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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 / Re: Compiling / Source Code questions on: March 27, 2017, 07:14:52 am
The only other use of the word "plasma" anywhere in the UQM code are a few variables/pointers within "mycon.c" that are defined within it; they're not directly related to resource file names.  (I did try changing them, out of desperation, but no effect.)

It's a really bizarre thing; typically the only way I really know how to chase this sort of issue is by--as you suggested--doing a search for the word in question.  But the idea that the code needs something other than just the one reference to the file path seems really odd to me.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Compiling / Source Code questions on: March 27, 2017, 12:38:42 am
Hello all!

Is there anyone still active on this forum who is relatively familiar with the UQM source code / C in general who might be able to help me with a resource question?

There's something I'm not understanding when it comes to modifying resources...... let's say I want to change the Mycon plasma blob into an Earthling missile (for no reason.)  I know there's some coding changes necessary for this in Mycon.c, but I'm speaking strictly to getting UQM to load proper the RESOURCES/graphics right now, not the actual behavior in battle:

1. I copy all of the .png and .ani files relevant to the Earthling Saturn missile into the Mycon directory.
2. : I go into "/ships/mycon/resinst.h" and there are a few lines:


Leaving the first instance of PLASMA alone for now, since this is how it is referenced by Mycon.c and I don't want to screw with that yet...... I simply change the second "plasma" to "saturn"--and...

Third step: now UQM crashes (well, resets, actually) every time I get into a battle with a Mycon.   Sad

.... Now, interestingly, if I simply RENAME the Earthling Saturn files I've moved into "/ships/mycon"  to be "plasma-000.png" etc instead, overwriting the original plasma.pngs, it works fine.  It seems like literally the problem is with the executable rejecting the idea of me looking for something other than "plasma" in those lines of resinst.h, which makes no sense.  Why can't I change this? 


Psst psst--
Some folks might remember a mod I was working on about 10 years ago (yikes) which unfortunately was consumed by a failed hard drive:

Much more casually, I've been tinkering with the code again in recent weeks... but of course, even the most meager ambitions exceed my skill when it comes to programming (an area in which I have no formal--hell, even informal--training.)  But if anyone could help me out with the question above, I'd really appreciate it!
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Compiling Error (windows 7 64-bit, Visual C++ Express 2008) on: March 16, 2017, 09:32:07 am
So, I actually resolved this on my own!  (Turns out I'm just not very good at, uh, computering.)  Sorry all!  I evidently don't have permissions to delete the topic.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Compiling Error (windows 7 64-bit, Visual C++ Express 2008) on: March 16, 2017, 09:08:50 am
Hey all,

I'm hoping maybe Meep-Eep or one of the other wise individuals around here could help me with a UQM compiling/running issue.... (latest version of UQM)

- Running on Windows 7 64-Bit
- Compiling via Visual C++ Express 2008

I'm running into two different (but not concurrent) errors and it *seems* to be somehow related to DLLs and x86 vs. x64....  I *thought* I was doing everything in 64-bit, but now I'm not so sure.

Error #1  (occurs when I have 64-bit versions of SDL.dll and SDL_image.dll linked in my build/libraries)

- UQM won't compile.  I get 110 errors:

1>   Creating library ../../uqmdebug.lib and object ../../uqmdebug.exp
1>alarm.obj : error LNK2019: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetTicks referenced in function _AlarmTime_nowMS
1>pure.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetTicks
1>sdltime.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetTicks
1>input.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetError
1>audiodrv_sdl.obj : error LNK2019: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetError referenced in function _mixSDL_Init
1>canvas.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetError
1>opengl.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetError
1>pure.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetError
1>sdl_common.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_GetError
1>canvas.obj : error LNK2019: unresolved external symbol _SDL_UnlockSurface referenced in function _TFB_DrawCanvas_Line
1>opengl.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_UnlockSurface
1>pure.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_UnlockSurface
1>rotozoom.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol _SDL_UnlockSurface
1>canvas.obj : error LNK2019: unresolved external symbol _SDL_LockSurface referenced in function _TFB_DrawCanvas_Line

........ you get the idea.  It's a crap load of the above.

