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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: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: March 04, 2012, 02:10:41 pm
Nice post!

-The Explorer.  Starting off with it might be a little bit too powerful.  It feels more like a "devtool" of sorts since it's very easy to scour the whole star map, refuel with the Melnorme, and evade all the enemys.  For savvy players, I'm sure they'll immediately begin the game by picking up everything they possibly can at this point in the game and completely ignore the missing Shofixti scout fleet.
It's very different from SC2.

I just wanted to comment on that one point: I actually really like the fact that this time you get a suitable tool for your task at hand. This is a continuation of the story, not a beat-by-beat repeat of the game, so it's nice to do something new. We had escape from oppression and struggle-of-the-underdog the last time, and this isn't the only type of story there is. So this time you're in an established, resourceful society that faces a new challenge, and that's always a good thing. This time refuelling and resource gathering aren't your main concern - and that's great.

Space is big, and a lot can happen, so it's always nice to see when something new happens and a sequel isn't just a repeat of the same motions of the first part.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 20, 2012, 08:20:13 pm
Would you prefer the game to be a place full of sunshine and rainbows where the good guys save orphans and the bad guys eat babies? We're not children. We do not need a system of black-and-white morality. I for one do not want the Chmmr to be the standard issue, goody two-shoes, generic leader figures.
No, of course not -- but perhaps the story could just be about something new that's interesting its own right without the need to put all the established races and people through all this. You see, the fact that the humans and the syreens and the yehat and whatnot were all standing by and thus to some extent condoning the alliance's course of action casts a big shadow over everyone. Mind you, there's already great potential for the story with the Lurg and the new Precursor sites and the Shofixtis' cause and all that, so there's certainly plenty of room for new directions.

I appreciate that nothing is ever 100% original, but in a galaxy so vast and full of the unknown, I'd think that you wouldn't be running short of interesting things to do. Or from another perspective: Imagine one day you wake up, and you're government isn't planning a coup to take over the world - and yet your life can be plenty exciting.

Anyway, it seems like I'm stepping on more toes here than I had intended to, so please do feel free to discount my ramblings; the last thing I'd want is to needlessly get in the way of this great and very promising project. Keep up the good work!
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 18, 2012, 02:10:15 pm
P6014 is supposed to be an adventure game like SCII was, and as such, I don't see why is it important to always think in realistic proportions and details, and by human standards as if they would always apply to the actions of every form of sentience. But that's because SC being a sci-fi universe, and people often get too serious because of the "sci" part, while pay less attention to the "fi" part, where a writer can afford inaccuracy, abstractions, relativism depending on the style of the setting. The style of Star Control is so permissive you can almost forget seriousness and treat the whole thing as Monkey Island in space.

My point is about creating an engaging story, though: If I don't like any of the characters, because I can't relate to their inhumane and cruel actions, then I might not find it enjoyable to play through the story. And because it's a sequel, I might potentially feel different about the original as well after playing the sequel. That's my main concern, in a nutshell. Also, having a good guy from Part 1 turn out to actually be the evil guy in Part 2 is a very hackneyed cliché, and I would just hope for something a little more original.

That's why I hope that raising these concerns early on in the process may help improve the final result -- but it's all just a personal opinion, and it's only because I'm so excited by the project in its current state that I feel strongly enough to want it to be the best it can be.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 12, 2012, 05:17:30 pm
There's no reason why hostile aliens can't just be contained by conventional means. A decisive military victory would simply leave their fleets decimated and their starship production facilities bombed to a crisp. But is there really a need for sadistic revenge?
Imprisonment is a pretty conventional punishment I think.

But why is there a need for "punishment" at all? War is not a crime, and most wars in our own history don't end with punishment. Sure, there is looting and demands for reparations and all, but not punishment, as in you go and kill 1% for the losing party's population or so. That's exactly why there's a martial law that's different from civilian law. An enemy soldier that attacks you is not a criminal for doing so, and isn't normally punished for it.

As it stands, slave-shielding the Vux comes off as needlessly vengeful. As I said, just defeating them militarily would seem to be entirely sufficient to protect everyone else from their hostility.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 12, 2012, 02:36:22 pm
I don't think there's any dispute about the hostility of either Vux or Mycon. The only problem I have is with the excessiveness of vindictiveness of the Alliance response.

