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Author Topic: Making the game more playable for new people  (Read 5925 times)
TigTigger
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Making the game more playable for new people
« on: June 02, 2005, 09:07:10 am »

With the release of 0.4, and with (I am hoping!) the last remix pack coming soon, the game is just about at the point for me where I'll bundle it up and try to get all of my friends to play it.

This hasn't been too successful in the past, mostly due to it being hard to configure, although that's something everyone is aware of.

But, the big joy of playing the game is being able to play it to the end without having to rely on a hint guide or other help to do so, and finding out everything as you go along.  Unfortunately, while the PC version of the game did this very well, the 3DO game lacks this in a big way.  There is a lot of conversation missing that directly tells users about location of plot elements (aside from having to rely on the Melnorme to tell you... if you're lucky- which a user shouldn't have to do).  Adding this information back into the game is a bit tricky due to the character voices, which most players would almost certainly want to play with.

A few items have been talked about before, but, maybe it's time to start a spoiler-chocked thread about ways that we could perhaps restore some of the functionality of the PC version, without having to record new voice material.

So, here's a few items I am aware of, and some of my suggestions for ways they could possibly be improved or fixed.  Perhaps a purist doesn't think the game should be changed, then again, maybe a purist who grew up with the PC game (like me) feels that we should try to restore what we can.




SPOILERS FOLLOW




Metacron device

The PC version had the Melnorme tell you about their Metacron device, effectively informing the player that their time was limited.  There are two plot events that can extend this time slightly.

The lack of this, I feel, is the biggest problem on this list.  Any problem _could_ be solved by resorting to a hint guide, but, not if the player has just been "having fun" with the game mining and shooting stuff, not expecting in any way, unlike most games, that their time to finish the game is limited.  Imagine their anger and disappointment when they were to find this out, and that they had to restart the game.

Fixing this is a toughie.  The only thing I can think of, is that the Captain starts the game with a Metacron device from Vela.  The user could "use" it to be reminded of the deadline.  I dunno, what do other people think?

Syreen Homeworld / 1st part of Organon quest

The Syreen don't tell you where their homeworld is in uqm.  I believe you can buy this off of the Melnorme.  This is pretty rough, and you need it to finish the game.

Some time ago, I recall one poster suggesting that such problems could be resolved by inserting text at the end of the appropriate conversation, indicating something like "Co-ordinates for XYX received: abc.d efg.h", with appropriate computer-sounding effect for the "speech".  This sounds like a good idea to me.  Anything else?

Mycon Homeworld / 2nd part of Organon quest

This is the quest in the FAQ.  If it's a FAQ for players who have finished the game, then you know it's a problem.  In the PC version, the Mycon tell you where it is.

The Mycon don't tell you where their homeworld is, and you don't know that you need to go there to do this quest.  Complicating it is the Beta Brahe (I think) system, which is where a player might think they need to go.  I am not sure if the Mycon Homeworld location can be purchased from the Melnorme.

The "co-ordinate text" trick works again here, although it could also be changed so that a player can just talk to any Mycon to accomplish this quest option, or, perhaps just the Mycon at Beta Brahe.

Supox location

You need to get the Ultron from the Supox, and no one tells you where they are.  In the PC version, the Utwig do this.

The same trick again works here, although a player could be expected to deduce that the Supox should be located near the Utwig.

On a side note, the first Supox you come across can give you the Ultron (same with the PC version).  Maybe it would make more sense to get it from their homeworld?

Ilwrath Homeworld

Again, you need to locate these guys' homeworld for a quest needed to complete the game (I believe).  And, it's quite difficult to guess, given that the sphere of influence is not around their homeworld, due to their Pkunk invasion.  I am not sure if you can get this information anywhere else.

I think you need to use the 'caster in their home system, but, perhaps any system with Illwrath present would be good?  I can't remember if this is the case or not

Aqua Helix location

OK, I am not sure if this is an issue or not, but the last time I played uqm through, I was not told at all about this location.  I recall having the Thraddash tell me about this in the PC version.  Not sure if this is an issue or not.  Perhaps someone could tell me where this information comes from?

Anyway, discuss!  If you don't think some or all of this should be changed, feel free to say so.
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Captain_Smith
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2005, 09:21:53 am »

Okay...

I'm not sure the MetaChron device is a huge issue, but it's an issue.  I'm not sure though that the dev team is interested in any of these big changes until after 1.0.

Same with the Syreen.  Of course, I don't know what Hayes has to say about where they're at though.