Error #2 (occurs if I switch over to 32-bit versions of the SDL and SDL_image DLLs)

- UQM will compile just fine, but when I attempt to run the executable, I get an error that simply states: "The program was unable to start correctly (0xc000007b) click OK to close the application."  Some research indicates that this error is related to compatibility between 32 and 64 bit DLLs.

If anyone has any thoughts on why this may be occurring (and of course what I could do to fix it) I'd be hugely appreciative!  And obviously I can try to provide more information as needed.  I'm not even 100% sure my issue has much to do with the SDL files, but it's the only thing I'm able to figure right now.

5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: With enough supporters these Ur-Quan ships could get produced! on: October 11, 2012, 03:39:12 am
This is really cool, and if I had any faith what-so-ever in Lego as anything other than a real-life incarnation of the Druuge's Crimson Corporation, I'd be much more excited about it.  This is too interesting and obscure to ever catch their eye, even if it did manage 10,000 supporters.

You might try telling the folks over at Penny Arcade about your project; they're fans of Star Control.

This is similar to something I've done with Lego already (your idea is more practical from a production standpoint; and involves quite a bit more creativity!) -- this is a link to what I do in general, but my two favorites are right here:

-- they don't look like much big and up close like this, but from far away (say on a shelf or whatever) they look spectacular.  Over the last few years I've taken them to dozens of gaming / sci-fi / anime conventions that I sell 8 and 16-bit sculptures at, but so far, nobody has recognized or expressed any interest in these two Sad

For myself, I'm planning on making an Ur-Quan Kzer-Za captain portrait; it'll be over a foot wide and a little under a foot tall.  I'm sure someday I'll get around to making nearly every ship for my own personal collection of sculptures.

I'm very interested in seeing any additional designs you come up with, though... I'd love to see an Androsynth or, you know, the Sa-Matra Smiley
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New UQM mod on: May 01, 2008, 03:43:08 am
Time have flied..
,but now i'm back in action and will continue doing that captain! Tongue

Yay!  (I was getting worried... heh)

I've been about 5,000 times busier than I intended to be lately, so not a whole lot of progress has been made on my end in a while.  It will be at least another two weeks before I can really devote any significant amount of time to the Mod...

That said though, just the other day, Valaggar Redux sent me some really great dialogue that he came up with for one of the races...  So it seems like some things are getting done on that front, anyway.

     ~ Nicholai
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New UQM mod on: March 15, 2008, 09:02:14 pm
Though I've never done this kinda graphix before, so it gonna take some time to make it look sc2 style and animate it.

And a question for nicholai: Does this mod have name? If yes I would help doing logo (thats the thing I sure can do)

Cool!  I think it's coming along great so far -- do whatever you need to improve it; but I think it's definitely on the right track!

As for a name, no, there isn't one yet...   I don't feel like coming up with a name until most of the real work is done (you know, I don't want to be like one of those people who names their band and makes album art before writing any songs) -- plus, I simply haven't had any good ideas for a title yet, heh.  When it happens, I'll let you know!

If there's anything I could do to help, just let me know!

Off hand, I know that VUX dialogue is going to be worked on early (definitely before Shofixti), so when I actually get together some directions and information about the races, that's one I'm sure I'll need assistance with pretty soon.

I love your art, too!  Kind of like I was saying above, I'm trying to put the most emphasis on dialogue, coding, etc. initially, but there are definitely some art-related aspects that will be coming up soon.  I think I've already listed some of the things I'm in need of (surface-alien sprites and conversations portraits being the top-priorities) -- send me a message if you want the list of aliens I need portraits for (because, technically, the list could be construed as having semi-spoilers in it)

I'd be happy to lend a hand with the dialogue as well.

I haven't forgotten!  Sorry, I've been a little distracted the past few days...   I'm in the process of formulating a list of races' dialogues I'll need in the near future / writing up some details about what's going on plot-wise, etc. etc.   

I want to get something sent out to the interested-folks before Monday, since I'm going to be out-of-town for about two weeks and probably won't be able to get much done for the Mod on my end.

I'll look over this thread and see who all offered to help out, and send everyone what I can -- if anybody else wants the Massive List of Crap that Nicholai Needs, feel free to send me a private message and join the Fellowship!


