Noctis IV CE is a modification of the Noctis IV galaxy simulator.
Around the end of 2004, I grabbed the sources of Noctis IV and started fiddling with them, figuring out how things worked internally (all the comments were in Italian, and my Italian was --and still is-- really bad) and how badly I could abuse the engine. About a month later, Shadowlord started fiddling around with the sources, too. Eventually we decided that it might be fun to create a modification of Noctis IV that was dedicated to fixing annoying bugs/interface issues and providing users with more things to explore. At Christmas of 2004, Alessandro Ghignola, Noctis IV's developer, granted us the right to publish our own modification of Noctis IV provided that we didn't stray too far off the main ideology behind Noctis. This was when the project was officially born, codenamed "Fixactis" due to it being a merge between my "Hactis" codebase, and SL's "Fixtis" codebase. On the first day of 2005, we released our first release, and everyone was happy..
Since the name "Fixactis" was really rather stupid, we asked the community to come up with a better name. Someone randomly thrown in the name "Noctis IV CE", with the "CE" standing for "Cool Edition", "Community Edition" or "Coder's Edition", and it won the vote. Although the 'CE' is not officially defined, I'd like to think of it myself as standing for "Community Edition", as the Noctis IV CE project -in my opinion- embodies a re-imagining of Noctis IV by the entire community. I've grabbed loads of ideas and implemented them, I've tried my best to listen to the community and get them active again. Although a few haven't ever tried Noctis IV CE, a lot of new players confessed to really liking it.
Over the years, a lot of really great features have been added (and lots of bugs have been fixed!):
- A Windows port of the game. Shadowlord is primarily responsible for this great feat of programming, so all honors go to him on that one! Shame it's a tad buggy, though, but I don't blame him because a lot of Noctis IV's code was intel 16-bit assembly...
- Better planet surface generation that looks better and isn't buggy (did you know vanilla Noctis IV had a bug where craters would enlarge themselves at night due to a buggy implementation of the albedo value?)
- Jetpack on planet surfaces
- Movie recording in-game. Movies can be converted into a 'proper' .avi using a tool I semi-wrote
- The Xnice system, which allows a Windows application to communicate with the DOS-based game. What this means is that you can talk on IRC whilst playing! :)
- New critter types
- Huge forests
- Landing on unstable lava worlds (think Jupiter's Io)
- Transitions between planet sectors
- A lot of tools designed to make exploring a lot easier and faster
- Pretty graphical effects. ;)
Now, you probably want to get the game right now and dive in. Unfortunately, however, I have to recommend that you don't. Noctis IV CE has the tendency of being rather buggy and very memory intensive. You see, Windows and DOS don't work together well anymore, and things.... tend to crash and burn horribly. Plus, Noctis IV CE had aquired random strange bugs over the years that we've never really been able to fix. Thus, you might want to prefer getting Noctis IV Plus, a backport of some of the more awesome features of Noctis IV CE to a vanilla Noctis engine. NIVPlus also has the benefit of having more-or-less supported starmaps, so you can still contribute things! :)
If you're still desperate to get Noctis IV CE, you can get it here but please remember that Noctis IV CE does not have any official support anymore whatsoever!
The Unofficial Noctis IV CE R11.x Users Manual by MopedSlug. Consider this to be the 'official' manual. ;)
Can't get NICE/NIVPlus to work under your spiffy new Windows 7/Vista system? Try VNoctis if you have a processor with virtualization acceleration (VT-x/AMD-V).. (To get NICE to start working normally, select option 1 when starting FreeDOS and disable the VirtualBox network adapter. Thanks to Cryoburner for that tip)
Is it christmas? Try Noctis IV Special CE!
An open dir with all kinds of files can be found here