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UAF
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2005, 01:33:21 pm »

Art - I never really read most of the PPI and most of the plot was finished before it, so nothing was taken from it. At least not consciously.
Of course, it doesn't mean that some ideas can't be similar and to your dislike.

The Estion - Scavenger similarities are really small - all the Estion did was scavenging a part of the Kohr-ah path for collectable items. It's very different from the Scavengers. It's not my fault that the Scavengers have a useful verb for a name... Smiley

AI - huh?? What kind of similarity to the PPI?

MK2 - the idea of getting it later in the game predates the PPI. It was that way in practically every plot I've seen. It is also a good idea...


GameMusic - You know, EVERYONE in Israel have MS word. I never even considered the possibility of people not having it until people begun complaining on the plot... Smiley
Halleck promised to change format and correct mistakes, I'd suggest bugging him about it.
I can't explain things without practically writing the plot here, so I won't. Try getting OpenOffice until Halleck's version is done?

As for the ships - Don't be fooled by race names. It doesn't mean that the ship is really going to be used for that race.
Khar and Estion stay. Mangler and Jyglar maybe (according to popular demand). The Ger will have another ship for sure.
Maybe I'll make a poll...
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2005, 01:55:23 pm »

Ok, this is the reply I promised for Death_999 comments (warning, very long post):

In general:
Points 1-4 are all your opinion. You are entitled to have one of course, and it's fine if its different then mine. As you can see it is. Smiley
In my specific replies I will sometimes write facts, and sometimes write my opinion and point of view on matters.
Hopefully I'll manage to make it easy to distinguish between the two.

Specific replies:

Quote
First reaction: er... what?

To be more specific, none of the dangling plotlines from SC2 are even touched upon. The Ur-Quan have not merely been pushed back, but roundly and systemically defeated. The Dnyarri really is dead. The Orz never get all funky. We do not find the Taalo.

Ur-Quan should not be reduced to near-irrelevance.


1) The Ur-quan should not be 'merely pushed back'. They had the central stage at SC1 and SC2. It's time for them to go and new threats to arise. Time calls for a change, big baddy constantly making a comeback is for Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles and Pokemon, not StarControl. (IMO).
If you want more basis or "proof" for that, this is what Talana say at the end of SC2:
"...and following the destruction of the Sa-Matra battle platform the fleets of the Ur-Quan and the Kohr-Ah had fallen into chaos and had been vanquished by Chmmr forces and allied starships."

BTW, I have NEVER seen a plot in which the Ur-quan were still anything significant. And I saw quite a lot of ideas for the next game. Just FYI Wink

Dnyarri really dead - yep. I always saw his line in the Credits as a joke. Sorry.

Orz - as if it's possible to make an Orz plot that won't cause the fans to come with torches to my house and burn me on the stake...
If there was an Orz plot, you wouldn't like it.  And most other people wouldn't either. It's because we all have different ideas for then, and I already saw how unwilling are people to accept other ideas for them. Its cool when it's fanfiction or so, but when it's the game that wants to be the sequel for UQM and be added to the canon, people don't make compromises.
If TWL will be successful enough to make TWL2, I promise that the Orz will go *frumple* there.

Taalo - no you don't. No one ever promised that you would meet them, and I hate those ideas of "and then the Taalo show up and the Ur-quan turn nice and everyone dance in a circle!".

Ok, #1 over... sheesh it was long Smiley

Quote
Second reaction: Mrii IMPROBABILITY DRIVE? WTF? NO NO NO NO NO !!!!111one!


2) Actually I like it. So did others. Oh well.
SC was never hardcore science and was always aimed to be funny. And references are always fun... IMO
This is a homage for Douglas Adams. Sorry if you don't like his books Smiley

Quote
Third reaction: A Talana dating sim subgame, in which you start out before the hanky-panky stage??


3) Oh yeah... hehehe. For all the Otakuns among us Wink
You could also (and rightfully) see it as an evil twist spiced with Sarcasm on both American Hero-wins-the-girl books and movies and on Japanese dating simulator games.
Of course, you can also just dislike it and not do anything in this part, it doesn't prevent you from ending the game.
But IMO - Kick back and enjoy, making fun of life while having fun is fun.

Quote
Fourth reaction: Supox, Umgah, and Pkunk ships should also be immune to the AI takeover.


4) Pkunk defiantly shouldn't. Umgah and Supox - maybe, we don't know how biological their ships are.
Can be changed I guess, although the AI will seem less powerful with so many races able to resist.
Probably better to keep this way and have all the fans argue on how come these ships weren't immune. Wink

Quote
Fifth reaction: The Androsynth colony situation does not mesh well with the existing established relationship between the Arilou and the Humans and the Androsynth; it is implausible for them to have sent a ship all the way across both Ur-Quan territories to the gap between the arms; it violates their hostility to humans in general.


5) Fred and Paul said that they considered having SC3 start with the player playing a Synth in Orz space. So far for them all being dead…
Fred and Paul never (to my knowledge) said that there aren't any Synth around.

The Synth sent the ship around busy Kzer-za (the Kohr-as were coming) and into a system IN the void, not all the way through. Also it was a BIG colony ship.

