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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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16  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: More doodles on: November 22, 2011, 07:34:43 pm
Steve-O> Game worlds are of course very different from our world, so it's hard to draw parallels about economics and grind and world destroying villains. Moral is not an easy thing. Does the end justify the means? Perhaps the hero needs to be a little thieving bastard, or the world is likely done for? Like you sort of said... Maybe it's probable that the gold initially belonged to the people, and it should probably be returned to its former owners right away. A hero who insists on paying merchants, might also insist on first returning the gold to the people who lost it or just strangers who are suffering, and thus have very little gold to spend on things, further reducing his chance to save the world.

It's also possible that merchants are actually antagonists in the sense that they are preventing the world from being saved, along with the monsters (who might just be going about their natural monster business). A good merchant (or one with any sense of self preservation) would offer his goods for free in order to expedite the world being saved, or go and save the world himself. Thus, the merchants can be seen as being more on the side of evil and the thieving hero can remain fully "good" in the sense of a B/W RPG world.

Megagun> I'm coming closer and closer to finishing stuff every year. I almost finished three different projects this year. I think I've written about 15000-20000 lines of (BlitzMax) code. I have so little left to do on them, it's embarrassing.

Looking at the amount of GFX that I need to do for this project, I think I'm looking at a month of fulltime work, if I do it using a simple B/W gameboy palette and don't do any tile variations and such. I don't have the time or health now to do that, but it's still fun to play around with the idea and research old games.
17  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: More doodles on: November 20, 2011, 08:11:47 pm
It might be so... but many RPGs have crafting/fetch quest mechanics for producing equipment as well as regular stores with finished goods.

At any rate, it brings up an interesting point. Should enemies drop what they're actually carrying? Very few RPGs work like that, and I can see how such a system might cause problems:

1.) Should the player carry tons of loot around? I was thinking of using a tame hopping/prancing blobby as a mule to solve the backpack problem, regardless.

2.) What shall be done with all of the loot at the end of the day? Sold? Gifted? Converted to raw materials / re-crafted? Used to equip an army?

3.) Enemies probably shouldn't drop over-powered stuff. Stuff can break though... Maybe critical/skilled hits damages equipment less? Something to think about.

I wrote a few lines of code for this project today (character/stats class), but I doubt I'll get further with that. Maybe I should just finish a simple gfx set instead. Or do what I'm actually supposed to be doing.
18  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: More doodles on: November 19, 2011, 04:35:58 pm
I guess there are a few RPGs where you're just one of many adventurers throughout the game. MMOs for example. Diablo perhaps. I'm sure there are other examples too. But, I was more referring to RPGs with chosen ones, or eventually obvious and recognized saviors.

Let's imagine parallel RPG worlds, one where the hero is eventually recognized and given free endgame stuff, versus one where the hero has to grind for everything.

Which world would you like to live in? Let's assume that if the hero dies even once (no magical resurrection), everyone in the world is tortured to death, including all of the merchants.

But yeah, there is the chance that a bad hero is given the Vorpal Sword and falls into a volcano, severely reducing the real hero's chance of defeating the boss. Or that lots of heroes suck the merchants dry and no one even has swords anymore.

On the other hand, in some RPG's you don't have to be a magical chosen one. Any mediocre, randomly generated characters chosen by the player has a chance of saving the world. Examples are Final Fantasy Legend and Dragon Quest 3 (bunny girls!).

The world economy may or may not be wrecked when the merchants in the last town gives the heroes free items, but you're probably looking at a 90% chance of the world being saved with this scenario.

On the other hand, you can wager that the hero will make it without help, and save the world economy too! Who completes a game on his first run without dying though?

But, you also have to consider that... in a game like Dragon Quest 1, the evil monsters will disappear once the last boss is defeated. The swamps turn into flower fields and stuff like that. Every moment the player is forced to grind, people are dying, cities are sacked and and economic damage is done. Higher level monsters give higher XP, so a player with great items could level much faster to match the endgame equipment, and defeat the boss quicker.

The player probably earned a lot of gold in the process too, and could compensate the merchants afterwards and salvage the economy.

That's my take on it. It kind of comes down to what type of game world you're in.

19  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: More doodles on: November 17, 2011, 05:32:30 pm
I actually made a simple program which loads my image and shows me the animation. I don't like animating in PS much.

I didn't like the SNES Mode 7 much in RPGs. It felt very flat. With isometric gfx you can have some simple overlap. However, doing tall grass and stuff which covers the feet does take some extra work.

Today's doodad. Doing just 2 walk frames is the simplest option. A standing frame requires a bit of extra work, but it can perhaps be snuck in as a mid-step frame.

The world map would be using a different scale than indoors/indungeon.

The greedy Druuge could actually be used to explain (better than most RPGs) why the heroes, who are saving the world, still has to pay for stuff.
20  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: More doodles on: November 15, 2011, 11:49:18 pm
Inconclusive experiments. GB resolution stuff has the advantage of being so small and abstract that you never really notice whether your guys are properly equipped, are drawn in an odd perspective or scale, etc. One solution is to use a vehicle for world map travel, but that doesn't work well in towns where the characters needs to be shown after all. Towns with no people might look dead and stale... unless perhaps a zoomed out solution is used (cute small people and vehicles). But, vehicles sort of distract from the guys-on-foot combat mechanic.

21  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: More doodles on: November 15, 2011, 05:12:29 pm
All of my projects are ambitious, even the unambitious ones. Art-wise, I don't know if a still-picture and 2-frame-walk RPG is that demanding, but these things are always more work than one thinks when staring out. I'm just playing around here anyways.

