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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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Author Topic: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development  (Read 1000 times)
Mormont
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Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« on: October 24, 2018, 06:12:33 am »

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/10/video-how-star-control-ii-was-almost-a-much-more-boring-game/

There's a well-produced video interview with some interesting tidbits, and some high-res alien art I don't think we've seen before.

This is focused on SC1/2, not the lawsuit or Ghosts.
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PRH
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 11:59:55 am »

Awesome! The article shows us a piece of art that didn't make it into the game or the manual - the destruction of Syra.

And by the way, Paul's desire to give SC2 at least some degree of scientific accuracy paid off. I still remember catching a glimpse of the periodic table in a chemistry classroom at school and seeing so many familiar names that I remembered from SC2 - the lanthanides especially. Smiley

And before anyone asks, I was smart enough to understand that Tzo crystals didn't exist in the real world. The name itself is kinda a giveaway. Wink

By the way, I wonder what that SC1 ship balance chart in CGW was based on. It seems so wrong based on player vs. computer battles, where the Mmrnmhrm just owns everything, though that could be chalked up to the AI being completely braindead. I have no idea what SC1 games are like in player vs. player matches, especially the full game.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 12:50:18 pm by PRH » Logged
Krulle
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 12:19:20 pm »

Indeed. Awesome!

And indeed, TZO crystals were obviously not existant.
There are other things named in-game where I thought "really?", but hey, it's fiction.
And fiction does not need to be accurate.
Playability trumps scientific correctness (to a degree).


Thanks for the link, Mormont! I would've missed it otherwise.
(Pity Fred and Paul didn't link it on their twitter....
But then again, I fear Stardock will simply claim absolute fraud of FF and PR for naming themselves the creators of Star Control at the start of the video. And misuse of the trademark owned by Stardock, and the accompanying alleged "goodwill" which allegedly also only belongs to Stardock.)


About the content:
(click to show/hide)
I presume the article only contains so many of the original design materials because FF and PR had digged them out for the courtcase anyway.

Quote
But in gathering the footage for this video, we realized that Fred and Paul were a veritable fount of '90s game design stories and that the two of them are connected in a fascinating web to a bunch of other influential developers of the era. There was no way we could pack all of this into a single video, and so we're deep in production on another video piece we're tentatively calling "Six Degrees of Star Control," which we expect to have done in a few more weeks.
can someone be so kind to link it here when it gets published?Huh Thanks in advance!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 12:45:30 pm by Krulle » Logged
PRH
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2018, 12:45:10 pm »

(click to show/hide)

I'm pretty sure that the SC3 writers based that on SC2. It's mentioned in the Spathi dialogue (the Safe Ones, specifically):

Quote
One other thing...
We haven't been able to translate much of their writing, but we understand one fragment of text.
It mentions a sequence of 10 artificial `waste disposal sites' they built somewhere around here.
I suspect that even garbage from the Precursors would be of incredible value.
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Krulle
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 12:46:52 pm »

Thanks, PRH. Smiley
Forgot that the Spathi were giving you access to their waste disposal, but being helpful, forgot to mention where to find them.
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Zanthius
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 12:48:19 pm »

Very nice interview... I like how they first had made the ships as different as possible and then tried to figure out what kind of species would fit the ships. Sounds like a very smart strategy.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 12:50:54 pm by Zanthius » Logged
PRH
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 12:55:46 pm »

Thanks, PRH. Smiley
Forgot that the Spathi were giving you access to their waste disposal, but being helpful, forgot to mention where to find them.

And here we thought that those Spathi captains were referring to the contents of their toilets... Cheesy

No, really, they were. The quote I gave above is from the Safe Ones conversation, not one with the Spathi captains in space.
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rosepatel
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2018, 04:32:51 pm »

Really enjoyed this. You can tell there's a lot of really interesting ideas that never made it into the final game. I wonder how many of those were because they weren't fun or interesting in practice, and how many were just too tricky to implement. I wonder if P&F have any more ideas up their sleeves, 30 years later.
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PRH
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2018, 05:16:42 pm »

Very nice interview... I like how they first had made the ships as different as possible and then tried to figure out what kind of species would fit the ships. Sounds like a very smart strategy.

