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Author Topic: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?  (Read 81127 times)
timofonic
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Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« on: December 24, 2005, 02:21:57 pm »

Hello,

I was knowed the game recently, I like it a lot, I was liked to know this game a lot before.

It seems people says negative points about SC2, I agree about few variety in planets and raw materials missions, they need to be too different each one of them.

What about putting very different stuff in each one of planets, a lot of "surprises" (creatures, very rare and extremely impressive phenomenas of all kind...) and all that? Giving variety to them could make it a lot more funnier and the game with one less of his few weak points Smiley

All this need GFX designers collaborators, of course, I'm not one of them but I want it! Wink

Yes, I want SC2 even being better, to the full perfection, to the evil, lol.

Some reviews:
http://www.mobygames.com/game/star-control-ii (specially "A very disappointing masterpiece").

Misc stuff:
http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/scwc/old_scwc_bios.htm
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2005, 04:19:57 pm »

What that "a very dissapointing masterpiece"-guy said in his "the bad" part of his review, should probably the focus of improving SC2..

First of all, a hint towards the QuasiSpace Portal Spawner would be helpful..

Another way to improve the game would be an idea SC3 had: Colonies...
Drop down a colony of bulldozer bots (on Luna. "Scientists were able to modify the bulldozer bots so that they are able to perform many different tasks, in many different and more hostile environments", or something along those lines) somewhere to mine the hell out of a planet, giving you income and removing the tedious mining (which can be killed by visiting Delta Tauri, ofcourse)... Maybe even have outposts manufacture you ships or fuel.. The Colony thing was probably the only thing I really liked a lot about SC3, and I think it'd fit well in a possible REAL sequel to SC2....
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2005, 09:39:53 pm »

Hmmm...tweaks to an already-awesome game...

-Possibly have more control over what info you want from the Melnorme, so you don't waste credits? I found it annoying when I already encountered the ZFP ship in Rigel, and then asked for race info only to get what I already knew. Such a thing may not be part of their nature, though.

-Planet-side life that replenishes itself provided that there are at least two of each creature to reproduce(getting into male, female, and asexual stuff would problably overcomplicate things)would be nice, but it might take a bit of tweaking to make sure they don't multiply too fast.

I can't comment on SC3's gameplay elements, since the only SC game I've played is UQM(and maybe I'm better off for it, considering how most fans would rather have the current SC3 not exist).

Coming up with tweaks is hard...and I'm currently pondering about how a bunch of humans, before having ANY alliance(there can't be any other explanation when there are no aliens that have allied with Earthlings in this given scenario), could just waltz into, say, Fwiffo's Eluder and perform perfectly...certainly, it'll be quite a bit of stress for the ship's captain, who is the only member of the race that designed the craft, to have to work all the race-specific elements of the craft(maybe I ought to get a good look at that Precursor computer and find out how the hell Zelnick mastered it-I mean, it's built for huge, shaggy creatures! The switches and such would likely be HUGE!)...however, that could very well overcomplicate things again.
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2005, 11:33:02 pm »

Another way to improve the game would be an idea SC3 had: Colonies...

That's actually more of a re-take of a Star Control 1 feature.
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2005, 11:42:49 pm »

-Planet-side life that replenishes itself provided that there are at least two of each creature to reproduce(getting into male, female, and asexual stuff would problably overcomplicate things)would be nice, but it might take a bit of tweaking to make sure they don't multiply too fast.

I can give two reasons why this shouldn't be implemented;
1) life in an entire planet can't multiply fast enough for the game time - all in all the game lasts about 3 'game years'. Even if life does multiply super-fast you'd think only micro-organisms can do that and you can't zap those with the lander Tongue
then again, the Shofixti were pretty fast Wink
2) the more important reason is that it would make the player stand guard on one planet - and if you don't explore the quardant, it's not really a fun game.

if you look for a pattern you'll see certain solar systems formations or different sun colors can hint you on the lifeforms potential.

Coming up with tweaks is hard...and I'm currently pondering about how a bunch of humans, before having ANY alliance(there can't be any other explanation when there are no aliens that have allied with Earthlings in this given scenario), could just waltz into, say, Fwiffo's Eluder and perform perfectly...certainly, it'll be quite a bit of stress for the ship's captain, who is the only member of the race that designed the craft, to have to work all the race-specific elements of the craft(maybe I ought to get a good look at that Precursor computer and find out how the hell Zelnick mastered it-I mean, it's built for huge, shaggy creatures! The switches and such would likely be HUGE!)...however, that could very well overcomplicate things again.

