Privateer remade
March 7, 2005 4:28 PM   Subscribe

Independent coders remake Origin's Privateer. Once upon a time, Wing Commander and Free Enterprise had a beautiful baby. Then the dastardly Electronic Arts killed Origin Systems, the maker of the Wing Commander and Privateer series. The townspeople trembled in fear. From where would come their salvation? Sure, they had Freelancer, but you couldn't even use a joystick with that game! For a long time, it looked like the decent HOTAS and Sci Fi loving populace would be doomed to wander stickless through the desert of action oriented Space Simulation games, when Lo! from the far away land of Independent Game Makers came the 1.0 release of the Privateer remake for Linux, Windows and OS X simultaneously. And the people played it, and it was good. [via /.] [more inside]
posted by shmegegge (29 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Of course, the people could have used DOSBox, but the people loves them some 3d.
posted by shmegegge at 4:29 PM on March 7, 2005


Dude, the no joystick was the best part of Freelancer! Man, controlling ships with a mouse was so smooth and sweet. Screw joysticks, man: innovative mouse control is the way of the future. (Plus, I'm too cheap to get a joystick.)
posted by graventy at 4:40 PM on March 7, 2005


I couldn't get Privateer to work on DOSBox or even in Win98 with the drivers loaded DOS stylee. Forums reiterate this issue and pretty much say tough luck. You pretty much need a DOS 6.22 installation to get the orginal Privateer to work. After a few tries at this for the past couple of years, this is a much welcome sight.
posted by mnology at 4:59 PM on March 7, 2005


I agree that the mouse worked out really well in Freelancer. It's different from using a joystick with the old school sims, sure, but I don't think any worse. You probably had your tongue firmly planted in cheek with your "you couldn't even use a joystick with that game" comment, but the occasional input device chauvinism I see (usually from the "joysticks and gamepads suck!" crowd) makes even less sense than the freaks I still encounter who still insist that "digital photography isn't really photography because there's no film." Yeah, okay.

But anyhow, Origin -- now there's a name that belongs up there with Looking Glass. Privateer was one of those genre-defining games. Good times, good memories.

Except for that whole Wing Commander movie thing.
posted by DaShiv at 5:01 PM on March 7, 2005


Thank you.
posted by nthdegx at 5:02 PM on March 7, 2005


yeah, the joystick thing was tongue-in-cheek, I was using it as a way to point out that if you want a great privateer style game that uses a joystick, just play the original with its new revamped graphics! I, personally, adore Freelancer and still replay the game englessly.
posted by shmegegge at 5:05 PM on March 7, 2005


and I also replay it endlessly, not just englessly.
posted by shmegegge at 5:06 PM on March 7, 2005


I can't wait to get home and check it all out. Privateer is my all-time favorite game. I have been known to just leave the game running at the landing pad in New Detroit just as background noise. Hell, I'd pay real money for a screensaver of that.

Getting Privateer to work on Windows taught me more about the nuts and bolts of that operating system than anything in my IT career.
posted by FYKshun at 5:07 PM on March 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


privateer sucked away far too much of my life. damn you. damn you.

next thing you'll tell me there's a complete re-release of star control II under a different name due to trademark restrictions that I can run on every platform I own!
posted by Jerub at 5:08 PM on March 7, 2005


Oh, by the way, Egosoft's X: Beyond the Frontier and X-Tension were excellent games in the same vein, and they actually run on modern equipment. Haven't played X2 yet.

EVE Online, too, if you're in the mood for an MMOG.
posted by FYKshun at 5:11 PM on March 7, 2005


Oh, by the way, Egosoft's X: Beyond the Frontier and X-Tension were excellent games in the same vein, and they actually run on modern equipment. Haven't played X2 yet.

Ooooohhh, I wish you hadn't told me that. I have too many unplayed good games as it is! NOOOOOOES! MY FREE TIME!
posted by shmegegge at 5:15 PM on March 7, 2005


It's worth mentioning that, if you want to play the original Privateer, there's a pretty good program called MyJEMM which lets you play it under Windows 9x systems.

Unfortunately, if you're on an NT Windows, you're outta luck.
posted by InnocentBystander at 5:23 PM on March 7, 2005


Both Privateer and its add-on Righteous fire can be run in the latest version of DOSBox. I prefer to use the D-fend GUI to tweak all the DOSBox settings. If anyone's interested, check the DOSBox forums or email me to get information on specific settings.

Jerub, I can't tell if you're kidding, but if not check out Urquan Masters.
posted by FissionChips at 5:31 PM on March 7, 2005


I just wish there was more character interaction and depth in these sorts of games. Freelancer, as much as I enjoyed it, ended up coming right back to the usual scene/action/scene/action/scene/action loop just like the old Wing Commanders. I mean, that is good and all, but it looked like there was so much more potential there. The multiple competing factions, the huge systems... and you couldn't use any of it for anything but hauling cargo or progressing in the one linear plot.

I want a massively multiplayer faction-based multi-path space simulator, damn it.

And a pony.
posted by blacklite at 6:10 PM on March 7, 2005


auuugh i have no TIIIIME
posted by mwhybark at 6:47 PM on March 7, 2005


Oooh, this thread saves me an AskMe question:

What's a good text-based trading adventure game? Age of Sail, space, I don't really care. I remember playing a game on an ancient (circa 1986) amber screened personal computer in which you flew between different star systems, traded various legal (food, minerals) and illegal (slaves, narcotics, firearms) goods for credits, fought the occasional battle, upgraded your ship and so on ad nauseum. Like I said, I don't care if I'm smuggling nukes from Betelguese to Alpha Centauri or running rum from Tortuga to Lisbon so long as there's trading, an economy, fighting, upgrading and moral ambiguity.

