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Author Topic: Star Control (Why do we love it?)  (Read 3972 times)
SkeyKicker
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Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« on: February 07, 2007, 04:10:17 pm »

Hello guys I'm a noob to both this game and this forum.  I'm currently going to Devry for their GSP program (Game and Simulation Programming) and I'd like to know to know several key aspects that make you the players of SC2 love it so much.

I played it for a short period of time and while I enjoyed the enjoyed I sadly move from game to game way to quickly (I don't know why but get bored of any game relatively quickly).  I notice several things while playing the game that I have noticed that you guys tend talk about lovingly like: the Combat System, the witty and enjoyable storyline and of course the music.  Are other specific details I'm missing.  I only played for a short period of time mainly because I'm jumping from game to game so that some day I may be able to design my own without copying heavily from just one game.  Here is a list of some games I have played for ideas:

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space
and it sequel
Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space

These two games are both notoriously simple yet fun.  With a simple system of traveling from star to star and a combat system that a child can play it is a wonderful game. You can even take the time to turn your modest frigate into a devastating warship with the proper items.   I believe a large number of you who play star control would love this game (and with its wonderful modding capabilities you can make a star control mod Grin the best of both worlds)

Critical Mass

A simple game of pure ship to ship combat.  It plays as a turn based combat simulator but all your actions are done in real time which is a nice combination of those two features.  The game even lets you design your own ships and create your missions which is nice.

Warpath 97

Another simple game which combines action based combat with a simplistic method of empire and resource management.  Not a great game but has a few interesting ideas.

Sword of the Stars

A relatively new 4x game (explore, expand, exploit and exterminate).  I bought it mainly because of the great concept it had for movement system.  Each race had a different method of traveling from star to star.  Terrans used the node Drive.  It allows the Terrans to send fleets from star to star at a high speed but the drive can only be used along subspace nodes that naturally occur between two or more stars.  The Hivers move between stars at sub light speeds and then deploy star gates which allow them travel between star to star instantly.  The Liir use the stutter drive that teleports small distances at very high speeds.  The problem with the drive is that the nearer you are to a gravity well the slower you move.   This means that means in areas where stars are sparse they travel quickly and where stars are dense they travel slowly.  And finally the Tarkas use a FTL drive that moves at a constant speed.  This is an interesting movement system that make alot of games more interesting.

VBAM (Victory by any Means)

A paper and pencil 4x game that focuses on keeping the game simple and fun at the same time.  A good example of why simpler is better.

StarFire Ultra

Another good example of why simpler is better.  OMFG 350 pages of rules that requires a degree in rocket science to understand.  BTW don't forget pocket calculator your going to need it.  The only thing I really was interested in was the ship design system which has a set of good ideas but I'm not playing this game any time in the near future.

Starmada

A good tabletop space combat system that can adapt itself to any genre.  My only complaint is how you calculate how many points your ship is worth (requires calculator)  Other than that it has several good ideas.

Debris & Debris 2

A good asteroids remake with well done graphic \ game play.   Simple but can be improved on.

As you see I'm interested in games that simple, quick and fun to play.  I like some of the ideas behind SC2 but I'd like to know what you specifically love about that game.  This mainly because I'd like to take that core element you love and use it in a game I'd like to design someday so please make remarks regarding game play.  I'm not really interested in aspects involving programming because first I want to create a game design document first and when I do start programming a demo it will be a final project for one my classes.  Thanks for listening

Sincerely
SkyeKicker

P.S.  I have an Game Idea I want bounce off people just for opinions.  If you willing to,listen to me babble on it I'll post it on the forums otherwise I'll leave it be.
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2007, 03:15:33 am »

Personally speaking, the thing that made SC2 such a great game to me was the fact that it was such an epic game, but it was still able to be funny. Every race had its own quirky traits that made them interesting.


And I'd love to hear your game idea!
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2007, 02:15:40 pm »

I particularly liked making the Thraddash copy Monty Python and Three Stooges vids.
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2007, 04:19:56 pm »

I know for me (and probably my friends who I played with way back when), it was the evolution from SC1 to SC2.  SC1 proved that the melee concept was sound, but it was horribly lacking in the scenario play.  I don't mean to bad mouth it, as I actually do love SC1's scenario combat, but it wasn't a 'full-game'.

SC2 took the melee system, added more ships, and a huge world to explore.  Throw in the music (I'll never not get chills when I hear the Ur-Quan music), dialog (as a youngster, playing through the Talana part was quite memorable), and the fact that you're out to save the galaxy, and it's a pretty freaking great combination.

