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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: January 03, 2019, 02:11:53 am
That would mean steam sold keys in advance to humblebundle who now sells them on. While as far as I understand how humblebundle works, humblebundle only gets the key once they sella copy of the game, which means steam sells the key (to humblebundle) the moment a user wants the transaction with humblebundle.

Bearing in mind that it's entirely possible (and even quite likely) that Valve and Humblebundle have some sort of specific arrangement, that's not the typical way things work when it comes to selling a product outside the Steam storefront that still utilises Steam services. I'm afraid I can't go into more detail than that since I'm weary of inadvertently overstepping the bounds of NDA.
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: January 02, 2019, 08:29:53 pm
But I wonder how steam can continue to sell through "Humblebundle" when they took it down on their own site.... (since they should've stopped issueing steam keys to humblebundle at the same time).

Technically Valve/Steam isn't selling Origins or anything else through Humblebundle, they just provide the infrastructure that gets used after the sale.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Litigation Discussion on: October 26, 2018, 08:40:20 pm
My guess is the latter is the case. I believe within his company he has made sure to surround himself with yes men.  And when he encounters opinions from outside his sheltering environment he becomes obsessed with "correcting" them at any cost. Whether it be suing P&F for not agreeing to meet with him over dinner or sign a license agreement, arguing with us on this small forum or doxing Elestan for exposing where he buried the bodies. None of these actions are good moves from a purely-selfish financial or business standpoint it seems clear to me.

I've been lurking on this thread for quite awhile, but figure I should chime in here. From what I know of Brad, I don't think that's a fair assessment. Mind you, I don't agree with all of his actions in this kerfuffle, but I can remember a Reddit post I once made on a topic Brad created, disagreeing with whatever his premise was and sort of disparaging GalCiv on a basic level as not all that well designed, albeit as politely as I could muster, and Brad's response to that was something along the lines of "This is an amazing post." I know people who only want to hear self-affirming things, and by and large they don't respond like that to serious criticism.

If Brad has a flaw, it's probably an extra helping of impulsiveness combined with not much in the way of a filter. As entertaining as it was to read the back-and-forth earlier on, in no universe was coming on here to argue about a major ongoing legal dispute with people who, to put it bluntly, don't even matter, a smart move thanks to the significant risk of self sabotage -- a risk that has probably solidified into fact on at least a few occasions.

In Brad's defence, game developers tend to be extremely self-censoring, and it's always a breath of fresh air when someone bucks the trend. Does he go too far in the other direction? Probably. But I still prefer that to the typical tight-lipped alternative.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark on: July 26, 2013, 02:06:58 am
One thing that's going to be helpful is that so many people here are already familiar with Star Flight. That's going to save us a lot of time in asking people to go play that game.

Well, that pretty much eliminates any fear that the new Star Control will be dumbed down like other modern redos. A game that takes the best out of SC2 and Starflight sounds like an instant masterpiece  Cheesy

One suggestion: though the RPG crew mechanics in Starflight were pretty cool, it was a bit lame how you could just get people to max level by spending money. If those crew mechanics were to make a return, then hopefully the leveling process would be more gradual. It would also be nice to see minor as well as major skills. So in addition to the mainline stuff (piloting, engineering, communications, medicine, etc) you could have niche skills like zero-g combat, survival, programming, etc. that would come in handy in special situations.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Stardock Highest Bidder on Star Control Trademark on: July 24, 2013, 05:01:06 am
Hi guys!

Brad from Stardock here.

We have connected with Paul and Fred. Fingers crossed but things look hopeful.  The copyright to Star Control 1/2 is owned by Paul Rieche directly, not Toys for Bob so I think there is reason to think that they might be able to participate in the creation of a new Star Control game.

Good to hear!

Our core team involved at Stardock (myself included) have been huge fans of Paul's work since the Archon / Star Flight days.

As much as I love SC2, I think there are a few things the Starflight series did better. The RPG mechanics, and planetary exploration come to mind. On the other hand, Star Control had better combat, and the way the universe unfolded in a preset way unless the player altered events in a specific time window really solved the dilemma of openness vs. authenticity faced by many sandbox games today. Ideally, a new Star Control would take the best parts of each franchise along with some new ideas.