I know about Space Trader, and that's pretty much what I'm looking for, but for PC (Win2K, XP) rather than Palm. I also know about Galactic Trader, and that looks the part too, but I want something local that doesn't require telnetting. Something that doesn't need to be installed (ie just unzip and run) would be good, too.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:03 PM on March 7, 2005


entertainingly-written post
posted by neuron at 7:13 PM on March 7, 2005


I mean, that is good and all, but it looked like there was so much more potential there. The multiple competing factions, the huge systems... and you couldn't use any of it for anything but hauling cargo or progressing in the one linear plot.

I guess you missed out on the multiplayer modded servers for Freelancer. Nowadays Freelancer servers are pretty slim pickings, but back when the game was hot I was playing on a nifty RPG server as a Zoner pilot walking the dangerous line between protecting shipping interests in the Border Worlds (when we weren't fighting one side or the other in a trade war that is) while trying not to piss off the powerful and popular Corsair and Outcast factions, who were our neighbors. I lost many a (custom) ship defending the various Zoner Freeports from attack, unless I was losing them either while escorting, plundering, or running contraband (sometimes all at once). Fun stuff. I swear, I don't see why both pirates and traders alike were taking their ship losses so goddamn personally when all we Zoners were doing was defending our own territory and sovereignty... whoops, slipping back into character again. Too bad that server, like most the other Freelancer servers, have bitten the dust by now. C'est la vie.

Squaring off against human-piloted battleships and cruisers was fun, but Zoners were small fries and we didn't exactly own any capital ships to match, and those ships had jump restrictions on them anyway so they never wandered out to our remote little corners of space. But the carnage when time came to bring out the big guns for the pitched battles that erupted during house wars...
posted by DaShiv at 7:41 PM on March 7, 2005


Privateer... this is what the better part of my teen years was lost to.

I still remeber using a hex editor to "tweak" my ships.
My Tarsus could really haul across the quad.

The The old LucasArts X-wing and TIE figther games were also fun to "experiment" with.

There's nothing quite like doing a barrel roll alongside the exploding hulk of a Star Destroyer, evading blaster fire and TIE interceptors all the way.

Ahh, those were the days!!!!
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:57 PM on March 7, 2005


I concur with PROD_TPSL, I spent a good deal of my middle school and early high school years playing Privateer, Righteous Fire, and even Privateer 2 (the DOS version). I even have a very old website (not updated in years) that outlined some of the plot info and stats on the equipment available. I was really into Privateer 2, spending weekends upon weekends going around to various bases, averaging out the prices of goods, putting it into a giant excel spreadsheet, and figuring out where exactly the best trading routes were, and how to come up with a string of places to visit and what to carry for maximum profit.

Why wasn't I out chasing women...
posted by SirOmega at 10:52 PM on March 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


Bah - bring back Space Rogue on the C64 1571 disk drive and then I will be impressed...

/mumbles some more about kids these days...
posted by longbaugh at 4:29 AM on March 8, 2005


SirOmega writes " Why wasn't I out chasing women..."

Well, one of the things I adored about Privateer 2 is that you actually COULD chase women (somewhat) in that game. I remember feeling very naughty when I let some guy's cargo go to waste so I could bed a hotty space chick.

[/boyzone]

neuron writes " entertainingly-written post"

Well, we aim to please, sir. Thanks.

obiwanwasabi writes " What's a good text-based trading adventure game?"

I'd love to know the answer to this question, too.

blacklite writes " I want a massively multiplayer faction-based multi-path space simulator, damn it."

Isn't that what Eve Online is?
posted by shmegegge at 5:35 AM on March 8, 2005


obiwanwasabi: I think the game you're thinking of is Taipan.

"Good joss, they let us be..."
posted by luminol at 5:53 AM on March 8, 2005


There's no better text-based trading adventure game than Trade Wars 2002, which sucked away many of my formative years. It originally was a BBS game, but is now playable by Telnet. There's not much point to a stand-alone version, as the point is competing with other human players. There are computer-controlled aliens, but they're not as fun to blow up.
posted by zsazsa at 6:00 AM on March 8, 2005


obiwanwasabi: Given that you're talking about trading between star systems, you're probably not talking about Taipan, but rather Elite.
posted by lowlife at 6:28 AM on March 8, 2005


Eve Online can be very cool, but like most MMOGs, it is sorely lacking in action/adventure when you're starting out
posted by poppo at 7:51 AM on March 8, 2005


SirOmega - hey man, darn you thanks for pointing out your resource. A couple of weeks months ago I figured out (theoretically) how to run P2 under WinXP but haven't had the time. I even went and bought a new joystick with blinken lights and springs and metal pieces and everything.

Now I'll have to put theory to practice...

zsazsa - ah, yes, BRE, SRE, LORD, W2002 and *.gif pr0n... I remember gaming the BRE with stacked investments so "our" board could beat the crap out of another BBS since I knew the sysop.

/feels slightly older now
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:04 PM on March 8, 2005


lowlife: thanks for the Elite link, but I'm looking for text-based trading games. No graphics, no joysticks, just menus. Have a look at the Galactic Trader link for what I mean.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:01 PM on March 8, 2005


Does anybody know what the real system requirements are for this game?
posted by Jongo at 2:53 AM on March 10, 2005


« Older Is there no stopping Gemma Cartwright?...  |  Oops.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments