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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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JudgeYohance
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #495 on: April 05, 2012, 08:44:09 pm »

Interesting Ideas but  I have a response to all of them :p

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One thing I always thought would be cool is if on planet-fall, the away party might find a sentient, non-star-faring race (or several of them) which would allow Captain to recrew at several points throughout space. They'd be easy to design, no ships needed for melee... just some images of them talking and some voice-overs.

I do think it would be interesting to encounter races in early development  less advanced then us but recruitment might be a bit much. I am thinking more along the lines of just a random encounter item like artifacts on planets. *Cough* Slaves for the Druge? *Cough*

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A fuel-making tech. Got Radioactives? Out of fuel? Melnorme sold you this fuel-o-matic thing that turns radioactives into starship fuel. Yippie Kayay! Smiley

No, only because why would they sell you a device that would cost them their biggest income source from you?

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As long as we're going to throw the ISD into melee just-for-fun, why not The Starship Enterprise-D? Be fun to see how the Enterprise would fare against the mighty Kohr-Ah Marauder  Grin

That would depend on how long it would take Picard to actually return fire  rather then sitting their for 5 minutes trying to open a comm channel :p

[quoteAfter all, those Earthling Cruiser Captains wear uniforms that are highly reminiscent of late-23rd century Starfleet, maybe Excelsior would be more appropriate for inclusion in Super Melee? Given the popularity of George Takei, we might just get the attention of the Star Alliance by doing that. Make sure you put Sulu's face on the display for the captain Smiley][/quote]

Oh My!!!! :p The ISD is just a joke item for the melee, I am sure if you check the net for mods you will find something like this already

Not bad thoughts though. I would leave them to the mod community after the game is complete instead of the main game though.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #496 on: April 05, 2012, 09:27:27 pm »

Communicating with other races might have some technological requirements, that's why I'd be hesitant introducing conversations with less developed species.

Great idea with rad-to-fuel conversion, and great counter point. Not that I'm sure to stand for including the tech, but my thought would be that Melnorme behaviour is not fundamentally about profitable business, but about the idea of equal exchange, through which they promote their agenda. So it might be not against their interests to supply a technology that would prevent the Captain "buying" fuel from them.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #497 on: April 05, 2012, 10:10:15 pm »

Ok - maybe the Melnorme know how to do it but they wouldn't sell it because then Captain would stop getting him those precious little life forms ... (♫ where are you? ♫)

But there seems to be to be some discussion about the Faz and how the Melnorme don't want Captain dealing with them. Perhaps THEY will provide the rad-to-fuel tech in exchange for their liberation (I understand, they're initially to be slave-shielded?)

Orz Space sounds delightful.
(click to show/hide)

More thoughts on the Melnorme:
(click to show/hide)

Some of the rainbow worlds are hard to see. They are so close to the star that they seem to "phase shift" in and out of reality. When the display zooms in, you see the world temporarily and then it disappears. Seems to be a glitch... but it does appear somewhat topsy-turvy. 
(click to show/hide)
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #498 on: April 05, 2012, 10:52:01 pm »

Communicating with other races might have some technological requirements, that's why I'd be hesitant introducing conversations with less developed species.

Well, if you have universal translators that can translate from completely unknown languages, it's really not a huge leap to have them translate to completely unknown languages, once a sample's obtained.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #499 on: April 06, 2012, 10:27:11 pm »

Yeah. And even if you lack such tecnology, the langauage still ain't a big deal. Similar examples have already took place. For instance, when Americas were discovered. It took a few months or so for Europeans to have some of their men learn a language of certain native American tribe. The problems can emerge when an alien you try to contact uses a different media for communication than one you use. And that media could be anything from mechanical and electromagnetic waves at specific frequency range to something utterly different.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #500 on: April 07, 2012, 02:28:48 am »

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Yeah. And even if you lack such tecnology, the langauage still ain't a big deal. Similar examples have already took place. For instance, when Americas were discovered. It took a few months or so for Europeans to have some of their men learn a language of certain native American tribe. The problems can emerge when an alien you try to contact uses a different media for communication than one you use. And that media could be anything from mechanical and electromagnetic waves at specific frequency range to something utterly different.

This is a bad example though because while they spoke different languages, they had the ability to make the same sounds. It is unlikely, that another race unless evolved very closely the same vocal chord and sound abilities to ours, would in fact be able to speak our language or us there's. This is one of those mistakes that Sci-Fi tends to overlook on purpose.

