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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 / Starbase Café / Re: Interest in an official Star Control Board Game? on: May 24, 2016, 01:39:49 am
I know about all of the legal precedence; this isn't the first copyright product I've worked on during an unofficial prototype phase. My desire is to make a working prototype that is enjoyable (a remarkably hard feat, truth be told). If I am able to do that, then I will shop licensing and corporate interest. For example, if Toys For Bob has the rights to non-electronic media and shows interest, that is a route. Conversely, should Stardock want to start a ground swell of interest to seed the path for a new game and are legally able to do so, that is an option as well.  Finally, as you very correctly pointed out, if all else fails, we call it "Solar Oversight" and make it a spiritual successor. Wink

Regarding non-player controlled entities, such as the DOGI, Ur-Quan Fighters, Orz Marines, Syreen enthralled crew members, Earthling Missles, Korh-Ah blades, Mycon Plasma (and many more), we have some very simple rules in place.  Each of these items operate independently of the player once they are "spawned" and all of the interactions are thankfully rather simplistic; normally boiling down to, "progress towards target like a heat seeking Missle", "Sit still", or "head straight until told otherwise" (or some combinations there of). So, for current testing, we are considering all of these spawned items "Projectiles".

Since the game is currently a .5 turn-based style (that is, players play at the same time, but there is an order of operations for resolution), that gives us a "Projectiles" phase after each player action where the projectiles "AI" performs their own action.  The Earlthling Nuke moves two spaces towards the opponent, exploding upon reaching the opponent or exploding harmlessly after 4 moves. The Ur-Quan fighters and Chenjesu DOGI move towards the opponent 1 space per action and, at the end of this movement, if they are in the same spot they perform their action (doing damage or reducing Batt).

This makes all "Projectiles" living parts of the combat ring that players have to consider and manage, but never make choices for as they autonomous. Also, since it's all on the ring (and therefore 1 dimensional instead of 2 dimensional like in the game) there is not time sink in decision making or arguing about turning radius or anything like that.  I think this will keep the game much more accessible.

The only two that will make this battle system a bit harder will be the Chenjesu and Kohr-Ah Primary attacks as a big part of their perfectly straight movement is predictive targeting and player control.  Admittedly, I haven't worked that out to a point that is satisfactory yet, but one hurdle at a time.  If I can make a system that makes all the other ships feel "good" then I can worry about figuring those out later.

As for the current tracking, I am using simple tokens to denote position on the battle ring.  Here is actually a picture of the assets I printed for the first prototype test!

These are super rough, and the numbers are WAY off,  (and the nukes are too small), but those are the assets I'm currently using.  Yes, those are little Lego Ur-Quan Fighters. They are brilliant, and totally just something I found on google image search.

Also as a shameless plug, I plan on streaming Star Con 1 & 2 on the company twitch channel as soon as I get my computer updated in a couple weeks.  If you don't mind watching someone absolutely suck at your favorite game, you're welcome to stop by.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Interest in an official Star Control Board Game? on: May 23, 2016, 01:33:45 am
Here are a few SUPER rough assets that I threw together to test.

These are beyond alpha numbers, so please don't get too hung up on them; we actually changed almost all of them over the course of the first playtest.

Here is the Melee Board.

Ur-Quan Test Card

Earthling Test Card
(yeah, I know, when I copied the text assets down for the special I accidentally left "nuke" instead of changing to the PDL.  One of many corrections)

Speaking of the playtest, the first battles went surprisingly well, actually. The goal is to make a smooth board game experience that mimics the "feel" of Star Con combat and I actually think this system does a fair job of doing that.   The ship cards are placed on the side of the board (simulating the game screen to an extent) and small ship tokens (maybe minis some day?) are put on the track.  This isn't grid combat, or long drawn out fights, this is a simple, tactical battle where players pick two actions for a round, then resolve them. The actions are "Primary Attack", "Special", "Maneuver", and "Move" (currently).  You pick what you want to do , then they get resolved in an order of operations.

It did a fair job of simulating the Earthling Cruiser kiting battle, with the savvy Urquan taking advantage of it's strength and durability to put the cruiser in a spot where the fusion blaster can tear it to shreads.  The battles felt good and the mechanics didn't break, however I'm not sure about the barrier of entry for non board gamers/non Star Con fans. But... that's what testing is for.

Anyways, thanks for checking this out and please let me know if you have any interest in learning or hearing more. 

Game On

3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Interest in an official Star Control Board Game? on: May 21, 2016, 06:38:55 am
Hey everyone,

My name is Ben "Dover" Stiers and I've been a fan of Star Control for since '91. I learned the word "melee" from playing SC1 with my brother on our Tandy 1000 and nearly lost my mind when I stumbled onto SC2 a few years later (oh, the days before the internet). As we all know, SC2 proved to be a masterpiece and is still my favorite game to this day. 

Anyways, I have a little indie board game company and I was recently struck with the idea to exercise my creativity by adapting a game I know well into a board game; think of it as a personal challenge.  It was a short leap to get to Star Control and so I started drafting a treatment up.  2200 words later, I think I came up the bones of what could be a genuinely fun board game that stays true to what Star Control is.  Exploration, diplomacy, ship-to-ship combat and all tied up in a neat package that would be fun for even non-fans.

So, that got me thinking about who I could talk with about the idea outside of the company and a short Google search later lead me to this forum.  So, I figured I would ask fellow fans, what do you guys think about a genuine, boxed up, tabletop Star Con experience? I know about the multiple rule sets that have floated around the web for the last 20 years and this isn't predicated on any of that.  It is a completely new approach, built from the ground up from a designer's and fan's perspective and would be a complete package.

Over time, I hope to generate free (because, of course I don't have a license) print and play assets. If anyone around here wants to be a tester please let me know, I have a strong feeling this could become a reality, even if it's just a fun side project for myself.

Thanks for reading through this; I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Ben Stiers
Randover Games
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