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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 / General UQM Discussion / Re: Paul Reiche III is linked to the Nintendo Revolution on: April 26, 2006, 11:02:20 pm
I doubt we'll *ever* see a Star Control 2 sequel for the PS3 or Xbox 360. Developing for those consoles takes an insane budget. To give some context, the Revolution development kit is cheaper than the PSP development kit. Also, Toys for Bob is already working on the Revolution platform. They will be very familiar with its controller and how the system works.

Paul Reiche III has said that the big obstacle for a proper Star Control 2 sequel would be obtaining the development budget. With the PS3 and Xbox 360's development costs skyrocketing (just look at what is needed for the art assets, holy cow), the sequel would appear on either the PC or Revolution. My bet would be the Revolution due to more money being in console games and that the Revolution's controller might have finally solved the riddle of Ford and Reiche creating a solid 3d space shooter.

Before any sequel though, we should petition/spam/threaten Toys for Bob (and their publishers) to put Star Control 2 on the download services of the consoles. At first, I thought SC2 would appear on Xbox Live Arcade but the XBLA titles have been released at such a low rate. And I can't imagine anyone putting in the time to tie SC2 to Xbox Live's stats with updated HD graphics.

With the PS1/PS2 download service, hopefully we will see Toys for Bob's early games like The Unholy War or The Horde available. But I don't think Sony's download service will include games for systems other than Playstation.

The most likely spot for Star Control 2 to reappear on consoles would be the Virtual Console. If the Virtual Console can include NEC and Sega consoles, why not the 3DO? I would imagine that before a SC2 sequel, the waters would be tested to see how popular SC 2 still is.

But I am just speculating. Please Toys for Bob! For the love of Juffo-Wup! After E3, please talk to us!

Don't do it for us. Don't do it for yourselves. Do it for what really matters. Do it for Frungy!
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Paul Reiche III is linked to the Nintendo Revolution on: April 25, 2006, 09:44:19 am

Why am I standing in front of the doorway of prominent development studio Toys for Bob? And why am I next to old-school game developer and all-around funnyman Paul Reiche, probably best known as one half of the Star Control II design team?

And why am I wearing the same clothes I wore at the Nintendo event one night before this visit?

I guess E3 brings out some pretty odd questions. Wonder if there are some good answers to them.

Toys for Bob is designing the Tony Hawk launch game for the Revolution (using the unique controller and all).

Two questions:

1) Is this an indication that Star Control 2 (or even Star Control 1 of the Genesis) being available on the Virtual Console?

2) Will the true sequel to Star Control 2 be put on the Revolution? Revolution would be cheapest to develop for and the controller is a natural fit for 3d space ships.

I'm not even going to start with IGN's Nintendo T-shirt with "HMD" on it... (Head Mounted Display) as we all know where that goes.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: PETITION: Release Ur-Quan Masters for Revoluti on: July 08, 2005, 11:24:59 am
If you don't want this to have anything to do with UQM, why are you posting it on the UQM forums?

Go write a letter to accolade/TFB if you want to have any effect.

Because I want other people to know of this possibility. I think a lot of fans like me would love to see the old Star Controls to be available to download for the new consoles.

It would...

1) Make fans happy
2) Put more money in Toys for Bob's pocket

What's to lose?
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: PETITION: Release Ur-Quan Masters for Revoluti on: July 08, 2005, 11:20:46 am
Wow... don't know where to begin. There I was thinking that you might actually be a reasonable individual, so I tried to propose some alternatives (and wasted my time it seems).

Time to add another fool to the list. I apologize lurkers that these posters do not read or comprehend. For example take the following:

Making personal attacks on 0xDEC0DE is not going to get you anywhere. All you've done is made yourself look childish. He has a right to be pissed, he's been here a helluva long time and is responsible for numerous patches and the Mac OS X distribution of UQM.

He could be Jesus risen from the dead and it wouldn't matter. Look at his knee-jerk whiney response. It deserves to be made fun of.