And last, I fail to see the problem with the Arilou - Human - Synth relations.
The Arilou now have plans for the Synth, they are entitled to do so. The Synth need the Arilou so they don't attack the player.
And the Synth have better things to-do then play "Vengeance is mine!!!" with Humanity. They didn't bother doing so when they controlled all space around earth and were attacked by nuclear missiles, while would they now?
If they'll see a Human, they'll shoot him, that's as far they'll go with vengeance.

As to your more recent replies on the matter: I am not Fred and Paul. They never said that there AREN'T other Synth that escaped. And I decided not to follow one of their possible plans for a sequel. Heck, even they weren't guaranteed to use it!

Quote
Sixth reaction: Oh, right, about the arms: In real galaxies, the bright arms are the locations of the very brightest stars, the O and B stars. The gaps between the arms have just as many stars in general, but no extremely bright O and B stars.


6) Rule #1 of gaming: Fun beats reality! Separated arms are required for the game for many reasons (which I'm too lazy to specify now). You don't argue that it's illogical for so many sentient races to be around either, or how come their all have about the same tech level, or just one type of ship, or the fact that Pkunk ships are recharged by curses. SC is full of wrong science – as long as it's fun and/or funny – who gives a damn. When possible you use real science, when it'll ruin things you don't.

Quote
Seventh reaction: Recall that the computer which ran the factory was installed on the precursor ship, and later blown up with the Sa-Matra. Also, as much of the factory was loaded onto the Vindicator as possible, and from there loaded onto the Starbase at Earth (which is why you can't build stuff at Betelgeuse or Procyon). That is an Ex-factory. There is no Savior. Anyway, 'Mk 2' suggests it is the second, not the third.


7) So?
MK2 is the second Precursor starship, not the second starship ever.
The Factory still have valuable Precursor tech on it.
And the MK2 is run using help from its AI, not anything from Unzervult.

That's it!
Let me just repeat myself that you are entitled to have different opinions. I hope this explains why I did some of the things I did. Hopefully minor disagreements won't prevent you from enjoying the game.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2005, 10:34:11 pm »

Quote
Ok, this is the reply I promised for Death_999 comments (warning, very long post):

In general:
Points 1-4 are all your opinion. You are entitled to have one of course, and it's fine if its different then mine. As you can see it is. Smiley
In my specific replies I will sometimes write facts, and sometimes write my opinion and point of view on matters.
Hopefully I'll manage to make it easy to distinguish between the two.

Specific replies:


1) The Ur-quan should not be 'merely pushed back'. They had the central stage at SC1 and SC2. It's time for them to go and new threats to arise. Time calls for a change, big baddy constantly making a comeback is for Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles and Pokemon, not StarControl. (IMO).
If you want more basis or "proof" for that, this is what Talana say at the end of SC2:
"...and following the destruction of the Sa-Matra battle platform the fleets of the Ur-Quan and the Kohr-Ah had fallen into chaos and had been vanquished by Chmmr forces and allied starships."


The quote at the end of the 3DO version is "The Ur-Quan had last been seen high-tailing it to the Magellanic Clouds", which is IMO a better ending.

No one says the Ur-Quan have to be the major antagonist in the sequel, or that they have to be not really defeated, but one of the most disliked things about SC3 was how... *insignificant* the Ur-Quan seemed. How in the new sector no one had been impacted by millennia of Ur-Quan enslavement and genocide. You can have them be defeated, but they were a big deal in the galaxy -- they *determined* the course of civilization in the galaxy for generations, and in your plot there's only one slave-shielded race and they seem to be tangential to the main story.

As far as the other things: I don't demand that everything happen exactly as I pictured an SC2 sequel would handle it. (I am surprised that you think the nature of the Orz is a matter for such open debate -- they're *not that mysterious*, people. You can write a pretty decent outline from things they say in the game and things Paul and Fred say that gives you a pretty good idea of what the Orz are.) But you can't just abandon the Taalo thing completely -- it was a big deal in SC2. And a rediscovered Taalo doesn't have to make the Ur-Quan magically happy and nice -- it could, in fact, spark a huge (and *interesting*) cultural conflict.

I actually thought the idea of a hidden 'Synth colony guarded by the Arilou was decent, by the way.

Quote

BTW, I have NEVER seen a plot in which the Ur-quan were still anything significant. And I saw quite a lot of ideas for the next game. Just FYI Wink


The *best* set of plot ideas I saw was one where the main thrust of the game was going back to formerly Ur-Quan Kzer-Za shielded planets and freeing them. The UQKZ had become allies at that point, and they served as your main source of information about the parts of the galaxy they'd conquered.

Seriously, the UQKZ used to rule over an empire spanning half the galaxy. It feels really random if their only role now is to sit in the Crateris constellation and sulk. Surely they have some valuable knowledge, technology, or whatever?

Quote
2) Actually I like it. So did others. Oh well.
SC was never hardcore science and was always aimed to be funny. And references are always fun... IMO
This is a homage for Douglas Adams. Sorry if you don't like his books Smiley


It's not that I don't like his books. It's that actually giving you an Improb Drive goes beyond just making a reference. I mean, an Improb Drive is at its very core a ridiculously silly idea -- it's metafictional, Adams invented it as a joke because it was his tool for driving the plot along without having to invent a reason for whatever happened.

You can't literally have a device that makes improbable things happen in an even semi-serious story. After all, there is, in real life, no real definition of what "improbable" means. (I'm not talking science, I'm talking common sense.) Why doesn't the improb drive take you to a giant planet shaped like your head, or to the middle of the galaxy where you explode, or turn you into a giant wheel of Swiss cheese? Because the *correct* improbable thing that happens is the improbable thing the *author* wants to happen -- it's like "escaping through a Plot Hole".

Put it this way -- I can't think of a way you could include the Improb Drive and explain it without making it seem like a genuinely unsatisfying deus ex machina. How are you going to explain why you can't use the Improb Drive to teleport, over and over again, to every single place you need to be to win the game, obviating the need for *all* normal travel? Why does the Improb Drive just take you to this *one* place it'd be improbable for you to find on your own? Why doesn't it also take you to the destination of the Precursors or the home of the Orz or whatever? (And if it turns out that it's just the capricious nature of "improbability physics", that's no better than saying "because the writers didn't want you to".)

Quote
3) Oh yeah... hehehe. For all the Otakuns among us Wink
You could also (and rightfully) see it as an evil twist spiced with Sarcasm on both American Hero-wins-the-girl books and movies and on Japanese dating simulator games.
Of course, you can also just dislike it and not do anything in this part, it doesn't prevent you from ending the game.
But IMO - Kick back and enjoy, making fun of life while having fun is fun.


Sarcasm? Feh. It didn't seem far out enough to be truly sarcastic when I looked at it. I don't even think it'd necessarily be a bad idea -- if it *weren't* such an obvious take on dating sims. Like, if there were things you could do for Talana that didn't involve spending ridiculous amounts of money on random crap. (And... "Umgah pet"? Yeah, it's a joke, but it's a joke that erodes suspension of disbelief. I mean, Umgah are sentient beings, and dangerous ones. You could just have some suitably disgusting life form from SC2 as a pet.)

Quote
6) Rule #1 of gaming: Fun beats reality! Separated arms are required for the game for many reasons (which I'm too lazy to specify now). You don't argue that it's illogical for so many sentient races to be around either, or how come their all have about the same tech level, or just one type of ship, or the fact that Pkunk ships are recharged by curses. SC is full of wrong science – as long as it's fun and/or funny – who gives a damn. When possible you use real science, when it'll ruin things you don't.


I agree here. I disagree that it makes sense (or that it's satisfying) to suddenly say that when the Ur-Quan laid waste to the whole galaxy for millennia what they really meant was they laid waste to *this arm* of the galaxy.

Quote

7) So?
MK2 is the second Precursor starship, not the second starship ever.
The Factory still have valuable Precursor tech on it.
And the MK2 is run using help from its AI, not anything from Unzervult.


He means the "Salvation", or whatever your initial flagship is. There were so many great big references to how enormous and amazing and powerful the Mark I was in SC2 that it's a huge letdown to find out the only thing preventing, say, the Pkunk-Yehat from making a similar vessel wasn't their lack of Precursor technology but just that they hadn't tried hard enough.

It shouldn't be possible to build another Vindicator-like flagship at the beginning of the game. A lot of the tension from SC2 is lost if the Vindicator wasn't as unique as we thought it was. You should, at best, have a souped-up Cruiser or something that you're poking around in until you find the Mark II.

That's it!
Let me just repeat myself that you are entitled to have different opinions. I hope this explains why I did some of the things I did. Hopefully minor disagreements won't prevent you from enjoying the game.[/quote]

My personal beef: You guys apparently completely forgot what the Umgah are like. Why is Wu'bi helping the Captain? The Captain actually saved the Umgah from Dnyarri control and was their national hero, and then the Umgah decided to just kill him because they find it hard to be amused by serving and helping others.

These guys sicced the Ilwrath on the Pkunk, they've hurled asteroids into oceans and caused massive floods -- they're *not nice guys*. They're actually pretty damn evil. There needs to be some justification for why they'd suddenly bend over backwards to help you like this. (If they just "think it's funny", *why* do they think it's funny?)

Also... the Big Bad you guys made up to replace the Ur-Quan wasn't all that compelling. Crazed missionaries who want everyone to worship the same god -- it's a bit cliched and a bit random at the same time. The UQKZ and UQKA had pathos -- they were *interesting* because they had a deep story that made them crazy racist bastards, rather than just being crazy racist bastards from the get-go. Is there a *reason* the Niko are obsessed with their one god? Moreover, is there a *reason* they've become so close to being successful at it? (I think the plot becomes a lot more interesting if, to a limited degree, you find out that the Niko's religious beliefs are justified -- that their obsession has actually done good things for them or their followers in the past, or something.) If they're just crazy and evil and religious, well... ick. And the AI, themselves, don't seem to have much motivation beyond just taking over everything -- their story could be really interesting if it went beyond them being evil dybbuks.

Also, "AI" is not a good name for the AI. AI is an English term for what kind of thing they happen to be -- however, they in particular, as a particular race of AI beings, should have a better name. (Besides, I'm not sure I like this definition of AI as meaning always *disembodied* AI -- the Mmrnmhrm are also AIs, after all.)

