The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Michael Martin on September 28, 2003, 09:27:46 pm



Title: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Michael Martin on September 28, 2003, 09:27:46 pm
Hello, Forumites.

Given the rather lengthy timespans between releases (even unofficial ones), I hereby inaugurate a "The Road to 0.4" feature.  I'll be posting occasionally (right now I'm envisioning every 2 weeks or so, but that may be too frequent given that classes have started for everyone) the progress and plans we have for 0.4.

This is more than just a link to the ChangeLog (though that will tell what what's *currently* been finished, of course) -- it's more of a look at the changes we're planning.

I classify changes as being either "visible" or "invisible."  A "visible" change is one where the end user's experience has changed somehow; new features, shinier graphics, different menu options, etc.  "Invisible" changes are changes in the way the program or data are structured - relevant to people making mods of the program (or porting it to new backends, or whatever).  

But this is the first one, so a quick Changelog summary is in order.  There have been a dozen or so bug/glitch fixes, but I'm not going to focus on those here; the ChangeLog (or Bugzilla) handles those better.  We've made two visible changes, and two major "invisible" ones.

First, and most important: We have some basic video support.  fOSSiL managed to reverse engineer the video player the 3DO Star Control 2 used, and if you have the disc and a 3do disc extractor, you can now play the in-game movies (at least, the intro and ending ones.  "Ship spins" still aren't implemented.)  We can't distribute the videos because (a) they're frickin' HUGE, and (b) we don't have permission (TFB didn't control the rights to them, so they couldn't grant them to us).

Also, we had an enhancement contribution from chmmravatar that remembers which saveslot you last used and defaults to that if you save again.  Currently this only lasts during your playsession, but it can come in handy if you're using slot #37, say.

We've had two major invisible-to-the-end-user changes that should make developing UQM easier.  In the first change, I took a massive hatchet to the threading and synchronization systems.  My first shot at this wasn't terribly well received by the rest of the core team, and on further discussion, we came to the conclusion that nearly all of the original synchronization code wasn't really proper.  I don't really want to get into the full technical details here (I'm writing a developer doc about the final system we're using, which will be added to CVS at some point soon), but there are various cross-thread synchronization constructs that you need to keep the program from tripping over its own feet; while, in theory, all of them are equivalent, there's usually one that's preferable for whatever you're trying to do (more efficient, easier to program correctly, or both) so most of them are offered by SDL.  We swept through the code and changed most of the code's synchronization so that it always did it in the simplest way.  (While we were at it, we got rid of some spurious errors and ensured that it was possible to get reasonable error messages always.)

Second, for all releases so far, the subtitle-drawing code and the music-track playing code have been inextricably tied together.  fOSSiL has begun splitting them apart and making them separate systems.

Okay, so that's what's been done.  Here's what we're looking at in the road ahead...

Visible stuff first.
  • That "Setup" menu option really needs to do something.  Some efforts have been made (with the UQM launcher utilities) to get around the fact that the only way to configure UQM right now is to pass it boatloads of commandline options.  A few (-n springs to mind, and it may yet come to pass that -o and -r will have to do that too) will need to stay there.  The others, however, should be mutable at run time, via Setup.
  • Setup should also allow for online key/joystick configuration.  I'm still not sure how fine-grained the control of this should be. (0.3's granularity is ludicrously fine, moreso than most players, I think, would really want. In-game shortcuts for "up is THIS, down is THIS, etc.," should probably be part of the interface.)
  • The current way content packs work is that you stick the addons into a directory and activate them from the command line.  If they interfere with one another, which resource is loaded is resolved to precedence rules.  We have as an eventual goal the ability to have fine-grained control over this.  For example, one could say "Use the 3DO soundtrack for everything, but use the PC orbital music, and play the remixed version of the QuasiSpace theme."  This might even go to the extreme of allowing the specification of arbitrary files for the various songs.