As such, a universal translator of some sort would be necessary (Which the Star Control Universe already uses) and is our reason we can understand everyone (Minus the Ur-Quan which used the Dynari as their translators). That said, the understanding i got was that the UT does not translate the language directly, it uses the syntax and language codes to do it which unless you have the technology to send it, you would have to program the UT manually with all the races syntax and language codes in order to get a translation.  (This is also why the Orz language cannot be easily translated as the Syntax and language codes were so alien that the UT likely had no basis to work from)
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #501 on: April 07, 2012, 10:26:51 am »

To use syntax and language codes, they would need to be standardized, which is just not plausible. Otherwise it's still full language to decipher.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #502 on: April 07, 2012, 06:47:07 pm »

It's possible to build primers that should be decipherable by anyone, given enough time. The case in Contact was definitely not the aliens making it as easy as possible.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #503 on: April 07, 2012, 08:49:15 pm »

It's possible to build primers that should be decipherable by anyone, given enough time.
...as we have done before. Remember this fun thread?
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #504 on: April 08, 2012, 06:06:36 pm »

So I wondered if anything had ever happened with Star Control clones, did some searching, and came across all this.  I have been trying this.  Here is my feedback, for whatever it is worth.

1) The writing is somewhat uneven.  In some places it does feel like Star Control, in others there's too much current-day phrases and pop culture type references.  I'm not saying this should be totally excluded, but a little goes a long way. 

2) The art is very good.  I like having variant portraits for the race captains, except that I like some of the portraits better than others and it bugs me when I get an ugly one.

3) The flagship is lame, can I have a better one.  Its combat abilities are bad and generic enough that there is basically no point in ever using it in combat.  Why implement a special ship if it's not interesting in combat?  It could have had no combat abilities at all and I would fly it the same way - fight with escorts, or if I don't want to fight, pick the flagship and immediately Esc.

4) We get dumped into the story too suddenly with no background.  A better way to start would be bopping around Vela or thereabouts with minor errands, getting a message about the distress call, then flying to Procyon yourself.  That might require having a different flagship, or a different reason to have it.  But I don't like that flagship and there is no problem with replacing it with something different.

5) The first time I tried playing this, I followed instructions.  I just went flying out into space looking for little lost Shofixit.  Very quickly started feeling the needle-in-a-haystack feeling.  It was only after I said "f*k this" and went bopping around trying to see what sort of trouble I could get into back in known space that had nothing to do with the storyline that I found the additional clue that let me narrow the search area down.  Some more pointers toward the immediate home neighborhood before sending the player off into deep space would be good.

6) Random Kohr-ah encounters are a potentially interesing situation.  The thing about the Chmmr ships is that even though they can beat lots of things in a one-on-one fight, they 1) are not that subtle or interesting to fly, 2) tend to take damage, especially against heavy hitters, making them not good for more than one victory in a row.  That also turns them into a constant crew (and thus resource) drain.  In a long-run story type game, they're more of a liability than anything else.  But none of the other starter ships are all that great against Kohr-Ah - Yehat and Supox are the two best, Supox requires lots of practice and really good aim, Yehat tends to take casualties like the Chmmr (although perhaps less so).  Orz might be possible, I guess, although I tend to avoid trying to send marines through the FRIED.  One of the keys to SC1 and SC2 was the individual ship-to-ship matchups that had huge advantages in some pairings that were totally negated in others - Spathi vs Kohr-ah being the most obvious immediate case.  If you want the player to be regularly fighting Kohr-Ah throughout exploration, the regular combat has to be interesting too, not frustrating.  Right now there isn't much in the way of such matchups with Kohr-Ah, and even less with the next item.

7) The Lurg ship is hugely overpowered.  They are using basically the same weapon as the Androsynth in terms of functionality.  The Androsynth was very carefully balanced so that you COULDN'T maintain a constant bubble screen.  In SC1, getting a dynamo or two on an Androsynth made them superpowered, because of the very careful original balance.  This ship is basically Androsynth-with-dynamo right off the bat, and it is too fast and maneuverable also.  There is no finesse available in shooting this thing down.  It can out-accelerate a Chmmr tractor beam, which should only be possible for the fastest of ships - even a Thraddash has to be careful with how it uses the afterburner to not make fatal mistakes.  This thing needs to be totally taken back to the drawing board and rethought from the ground up, as it stands it has no business being in a Star Control game.