I always though that the experience of living under a slave shield for what would at the time have been perceived as the rest of eternity was one of the most haunting and frightening things imaginable. And having lived thus for nigh two decades, any of the slave races should have found it to be a terrible thing to impose on anyone. There's a basic element of compassion that we would like people who we are supposed to relate to to have. Anyone who has experienced the reality of living under the shield should not want to wish this even on their enemies.

There's no reason why hostile aliens can't just be contained by conventional means. A decisive military victory would simply leave their fleets decimated and their starship production facilities bombed to a crisp. But is there really a need for sadistic revenge?
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How do I beat Sa-Matra? on: February 04, 2012, 05:07:31 pm
The only real loss with the detonation is the Taalo shield... but hopefully the Ur-Quan have learned their lesson with regards to keeping the Dnyarri alive.

That's an interesting thought. Is it necessary to keep the Taalo shield around while the Dnyarri is on board? If so, was the plan that both would perish in the detonation, and did the Dnyarri know about that? If the shield wasn't necessary, they could have left it (as well as all other unneeded devices) on the starbase, but if shield and Dnyarri go hand in hand, then I guess there was no choice but to bring both. I imagine that the thought of the Dnyarri commanding the Sa-Matra would be far worse than anything else.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How do I beat Sa-Matra? on: February 03, 2012, 09:32:49 pm
I don't mind the escort ships. I do indeed trust that those can take care of themselves. But 150 people on the SIS? How do you even fight with that thing with only six slots -- won't it get blasted to bits by the fireballs?

I usually use one Avatar or so to clean up the remaining projectiles after the Pkunk gets done with the shield generators. I never managed to work out another way to get the shield generators, though :-(
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: February 03, 2012, 11:55:31 am
Well, having played through the demo twice (once going straight to the goal, and once taking time to visit the various allies first), I have lots of things to say. Doubtless there's more that I've forgotten, though I opened up the game to remind me of a couple of them.
Those are all very good points, and I agree with most of them! I just wanted to weigh in on two of them:

Random stuff/Dialogue options/Slylandro: I think the entire dialogue system at the moment is still very much at an alpha/preview stage. In fact, with any race there is no sort of "memory" of what you've already said, and you always have the entire dialogue tree available as though you've just met the guys. I imagine this will all get reworked before long. And I hope that the Slylandro will get a bit more of a role in that :-)

Chmmr dislike: I must say I agree whole-heartedly that the direction which the story seems to take worries me a bit. For one, there's the obvious frustration that the fight you were fighting in the original game wasn't because you were the "good guys", but rather because you were just as bad, but you just didn't want to be on the losing side. Second, it's too cliché and trite a device to have your trusted mentors from Part I become the villains in Part II. We should be able to come up with something more original than that. And third it feels very much out of character. Granted that the Chmmr are a new species and don't really have a past characterization, but it paints a bleak and depressing picture of the new Alliance. I just really cannot get behind the idea of the Alliance slave-shielding anyone. After at least three core members of the old core alliance were slave-shielded for so long, you would have to be very cynical to think that that's an appropriate way to deal with opposition, and it somehow makes you not want to fight for those guys anymore.

Anyway, as I've been saying, on a technical level the game is looking better and better as time goes by, so I'm very excited to see the final product one day!
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How do I beat Sa-Matra? on: February 03, 2012, 11:29:28 am
I never put crew on the ship for the final battle - it just feels plain wrong, doesn't it? How would you go about telling 150+ people that their service is appreciated, but that there's no space in the escape pod except for one guy?

That said, I only ever manage to defeat the SM with the Pkunk, on account of their side-shooters and high speed and agility.
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Is there a Star Control I mod for UQM? on: February 03, 2012, 12:47:38 am
I've been going through some of the UQM code and submitted a couple of patches to address memory cleanup issues, and I'm hoping that some of those will gradually be accepted. My next goal is to find a way to start up a rudimentary SC1 game mode, but I'm not sure how long it'll take before I make any sort of progress. The idea is to have the look and feel of SC2, i.e. the same style of menu and menu sounds on the right-hand side, and of course the battles would just be using the SC2 melee system.