Invisible changes:
  • We envision using XML documents as a universal format for most of the non-binary data, and using this to replace the many ad-hoc file formats that scattered throughout the content.  If nothing else, the resource locator code (replacing .ani and .ndx, at least) will be XML-based.
  • Multiple decoders should be made available, and new ones should be easy to add.  This way if someone makes their own videos, say, they can tell UQM to invoke (say) the AVI-playing libraries.
  • Once you get past the basics of reading the keyboard or joystick and mapping that onto actions like "thrust" and "fire", there are no fewer than five input cores in UQM's game logic.  Refactoring this into a single, Grand Unified Input Scheme would be nice, and would also allow configuration of things like the key-repeat rate.
  • There are various places where behavior and/or data are hardcoded that don't, technically, have to be.  (Ship statistics, star data, etc.)  Data could, conceivably, be extracted into separate documents (again, we're pretty sure we want to use XML for all this, parsers are widespread, reasonably fast, and will be viable over the long term), and behavior could be specified with dynamically linked libraries (this is a bit more pie-in-the-sky, and would require quite a bit more work to make portable).  If you have some modifications that you're itching to do, and you don't see any invisible changes pertaining to the change, study the UQM source and see how difficult it would be to add.  If it would be easy if only the program did this instead of that, consider documenting that chunk of code, and contributing that documentation along with the enhancement proposal.  This doesn't guarantee that we'll make the changes that make that enhancement easy; it definitely doesn't mean we'll make the enhancement ourselves (but then, the postulate here was that you wanted to do it :)) but it's certainly more likely to be considered, and we'd always appreciate it if people go through the original code to figure out what the heck it actually does.


So, that's the grand roadmap to 0.4 and beyond.  We aren't actively working on all of this -- summer has ended for us, and a lot of the Grand Visions depend on the first steps of them working out the way we foresee -- but that's the way things go.

It's also one of the reasons we don't set ourselves deadlines.  :)


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on September 28, 2003, 11:24:41 pm
That's all?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Mark Vera on September 28, 2003, 11:30:53 pm
Quote
That's all?


What I can tell, it's very near 1.0 when 0.4 is finished.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on September 29, 2003, 05:39:49 am
I repeat with a slight change:
That's almost all for 1.0?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: bigfoot256 on September 29, 2003, 05:48:50 am
What exactly did you expect? Fwiffo doing a stand-up comedy routine?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on September 29, 2003, 08:02:51 am
That a good idea! Keep bringing them up!

btw: If you wonder when I sleep (Because I post in every hour) I never sleep. Some illness, go figure why.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Spurk on September 29, 2003, 09:46:41 am
I'm curious on your last invisible change, Mr. Martin. Are you saying you'd like to extend the system so that people can make arbitrary plugins? Are you hoping to allow people to do everything from replacing the music to creating a new race/ship to allowing people to browse webpages from within UQM? (I'd count that last one as silly, but then again I have a number of programs with browser plugins that really don't need it.)


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: guesst on September 29, 2003, 09:59:17 am
Wow.

Just wow.

The slideshow for the non-3do intro/extro wasn't mentioned however. Any chance of getting that in?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Michael Martin on September 29, 2003, 11:57:33 am
Quote
What I can tell, it's very near 1.0 when 0.4 is finished.
Once all the features are in, it leaves alpha and becomes beta.  This is where stability and portability become the primary goals.  Once we've gotten it running everywhere we want, acceptably (at minimum, Windows, Linux, OS X, and the BSDs, under 32- and 64-bit architectures), and left it in beta for awhile to make sure that it's doing its thing properly, then we announce 1.0.

0.4 will be, if not the first beta release, then a very late alpha release, quite possibly the last.
Quote
The slideshow for the non-3do intro/extro wasn't mentioned however. Any chance of getting that in?
To my knowledge, nobody's volunteered to set that up yet.  A decision has been made to delay that until we write the XML-based resource locator, so that we don't have to put it in, take it out, and put it back in again.  The actual slides themselves are sitting in the content directory.

Yeah, it'll be there by the time it reaches beta.  If a contributor gets excited about it and writes code for it before 0.4, then it'll be there, too.

Quote
I'm curious on your last invisible change, Mr. Martin. Are you saying you'd like to extend the system so that people can make arbitrary plugins? Are you hoping to allow people to do everything from replacing the music to creating a new race/ship to allowing people to browse webpages from within UQM? (I'd count that last one as silly, but then again I have a number of programs with browser plugins that really don't need it.)

Maybe not arbitrary.  But some flexibility would be nice.  "Can we add our own ships" is probably the second most requested enhancement after netplay.  The way the ship code works, the old .SHP files were effectively dynamically linked libraries in their own right.  UQM just links all of them into the executable.  So doing "new ship files" would really have to boil down to plugins.  Making it so that changing the Earth Cruiser's top speed were a simple matter of editing a text file, however, would be a lot simpler to add.