FYI, internet 'petitions' are worthless.

I doubt we'd see UQM released as 'free ware' if Fred or Paul didn't think there was any fans out there. (They have other great games but Star control 2 has the biggest cult. Hence, the reason it is open source.)

Also FYI, Fred and Paul released the source code to sc2 under the gpl... that's why the UQM project exists. The game content is still under vanilla copyright with permission to distribute it with UQM. All accolade owns is the trademark "star control".

I knew ALL of that. But you assumed I didn't, why? Because, like decoder, you just assume things about posters you're not familiar with.

I don't know if UQM could be released in the download model of Revolution. If all the old Genesis games do, then we can expect Star Control 1. Star Control 2 (yes, the name and trademark) can be released if 3DO games are made available.

This is why it has to go through official channels, legalities, etc. This is why Decoder was 100% wrong with his little rant accusing me of demanding him to do stuff. I don't want him to do anything.

Too bad for you, but the only development that is now occuring for sc2 is the uqm project, which is completely run by fans.

Too bad for you, but I'm not mentioning any development. I am talking about BUYING a digital format of Genesis Star Control 1 or 3DO Star Control 2 over a retro download business model that is supposed to be introduced with Revolution.

You really seem to have no grasp of how things work around here at all. My advice for you is to just leave (not like that's going to happen), you're gonna get roasted pretty soon.

You really seem to have no grasp of how to read or how to properly respond to a message. My advice for you is to apologize (not like that's going to happen with these 'uber' UQM egos running around), and actually talk about the subject.

Let us return to the subject of this thread, which is the release of Star Control (both games) for download over Revolution's download system (which may apply to the other systems if they adopt such a model).

After all, playing Star Control 1 and 2 on a console (especially with people, hard to do on a computer) would be wonderful. Let's push for it.

Oh, and "internet roms" are and always have been illegal.

Yes, but there has been no significant source of 'income loss'. Now those roms are part of a business model, meaning they are no longer abandonware.

Also- where did you hear that genesis games would be supported? Genesis was a sega platform.

From Sega. Sega has expressed interest in Revolution's download system. It wouldn't be hard to play Genesis titles either.

Sega is interested in this because 1) Sega has a lot of old titles 2) Could use those old titles into assets, creating more cashflow.

Sega may not do it. But it is certainly within the realm of possibility. 3DO's games are more complicated but its still perhaps possible.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: PETITION: Release Ur-Quan Masters for Revoluti on: July 08, 2005, 10:59:21 am

tecnically paul and fred arent the ones in charge of UQM and what platforms it will support.

Wow, there must be a stupid virus on this forum. Why don't you people think for a moment... "Gee, Nintendo is introducing a new business model to take advantage of old games. Maybe we could get Star Control to be available." Rather, you're so dense you just bash and don't see anything. If Sega goes along with this idea too, Star Control 1 will likely be available.

UQM isn't relevant at all in this. What matters is the core games released for the consoles with SC 1 for genesis and SC 2 for 3DO. From what I know, this must be done through Toys for Bob. All these 'retro games' must have the permission from the original companies, it seems.

and also, i hate "new" nintendo, its all for the children now.
and they screwed up gamecube. i will never buy a console that uses ONLY cd's(dvd?) that are 8cm(i think). whats the point of a next generation system if it doesnt support dvd's and audio cd's?

I'll apologize, Paul and Fred, that your fans don't have any feel for business models, I'll do my best to educate them.

OK, gentlemen, it works like this:

1) Make something fun
2) ?
3) Profit

The Gamecube is a success in every way you look at it. Nintendo made money from the Gamecube. Microsoft does not make money from the Xbox, hence its market share is highly temporary. From what I know, the Playstation also sells at a loss but makes it up with the games. While Gamecube might have come in 3rd place in America, it clobbered in Japan and did well throughout the rest of the world. Nintendo made quite a bit of money because it had a good business model.