Yeah, I recall Paul mentioning earlier that when he was coming up with a concept for the Druuge, he basically thought that if they used their crew to feed the ship's batteries, then the crew must be slaves.
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Zanthius
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2018, 06:15:22 pm »

And by the way, Paul's desire to give SC2 at least some degree of scientific accuracy paid off. I still remember catching a glimpse of the periodic table in a chemistry classroom at school and seeing so many familiar names that I remembered from SC2 - the lanthanides especially. Smiley

I learned the planets in our solar system from Star Control 2. I found it interesting when he said that it wasn't known in 1992 when they made Star Control 2 that other solar systems have planets. I guess most of the kids that played Star Control 2 back then started believing this long before the exoplanets were discovered.
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Krulle
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2018, 07:32:13 pm »

Most scientists believed so, just because of sheer math probability.
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Zanthius
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2018, 07:40:42 pm »

Most scientists believed so, just because of sheer math probability.

What do you mean? Probabilities are based upon frequencies in randomized subsets generalized to larger sets. Since we didn't know anything about the probabilities for exoplanets in a randomized subset, how could we determine the overall frequency of exoplanets? It is the same with life now. Since we don't know the frequency of life from a randomized subset of planets, we cannot necessarily estimate the frequency of life in the universe.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 07:43:15 pm by Zanthius » Logged
orzophile
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 07:44:13 pm »

And by the way, Paul's desire to give SC2 at least some degree of scientific accuracy paid off. I still remember catching a glimpse of the periodic table in a chemistry classroom at school and seeing so many familiar names that I remembered from SC2 - the lanthanides especially. Smiley

I learned the planets in our solar system from Star Control 2. I found it interesting when he said that it wasn't known in 1992 when they made Star Control 2 that other solar systems have planets. I guess most of the kids that played Star Control 2 back then started believing this long before the exoplanets were discovered.

Well the expectation was that other stars had planets, we even had predictive models for which ones did and what kind, but it hadn't been proven since we didn't have a way to detect or observe at the time. It would have been a much bigger shock if none of the stars we were observing now had planets after all.


There were observations back in the mid-1980s that very strongly indicated Gamma Cephei had at least one planet, which was a good candidate for study given where it is in the sky at a relatively stable point near Polaris. Ah, here's the paper -- http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?1988ApJ...331..902C&data_type=PDF_HIGH&whole_paper=YES&type=PRINTER&filetype=.pdf

I remember reading this at university so long ago now Smiley
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 07:48:47 pm by orzophile » Logged
Krulle
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 07:58:25 pm »

Most scientists believed so, just because of sheer math probability.

What do you mean? Probabilities are based upon frequencies in randomized subsets generalized to larger sets. Since we didn't know anything about the probabilities for exoplanets in a randomized subset, how could we determine the overall frequency of exoplanets? It is the same with life now. Since we don't know the frequency of life from a randomized subset of planets, we cannot necessarily estimate the frequency of life in the universe.
We knew of one system enough to say it does have at least 9 planets. (back then it were nine)

Of billions other solar systems we knew not enough to exclude the existence of planets.

If we had done a linear extrapolation, the result would've been much more massive than what SC2's systems show us.

But how likely would it have been that all the billions systems out there have a total number of planets smaller than our system has?

Math probability dictated that there are billions of systems out there having planets. The real question always was how many would be able to support life, and how many of those would be able to support intelligent life, and how many of those would be able to interact in a meaningful way with us.


it annoys me time and again how you seem to attack those statements, which are quite easy to deduct. But I fear that's just my perception because this is a words only, and not face to face.... Sorry for the rant.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 08:05:55 pm by Krulle » Logged
Zanthius
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Re: Paul and Fred discuss SC2's development
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 08:15:49 pm »

If we had done a linear extrapolation, the result would've been much more massive than what SC2's systems show us.

Sure, but you cannot necessarily (or at least shouldn't) do a linear extrapolation from a single sample.....



https://www.archania.org/biases/#Unreliable_generalizations
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