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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: April 26, 2012, 04:28:19 am
Okay, so I finally played demo 0.2.1.

The last time I played the demo, it was still 0.1x. Imagine my shock when I installed the new HD package!

The menus alone were like the jump from Sega Master System to Sega Genesis [or at least, that's what first came to mind.] Makes me think of some of the better console ports, and games like "Streets of Rage" or "Phantasy Star."

I've already commented on the world-beating graphics, but the new high-res ships are outstanding, as are the planets. I love the planetary rotation. It really feels like Star Control 2.5, made in 2012.

I almost fell out of my chair when the new intro sequence started. Are TFB working on this and you're not telling us?

It's probably worthwhile to update the interface too, although I like the familiarity. It feels like a new game with fresh graphics - except that I know the controls.

If only I could see that giant Chmrr starbase rotating!

Some comments

-New hi-res Menus are verrrrrrrrrrrrry slick

-Game is more user-friendly than I remembered. I appreciated that the maps highlight the capital worlds, and the starmap indicated how to search for systems.

-The blue planet in the system directly below the Vux homeworld [Gamma Luyten I] has exotic mineral deposits, but they are all 1 RU each. Is this intentional?

-The resource placement is very helpful. There is a treasure world on the way to the end cutscene system
that I stumbled upon, which was great for filling up with valuable resources.

The approach of having fewer, but better mining sessions is the right approach.

-The 3 Shofixti search locations are not too helpful. The search for the missing ship would have felt dull and fruitless, except that the path to  was intuitive - the  was more helpful in finding that world than the 3 search locations.

It might be best to scatter some more clues in those systems. Shofixti logs, maybe? Landing marks?

-bad guys were more fun to fight this time. I feared the brown blobs until I realized their function. Earthling cruiser was fun but eventually tedious and I had to withdraw. [I had assumed that the brown blobs dealt 1 damage.] Orz was a fast way of dealing with them. Syreen probably involved the most gameplay and skill. Didn't try the other ships.

Certainly, the Lurg would be more formidable if the brown blobs dealt 1 damage. But they'd have to be worth more, too.

Basically, you need to find a balance between the Lurg's brown blobs, its regeneration, and having an offensive AI. The regeneration really scared me when I was in a long drawn-out fight using a Cruiser - I wouldn't want to increase the speed of regeneration if such fights were expected.

As others have noted, the Lurg is much more terrifying [and in character] when it attacks with the green globs. I like the basic idea of immobilizing and frying that you have established here. You just need to decide whether the Lurg adopt a defensive or offensive strategy.

To be honest, I enjoyed the Lurg ships as they are, and will enjoy kicking their ass all over the galaxy. They can be tweaked or rebalanced, I suppose.

-The Umgah prank must have been very expensive.

-I can't wait to find those 'renegade' Vux ships. Who knows what the starbase commander was hiding?

-The Vux dialog, BTW, was top notch.

-I kept visiting the Syreen over and over again...


Now, on other people's thoughts:

The Shofix search areas seem a bit barren. I have to second the idea of 'primitive' civilizations that you can recruit crew from - or at least visit.

I agree with suggestions that Vela should have its own human sphere of influence, if possible.

I keep running into Sirius on the way to Sol.

It's probably not necessary for every star system to have a nebula in the background - perhaps other stellar phonomena would be appropriate at times?

The Chmrr seem to have taken a really hard line on the former hierarchy races. Plus, the Alliance doesn't seem as cheery as it could be. It seems that a lot of this may be connected to plot developments concerning the Chmrr, however.

I don't mind the speed of the Explorer. At least it can do something right! Seriously, though, I find it gives me more initiative if I can manually outrun Kohr-Ah, rather than just sitting there waiting for the autopilot, so you did the right thing there.

The less grinding in hyperspace, the better. Hyperspace is...Hyper-Space, after all. This part of the game is more 'metropolitan' anyway, visiting homeworlds and catching up with old friends - we can always go out on a limb and slowly plod around dangerous places later in the game.

It might be good to limit the range - not the speed - of the Explorer.

There is not enough cargo space in the Explorer to pay for fuel costs.