Buying a console for the DVD or audio cd capabilities is stupid. DVD and audio players are very cheap. Also, with not supplying those features, it keeps the console much simpler, cheaper, and easier to develop for. If you want a console that has 'uber' entertainment gimmicks gimmicks, use your pc. A next generation console could include a toaster but what good is that? As for the 'kid' image, I'd say thats a bit underserved, since the exclusive Gamecube titles are high quality. From what I've noticed the 'heart and soul' gamers tend to stick with Gamecube (or with Gameboy Advance, etc.) while the rest of gamers use their consoles 'every now and then'.  If I remember correctly, the DS is still outselling the PSP.

"But the POWER of the Next-Gen systems, Pik. OMG!!!11"

These 'multi' processors look nice. Too bad much of it will be worthless. Playstation 2 had a similiar multi engine part but most games were developed to go through one end. The same will be true for the Cell and for whatever Xbox 360 calls its processors. In the end, its going to be about how the games look and play. Playstation 2, for example, was the weakest of all three systems last generation because of this ("But, OMG, it has a DVD player I never use!" Great, genius, be a sucker for buying stuff you don't need. Have fun with your $400 playstation 3, bahaha)

But none of that matters. What is important is that there is a new business model that brings back all the retro games for consoles. All Star Control fans ought to push for Star Control to be available in this new business model no matter what console it is. If Playstation or Xbox adopts a similiar business model, we push for it there as well.

Though I am mildly stunned to the hostility of the idea. Isn't more Star Control a good thing? Isn't more money for Toys for Bob a good thing? Isn't more children learning about the adventures of Fwiffo a good thing?

According to the Internet Ego Game (tm), I guess not.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: PETITION: Release Ur-Quan Masters for Revoluti on: July 08, 2005, 10:27:27 am

Every time a new flavour-of-the-month platform comes along, somebody comes along and says the exact same thing, and the answer is always the same.  If you want to see the game on [fill in the platform], your options are:
  • roll up your sleeves and do it yourself
  • get the money together to fund a development effort.
Note that "make a post to a random Internet forum demanding that others do all the work for you without any compensation" is not listed.  Do I really need to explain why that is?

Hey numbnut, listen up. I am talking to an official release, not to little Internet boys like you. I am referring to the big boys, Fred Ford and Paul Reiche along with the Toys for Bob crew, not begging to Internet geeks to do something. But you have your head so far up your butt all you see is you. Well, keep it there because then at least you'll see your inner self.

The Revolution is supposed to allow you to download/purchase old console games for the NES/SNES/N64. The details or the payment of this is not known. However, Sega has expressed interest in this business model as it has lots of games it could "sell" as downloads (one interesting effect of this business model is that all those 'roms' out there become illegal).

One of these downloads could be Star Control I from Genesis.

After all, it is already ported. If Sega adapts its old games to this new download model the Revolution is supposed to set up, we easily could be playing Star Control 1 on a current console.

Star Control 2 was already on the 3DO and, especially if the 3DO platform game companies subscribe to this model, Star Control 2 could be downloaded. The biggest limitation with the later games, of course, is space. CD sized games won't work in this model, but Star Control 2 originated on diskettes so it could lose a lot of 'filler' (like the voices, 3DO ship movies) and work.

Poor Decode, I feel for you. I'd be pretty darn embarressed now, having a temper tantrum, crying on my knees, begging for "random" posters to stop demanding that "others" do all the work. Waaahhh. It's a shame you couldn't realize that if a fan did exactly what I described (the download version for Revolution's retro game/download business model), the fan would go to jail. This has to be official, hence the petition.

Toys For Bob just released Madagascar for all systems, including Gamecube. I know that they get caught up in projects, but with their talent, how long would it be to port over the 3DO's SC 2? SC 1 from Genesis may very well become available. By porting it over, it would showcase Toys for Bob's most famous product but also add in a new (albeit small) stream of cashflow, provided Accolade allows them to sell it.

No 'box' versions. No linux. Absolutely nothing from the fans. This has to be official with Toys for Bob and they are the only one with the rights to do this.

