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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Copying game to friend's computer on: October 19, 2007, 09:28:38 am
This is probably a dumb question - I just installed the game on my computer, and I want to install it at a friend's house, except he doesn't have a high-speed Internet connection.  I figure I could burn it onto a CD for him, but my question is, what files do I transfer over?  The main program directory (obviously) - but when I used uqm-0.6.2-installer.exe , did it create any other directories or files in other locations that are critical to making the game run properly?  I did a very basic install, no extra music packs or the 3D0 material.    We're both running Windows XP.

2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A SC4 Suggestion Thread for those who know MMORPG is not the answer. on: June 04, 2006, 06:31:36 pm
Should the game be 2d or 3d? If 3d, should it be 1st or 3rd person?

This doesn't really matter to me, I'm sure people could re-adjust to whatever interface is offered, and the gaming scene, graphics and processing power have changed so much since the original SC2.

How should they handle resource gathering, both interface-wise and the in game logistics?

In SC2, the resource gathering was incredibly well-balanced with the pace of the plot and exploration aspects, and I'd like to see that continue. Certain stars, races and resources were put within near reach, and the way the starmap was laid out subconsciously encouraged you to explore in certain directions. You found things out gradually, then flew greater and greater distances, and found out more. Hard to do, but perfect when done right. If possible I'd like to see that done again.

And if it were released only to console, would you purchase that console?

Probably not; I'm not a console gamer.

One of the previous posters said "I dont like to play games.. I like to experience them."  I'm of a similar mind. I want to feel immersed in the universe, so the plot and dialogue is incredibly important to me. Also the fact in SC2 that your actions have consequences - you're Making Stuff Happen. Having a rich story and universe is the way to go.

Another important feature, which I desperately would like to see but I doubt would be implemented, is the auto-fight mode. Save the game before the battle and let the computer fight it out.  This made the game incredibly accessible to us adventure gamers who suck at battle/action games.

Here's a question though. If this is going to be a sequel, there's going to have to be a synopsis of SC2.  What's the best way of summarizing what happened?  The Earthlings made a lot of different things happen in their interactions with each alien race. Plus some game threads were optional... was it necessary to send the Ilwrath after the Thraddash? Which optional plot points would we want to survive in the sequel?
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: First impressions! on: April 06, 2005, 08:55:00 am
I have to agree on the speed of battle issue.  Any way to introduce a variable settings option to slow it down?
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Starmaps completed on: February 09, 2005, 12:21:09 pm
Right-o.  I've updated the links in the original message with the fixes!
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Starmaps completed on: February 08, 2005, 11:36:24 am

Okay, *now* I understand the concern over the Lyncis constellation.  Sorry about that!

See, when I played the game, I never had the map, so when I encountered the snake/elephant dialogue, it was meaningless to me - I thought it was unhelpful obfuscation, not an actual hint.  In fact I wasn't able to find the VUX beast at all, and was stuck in the game for several months until I found a hints file posted to a Usenet newsgroup.

Hotay, that can be corrected easily, as can the galaxy's spin - let me research that a bit first 'cause I want to make sure I've got the arrow pointing in the right direction!  (Hrm, the Now and Forever conversations page don't seem to have the full text of all the Melnorme conversations on history...)

As to the question of removing the names from circles, I can do that as a variant; although in my mind the 2134 map performs a similar function already. Smiley
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Starmaps completed on: February 06, 2005, 11:51:34 pm
[modified Feb. 9, 2005]

Okay, the revised maps are as follows:   (AD 2134)   (AD 2155)  (AD 2155 variant, with question mark substitutions)

Lyncis is fixed, galactic spin arrow is fixed, and just for the heck of it I made the word "Sol" green.  'Cause it's home and all!

[original message follows]

These are the before and after maps.  The Ur-Quan Masters team can have the distribution rights and all.

Someone commented in an earlier post that the Lyncis constellation was drawn incorrectly.  I changed a lot of the lines so that the similarities with the original game map would be minimal.  The lines are all subjective anyway, and, um, are the worst-drawn parts of the map.

The only real link that might be made with the original map are the position and size of some of the circles.  If this is a concern for copyright, I could re-do the circles using game information to infer what might be reasonable placement.

What else... I corrected the colours; the green stars especially had some odd colour artifacts in the earlier draft; that's fixed now.  I didn't keep all the classic colours for the different circles, that was another partially subjective vs. aesthetic decision.  I brightened the grid and star line colours to make them more visible. Thanks for the feedback earlier, it came in very useful!

The position of the Rainbow worlds were corrected.  Most of the stars are off by a couple of pixels due to the way I put the map together; but it's important to have the Rainbow worlds in the right places so that's fixed!

The caption text at the bottom was changed, because when I re-checked the game I found out that data on some alien races was only learned during the war itself.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Missing stars? on: January 11, 2005, 09:08:07 pm
I've heard the same thing about mapmakers, because when it comes down to it it's the only sure-fire way to prove copyright when someone's copied your map.