Dammit, I don't want to be Frodo.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: SC2 laws, copyrights, etc... on: March 13, 2008, 08:22:29 pm
The trademark is registered for "computer game software, and manuals supplied as a unit therewith.". It looks like for books or movies or TV series there would not be a trademark issue at all.

Well, that just makes things a little easier!  Heh.

I don't know anything about the details of their contract, but you may be right, it may indeed be easier contractually for TFB to get involved in something other than a game. There's still the matter of whether they would actually want to do that though...

Yeah, I know.  I'm just speculating on all of this; thinking about the most distant, unlikely of possibilities.

I've always felt that the SC2 story was good enough for a movie. It would also be hard to turn it into a movie while staying true to the game -- you can't introduce and maintain too many characters in two hours. A TV serial would be much better in that respect. And then there are all the non-humanoid aliens. It would be an expensive show to make as live action. Animation would be a more realistic avenue.

A movie would basically be out of the question, as far as I can tell.  The story would have to stay focused entirely on the Humans and the Ur-Quan, and that'd be about all you'd have time for.  SC2 and its mostly-non-linear progression read a lot like a television serial; lots of isolated, yet significant, events and individual stories that build up a universe.  Despite the complete overabundance (or is that under-abundance?  I can't really tell...) of Sci-Fi serials already, you'd think a story like SC2's would have already surfaced in that genre....... but it hasn't.

And yeah, the aliens make a live-action endeavor pretty insane.... but then again, decent animation is often even MORE expensive....  about the only way to get it more pricey from there is stopmotion!  (Hey, there's an idea!!  Heh-heh)

Crappy animation, on the other hand, isn't so tough to get...... but that's about the last thing I'd ever want to see happen to Star Control.

But "more realistic" is only relative, because you don't just go to a studio and propose a tv series, as an outsider.
I could see it working after a new SC is a huge success, but not in the current situation. Unless you produce it yourself, which again means having (access to) lots of money.

Studios and producers are very strange people.  As long as something has already existed and has SOME form of fan base, they listen to you about 6,000% more than they do if you just walk in off the street.  Of course, 6,000% of 0 is still 0.

Are you a scriptwriter profesionally? As in, do you get paid to write? And what do you write for? Tv, film, theater?
I guess if you know the right people there may be possibilities. But I doubt "a friend who works for the Sci-Fi channel" will be good enough.
But you should ask him to play SC anyhow.

I write for television, but I'm about as low on the totem pole as you can be while still being on it...  so my connections are virtually nil.  I do hear some pretty inspiring stories about the Sci-Fi channel from people sometimes, but not to the extent that we'd need, heh.  Anyway, my friend at Sci-Fi is an animation director (for spots and IDs) -- so my comment was really in jest anyway.

In any case, this all gives me some things to think about.....  It's good to know that Star Control isn't quite as paralyzed as it used to be.  (I guess those petition emails I sent to Alex Ness really weren't in vain!)
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: SC2 laws, copyrights, etc... on: March 13, 2008, 04:01:52 am
Thanks for the information!

I just recall having heard different things ten years ago, five years ago, etc. etc. -- and wasn't really sure what was going on NOW.  These explanations make sense though, heh.

The multi-millionaire thing was an angle I was wondering about -- so, if money was NOT an issue, TFB could make a genuine sequel to Star Control II and just have to call it something stupid like "Space Control" or what have you.  And I guess if there was ENOUGH money floating around, they could just out-right BUY back the name "Star Control" and use it.

My primary question was that if somebody wrote a novel, or a script, based on Star Control (or even just a straight adaptation of the existing Star Control plot) and got a publisher or studio interested in it, if a royalty contract was drawn up or permission was granted by TFB, could it be done as long as it wasn't called "Star Control"?   It sounds like the answer is "Yes"...