PLEASE let us download SC 1 (Genesis) and, if possible, SC 2 (3DO) for Revolution!
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / PETITION: Release Ur-Quan Masters for Revolution! on: July 08, 2005, 08:09:19 am
The upcoming Ninendo Revolution is said to be able to download past console games (such as Nintendo's NES, SNES, and N64 along with third party titles). Ur-quan Masters was a console game for the 3-DO. Problem is that it is hard to find a 3-DO today along with a Star Control 2 copy. Ur-Quan Masters is a great free release, but nothing beats playing it on console. Let us download it for Revolution!

Legally, if Ur-Quan Masters can be downloaded from the Internet here, why not on the Revolution? Make it for free and you'll have a new generation of Star Control 2 players.

It would be interesting if Ur-Quan Masters could be adjusted to play over the Net with Revolution as well. Toys For Bob is very good with making games for consoles. All this one has to do is be adapted.

The only real issue I see might be the game size. The original Star Control 2 was installed via floppy discs. The additions of the 3DO ship movies and the voices for the aliens could be removed to help space wise with no loss to the game play.

Think of the children, Paul and Fred!! They must know who Fwiffo is, free the Shofixti maidens, and apply sweet gaming goodness to their lives. Unleash Star Control 2 again!
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: If you can make the sequel on: May 27, 2005, 08:10:33 am
Paul and Fred seem to do their best at combining multiple genres. I would love a combination of Star control and X-Com. A combination of Star Control and Master of Orion 1 would be interesting. Or even multiple smaller adventure games with Star Control would work well.

High playability and multiplayer! Those are what I would focus on.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Famous Ur-Quan Battles Volume IV on: May 27, 2005, 08:02:28 am
Wow, you guys are not listening.

With the 'hyper-scenario' mode you could make anything you wanted. Yehat vs Yehat or Druuge vs Androsynth. Just as in the 'hyper-melee' mode you can put in any ship vs ship battle or combination you want.

In a Star Control 1 addition, it would be locked. You should have no issue with this since you can make your own side vs. side scenarios in the hyper-scenario mode (just as why protest a locked melee side in a SC 1 mode? We already have hyper-melee mode where we can do whatever).

What I am suspecting is that many SC 2 fans do not understand SC 1. To them, SC 1 is just a poor excuse of a game, whose only saving grace is the tactical campaign and ship descriptions. Forget that Star Control 1 was about the immensity of the Heirarchy War. Forget that all the ships were balanced, not ship to ship (as we see in SC 2), but rather tactics to tactis, that the ships were supposed to operate on the tactics board.  Forget the different game dynamics such as the the stronger planet and forcing the player to operate by side vs. side rather than ship vs. ship. Forget that Star Control 1 evolved and brought into modern age the very first video game made, Space Wars. Let us forget all of this and just say Star Control 1 is an 'awful game' and possessed nothing other than a tactics mode (and ship descriptions). And let us forget that Star Control 1 did make Computer Games best 'video games made' list seperately from Star Control 2.

So much could be brought to life by bringing Star Control 1 to modern game consoles. But I suppose it will never happen because you all see the game only through the lens of SC 2. You look at the game and think, "OMG, IMBALANCE OF SHIPS." Well, duh, because the gameplay isn't ship to ship but side to side. The Umgah and Shofixti sucked, as they were supposed to being 'scouts', and the Ur-Quan Ship was 'too strong', because it was supposed to be, being the flagship invading race.You look at the game and go, "OMG, LOCKED SIDES!" because SC 1 was not about ship vs. ship battles focused as SC 2 was. SC 1 was about side vs. side, as it did feature a full fledged tactical mode. You look at SC 1 and go, "OMG, NO STORY MODE!" Use your imagination with the tactical campaigns. You had scenarios and could imagine the war around you as you made more. I got more gameplay out of SC 1 than SC 2. In SC 2, it was an adventure game and it had an ending. You either replayed the same game or played with the melee. Well, with SC 1, the game always stayed fresh as all the possibilities with the tactical campaign. "OMG, SPINNING STARS!" Most sci-games used spinning maps, such as Overlord. In fact, Star Control felt like a combination of asteroids and overlord. Most old-school gamers prefer the older stars. I was glad that they were brought back in Star Control 3 at least.