Some other things I didn't like:

The Framed! plot -- Zelnick is the hero who saved all the Free Stars from the Ur-Quan against impossible odds. Yes, slave-trading is heinous, but if he can make the case that it was necessary for the greater good, then he should get the chance to. I mean, that's probably why a lot of players *did* trade slaves to the Druuge -- if it's the only way to get the Ultron fixed in time to get the Utwig to delay the Kohr-Ah slaughter, then I would even argue it was worth it.

Whether you agree or not, it just feels really... *out of character* for the whole Alliance to turn against Zelnick for this one accusation. If they could accuse him of something bigger -- that he committed genocide against an innocent race, or something -- it might make sense, but this is the sort of war crime that provokes violent and bitter debate between the idealists and the hard-bitten hawks, not the sort of thing that suddenly turns the galaxy's greatest hero into a villain.

Also: The intro was rushed-feeling. It's just so annoyingly convenient for the messenger telling Zelnick about his next mission to come *just as he's getting his medal* for the last mission. It's cliched, too.

Also: "Hit the Thraddash with pointy things"? The Ilwrath ships fight with those flame spouts. That sounds annoyingly silly for the sake of being silly.

Minor thing: The idea of the Manglers (or Menacers) is pretty cool. But -- while I think it's certainly fine that a race with no name for itself would have an English name -- you should settle on one (Manglers or Menacers?) and it should probably actually be something more evocative than Manglers *or* Menacers -- something actually specifically descriptive of that species.

There were things I liked -- most of the new races were okay (I thought the Jyglar idea was a little juvenile, but not terrible). I really liked the idea of Ger, Gerzel and Gerzellion. But... enh. I'd be happier if it didn't feel like there was so much emphasis on the new races that so much SC2 material felt abandoned. There shouldn't be so many SC2 races that just have nothing to do in the plot.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2005, 02:52:50 am »

Thank you for covering my points better than I did! I agree 100% with everything you said.
To clarify some other points:

I don't mind there being a Talana relationship sim. But remember, by the time the game begins you have already found out what the purpose of that ridiculous outfit, knife included, is... an indeterminately large number of times!

I didn't say the Androsynth got through the entire void either. But consider that the Chenjesu, a philosopher race of great antiquity, and the Arilou, of even greater antiquity and even greater ability to cover large distances easily, never contacted the Utwig or Supox with proposals for an alliance during the first war. They didn't even contact the Thraddash directly, only observing their existence from afar. Now, compare the distance from Procyon to the Utwig sphere to the distance ALL THE WAY AROUND the Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah space, all the way to the edge of the void. Now, consider that a "huge colony ship" would require even more fuel than the Precursor service vehicle, just based on size -- and would probably be less efficient. It's just a ridiculous endeavor. Also try to do that with the Androsynth slow ships.

As for why I think there are none... well, the Orz found the *smell* of the Androsynth. If it didn't just get those who were involved in IDF research, then it must have gotten the *smell* in general.

I especially agree with the weird problem that there is no push to free all the old battle thralls and slave-shielded worlds. That would be my second priority once the Ur-Quan were defeated.

The part about the arms and astronomy was just a FYI, not an actual proposition for map alteration. After all, this is HYPERSPACE, and hyperspace may be under such forces that many more truespace gates exist in regions of star generation (i.e. the arms).

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Dnyarri really dead - yep. I always saw his line in the Credits as a joke. Sorry.


Don't be sorry about this one thing. What I meant was, any ONE thing from SC2 would have helped a lot. Basically, there is minimal continuity with the previous story. Bringing this up to a moderate degree of continuity would help a lot. Of course, touching on everything would be a gigantic task; but at least dealing with several things would be nice.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2005, 03:07:50 am by Death_999 » Logged
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2005, 04:52:32 pm »

My thoughts:

When I read the main plot, I thought I was reading a leftover script for Star Trek Voyager even though the Dating Sim sounds Deep Space Nineish. The Niko and AI seem little more than space gangsters. My feedback:

-Drop the Dating Sim. PLEASE.
-Drop the 'Zelnick gets framed' part. Reads like someone played too much Final Fantasy.
-Drop the Pkunk Queen 'vision' thing, also sounds Final Fantasyish. As with all good drama, start with the conflict. Even shakespeare had to obey this rule.
-Give the original SC2 races more action on the stage.
-Anything that makes you do linear actions (like the 'framed Zelnick' part) ought to be removed, as it goes against the 'openness' of the game. This is Star Control where you can go anywhere, not gay scripted Final Fantasy that makes you play on rails because of a 'plot'.

SC2's plot was based on your actions, not on the aliens' reactions. The area was open and you could go anywhere, speak to anyone. The goal was to find new races and make a new alliance. What is the goal in this game? I never quite figured it out except to fulfill A-B-C triggers in a plot. BORING...... *snooze*

For a plot I would have gone with something like...

The Ur-Quan are not defeated, merely driven back and summon thralls from other parts of the galaxy to aid them (Green Ur-Quan made thralls in other systems before SC 1 of course). [This could also be the Famous Urquan Battles Volume V edition). Now regrouped with thralls (including old ones such as the Vux, Mycons, Umgah, and the recently joined Druuge [who realized they would never profit in a NAFS dominated galaxy due to their 'strange' anti-slavery rules), the war is deadlocked.