Brad, do you lean more towards a vast and lonely universe (SF1), a more populated and colorful one (SC2), or something in-between?  

By an XCOM like reboot we don't mean XCOM game mechanics but rather creating a new Star Control game that brings in the fun and game play we all know and love.  The *campground* is looking *flavorful*.

For me, the comparison to Firaxis' XCOM remake is scary. Many feel it took too many steps back from the original. While production values and accessibility were quite a bit improved, the core mechanics and gameplay left something to be desired.  I'm guessing you don't mean that you intend to make the new Star Control more accessible via cutting out large swaths of the original mechanics though, as SC2 is already fairly accessible.
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ideas for after 1.0 on: February 17, 2006, 09:49:56 pm
If I recall, the Sega version of Starflight is more similar to UQM. Though I think the Amiga version beats it to the sub-atomic level, star control fans might find the Sega to be preferable.

Probably. SF for genesis had prettier graphics a completley different approach to mining (minerals were underground and needed to be scanned for), and SC style control of your ship (planets had gravity and you're ship had momentum).
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ideas for after 1.0 on: February 17, 2006, 09:47:23 pm
I want to see this feature because it could potentially fix the most major flaw in SC2: that basically 95% of all that you do is play a bland mining mini-game that isn't fun, and use the majority of the resources you gather to buy fuel in order to get more resources.

I typically go repeating this one...if this is the case, you haven't mastered the game and need to rethink how you are approaching the mining aspect of it. 

If you do the mining aspect right, you only really need to spend maybe 5-10% of your time with it.

Now that I've played through the game, this is true. But I find it hard to beleive that someone on there first run would only spend 5-0% of their time resource gathering. Probably 50% at the least.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better? on: February 17, 2006, 02:12:51 am
Wow, awesome.  The clean lines are very nice...much cleaner than mine. I think I actually prefer the textured version, but both are great.  If I had to make a criticism, the red bumps on the neck are a tad too perfect compared to the rest of the curvy design, but that's just me.

Thanks, man. Yeah, I relied on the dreaded SC1 ship-specs for what the red bumps should look like, more or less... initially I tried to have them a little more spiky and ominous, but it didn't quite work. hahah.

you could try downward "scythes" or in other terms: curved downward spikes that gradually get a little bigger.

i think that would add to the look, and bring it out of the "pink klingon" look  Cheesy

I liked the pink klingon look  Cry
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Wow, the voice acting for this was done by fans? on: February 16, 2006, 01:17:17 am
I really liked the voice acting. Now when I go back and play the game I'm going to probably hear all the stuff you guys have been nitpicking about. Thanks for ruining it for me!  Angry
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ideas for after 1.0 on: February 16, 2006, 01:04:55 am
EDIT: Maybe I'm just really unobservant, but were all the planets really the same? I mean a lot of the bitmaps used were similar, yes, but I don't recall where any of them were actually recycled. Now there were standardized planet types, yes, and I don't see how adding more variety would be a bad thing provided it's well implemented. I'm actually looking forward to the results of such experiments!

For some reason I thought they were, but.....

Last time I checked, each planet has its own unique fractally generated terrain. They're all quite similar, though.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Hit Points vs. Crew on: February 16, 2006, 12:30:10 am
Of course, this would need to be in a branch, but I wouldn't mind revamped combat rules with hit points, tactical combat, and the removal of little gravity bodies  Wink

As for people knocking the idea, you don't know until you try it, which so far has been impossible.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ideas for after 1.0 on: February 16, 2006, 12:25:00 am
About the second point, the planets being pretty much the same, again, what does it matter? You land on a planet and it doesn't matter if you're driving over land or sea or a bed of hot boiling lava. So long as it isn't flaming, your lander can handle it. What do you want? Individual images for each planet so that you could find one the developers nested in there around some remote star that if you land on it you're lander map resembles a giant wang? Amusing as that may be, it doesn't affect the gameplay one iota. Granted it's a novel idea that I don't think I've heard mentioned on these forums, at least not for a while.