Facts be told, the saving grace of Star Control 2 was the super melee part. It was the only multiplayer component. The game, mostly, was single player based. Star Control 1, however, was multiplayer based. But Fred Ford put in a very nice AI so one could practice on it well (good job with the AI in both SC 1 and 2, Fred!). I spent most of my time in SC 1 fighting or conquering star systems. I spent most of my time in SC 2 watching passively as my ship move through hyperspace or collecting resources again and again.

The point is that SC 2 is not an evolution of SC 1, it is a different beast entirely. The adventure mode of SC 2 was well done and recieved well (mostly) to SC 1 fans. But if you look at the sells, SC 1 and SC 2 sold around the same number of copies. "But where are the SC 1 fansites?" Most were absorbed into SC 2. But SC 1 doesn't have content that fits fansites in the same way Archon doesn't. But Archon still has a cult of gamers running around out there as well as SC 1. I should hope that if Paul and Fred make a sequel to their Star Controls, they combine the space arcade combat with the gameplay of Xcom or even Master of Orion 1. What! Such a sequel scares you? Think of how us SC 1 fans felt when we got an adventure game with no tactical mode! But SC 2 is good just as SC 1 is good for their unique ways. Rather than have a SC 3 'evolve' on SC 2, I'd prefer more playability and less single player linearity.

Bring SC 1 back to modern systems, not from the perspective of SC 2, but from the perspective of SC 1. Star Control 1 is NOT a less evolved form of SC 2, it is its own unique game. But I fear that will never happen, since you all have concluded that SC 2 is what Star control *really is*, and Star Control 1 is just some deformed game (with a tactical mode and nice ship descriptions!). In that case, even an 'evolutionary sequel' using SC 2's design will disapoint your high ideals. The unique Star Control genre is starving, and with this refusal to even look at the prequel from any other prism than from SC 2, then I say the series ought to die.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Famous Ur-Quan Battles Volume IV on: May 25, 2005, 09:55:59 am
Pik, you seem to have forgotten SC1's main feature:


Scenarios restricted the possible purchases, set balance issues, preset colonies, etc.

Basically, this strategic sim would allow scenarios, so that the game play would be EXACTLY the same as in SC1. The scenario restricts side A to alliance ships, and side B to hierarchy ships, for example. Wham. There you go, Total War, the classic SC1 scenario.

Next scenario: side A has a dreadnought. Side b has a couple colonies, a starbase, and a few Scouts. They can only build scouts. OOh! Extermination!


I did mention the scenario mode. But Star Control 1's charm went beyond the scenario mode. Unlike Hyper-Melee, it wasn't just a bunch of 'ships', it was two sides.

The scenario mode worked because there was a war with two sides. If you try to just plop the scenario mode into UQM, you don't get a war, you just get a bunch of ships to assign whatever role you want. This does not mean a scenario mode to uqm would be wonderful (it would), I am simply pointing out that it does not equal Star Control 1.

Imagine when playing Star Control 1's scenario mode you could say, "Hey! I don't like this shofixti ship! I want to replace it with... the Ur-Quan ship!" Star Control 1's scenario mode was locked into two sides for a specific reason. You couldn't play Alliance vs. Alliance, Hierarchy vs. Hierarchy in the scenario mode (that I remember). You couldn't exchange ship designs for your faction. Toys for Bob intentionally designed it that way because Star Control is not about the scenarios, it is about the war! "Isn't that the same?" No. Star Control was about two sides battling it out. Star Control 2 was not about this. This is the fundamental attitude difference between the two games. Scenario mode in UQM would be great fun, but it would not be Star Control 1. Star Control 1 would require two locked sides.

Since Star Control 1's source code is lost, the best way to restore the game would be to use UQM.