Just as the Ur-Quan ended the last war with a Precursor ship tipping the balance, the NAFS hope that they can discover a Precursor ship to be used to end the damn war, and to defeat the Ur-quan finally. However, a Precursor ship must be found quickly as though things are deadlocked, the Hierarchy and Kohr-Ah keep gathering strength as more thralls are added. Only a few years to achieve this.

Unzervalt drained its resources just to make the skeleton ship of the Vindicator. Besides, the factory doesn't *want* to make more. So a precursor ship must be found and Zelnick, explorer and precursor expert, is elected for the job. You have your own 'unique' cruiser but in general you lead a small fleet of ships with you (but not too many since they are needed for the war). You have access to the original SC 2 area but much more than that. You must explore, gather clues, to hunt down a new precursor ship but also gather more allies for NAFS and, perhaps, convert current battle thralls.

Among the mysteries looked into...

-The survivors or descendants of the Sentient Mileiu, this includes the Taalo, as they may have interest in the current Ur-Quan conflict and clues on precursor artifacts.
-What happened to the Androsynth?
-Why do the Utwig butter their bread upside down?
-The new thralls. Some may be persuaded to leave the Hierarchy but some, like the Syreen did, will have found the Urqaun to have *helped* them.
-Other new races who may remain neutral, join NAFS, or the Heirarchy.
-Why is it galaxy standard for all hotdogs to come in packs of 10 but hotdog buns come in packs of 8?
-Why did the Precursors leave?

You find the Mark II early on but, alas, since every race nearby could not figure out how to fly the darn thing, they just ripped pieces of it off, creating a deformed limited precursor cruiser. You must acquire all the precursor parts back (which are being used as alien temples, lavatories, worshipped etc. by aliens to slowly rebuild the Mark II the way how it ought to be. When you are done, the last part of the game makes you use your cruiser and/or fleet to smash the defensive line of the Hierarchy.

Even more interesting, allow this 'final part' of the game to be available from the beginning. It is just that the more upgraded your Mark II becomes, the better chances for your success. This plays well for a game embracing non-linearity and openness in gameplay.

As for what to do with the races? Hmm, let's see...

-NAFS-

Chmmr- They are the leaders of the alliance (and they do have the nastiest ship). They inform you and give you helpful pointers similiar as Hayes role was in SC2.

Orz- The Orz are not happy that the arilou reached Earth first long ago. But when other races decide to investigate the Androsynth matter, it is too much *frumple* and they quickly leave NAFS.

Spathi- Spathi are still in their slave shield, hoping they won't get hurt! However, the slave shield went down and came back up, long enough for a Spathi group to leave. This group was the Black Spathi which are very opposite of all Spathi, as they are very courageous. They want to prove to the scared Spathi and to everyone else what Spathi are truly capable of (insert heroic music).

Yehat- These warriors now have the spirituality of the Pkunk. So they are now spiritual warriors. They are secondary leaders in NAFS. Perhaps new Yehat/Pkunk combo ship?

Syreen- Adding their grace to the fight.

ZoqFotPik- The undisputed scouts of the NAFS. They have all the news of how the warfront is going.

Shofixti- Breeding faster than production of Glory Devices, thank goodness for that!

Utwig- The third 'leader' in the NAFS.

Supox- Mimicking the Utwig.

-HIERARCHY-

Umgah- Umgah stay with Hierarchy because being bad is more amusing. For fun, after the First Hierarchy War, the Umgah genetically experimented with other hierarchy races. They made a part of Spathi to be courageous, creating the Black Spathi. They made a Vux absolutely LOVE humans (Zex). Though the Mycon are beyond their understanding.

Vux- Have become more vain and installed mirrors on all their ships. Vux believe they and their ships are SO beautiful that the ships can now create a mirror image of themselves, tricking the enemy but really for the pretty Vux to look at themselves!

Mycon- They respond. They are the first to react when precursors come to the area. [Orz also react but Orz go crazy. They are so *silly*.]

Druuge- Recently joining the Hierarchy, the Druuge will sell to both Hierchy and Alliance, as profit is what matters. They have a new item for sale: Ilwrath cloaks! They will be sold to other Hierarchy races and then sell cloak detectors to alliance and then cloak detector jammers to the Hierarchy then cloak detector jammer jammer to the Alliance, etc.

Ilwrath- A few survivors. Apparently, they reached a badness so high of 446,664,343,235 that it whipped around and made the few survivors all good and pure. The survivors join the NAFS.

Thraddash- Gone. Though their afterburner gets stolen and equipped by a new heirarchy thrall.

Kzer-Za- Identical in attitudes as in SC 1.

Kohr-Ah- Allied with the green Ur-quan, this new Hierarchy is stable. Both Ur-quans agree, all NAFS races must be cleansed (as the Kzer-Za already enslaved them but that didn't work).

Plus the new races, whatever they are.

Now I came up with that in a few minutes and prefer the 'war setting' much more than a 'plot' setting. SC 1 was around the Urqan vs Alliance War, SC 2 was around the Urquan vs Urquan War, so a SC 3 makes sense as a Urquan vs New Alliance setting.

Oh, and you find a message from a Precursor. Though the translation wasn't perfect as it was so old, the Precursor referred to its race as *Bob*.