Interesting.  It almost sounds like (assuming TFB has a somewhat exclusive contract with Activision) something OTHER than a game would be EASIER for TFB to get involved with.  I wonder what sort of interest TFB would have in such an endeavor (obviously, I'm reaching pretty damn far here) -- but an intelligently-written Sci-Fi series based on SC2 would CERTAINLY generate a widespread interest in a potential SC3 game (or conversely, an existing SC3 by TFB would generate interest in a Sci-Fi series)

I'm a scriptwriter (when I'm not playing with the SC2 source code!)  so I just found myself kind of curious about this....  I have a friend who works for the Sci-Fi channel; maybe I should ask him to play Star Control.......... Heh-heh.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: SC2 laws, copyrights, etc... on: March 11, 2008, 05:25:42 pm
Well, YES...  But I meant in more of a "continue the legacy of Star Control" / "get around those pesky laws" kind of way..... not the much more traditional "I'm a lazy writer" way.

More specifically, I'm talking about the notion of bringing the Star Control story to a wider audience, or adapting it to a new medium, and how you would exploit the grey-areas of the laws regarding it so that you could more-or-less tell the same story and, however much you may piss off Activision in the process, not actually be violating anything.


Even more specifically, in this scenario, I would propose that one would get the original creators INVOLVED in whatever manner possible -- the idea being to support them / the story.

11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New UQM mod on: March 11, 2008, 04:50:55 pm
An alternative might be to outsource the "non-vital" communication.

Yeah, having given it some thought, this seems like a pretty good idea.  It certainly would help with the more tedious things like greetings, goodbyes, starbase nonsense (ie. "Thanks for the minerals, captain!") and other such things.  It would also help to have a bulk-supply of silly alien-babble saved up... such as frungy-arguments between the the Zoq Fot Pik, or references to some new kind of mask for the Utwig, or weird racist rants for the VUX... just to throw in whenever the dialogue needs to be more colorful.

In addition, Nicholai would probably have to write the vital dialogue as just broad strokes (as opposed to writing the whole of it), and let his writers polish it up (so that the style isn't discrepant).

This seems like a good plan too.  When I make a little more progress, I could probably come up with a list like:

captain: "let's form an alliance to defeat Ur-Quan"
response: "sure, our homeworld is the red planet, Zeta Persei I, red star, 353.4 : 526.4 -- let's defeat Ur-Quan!"

... and then leave it up to whoever is writing it what information about that star they want to include -- coordinates, name, etc., since it doesn't ALL need to be there, as well as making a more compelling interaction between the phrases.

Anyway, I'll figure out what I need in the near future and send it to the folks who have offered assistance!
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / SC2 laws, copyrights, etc... on: March 11, 2008, 04:18:30 pm
I've been wondering about this for years -- it started when I was younger and trying to understand why Toys for Bob couldn't just magically make a new Star Control (aside from the monetary issue).

I know what makes the Ur-Quan Masters port legal, and what makes mods, spin-offs, etc. legal (or, at least, permissible to TFB) ... but how do Star Control's rights translate to other mediums?  Books?  Television?  I don't really know anything about intellectual property rights, or even if they're involved in this case...

Obviously, there WAS a Star Control novel, but it was so damn un-memorable that I can't really remember what it used, or what permissions were involved...

My guess is that you can use names (Ur-Quan, Spathi, Supox, slave shield, Sentient Milieu) but not specific characters or places (Zelnick, ZEX, Fwiffo, Spathiwa) ...  But how far would you be able to go if you were writing your own Sci-Fi novel?  Could TfB sue you if you had a benevolent empire rule the galaxy for 5,000 years, investigating the remains of a long-lost super-race, only to eventually fall to a race of evil mind-controlling toads, which was eventually overthrown by one particular slave-race with six eyes that went on to split into two sub-races, one of which went on to enslave humanity and, ultimately, was defeated by a human who was born on another planet and armed with a big super-ship?  Could they only come after you if you made that six-eyed race LOOK like a Kzer-Za?  Or could they only get you if you CALLED it that?

Basically, what would be the biggest obstacle standing in the way of somebody who wanted to adapt the SC2-plot to a television series, or a movie, or a book?  I've always been curious...

Anybody have any idea?
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New UQM mod on: March 07, 2008, 07:09:26 pm
Thats I'm gonna start from. maybe. Of course I edit face and make picture fit sc2 style and add some stuff there. I keep finding these kinda pics.