Enabling new shifts would require a major architectural shift from what we have now, though, so there's no guarantees that we would put such a thing into 1.0.  There's also the issue that there's nothing stopping somebody from making your "special weapon" be "try to email your password file to me."  The only real defense against that is that, since UQM was licensed to us under GPL, any ship plugins that were actually distributed would also have to be under GPL as well, and you'd be able to check the ships' logic for trojans before using them.

The extensibility point extends beyond 0.4, and into, basically, "as long as we're rewriting all the resource stuff, we might as well make things extensible when it's reasonably painless to do so."  Off the top of my head, the starmap, the coarse parameters of the starships, and the nature of the communication animations all are things that could be turned from enormous struct initializers (which they are now) into data files that could be read in later.  We would like to avoid wholesale rewriting of the core game logic for 1.0; it's what we've playing this past decade, so we don't really have to worry if we're "getting it right."  We haven't seriously discussed how to organize development once beta status is reached and forks really become feasible; we'll probably have that discussion once we get closer to it.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: chmmravatar on September 29, 2003, 02:41:32 pm
Quote
That's all?


What do you mean "that's all"? What do you think is missing?

And I don't know if you meant it, but that comes off as rather ungrateful...I mean all of the core guys have put in A LOT of time into the project, and a lot of the rest of us have put in quite a bit of time, too. And it's not like anyone's paying us for doing this...do you even realize how much coding some of these proposed changes will take?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: NECRO-99 on September 29, 2003, 10:47:45 pm
Jiffa just likes the attention chmmravatar, don't bother with his posts. Either that or he's used to getting everything served to him instantly on a whim of a command, and on a silver platter to boot...


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on September 29, 2003, 11:18:58 pm
I see someone here doesn't like me.

What he said (suppose to be v1.0) is much less than it meant to be. At least that is what they wrote when I first came here... You obviously understand the suprise I had.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: NECRO-99 on September 29, 2003, 11:54:51 pm
Quote
I see someone here doesn't like me.


Someone?

Quote
What he said (suppose to be v1.0) is much less than it meant to be.


How would you know? You a developer?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: guesst on September 30, 2003, 12:01:13 am
Quote
[Will intro/extro slideshows be made?]

0.4 will be, if not the first beta release, then a very late alpha release, quite possibly the last.
To my knowledge, nobody's volunteered to set that up yet....  The actual slides themselves are sitting in the content directory.

Yeah, it'll be there by the time it reaches beta.  If a contributor gets excited about it and writes code for it before 0.4, then it'll be there, too.


Come on contributors!

Quote
[What kind of mods can there be]

Maybe not arbitrary.  But some flexibility would be nice.  "Can we add our own ships" is probably the second most requested enhancement after netplay.  The way the ship code works, the old .SHP files were effectively dynamically linked libraries in their own right.  UQM just links all of them into the executable.  So doing "new ship files" would really have to boil down to plugins.  Making it so that changing the Earth Cruiser's top speed were a simple matter of editing a text file, however, would be a lot simpler to add.

Enabling new shifts would require a major architectural shift from what we have now, though, so there's no guarantees that we would put such a thing into 1.0.  There's also the issue that there's nothing stopping somebody from making your "special weapon" be "try to email your password file to me."  The only real defense against that is that, since UQM was licensed to us under GPL, any ship plugins that were actually distributed would also have to be under GPL as well, and you'd be able to check the ships' logic for trojans before using them.


Hmm, that would be an annoying thing for someone to do with this little project. Then again, if it happens you could get some free publicity ... on the news. Yeah, that might be bad, but bad publicity is publicity.

Would it be possible for someone to make a mod that would change the nature of the game beyond adding ships? Something like making a new sc1-stragety type game using UQM's code as a jumping off point? Just a thought. Also, what about updated graphics and increased turning slices?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Chrispy on September 30, 2003, 04:59:13 am
if u want a project that will take a lot of time, try putting in it a bigger screen resolution, and giving it mordern standerd graphics. id love to c that, but im not going to help make it. im just asking for it.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: TD on September 30, 2003, 05:03:33 am
This is a port, not a remake. Play Timewarp if you want pretty visuals (pity the AI sucks)


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Michael Martin on September 30, 2003, 05:05:24 am
Quote
Would it be possible for someone to make a mod that would change the nature of the game beyond adding ships? Something like making a new sc1-stragety type game using UQM's code as a jumping off point? Just a thought. Also, what about updated graphics and increased turning slices?