Makes you wonder what his toys are...
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2005, 05:51:47 pm »

Pik -

I liked Final Fantasy Smiley
Kinda counter half your points...
And indeed in this game you don't know what is going to happen from the beginning. You discover the threat over the course of the game and then deal with it.

Now I think you'll have best luck if you'll write your own plot, then make a game. You cannot expect us to throw our plot through the window and start from the one page you wrote. (Or rather you CAN expect, but that just won't happen...).

BTW, I don't care much for suggestion you made. It's back to the Ur-quan, it brings back the Precursors, and it keeps most of the situation the same. STILL at war, the sides are almost the same... nah...


Art and Death_999 - I'll write a detailed reply later.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2005, 08:13:46 pm »

Ok, my promised reply.

I think the most important thing I'll say here is the following:

As I said before, the plot is finished. Minor changes are possible, but nothing more.
This means that suggestions like 'Get rid of that quest', 'change the main threat' or 'make a game like this' are a waste of time. Don't bother with them. If it's a big change you'd like (and I'll use Pik as an obvious example here) you'll better make your own game.

Also, in the field of minor changes I'll probably be more inclined to small additions then removing parts of the game.

So what I'm saying is that instead 'Get rid of the dating simulator' which won't work, suggesting some improvements might.
Same goes to suggestions that will improve the Niko and AI motives, because I agree that it'll be fun if they'll be deeper.

Anyway:

3DO vs. PC ending and role of the Ur-quan - let's make it short. I decided to continue with the PC ending, and it won't change. As I said, no major change will be accepted.

A word about Ur-quan course through the galaxy though - the way I always saw it, and the way it is in TWL, the Kzer-za didn't conquer half the galaxy while the Kohr-ah annihilated the other. If you'll look on the galaxy from "above" their courses will make a "ring", with free races both outside and inside this "ring". The Ur-quan just moved in that course, traveling between the galactic arms when they reached the edge of one. The fact that in TWL they only affected our arm is a coincidence resulting from the location of the SC area compared to the core and the galactic arms.

Oh, and no one is going to free the thralls because everyone are busy rebuilding after the war. They need to help themselves first.


Improbability drive - Well removing that will mean that the Mrii really have nothing to do in the game... Suggestions for improvements will be welcomed I guess.


Dating simulator -  remains. It's not as big part of the game or as obvious as you make it seem. You see your "score" and you don't spend the game investing in it. You don't like it - don't do it, it's optional. And I'm sorry if the sarcasm is too subtle.
At any case with good dialogs it will be hilarious.
If you have suggestions to improve it then please share them.

About the Umgah pet - it's a pet created by the Umgah, not a pet Umgah! Dear god who will want a pet Umgah?!

The Salvation and MK2 - The Salvation is weaker then the MK2 and even the Vindicator. It is not, and cannot become an awesome battleship. Although it doesn't mean that it won't be stronger then regular ships when souped up enough.

It's not that the Yehat/Pkunk can make a fleet for super strong vessels or anything like it. The Salvation is more of a mobile HQ created because the player is going to travel to an unknown part with no ally starbases or anything like that to help him there.

BTW, I don't know about you but I wouldn't like to spend half the game with a Cruiser (even an improved one) as my flagship.


Nature of the Umgah - The Umgah don't help the player because they are nice. They do it as part of a deal. Later the player give Wu'bi are rid to the new arm, where he leave and do god-knows-what. And probably not playing nice Wink


Niko and AI - I agree that their motivation to do what they do still need work. I was planning to work on it with whoever will volunteer to write their dialogs. If you have suggestions and ideas then tell.

The AI's name - I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that this is not supposed to be their name in the game. It's just that I've yet found a suggestion that I liked...

Framed - One of the things I like about it is that the player really could do it in SC2, and now he's busted Smiley
You'll notice that in SC2 Hays takes it pretty hard too once he hear the rumors.
Anyway, the Chmmr don't claim that Zel did it because it was necessary, and the Zel claims that he didn't do it at all - despite conclusive "proofs" brought by the Chmmr.

Why does everyone turn on him? Well they all just fought a huge war to gain their freedom, so it's a sensitive spot.
(Also, remember that the player escaped before the trial even begun. He's not going to court with this, there are more important things to do! It doesn't matter if one believes him or not, right now he's wanted and they obey the law).

Mangler and Menacers - These are actually two different races of space monsters. The Manglers were created by the Guph and are infesting the new arm, while the Menacers are "natural" monsters that live in the void.
Both need new names! I just like the ships that are associated with these names currently (although the Mangler ship needs some tweaking).

Androsynth survivors - let's start with the fact that if anyone could pull that of, it's the Synth. Smiley
Also, the Druuge easily managed to travel to Utwig space, and during the SC1 war everyone traveled distances without any problem.
How exactly did the Synth managed to do it is, in reality, a case of *insert techno babble here*. Yeah, it should be good techno babble, but it's not so hard.

Relations to quests and mysteries from SC2 -
The game focus on developing one of the mysteries neglected by the fans - the Mrn. Who made them? Why? What exactly are they and so forth.

The Orz, Synth and Precursors mysteries aren't answered, but they are developed.

The Synth colony shed some more light on their story, and increases the Arilou involvement. It also suggests that the Arilou are preparing to make their move soon, the Synth aren't rebuilding - they are building a war machine.

