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

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Star Control: Redemption of the Alliance (Next-gen remake idea thread) on: January 21, 2008, 07:03:05 pm
Just one thing to keep in mind guys:  KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!!)

Part of the reason that I love Star Control I so much (it is probably the funnest game I own.  Sure, Star Control II is epic, but Star Control I is fun) is because it is surprisingly simple.  Each side has a fleet (usually) and a starbase (usually).  Then you compete for control of the map building only three things (rule of 3!!):  mine, colony or fortification.  Well, and ships, but you know what I mean.  Everything in this game is simple, from each ship having two different abilities to damage being measured in crew without all the extra calculations of effectiveness based on the ship's damage level.  Is it realistic?  Of course not.  Is it easy to get a handle on and ridiculously fun to play?  Bet your life!!

I'm not saying that we can't add stuff (or take away things.  That spinning map is more annoying than the Dreadnought's fighters).  I would just like to caution that we avoid turning the game into some clunky mess.

Along those lines, I like the idea of AI controlled ships protecting your territory.  That gives it a bit extra realism, with minimal hassle for the player. 
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Star Control Story on: January 20, 2008, 02:26:19 am
I know, this post is old, and I have no idea if you're still working on this, but in case you are, or are considering getting started on it again, here are my impressions.

This is a very good start.  I'm an aspiring writer, so I know how difficult it is to write Smiley  Very good dialogue, very cool, unique characters.  And actually, when the First Officer reprimands Zelnick for being cocky, I think that the way you phrased it fit his attitude towards the Captain perfectly, at least, based off of my impression of your description.  He's going to be a little caustic because he's an old guy with athritis who spent most of his life just waiting for the Ur-Quan to show up and eradicate Earth, not to mention that he is bitter about an upstard teenager being given command of humanity's only hope.

Some things to keep in mind:

1.  In real life, combat would not be one on one.  *Every* ship would be involved at the same time on both sides (with the possible exception of the Flagship if you decide to give it an arkship configuration).  Now, I think that parts of the Ilwrath Avenger battle work well to explain a one to one thing, since the crew of the Vindicator are panicking so they don't think to fight, while the Tobermoon saves the day, but I pray to whatever holy deity the crew believes in that things don't stay that way.

2.  Also, like an earlier post mentioned space is a big place, that goes for combat too.  Definitely read the Honor Harrington novels by David Weber if you want an example of that.  Even the close range weapons may travel several hundred kilometers, so you probably wouldn't have ships colliding.  For example, in the first Honor Harrington book, David Weber discusses a special device that can eradicate an opponent's shields, however, with a range of a hundred thousand kilometers, it is far too short range to be much use.

Now, in David Weber's novels, the ships have got some freaking advanced weapon systems, so maybe the range doesn't have to be that extreme, but your ships certainly shouldn't be getting close enough to collide.  Including this whole tremendous distance thing in space would work great to get rid of the "gamy feel."

3.  I imagine that on a space ship navigation would consist of inputing vectors and junk into a computer and then having the computer follow that course.  So your inexperienced pilot wouldn't circle around the Starbase for hours trying to dock.  However, you could have her be frustrated because she had to correct her vectors several times during the journey because she kept catching mistakes, and you could even have the captain catch one of her mistakes, which would make her rather embarassed, and the First Mate grumpy.

Good luck in all your writing endeavors.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end? on: January 19, 2008, 11:16:02 pm
Hi!  I'm new, love Star Control I + II, and I LOVE the Ur-Quan.  I'm an aspiring writer, and if I ever produce villains HALF as good as these crazy caterpillars, I'll die happy.

Anyway, personally, I think you are all looking at only one aspect.  Yes, the Excrutiators were horrible, the pain was horrible, but that isn't all that happened to them. 

Let's remember some things about Ur-Quan history.  First, on paper, they should never have created a strong society.  They had tremendous territoriality, their extreme individualism makes the Druuge look like socialists.  However, they conquered their territoriality and created a successful culture.  They had to work harder than just about any other species to create a successful society, but they did it.  So they were proud of this achievement.

Then, they meet the Taalo, and once again, they have to work hard to join the Sentient Milieu (though it is easy for them to be friends with the Taalo, joining the other species was difficult).  But they did it, despite all the odds.

Then, they found a perfect niche for themselves:  solitary explorers.  The impression I got was that they were at their happiest when they were a member of the Sentient Milieu.  They were wanted, they were needed, they contributed constructively to the improvement of galactic civilization.  They were proud of themselves, and I'm not talking arrogance, I'm talking the healthy pride of working hard, beating the odds and coming out successful.

Then, the Dnyarri come along.  Before the Ur-Quan can hope to fight back, everything they've worked for, EVERYTHING, is ripped from them by sadistic, cruel, lazy toads who've never worked for anything in their lives.  Not only that, but it is THEY, the Ur-Quan, who brought the Dnyarri to the Sentient Milieu (and doing something against your will does not lessen the guilt).  The Ur-Quan feel that they are the reasons for the destruction of the group who showed them a level of happiness and success that they had never before experienced. 

Not only that, but they are forced to completely eradicate the Taalo.  They killed the Taalo, their only friends, the people who gave them a chance when no one else would have, the people who brought them up to a level of contentment that they had never before experienced.

Finally, they destroy the Dnyarri.  Once more, they pay an extremely high price in order to succeed, but they succeed. 

Then, they look around.  The Taalo are dead.  The Sentient Milieu is in shambles.  Because they, the Ur-Quan brought the Dnyarri here.   Everything the Ur-Quan worked for, everything they achieved has been eradicated.  They spent thousands of years building, and the Dnyarri tore it all down in a matter of months.

They felt a horrible guilt.  Blood stained their tentacles, blood that will never be washed off.  They couldn't take it, they couldn't take the fact that they are the reasons for the genocide of three other sentient species.  They hated themselves.  Everytime they looked at themselves, they saw the murderers of the Taalo, the Drall, and the Yuli.

The Ur-Quan snapped.  Their territorial nature and instinctive xenophobia consumed them. The Kohr-Ah decided that if they could eradicate three species, they could eradicate thousands of species.  In their minds they were monsters, they might as well continue to be monsters, for perhaps, someday, when all the potential threats in the universe were eradicated, perhaps the Ur-Quan could once again find peace.  The Kzer-Za, meanwhile, couldn't stand the thought of genocide, not after all the blood that they had already spilled.  So they decided to create their own slave empire.   They justified it to themselves by saying that their empire would be benevolent, protective.  They would protect sentient races from themselves, from outside threats.  Under their rule, there would be no war, no genocide, no wanton destruction.  There would even be limited freedom, far more than with the Dnyarri.

And THAT is why the Ur-Quan are so dedicated to the Path of Now and Forever, and the Eternal Doctrine.  Not just because of the Extruciator.

P.S.
 I'd probably say that this is passed on through indoctrination and genetic memory, as has been suggested throughout the post, though my impression is that the Ur-Quan genetic memory is more a memory of emotions than a memory of specific events.
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