SC(not)3 proved that while the concept was indeed great, storyline and music were also hugely important to the success* that SC2 had.

*- Yes, I realize SC2 did not sell zillions of copies.

-Kwamp
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2007, 05:10:12 pm »

FRUNGY!!! Grin
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2007, 01:52:44 am »

Why I would go so far as to call it the greatest game ever made(my nostalgia for SS2 wore off, if you're wondering)?

-It's more than having an epic world to explore, a compelling storyline, open-middled gameplay, a fun combat system, witty dialogue, and an excellent soundtrack. It's about having all of those things flawlessly executed in one smooth package.

-A top-of-the-line computer with Core 2 Duo, 2 or more GB RAM, and a DX10 graphics card that totals up in the thousands isn't needed to play.

-It's free.

-It's open-source, meaning that this game will probably live on even longer than Windows! (Oh, and that means that ports for Windows Mobile, Palm OS, OpenZaurus, and other handheld OSes would be possible, if not easy.)

-FWIFFO!

Oh, and as for games to play for inspiration, I strongly urge you to check out Starflight and its sequel, which could be considered spiritual predecessors to Star Control II. (Paul Reiche III is even cited under the "Special Thanks" section of Starflight's credits!) Get them here. I highly recommend you play the Amiga versions if possible, as they wipe the floor with the IBM PC originals and run well under WinUAE.
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 10:16:54 pm »

I think the success of SC2 is that it's generally open-ended.  You can accomplish goals in any number of ways and still beat the game.  You can never beat the game but still enjoy the exploration.  The game doesn't channel you through different levels and challenges like other games.  It's all up to you. 

Also the balance of the characters.  Each race and starship has tactical considerations.  Again, it goes back to the power of your choice and decisions.

And supermelee is just plain fun.   I can always sit down to a 10-minute battle for a quick fix.  Grin
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2007, 12:46:35 am »

I think the success of SC2 is that it's generally open-ended.  You can accomplish goals in any number of ways and still beat the game.  You can never beat the game but still enjoy the exploration.  The game doesn't channel you through different levels and challenges like other games.  It's all up to you. 

Also the balance of the characters.  Each race and starship has tactical considerations.  Again, it goes back to the power of your choice and decisions.

And supermelee is just plain fun.   I can always sit down to a 10-minute battle for a quick fix.  Grin

This is exactly why I like SC2, it's my 2nd favorite game of all time.  The freedom to move about as you saw fit, limited only by your fuel, and your common sense not to try and attack the Ur-Quan if you didn't have ships that were up to the battle. Also that it was set in my favorite environment for any game, space. 
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countchocula86
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2007, 06:43:50 am »

If only we could find  way to randomize the star map, and item locations.
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2007, 10:03:11 am »

At least, there was a project involving the creation of a mod consisting of a new starmap for the game. I remember such a thread on this forum.
There was also the Cookies Mod... I'm not sure in what stage it is.
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2007, 06:22:10 pm »

The games you suggested at the start of this thread are, all of them, excellent, and in time stand to have just as vocal a fan base as StarControl has merited. I don't want to belittle any of them by comparing to this game, but let me make an observations about why StarControl is NOT the greatest game of all time, dispite my own bias to the opposite.

New players can not get into StarControl easily. Once you're past the initial learning curve, yes, you're playing a game that has a vast list of positive attributes. But until StarControl is as easy to start as most new games are (tutorial mode?) it's bared from being the truely greastes game of all time.

But I will say it is my favorate game of all time.
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2007, 06:37:07 pm »

Quote from: guesst
But until StarControl is as easy to start as most new games are (tutorial mode?) it's bared from being the truely greastes game of all time.
In fact, UQM lacks a good documentation, that's it. The game itself is not so complex as to warrant a tutorial - and you can practice meleeing in SuperMelee.

As to being the "greatest game of all time", you can't choose such a thing unbiased - it's based on one's opinion.
Anyway, it's the greatest game from the First Doctrinal Conflict to our days... Wink
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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2007, 06:38:31 pm »

The game itself is not so complex as to warrant a tutorial
A good tutorial is very good for any game.
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2007, 08:22:48 pm »

Yeah... well. Maybe a SC3-style in-game help appearing when you need it?
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Re: Star Control (Why do we love it?)
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2007, 09:12:27 pm »

I'm not a huge fan of the space combat or free roaming gameplay.  Usually, I prefer linear stories, but thankfully, a walkthrough allowed me to basically treat the game like a linear RPG.  I mostly liked it because the world felt incredible fleshed out, living and breathing.  The world FF and PRIII created was simply awesome.
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