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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: A bit of Star Control history (MOD contest) on: February 13, 2013, 04:04:02 pm
There's actually a version of Potato Juice with lyrics.
Video evidence for the above claim.

Starting at 11:30.
More like 11:21, the position I linked to. Judging by the MP3, the additional 10-second intro is part of this version of the song, even though the version in the game lacks it.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A bit of Star Control history (MOD contest) on: January 27, 2013, 09:42:24 pm
There's actually a version of Potato Juice with lyrics.
Video evidence for the above claim.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Engine Speed / Difficulty on: December 17, 2012, 12:19:56 pm
Which enemies have you been having problems with? The Slylandro Probes are supposed to be ridiculously fast and do 180° turns instantly; if you're constantly being accosted by them every time you leave Sol, maybe you should explore our solar system first before leaving.

The design of the game makes it unlikely that the AI is running faster than the rest of the game (e.g. the human player); if there is a timing problem, the whole game is likely to be too fast. However, your flagship is extremely slow at the start of the game and the Earthling Cruiser escort ship you also have, while capable of turning quickly, can't accelerate too well.

If you are used to the Genesis version of Star Control, note that this version of the game ran much slower than intended; the Amiga and PC versions (and the sequel) run at the correct speed.

You can check the speed of the game in SuperMelee mode by choosing a really slow ship (and two-player mode, so you can fly around undisturbed) and checking how long it takes to turn 360°. For a Chenjesu Broodhome, this should take 4⅔ seconds.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: specific SDL directory on: November 08, 2012, 10:12:24 am
You could try working around this by using the environment variables for GCC and ld to change where the libraries are sought.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Game Guru on: October 26, 2012, 10:06:09 am
As far as I can tell, the 3DO Game Guru allows the user to enter codes to change the behaviour of games, so even if the Game Guru doesn't come with codes for a game built-in, someone can figure them out afterwards. I found some codes for SC2.

However, you should note that there is also a Windows version of Game Guru, which probably won't be any use to you for 3DO games.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Emergency warp escape unit. on: October 26, 2012, 09:54:53 am
Is your copy of SC2 missing the manual? It's Right Shift + B.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Thank you for letting me play one of my all time fav games again! (&SC1?) on: October 09, 2012, 01:21:44 am
SC1 having terrible sound in DOS is normal? I assumed it was an issue I was having with DOSBox.
Sound in SC1 in DOSBox is problematic for several reasons:
  • MT-32 sound (the default in e.g. the GOG release) sounds awful unless you have an MT-32 or compatible device. The Munt emulator is apparently pretty good nowadays. If you don't set up an MT-32 compatible MIDI device, this will probably end up being played as General MIDI, which replaces all the sounds with essentially random musical instruments. If you get it right, you get pretty good music and some decent, albeit vaguely musical, sound effects.
  • Adlib sound is what most people used to hear back in the day and consists of a decent array of different bleeps and bloops and other droning and beeping sounds. This one works pretty well without much configuring of DOSBox.
  • Tandy sound only seems to work in Tandy graphics mode and consists almost entirely of square waves and the occasional white noise.
  • CMS sound is basically like Tandy, but with more channels.
  • Internal speaker doesn't work in DOSBox yet due to limitations of the current PC speaker emulator.

None of these sounds anything like the Amiga version that SC2 takes its sound from, since all the sound effects are synthesised rather than sampled. I'd go for Adlib, or MT-32 if you can get it working right.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: The Masters Thoughts on: October 03, 2012, 04:49:43 pm
How about this, to some extent, SC2 is a dumbed-down actioned-up version of Master of Orion with a story-driven campaign.
SC1 could be seen as a crude 4X game (simplistic even compared to early 4X games like Reach for the Stars (1983)). I've already outlined the reasons why SC2 is not a strategy game and hence not comparable to MoO. In fact, most of the design of SC2 is derived from Starflight (1986). Hyperspace travel, dialogue and so on are structured more or less the same in both games. The planetary exploration and mineral collection in SC2 is essentially a streamlined version of that of Starflight (in particular, the Genesis version has similar scan commands and controls).

The way I'd put it is that SC2 is what you get when you add Starflight to the Spacewar-like combat of SC1.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: The Masters Thoughts on: October 03, 2012, 03:48:06 pm
Generally speaking, without bullshitting around, the arcadish "Space Invader" clone is a bad joke. From my point of view, designers really dropped their imagination here.
Wrapping this Strategic/Role Playing/Adventure game with a fucking retro shooter from the 70's is as bad as implying that this title is a shoot'em up.
First, it seems you're confusing Space Invaders and Spacewar (which, by the way, is from the early 1960s). Second, you seem to miss the fact that Star Control II is based on Star Control, which essentially consists of the Spacewar derivative Mêlée and a simple strategy game wrapped around it. The RPG part is the later addition, not the combat.

