Another Star Blazers fan here – I wish you the very best of luck in this worthy endeavour. That is a damned fine mod to resurrect and then reimagine.
As another fellow modder who’s attempted it, to fully shoehorn Star Blazers into the environment of GSB without doing violence to the playable balance or the creative vision of either SB or this game is not easy. After tater left, the more I explored what it would take to fully do justice to all aspects of the thing, the more of an un-navigable swamp it became for me.
For me, that was eventually part of the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back:
Those tremendous space-opera megaweapons are part of very heart and soul of Star Blazers. However, since actual firing-arc limitations are impossible in this game, and having decisive weapons such as the Argo’s WMG as a 360-degree gun instead of the canonical spinal-mounted, line-ahead-only weapon was likewise impossible, I regretfully walked away from the project. The total lack of a GSB gameplay mechanic that allows us to create a believable Wave Motion Gun beam-type weapon which also inflicts area-of-effect damage all along the length of the beam didn’t help my already-dented modding morale, either.
Same thing for GSB’s rather dodgy weapon-targeting AI – as if the 360-arc wasn’t bad enough, I wasn’t looking forward to my fleet’s anti-battleship WMGs wasting their initial arming cycle by gleefully targeting the very first enemy fighter that they saw, either. Cliff’s never going to fix this game’s AI enough to reliably prevent such wasteful targeting tomfoolery, so there we stand.
I can’t speak for you, mate, but for my own part it didn’t quite feel like Star Blazers if the key feature of the megaweapons could not be convincingly implemented. It was plain that there were many ways to quickly crank something out in a relatively casual fashion and brand it as a Star Blazers mod, but my own heart just wasn’t in the idea of doing it that way. I was tempted, though. But due to the other above-mentioned reasons why any such mod was going to have some significant weaknesses in the actual gameplay, well, doing a top-quality job wasn’t going to be possible, either.
And if it wasn’t possible to make my own Star Blazrs mod canonically-faithful where it mattered, I told myself, then why was I bothering with it? This is where my decades-old commitment to the source material began to sink me. Sure, I could easily craft something akin to a “Star Blazers-inspired” mod with little strain on my part, but that wouldn’t be the same. Indeed, I had such an incomplete mod hanging in development hell for over two years as I whittled away at it from time to time. I found that it was intensely frustrating to be so thoroughly boxed-in, and after wrestling with myself about it for a long while I finally decided to concentrate on my other long-term modding projects instead.
But all is not quite lost. Maybe, just maybe, perhaps some Star Blazers is better than no Star Blazers? That deserves examination. I would love it if you could somehow complete this treasure. I don’t know what your planned scope of work or intended level of detail is going to be, but I have to say that your announcement is interesting news. The modding road ahead of you has some rather rough spots; be prepared to go cross-country from time to time. I’d truly be pleased if you find a way to bid this particular phoenix to rise from its ashes. To paraphrase the first-season episodes, “Hurry, Star Force! There are only 364 days left to finish this mod!” Take care, mate, and enjoy the journey.