The only general answer for this is: "Look at the code."  If it's in the code as code (that is, there are functions that do it, or, worse, it gets done inside about 30 functions scattered through the system), the answer is almost certainly "no, not for 1.0, 1.0 is straight port."  If it's in the code as data (big initializers somewhere), then the answer is "maybe, if it's easy and convert it over."  And if it's already in the data, you'll be able to replace that content already in 0.3, just by making an appropriate addon pack.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Parker on October 01, 2003, 09:13:18 pm
That's bad news about the 3DO videos.  I'm guessing that to get them to work in the future 0.4 release you would just need to drop them in the content directory?

If someone were to take those videos, package and distribute them over a decentralized peer network such as BitTorrent, would a link to the package be allowed on this forum, provided that no copyrighted material is being hosted on any servers related to the project?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Nic. on October 01, 2003, 11:26:33 pm
Has a "credits remix" been considered?  We have highly talented musicians working on the game's score, and (from looking at fansites), quite capable visual artists who could make nice intro/outro sequences for the game.  Combine the two, (using Ogg Theora or somesuch audio/video codec) and I think you'd be in business.  I'd think there would be very little difficulty in "clean-rooming" the videos, as it were, outside of finding the time to do it.

Since the "official" videos are copyrighted, and as such off-limits, why not roll up our sleeves and get some public-domain replacements made?  I would volunteer to help render frames if it would help in any perceivable way.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: guesst on October 03, 2003, 02:00:27 am
can we get this topic stickied? Just in case the devs want to give us a quick update.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on October 03, 2003, 05:14:07 am
Sounds like a great idea.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Hory on October 03, 2003, 05:17:06 am
Yeah, i'd want those videos too, from some P2P app. Someone should pack them and release them... I don't think Accolade or who has (C) gives a F. about them anymore anyway.

And too bad there won't be internet multiplayer (melee). I was really looking forward to that and to SC1-like strategy but with SC2 ships too. Yeah... "it's just a port". You did a good job anyway!


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Michael Martin on October 03, 2003, 11:01:00 am
Quote
can we get this topic stickied? Just in case the devs want to give us a quick update.


I was kind of planning to post the updates in separate threads as development went along.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Novus on October 03, 2003, 01:40:01 pm
Quote
Has a "credits remix" been considered?  We have highly talented musicians working on the game's score, and (from looking at fansites), quite capable visual artists who could make nice intro/outro sequences for the game.

If we produce new animations for UQM, we can base them on the PC or 3DO version or combine the best aspects of both. Especially in the case of the intro, the PC version seems to provide more background. Anyway, I'd like to point out that we need not and should not do a one-to-one copy of the 3DO videos; that could be interpreted as a derivative work, which would put us back at square one.

Quote

Since the "official" videos are copyrighted, and as such off-limits, why not roll up our sleeves and get some public-domain replacements made?  I would volunteer to help render frames if it would help in any perceivable way.

Considering that we can now play the 3DO videos, the easy way out from a development standpoint would be to persuade whoever owns the videos (Atari, I think, since they bought Infogrames who bought Accolade) to allow us to distribute the 3DO videos. Of course, this may be difficult in the business sense.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: chmmravatar on October 03, 2003, 02:13:05 pm
One would assume that any letter sent to Atari about Star Control 2 would result with the response "Star Control what?" and they would throw it away, or deny the rights. I honestly doubt anyone in their legal departmen has ever heard of, let alone played SC2.

ps. Atari didn't buy Infogrames, Infogrames bought the right to call their company Atari, and gobbled up whatever parts of an actual Atari existed, or at least that's how I read it.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Michael Martin on October 03, 2003, 08:44:19 pm
Quote
One would assume that any letter sent to Atari about Star Control 2 would result with the response "Star Control what?" and they would throw it away, or deny the rights.


Crystal Dynamics contracted some people to do the 3DO videos of Star Control 2 -- Accolade wasn't involved at all.