My dream would be to one day load up UQM and the menu would read:

-The Ur-Quan War- (SC 1's title sceen and then menu options come up with the practice mode, melee mode, and scenario mode)
-The Ur-Quan Masters- (SC 2's full game. Leads to another menu asking for 'start game' or 'load game')
-Hyper Melee Mode- (SC 2's melee we all know)
-Hyper Scenario Mode- (New and improved scenario mode including SC 2 units)

I think it would be really cool to have Star Control 1, which features the war, as part of the package. Fans could add in new scenarios to 'expand' on the war and all. An ambitious fan could even attempt to put an adventure game within Star Control 1's war.

The Hyper Scenario Mode would include scenarios before, during, and after SC 2. Imagine a scenario of just Thraddash versus Ilwrath! Or Utwig and Supox versus the Black and Green Urquans (but they must avoid destroying the green urquans if possible). Imagine Chmmr and New Alliance ships battling the two Urquans and the remaining thralls (Mycon, Vux, Thraddash?, Ilwrath? Umgah). This mode could be a lot of fun but should let the Star control 1 scenarios remain in the Star Control mode. This way, the games end up being a bit more immersive and feel more like games rather than combat engines to 'pretend-your-own-game'.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: TW-ligt plot on: May 09, 2005, 02:54:02 am
I don't know how real game companies make games

This to me is the root of the problem. This will determine whether you want the project to truly be special or to appeal as the standard 'fan fic' type stuff does within the small enclosed circles.

, but for one they have MONEY.

Shame on you! Fred and Paul (two people) completely made Star Control 2 with a few help from friends, and outsourcing for a few elements like the music (mod contest) and the art (gorgeous paintings). Both Fred and Paul went 6 months with no pay to finish SC 2 the way they wanted.

When Star Control 2 was released, probably the most influential video game of all time was also released at that same time: Wing Commander. Before, a couple of designers in a garage could make a game. But Wing Commander changed all that as so much money was thrown in production (775,000 $?) . Ever since then, video games have had hefty production. Now games are so expensive to make that companies will not risk innovative designs, so we are trapped in FPS/RPG/Strategy/Racing genres forever.

Star Control 2 was probably one of the last 'old school' designer oriented games before the industry went full production oriented (elaborate cutscenes, silly explosions, etc.)

You have more people on your team than Reiche or Ford did. You also have an infinite time limit, Reiche and Ford had Accolade breathing down their necks. And you are piggybacking off of the universe they created. You have it much easier than they did.

And Hollywood proves that lots of money cannot make good scripts.

1) This is the plot. Only little changes are possible, LIVE WITH IT. Suggest such changes if you want to. Shut up if you don't.

I've worked with Independent Game Makers, the ones who even go to the Indie Festivals (some win, some don't win).  One of the classic beginner mistakes is for the people to come up with a 'design' and their 'game design' is nothing more than a story plot. One big trend seems to be many people trying to make final fantasy style cutscenes and all (*puke*).

What annoys me is not so much the plot. What infuriates me is that you are actively and knowingly betraying Star Control's core elementals of design.

The game is supposed to be open ended. Forced modes of playing for 'story purposes' doesn't make sense. SC 2 told a damn good story and it never took control away from you.

You are confusing plot and design, thinking the two are the same. These 'mini-games' are added fat. You could focus on...

-Expanding conversation trees...
-Expanding the resource element of the game, of what you can do on the planets...
-Expand the 'module' style design of the Mark 2 to be superior to the options we had in SC 2.

Instead, all the energy is going to be put on more minigames that don't help the gameplay at all. Any game must obey its core elements just like credible science fiction must obey to the consistent 'science' rules its universe creates (or else its laughed out).

Making a game product, whether freeware or commercial, is extremely time intensive, challenging, and ensemble requiring. I think its one of the hardest jobs and one that ought to get more pay and respect than it does.'

How many wanna-be game programmers are out there?

How many wanna-be game artists are out there?