Now some ship doodles, unrelated.

22  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / More doodles on: November 12, 2011, 11:01:22 pm
I was watching a Final Fantasy Legend 2 / Saga 2 video let's play, and randomly also thought about Star Control. Saga 2 is kinda fun because it's such a mish-mash of humans, playable monsters and technology / fantasy.

I suppose this idea doesn't make much sense at all, but I was in the mood...

That's all!
23  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: discussion board compromised on: August 03, 2011, 09:49:51 pm
Was the forum software is up to date?

24  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: space strategy games recommendations on: December 07, 2010, 03:35:48 am
I've put my lists on my MoO page. I've missed a bunch of games though, like Light of Altair, Haegemonia... and hey what is this?
25  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: space strategy games recommendations on: December 06, 2010, 07:13:30 pm
The strictly topdown view of the ships in Gratious Space Battles works pretty well, despite the baked in light. I think the ships are 'pre rendered'. In SC2 the specular and shadows move across the ships as they rotate.

Some more links:

Star Ruler

Star Trek: Birth Of The Federation

Star Trek: Armada 2

The Outforce. I can't find much info about this game. It reminds me of the naval battle aspect of Total Annihilation.


These games seems to be more 3D realtime combat focused (with less/no base building stuff).

Nexus - The Jupiter incident


Star Wars: Empire at War - You can do some base building stuff in the Galactic Conquest mode, if I understood it correctly.

Then we have Battleships Forever, in which you build ships out of vector shapes and pit them against each other.


Also, if you're into these kind of space-battle settings, you might want to watch Legend of Galactic Heroes.
26  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: space strategy games recommendations on: December 04, 2010, 05:23:32 pm
I just stumbled on Armada 2526. Hard to find much info about it. This video review doesn't say much.


I'm just going to go ahead and link a whole bunch of games here that I've stumbled upon here (I'm not recommending anything). Some of them might have been mentioned before:

AI war looks interesting.

I keep hearing good stuff about an older game called Ascendancy. It has nice music.

I haven't played the PC version of Utopia K240, called Fragile Allegiance. It looks a bit different from the Amiga version.

Star Lords: Imperial Order (not the MoO1 prototype).

Lost Empire: Immortals

Gratuitous Space Battles: Galactic Conquest

Emperor of the Fading Suns

Conquest: Frontier Wars

Colonial conquest is an old "indie" game for the Amiga. Well, we didn't say indie back then.

Star Wars: Rebellion

Overlord, a NES game which looks very nice.


Some more well known and newer games:

Galactic Civilizations (2)
Space Empires (5)
Sins of a Solar Empire
Sword of the Stars
Homeworld (2)
27  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Intellectual Debate on: September 28, 2010, 11:34:42 am
Oh my FSM, it's George Hammond!
28  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Art, again. on: August 28, 2010, 11:54:21 am
Cube root planet orbits.
29  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Art, again. on: August 27, 2010, 11:14:01 pm
Thanks. Yeah, I'm thinking there should be a relatively simple formula / table for planetary orbit times depending on distance.

Hmm. Third one:

I was indeed thinking of using a square or cube root for distances too, because proportionally realistic planetary distances are difficult to fit in a playfield.
Then there's temperature. If planets were squares and sunlight comes like a view pyramid, I could imagine that a square 2AU away would get 1/4th the light of one that's 1AU away. But then there's the whole deal with magnetospheres and greenhouseshizzle.

Anyways, just playing with ideas here. I wrote a text document to accompany the pictures but I left it half finished.
30  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Art, again. on: August 27, 2010, 04:07:10 pm
I was sketching on a new Star Control project, but derailed pretty quickly. Here's some art though.

Well, those are not Black Spathi. I was supposed to get to those, but first I wanted to play around with justanimate's design,
which I think works pretty well (arm placement, round simplicity, Spathi stealth). Not sure about the Earthling pilot.
It's loosely based on the SC1 menu portrait and melee pilot portrait, but it feels too sporty.

I was thinking of doing assets for a SC mini game. Just a little star cluster, exploration, some aliens, mining, research.
The game setup would go something like:

In the voids between the galaxies, small star clusters lie in isolation, all a few billion years old.
They don't appear to have been formed naturally, but it's doubtful that the precursors were somehow responsible for
their construction. The precursors did however find a way to visit them and (in their usual manner) littered artifacts
all around, maybe even a few species (Daktaklakpak?).

During the Ur-Quan conflict, the Earthlings executes a contingency plan: Project Egg Basket (whatever).
They send out a few customized Cruisers with the task of finding more peaceful space. Somewhere between
Spathi and ZFP space, they receive a distorted distress call. It leads them to a strange vortex with a Black Spathi
ship whirling around in it. Soon, a few ZFP Stingers appears to answer the distress call as well (and maybe some
other (hierarchy?) aliens as well).

The captains begin to work together. In a Star Trek kind of way, they figure out a way to free the ship by emitting
some pulse of a certain frequency, all in unison. The effect isn't quite what they expected. Instead of dissolving,
the vortex violently implodes, sucking all of the ships in. It appears the pulse frequency functioned as a coordinate
key of sorts.

Now the aliens are stranded in some random (frequency=seed) star cluster. Will they work together to find a way home,
or will they begin to squabble over precursor artifacts? Perhaps some unknown evil is lying in wait for them?

Who knows? I don't.

Also, planet scaling experiment.

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