Cool The Lurg talk too big.  That can work in the case of a deliberate Thraddash-style setup where the player then gets to smack them repeatedly.  Instead what we have is a one-up game - "you thought the UQ were bad, WE'RE EVEN WORSE".  This is the sort of thing that shows up in badly written fan fiction and bad episodic TV.  The villain of the week does not always need to be bigger and badder than last week's villain of the week.  Trying to do that is evidence of just a bad writer, and more importantly, it's annoying and not much fun for the audience.  They have no distinguishing character traits except being Bigger And Badder.  As currently written, they are annoying pretentious jerks and I don't want to play a game involving them.

9) Why aren't any of the Timewarp ships implemented?  Many of those were much better balanced and interesting than what I've seen added here.

At this point I find myself wanting to go back to my Sword of the Stars game where I am playing as humans, fielding fleets of fission cruisers armed with 3 point defense lasers and a crapload of missiles, and my empire is named "The Free Stars", rather than continuing with this.  It has potential, but needs a lot of polish and some thought into what the actual fun part of the gameplay is.  Cruising on inertia from SC2 won't work.

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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #505 on: April 08, 2012, 10:23:31 pm »

One thing I always thought would be cool is if on planet-fall, the away party might find a sentient, non-star-faring race (or several of them) which would allow Captain to recrew at several points throughout space. They'd be easy to design, no ships needed for melee... just some images of them talking and some voice-overs.
Much like the Burvixese. Wink

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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #506 on: April 08, 2012, 11:00:14 pm »

3) The flagship is lame, can I have a better one.  Its combat abilities are bad and generic enough that there is basically no point in ever using it in combat.  Why implement a special ship if it's not interesting in combat?  It could have had no combat abilities at all and I would fly it the same way - fight with escorts, or if I don't want to fight, pick the flagship and immediately Esc.

Keep in mind that you had an awful flagship (at least for combat) in the beginning of SC2 as well. All that's in the demo is the very early game, probably comparable in actual plot advancement to exploring Sol thoroughly and discovering the Starbase. Who's to say we won't end up with something awesome by the end?

6) Random Kohr-ah encounters are a potentially interesing situation.  The thing about the Chmmr ships is that even though they can beat lots of things in a one-on-one fight, they 1) are not that subtle or interesting to fly, 2) tend to take damage, especially against heavy hitters, making them not good for more than one victory in a row.  That also turns them into a constant crew (and thus resource) drain.  In a long-run story type game, they're more of a liability than anything else.  But none of the other starter ships are all that great against Kohr-Ah - Yehat and Supox are the two best, Supox requires lots of practice and really good aim, Yehat tends to take casualties like the Chmmr (although perhaps less so).  Orz might be possible, I guess, although I tend to avoid trying to send marines through the FRIED.  One of the keys to SC1 and SC2 was the individual ship-to-ship matchups that had huge advantages in some pairings that were totally negated in others - Spathi vs Kohr-ah being the most obvious immediate case.  If you want the player to be regularly fighting Kohr-Ah throughout exploration, the regular combat has to be interesting too, not frustrating.  Right now there isn't much in the way of such matchups with Kohr-Ah, and even less with the next item.

If we were talking about human pilots (or even a good AI) behind those Kohr-Ah, this would be a serious problem. As things stand, Kohr-Ah is one of the SC2 AI's absolute worst ships, serving as a perfect example of how not to fly Kohr-Ah. As such, with a little practice it's possible to beat it with ships that aren't particularly good against it (Spathi was actually a particularly egregious example of this), with practice. A few Yehat are more than adequate to handle any random encounter, with some reasonable level of crew loss, and Zoq-Fot-Pik(!) can actually be quite effective, flown right.

7) The Lurg ship is hugely overpowered.  They are using basically the same weapon as the Androsynth in terms of functionality.  The Androsynth was very carefully balanced so that you COULDN'T maintain a constant bubble screen.  In SC1, getting a dynamo or two on an Androsynth made them superpowered, because of the very careful original balance.  This ship is basically Androsynth-with-dynamo right off the bat, and it is too fast and maneuverable also.  There is no finesse available in shooting this thing down.  It can out-accelerate a Chmmr tractor beam, which should only be possible for the fastest of ships - even a Thraddash has to be careful with how it uses the afterburner to not make fatal mistakes.  This thing needs to be totally taken back to the drawing board and rethought from the ground up, as it stands it has no business being in a Star Control game.