Let me address this somewhat. The reason I would like to see large fractally generated planet terrain (think starflight) isn't just because its a cool feature or idea. I want to see this feature because it could potentially fix the most major flaw in SC2: that basically 95% of all that you do is play a bland mining mini-game that isn't fun, and use the majority of the resources you gather to buy fuel in order to get more resources. The joy of exploration also gets chucked out the window because all the planets seem to be overly simplified and monotonous. Add in Starflight style planets with realistic resources, and perhaps throw in a few random artifacts or bonuses on those planets, and you don't need to spend 95% of your time strip mining systems, and systems suddenly become fun to explore.

It pretty much comes down to this. In a lot of things, Starflight has a better implementation than SC2, and vice versa. If we could somehow form a marriage between the two, using the best features from both, I beleive we could make the greatest game in all history.

In any case, I meant this topic to be not so much "Here are some changes we need to make!" and more "What are we going to do to improve the original game once we've accomplished all of our goals". If you want to continue working on UQM after all the goals are complete, you're either going to be doing endless polishing which doesen't mean a thing for the end user, or you can start changing gameplay to make it better. I'm talking strictly about coding here.

Incidently, if anyone else can think of a positive gameplay change for a possible 'official branch', shout it out.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ideas for after 1.0 on: February 15, 2006, 10:26:49 pm
What if after 1.0 2 official versions were maintained? One being the version as close to the original as possible, and the other which focused on fixing the flaws in the game and improving gameplay. IMHO having a multitude of spin-offs will probably amount to nothing more than a few failed attempts at drastic gameplay change (due to the work involved) and a large number of projects which make very small gameplay changes (think duct tape mod for doom3) which no one will care about.

meep-eep stated that the other goal of UQM is to "make modifications (including translations) easier", but what is going to be done after that? Shold the project grow stagnant?

I think that it would be wise to make a secound *official* branch (like 'UQM 2X') after most of the work has been done leading up to 1.0. Sure, gameplay and balance would need to be changed, and the game may end up looking completely different, but it would provide replayability for vets, keep devs interested in coding, and very likely make a great game a true masterpeice by fixing the flaws that it admitably has in it.
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Ideas for after 1.0 on: February 15, 2006, 08:21:12 pm
Ok, heres what I'm thinking. 0.5 is pretty much a version 1.0 in its own right, so a 1.0 version probably isn't that far off.

In order to make further improvements to the original game, we are going to need to start changing the way the game actually works, adding feauters, and changing portions of the game which were poorly done.

IMHO there are only two really major flaws in the game.

1. The idea that crew basically only amount to hitpoints is stupid (uh oh, here comes the flames...)
2. Planet terrain is basically a dozen recycled low rez bitmaps, which makes all the planets feel the same and basically ruins exploration.

Now 1 is very easy to fix. Give each ship hitpoints, and have crew affect repair rate. Crew would also occasionally die when you get hit, but the hit points would almost always determine when the ship blows up.

Point 2 is harder to fix but also more important. Basically, just use the Starflight method. Fractally generated planet terrain, and an actual convincingly sized spheroid (as in, one that you could explore). Starflight is basically SC2's better for this reason alone.

Now, after point 1 is implemented, the next logical step would be to actually support some more tactical combat. You command a fleet of ships, so you should be able to actually command that fleet in battle, instead of sending one ship in at a time.

After point 2 is implemented, and you have huge fractally generated worlds to explore, you should work to populate them with interesting locations, species, artifacts, cities, pre-warp civilizations and the like.

Now, these ideas are a huge change, and will probably put some people off, but we've pretty much done all that we can to recreate the original game. It's time to start changing and improving, and we need to start by removing the flaws of the original (yes, it does have flaws, and some gaping ones at that). Sure, we might make some sweeping changes to gameplay, but I beleive its something that needs to (and should be) done.
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Similar Games on: August 28, 2004, 06:36:23 am
Sure, Starflight may have all that, but is it as fun?
Is it as hilarious?

Starflight isnt as funny, or action packed... but its definantly more immersive. It depends what you want in a game. If you want an immersive game that will draw you in for a month or so, then you will probably like SF more. Like-wise, if you want a funny, action packed game, then you will probably enjoy SC2 more.
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