The Orz are also developed through the escaping Ur-quan quest, where we see that apparently the Ur-quan know something about them. The Orz do insist of catching them.
(Why won't the Ur-quan say anything to the NAFS or the player? They are too proud and sure that only they can save the galaxy, they have been that way for the past 20,000 years after all).
There is also the VUX reaction to the Orz (Impressive military presence in their shared border and reluctance to talk about the Orz).

The Precursor are touched with the quest to save the Slylandro, where the Slylandro's call for help is answered.

You'll also notice that you can revisit many sites from SC2 - the crashed dreadnought, Zex's planet and such.

As for the "untouched" parts - The Dnyarri is, IMO, and will surly be in any plot I'll make, DEAD. ATOMIZED. He really had no chance to survive - the specially designed escape pod barley made it...

The Taalo - their survival wasn't an important part of SC2. Actually I'm pretty sure they are all dead. The only one who speaks of them in present tense are the Orz.
IF you'll ever find more about them then it'll be in *pretty space* - which you don't visit in this game.



Sheesh, writing these replies sure take a lot of time... I just wrote 3 word pages and I was planning on being brief…
Anyway, try focusing on constructive suggestions and minor changes if you want something to actually change.
Of course, you can just complain if you'd like, but it won't do any good besides possibly making you feel better. Smiley
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2005, 09:38:35 pm »

Quote
Well removing that will mean that the Mrii really have nothing to do in the game... Suggestions for improvements will be welcomed I guess.


A designer knows he has reached perfection not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing to be taken away. -- Antoine de Saint Exupery


I do not find the Pkunk vision at all a problem. This is what they do. A Pkunk vision sent them to the Sa-Matra at the right moment, after all.


As for the rest --
You wanted feedback. We gave it. If it's too late to change the structure, OK. But you know what we think of it now.

I life Final Fantasy, just like I like Hitchhiker's Guide. But SC is neither of these things. There must be operational freedom.


Also, the Taalo are definitely alive. This is probably the 'definitely something' I was thinking about around the Orz.
http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/history/files/scchatlog.txt

Quote
<Fwiffo> The Taalo LIVE!


Fwiffo here was PR3 and FF sharing a keyboard. Based just on that, I'd say they're alive. As makes sense, since the Orz said they were playing *time jokes* on the surface. Doesn't sound dead to me. Sure, it can be delayed to another sequel... but we can't have too many more of them...
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You are making a mistake.
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2005, 12:50:42 am »

Ok, I know you said "constructive", but I think the most constructive thing to do, would be to blow that plot out the airlock. It SUCKS!!!

The stuff that Art, Pik and Death_999 just suggested on a whim, kicks the living $I-IiT out of that moronic dribble.

The Androsynth should be dead and the Taalo should be the ones making a come back. They are more interesting by a hundred fold.

If your project is really serious, you should chuck this abomination of a SC plot out the window immediately, before it scares talented programmers and such, away from your somewhat fledgling project.

I apologize for my outburst, but I really think you're putting the nail in your coffin with this.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2005, 01:13:37 am »

This is pathetic.

I've taken Death_999 and Art seriously, but your reaction is simply pathetic.

You don't like it? Make your own sequel.
The Majority of people who saw the plot liked it, a lot.
Death_999 and Art are in a minority group even with their complains.

So again - make your own game instead of stomping and destroying the projects of others.
No one is forcing you to help or to play it.
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Re: You are making a mistake.
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2005, 01:15:02 am »

Quote
Ok, I know you said "constructive", but I think the most constructive thing to do, would be to blow that plot out the airlock. It SUCKS!!!


When someone describes something to you, sometimes the description sucks, but the finished product is amazing.  Who would have though that SimCity would have been fun?  Who would have though that Tetris would have been fun?  Why would anyone ever need a computer?  The beautiful body of your favorite car was the last piece that they put on.  Let's see the finished product before we all decide if it's good or bad.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2005, 02:25:43 am »

Really, Deus... that was a touch overboard. Please, calm down.
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2005, 04:30:19 am »

Don't take me wrong, I believe a lot of time was spent on the plot and there are many nice things in it. I was only referring to the things that struck me the wrong way. All the things that did strike me the wrong way were things that seemed to be 'tacked on' to the design, things that don't really matter to the game's core mechanics (like the dating sim). If you can remove a part of the game or any plot that doesn't matter with the game's core, then do it. All serious writers know they have to chop off dangling parts, scratch out 5 words if it can be said with 2, and so on.

Now I'm curious as to what is the core design to Timewarp-Light? I gather that the combat will be like in Timewarp (and some of the new races will use the new ships). This is all fine and dandy. But what is the core design of the adventure part? I thought it would identical to Star Control 2 but now I'm not sure. Some parts of the plot read like the game turns into Final Fantasy for a few parts, others parts feel tacked on like the Dating Sim (Why stop there? Why not put a full emulation of The Sims aboard the Mark II where you can manage the Captain's bladder, his social arrangements, and, in general, throw parties with Fwiffo and Umbah blobbies?)

From my perspective, it feels like the plot is forcing the round design core into square holes. Final Fantasy is a fine game, but would its influence work with SC2's design core? Now, you could completely use a different core design and make a Final Fantasy like game with the battles being Star Controlish, that would work. But putting Final Fantasy elements with StarControl2's core mechanics is a mismatch. (It'd be like putting X-Com elements into Star Control. Now, a Star Control X-Comish game WOULD ROCK but it could rock only by using a different game design core than SC2.)