[It would be cool to run into one rogue Mrrnmhrrm, if that's not connected to the overall "Process" plot.]

Overall, this is going to be a pleasure to recommend to people.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Star Control III Kickstarter on: April 25, 2012, 03:45:07 am
This is it. It's now or never. I've got $100 lined up if they can start a Kickstarter.

I am willing to fund a project that won't even start for another 6 months or a year, if time is the issue. Does Kickstarter allow for long-term projects?

Every gaming site from Rock Paper Shotgun to TIGS will go nuts, as will sites like 9GAG.

(Still loving Project 6014, by the way)

EDIT: Then again, if it's a legal issue, I can see their problem. Creative solutions are something I'm willing to support.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project6014 demo release on: January 03, 2011, 03:13:36 am
After I played the demo (spending 2 hours instead of a few minutes like I expected to), I was so entranced that I read all 33 pages of the thread and this one as well.

There's not much I can tell you that hasn't already been said.

The opening image of the Chmrr starbase was incredible, and exactly what you'd expect, and the Chmrr fleet and Unzervalt images look like they came from TFB. (And I can't distinguish the Vux drawing from something that would have been in the manual or original game.)

I would second every positive comment that you received about every attribute of the game.

I thought I would contribute by seeing if there is anything I can say on the issues of contention.

Here's what I came up with:

1. The Syreen zoom is "annoying" but also really cool.

It was really cool the first few times, but then it got a little tiresome or distracting.

I think the starship commander's zoom is more appropriate than the planetary commander's.
The planetary one is too jarring, IMO.

I think one way to deal with the zoom is to make it perhaps less common - only for special situations. There may be some dialog in which you wish to emphasize the speaker's emotions or a certain point, and you could zoom then.

That way, the zoom would have more of an impact.

I would be comfortable with the starship commander's zoom being used more regularly than the planetary example, since it seems to fit the pace and tempo of the encounter. Gaia could perhaps be more laid back.

2. I am not so sure about the Shofixti eyes, either. Maybe different Shofixti have different coloured left eyes, just like Earthling captains have different hair? The current setup does add flair, however.

3. It's kinda bothersome that the Chmrr didn't just pay the Melnorme for the information. Perhaps this is an example of the Chmrr's contemptuous attitude? Or perhaps the Melnorme are frustrated with the Chmrr, and would rather talk to you - building you up instead of the Chmrr.

4. I found the flagship's primary weapon rather sucky. I figure you'll have mods for it though. I was really hoping when I pressed the trigger that a Chejensu crystal would come flying out.

If you want to get really crazy, imagine a weapons layout reflecting the Chmrr combination - a primary crystal torpedo, and a secondary laser. If you hit your torpedo with the laser, it explodes with even more power! The Melnorme scrambler weapon could be activated by a tertiary key combo, and could be a weapon that needs to be researched first. Anyway, this is a pretty crazy idea and I only mention it because it's the first thing that came to mind.

The rationale you have for the existing weapons layout and modules makes sense anyway.

5. I don't want to get too into the fat Syreen debate, but I second the idea, if including her, that you be given "friendly" or passively-sarcastic dialog options with her. [i.e. you want to understand more about her, but don't phrase it in a hostile way.]

Other comments:

-I figure the Yehat should have a base and possibly the VUX (making for some interesting dialog options.)

-Resource gathering: I know this is the demo, so you haven't really been able to integrate it yet, but the presence of minerals on scans makes one want to mine them (especially in the absence of really viable resource-gathering options.)

I agree with the suggestion to have minerals available to mine, but with an algorithm to remove the most valuable ones that Zelnick would have already mined in SC2.

Another idea is to have the Starbase give you 1000 RU every month, or something - you can resource from the bases instead of vice versa.*

Since there appears to be a higher emphasis in this game on diplomacy, maybe good diplomacy, sharing of information between races, courier duties, etc... could get you resources. Even escort missions for the freighter, if possible.

*Maybe the Alliance can only spare X dollars per month because of the mopping-up operations.

Maybe protecting trade convoys nets you more money.

So, mining can be used as a supplement for income.