Yes the Mycon Homeworld can be purchased from the Melnorme.  There are also clues to the purpose of Beta Brahe with the Shofixti and Yehat.

The Ilwrath themselves will tell you where their homeworld is if you fight enough of them and take the right conversation tree.  I believe the question to ask is "What is this Doggone and Quasar thing anyway?"  As far as I'm aware, this convo tree has NOT been removed from UQM.  So the Ilwrath point is a non-issue.

I don't have enough of a memory of how UQM works, so I'd have to get the time to play it a while for to see whether enough clues about these things were left.


Quote
The only thing I can think of, is that the Captain starts the game with a Metacron device from Vela.  The user could "use" it to be reminded of the deadline.  I dunno, what do other people think?

Syreen Homeworld / 1st part of Organon quest

The Syreen don't tell you where their homeworld is in uqm.  I believe you can buy this off of the Melnorme.  This is pretty rough, and you need it to finish the game.

Mycon Homeworld / 2nd part of Organon quest

 I am not sure if the Mycon Homeworld location can be purchased from the Melnorme.

Ilwrath Homeworld

Again, you need to locate these guys' homeworld for a quest needed to complete the game (I believe). I am not sure if you can get this information anywhere else.

Perhaps someone could tell me where this information comes from?

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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2005, 10:12:23 am »

I think the most practical way to fix the lack of info (metachron, mycon) would be to distribute an optional add-on pack that contains the missing text, without voice. Nic has already created such an add-on for the mycon instance, which is avaliable here: http://www.submedia.net/uqm/
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TigTigger
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2005, 08:13:35 pm »

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Okay...

I'm not sure the MetaChron device is a huge issue, but it's an issue.  I'm not sure though that the dev team is interested in any of these big changes until after 1.0.


That's fair.  I'd be interested to see what everyone here thinks, though.

Quote

Same with the Syreen.  Of course, I don't know what Hayes has to say about where they're at though.


He does not tell you, nor does anyone else, including the Melnorme.  (I since unzipped a copy of the content on my LInux machine so I could do a grep -ir for the homeworld name and co-ordinates to try to find the data).

Quote

Yes the Mycon Homeworld can be purchased from the Melnorme.  There are also clues to the purpose of Beta Brahe with the Shofixti and Yehat.


No, Beta Brahe is NOT their homeworld.  Their homeworld is Episilon Scorpii (see the FAQ).  This information is also not available anywhere either.

Quote

The Ilwrath themselves will tell you where their homeworld is if you fight enough of them and take the right conversation tree.  I believe the question to ask is "What is this Doggone and Quasar thing anyway?"  As far as I'm aware, this convo tree has NOT been removed from UQM.  So the Ilwrath point is a non-issue.


OK, I do see the homeworld co-ordinates in the convo listing here, so I presume it's available..  I had read somewhere on the site or in the wiki (and I can't find it now) that this had been taken out.  Sorry.

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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2005, 12:47:22 am »

The Melnorme tell you that the Thraddash have "some kind of sacred relic" at Zeta Draconis. The Pkunk also make cryptic remarks about the Aqua Helix and other Ultron parts, mentioning Draconis in connection with this.

Also, you don't need to find Syra; any Mycon Shattered World will do, as you can find Deep Child egg case fragments on any one of them. Searching Mycon space gives you plenty of examples.

The Mycon homeworld is at the centre of their sphere of influence, so its location is not too hard to guess. Still, the 3DO-style unhelpful response at the Sun Device planet is kind of silly.

The Supox location part is the worst problem, but this can easily be circumvented by putting the Supox sphere of influence on the starmap (see discussion of bug #327) when the Utwig mention them.

One big difference that is hard to fix is the Slylandro probes giving you (relative) co-ordinates of the Slylandro homeworld in the PC version. This was simply left out from the 3DO version. However, there are quite enough hints already on the origin of these probes.
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2005, 01:57:06 am »

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Also, you don't need to find Syra; any Mycon Shattered World will do, as you can find Deep Child egg case fragments on any one of them. Searching Mycon space gives you plenty of examples.


three.