Even though this is a fan based project, it is in a way a fabulous way to gain real game making experience. If a starting playwright was doing all these things with the actors and sets and lights and the audience doesn't watch, well, it doesn't matter how 'great' the play is because the audience is always, always right. When a writer makes a book and wonders why it doesn't sell, he ought to be reminded that there is a New York Times Best Seller list but there is no New York Times Best Written list. Professional writers write well because that a sure way how it will sell well. Charles Dickens took his audience in account as he publicly released chapter by chapter of Great Expectations, even changing the ending. Even Shakespeare fitted his plays to be audience driven and whose purpose wasn't to be 'art' but to make money (which he invested in London's Real Estate and retired).

My point is that I think the greatest advice to a budding writer or game designer is to be a salesman. What does sales have to do with books and games? Well, everything. And things like games require millions of dollars nowadays. You're going to have to sell ideas to companies and to your employees. You're going to have to raise money and sell for additional time.

"This is not a profit based project, it is a fan based project." I don't know if you intend to pursue a career in the gaming industry. However, a successful project like this IS something you can put on a resume and it will exceed any "education" as it shows 1) You can put out a finished project. 2) You can put out a popular project. Those two things alone exceed practically everything else. The people involved in this project can really use it to their personal future if they have such goals.

I believe everyone here has the capacity to create a better game superior to that of even Toys for Bob. I have a hunch that Toys for Bob would love to play such a game. Everyone here wants Timewarp Light to be as cool as it can be, because we all love Star Control.

You desired constructive feedback. Here it is:

-Stay as close as possible to the game's core mechanics and remove everything that doesn't fit (You wouldn't put Sim City in the middle of Star Control, would you? Even though Sim City is a fun game, it doesn't match Star control's core mechanics. I don't like the Dating Sim not because I have something against Dating Sims but because it doesn't fit into Star Control's core mechanics.)

-"What can the player do?" is more important than "Where does the plot go?" Keep the game design driven rather than plot driven. (The problem with including Final Fantasy elements is that Final Fantasy is set up like most rpgs with a static world where plot is moved by the player alone. This makes the game as the Player vs. Developers. Star Control 2's most annoying feature was its greatest: the time limit. It was not Player vs. Developers but rather Player vs. Environment. You were participating in the game world rather than it revolving all around you. If you didn't act, Kohr Ah would win and other events would occur.)

-Keep the Ur-Quan scary. (Both SC 1 and SC 2 had a core enemy of the ur-quan which made you feel a bit weak and every victory you had was A Great Accomplishment (tm). If you make the Ur-Quan [or any threat] weak and not scary, the adventure game loses its heroicness similiar to as what happened with Legend's SC 3.)

-If it doesn't play a role, get rid of it. (Like if a race doesn't play a part in the main plot, get rid of it. It becomes an unneccessary actor on stage, drawing eyes which removes the punch from the actors that matter. Even in Star Control 2, every race had a part in the plot. Reiche removed items from the game that had no point like Data Pods and the Cloaking Device. This is smart game design.)

What would be interesting is write a "What can the player do?" to compliment the plot. At each part of the game, what can the player do? If you find that the player is merely getting items and doing an ABCD order of plot triggers, being corralled in one way due to plot triggers (plot controlling the player rather than the player controlling the plot), or if the player finds himself stuck in worthless mini-games that are not relevant to the core mechanics of the game, then take a humility pill and go redo that part. Prototype parts and play, redo, play, redo until its something that is truly fun for everyone.

Or as it was said in Gladiator, "doesn't matter about your technique. Win the mob and win your freedom."
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Re: TW-ligt plot
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2005, 06:13:54 am »

Quote
This is Star Control where you can go anywhere, not gay scripted Final Fantasy that makes you play on rails because of a 'plot'.


Oh my god it so is! I saw it with another game, and they were holding hands! You better not leave it alone with unreal tournament, they might do something unholy.

Seriously, there is nothing gay about final fantasy and there IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING GAY!

Angry
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« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2005, 06:32:07 am »

"I've taken Death_999 and Art seriously, but your reaction is simply pathetic."

Sorry, my initial reactions to things are usually tactless. You'll just get a positive or negative opinion out of me, minus any signs of civilized thinking. But it's not pithetic in that I did not back up my opinion though, as everyone else had already stated the points that I would have brought up. Also, while my response can't be excused, I don't see why you are talking down to Art and Death_999. Everything they said was perfectly reasonable. If people just told you everything was fine no matter what, you would not know where your weak areas were.


"So again - make your own game instead of stomping and destroying the projects of others. No one is forcing you to help or to play it."

I don't see much point in trying to crush a project, I just think that you must be careful and flexible in this area, as you depend on volunteers.


"Really, Deus... that was a touch overboard. Please, calm down."

Alright, maybe that seemed crazy, but remember that you only imagined me yelling. I just typed out a message with my keyboard, I wasn't screaming and hurling CDs as if they were discuses.


"there IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING GAY!"

Tell that to Darwin.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2005, 06:35:10 am by Deus_Siddis » Logged
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