Actually the idea is that you need the race's pilots to fly the craft, otherwise you can't use it (or build it in the starbase, for that matter). It's also mentioned in the conversation texts.

Also, the Precursor vessel was built on Vela by the Hunams there, so I suspect in the 25 years (I think) they've been there, they might've learned quite a lot and customized the vessel.
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2005, 12:21:38 am »

Coming up with tweaks is hard...and I'm currently pondering about how a bunch of humans, before having ANY alliance(there can't be any other explanation when there are no aliens that have allied with Earthlings in this given scenario), could just waltz into, say, Fwiffo's Eluder and perform perfectly...certainly, it'll be quite a bit of stress for the ship's captain, who is the only member of the race that designed the craft, to have to work all the race-specific elements of the craft(maybe I ought to get a good look at that Precursor computer and find out how the hell Zelnick mastered it-I mean, it's built for huge, shaggy creatures! The switches and such would likely be HUGE!)...however, that could very well overcomplicate things again.

Actually the idea is that you need the race's pilots to fly the craft, otherwise you can't use it (or build it in the starbase, for that matter). It's also mentioned in the conversation texts.

Also, the Precursor vessel was built on Vela by the Hunams there, so I suspect in the 25 years (I think) they've been there, they might've learned quite a lot and customized the vessel.
Quote
I understand about the "native race pilots" thing, but what would humans be doing on a Spathi Eluder, for instance? The ship would certainly appear and function almost totally alien to humans. Of course, the captain would pilot the thing, but the rest of the crew that make up the ship's HP-what would they do that's not restricted to the race of the craft's designers?

Maybe explanations for this sort of thing would add unnecessary complications-I don't know. All we know is that crew apparently are not a specific race and can operate in any vessel with ease-they just can't command it, as you need a native captain(hence why you won't get to build any more Eluders after Spathiwa is slave-shielded).

As far as your comment on the Precursor craft, it does make sense-after all, one of the major modifications we all know about was the base's computer, which was installed on the Vindicator to make it much easier to pilot under a skilled operator like Zelnick.

Anyway, it's hard to improve a game as awesome as Star Control II. The only way I can think of to possibly improve it would be to develop an entirely new game within the universe, possibly expanding into the third dimension, among other things. However, that would be like changing the GURPS-based combat in Fallout-it seems to be part of what defines the series. Change can be good just as much as it can be bad, and I'll save myself the trouble of judging what changes are good and bad.

Side note: What if the hottest Christmas gifts were all Star Control-related? For some reason, I just can't stop thinking about taking over the world with Fwiffo plushies or similar items.
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2005, 11:58:33 am »

It would be great if you could just leave the ship stationed at the starbase. When you think about it, it's more then logical since at first you don't know will the Ur-Quan retaliate. Plus, you wouldn't have to loose ships that you got as a present (like Umgah drones or Pkunk furies). Not only that, what would the Spathi captain do after his ship has been sold and Spathwia slaveshielded? He would have to remain at the starbase,, so why not build another Eluder after some time? Giving missions to other ships (like to explore some cluster) would definiatly be great, but that would need a log to and starmap wiht planets and recources (in those sistems that you visited on planets scanned)
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2005, 08:26:34 pm »

Quote
I understand about the "native race pilots" thing, but what would humans be doing on a Spathi Eluder, for instance? The ship would certainly appear and function almost totally alien to humans. Of course, the captain would pilot the thing, but the rest of the crew that make up the ship's HP-what would they do that's not restricted to the race of the craft's designers?

Maybe explanations for this sort of thing would add unnecessary complications-I don't know. All we know is that crew apparently are not a specific race and can operate in any vessel with ease-they just can't command it, as you need a native captain(hence why you won't get to build any more Eluders after Spathiwa is slave-shielded).

Funny thing there, and probably a bad example. If you read the Star Control 1 manual section about the Spathi Discriminator (Trivia: Only ship to have its name changed between games. This has been another (THOOM) Useless Fact.), it says something to the effect of the ship having as many crew crammed into the crew compartment as possible, all running around in a panic and not accomplishing anything much. Seems like everything onboard IS done by the captain (and maybe the co-captain, according to the ship's race animation), and the other crew are just there as "armor."

