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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: I am creating an RTS set in the SC2 universe on: July 07, 2004, 05:38:28 am
Hmm, I thought the graphics/sounds had been GPL'd.

I'll look into it more.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / I am creating an RTS set in the SC2 universe on: July 06, 2004, 10:46:43 am
So now that we all know why we're here, lets begin.

For the last couple of years I've been working with the developers of Stratagus, and open-source RTS engine. I know the guys pretty well, and have convinced them to add features from time to time when I needed it.

Anyway, most people use Stratagus to play Warcraft 2. They include a tool that, when properly configured, extracts data from your old Warcraft 2 (For DOS, edition doesn't work) and puts it in Stratagus. Essentially you're then playing Warcraft 2 on a modern machine, with a resolution you can change, modern features like unit-queueing, and so forth. It's great fun, especially in multiplayer.

While this is all well and good, the developers would really like to have a dataset unique to Stratagus - so far the only attemps have been either shelved or not worked out (In one sad case, the developer of one of the datasets passed away. She was doing really well, too.). Originally Stratagus was called Freecraft, and I was developing a new campaign that used WC2 data/graphics. After Blizzard sent them a cease and desist letter (The name 'Freecraft' was too close to 'Starcraft' and 'Warcraft, as you can obviously tell), I decided to stop work on the WC2 campaign and think about making one with an entirely unique dataset. To my chagrin, one that's actually USEABLE hasn't come out yet.

So I'm going to bite the bullet and make my own. Set in the Star Control 2 universe.

Last weekend I had some ideas for it, so I sat down and started writing. I have a lot of material that isn't ready to be shown off yet, so I'll give you guys the basic layout of the game.

-- Untitled Star Control 2 RTS Game --

As I have yet to name the races involved, I'll be using the monikers (Empire) and (New Race). In addition, PNF has been down all day for me, so I haven't been able to check the timelines and other facts - I need to know how long it was between the Kohr-Ah/Kzer-Za split and the Doctrinal War. So take the times/dates with a grain of salt.

The game is set in either the NW sector of the galaxy, or the SE sectory, depending on which direction the Kohr-Ah went in.

(Copied from my notes)

- Alien race discovers hyperspace travel, begins to conquer less advanced neighboring races.
- Empire is establish, spanning hundreds of worlds. In terms of size, it's roughly the same size as the spathi or mycon circle of influence.
- Empire lasts for hundreds of years.

- The Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah on their Path of Now and Forever enter the sector of the galaxy that The Empire is part of.
- Kohr-Ah announce their intentions (Similar to the Kzer-Za 'War Cry' when they first entered the SW sector).
- Begin to attack The Empire, and completely crush them in each encounter.
- Upon reaching a colonized world, they firebomb it until they can no longer detect any sentient life.

- The Empire, fearing extinction, decides to hide the best and brightest of their species within 'Vaults', buried deep beneath the surface of some of their core worlds.
- In addition, they also store plans, designs, and any high technology they had developed in these vaults. They split the different aspects of their technology into different vaults, so that if they were ever discovered, the race which found them wouldn't be able to get ALL of their tech.
- When the Kohr-Ah finally defeat their last line of defense, the core worlds are left helpless. The Kohr-Ah bomb these worlds mercilessly. However, most of the vaults are unseen by their scanners, and the (Empire) inside survive in stasis.
- Sadly, a few of the vaults ARE destroyed. They had not been finished, and as such several key technological advances were lost. Most importantly, space travel.
- The stasis lasts for hundreds (If not thousands) of years, as Empire scientists had predicted that the radioactive fallout of the Kohr-Ah surface-bombing weapons would leave their worlds scarred for a long time.

- Before the Kohr-Ah destroyed their worlds, The Empire kept a sub-sentient species called (New Race) as pets and slaves. The radioactive fallout on one of the worlds causes them to mutate slightly... eventually giving way to sentience.
- In addition to sentience, some of the (new race) are changed in such a way that they can communicate psychically, at the cost of their vocal chords and their gutteral language. Some of this new strain are even gifted with (Limited) telekineses.
- (new race) wipes out non-psychic (new races) and asserts dominance over the planet.
- (New race) begins to establish a culture at an amazing pace, salvaging from tiny bits and pieces of empire ruins.

