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Author Topic: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update  (Read 24911 times)
orz_tw
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Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« on: October 27, 2008, 02:35:15 am »

Dunno if anyone still cares, but long ago when I was working on Star Control: TimeWarp, there was a game included called Gob that was SC2 ship combat vs a never-ending horde of enemies that got gradually more powerful and more numerous over time.  Where you got money for each enemy ship you blew up and could buy upgrades and stuff.  It was intended as single player, though technically is was possible to force some versions to play multiplayer. 

A year or two ago I wanted to show it to someone, and found that the version on sourceforge was hopelessly screwed up, so I went to my archives and pulled up a working version and threw in some new improvements. 

Improvements in this version include new upgrades, more enemy types, uber variants of each enemy type (not particularly uber... an uber zoq-fot-pik stinger is still just a zoq-fot-pik stinger...), bug-fixes, difficulty tweaks, upgrade price tweaks, etc. 

There is little or no plot, and the setting does not particularly make sense in the starcon universe.  There is no victory condition per se... the goal is simply to survive.  Scoring is basically how long you survive and how many enemies you kill and how uber your ship gets.  Difficulty probably maxes out around 7000 seconds (2 hours).  You start with a Supox Blade, and can buy Supox Blades, Kohr-Ah Marauders, Orz Nemesis, or Utwig Juggernauts.  You can also find a wide variety ships in special sites called "Rainbow Abyss".  There is only one Rainbow Abyss at a time, when you get it it will respawn at a new location. 

For the moment it can be grabbed at:
http://ftp://71.115.199.25/gob.zip

Files size is about 55 MB.  If there's demand I'll figure out some longterm place to host it with more bandwidth, maybe the sourceforge page or as a torrent. 

Here is a list of all upgrades available in the game:

Generic upgrades include:
Add Crewpod
Add Battery
Upgrade Thrusters
Upgrade Control Jets
Upgrade Dynamo
Upgrade Sensor System (new to this version)
Field Repair System (new to this version)

Ship-specific upgardes include:
Upgrade Glob Hurler (Supox)
Upgrade Glob Former (Supox)
Add B.L.A.D.E. (Supox)
Upgrade Missiles (ORZ)
Upgrade Marine Suits (ORZ)
Absorbtion (ORZ)
Increase Shuriken Sharpness (Kohr-Ah)
Increase Shuriken Velocity (Kohr-Ah)
increase F.R.I.E.D. range (Kohr-Ah)
increase F.R.I.E.D. damage (Kohr-Ah)
Upgrade Bolt Charger (Utwig)
Upgrade Bolt Generator (Utwig)
Mask of Honest Demeanor (Utwig) (max 1 mask)
Mask of Elephantine Fortitude (Utwig) (max 1 mask)

Starbase-specifics upgrades include:
Divine Favor (Orz Starbase)
External Defense System (Kohr-Ah Starbase)
Advanced External Defense System (Kohr-Ah Starbase) (new to this version)
Planet Locator (Supox Starbase)
Roswell Device (Utwig Starbase)

Special upgrades include:
the Devil protects his own...
Chronotronic Dynamo
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2008, 06:17:32 am »

It's more than a little bit crash-prone on my PC, although that is a big step up from my previous experiences with time warp. Neat game regardless. I remember reading about it years ago and wanting to try it.
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orz_tw
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2008, 07:24:15 am »

When does it crash?  Is there an error message?  I put up a new executable file there:
http://ftp://71.115.199.25/gob.exe
which should print out a more detailed stacktrace for Gob games, assuming it manages to print one out at all. 
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2008, 09:18:25 am »

Heh, I remember this. It was quite fun, but prone to locking up every now and then. I'll have a look at the new version.
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2008, 07:31:59 pm »

More details:

Enemies in order of appearance:
Thraddash Torch
Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger (special weapon nerfed)
Shofixti Scout (special weapon nerfed) (50% not allowed to self destruct)
Drax Griffon (special weapon tweaked)
Ilwrath Spider
Kahr Boomerang
Kterbi Saber
Syreen Penetrator (special weapon nerfed)
Urquan Kzer-Za Dreadnought (special weapon tweaked)
Mmrnmhrm X-Form
Lk Sanctorum
Druuge Mauler (battery regen nerfed)
Earthling Cruiser
Virtau Limb
Yehat Terminator
Herald Exterminator
Narool Lurker
VUX Intruder
Arilouileelay Skiff
Chmmr Avatar (normal weapon nerfed, special weapon tweaked)
Ploxis Plunderer
Alary Battlecruiser
I think 6 of those are new to Gob in this version but I don't remember which 6. 


