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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: Original Version of SC2 on: February 04, 2004, 06:21:44 am
That is weird because I emailed Paul and Fred a long time ago (when this whole deal started) and they at least implied that they had recovered the lost PC source code and were planning on using it for UQM.
-Jim
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Are you going to make the graphic new? on: September 04, 2003, 08:18:12 am
No need. The original graphics are great. Plus, upping the resolution only would accentuate the incremental rotation limitations.

-Jim
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: How was the Starcon2 Universe created? on: May 23, 2003, 12:33:19 am
It's nice when you have questions about the formation of the universe and the force resposible for actually creating it answers them. I certainly wasn't expecting that. Smiley

Thanks again guys for the best game I've ever played and the primary reason I'm in a career in the gaming industry.

-Jim
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / How was the Starcon2 Universe created? on: May 22, 2003, 07:00:05 am
I've always wondered exactly how the SC2 universe came to be. (especially in such a small game) I'm guessing that the universe was created partially from randomly generated stars and systems due to the sheer quantity of them. The planet surfaces themselves seem to be created through a series of processes (similar to Photoshop filters on the fly?) that give each type of planet unique graphical attributes. (I can't figure out why they are the same every time the game is played if they are randomly generated. Perhaps they were rendered to a permanent bitmap from a randomly generated source. Or that actual predictable randomness is being used. (fractals)) The mineral frequency, size, and placement seems to be randomly assigned as well. (obviously dependant on type of planet) I'm guessing that some systems were put in by hand. (ie Rainbow worlds, Sol) It seems strange to me that the game can be so small if it has to store these thousands of planet bitmaps and millions of mineral locations. Not to mention save games. They are tiny. I'm guessing that this means that there are very clever ways to record mineral locations other than keeping track of every mineral individually. You can probably tag a planet as completely devoid of minerals instead of noting that each individual mineral is gone and then again if the entire system is. (form of compression) Maybe that would reduce save game size dramatically.

Anyone have an idea about the creation of this gigantic, yet small universe?
-Jim
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Star Control 3? 4? on: May 20, 2003, 06:32:59 am
Ignoring the game is by far the right way to go.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Does it bug anyone that is working on this? on: April 21, 2003, 11:41:43 pm
Betrayal at Krondor is very similar to Starcon 2 in that is is a giant hybrid of genres that succeeds in everything it attempts. Plus it is extremely intimidating when you first look at the map just like Starcon 2. Another great game of epic proportions is XCom 1. Neither of these games exhibit the kind of humor that Starcon exudes; so if humor is what kept you going, the Lucasarts adventure games are probably, dead on, what you want to play. Curse of Monkey Island is a good entry point if you aren't familiar with reverse logic adventure games. Full Throttle and Day of the Tentacle are both great lesser known adventures more for the veteran.
-Jim
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Does it bug anyone that is working on this? on: April 14, 2003, 05:29:59 am
No, but stealing software does work in some situations. Some people steal software and then decide they like it enough to buy it. Piracy is a great way to determine which companies are worth giving money and which are not. The problem stems when the person stealing does not pay for either the good or the bad products they steal. Piracy is also the best way to acquire products that have a monopoly on the market such as Windows or Adobe Premiere, which are not by any means good products worth paying for, but are necessary for tasks because there are no adequate competitors. (PC) The same is true for accolade. They were a terrible company. Do not support them.

-Jim
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Does it bug anyone that is working on this? on: April 14, 2003, 01:40:45 am
Hmm well first you need to know a bit about how cycles work in Dosbox. The emulator starts out at an incredibly low amount of clock cycles. You must increase this if you would like proper performance. Ctrl+F12 a few times and there will be no slowdown on a good system. The sound does occasionally skip still, but they never claimed the soundblaster emulation was perfect. Besides the occasional sound skip, I have no slowdown issues. The best way to max out Dosbox's performance is to bring up the task manager and increasing the cycles to a point where your system is using near 100 percent of its processing power.

I totally respect the work that is going on with making SC2 open source. I guess I just respect that Dos emulation will eventually enable gamers to play many of the best games ever made a bit more. This just seems like it has broader implications than saving a single one of these brilliant games.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Does it bug anyone that is working on this? on: April 12, 2003, 11:52:14 am
For me, the speech is a terrible addition. The first time through the game my imagination concocted wonderful voices for the characters. The voice overs tend to disrupt the imteractive process that a player enjoys when filling in missing pieces.

I also consider the free scrolling battles to detract. They give a better idea of where a cloaked opponent is, and also do not display the ship sprites in their original and flattering scales.

I understand your point though. I believe that Star Control 2 is the best game that has ever, and probably will ever be created. New life should be given to it. I just think DosBox may do a better job of it than altering the original.
-Jim
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Port Star Control to GBA? on: April 12, 2003, 11:26:47 am
oh by the way there are MOD players for the GBA
-Jim
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Port Star Control to GBA? on: April 12, 2003, 11:25:48 am
This is a bad idea. Converting a game made at 320x240 or 320x200 to 240x160 is suicide and lame. Wait for a handheld to be released that displays this resolution and higher.
-Jim
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Does it bug anyone that is working on this? on: April 11, 2003, 11:56:16 pm
That DosBox pretty much has Starcon 2 emulated perfectly? It would bug the hell out of me that all this work could be for nothing. Actually it annoys me just watching.
-Jim
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Voice Over on: March 06, 2003, 11:06:40 pm
I find it very weird that they would even bother porting the 3DO stuff. Most people knew and loved the PC version. Plus, I didn't know a single person foolish enough to get a 3DO. I also don't see a single benefit to the 3DO game over the PC one. I personally don't like the voices or different scaling method in combat and the original MOD music rocked. Maybe I'm too much of a purist.
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