- During the bombardment, the kohr-ah ships also uncovered ancient precursor artifacts, long buried in caverns and under the sands of deserts.
- The (new race) develops a religion that worships the Kohr-Ah, only known them as black objects in the sky which wiped out their former oppressors, (empire). They know very little about the Kohr-Ah, however. They only have vague stories handed down from their sub-sentient ancestors that have been elaborated quite a bit.
- (new race) believes that these uncovered precursor artifacts were left by the Kohr-Ah as reminders of them and objects of worship. They guard them with their lives.
- (Empire) vaults are activated. (Empire) wake up to find that some of their most critical technology has been lost, leaving them without space travel and such. In addition, the technology left in vaults on other planets is now inaccessable to them.
- They begin to expand outward from their vaults, only to meet stiff resistance from (new race).

- During these skirmishes, (empire) scientists discover the precursor artifacts that have been uncovered.
- Realizing that with these artifacts they could recover their lost technology in months instead of decades, they quickly attempt to recover as many as possible from the (new race).
- (new race), seeing that (empire) soldiers are dead set on capturing their most holy relics begins a holy war against (empire).

--> Game Stars Here <--

The Empire's base goals are to reestablish their Star Empire as quickly as possible. To do this, they will need to regain their space travel and other technologies as quickly as possible - much of which was stored on other worlds, and some of which was lost in the Kohr-Ah attacks. As such, they set out on a quest to recover as many precursor relics as possible, gaining new technologies and new ways to crush (new race) resistance. Despite losing much techology, they are still very advanced. In most cases they hold the advantage over (new race).

The (new race)'s goals are much simpler - they merely wish to destroy the empire because it is trying to steal their holy relics, and to plunder the (empire) vaults.

I haven't finished the physical appearances of the new races, but here are some hints: Empire race is lizard-like, similar to 'The Lizard' of Spiderman fame. (new race) resembles 'Cthulhu' in a way, for you Lovecraft fans. These designs are not final and I'm still thinking of ways to make them unique and fun.

I've been thinking about the mechanics of the gameplay (Basic RTS stuff, really. I hope to bring some fresh new ideas though.), so I won't post them yet.


I've already decided how the game is going to end - with an Empire victory.

Basically, they're going to manage to recover enough precursor relics to establish contact with a satellite network with, amazingly enough, a couple satellites still functioning. After scanning the planet and realizing the scope of the (new race)'s resources, they realize that eventually (new race) will simply overwhelm them in numbers alone.

They also do a scan of their solar system to see if anything useful has been left behind. They find a defunct Kohr-Ah Maurader.

They manage to build a rudimentary space craft (No weapons, not able to go very far, and it lacks the ability to return to the planet.) to dock with the Kohr-Ah ship to repair and take control of it.

(More info on the kohr-ah ship after I get info from PNF)

While on the Kohr-Ah ship, they come into contact with a Melnorme trade ship who, in exchange for several hundred (new race) specimins after (empire) win the war, will help repair the Maurader.

The Maurader, manned with an (empire) crew, returns to the planet. The (new race) instantly begins to worship it.

Using this to their advantage, the empire manages to convince the (new race) that their gods have returned and are demanding that they put aside their weapons and welcome the empire. Most of the (new race) complies, and is massacred. The few that resist are hunted down and blasted by the maurader. The Empire begins rounding up the (new race) that are left, and after paying off the melnorme, they re-enslave them.

The Empire, now armed with Maurader and Precursor technology begins to rebuild their fleet and restablishes contact with other planets which had vaults on them. They then start to reestablish their empire.

These ships, an unholy fusion of Empire/Kohr-Ah/Precursor designs, will be more than a match for a Chmmr Avatar.


Now then, I want you to know that ALL OF THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. I did all the Kohr-Ah stuff from memory, and like I mentioned earlier I haven't been able to reach any of all day to double-check it. If I think of something better, I'll do it. And if you guys suggest something better, I'll use it. For instance, the whole loss of technology part and the rise of (new race) seems a little flimsy to me, and could use some more 'oomph' to it.

Hopefully this won't be another 'Hey wouldn't it be great if someone made another SC game?', because I have the developers of Stratagus to work with. A lot of the coding I need for this game to work is done. Some more needs to be added - for instance in-game conversations. If you bring a unit or unit(s) to a specific place, a dialogue box will pop up and you can have an SC2-esque conversation that can change how parts of the game happen.