However, a more logical explanation is this: In early conversations with the starbase commander, he actually admits they could probably reverse-engineer the Hierarchy designs they have in the databanks, but they don't have the essential element of the native pilot. However, once you sign a treaty with those races, what's to stop them from modifying all the other crew positions to something more amenable to a Human or Shofixti?

Quote
Anyway, it's hard to improve a game as awesome as Star Control II. The only way I can think of to possibly improve it would be to develop an entirely new game within the universe, possibly expanding into the third dimension, among other things. However, that would be like changing the GURPS-based combat in Fallout-it seems to be part of what defines the series. Change can be good just as much as it can be bad, and I'll save myself the trouble of judging what changes are good and bad.

Another useless fact: Fallout did not actually have a GURPS based system, Steve Jackson Games (the makers of GURPS) pulled out of the deal at the last second. The designers had to reengineer the system pretty quickly to avoid lawsuits. I say, having attempted to play GURPS campaigns several times in the past, that the game is almost certainly better because of that. GURPS is an extremely complicated, slow, and often awkward system to use.

I don't see why major changes couldn't be worked into the franchise. Think about the changes that were made between 1 and 2. The original was a turn-based strategy game with melee-based combat. About the only things that were retained between the two games were the combat system and the background story and characters. Everything else was completely reworked for 2. Major changes are not necessarily a bad thing.

Then again, SC3 teaches us that major changes are also not necessarily a good thing, either. Undecided

Quote
Side note: What if the hottest Christmas gifts were all Star Control-related? For some reason, I just can't stop thinking about taking over the world with Fwiffo plushies or similar items.

I would totally buy a Fwiffo plushie in a heartbeat. I could easily see a whole line of them: Melnorme, Slylandro, Mycon, Umgah, Thraddash... Collect them all!
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2005, 10:31:29 pm »

Another "good" thing about SC3 that could be used in SC2 is "in system movement", that is, in non dangerous systems (witout enemy ships) you could just choose a planet and autopilot the ship into it's orbit... I found REALLY anoying having to navigate into every planet on a system I wanted to explore.
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2005, 05:11:47 am »

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I understand about the "native race pilots" thing, but what would humans be doing on a Spathi Eluder, for instance? The ship would certainly appear and function almost totally alien to humans. Of course, the captain would pilot the thing, but the rest of the crew that make up the ship's HP-what would they do that's not restricted to the race of the craft's designers?

Maybe explanations for this sort of thing would add unnecessary complications-I don't know. All we know is that crew apparently are not a specific race and can operate in any vessel with ease-they just can't command it, as you need a native captain(hence why you won't get to build any more Eluders after Spathiwa is slave-shielded).
Funny thing there, and probably a bad example. If you read the Star Control 1 manual section about the Spathi Discriminator (Trivia: Only ship to have its name changed between games. This has been another (THOOM) Useless Fact.), it says something to the effect of the ship having as many crew crammed into the crew compartment as possible, all running around in a panic and not accomplishing anything much. Seems like everything onboard IS done by the captain (and maybe the co-captain, according to the ship's race animation), and the other crew are just there as "armor."
As weird as that sounds, I guess that crew could act as maintenance people or something...though I don't know how that really would fit in with the whole "crew are HP" thing.
Quote
However, a more logical explanation is this: In early conversations with the starbase commander, he actually admits they could probably reverse-engineer the Hierarchy designs they have in the databanks, but they don't have the essential element of the native pilot. However, once you sign a treaty with those races, what's to stop them from modifying all the other crew positions to something more amenable to a Human or Shofixti?
Makes sense.
Quote
Anyway, it's hard to improve a game as awesome as Star Control II. The only way I can think of to possibly improve it would be to develop an entirely new game within the universe, possibly expanding into the third dimension, among other things. However, that would be like changing the GURPS-based combat in Fallout-it seems to be part of what defines the series. Change can be good just as much as it can be bad, and I'll save myself the trouble of judging what changes are good and bad.
Quote
Another useless fact: Fallout did not actually have a GURPS based system, Steve Jackson Games (the makers of GURPS) pulled out of the deal at the last second. The designers had to reengineer the system pretty quickly to avoid lawsuits. I say, having attempted to play GURPS campaigns several times in the past, that the game is almost certainly better because of that. GURPS is an extremely complicated, slow, and often awkward system to use.

I don't see why major changes couldn't be worked into the franchise. Think about the changes that were made between 1 and 2. The original was a turn-based strategy game with melee-based combat. About the only things that were retained between the two games were the combat system and the background story and characters. Everything else was completely reworked for 2. Major changes are not necessarily a bad thing.