How many wanna-be game writers are out there?

Tons. Massive amounts.

How many of these people have Grand Ideas for Game Design and Plot?

All of them.

So why aren't there more 'great games' ? Why the shortage of quality indie games? Because industry work is much more cuthroat than the 'everyone is happy' mode of fan production. Imagine spending a year of your life working on a game only to have the company cancel the project. That is severe. Being sensitive to comments about the plot or direction you want to take? That is nothing.

As Frank says, you must be prepared to toss it all out. Many many games a year or so in production will 'rework' themselves with art, story, and even programming from the ground up. Why? Because the game's core elements is the axis of the game, never the plot, art, or programming. All are frequently torched and redone, bits here, bits there.

The complaint is not about the content (content is easily altered). It is about the context. I've done work with Indie titles, but here you have Frank who has worked on big titles (and I'm still not sure what RTS game with which you were involved, Frank! Smiley ) And you're dismissing it because of... what? If you didn't intend to do any changes to the plot, then why reveal it to the public? Is the public allowed to have any reaction other than overjoyed worship and praise?

Anyone can do freeware. Anyone can write fan fiction or 'fan sequels'. But very few can do it well enough to rival the original's work. Those who manage to do it will get noticed.

I think you're blowing a huge opportunity here.

(Here, this [] is sent to beginning Indie game makers to hopefully avoid the Usual Mistakes (tm). Imagine if the guy who wrote that on was on this forum. What would HE say to you? Compared to us, we'd be sweet little angels.)
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Famous Ur-Quan Battles Volume IV on: May 08, 2005, 01:03:56 pm

I do think it is strange that an rpg sequeled a strategy game, but I don't see what SC1 has over SC2 from an action stand point. If people just want to be on one side or the other, then they can just pick hierarchy or alliance ships, exclusively.

As far as strategy goes, I'm not sure how fun that part was in SC1. I think it's real power came from it's action.

Correct. The action part was what sold SC 1, not the starmap mode. But the Starmap mode was necessary to give the game depth.

Let us say you guys make a Star Control 2 'starmap mode'. I doubt you would be content with dividing the ships into two different sides. Imagine an RTS and having all the sides the same. Now imagine an RTS where the sides have very different units. Which ones is harder to create? Which ones requires more strategy? It's the game that forces you to use different sides.

We often see the technical properties but not the overall arc. Die-hard is not about explosions, its about a guy getting his wife back. Red Alert is not about strategies, it is about Alliance fighting the Soviets.

If someone told you that Star Control 2 was just about some plot and many planets to mine, you would protest. Of *course* it feels more than that. Star Control 1 was not about the 'tactical mode', it was about the war. This was why Star Control 2 had such a punch even during the very first few minutes of the game. We SC 1 vets wanted to know what happened with the war! When SC 2 came out, we would talk to each other about it. "How is SC 2?" "Dude, we LOST the war. Earth is in a slave shield!" I suppose for most people, SC 2 had a nice setup. But for SC 1 fans, it was the biggest punch in the game.

Immediately beginning SC 2, I wanted to know what happened to my friends, Earth's allies. If you look at SC 2's star map, it reads as it does for a reason to SC 1 eyes. You are given the locations for the old races in SC 1 and a few 'rumors' of where races might be (like the Pkunk). I raced to where my old allies (hoping to regain them and find out what happened) only to get surprises (Chenjusu and Mrrmmffhmm slave shielded and fusing, Yehat joining the Hierarchy, Shofixti wiping themselves out!!!).

I've read many SC 2 reviews. Many treat the beginning game as 'boring' and only later did the plot 'get good'. To SC 1 veterans, many 'emotional punches' came at the beginning when finding out the fate of original SC 1 races.

Just because SC 1 didn't have an adventure game, doesn't mean it didn't have a well fleshed out universe. I'm holding the original SC 1 manual in my hands now. (go find the online version and look at it with me).

In the SC 1 manual, you will find (glancing through)...