Spacewar is admittely pretty much as retro as it gets. However, considering how little the Spacewar formula was developed in the intervening years, Star Control is actually pretty ground-breaking. While Space Wars added details like asteroids into the mix, the idea of having several different ships rather than effectively identical ones is arguably Star Control's biggest contribution.

I get the impression that you object to Star Control II combining many different types of game into a loosely connected whole rather than integrating aspects of different types into one single game engine. While this does reduce the cohesiveness of the game, it allows it to include a much wider range of different activities. For example, Mass Effect pretty much ignores ship-to-ship combat since it's effectively an RPG bolted onto a third-person shooter (it also has an even more tedious and simplistic mineral collection aspect bolted onto this). In Star Control II, space combat can be used support the narrative and gameplay (and, indeed, integrate with the puzzles in the main game) rather than simply cutting to an extended cutscene.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: The Masters Thoughts on: October 03, 2012, 02:07:18 pm
By the way, get your facts straight people:
Citing an obviously flawed Gamespot information page (e.g. it does not mention the original DOS version) that provides no justification for its classification does not help your case.

Strategy games involve more or less continually controlling multiple units spread around a playing area, while role-playing games involve a single person or smallish party that you control and nobody else really does anything unless it's a plot point. Star Control II clearly belongs more to the latter category as you have only a small group of ships in your fleet and effectively no way of even communicating with, let alone giving orders to, anyone in a different solar system.

onpon4's argument actually, to me, supports the classification of SC2 as an RPG: as is usual for an RPG, the choice of party member or skill/weapon to use against an enemy is the primary deciding factor and you can improve your party/fleet through plot rewards, collecting gold/RUs through combat. However, SC2 does lack some typical elements of RPGs, such as experience points. Nonetheless, since collecting money or suchlike and using it to purchase upgrades is characteristic of RPGs but unusual in adventure games where money is often effectively treated as yet another item to solve puzzles with. Similarly, adventure games, if they include combat at all, typically treat it as an isolated minigame at a specific point in the adventure.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Compiling on: August 26, 2012, 09:42:49 am
Who does the Windows release builds for UQM? Michael Martin? At least that's whom Bugzilla sends bug reports about the Windows build to. In any case, it would probably be useful to have the "official" UQM build environment.

Then there's the snapshots. I suspect those are actually cross-compiled on Linux, aren't they? Meep-eep?
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Compiling on: August 25, 2012, 02:59:01 pm
Why not just create a mingw with all the necessary things, and then an UQM file with all the necessary things and create instructions similair to these:
The main argument against doing this, if I remember correctly, is that there may be newer versions of the libraries used by UQM with desirable changes such as bug or compatibility fixes, and having to wait for a third party to update the UQM build environment and redistribute it is often not worth the trouble. There's also the matter of trust and reliability: by downloading from the original developers or port maintainers, the risks of something being wrong with the code you download is smaller. That said, your solution would almost certainly work well enough for personal use or experimentation. In fact, many of us are already relying on our Linux distributions to package all the libraries for us. Also, many bug fixes to e.g. SDL can be done after compilation by replacing the DLL.

It appears you're not the only one to suggest making a MinGW distribution like this.

Are you volunteering to maintain an UQM-specific MinGW distribution? Cheesy
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Compiling on: August 22, 2012, 09:36:00 pm
I'm glad that worked out for you. I should try to put together some new instructions for compiling UQM with MinGW some time. This thread should make a nice troubleshooting section.

gcc will happily overwrite files while compiling without any warning. If you recompile, uqm-debug.exe will be overwritten by the final (linking) step.
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Compiling on: August 22, 2012, 12:54:18 pm
I'm assuming you're using the official UQM 0.7.0 downloads. uqm-0.7.0-source.tgz does not contain any content; you need at least the base content package uqm-0.7.0-content.uqm. If you've already installed UQM 0.7.0 using e.g. uqm-0.7.0-installer.exe, you can find this content package there.

If you haven't compiled UQM with support for compressed files, you will need to unpack the content packages into the content directory. You should end up with a content directory containing:
  • A small file called version
  • Default key setting files uqm.key and menu.key
  • Content description file uqm.rmp
  • A directory called base containing all the actual UQM base content

Alternatively, you could try installing the zlib development files for MinGW and recompiling UQM with support for compressed files.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: Compiling on: August 21, 2012, 08:52:53 am
Damn, so I have to start again?
Not at all. What content are you using, anyway? SVN? The standard 0.7 packages?
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