The main piece of programming that'll be essential to this is the SC1 starmap view.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 Demo v 0.2 release on: January 16, 2012, 04:23:17 pm
Just to follow up on my first post here: The recent series of updates have improved the game a great deal! The 2x version looks much better now, and the interface elements feel a lot more harmonic now. The starmap looks better and is usable now, thanks to the snapping cursor, and the starbase buttons are nicer, too. Great job!
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy on: January 08, 2012, 01:01:09 am
It's pretty clear they lost because of the "Blaze of Glory", not the war in general.

That's somewhat ironic - had the Alliance surrendered sooner, they might have avoided complete annihilation at the hands of the Kohr-Ah (given that nobody knew about the Precursor vessel). Then again, nobody knew about the Kohr-Ah, either, until later on... and it's really lucky on the grand scheme that Earth just so happens to be at the rendezvous point of the two Ur-Quan species: had the doctrinal war been fought anywhere else, then humans would either end up annihilated, or the Precursor vessel wouldn't have got very far with the entire might of the Kzer-Za fleets concentrated on hunting it down.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Doctrinal War, or how to move around the galaxy on: January 04, 2012, 04:15:54 pm
I thought I'd add something I just discovered. This one requires a spoiler warning.

The Kzer-Za give the following explanation of the consequences of a Kohr-Ah victory:


Thus we know now that 1) following the first conflict in Mael'num space, the Kzer-Za found the Sa-Matra, defeated the Kohr-Ah, kept the Sa-Matra, and the two started off on their migration; 2) SC2 takes place when the two species meet again for the first time; 3) the winner of the ritual battle will be the new guardian of the Sa-Matra, and a new migration starts, until the next meeting.

Since this is apparently supposed to happen over and over again, I suppose that it is understood that any single migration will only ever touch on a very small part of sentient life in the galaxy, and that there's no fear that any single sweep will either exterminate or enslave all life.


Actually, one thing that I don't understand fully is whether both Ur-Quan species are supposed to be entirely invincible. Do they always succeed with their doctrine? Do they never get the crap beaten out of them by a stronger adversary? Or do they just know how to avoid even stronger races? Perhaps the Ur-Quan that guard the Sa-Matra are allowed to use it and thus effectively become invincible, but the other sub-species would surely have to be a bit more careful... How come the Kohr-Ah claim to have never been defeated?
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Is there a Star Control I mod for UQM? on: December 21, 2011, 06:07:26 pm
1. When you are suggesting a star control mod for UQM, are you suggesting making it like star control 1 or suggesting that you make it more like UQM, with a story line of the entire war, flying around in a cruiser instead of a vindicator? 'cause they're completely different things...
No, I mean a literal remake of the game exactly as it appears in SC1, just build on the UQM "engine" if you will. It could even be a new menu item, beside "New Game" and "Super Melee" -- like "Star Control I Scenario".

Quote
2. If you wanted to get this done, then you're better of trying to do the coding yourself asking advice from other people. Alot of people are busy with their own projects (project 6014, UQM HD, Dark Quadrant, etc...).
One step at a time .. we're getting there :-)
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Is there a Star Control I mod for UQM? on: December 21, 2011, 01:57:30 am
HackDX. If you want to program it, I'll put it in UQM-HD. That way we can have the original low-res and high-res versions available. I'll also provide all the graphics and animation.  Since we've done most of the hard work already, I don't think it would be too hard on the art side.   I think Dragon's game will eventually be even better, because it will be built from the ground up and 3D offers more potential. But you're right. Most of the game would already be done.
Hehe, I was thinking that... HD would be cool, though just getting SC2-sized versions of the SC1 animations ("colony destroyed" etc.) would be important, too! Quite frankly, I'd much rather see a remake of SC1 in the style of SC2, which looks awesome, rather than something completely new. As I posted in my HD comment, developing a new aesthetic style is a titanic undertaking, and since both the original SC2 style and the HD mod style are already very well developed, I don't think that reinventing that wheel would be of immediate benefit.

Yes, all told this shouldn't be too hard. Me, I don' t have too much experience with the codebase though, so I'd much rather if one of the core developers would chime in on this.

In other news, I've started making some progress removing memory leaks from the UQM codebase, so with luck this will show up in P6014 soon and the debugging there will get easier!
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