I don't recall whether Crystal Dynamics holds the rights or whether it wasn't a work for hire.  Some research was done into this early on in the project, but I can't get at the sc2-dev lists right now (SourceForge is being screwy).


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Terminator on October 16, 2003, 10:48:41 pm
Personally I Think the game should not end after the Sa-Matra is destroyed, add addtional story I was thinking that after u destroy it the Chmmr will move a mass abundance of minerals to Unzelvault and in 10 years u have another precursor ship complete this time and have the chance to meet the other milleu races by expanding the starmap beyond your regoin of space.  maybe u could also show the ur-quan and Kor-ah's reaction to it.  And seriously don't F*** with the hyperspace u can't beat the PC version.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on October 17, 2003, 12:11:01 am
I see you are new here terminator. Good luck and have fun!

Two things.
1. There is already "The Road to 0.4 #2" post there instead of here.
2. They are NOT going to change anything about the plot, play timewarp if you want new plot( better than nothing...)


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: bigfoot256 on October 17, 2003, 08:20:20 am
Eh, play Timewarp for graphics; it has little to no plot. I guess if you want plot, you'll have to play Star Control 3.  :P


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on October 17, 2003, 09:01:56 am
So... Like bitfoot says, in other words if you want a plot, create one of your own!


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Terminator on October 18, 2003, 12:42:48 am
Quote
Eh, play Timewarp for graphics; it has little to no plot. I guess if you want plot, you'll have to play Star Control 3.  :P


Apparrently u did not play Star Control 3 it sucked and was unrealitic as opposed to the storyline.  read the story of starcon2 it took almost 10 years to build the ship but in starcon3 when u return 2 Unzelvult u have a complete new precuror ship! :o


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Terminator on October 18, 2003, 01:20:06 am
What Happend to the opening intro ??? I was looking forward to it.  I have been a long time fan,  and have been spending some time comparing your ported version to the PC version there are a few differences between the 2 like added voice, added the fact that u must hunt out the Mycon Homeworld, added the slideshow at the end of 0.3.  But I was looking hoping u would implement the PC version intro well I'll see when 0.4 comes out.  
On a final note what was up with the update.txt file on the original disks for The PC ???


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Culture20 on October 18, 2003, 03:20:44 am
That was supposed to be an update to the paper manual that came with the game.  Did you mean "what was up with P&F running away to Alaska?"


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Culture20 on October 18, 2003, 03:29:32 am
Quote
it took almost 10 years to build the ship but in starcon3 when u return 2 Unzelvult u have a complete new precuror ship! :o

Not only that, but it was built w/o the control computer for the factory.  The manual for SC2 said you ripped it out of the factory to make the ship fly.  There are many other inconsistencies between SC2 and SC3, and most were blatant.  That's why Timewarp got started (there were already melee clones at that time).  TW's melee engine is there because the Adventure portion will end up using it eventually.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Michael Martin on October 18, 2003, 06:07:50 am
Quote
What Happend to the opening intro ??? I was looking forward to it.  I have been a long time fan,  and have been spending some time comparing your ported version to the PC version there are a few differences between the 2 like added voice, added the fact that u must hunt out the Mycon Homeworld, added the slideshow at the end of 0.3.  But I was looking hoping u would implement the PC version intro well I'll see when 0.4 comes out.  
On a final note what was up with the update.txt file on the original disks for The PC ???


The PC Intro is present as PNGs in your content directory under "slides."  The PC source is missing, not even TFB has it anymore; code that was ripped from it for the 3DO version (like the slideshow mechanism) needs to be reimplemented from scratch.

It's on the table, but it isn't done yet, as has been already mentioned in this thread.  If you want it at the earliest opportunity, track CVS.  (The codec architecture is fluid right now, so I don't recommend trying to add it yourself.)

The update.txt file isn't our department, having been written a decade before the organization of the UQM team and all.  I'm given to understand it's a slight exaggeration, but that (a) the game was late and (b) they refused to ship half-finished.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: bigfoot256 on October 18, 2003, 08:44:57 am
Quote


Apparrently u did not play Star Control 3 it sucked and was unrealitic as opposed to the storyline.  read the story of starcon2 it took almost 10 years to build the ship but in starcon3 when u return 2 Unzelvult u have a complete new precuror ship! :o


Yeah. Hence the smiley.  :P


Title: .Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Mormont on October 20, 2003, 06:09:26 am
You guys really should make the PC dialogue the default in v0.4. Newbies who didn't play the original *really* need to hear the Melnorme metachron thing, and also the Mycon homeworld stuff, and a lot of people aren't going to bother looking at command line operatives. If you're worried about the inconsistency with speech, then you could turn the speech off by default (I personally would rather hear the music than the voices anyway).