Neither of those issues are really quite that bad. Firstly, the bubbles are not like Androsynth (although they look similar). They cause no damage, they just disable turning for a short time after impact, and take down some weak projectiles. They're nowhere near as effective of a defense as Androsynth bubbles, which is why there's more of them.

Secondly, the reason Lurg can mostly counteract the tractor beam is that, otherwise, a Chmmr could eat dozens of them in a row without breaking a sweat (even as it is, Chmmr is fiendishly effective against it). It's engines are actually roughly on par with Ilwrath (excellent acceleration, awful top speed).

As it is, Lurg is a fairly effective ship, roughly on par with Melnorme, Mmrnmhrm, Androsynth, or Pkunk. It's not meant to be a weak opponent, but it's still not nearly as strong as Kohr-Ah/Chmmr. There certainly are some valid design quibbles with it (it's much more defensive than any canonical SC ship, for instance), but bubbles and engines are not among them.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #507 on: April 09, 2012, 11:42:20 am »

Cool The Lurg talk too big.  That can work in the case of a deliberate Thraddash-style setup where the player then gets to smack them repeatedly.  Instead what we have is a one-up game - "you thought the UQ were bad, WE'RE EVEN WORSE".  This is the sort of thing that shows up in badly written fan fiction and bad episodic TV.  The villain of the week does not always need to be bigger and badder than last week's villain of the week.  Trying to do that is evidence of just a bad writer, and more importantly, it's annoying and not much fun for the audience.  They have no distinguishing character traits except being Bigger And Badder.  As currently written, they are annoying pretentious jerks and I don't want to play a game involving them.
I'd have to agree with this, from seeing the dialogue video of the Lurg on YouTube. The Lurg essentially claim that the Ur-Quan knew better than to tangle with them, but the whole point of the Doctrines was that the Ur-Quan saw every other race as a potential threat to be neutralised - they're not going to back down because they meet something that actually is a threat, at most they'll stage a tactical withdrawal, build up until they're more powerful (or fetch the Sa-Matra, like they did with the Alliance) and then return to eliminate the threat.

A more likely explanation (and one that fits with having other alien races in the area) is that the Ur-Quan just didn't get to Lurg space. The Kzer-Za came down from the top of the SC2 map, the Kohr-Ah from the right, while the Project map is to the left and down - the Lurg and other species in the area may have been shielded by the Alliance of Free Stars until the resumption of the Ur-Quan doctrinal wars. The Lurg claim that the Ur-Quan knew better than to tangle with them could then be a literal case of talking big - the Ur-Quan simply never got around to them, but they claim that the Ur-Quan "wisely did to ignore us" in an attempt to intimidate the Captain.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #508 on: April 09, 2012, 05:21:03 pm »

It's possible to build primers that should be decipherable by anyone, given enough time.
...as we have done before. Remember this fun thread?

That was one thing I was thinking of. I thought of a good way to make it more consistent and alien at the same time, but it's a little late now.
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Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod
« Reply #509 on: April 09, 2012, 09:50:33 pm »

Neither of those issues are really quite that bad. Firstly, the bubbles are not like Androsynth (although they look similar). They cause no damage, they just disable turning for a short time after impact, and take down some weak projectiles. They're nowhere near as effective of a defense as Androsynth bubbles, which is why there's more of them.
Wait, they cause no damage? I've been avoiding them for nothing?

I'd have to agree with this, from seeing the dialogue video of the Lurg on YouTube. The Lurg essentially claim that the Ur-Quan knew better than to tangle with them, but the whole point of the Doctrines was that the Ur-Quan saw every other race as a potential threat to be neutralised - they're not going to back down because they meet something that actually is a threat, at most they'll stage a tactical withdrawal, build up until they're more powerful (or fetch the Sa-Matra, like they did with the Alliance) and then return to eliminate the threat.

A more likely explanation (and one that fits with having other alien races in the area) is that the Ur-Quan just didn't get to Lurg space. The Kzer-Za came down from the top of the SC2 map, the Kohr-Ah from the right, while the Project map is to the left and down - the Lurg and other species in the area may have been shielded by the Alliance of Free Stars until the resumption of the Ur-Quan doctrinal wars. The Lurg claim that the Ur-Quan knew better than to tangle with them could then be a literal case of talking big - the Ur-Quan simply never got around to them, but they claim that the Ur-Quan "wisely did to ignore us" in an attempt to intimidate the Captain.
Ah yes, it doesn't make sense to take what the Lurg say about the Ur-Quan as truth.
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