-It's probably going to need more VUX. Who knows, perhaps ZEX lived inside the belly of that beast, and has emerged to command his modified Intruder somewhere.

-Although I enjoyed hunting down the alien homeworlds in the demo, might as well show spheres of influence for allied races, after all, the captain would be briefed on them and familiar with them.

-There are too many Chmrr in the initial system, and possibly too many intercepts.

-I was kinda hoping for a moonbase. I figure you probably haven't had time to implement that, if you were planning to, but I can second the idea.

-Regarding the ZEX thing above, I'm sure it could be a harmless secret encounter / easter egg. After all, it's not like TFB were going to pick up on that plot anyway. Game canon thinks he's dead  Grin

Anyway, these are all minor nitpicks. The game is really meeting the highest expectations I could have set out for it when reading about in 2009. I feel that I am exploring the section of the universe that we didn't get to see in SC2.

Things that would be cool

I know I had a lot to say, but you have done such a great job that it has stimulated a lot of discussion.

4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How does the New Alliance win the war? on: March 07, 2009, 11:25:28 pm
What about the Ur-Quan's will to fight? We know that there is only 1 UQ per ship, and the rest are thralls. By now, these thralls are probably made up of Hierarchy races from the game area (they might have been the thralls from previous sectors of the galaxy when the UQ first arrived). The prevalence of expendable crew aboard UQ dreadnoughts suggests two things:

1. UQ don't like to die. And after the demoralizing events at the end of SC2, perhaps they don't see a need to charge headlong into a reinvigorated Alliance. The NAFS, on the other hand, are fighting for their freedom and very survival. UQ have a place to withdraw to (the Magellanic Clouds according to the 3D0 SC2)

2. The hierarchy races aboard the Dreadnoughts might have become aware of the turmoil among the Ur-Quan after the reintroduction of the Dynarri and the destruction of the Sa-Matra. There may have been difficulty in communicating after the UQ exterminated all their Dynarri. The slave races might have then realized that UQ control was collapsing. What if they learned about the Spathi leaving, the Thraddash being attacked by the Ilwrwath, the damage to the Mycon, etc... They might have wanted to go and defend their homes, or at least no longer die for the UQ, knowing their homeworlds were no longer under UQ compulsion.

When Zelnick spoke about disarray among the UQ, he might have even meant within UQ ships, not just among the UQ factions (including possible factions outside the sector.)
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How does the New Alliance win the war? on: February 20, 2009, 11:06:46 pm
Yeah, you need a hyperwave caster to communicate through a slave shield, so I guess Earth was not in contact with the Starbase. Hayes mentioned looking up through the red glow of the slave shield. I wonder if they can see the sky and the stars? Perhaps not, though you can see the landmasses from orbit. It could be a two-way mirror effect.

The Doctrinal Conflict certainly kept the Ur-Quan busy and away. Humans would have been at great risk in the long-run had they been building starships. That's why I was so surprised at the end to hear of human starships lifting off. Perhaps TFB are trying to tell us something about the nature of humanity?

You certainly got the impression at the end of the game that a new era had dawned, and the Ur-Quan were on the run at least.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 20, 2009, 04:21:12 pm
From that chat logs I read, it seemed that TFB weren't really interested in the reviving the "dead" Milieu races (except for the Taalo). I wonder, could you include some of these dead races (artifacts, survivors?) since they might continue to be treated as dead in any potential sequel?

Also, like Resh said, it might be ok to add "strays" - leftover Chenjesu, etc...

But this is secondary, perhaps.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How does the New Alliance win the war? on: February 20, 2009, 04:12:07 pm
The Ur-Quan clearly had very little presence outside of their sphere. And Earth was extremely poorly monitored. The Spathi all fled, leaving Fwiffo hiding on Pluto. The Ilwrath left in order to hunt down the Pkunk. And the Ur-Quan had not caught any of this over the period of 20 years or so. If Earth was building cruisers, nobody was paying attention.