Oh, and how about setting it up to play the PC intro music in the video intro? That music roxxored.

SC3 did not suck. I'd call it a champion of mediocrity. But it definitely did not live up to SC2


Title: Re: .The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Terminator on October 20, 2003, 08:08:12 pm
Quote


SC3 did not suck. I'd call it a champion of mediocrity. But it definitely did not live up to SC2


Actully it did suck melee battles where too one-sided in your favor u could easily out match any crux ship.  And actually made using an Earthling Criuser a great choice


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Lukipela on October 20, 2003, 10:07:00 pm
JKWJ: These days most ppl just gotta have speech. Old timers like us don't need it, but the new kids? Besides, the ppl who originally bought it on 3do didn't get the pc clues, and most of them made it, so in todays society (with the handy hintful internet to boot), it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Also, I have a feeling that all this 3d0 music sux/rox, pc music rox/sux depends heavily on what system you played the game on to begin with. Nostalgia hard at work.

Terminator: Wether SC3 sucked or did not suck is very much a personal opinion. You can count up weak points til you're blue in the face, but some people will still disagree with you on how weak, if weak at all, these points are. Or they will concede that they are weak, but still tell you that they enjoyed the game. Either way, it's pretty pointless to argue about wether it sucks or not. Each to their own.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Novus on October 20, 2003, 10:49:41 pm
Quote
Also, I have a feeling that all this 3d0 music sux/rox, pc myusic rox/sux depends heavily on what system you played the game on to begin with. Nostalgia hard at work.

Personally, I prefer the 3DO version (apart from the missing dialogue) even though I've never actually seen a 3DO. Then again, I spent a lot of time reading the dialogue out loud in goofy voices. ;)


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Lukipela on October 20, 2003, 11:08:52 pm
Alright, then I imagine it depends heavily on what system you owned, with the exception of anyone who used to read out the goofy voices by themselves.  :P


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Novus on October 20, 2003, 11:20:47 pm
Quote
Alright, then I imagine it depends heavily on what system you owned, with the exception of anyone who used to read out the goofy voices by themselves.  :P

That sounds like quite an accurate theory. Can anyone here provide a counter-example (e.g. a PC user who likes the 3DO version better, but never read the text out loud, or a 3DO user who can't stand the voices)?


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Spurk on October 20, 2003, 11:53:19 pm
Quote

That sounds like quite an accurate theory. Can anyone here provide a counter-example (e.g. a PC user who likes the 3DO version better, but never read the text out loud, or a 3DO user who can't stand the voices)?

I never read the text aloud, and while hearing the 3DO voices the first time was certainly jarring, I've enjoyed replaying the game with the voices. I don't know which way I prefer though.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Sage on October 21, 2003, 12:05:48 am
I originally experienced the 3DO version, so the voices hold a certain nostalgic value to me.

Yeah, it's not a counter example, but :P on that.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Lukipela on October 21, 2003, 12:10:09 am
Thank you Sage for being the one person not discounting my theory :) However, I still think it holds true with due exceptions.  (And I'm still not sure Spurk didn't read the voices out loud, and is just embarrassed to admit it  ;D )

Seriously though, this is one of the more thoughtful forums I've encountered during my wanderings, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised if it is harder to stuff everyone into one category over here....


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Mormont on October 21, 2003, 01:47:57 am
Okay, so maybe some people do prefer the speech. But I'd much rather hear the music in all its glory than the mostly weak (though not horrible) voice-acting.

Here's a suggestion: to make it easier on people who don't normally use command line stuff, how about having a graphical interface with checkboxes and stuff to set the options? I don't really mind command lines, but I'm sure there are some people who don't even bother with the operators.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Lukipela on October 21, 2003, 02:26:19 am
Quote


* That "Setup" menu option really needs to do something.  Some efforts have been made (with the UQM launcher utilities) to get around the fact that the only way to configure UQM right now is to pass it boatloads of commandline options.  A few (-n springs to mind, and it may yet come to pass that -o and -r will have to do that too) will need to stay there.  The others, however, should be mutable at run time, via Setup.