What do I need from you guys? Well, suggestions, comments, and ideas are important.

But most of all? I NEED ARTISTS! 3D artists, 2D artists, it doesn't matter - I just need em! I can recycle quite a few sound effects and images from SC2, but I need unit graphics. Check out Stratagus for more info on how unit graphics are made. In keeping with SC2, I don't want a bunch of bland SC3 grays and such. Color would be best, but not so much that it looks tacky.

Think you're a good voice actor? Well, maybe you can help out too. I'll need unit voices for both races, and some other things. Sound effects too, but I can use a bunch from SC2.

My email address is OR if you want to contact me privately. Also, I'm on MSN as or AIM as blitzoid.

Some neat things I'd like to mention:

Radial Menus - Instead of the traditional 'sidebar' menu that most RTS games use, I'll be experimenting with a radial menu system. You middle-click, and a circular menu comes up with options in each direction. You can try it out for yourself if you download Stratagus and 'Battle of Survival (BOS)', it has a radial menu already.

Conversations - I don't know if this has been done before, but I've never played an RTS where you actually took time out to have an RPG-ish conversation with an NPC.

The Stratagus engine supports up to TWELVE players at once. So in the future, if multiplayer works out well, you can blast friends and enemies in a 12 player brawl. Also, the stratagus team is working on getting a metaserver up. Sort of a 'server browse'.

Alright, so post any comments you have. Hopefully I can get this project off the ground soon with some scripting for missions.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Video sequences on: July 06, 2004, 09:28:10 am
There were some really impressive movies over at PNF awhile ago, they might still be there.

The Chmmr ships attacking the Sa-Matra come to mind.

I'd love to see some movies of 'after the war', where Chmmr ships duke it out with the Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah remnants, and maybe a cutscene of the Vindicator getting shot up by fireballs and such as it screeches toward the Sa-Matra, having the escape pod launch just before it gets within explosion range. Then... boom!
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A horrifying SC2 story! on: November 08, 2002, 06:50:57 pm
I have the SC2 box

I like how the screenshots on the back have mismatched pilots/ships

Saaay... the Thraddash don't fly Utwig ships...
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Your LEAST favorite ship on: November 08, 2002, 06:05:01 pm
I reallllly hated chasing spathi ships.

Alot of people I talk to hated using the Slylandro Probe, but once you master it's controls, you do some damage.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Favourite ship on: November 07, 2002, 07:50:56 pm
I love the Orz Nemesis.

Man, I hated fighting the computer when it was Spathi... always ran away from me.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Compiling info on: November 07, 2002, 07:46:58 pm
Just thought I'd give you some info on compiling on different systems.

I grabbed the CVS from the night of Nov. 6th, attempted to run (Seemed to be the way to do it.), got this error:

./ Running aclocal
aclocal: 70: macro `AM_PATH_SDL' not found in library

My system:
Athlon XP 2000+/K7S5A ECS motherboard/256 of PC133/GeForce 2 MX (Running latest nVidia drivers)/Soundblaster LIVE! (Latest emu101 driver)

Slackware 8.1
SDL 1.2/SDL_image/SDL_mixer installed, OpenGL installed and working, Ogg Vorbis codec installed.

Most of this info probably has nothing to do with any of this, and the error was probably just that CVS, but hey, when troubleshooting, the more info the better. I checked line 70 of, but since I'm not much of a shell scripter, I couldn't see anything wrong. Seems to be a problem with SDL, but I can't see what.

Anyway... yeah.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: What do you want added.. on: November 06, 2002, 08:41:45 pm
I wouldn't mind seeing all the little things that Paul and Fred never had time to add, like the Cloaking Device Chax mentioned, something 'Weird' happening if you have Orz ships in Quasi-Space, and the convesation you can have with Paul and Fred on a certain planet.

And I really hope the Ur-Quan theme is extended. I love listening to it, but it's really short.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Life was meaningless until I found out about this! on: November 06, 2002, 08:33:58 pm
It's TRUE!

I just have to thank the guys working on this, you went above and beyond the call of duty to make it work under Linux, and other alternative operating systems. I'm just so damned excited. I can't wait for the official release.
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