Thursday, 17 January 2013

FreeFalcon is no more

Sad news I bring to you this day, the Freefalcon team seems to have called it a day, and closed down the website with no warning to the community.  Anyone looking forward to downloading this great sim is going to be disappointed, as all traces have disappeared.

Here is the news gathered from the forum of rival developers, the creators of Falcon BMS.

BMS FORUM (registration required)

Pasted below for those who don't want to register to read it.

"One of the greatest things about this community is the fact that so many of its membership can trace their history to the sim as far back as 1998. Even better, everyone has a great story to tell about their first experiences, almost as a testament to their love of Falcon.

There are even a great number of members in this community that can go back to even earlier versions of Falcon, and many of those people are still here today.

So, whenever a group of like minded people get together to achieve something greater than they could achieve individually, I believe it is always the hope of that group to create a product that they can be proud of, and that in particular this Falcon group will receive warmly, and have countless hours of fun using.

Like many of you, I have many stories that I could tell about the vaunted history of Falcon. Both many high and low moments could be told. While I won't do that (much) in this thread, I wanted to at least share one story with you so that you could understand a little better.

The story of FreeFalcon goes way back to a couple guys, Steve "Hustler" Wooters and Ron "Red" Nair, and Fred "Baldeagle". Back in the day, these guys were doing some crazy stuff with skins. I mean, this stuff was off the hook. Baldeagle was always behind the scenes, never really taking credit for his time and effort, producing lodeditor. I don't recall ever once over the past ten or so years hearing him complain about people using his software for their purposes. In fact, it was the opposite. He would adapt the program to fit whatever needs those people had, and do it gladly.

Later on, they were asked, along with myself and a bunch of others, to join SuperPak, the Unified Team. This was a program designed to bring together the absolute best in the community for one simple idea: to stretch what had been done in Falcon, and to what could be done, under one banner.

After the group dissolved (and a number of great releases provided to the community), there was a void that was eventually filled with the promise of g2interactive, and Operation Infinite Resolve. So, a group of us got together that included many current members of BMS, Hustler, Red, Baldeagle, plus many others, to try and do something special. While we were able to get a couple fairly minor releases out (big at the time of course, but minor compared to where we are now), we never quite achieved the dream we were hoping for.

Due to some basic philosophical differences between groups, FreeFalcon was created, and BMS disappeared for a while. However, the relationships between many of us, outside of Falcon, remained strong and vibrant. The strength of those relationships allowed us to coexist together, and the nastiness of community postings had for the most part, long since dwindled.

It was during this time that FreeFalcon truly flourished. They had a strong fan base, strong development, and strong leadership, with their vision of what Falcon could become. Indeed, people will be talking about FreeFalcon for many years, and how they provided truly astoning artwork, and the ability to fly as many aircraft as possible with as great detail as could be allowed.

I have always admired those developers, and have always wondered why they would commit so much time to their love of Falcon, despite the community at times, despite the challenges, and despite the overwhelming learning curve. I'm telling you, these guys are good.

So, it is with a great sadness, after all these years, that I was informed about the closing of FreeFalcon. I asked Steve if I could write this on behalf of FreeFalcon, and he was happy to let me do this. FreeFalcon will be missed. There will be lots of questions asked, and probably never really answered as good as they could be. Such is the life of a development stream sometimes. However, mark this day on your calendar as one of the low days of Falcon. To FreeFalcon, you guys are remembered, and honored, and welcome to our boards.

And I would personally like to Thank You for your service to the promise of a dream.

I will make this a sticky for a couple weeks to ensure people will have a good chance to read this. I will leave posts open so that others may comment. But please, to the extent possible, keep your comments positive, and in the spirt this letter is written."

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