Unless I'm totally off, that's what you're suggesting? First post in the topic...


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Sage on October 21, 2003, 02:26:35 am
Just guessing, but that's probably what will be put in the now nonfunctional Setup menu. Again your ability/desire to use the switches will vary according to the user, but if my understanding is correct, a majority of UQM fans originally played the game on DOS, and so probably wouldn't mind the switches.

Personally I wouldn't mind if command line options were to remain in place even when the setup menu is functional. In this case, command line options should override whatever presets are in place, but only for that particular time UQM is run.

EDIT: Bah! You beat me to it, Luki. That's what I get for stepping away for a few minutes before finishing my post.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Lukipela on October 21, 2003, 02:28:39 am
Of course I did. I'm Enlightened after all.  :P


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Sage on October 21, 2003, 02:29:13 am
:P on you.

No offense intended, of course.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Lukipela on October 21, 2003, 02:30:44 am
But much taken! Oh how you will suffer!! I will.. umm... I will.. Oh nevermind.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Mormont on October 21, 2003, 02:47:36 am
Quote
a majority of UQM fans originally played the game on DOS, and so probably wouldn't mind the switches.


But what about those poor unenlightened ones who didn't play the original? :)


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Lukipela on October 21, 2003, 02:52:07 am
Would you read the first post on the page already? Or the quote I provided from the text. A setup editor is in the works, and will contain (virtually) all the switches.

Again, if i've misunderstood the first post and the setup thingy is something co0mpletely different, then my apologies. But I do seriously think that that is what you are looking for.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Mormont on October 21, 2003, 03:00:09 am
I read it, and that's what I'm talking about.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Michael Martin on October 21, 2003, 04:07:13 am
There's a prototype by Paxtez (for just the commandline options) active in bugzilla; the patch has "rotted" a little and needs a little massaging to make work, but it's mostly OK.

The setup menu intends to handle input and resource configuration as well as command line options, except for very specific things like content directory which it needs to get at the options menu itself, and possibly also things that SDL really doesn't like to mess with.  (Early experiments made it crash when trying to switch between OpenGL and pure mode, or when switching the screen resolution.  Those might be tractable, or they might not.)  It depends on extensible string tables.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Death 999 on October 21, 2003, 08:14:02 pm
From the technical Issues FAQ:

> There is a java launcher program available at http://www.submedia.net/uqm/
> (note: though most files there are mac-only, the launcher should work anywhere).
> There is also a windows-only launcher which was once available at
> http://www.theafterm.ath.cx/uqm/UQM%20Launcher+Libs.exe


I suppose this should be referenced in the general FAQ in the section on command-line switches.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Matt Caspermeyer on October 26, 2003, 02:34:41 am
I'm one of the few people who's played both the PC and 3DO versions of the game.

I played the original on the PC and thought it was one of the best games I ever played. I also loved the PC music so much that I used Norton's Hex Editor to manually extract the MOD files so that I could play them in Cubic Player.

It was many years later when I downloaded and heard the melee music from the 3DO version off the PNF and I was hooked - I had to go out and get the 3DO version and play it.

So I purchased a 3DO off of Ebay and Star Control II as well and set out to playing it.

The improvement over the PC version to me was incredible! All my favoriate music sounded so much better, the graphics were better, and the voices I loved, too, but having known what the dialogue was from playing the PC version so much, I can see how people would think it is a little bit like Jar Jar in Episode I - some people like him, some people hate him. At least you have the option of turning off the voices in the UQM, but you're stuck with Jar Jar in Episode I.

But the Introduction and Ending in the 3DO versions are by far some of the most incredibly fitting movies I've ever seen! The Introduction for me, brought tears to my eyes as I listened to the narrator and knew what I had to do next to save the galaxy. Then, finally finishing it up, the ending was simply incredible - it fit so well and sounded awesome!

I also loved the PC Intro and Ending, but to me the 3DO experience made one of my favorite games of all time my favorite game of all time!

So what's the point of this? To give an answer to the nostalgia question that has been asked in this thread that everyone who's originally played the PC version likes all of its features better than the 3DO version. To me, the only thing missing from the 3DO version was subtitles to help you understand what the aliens were saying if you weren't familiar with the dialogue or couldn't understand them. The PC ending can be added after the 3DO ending for those who really like it, too (like me!).

