Knights of the Force
Knights of the Force (or simply KotF) is a Single Player and Multi Player content pack for Jedi Academy. It was assembled by a Turkish developer who went under the nickname TimFx and featured a wide variety of skins, models and maps based on the Star Wars movies. The original goal of this mod was to include the most iconic scenes from the movies, in a similar fashion as what Movie Duels II and Movie Battles II entailed. The only difference was that TimFx also wanted to include a Single Player campaign. He mainly worked on the mod on his own. However, a large number of ethical and legal issues embattled the mod, including accusations that TimFx lifted most of the custom content used in the mod without the permissions by their original authors.
The mod was also notorious for being frequently delayed, even on the day when it was about to be released. During the long development time, TimFx has released a demo and one of the originally planned two parts of Knights of the Force 2.0. The release of the second part was prevented by the cancellation of this project.
Knights of the Force is known for its great amount of features, with some that couldn't be found in any other Jedi Academy mod. Among those features were:
- Many characters, maps and weapons of all six Star Wars movies have been included.
- An Add-Load menu: It was specifically designed for the Single Player mode. Players could spawn NPCs, vehicles and weapons with it. It was also possible to change the playermodel, to freeze NPCs, to enable Noclip and to switch between the Light Side and the Dark Side.
- CD menu: The menu was designed to give access to features the mod itself couldn't offer. It was part configuration menu and part level selection menu.
- A camera perspective mode: The player could change the angle and altitude of the camera.
- Cockpits: A Multi Player only feature. By pressing 'B', the player could switch to a cockpit view. However, only a few vehicles actually had a cockpit.
- A character switching system: This feature was only included in the Kamino mission on both the demo and the first part of KotF. The idea was to seamlessly switch between characters while they are still attacking a target. This could be done by pressing either PgUp/PgDown or by moving the mouse wheel up or down. Instead of simply changing the playermodel, the camera moved from one playermodel to another. While doing so, the characters were still able to attack their target without interruption.
There were many other features planned, which were set to be released in the final version of Knights of the Force. They were ultimately scrapped when the mod was cancelled.
To continue the development of Knights of the Force, TimFx requested that players donate funds to help him get a new computer. A large delay between the next content update and withholding of information from the backers (and subsequent deception from Tim) caused universal criticism and disappointment in the mod. During this time, TimFx and the mod itself lost much of their credibility.
Not long after the release of Knights of the Force Part 1, many players reported several virus and trojan warnings that came from the mod. The amount warnings varied depending on the anti-virus software. TimFx clarified multiple times that the mod doesn't contain any actual viruses or trojans at all. He also stated that the "infected" files were actually programmed with a tool which happened to be used by hackers as well. Despite the installer executable not being confirmed for viruses, a number of Trojans appeared within the game uninstaller, which infected the computer of players who tried to uninstall the mod. The third version of the mod doesn't contain any of these viruses, however, as per a JKHub investigation.
The original v1.0 release of Knights of the Force contained long clips from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones which could be seen as direct violation of copyright law. No formal action has been taken against Tim for this.
Nearly all of the content from Knights of the Force was stolen from other mods. All missions were levels created by other people, with a simple ICARUS script added to it for cohesion and cinematics. Every player and weapon model in the game was stolen from other mods, and no proper credit was given in the original 1.0 release. The only assets confirmed to original content were the menus, load screens, installer executable, scripts, and translations.
Between late 2012 and early 2013, this mod was about to be released. The only thing TimFx required were the translation files, so he could release the mod in English as well as in other languages simultaneously. After several weeks, he changed his mind and decided to release the mod anyway, even if the translations weren't finished. But on April the 1st, TimFx announced the cancellation of this project and that he deleted the entire mod and all of its project files permanently from his hard drive. Many members thought it was an April Fools Joke, but they were proven wrong when TimFx stated that he couldn't work on this mod any longer, because he spent about 10 years of his life developing it. He also said that the project became an obsession for him, which also had a negative effect on his private life. Right after his announcment, his website remained online, but comments or forum posts have been disabled. Only the download section was fully functional, which contained links to the demo and the first part of KotF. Since 2016, the main website of KotF has been shut down.
In 2016, JKHub member Fire Phoenix revived this project, in the hope of repairing the mod's severely damaged reputation. He used the main assets of Knights of the Force 2.0 as a basis, but with the controversial content removed, including the CD menu and the custom content for which TimFx probably didn't have the permissions for. Fire Phoenix has collected a lot of content based on the Star Wars movies and made sure that every single file got the approval from their original authors. He also reedited the character selection menu to make room for the greater amount of characters. Another difference to the original mod is that this version now works without any installer. And unlike the original mod, where TimFx spent the entirety of the development alone, Fire Phoenix is supported by JKHub members.
An alpha version of KotF 2.1 has been uploaded on JKHub in November 2016, with very positive feedback. As of 2020, the mod has been cancelled with most of the KotF 2.1 team going on to make a spiritual successor called Galactic Legacy.