All uber ships have these generic buffs:
1.4x crew & max crew
1.3x max speed
1.3x acceleration
1.3x turn rate

Specific uber ships have these additional buffs:
Uber shofixti have long range, high damage, tough bullets, and have their special unnerfed
Uber ZFP have long range, high damage, tough bullets, and have their special unnerfed
Uber Syreens have long range, high damage, tough bullets, better special weapons, and have their special unnerfed
Uber Druuge have long range, tough bullets, fast battery regen, fast bullets
Uber Green Urquans... 75% have long range, tough bullets, fast bullets, and rarely launch fighters, the other 25% have fast, long range, high damage fighters whose lasers are longer range
Uber Earthling missiles are fast and tough
Uber Chmmr have their laser unnerfed, and their tractors beams are long range and strong
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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2008, 10:48:00 pm »

got instructions for compiling the thing?
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2008, 10:59:01 pm »

I could host a larger version with the VC7.1 project files and stuff if you wanted, though that would take forever to download from my computer (slow DSL, very little upstream bandwidth). 
The compilation process is fairly simple... all .cpp files and all .c files get compiled and linked with each other, plus the Allegro library (4.1 here, though latter versions should work with little or no extra effort) and JGMOD library.  And on windows it also needs wsock32.lib (unless you disable networking) and probably winmm.lib.  If any of those are hard to find, I can put my copies on the ftp server.  I'm putting JGMOD on the ftp server just in case, as IIRC it was discontinued many years ago. 

note: just in case it's unclear to anyone, this stuff doesn't need compiling or anything fancy, windows binaries are included. 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 11:01:08 pm by orz_tw » Logged
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2008, 11:27:20 pm »

...unless you're on a Mac.

Anyway, I tried that, and it gave a bajillion errors. Oh well.
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2008, 12:46:42 am »

Ammended instructions: compile and link all .c and .cpp files except those in source/games/old (those are outdated files). 

If a bajillion is like 200-2000 then I'd guess that either your C/C++ compiler is different enough to not like some syntantically questionable bits of TW code or your Allegro install is not quite right or not quite the right version.  If a bajillion is like 10000+ then I'd guess your Allegro install has something majorly wrong with it. 
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2008, 02:41:55 am »

An attempt at a strategy guide:

Keys to know: (default configuration)
besides the usual fire, special weapon, thrust, turn left and turn right you also need:
Zoom In: the equals/plus key near backspace
Zoom Out: the minus key near backspace
Zoom Forward: the zero key near backspace
Target Closest: (only needed if your ship has homing projectiles) the "P" key
Target Previous: (only needed if your ship has homing projectiles) the "[" key
Target Next: (only needed if your ship has homing projectiles) the "]" key

Early game:

The starting starbase is always at the same coordinates.  Remember them so you can find it later if you get lost.  It's 12000 x 12000 in the current version. 

Try to get lots of asteroids so that you can afford the external defense system you'll be buying in early-mid-game.  Don't be afraid to leave the planet behind to go hunting asteroids in deep space, but make sure you get back the planet with 2 or 3 minutes for repairs and upgrades.  Grav-whipping can get you a better velocity to make finding asteroids quicker, but if you have to maneuver to reach the asteroid that will burn off some of your extra velocity that you can't get back without finding another planet. 

Strafe a lot.  Try not to let Shofixti self-destruct on you - not only does it damage you, but you also don't get the starbuck that killing the Shofixti would give you.  Try not to let too many Thraddashes gang up on you.  They outrange you and can take you out without too much trouble if there are several of them.  Don't focus on weapons upgrades much yet, you can take out anything that spawns early by strafing enough, and there aren't enough enemies yet anyway to justify the cost of serious weapons upgrades. 

Buy crewpods when low on health instead of repairing, to save on credits.  Buy sensor systems so that you'll have an easier time finding asteroids, planets, rainbow rifts, etc.  It will also let you see enemies coming earlier.  Buy a thrusters upgrade too, so you can get around more, and escape most enemies more easily. 

Suggested Upgrade Order:
crewpod
sensor system
crewpod
thrusters
crewpod
sensor system
field repair system
crewpod
planet locator
external defense system (only available at (cyan indicator) Kohr-Ah starbase)

Middle Game:

Once you have the planet locator, find the Kohr-Ah starbase.  Buy an external defense system there.  It's not much use against enemies with high rates of fire, but against almost everything else this is useful, and against a few (earthling cruisers) this is critically important.  Also, this is important as it is one of the very few upgrades that you keep when you switch ships. 