Since the 3DO movies are copyrighted, that is too bad, since if you haven't seen them when you're in the game playing then seeing them off a website doesn't do them justice! I think the same holds true for the PC ending as well - if you haven't gone through the game and experienced the game and then seen the ending, it doesn't have near the impact it does if you had because a lot of the ending credits in the PC ending have a context that becomes much more appreciated when you've played through the entire game.

I'd really like to see both endings - 3DO first, then PC if it is possible. As far as intro's go, I like the 3DO one much more than the PC one, but a combination of those two, too, would be neat.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Deep-Jiffa on October 26, 2003, 04:24:43 pm
Well, I can't say much about the pc or the 3do version because last and first time I have played sc2 I was only 7 years old! I couldn't understand much because I was only 7, and my native language isn't English.

I kept playing the super-melee over the years without knowing about the fun in the full game! Until one day I got a new computer! My computer! 600 MHz, voodoo 3 ( Hey! It was the BEST you could get in those days ;D) So I have stopped playing sc2 :'( since it was on my (my brother's) old computer. I have never finished the game until Uqm came. It is hard without a spoiler to understand what they want if you know English very little.

I think I am one of the guys who had the must fun finishing the game! I mean, I knew must stuff but now I could understand how they link together or their deeper meaning (and the jokes ofcourse "Har-har-har-har!"). This game is awesome.

Let's get to the point. I have sc2 on my brother's computer (and if anyone wants to know how old it is, 300 MHz, 16 ram and no video card or some forgotten card) and I want to know two things:
A. How do I get it working on my computer or if I can't, go to section B.
B. How I get it working on 256-color instead of the 16 colors mode? I remember it working on 256 before my brother installed windows 98.

I know you probably think, or at least Sage thinks, "Oh god, not him again! For how long he is going to annoy us?" but I will highly appreciate if you will help me one more time.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Mormont on October 26, 2003, 10:36:30 pm
Quote
To give an answer to the nostalgia question that has been asked in this thread that everyone who's originally played the PC version likes all of its features better than the 3DO version.


Not true. I never played the 3do version. However, I like almost all the extra 3do stuff (such as the remixes, menus, planet exploration, and combat zooming) better than the PC version. The only things about 3do that I don't like better are the voice-acting (SC3's was much better), the new quasispace music (I really think the old music should be the default), and the missing text.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Novus on October 27, 2003, 11:19:20 am
Quote
I have sc2 on my brother's computer (and if anyone wants to know how old it is, 300 MHz, 16 ram and no video card or some forgotten card) and I want to know two things:
A. How do I get it working on my computer or if I can't, go to section B.

The easiest way to run SC2 on modern hardware is probably to use DOSBox (http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/). DOSBox should emulate enough hardware to get SC2 running nicely.

Quote

B. How I get it working on 256-color instead of the 16 colors mode? I remember it working on 256 before my brother installed windows 98.

SC2 doesn't have a 16 colour mode. It always runs in 256 colours. However, if your graphics card isn't fully VGA compatible, the default palette routines in SC2 malfunction and scramble the colours. Switching SC2 to BIOS palette access instead of direct register access (through the "/G:BIOS" switch, as documented in the manual) usually fixes this problem. Be advised that some cracks for SC2 that add crack loaders "STARCON2.COM" and "MELEE.COM" prevent SC2 from getting the command line options. Rename or remove these COM files if you have them.

Rule of thumb: 16 colour graphics look slightly silly. Graphics with the wrong palette look very silly. For example, if space isn't black, you probably have a palette problem.


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: Terminator on October 27, 2003, 08:32:29 pm
Quote
Okay, so maybe some people do prefer the speech. But I'd much rather hear the music in all its glory than the mostly weak (though not horrible) voice-acting.

Here's a suggestion: to make it easier on people who don't normally use command line stuff, how about having a graphical interface with checkboxes and stuff to set the options? I don't really mind command lines, but I'm sure there are some people who don't even bother with the operators.


just scratch the voice file u dont want u dumbass


Title: Re: The road goes ever on: The Road to 0.4, #1
Post by: NECRO-99 on October 27, 2003, 08:59:20 pm
The game doesn't like it when it can't find files. It tends to stop working. Don't cuss people out, either, it's really childish.