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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« on: July 11, 2005, 03:55:34 pm »

Note: I haven't played through the latest release, so I don't know if this has been implemented... but I think it's safe to assume it hasn't...

As much as I love this re-make, I have to say, it bothers me immensly that there are no in-game clues concerning the Mycon/Syreen bit (and to a lesser extent, no mention of the metachron).

The fact that so many people come here asking where the Mycon homeworld is - so many that it's even got its own sticky thread on there forums - should be an indication that the omission of this data is causing serious issues for players.

One thing that impressed me so much in the PC version of Star Control 2 was that you could get hints about pretty much everything important from someone - even if they didn't tell you outright where to find something, there'd at least be a clue that something interesting was to be found in a certain location, and having a look there tended to pay off.

So, doesn't it sound like a good idea to include the PC text in the game in some way?  I know the argument against it already: "The 3DO version doesn't contain voice acting for it".  But surely that doesn't actually prevent anyone from putting the text in?

My suggestion would be this: offer two separate options for the in-game conversations from a menu or setting.  The first setting would be "3DO text" - this would be the text that we currently have, which more or less matches the voice acting.  The other setting would be "Additional Info text" - this would be like the 3DO text (so no major re-writes would be needed) but would, at the cruicial Mycon/Syreen and metachron events, feature the PC text (without any voice-over, of course.  If sound is actually REQUIRED for displaying text, just record some silence for the duration the text is displayed - I'm sure that's possible.)

I say this because I personally would prefer a moment of somewhat odd silence in order to learn vital game information to nice voice-acting that nontheless misses out this key information.  It wouldn't spoil the whole game, it wouldn't spoil any of the other voice acting, it wouldn't require the re-recording of any voice acting or anything like that.  I'm no programmer, but I don't think it sounds like an impossible goal.

To me, those little bits of info are more important than being able to choose between a 3DO or PC interace, or between 3DO or PC music etc.  Those bits of info are part of the actual narrative of the game, and the ability to play it without a walkthrough or making irritating blind searches.

What are other peoples' thoughts on this?  And does this sound like a plausible inclusion in a future release?
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Re: The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2005, 04:36:23 pm »

There have been discussions about this subject. Another option is to include the Mycon text in a place where spoken voice is not expected: in a planetary lander message. The Mycon conversation text could for instance be found in the computer of a damaged Syreen shuttle, when you pick those shuttles up from the Ur-Quan vault.
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Re: The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 06:53:43 pm »

It might be that I haven't played Star Control II in too long, but don't the Syreen ask you to find their craft only after they become militaristic, which can only occur after you speak to the Mycon at their homeworld (thus finding out what happened to Syra)?  Even if that's not the case, and these two 'quests' are unrelated, it would still force you to perform the 'find Syreen ships' 'quest' before finding the Mycon homeworld... which I don't think was how it used to be.  It forces a certain linearity in your actions that wasn't there before.

Still, I have to say that it does sound like a more 'elegant' solution than having speech-less text.  It would certainly be less jarring.

Even so, I still like the idea of a menu choice allowing you to decide if you want to be given this info in the conversations as usual.  In that case, the player can decide if they want elegance or info.

What I'd be interested in is if any of the UQM programmers have considered this, and if they decided against it, why?
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Re: The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2005, 07:04:18 pm »

Well, I am one of the UQM programmers, and the issue is still open.
We have plans though to have a more PC-like text-only mode (where things like the captains name would be filled in in your conversation partner's lines too).
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Re: The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2005, 02:14:22 am »

Hmmm, alright.  I certainly hope it gets added in the future.  That would be great, in my opinion.

Oh, and incidentally, thanks for the good work on UQM.  I'm really glad to be able to play SCII again on my machine. Smiley
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Re: The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2005, 02:25:47 pm »

While on the subject of differences between PC and 3DO SC2 dialogue... The Slylandro Probes seem to be missing speech for the co-ordinates they report in the PC version (and the UQM subtitles) if questioned sufficiently. If someone rerecords the Probe dialogue, it would be nice to have speech for numbers to allow the probes to give this hint with speech, too.

Generally speaking, there is a lot of discussion about rerecording the speech for the game. This would allow us to use the PC script instead of the 3DO script without any odd missing speech.
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Re: The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2005, 07:31:31 pm »

The Probe's voice is one of the standard MacinTalk voices -- I have gone through the trouble of making Oggs for all of the phonemes needed for this, but haven't put any code behind the idea yet (too much stuff going on right now) but I believe coredev is behind the idea, so you should definitely see this happen someday.
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Re: The whole PC vs 3DO script thing...
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2005, 05:07:58 am »

What about holding a contest for Mycon/Melnorme/etc imitations for the missing lines?  As long as someone is suffiently close _in_those_brief_lines_ to be unnoticable, then I'd say give 'em a minor credit in a readme somewhere and rejoice that the voices are complete (or ignore the voices as any PC SC2 purist should  Roll Eyes )
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