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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: A star control 1 remake that may actually get finished on: April 07, 2010, 06:37:01 am
I was looking at the starmap on your flickr page ( and wasn't sure if you just made this up or if it was actually a copy from an SC1 scenario. (Please tell me you've done away with the rotating 3d starmap!)

Anyway, I made a copy of one of the maps generated for the "First Encounter" scenario, if you want a reference of what maps actually look like in 2D.  . There are no dead worlds in this scenario, just mineral and life worlds. Should be fairly self evident which is which.

17  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen on: February 15, 2010, 07:23:04 am
Keep in mind that the Syreen could not use their psychic weapon against the Captain of an enemy ship. This is because they are disciplined and not as prone to panic or whatever method of manipulation the Syreen use to get people to respond to their suggestions.

So theoretically one could resist the Syreen with training.

I also don't know how well the Syreen are at controlling people (especially large numbers of them) permamently. I doubt they can do it with the ease or scaling ability (over billions of people) of the Dnyarri, and they would require special equipment. Even then, it's not as complete a form of mind control, more like a hypnotic trance of high suggestibility.
18  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM and Sci-Fi on: February 15, 2010, 07:16:57 am
The Babylon 5 series most closely resembles Star Control, in many ways. Some things they have in common:

-There is a doctrinal conflict between an ancient green race that prefers order and an ancient black race that favors destruction which embroils the entire galaxy. An Alliance is formed to repulse them both. (not joking!)
-They both have "precursors" or "first ones", race/(s) that left the galaxy way long ago.
-They use hyperspace.
-Ships don't have (or emphasize) shields
-Weapons and technology are relatively low-tech, but mysterious & ancient technology also exists.
-There are a wide variety of aliens of different forms, including different atmospheres. Fewer aliens than star trek/star wars, but more exotic ones.
-Ancient, evolved race of great wisdom (chenjesu/minbari) which lead the fight against the even more ancient enemy.
-Humans are a late-coming, low-tech species that somehow got powerful really quickly, partly by acquiring technology from other races.
-Something strongly resembling the Arilou exists and abducts people for unknown reasons

No hot blue humanoids in B5, however...  and a damned oversight, too.
19  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Net Melee Balance Mod: ALL ABOARD on: February 15, 2010, 06:59:29 am
My understanding was that the homing projectile made the ur-quan too powerful, especially in particular matchups. For this reason, I suggested a new weapon that might be useful.

The difference between the Ur-Quan I proposed and melnorme is that the Ur-Quan can't hold a charge, and so the usefulness of the gun is different, especially since it drains the battery quickly. The purpose of the new gun was to reduce the time and energy cost of missed shots, while still penalizing the Ur-Quan for using the alternate, arguably more powerful weapon.

One example of where this might help is Ur-Quan vs. Chmmr, where the Ur-Quan has to fire very quickly to damage the opponent, but will probably miss a lot, and perhaps die before he can get all the shots off.
20  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Net Melee Balance Mod: ALL ABOARD on: February 09, 2010, 08:16:44 am
So, was there ever final resolution of the Ur-Quan? Sorry but I've been busy with real life and haven't been following. I came up with the following idea for the Ur-Quan the other day:

New Ur-Quan Weapon fire mode:

User can hold down a button to charge up the ur-quan fusion blast.
Total damage possible for shot is 21, by emptying full battery into shot. (1 damage per 2 energy invested)
Weapon must be discharged once battery is empty
I suggest weapon charges roughly as fast as Chmmr battery recharges but  opinions may vary.

I think varying strength of ur-quan fusion blast is canonical, fwiw.

21  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: The Fall of the Androsynth -- Part 1. Fan fiction (spoilers). on: February 09, 2010, 08:01:47 am
I haven't read the whole thing yet but I like your interpretation of Androsynth weaponry, and I thought your translation of the Orz threat was impeccable.

I personally think that the in-game melee should only be a rough guide of what "real" combat was like.

22  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Starmap's size within the galaxy on: December 05, 2009, 12:00:44 am
So, if the Ur-Quan started travelling one way around the galady, and the Kohr-Ah started travelling the other way, expecting to meet again, does this mean that Sol is roughtly on the opposite side of the galaxy from where the first doctrinal war began? And does this also mean that everything on one side of the galaxy has been enslaved, while everything on the other side has been annigilated?

23  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Alignment/tone of races missing from SC2 on: December 01, 2009, 12:35:54 pm
Well, good and evil are not defined, so I will assume that you mean "benevolent/self-interested/destructive"
I'll assume we are looking at the race as a whole and not taking into account individuality vs. corrupt culture.

- The Melnorme have "potentially ominous future plans", by their own admission... They definitely aren't benevolent, since they trade for everything. Neutral at best.

- I don't consider the Vux evil at all. Why should they be? Only Zex is mad. We don't know much of Vux culture other than they are vain.

- Orz, on the other hand, are at best neutral. They are the tentacles of an evil inter-dimensional being, aren't they?. They just happen to be your ally...

- I would consider the Arilou to be not good, more like neutral. Self-interested.

- Thraddash are so stupid and destructive that they might as well be evil.

Syreen are serious? I don't think so. Well, they make some serious love, anyway!