Then again, SC3 teaches us that major changes are also not necessarily a good thing, either. Undecided
I didn't know that-now I might have to kick myself for spreading misinformation. But if the changes really do improve Fallout, then is that a bad thing?
Quote
Side note: What if the hottest Christmas gifts were all Star Control-related? For some reason, I just can't stop thinking about taking over the world with Fwiffo plushies or similar items.
I would totally buy a Fwiffo plushie in a heartbeat. I could easily see a whole line of them: Melnorme, Slylandro, Mycon, Umgah, Thraddash... Collect them all!
Quote
I now thought of a plan for making a living off of selling SC race plushies:

I'd start with Spathi, of course, finding the right material and such, and actually going on to make the thing-then I'd focus on the weird eye effect, problably with LEDs or something similar(might be hard to program to act accordingly, though). Or maybe I'd focus on voice modules first-ones that I could easily insert the customer's desired voice clip in. The real question is how I should model their lower body-use the SC1 manual art, or those reduxes by one of the fellow forum members(overhauled a BUNCH of races, I know that)

Then I'd problably move on to the Slylandro. The question is whether a fuzzy texture really fits them, considering that it's have to be a plush-then you also have to think about the glowy bits. I'd probably have holes in the appendages and such, with a transparent film underneath and a light to represent the all-important glowy bits(as well as the dialogue you get from asking, "What are those glowy bits inside of you?").

Melnorme...well, they'd be one of the easiest provided I had a full body structure(as usual with SC2 pictures and their lack of showing the whole body).

Thraddash would be somewhat easy as well, considering that I have a good idea of what their body structure looks like from the "cockpit" melee image-in other words, not much aside from a pair of legs. I'll have to improvise on those without battle armor, though(as in the image you see during conversation-they don't wear armor, or at least a helmet).

Mycon...well, it'll be weird working with the fungi(and now I'm suddenly wondering, "What the hell IS Juffo-Wup?")in plush form. Fuzzy materials don't suit them, let alone the Supox(they're living grass! Since when do you have fuzzy grass?), and don't even bring up fuzzy-textured Chenjesu or Mmrnmhrm(they just HAD to make that difficult to spell). They'd have to be made out of transparent rubber or Jell-O, but they wouldn't be plushies now, would they?

Umgah...fuzzy clothing wouldn't suit them-oh, wait, I'm thinking Utwig(get those two confused a lot). I guess I could slap on a bunch of eyes, mouths, random limbs, and be set, since those blobs don't have much in the way of biological structure(probably not, though-study that SC2 image!).

The more evil bastards-the Ur-Quan and the Dnyarri that proceeded them-would definitely have to be "plushified", and with whole-body art readily availible, wouldn't be too hard.

Oh, and all of them would have accesories. For instance, you could have a basket filled with stones of the right size and shape, as well as your choice of aqua, mauve, magenta, or an assorted mix of the above colors for your stones; it's perfect for a Spathi plush! Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah could come with bone pits(not qure how to do that, though), and...well, I'm kind of lost as far as most of the other races(save for the Utwig, who could have the Ultron or the Precursor bomb; Druuge could have the Trident and the Rod...what else?).

...This amounts to one ridiculously long post, and my plans for achieving domination of Earth through Star Control-related plushies might be de-railing the thread a bit. Still, do all plushies have to made out of materials with fuzzy textures? Guess I better visit Wikipedia to answer yet another question.
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2005, 08:28:31 am »

I would love to have a plush kohr-ah with bone pit, but you have to include a dnnyari translator as to keep it complete.

And what about the Shofixti and the Yehat?

I wanna shofixti to insult people as they walk by it.

You should also start an action figure line of toys, it'd be easier to do ships and stuff...


OOOH imagine a Scale Model of the Vindicator that lights up and has sounds, dude i would literally shit my pants if i saw that in stores.

Although i would probably die if i saw a kohr-ah ship in stores, nothin beats the kohr-ah Grin

god see what you did to me, dammit, now i want all this shit that's never coming out Grin
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2005, 07:02:36 pm »

As for mining, there were a bunch of elaborations on the mining theme I thought of that would make it more interesting and challenging... and allow for quite a bit more variety.

In any case, that review sounds like he spent a LOT more time mining than most people spend. Was he mining high-G acid worlds?