One wonders about Ur-Quan demoralization
-the Sa-Matra was destroyed in a treacherous sneak attack
-their thralls fail to respond to the call
-some of their thralls have betrayed them
-they had to face another Dynaari
-the Kzer-Za appear to have been wrong in their strategy
-new races, such as the Utwig and the Supox, are attacking them
-the Chejensu and Mrrnhrrmm are back and more powerful than ever before
-it was lowly "inferior" races that did this to them

On the other hand, all this could just make them angrier!

I guess it rests on how many cruisers the humans were able to build on the slave shield, whether the Umgah betray them and join the alliance, if the VUX and Mycon stay out of it, how much forces the Yehat/Pkunk are able to bring to bear, and if the Arilou intercept Ur-Quan communications as suggested in Timewarp. Most importantly, how many cruisers have the Chmrr built, and how quickly are they able to build new ones. There is a possibility that these numbers are impressive. (though don't ask me how they managed to build all these ships before even becoming the Chmrr!)

If the Ur-Quan continued their doctrinal conflict in a confused or haphazard manner, it is possible that small groups of Supox, Utwig, etc... could have isolated pockets of Ur-Quan, picked them off, and moved onto the next group.

There is still a lot of Ur-Quan ships left to destroy, however.

It was pointed out that the Alliance and the Hierarchy were nearly matched in the first war, with the tide turned by the Sa Matra.

So you have to ask yourself, how does it fare this time, with the Ur-Quan weakened, most Hierarchy thralls unavailable, and with most Alliance races weakened.

Then, how does morale, leadership, and organization factor in?

It seems like it could be a bitter conflict. The "feel" you get from the end cutscene and other clues is that the Chmrr provided strong leadership to the New Alliance, that they were very powerful and able to mobilize resources very quickly, that even the humans pitched in and were ready for a fight, and the Alliance races were finally mobilizing to deal with the Ur-Quan.

EDIT: Without ZEX, the VUX would have been pushovers, at least according to the Yehat. So they would likely stay out of the conflict or be rolled over quickly.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 20, 2009, 03:41:29 am
oh, okay. Makes perfect sense, actually. I didn't know anyone had a line to TFB, but coordination with them is the best solution. Take care of the "interlude" between SC2 and SC3, helps develop some of the themes.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Mysteries of the Star Control Universe... theories much appreciated! on: February 20, 2009, 01:21:09 am
Having the Kzer-Za scientists operating more slowly and ploddingly because of mind-control would also explain the slow technological development or even technological stasis that appears to be extant in this section of the galaxy - another mystery of the Star Control universe, at least for me. After all, despite being spacefaring for thousands of years, the Ur-Quan do not have that much of a technological advantage over their own thralls, or most Alliance races such as the humans. On the other hand, it might be the case that there is a technological plateau that most spacefaring species reach, that only the Precursors have transcended.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How does the New Alliance win the war? on: February 20, 2009, 12:49:13 am
I agree with you that the Ur-Quan situation seems a lot more bleak than many people might think.

In some respects, its not as bad as you were alluding to. If I recall correctly, didn't the Chmrr give you infinite resources after you freed them from the slave shield? It seems that they were willing and more than ready to hunt the Ur-Quan once they were freed. Also, perhaps these machine beings can quickly process resources.

We know from the end cutscene that Earth had been building ships under the slave shield. Perhaps they had been building Earthling Cruisers for last 20 years? Who knows how hope survives under the slave shield. At the very least, Zelnick could have signalled them from the ship (or Hayes) in 2155, a couple of years before the Battle of the Sa Matra.

Perhaps the explosion of the Utwig bomb wiped out a large portion of the Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah fleet in a similar manner as the Shofixti bomb did.

Even if this is true, it is, as you say, a case of devastation among the New Alliance. Perhaps there was also political distruption among the Hierarchy - witness the defection of the Spathi, Yehat, and so on, along with the loss of the Sa Matra and Ur-Quan ships. Perhaps other members of the Hierarchy, such as the Mycon, no longer regard the Ur-Quan as an inevitability. Just when the Ur-Quan need their thralls the most, they are deserting. Perhps they continue their fratricidal war with the Kohr-Ah while they are under attack from all sides.

But it seems as if it would be a long, hard fight. Maybe subduing the Ur-Quan would be part of a sequel, relying on the talents of the Captain.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 20, 2009, 12:38:39 am
Thanks Cedric. I've looked at the postings by you and Tim, and I just took some notes on working the two ideas together.