Consider an exploration strategy: with lots of thrusters and lots of sensor systems, you can see a large area of the map quickly while evading most enemies.  This is good for finding the Rainbow Rift, or just hunting down asteroids.  Beware however that high end sensor systems can get very expensive, and work better on non-supox ships. 

If you prefer to get your wealth by killing enemies, it's time to either start buying the big offensive and defensive upgrades, or to begin planning how you're going to finance switching ship types (when you switch ships, you keep a few upgrades, but most get sold off for like half or 3/4ths of what you paid for them, which makes it very important to get speed, maneuverability, and max crew upgrades right away... and if you used a rainbow rift, that can be rather difficult since you can't buy upgrades until you make it back to a starbase).  For offenive upgrades, start with dynamos then add (if supox) a battery, a glob former, and a glob hurler.  Do NOT get a second glob former, or at least not until you have at least 5 dynamos. 

The 3rd possible way to make money is practical for the mid-game only: consider buying an Utwig plus a Mask Of Honest Demeanor and some thruster upgrades.  If you can make it to a non-Utwig starbase, you can sell an Utwig Ship with that mask for more than it cost to buy.  This is a dangerous route, but if you can do it once or twice early on it can produce a lot of money.  Do not try to do this more than a few times, as enemies will get tougher, the loss from selling the other upgrades you need will increase, and eventually the whole scheme will either become too dangerous or unprofitable. 

Try to get a 2nd external defense system when you can, though the cost for them ramps up rapidly.  Consider a 3rd as well, but do NOT buy a 4th yet. 

Late Game:

Once you have 2 or 3 external defense systems, focus on getting an advanced external defense systems... they are ridiculously expensive, but utterly critical to fighting Arilou Skiffs, Narool Lurkers, and Herald Exterminators. 

The Chronotronic Dynamo should show up soon, but is likely to be a bit expensive at first.  The price will drop over time.  If you are limited by battery regen rate then buy this as soon as you can afford it, otherwise wait for the price to go down.  Once you have this plus a few dynamos, you'll have nearly infinite battery regeneration. 

If you end up with far more starbucks than buckazoids, unload some starbucks on Divine Favor at the Orz starbase.  Don't buy it unless you have no better use for your starbucks though. 

For late-game, ships I have had success with include: Supox Blade, Kohr-Ah Marauder, Orz Nemesis, Mycon Podship (from the Rainbow Rift), and the Androsynth Guardian (from the Rainbow Rift).  I have little success with the Utwig, as it seems to take too many thruster and control jet upgrades to get a reasonable speed out of, and too many rate of fire upgrades to compensate for the big damage upgrades.  For the Kohr-Ah, make sure to get lots of dynamos and FRIED upgrades.  For the Nemesis, get Absorption and a few marine upgrades.  For anything from the Rainbow Rift, focus on dynamos.  For anything at all, also get a bunch of repair systems.  Get enough thrusters to make sure your max velocity is always well above your enemies max velocity. 
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2008, 12:18:33 pm »

What does the Field Repair System even do? I bought it several times and I don't see my crew recovering at all.
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2008, 02:42:16 am »

It regenerates your crew.  There are a couple limitations on it though: it will only regenerate a percentage of the damage you take, and it will only regenerate damage that you take while you have a field repair system (ie repair immediately after you buy it).  It works most quickly right after you take a lot of damage.  To see the results clearly, buy a bunch of crewpods, buy 2-3 field repair systems, take a bunch of damage, and then watch your crew for a bit. 

regeneration percentages:
level 1: 40%
level 2: 75%
level 3: 90%
level 4: 95.6%
level 5: 97.7%
level 6: 98.6%
...

In addition the increase in efficiency, each field repair system upgrade also increases the speed at which it repairs. 

Due to limitations in the current way it measures the damage you take, various non-damaging actions that reduce your crew (launching marines, launching fighters, hearing a syreens call, etc) will count as damage and be regenerated. 
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2008, 09:57:24 pm »

updated executable:
http://ftp://71.115.199.25/gob.exe

bugfixes:
Fixes a bug that sometimes caused crashes when AI controlled ships died in Gob and other non-melee games. 
Suppressed pointless "already dead" errors. 

game balance changes:
Rainbow Rift now takes time to spawn and respawn - time is random, averages 30 seconds + 5 seconds per time the rainbow rift has been used. 
Changed regen rate for repair systems. 
Tweaked ramp up of sensor upgrade costs. 
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2008, 05:17:39 am »

Here's a faster download linky to the bigger file. If you want the exe to the server, just poke me.

http://gekko.frud.biz/uqmtutorial/gob.zip
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Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2008, 10:28:30 pm »

Hey, this rocks. I loved gob. I wonder if it still has my old space station design. I guess I'll have to play it and find out.
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