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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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Author Topic: Requiem  (Read 7551 times)
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Requiem
« on: June 28, 2009, 12:35:26 am »

Many, many years ago now, Toys For Bob gave us Star Control.  This was a very good thing, and created many fans, myself included.  They then gave us Star Control II, which created even more fans.  Some years later, Toys For Bob did right by their fans and gave them Star Control II, completely, in the form of this project.  This was also a very good thing, and has continued to create fans well after such things should be gone and forgotten.

I showed up a little late to the game, after the first public release of a playable alpha version (0.1).  There was much excitement, activity, and discussion around what could be done to make the game better.  Remixed music, re-factored code, heaven and earth would be moved such that a program optimized to run on an Intel 80286 with MS-DOS would be able to survive well beyond its years on modern platforms, and be enjoyed by modern audiences.  A small, dedicated group of caretakers took on the task of seeing that the code enjoyed proper, responsible, and competent stewardship, so that the project had a chance of surviving until it was ready to be truly "set free".

And many years ago now, fans like me signed up, contributed code, time and energy, in the hopes of helping bring about the day when all the core work was finally done, and the game was finally blessed with a "1.0" designation.  It was a lot of fun, and surprisingly educational.  And some of us, like me, thought of what we wanted to do after that highly-anticipated day; to further improve on what we already saw as a "near-perfect" game.  Tuning gameplay, adding plot points, little things to make "perfection" even better.  Nothing major, just a few odds and ends to flesh it out.

At this point, it has been seven years.  Version 1.0 still has not shipped.  It's been over a year since the last point release, with no new releases in sight.  There's 30-or-so open bugs in their bug tracker with patches submitted, ready to go, that are not being addressed.  The remixes still aren't done.  Some in the open-source world would call this a "failed project", but for the fact that the game is fully playable, stable and accessible for modifications.

The years have taken their toll on the community, many have come and gone, and at this point, I must add myself to the list of people who departed the project, and complete the "slow fade" that has been in progress for the last (for me) four years.  But with so much left that I wanted to do with this project, just "walking away" would be a regrettable course of action for me, so I decided to take a stable version (0.6.4, as version 0.6.5 started to act a little wonky) and make all the subtle improvements I had been dreaming of for the past 7 years.

So without further adieu, I present to you:

The Ur-Quan Masters - Extended Edition

It's primarily geared towards improving the single-player experience for new players, much in the same vein that Shiver's Balance Mods were geared towards improving the multi-player experience for experienced players.  But  new players will likely pass this version over for the "official" release, because it's, you know, "official".

For experienced players, this is somewhat of a non-event, because it's the exact same game that has been freely available for seven years, with some extra doodads glued onto it.  Five years ago, people might have been mildly impressed by this.  Now, not so much.  I suspect that everyone who would be in a position to pick this up and try it out has already played the game to death, knows the plot inside and out, and would see a bunch of extra "atmospherics" as "a waste of time".  But I've now done everything that I've been waiting to do with this project, and now it's out there, and I can point to it and say I did it.  Closure is awesome.  Feel free to download it and try it out, I'll probably not be doing much in the way of bugfixes and whatnot though.  I'm not even sure I'll merge it with 1.0 when that day finally comes.  It is what it is.  I hope you enjoy it.

Addendum: As I was finishing this project up, I saw a bunch of movement in the source repository that would indicate that development is ramping up again.  Best wishes for a speedy and bug-free release, guys!
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2009, 01:04:03 am »

Ooh, that looks nice. The only change I don't think I like is the Fwiffo change...

I'll definitely download it. Perhaps the source too.


EDIT: And I do hope that this gets merged into the main branch at some point... with the possible exception of Fwiffo...
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 02:18:32 am by CelticMinstrel » Logged
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 02:37:40 am »

A new reason to replay UQM all over again? Thank you very much and hell yeah! Cheesy

Downloading this instant.


EDIT:
Downloaded  Smiley
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2009, 02:40:23 am »

Nic: Sorry for not getting to your PMs sooner. I forgot to switch my stated email address at this forum so they did not show up in my email as I thought it would. At least you won't have to be at my mercy whenever you need to update this for Windows.


Quote
At this point, it has been seven years.  Version 1.0 still has not shipped.  It's been over a year since the last point release, with no new releases in sight.  There's 30-or-so open bugs in their bug tracker with patches submitted, ready to go, that are not being addressed.  The remixes still aren't done.  Some in the open-source world would call this a "failed project", but for the fact that the game is fully playable, stable and accessible for modifications.

For real. Star Control's fan community has been such a disappointment.



This does look impressive. As an old vet, I have little desire to play the through the game all over again. I don't like the Spathi change either. It seems plausible that the Spathi attached to the Vindicator would not be in the loop with the rest of their buddies, ending up outside of Spathiwa after the slave shield goes up. Having glanced a few of the changes in-game, I suspect a lot of these features are going to receive criticism. It's still neat, and I'm glad someone finally took a crack at modding the main game.
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2009, 04:41:51 am »

...Wait, the Ur-Quan at Vela aren't supposed to be an instant game over, are they? Shocked
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2009, 07:01:06 am »

It's not. I tried.

