When 2001 began, I had released two games, developed my first consistent drawing style, and was pretty much working on random side projects. The real goal of early 2001 was to develop my drawing skills, which were primitive, at their best. Much of the art from this period was lost in what came to be known as The Purge. As a young artist, I was under the impression that I should only keep my good drawings. As such MANY of the drawings that were failures, or just sketches I threw away when I cleaned out my files one day. The path that my art took to the final variants, things that would be invaluable to me today, were tossed away casually. I never throw away anything anymore, as a result.
The Birth of "Allied Forces"
Having spent the better part of a year working in the Freespace 2 Mission Editor (FRED2) and I was fairly proficient at it. Infinitely better than when I started in April 2000. I decided to re-work the original two Jake War games into one, long game with the title Allied Forces - Since the two games were really part of the same story arc. From March to December, I worked on the missions. Sometimes spending 3 days to a week per individual level. I finished the last mission on Friday, December 7th, 2001, and sent it to the publisher later that night.
The improvements on the game were NUMEROUS. For example, in the first Jake War, and parts of the Jake War 2, Mission Objectives were not tracked, or not tracked well. Now, the game provided an in-game message system telling the pilot what to do, and when it was completed.
Space nebulae were added, as well as a customized planets.
Allied Forces was as professional as I ever got in the field of game design. The publisher finally released it on January 1st, 2002. It remained in the Top 20 User Rated Campaigns until the site went down. When released in 2002, it was at #15. When the site finally went down in 2005, Allied Forces was still in the top 20, at #18.
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Jake War Day / Allied Forces Day
On June 29th, 2001 I celebrated the first year anniversary of the release of my first game.
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Allied Worlds was conceptualized and canonized in early 2001. Allied Worlds was supposed to be a prequel to Allied Forces. It would eventually become the series starting point.