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Author Topic: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.17  (Read 7079 times)
Michael Martin
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The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.17
« on: April 01, 2004, 10:39:36 am »

The core team has been quite busy these past few weeks, but we're starting to get our acts together again as deadlines pass.  Just in time, too -- a group of shadowy coders calling themselves The Starfire Group has contacted us, with a large number of patches, and even some new original content.

Notable patches include:
  • For the most authentic possible playing experience, they have given us a patch that restores a much-requested feature of the PC original: it will refuse to play the game unless the player answers starmap trivia.  Not really "copy protection" any more, the advertisers serving the Pages of Now and Forever eagerly await the expected traffic increase from game lovers recreating the experience of looking up stuff on the starmap.  A debate is currently raging amongst the core team about whether this should be controlled by a command line option, or via configuration files.
  • In their impatience to hear the Hierarchy remixes, Starfire has produced a few of their own.  To our surprise and delight, they've elected to use a variety of folk instruments from around the world to render these classic themes.  The Kzer-Za theme is particularly striking, with its use of Accordion, Harmonica, Appalachian Fretted Dulcimer, and even the East Bavarian Wind Glockenspiel.  It must be heard to be believed.  This isn't really our department; we've told them to forward this to Riku.  Stay tuned.
  • Additional gear for the flagship.  Retro thrusters to permit Supox-like changes in direction, and the ever-popular cloaking device, to be dropped between Yehat and Mycon Space.  This can't work as part of the main game, of course -- but their code organization has given us some insights as to how to make program-code expansion packs work.
  • Despite Fred Ford's comment that we should "wake up and smell the 90s", there are various combinations of gender and orientation that are still not well-served by the current love interest arc. Starfire provided a comprehensive graphics patch and voice replacement to permit the Syreen Starbase commander to be a male bureaucrat instead of a star pilot.  This has caused us some grief; while it's obvious that a ton of work went into it, there's really no way to subtly select which character should be presented the first time you go to Betelgeuse. (After some discussion, it was determined that the option of a love interest with Hayes would have worked better.) Such risks are intrinsic to working on projects of such a scope alone, however.
  • One member of Starfire notes that the rules of the ESRB would place UQM in the 'M' category for language and suggestive themes, but with a few small modifications, it could be rated the more family-friendly "K-A" as well. As we'd like to see as many people as possible enjoy The Ur-Quan Masters, we've decided to include the patches they submitted. There will, of course, be a command-line option which will enable the full content. The "child-safe" mode will have some of the VUX and Shofixti insults blanked out, and all Pkunk insults except for "dummy", "baby", and "dodo" will be disabled.
  • Still no netplay patch.  Sorry, guys.


I can say, in all honesty, that every line of code that I've seen from Starfire is of the highest quality.  I'm putting my own project of preparing online input configuration on hold for a bit just to try to integrate some of these patches in and try them out.

Until next time, I remain...
Michael Martin
« Last Edit: April 01, 2004, 10:45:36 am by mcmartin » Logged
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2004, 01:17:35 pm »

Wow! Finally the UQM team is making changes for the better.

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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2004, 06:58:18 pm »

Nice Smiley
Seems like the Orz have come to the starbase, if you know what i mean.. Wink
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2004, 07:15:59 pm »

Great! - Cloaking device, here I come! - Do you by any chance know how you get it? Like is there a side quest or do you just pick it up?
Anyways - Great work!!!!  Wink
« Last Edit: April 02, 2004, 07:54:32 pm by FalconMWC » Logged
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2004, 12:51:26 am »

Does it include an interview with Paul Reiche and Fred Ford?
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2004, 01:10:38 am »

According to their readme, Groombridge is in the works; they just need up to date pictures of their heads.
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2004, 02:48:21 am »

That sounds awsome. I have two questions
When can this be expected to be accesable?
Do the starfire group have any other accomplishments?
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2004, 06:31:58 am »

*hopes people realized it was an April Fools Day joke...*

Though the thrusters and cloaking device would be nice. Tongue
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2004, 08:03:49 am »

Which would suck completely.

But- A rated M version of Sc2? That's pretty exciting. Swearing VUX, Kohr-ah chewing on corpses?
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2004, 08:14:38 am »

And Talana oh my
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2004, 09:59:07 am »

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*hopes people realized it was an April Fools Day joke...*

I don't know if non European or American countries observe April Fools' Day.
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2004, 07:00:39 pm »

hey, it wouldhave been nice if those stuff were added, though Wink

It would have been a better joke if he said that TFB said that they were going to help in creating Sc4/Real Sc3.. Wink

ohwell...
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2004, 09:46:16 pm »

Quote
One member of Starfire notes that the rules of the ESRB would place UQM in the 'M' category for language and suggestive themes, but with a few small modifications, it could be rated the more family-friendly "K-A" as well. As we'd like to see as many people as possible enjoy The Ur-Quan Masters, we've decided to include the patches they submitted. There will, of course, be a command-line option which will enable the full content. The "child-safe" mode will have some of the VUX and Shofixti insults blanked out, and all Pkunk insults except for "dummy", "baby", and "dodo" will be disabled.


Yes it's a very good joke and saw right through it right away.  However, good comedy always has its basis in reality and they did a great job here.  To point this thing out, I didn't think about it before I read the quote above, but if we were to apply an ESRB rating to UQM, it probably would get a T or a MA, not necessarily for the Pkunk stuff.  I can think of the Syreen thing and one of the Shofixti insults (about hanging reproductive organs) that would probably put it out of the K-A designation.  I know personally I wouldn't want a 10 y/o playing the game.

Seriously, has this been an issue talked about, or would it even be worth trying to get an ESRB rating on the game?  Or would it not even be an issue on the table?  Just stuff to think about.
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2004, 02:01:06 am »

Quote
 I know personally I wouldn't want a 10 y/o playing the game.


Oh come on!
I was 8 when I started playing the game.
There is no Faul Language (tm) in it, sex and all references to it are nothing compared to what you can see on TV.
I must admit that I don't understand the rating system, because there is nothing similiar in  my country, but saying it's not appropriate for children... please!
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Re: The Council of Starfire - The Road to 0.4, #5.
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2004, 02:35:48 am »

The rating system is there for concern of parents on what their children see.  In a lot of ways, people in this country are more "uptight" as you would say about this kind of thing.   In fact, the gaming community at large got in such trouble over content in games that they had to form the ESRB and rank games and control them (kids in most spots can't legally buy games rated MA) or the government was going to step in and do it for them.

Speaking of UQM, I would have guessed it to be a T, but according to this, it's ranked as an E (by indication of what Star Control 2 was ranked).  However I do know some people who would be offended if their kids played the game.

http://www.esrb.org/search_results.asp?key=Star+Control&type=game

Quote

I must admit that I don't understand the rating system, because there is nothing similiar in  my country, but saying it's not appropriate for children... please!

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