Cool!  If you can make it work, that'd be awesome!  Don't stress too much about the code; that part would be pretty easy for me to do myself if I had to.
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New UQM mod on: March 07, 2008, 05:36:56 am
I've just noticed the little Spathi Eluder in the top-right corner of the Thraddash comms image. Smiley

I always assumed it was supposed to be the Vindicator.  I was so proud of myself for that detail!  Heh-heh.  I'm glad somebody noticed.  Wink

Done some, here ye go :p.

Hey!  Cool!  These are definitely going in.  I'll have to figure out a way to credit people eventually... (there's probably an easy way to add it to the end credits, actually... which is exciting!)

So the B.S.S. is real after all.

I can neither confirm nor dispute this claim.

So where can one download this exciting mod? Can you give us a peek, an alpha?

Unfortunately, there's little point in actually playing the mod yet.  There are too many dead-ends.  For instance, right now, if you ally with the Ilwrath, and try to talk to them in hyperspace, the game will freeze.  (because the allied dialogue trees don't exist yet, only the conditions for them)  -- Until I wrap up more loose ends, the mod needs to be pretty carefully navigated.  The most difficult part of the whole process is writing dialogue for the dozens of different scenarios you might encounter.  For instance, on a sheet of paper next to my computer is a list which reads:

Thraddash - Neutral - Space
Thraddash - Neutral - Planet
Thraddash - Neutral - Starbase
Thraddash - Enemy - Space
Thraddash - Enemy - Planet
Thraddash - Enemy - Starbase
Thraddash - Allied - Space
Thraddash - Allied - Planet
Thraddash - Allied - Starbase
(repeat for each race.......  and some of them have more than three locations.)   ....And then, the allied sections include lots and lots of trees specifically related to other races you might be allied with.  Basically, I'm trying to make the game FAR more dynamic than it was ever intended to be.

This list basically is to help remind me which conversation trees I have made and which still need to be done.

So....  When a few more races are actually complete, it will probably be much more worthwhile to release something play-able.

I'd even settle for just more in game shots. This looks seriously amazing. I code as well as any rabid monkey, but if you need any help with dialogue or such I'd be happy to lend a hand.


Like I was saying above, dialogue is definitely the biggest issue.  I'm trying to figure out how I would actually go about getting assistance with dialogue, since, obviously, to write it, you have to have a pretty good idea of what's going on in the mod....  I dunno.

Amazing! I have been waiting for this! I think this mod have lots of potential Smiley Smiley Smiley

Meep-Eep is definitely more qualified to explain how to do the alien portrait animation stuff than I am (as he did) -- but yeah, like you were saying, each small part (like a hand, or an eye, or a mouth) is its own small graphic...  It's difficult to experiment with if you aren't compiling the source code yourself while making the animations, because you're limited to the code that already exists.

If you WERE able to make an alien portrait, and all of the smaller animations, I'm sure I could manage to get them into the mod properly....

If you think you can make one, I'll tell you what I need!!  Heh-heh.

Nicholai is going to need a human comm animation that looks completely different from Hayes, isn't he? Sounds a bit difficult.

Yup.  There's also a unique Human in the game, which is going to be interesting, because, of course, a UNIQUE Human, you would assume, would look differently than every other Human....  (unlike all the clones you seem to encounter with every other race, heh-heh) -- so I might need TWO Human comm animations.  Ugh!

If somebody wants to make it for me, that'd be cool!  Heh.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Ship modding? on: March 06, 2008, 10:50:27 pm

I'm not the highest authority on a lot of this stuff, but I'm pretty sure .SHP files cannot be used for UQM.

The .SHP files on The Pages of Now and Forever were modified files made for the ORIGINAL Star Control 2 game.  Those files contain, of course, the ship's stats (turning rate, batt level, crew, etc.)  as well as their graphical data, but it's only compatible with SC2.

UQM uses a very different system -- the source code contains ship stats (so you can't edit them without editing and compiling the source code on your own) so, unfortunately, it's a rather involved process.  There are no individual .SHP files used with UQM.

The GRAPHICS, on the other hand, are all individual files included in the "content" package.  These are quite easy to change -- I'm sure myself or somebody smarter could walk you through that process, if you'd want to do that...

The way you WOULD use them in the original SC2 simply would be to replace another .SHP file with your new .SHP file.  (I made a bunch of the ones available for download on that page like, eight years ago, heh)
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