
You can see the photos from the listing and I'll scan it once I get my hands on it:
	Colouring Book C

You might notice that the Showa section has been made a bit more organised, so that people aren't trying to find things in a never-ending wall of images.
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avatar Crash

You might recognise this illustration as Ruby; the main character that gets added in the Shonen Jump X Bomber manga.
Unfortunately, she doesn't feature on the colour inside cover; nor any of the colour preview images on the outside cover or contents pages.
That means that we have no idea about her eye or hair colour etc.

Way I imagined it when reading the manga, was that she had blue eyes and strawberry blonde hair.

Anyway, I lifted this outline from p411 of the August 1980 Shonen Jump.

I would've coloured this by hand, except that my printer threw a red screen of death.
So, until I get it working, or I stump up the money for the Epson A3 ink tank photo printer that I want, I had to do it in Photoshop.

I think she came out quite well.  The hard lines and the anime illustration style remind me of the cutscenes to Zone 66, (which is a wonderful game, if you give it a little spin in DosBox).

I think I'm going to do a few different versions of this and have a play with the values.
The background is the moonbase reception hall, that someone was kind enough to provide an image of on twitter recently.

There is a story to that which can serve as a next week's Star Fleet Saturday.
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Simetra Defence Directorate Logo

avatar Crash

I spent the evening playing with Photoshop's upscaling algorithms and reconstructing the Simetra Defence Directorate logo, which I made too small originally.
The new, "preserve details 2.0" option is really something.

Simetra is a small, mostly aquatic planet; colonised in 2749, that declared independence from Earth in 2874.
The planet is extremely rich in underwater minerals.

The defence directorate has been fighting the Alliance for decades.
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Forum Email Shakedown and Site Updates

avatar Crash
It was clear that the SFXB email functionality wasn't doing what it should.
I reconfigured the email settings yesterday and made sure that it could send test emails, that it's contact page worked, and that we could register and activate a number of test users with various 3rd-party email accounts.
One thing to make sure of, though, is to check your spam folder for activation emails.

At the same time, I cleared up the site's homepage, removing the activity overview, since not as many different areas of the site are receiving updates currently.
I did some work on the Version History page for the game and improved the site's error handling.

Let me know if you see any areas where the site needs special attention/improvement.
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Alliance Astrofighter by Shinchan1st

avatar Crash

It's a Star Fleet Friday ...
I found photos of a nice astrofighter model, made by twitter user; shinchan1st, yesterday.

I like the metallic paint finish.  The colour is real nice.  It could use that camoflage pattern that these things have, applying to it.
I think it might be based on the Mark model kit from Japan, which you can still get quite easily.
It looks very close to what's in the show, although maybe the cockpit bubble was a bit smaller.

Images have been added to Star Fleet > Fan Models page.
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Forum Update

avatar Crash

The SFXB forum has been updated from 3.3.2 to 3.3.5, which broke it for a short while.
There were some issues with the templates, so I took the opportunity to find a better, more modern one and modify it again to make it a bit more Star Fleet-oriented.

At the same time, the board received some configuration changes.
More info: Site Changes
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French Bomber-X Comics

avatar Crash

I got back to scanning the remainder of the first of the four volumes of the French Bomber-X comic books.

I will try and make a start on volume 2 before long.

You might have noticed an issue with the site not displaying the descriptions of various content folders.
This was due to the security software having a major and unprovoked falling out with the PHP script of the website.
I found a really nice workaround for it and it's now working fine.
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Rain Song Chapter 8

avatar Crash

Rain Song, after a number of years, has finally been updated with chapter 8.
Chapter 9 is on its way and is about half-way finished.

This chapter is quite a big one and was a little tricky, in that it connects a few things together.
Anyway, you find out one or two things in it.

These things can always use a bit more checking and editing, but I'd like to hear what people think about it
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Various bits of news ...

avatar Crash

I found an interesting Japanese encyclopaedia of monster and sci-fi shows from 1980 that seems to have quite a bit about X Bomber.  We will see just how much, when it arrives.

I'm also going to resume work on scanning the French comic books so that we have a full set of scans on here.
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January Update

avatar Crash

I had some work that ran aground a long time ago, cleaning up and improving some of the old sketches that went into production of the game.
I got that stuff finished on Friday night/Saturday.
Sometimes it's good to come back to something and attack it with a fresh perspective.

The following have been added:
	Alliance Minelayer
	New Chicago City 1
	Simetra - Infinity Class Prototype
	Simetra - S60 Stinger

I notice that that there are some sketches that I added the 'X Project' sketchbook (which is a black Daler A3 sketchbook, into which, all X-Bomber sketches are pasted), that don't seem to have ever scanned.
When I get proper access to my office again, I will scan them out of there and add them to the site.
The ones I have in mind are a bigger illustration of the S60 Stinger Simetran fighter and an earlier illustration of the Alliance command carrier.  

I'm tidying up the website's filesystem and moving some content from the news database into the main site content, to make the site more of a browsable collection and less like a blog.
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Brad - Legtrax

avatar Crash

It's Star Fleet and it's Friday!
Brad has finished work on Legtrax...
I chose this graphic for the front page because I really like the angle and the appearance of the engines.
You can find many more images on the SFXB forum and in the Star Fleet fan work area:
	Yet another X-Bomber 3d build
	Brad Smith - New Work

In other news, I downloaded and checked a full backup of the site, which is something that I should do more often.
The footprint of the site is about 24GB.

I've been working on chapters 8 and 9 of my Rain Song story that accompanies the game.
Also, I've been working on the sprites and damage effects for the battlecruiser in level 15 of the game.

I also contacted a number of translation companies for a quote to translate our scans of the Japanese manga, so that I could understand the story a bit better.
Machine translation of Japanese can be very hit-and-miss.
No-one's come back to me yet, so if you know of someone who might be able to help us, let me know.
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