Major unresolved plot elements from SC2

-the instability of the Chmrr
-the fate of the ancient races, e.g. the Taalo live
-what are the Chejensu and the Taalo?
-where are the Androsynth?
-if there are Androsynth still around, not caught up by the Orz, how was this done? Were they caught in a dimensional rift? A stasis field?
-what are the Orz going to do?
-are the Arilou really benevolent?
-what happened to the Precursors?
-what about some of the concept art ships and races

-can the Alliance still find a use for the Mycon

New Alliance

Major supporters
-humans (unofficial diplomatic leadership)
-Yehat (fair and even-handed) (strong presence)
-Chmrr (domineering) (strong presence)
-Supox (eager)(medium presence)
-ZFP (eager) (weak presence)
-Shofixti (eager) (weak presence)
-Syreen (medium presence, unless they are absorbed into humanity)

Minor supporters
-Utwig? (withdrawn)
-Spathi/Black Spathi?
-Orz (until they dissapear or do something evil)


-Ilwrath (hidden pirates)
-Kohr-Ah (any survivors might be hidden pirates)

I like Cedric and Tim's ideas.

Let's look at the game in potential phases

Phase I

-immediately after SC2
-learn about what happened in the immediate past
-Zelnick decides the fate of the Ur-Quan
-conduct missions as either a regular human officer or as Zelnick on behalf on Star Control

-missions include escorting colony ships to new stars, protecting trade lanes, and searching for the base of the Ilwrath pirates

-you may be rewarded with a Mark II human cruiser during these missions, as new Precursor and Alliance technology is integrated into starbase systems

-experience the increasing domineering nature of the Chmrr

-you can learn about who the Melnorme are here, or in Phase II

-once everyone has their economies back together, a mission to liberate the slave-shielded races from the other quadrant

-construction of Chmrr Explorer [this could fast-forward into the future, where Zelnick is brought out of retirement to engage in diplomacy to bring this project together)

Phase II - Liberation

-you play this either as Zelnick, or, if it is further into the future, as the young captain
-Explore the new stars and liberate races
-find precursor artifacts
-perhaps find things related to the Mark II
-find clues about the Orz, maybe the Androsynth as well
-Chmrr become evil

-ultimate evil in the form of the Orz puppetmasters emerge

Phase III
-need to fix Chmrr by finding Mrnnhrmnn and the Mother Ark (perhaps while fighting the Chmrr)
-perhaps the Taalo can help fix the Chmrr, since perhaps the Taalo and Chejensu were both Precursor creations
-can the Androsynth be restored to help fight the Orz puppetmasters?
-is the Precursor Cruiser going to be used?

That's all I've thought for now. I'll look over some other postings from the other board.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 19, 2009, 06:16:43 am
This is very interesting!

A few thoughts

1. Is this taking place almost immediately after SC2? Because it might be nice to have some starter (introductory) missions of using your Earthling Cruisers to protect colony ships from pirates (Ilwrath), expanding the Human sphere of influence.

2. I like the new map, it really shows some of the disorder and changes post Ur-Quan (at least from what we see).

3. Is the human sphere a bit too small? It seems hard to imagine Alpha Centauri not being in the human sphere, given that it was practically your backyard in the SC2 game.

4. I understand that the Human sphere can't get any bigger without overlapping with the Chmrr sphere, though that might not be bad either.

5. The explorer is gorgeous and perfect.

6. For the human cruiser bridge, have you considered having the back/back arrangement from SC1? Or is that unfeasable in case you are talking to a cruiser with only 1 crew member?

7. On the human bridge, I like Sirving's concept, it might be very SC2-like to have a large blow-up of the cruiser in the background (a status report with many flashing indices!) I think the bridge will be Vux-like, in a sense.

Anyway, these are my thoughts, take them for what you will. If you need people to think over story ideas, try to mull things over in the context of the SC2 universe, I'll look over any new forum and try to think of anything. Otherwise, just do what you are doing. I've been lurking for a long time and I think your project is very feasable.
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