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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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421  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM Tools on: December 23, 2011, 08:47:01 pm
I got a chance to play around with this myself. I'm already excited about some of the possibilities this could bring.

I'm glad to hear it.  My hope is that UQM will evolve over time to leverage whatever free standards and open-source libraries are available and useful to it.  SMIL Animations, TTML subtitles, XML data/save files, WOFF fonts, XLIFF localization files, etc.  IMHO, all of these pieces of generic infrastructure shouldn't really be part of UQM's core, and it's better to outsource them.

Has HTML5 replaced the need for this?

From what I understand, HTML5 has no timing component.  When what you want is to have a combined stream of audio+video+subtitles, SMIL seems to be the primary applicable standard.

Limsee2 has a really weird UI and I wasn't able to do much with it. I just hand coded the text files myself. I'm comfortable with HTML so it's not a problem.

The Limsee3 project ( might be of interest.
422  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM Tools on: December 10, 2011, 07:12:19 pm
Certainly, SMIL/TTML have way more than we need.  But they can still be useful in two ways:

First, looking at how the existing standards have specified these features can help to inform the design.  If there is particular terminology used in a problem domain, it will reduce confusion if we use the same terms for the same concepts instead of introducing new words (elements, attributes, etc) for the same thing.  And if these specs actually are a superset of what's needed, it might be worth re-using the XML format by implementing just the subset that you need, rather than inventing a whole new set of tags.  The more similar your approach is to existing standards, the less cognitive clash it will cause to those who know both.

Second, if SMIL is capable of doing what you need, it's worth stepping back and asking whether you could just pull in an existing open-source SMIL library like Ambulant, and save yourself a bunch of work.  Learning to use someone else's tech may be less fun than developing the tech yourself, but it's usually more productive in the long run.
423  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM Tools on: December 09, 2011, 03:40:06 pm
Before branching out on your own, I'd suggest reviewing any standards that already exist for doing this sort of thing, like, and the Timed Text specification I linked to above.  There may already be libraries that you could leverage for using those, and at the least, it might turn up issues that could inform your own design.  The whole software ecosystem is more efficient when we each build on each others' work when possible, instead of reinventing the wheel in every project.
424  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: October 10, 2011, 03:16:45 am
I had a dream about it shortly after I first played the demo, I found the new Pkunk home system and I went down to their planets but got caught in some kind of sulfur pit and died  Undecided

Clearly, you reincarnated.
425  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM Tools on: September 17, 2011, 03:16:31 am
If you're defining an XML format for conversations, you might look at  It's the W3C standard XML format for timed text.
426  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ur-Quan Masters HD Mod on: July 17, 2011, 05:15:09 pm
New pic. The original Hypnotoad! To spruce up the original (which just had a gray background), I added a light source from the bottom too. I could imagine the light pedestal being something to keep him warm.

It looks awesome, as do your others.  I'm not sure of the underlighting seems like it might be a little too bright?  Or maybe it's that because there's no surface texture or reflection from it, it sort of gives the toad the illusion of hovering.
427  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / So...where to next? on: July 05, 2011, 01:58:25 pm
Great...thanks for the holiday present!

Of course, once we've all gone back and played the game again, we'll face the obvious question:  What next?

Would it be possible for the core team to post a development roadmap, to let us know what's intended for 0.8.0 and beyond?  A while ago, I seem to recall someone saying that nameable save games were the only feature in the original SC2 not yet in UQM.  Is that the case?

Presumably, some focus will be on code cleanup and improved "mod-ability", and external devs might be able to help some with this.  For example, I'm considering a mod to add some new technologies, and part of that might be an initial refactoring of the code to make it easier to do so.  Is that the sort of change that the core team would be interested in taking?
428  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Planetary hazards on: July 04, 2011, 01:56:41 pm
That honestly should be changed.
At least for earthquake and lightning.

level 1 hazard could still have 0 impact but level 2 could be set to 1.
With Earth being an exception to the rule, or just being changed to hazard level 1.

That might be logical, but since the purpose of UQM is to reproduce the original game's behavior (with the exception of clearing unintended bugs), it's not likely to change.
429  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Planetary hazards on: July 03, 2011, 04:12:44 pm
Ah, well, having just code-dived in that area, I can answer this.  The relevant section of code, for any who are interested, is in planets/lander.c:PlanetSide().

This table gives the chance out of 256 that a hazard is generated; I believe it's called each tick, which, from the comments on PLANET_SIDE_RATE at the top of the file, appears to be 35fps:

Hazard|1|2|3|4| 5| 6| 7| 8
Tectonic|0|0|3|6|12|24|48| 96
Weather|0|0|3|6| 9|18|36| 72

Sorry for the ugly format, but the tables this BB system generates are awful, and only moderators can embed raw HTML.

The thermal surface hazard breakpoints that correspond to the above hazard classes are at <50,<100,<150,<250,<350,<550,<800, >=800. For reference, the orbital color breakpoints appear to be <-150, <-50, <50, <150, >=150.

So, what can we learn from the above?
  • Hazard levels 1 and 2 are not dangerous at all; the first real dangers start at level 3.
  • With a few exceptions, each hazard level is 2-3 times nastier than the one before.
  • At equal hazard levels above 5, flames are more frequent than quakes, which are more frequent than lightning.  I believe this is to balance the difficulty of dodging each hazard, so that each hazard class represents approximately equal danger to the lander.
  • Once the temperature goes over 800, it doesn't make any difference to the number of flames.

Hope this satisfies your fact-craving!
430  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Technical Issues / Re: UQM Clean Voice Mod - Input Needed! on: July 02, 2011, 06:14:42 pm
What's the status of this voice cleanup effort?  I listened to the samples when they were first posted, and the voices sounded much clearer; it'd be great to get them in.  However, the link to them has gone dead.   Sad
431  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Planetary hazards on: July 02, 2011, 06:10:15 pm

2) We have had no star control II facts in a long time... I was hoping for one about the density of planetary dangers.

Funny you should ask.  I just finished a project to generate a sortable list of planets, including planetary hazards.  You can see it at
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