I would consider the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm to be neutral in tone. All the "serious" races have some sort of deep internal trauma that makes them so deadly serious and focused (Chmmr's awkwardness at sudden synthesis, Yehat's shame, kohr-ah and ur-quan madness, Mycon misprogramming, etc... ). I imagine the Chenjesu would have some sort of deep wisdom to offset any seriousness, and the Mmrnmhrm would be robotic and quirky but agreeable.
Androsynth would probably be what syreen or any humanoid are. I imagine them to be super-smart ass-kickers with a sense of humour, but who have also gone thru a lot (exile, ur-quan enslavery). I guess being a slave race might make them grumpy enough to be serious.
24  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Star Control 1 PC Speaker issue on DOSBox on: November 30, 2009, 06:21:47 am
Part of what is making this conversation (here and at VOGONS) a bit hard on everyone is that you don't seem to be quite sure which sound device is which. In particular, it would be helpful if you could confirm my theory that the default sound you've been hearing is MT-32 being played through General MIDI. There are three ways of confirming this. Some of us can tell the difference by ear pretty quickly, but, since that doesn't seem to be working for you, there are two left: one is to check which command-line parameter results in the same sound and the other is to adjust e.g. volume for the different sound output devices (either in the DOSBox mixer or that of the underlying MIDI hardware or software) and see which changes have an effect on the output.

I have only been using the command line paramters to do testing.
/s:MT32 sounds much better in music than /s:adlib. When I used to play in DOS, I would do /s:blaster and it sounded the same as /s:adlib. I turned off midi while using DOSBox and while using /s:MT32 and got no sound, so I assume it's a midi device that's being used by MT32 (could it be any other way?). I think when you run Starcon with no command line paramters, if it detects a soundblaster, it doesn't use MT32 by default, just MIDI (i.e. sounds the same as running /s:adlib).

Anyway the root problem is just that I want to use the PC Speaker still.

25  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: suggestion for Friend or Foe decoder on hyperspace radar on: November 30, 2009, 05:05:16 am

To ensure that you encounter rebels rather than loyalists, go to the extreme right edge of the spheres of influence. At this point, you'll be in the rebel sphere but not the loyalist sphere.

I haven't tried this in many years, but in my previous experience, I found that being in the rebel sphere of influence didn't help. It could be that II was retreating from the loyalist's sphere of influence, however. Not sure.

Who made the mod with the battlrgroup icons?
26  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A visual guide to Ur-Quan Conquest on: November 30, 2009, 05:03:11 am
Yeah, I'm just distinguishing between what appear to be retributive bombardments vs. the "destroy anything older than  500 years policy.

In the comic book, it seems to imply a grim retribution on the surface by the Ur-Quan to "make it real clear that the war was lost", but this isn't the same impression conveyed by the game dialogue.
27  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Star Control 1 PC Speaker issue on DOSBox on: November 28, 2009, 07:16:32 am
For what it's worth, I'm asking about this on the DOSBox forums.

If you care about SC1 at all, it sounds much better with MT32 instead of the default settings (adlib, soundblaster, whatever). The music is much better but the sound effects are still "tones", generated from the midi device, I think, instead of the PC Speaker's genuine sound effects that actually sound like something (e.g. Earthling's missile firing actually sounds like a missile instead of a beep.) You need a plugin to get MT32 working properly, I believe.

I will post if I find a solution to this. Not that anyone plays Star Control 1 anyway...
28  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / suggestion for Friend or Foe decoder on hyperspace radar on: November 28, 2009, 04:22:48 am
I suggest we make a "friend or foe" decoder in hyperspace, so that when you are surrounded by those ominous black dots, you can tell whether or not they're friendly or unknown. So, if I'm in Yehat space during the civil war, there would be loyalists and rebels flying around at the same time. It would be nice if the rebels, who are your allies and won't blow you up, would show up as blue dots on the map instead of the regular black. Then I wouldn't have to go through several meetings with enemies just to find who I'm looking for.

Would this be hard to implement in code, having a different icon for certain kinds of ships in hyperspace?

I don't think it would be non-canonical at all, since hyperwave transmissions could transmit this information.
29  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A visual guide to Ur-Quan Conquest on: November 28, 2009, 04:16:24 am
Wow, your graphics look much cooler than mine. Nice job!

I think you may have made a mistake, though: In the comic, it's written:
"The Ur-Quan decided to make the result of the war really clear: Dreadnoughts took up positions above Rome, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo, London, Buenos Aires and Washington and completely levelled them"

I don't think this is state in the game. In the commander's dialogue, he says the Ur-Quan took up geo-synchronous positions over those cities, but he didn't imply that they were destroyed. In the game, the commander just says that Buenos Aries was destroyed.
30  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A visual guide to Ur-Quan Conquest on: November 19, 2009, 12:42:57 am
I just realized, when you look at this map as a campaign direction, you realize that the Tucanae star system is really not anywhere near the marching path of the Ur-Quan, and in fact it makes sense that they were ignored, since the threat of the Chenjesu was in the other direction. The Ur-Quan basically circled around them and fought the other races further "south". In order for it to make sense that the ZoqFotPik got ignored, the Ur-Quan must have headed for the Crateris constellation straight after the fall of the Alliance. Since the doctrinal war was centered around the Crateris constellation, it makes sense that the ZoqFotPik were not obliterated, since Alpha Tucanae is on the edge of the combat zone.

On another note, now that I think about it, I could have added a note somewhere on the map indicating that the Syreen surrendered somewhere between Earthling and Yehat space...

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