I agree completely that the Mycon homeworld is easy to find, so long as you don't find it before you find their special place. Maybe it would be easier if there were more random outlying colonies in the game (I can think of only bomb world, Taalo world, and aqua helix world), but even then there should be something to distinguish them.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2005, 01:58:38 am by Death_999 » Logged
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2005, 02:01:15 am »

Not a major issue, but would it be nice if the alien starships would fly their noses towards the player (in the star system view)? I consider it quite silly that the Shofixti captain chases me backwards, and the mighty Kzer-Za diagonally.
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TigTigger
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2005, 02:52:13 am »

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I think the most practical way to fix the lack of info (metachron, mycon) would be to distribute an optional add-on pack that contains the missing text, without voice. Nic has already created such an add-on for the mycon instance, which is avaliable here: http://www.submedia.net/uqm/


I think this is really the best way to address these issues- all of them (other than the Metachron) could be done in such a way.  If the new text is done in a way that doesn't require new voices, then so much the better.
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2005, 03:13:35 am »

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three.


I agree completely that the Mycon homeworld is easy to find, so long as you don't find it before you find their special place. Maybe it would be easier if there were more random outlying colonies in the game (I can think of only bomb world, Taalo world, and aqua helix world), but even then there should be something to distinguish them.



Except that there are several game hints for Beta Brahe, and none for their homeworld. :-/

I think the sheer number of posts here on this subject from confused people (which is why it's the #1 FAQ), including one poster in this forum alone who got the two places messed up, would suggest that something should be done.  Any other options?
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2005, 06:35:10 am »

The Ilwrath homeworld and the Vux Beast clue problem (shape of the 8-star constellation; not easy to deduce from the in-game HS map) can both be solved with a map which shows the SC1 spheres of influence and the constellation lines.
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2005, 08:14:03 pm »

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Except that there are several game hints for Beta Brahe, and none for their homeworld. :-/



There are in-game hints for Beta Brahe? Where? Is it from Tanaka?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2005, 08:14:23 pm by Death_999 » Logged
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2005, 08:25:27 pm »

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The Ilwrath homeworld and the Vux Beast clue problem (shape of the 8-star constellation; not easy to deduce from the in-game HS map) can both be solved with a map which shows the SC1 spheres of influence and the constellation lines.


I agree about the beast clue, it's very hard to find it.
to figure out  Linch-Nas-Ploh -> Lyncis is hard enough. and the Melnorme dude doesn't say much too.
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2005, 08:31:45 pm »

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There are in-game hints for Beta Brahe? Where? Is it from Tanaka?


The conversation files have references to Beta Brahe from both the Shofixiti and the Yehat.  So, that's covered.
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2005, 08:36:53 pm »

Sure.  From Tanaka and the Yehat as well.

Think, Yehat. The sheer dishonor of it all.
AWK! BRAAK! Awk!... hiss... awk... (whimper)!
We cannot be giving ye material aid, Captain, AWK!...
...but perhaps ye can make use of this information.
Captain, when we were fighting the Great War against the YEEP!... Mycons, YEEP!...we encountered a number of odd worlds which seemed to be having their crust shattered.
Molten lava ran across the surface in huge rivers, and dense metallic elements were abundant.  But the strangest world we found was the first planet at the star at coordinates 639.5 : 231.2.  The Mycons were guarding this planet with an almost limitless number of their Podships as though there were something of great value there.  We could never break through their forces, though we destroyed scores of their ships. Perhaps, if ye fare better than we, or can somehow trick the Mycons to let ye land you may discover this secret, and it may help ye in yer quest.


If your sun went nova, how did you survive?
I wasn't here when they made the sun nova. I was assigned to a Yehat squadron as a foreward scout performing deep recon into Mycon space. We were sent to investigate reports of unusual Mycon activity around Beta Brahe. I was the first ship to enter the system. My scanners showed a small fleet of Mycon clustered around a planet, conducting a test of some device. The unit was small, not even half the size of my ship.
When the Mycon activated it, a glow began to radiate outward.
I crept closer to get a better look. Suddenly, there was a flare, like a new born sun, blinding me and overloading my sensors. When I recovered my vision, hours later, the Mycon and their device were gone. I was able to effect repairs on my sensors and depart the system but I had been cut off from my squadron, and had to travel home alone.


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There are in-game hints for Beta Brahe? Where? Is it from Tanaka?

« Last Edit: June 03, 2005, 08:38:11 pm by Captain_Smith » Logged
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Re: Making the game more playable for new people
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2005, 11:22:46 pm »

Good to know.

In any case, the VUX beast does have a really strong clue, but only if you 'befriend' the Thraddash by destroying enough of their fleets (you can't make the suggestion that they go attack the Kohr-Ah, as this prevents them from becoming your allies!)
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