I found the two planets mentioned (as gaps) in files downloaded from the Pages of Now and Forever, which were lists of planets and minerals.  One of them actually had them labelled as "Victim of interdimensional fatigue" and "Suffered mysterious solar implosion" - I thought they'd made that up, but I guess not!
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Draft map completed on: January 10, 2005, 12:31:28 pm
Whew!  Okay, I've finished the draft of the hyperspace star map for new players - I've brightened the colors as people advised.  I'd like to get constructive feedback if it needs tweaking, before I go on to use the same color scheme to make the map of what the game looks like after Earth's defeat.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Missing stars? on: January 10, 2005, 09:44:41 am
I suspect the answer to this is "human error", but I was wondering if there's a reason some stars are missing from the game.  Just on the remote chance that they're lost in the code somewhere and might be brought back so we can land on 'em. (grin)

Two of the stars are Alpha Corvi and Beta Sculptoris, but I've also got another reference from an old text file on my hard drive.  Someone typed up a list of all the answers to the opening software protection quiz, and it mentions a planet called "Hotblack" at 263.1 : 512.3.

10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Free (unfinished) star chart on: December 08, 2004, 01:39:12 pm
Yeow, that's one funky way to go about making a circle!  Still, I can work with that.  Thanks!

Brighter lines joining the constellations?  Easy to fix; I can brighten the background grid too.  How am I determining coordinates?  I'm not.  The whole map is a bunch of captured screenshots, slightly scrunched, so some stars are probably out of strict alignment.

Okay, before I start fiddling, a question to everyone.  How should I do the alien spheres of influence?  There are a couple of issues.  Ideally I'm aiming this map towards people playing the game for their first time.

(1) Which ones to show?  Do I follow the example of the Accolade map, showing the races that Earth knew about from the Chenjesu when they joined the war?  Amongst other things, it shows the Androsynth, the Chenjesu, the Mmrnmhrm, the Ilwrath in a different position, and some "unknown"s (the Pkunk, Druuge, and Traddash) which could be potential spoilers for new players.

(2) If I follow the Accolade example, should I also match the diameters of the circles?  The Accolade map's circles are a bit different in size from the ones in the game.

Another option is to use the circles seen during gameplay, although it's still a matter of choosing which ones to show.

(3) Colors?  All the same color for each circle, or different for each civilization?

My main concern is that I don't want to imitate the Accolade map too closely, so that the map could get distributed with little fear of copyright violation.

And then I have to type in all the names of the constellations...  I'll save that until after the Xmas holidays, methinks.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Free (unfinished) star chart on: December 07, 2004, 11:12:23 am
Hi everyone - I thought it would be good to put together a star chart for the game, since the Accolade PDF one that's floating around is probably copyrighted.

It doesn't have any of the constellation and star names on it yet, nor the circles of influence of the various alien races.  I can't figure out how to insert plain circles in photoshop, and all my text fonts look terrible.

This was put together by doing screen-captures.  However, in the game, the grid is slightly rectangular, and I have attempted to correct for this.  Just in case you find some stars a few pixels off.  I've also drawn lines connecting the constellations, trying not to copy the Accolade chart.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Rookie questions on: September 19, 2004, 11:13:52 pm
In regards to the first question, no, they can't be skipped.  Mainly because while you're travelling through hyperspace, there's a chance you'll encounter other ships, even if you're not within another alien's "territory".  And the game wants to give you the option to avoid other ships, which you can usually see approaching.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: "Very Young Orangutans..." on: August 13, 2004, 04:11:43 am
Lifeforms?  Erg.  That's more tricky.  The online database of planets has a lot of errors in regards to where life is and isn't.  I kept some notes myself but didn't record how _much_ life was available at any given planet.

Trying to compare my notes with the online database, here's a very short list where the two seem to agree.  No guarantees though - this list may be wrong. Each solar system should have about 200 credits' worth for the Melnorme.  And expect some casualties along the way.

Delta Normae 1
Beta Tauri  1, 5b
Delta Sextantis 1
Eta Ptolemae 4, 5
Delta Lalande 4
Beta Cygnus 3, 4
Alpha Gorno 1 6a
Zeta Gruis 1a
Delta Centauri 2a

And don't forget to visit the Spathi homeworld, of course!
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: "Very Young Orangutans..." on: August 10, 2004, 02:07:42 am
Well, if you confine the planets to ones with exotic elements with over 2000 RU, the best ones are:

5750 Beta Cephei 6
5675 Alpha Centauri 3
4150 Iota Serpentis 1
4125 Beta Chandrasekhar 2
3900 Beta Normae 3
3825 Epsilon Cassiopeiae 1
3650 Gamma Luyten 2
3650 Delta Tauri 2
3650 Beta Scorpii 5
3575 Formalhaut 1
3350 Delta Tauri 1
3300 Alpha Hyginus 5
3275 Theta Lyncis 1
3200 Beta Ophiuchi 2
3100 Gamma Eridani 1
2975 Epsilon Volantis 4
2775 Gamma Leonis 2
2650 Gamma Antliae 2
2650 Delta Tauri 7
2625 Delta Aurigae 2
2625 Alpha Chamaeleonis 4
2500 Alpha Fornacis 5
2450 Zeta Antliae 4
2400 Beta Apodis 2
2325 Alpha Columbae 5
2275 Gamma Volantis 1
2250 Alpha Centauri 8
2175 Alpha Ceti 2
2150 Kappa Horologii 4
2025 Beta Scorpii 7

A number of these aren't easily reached near the beginning of the game though, or they're in enemy territory.

15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Introducing new people to the game II on: July 20, 2004, 08:39:07 pm
Yes, that's one of the points I was trying to make.  Re-write the text, re-do the map, thus avoiding the rights problems.  It's just that the text in the current Manual.txt file that's distributed with UQM 0.3 should be slightly expanded to at least say that Vela is next to Zeeman, and who the Androsynth are.
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