-Story Introduction
-The signed full treaty of Earth's obligations to the Alliance of Free Stars
-Race descriptions
-Ship descriptions along with how they were made
-Scenario story descriptions

For an arcade like game, SC 1 certainly had a lot of story in it. It was reflected even more with the ship designs, the ditties, and the sound effects.

There were several *things* in SC 1 that for some reason I really liked. One were the AI options. Yes, you could have the computer fly your ships in the strategy mode. But what was odd was that you could have the computer do the strategy mode while you pilot the ships! Also, there was a scenario editor. You could make your own scenarios to play with friends or whatever else. I loved that thing.

SC 1 not only gave SC 2 its combat mode, it also gave SC 2 its story. All the major races were fleshed out in SC 1, the game universe was fleshed out. SC 2 put all that into 'hyperdrive' as if it were a plant growing from the fertile soil that SC 1 put out.

Let's bring back SC 1 in its former glory to modern game systems. It deserves it.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: TW-ligt plot on: May 08, 2005, 12:22:10 pm

But really, you've got to be prepared to ditch every bit of story except for stuff for which you've already created art assets or special code bases.

I wonder how many revisions SC 2 went through? I imagine that for all the text present in SC 2, there is probably three times as much that was tossed out.

I have wondered why SC 2's writing had me so interested in it. From what I've realized is that SC 2 didn't necessarily have good writing. What it did was keep poking your attention with imagination. We never see the Arilou on Earth. But the comments of Arilou 'messing' with us and connecting them with all the UFO and 'pyramid' mysteries makes us associate with them and imagine them much much more. The Urquan hacking and cutting themselves from the dynarri is very alive in my imagination even though we never see it. The Precursors flying away in great haste also captures the imagination.

The Gerzillion captured my imagination. But the Niko (the bad guys) did not. Make me use my imagination to wonder how these aliens are.

The companies I've worked for (pretty big names) ditch whole plots all the time.  I rewrote a AAA RTS game's plot from scratch when the engine was already in alpha stage (10 months before the title shipped).  All that was kept were characters for whom we had art assets.

Now I have to guess as to what RTS game that was!

Well, an RTS game going from alpha stage to shipping in 10 months means it isn't a recent title, as the recent titles take much more development time to make.

It can't be the Command and Conquer series since those games often use movies and really don't include 'in-game' characters.

Age of Empires doesn't seem to have any story as tries to be history based.

Total Annihilation didn't have much of a story but it didn't have characters. So that's out.

Homeworld? Nah, I believe you mean characters as in the game, not cut scenes.

Dark Reign had no characters.

Armada was licensed so you couldn't have freedom with the writing.

Part of me wants to say StarCraft but the elaborate cutscenes pretty much solidified the plotline well ahead of time. And Warcraft 3 seemed to have its story in place due to the elaborate cutscenes. (Though it could be Myth but somehow I don't think so).

So for my guess I am going to say Warcraft 2. If you're Bill Roper, I'm going to eat an Orc!
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: TW-ligt plot on: May 08, 2005, 11:43:05 am

Seriously, there is nothing gay about final fantasy


I wasn't making any context to sexual orientation.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Toys for Bob sold to Activision on: May 08, 2005, 11:00:14 am
I would be quite satisfied of Toys for Bob making a cross genre game like Star Control 1 and Star Control 2 outside the star control universe. (don't get me started on the unholy finish of the unholy war, something with that title was released too fast).

I am not annoyed that there is no sequel to the Urqan Masters. What I am annoyed is that there is nothing similiar in gameplay to SC 2 or even SC 1.

Every game nowdays has to be a 'rpg' or 'fps' or 'strategy' or 'action. To heck with that! Give me a unique blend that SC 1 or SC 2 did and I'll be happy.

Toys For Bob, please make another adventure/action game! Or how about an adventure/x-com/action game? Or even a bomberman type/adventure game? Anything that doesn't fit the "traditional mode". Last thing the industry needs are 'pure' fps/rpg/strategy/action games, as we're flooded with them already.
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