That said, it would be excellent to be able to send your fleet's ships out scouting to see what kind of worlds the various planets are (is that a ruby world, or a dust world? Auric or Urea?) Even if they couldn't do the scans, if they could just tell you what TYPE it was, that would be good.
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2005, 08:37:33 pm »

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Oh, and all of them would have accesories. For instance, you could have a basket filled with stones of the right size and shape, as well as your choice of aqua, mauve, magenta, or an assorted mix of the above colors for your stones; it's perfect for a Spathi plush! Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah could come with bone pits(not qure how to do that, though), and...well, I'm kind of lost as far as most of the other races(save for the Utwig, who could have the Ultron or the Precursor bomb; Druuge could have the Trident and the Rod...what else?).

...This amounts to one ridiculously long post, and my plans for achieving domination of Earth through Star Control-related plushies might be de-railing the thread a bit. Still, do all plushies have to made out of materials with fuzzy textures? Guess I better visit Wikipedia to answer yet another question.

Yeah, you've pretty much derailed the thread. Not that that's bad; why try to fix something that's as not broken as SC2? One bad review is almost a certainty, because some people are just never happy.

As for accessories, try this on for size:

Humans: A plushie Commander Hayes, with small planet lander and radioactives deposit in glow-in-the-dark orange
Pkunk: The clear spindle, for lack of anything else
Ilwrath: Not really sure... The Umgah 'Caster, perhaps? Maybe they should be double-packed with a Thraddash...
Thraddash: Why, a cigar, of course! Throwing in the aqua helix would make sense, too
Slylandro: Double-packed with a plushie probe controller
Arilou: Include a portal spawner. Possibly the Ur-Quan warp pod, too.
Umgah: Double-packed with the Dnyarri
Spathi: I love the idea of the multicolored stones. You could also throw in one of those teddy bear things from Spathiwa, so they have a monster to throw them at!
VUX: The ZEX beast, of course
Shofixti: Maybe the stasis pods for the maidens? Hmm, maybe that's a bit much.
ZoqFotPik: Well, they're already triple-packed... But you could also add a burning stone wheel!
Supox: The broken Ultron
Utwig: The repaired Ultron, and the Utwig bomb
Mycon: The sun device
Syreen: Egg case fragments. You could also have a removable dagger on the costume! Wink
Druuge: You could make a case for the trident and the rod, but there's also the rosy sphere and the Burvix 'caster to consider, too... These guys have too much stuff.
Orz: The Taalo device.
Yehat: Well, now I'm stumped. I suppose you could double-pack them with the Pkunk or Shofixti. Perhaps you could shuffle around some of the other accessories to give them the maidens instead (perhaps giving the Shofixti the Bomb, and just leaving the Utwig with the Ultron?)
Ur-Quan: A little Talking Pet, plus one of those command rods you see in the ship animation. Launch Fighters!
Kohr-Ah: Also a Talking Pet, plus the bone pit
Chmmr: The Utwig bomb with crystal amplifiers

Every race has SOMETHING important (or silly but memorable) attached to them in-game, so it's just a matter of accessorizing the right stuff.

Then again, why are we all prattling on like this about something that we're not likely to ever see? Sad
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2005, 10:35:05 pm »

Hmm. I guess it all depends wether the current developers are willing to make the changes or if they want to keep as close to the original as possible, in which case, UQM+ could be released Wink And although UQM is great as it is now, there is much room for improvment. Here are the main things I'd like to see:

Graphics and Graphical Interfaces
I guess the main thing that would make the game far better is a better graphical interface. Afterall, that design was made nearly 10 years ago? The new setup style implemented in SVN is a huge step up from the old, ugly one in 0.4.0. Congrats to the people who have worked on it. However, more needs to be done in game play.

The next thing is images. They are rather old and boring dont you think? Some, if not all, should be redone. For eg, minerals that you mine from planets are not round. They should be irregular shapes and sizes. And the different races also need redrawing or at least some touchups.

Fonts also need rethinking. They are rather bulky. Something smaller and tider would be nice.


Gameplay
Several things need improving here. Firstly, planets. The whole concept needs rethinking. Its rather dull at the moment. The 2d view for the lander is old. Something 3d or are advanced would be very neat here. Some clifs and stuff that you have to go around or use fuel to get past would be cool also as not all planets would be smooth. Maybe even the ability to get out of the lander and go into caves to get more hidden minerals?

The next thing is hyperspace. When black dots on the rader are approching you, you can never tell if they are a friend or enemy. Perhaps green dot = met and they were friendly, black dot = have not met yet, red = met and they were hostile.

Credits need to be easier to get from Melnorme. Atm only rainbow planets and planets with lots of life forms get you credits. But things like different mineral names and alien teritories could also get credits.

Finally, you should be able to select what upgrades you want from Melnorme so that you dont have to buy everything else to get the last one etc....


Bugs
This goes without saying. The less bugs there are, the smoother and more enjoyable the game will be.


Anyway, thats just my 2 cents. Can't wait for 0.5.0 and hopefully some more new things will be in it Cheesy
« Last Edit: December 28, 2005, 12:14:30 am by k776 » Logged
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Re: Improving the original? What to improve to do the game even better?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2005, 01:11:39 am »

Read the review linked and emailed the following thoughts to the review's author.  Thought they might be worth tossing out here.  Snipped bits on either side.

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I wonder how much of the game's weakness would have been solved simply by having your ship process the minerals onboard (easy enough to have some game fiction about an internal automated factory), rather than having the starbase mechanic.  The mineral gathering wasn't so bad, except that you had to ferry them back to the base, which meant a hefty quantity of wasted fuel (and thus, much more mining than you really should've been doing).  Moreover, the ferrying approach always left me feeling tethered to the starbase.  I was never really exploring in a Star Trek fashion (or fleeing a relentless enemy in a Battlestar Galactica fashion, or waging a vigilante war in [what I gather to be] a Firefly fashion).  Rather, I had my narrow (though slowly expanding) area of space, which was strip-mined, and then a vast empty galaxy that I never had to explore because I bought all the information I needed from the Melnorme traders and thus was able to launch surgical voyages to specific stars.
 
Maybe this simply reveals my character flaws (obsessive, risk-averse behavior) rather than the game's design flaws, but I really do think it would've been a wildly different (and more pleasant) experience with that modest change.  I'm sure there would've been inevitably necessary balance changes once you got rid of the starbase, but I don't think it would've been *that* tough.

A few points to add to this.  From a story-telling perspective, the starbase also strikes me as problematic.  Certainly it provides a helpful rallying point for the New Alliance of Free Stars (or whatever you call your rebellion) and serves the useful role of keeping you apprised of galactic developments, but I think these plusses are outweighed by the following negatives.

First, the failure of the Ur Quan (or one of their thrall races) to deal with the starbase makes the entire Hierarchy seem unthreatening and irrelevant from the getgo, which makes the whole "even worse threat" storytelling structure fail (to some extent).  At the very least, the Ilwrath know that something is going on at the starbase and they have more than enough firepower to take it out.  As the player goes galavanting around the galaxy, he's broadcasting the fact that humans are still at large (which the Ur Quan already knew via the Vela discovery -- surely, with application of the excruciator, they could get someone there to talk??), and all of the thralls must've known where Earth was.  If the Hierarchy took out the starbase early on, it strikes me that the player would get an immediate striking sense of how bad things really are.

Second, it's hard to feel like you're in charge of the New Alliance when Hayes controls the purse and the soldiery.  The explanation for why he's controlling the purse is cute, and almost works, but comes across as fairly suspect when minerals like silver -- which is fairly useless for manufacturing materiel -- is worth more than steel.  It makes sense that the soldiery would follow him, not you (a fact conveyed when the price of soldiers goes up as Hayes feels you're using them inappropriately), but even if it makes sense, it doesn't make for fun.  I wound up feeling like a scout in the New Alliance, not its Supreme Overlord.

Third, the starbase pushes the story in the "recreating the Alliance" direction, which the gameplay simply cannot support.  The rare instances when you get a sense that your allies are actually fighting a war (when you send them to be slaughtered by the Quans) never seem like the coordinated assaults of a single alliance.  Rather, they feel like the haphazard, desperate moves of individual, though vaguely aligned, species.  Notably, the fact that the player is still a miner / explorer 3/4 of the way into the game, even when he has entire species on his side, undermines the story's suggestion that this a grand alliance as opposed to a shoestring rebellion.  If the starbase were cut out, it would make a lot more sense that the player still was gathering material, since the Mark I would be the hub of the Alliance and thus the center of its economy.

Anyway, obviously this sort of change is impossible in a remake of SC2 (and ill-advised), but it strikes me as one that would've made the game more fun.
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