This is very good, save for one thing: Your wording is very different from the rest of the game. I can tell a clear distinction between the way you word things and the way the rest of the game words things. This makes it a bit inconsistant.

For example, you say too much about the defunct Precursor base. I think it should be more like:

Quote
We have found a strange base orbiting this planet. The base is very similar to Ur-Quan and Chenjesu technology, though probably much more sophisticated. Unfortunately, the base is totally destroyed, as if someone bombarded the place with nuclear warheads, so I'm afraid there is nothing of interest in this base.

Also, one other thing was that the Zoq-Fot-Pik ruins revealed way too much. I doubt the ZFP would have time to record what happened to them, just like the Androsynth had no time to record what happened to them. I think it should go like this:

Quote
We have discovered the remains of what appears to be an advanced, possibly starfaring, civilization. the city has been totally annihilated with a combination of some kind of kinetic weapon and what appears to be Ur-Quan fusion blasts. The strange thing is it doesn't seem to have been an invasion of the planet, but rather stray shots from external combat. There are not many cities on this planet, so this is probably just a colony planet, meaning the alien race could still be alive.

Actually, most of the bases and such had too much info. It's not like it ruins the game, but it trails off from the rest of the game's style.
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2009, 08:43:59 am »

Oh, very nice stuff. I like differences.txt a lot. I'd love to replay the game this way... sometime.

I wish you didn't end your post with a "kthxbye" notion. I'd really love to see this mod maintained, even extended further (how about... a gigantic mobile Ur-Quan base, where they coordinate their ops in the sector and build ships! It could be like a homeworld, with "infinite" ships defending it).

BTW, shouldn't all those bugfixes be in the main branch? or are they already there?
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2009, 03:22:09 pm »

It's not. I tried.
In this one, or in the original one?
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2009, 03:25:56 pm »

Oh Yeah!

Thank you for this! I'll play it as soon as my exam period ends Smiley
Generally, I love the changes and additions I see in "differences.txt"!

I see you've implemented similar things to some of the ideas I've had for post-1.0 UQM. Here are some of the things I had in mind:

- a few abandoned mining installations in old Alliance + Androsynth space, which can have a small stash of minerals for pickup. For instance, you would have a Chenjesu mining complex or two in Ilwrath space (the one they held before they headed off to war with the Thraddash)

- wrecked military installations in systems situated on the line where the old coreward front was. This could include planetary bases, system fortifications and perhaps an old starship wreck or two... things you'd expect to be leftover from a giant conflict.

I think there was more, but I can't remember it now...
Any of these additions would have a small flavor text, something like what you already did with the ZFP colonies Smiley

Also, about the Mother Ark... you may be going a bit too far with that, as canon doesn't tell us what really happened with it. Dit the Mmrnmhrm move it to a safe place? Did the Hierarchy destroy it (no ships allowed outside the slave shield... although it was abandoned so this might not be a problem)? etc.* But I do agree that there should be something left indicating that the Mmrnmhrm once occupied that region of space (all Alliance races except them have such a trace)... I was a bit disappointed after exploring the Virginis constellation and finding nothing Tongue

*And I do wonder what it looks like etc... will have to see it!

Finally, I'm just interested: is there a canon base for this:
Quote
"dead" slave-shielded world and starbase @ Beta Ophiuchi I
(no need to remove that btw. Smiley )
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2009, 03:58:13 pm »

(no need to remove that btw. Smiley )

Nope, it's essentially just there to give you an idea of what happens to enslaved races that disobey (at least, that's what I gather from the text).

In this one, or in the original one?

This one.
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2009, 12:29:09 am »

Finally, I'm just interested: is there a canon base for this:
Quote
"dead" slave-shielded world and starbase @ Beta Ophiuchi I
Yes there is, both the idea itself and the in-game location.  For the idea, it can be explained as follows: in the game, you encounter the Earth Starbase, which has been suffering due to neglect, and is about to run out of fuel / die when the Player shows up and saves the day, winning their allegiance and eventually toppling the Ur-Quan Slave Empire.  This naturally raises the question, "what if the Captain hadn't shown up in time?"  So I imagined that the reactor would shut down, the crew would huddle into into the life pods bradcasting distress signals, and eventually the Slylandro Probes would detect the signals, show up to investigate, and end up eating everything.  From there, it was just a matter of inventing a new "fallow" slave race somewhere in the galaxy that endured that particular fate.  Kind of dark, but I think also completely consistent with the game fiction.

As for the location, the Starbase commander explains things quite nicely:
Code:
Earth got involved late in the game, in 2112, when the Chenjesu arrived in our solar system for the first time
so let's back up a few years to 2098
when the Chenjesu's super-sensitive receivers detected a strange signal from the Ophiuchi constellation.
Though even the Chenjesu didn't know it, it was the first sign of the Ur-Quan's arrival.
The Ur-Quan, having detected the presence of many sentient species, were beaming out an exulting hunting cry.

Ooh, that looks nice. The only change I don't think I like is the Fwiffo change...

Why do you hate Fwiffo?  SEND HIM HOME!  Wink

This is very good, save for one thing: Your wording is very different from the rest of the game. I can tell a clear distinction between the way you word things and the way the rest of the game words things. This makes it a bit inconsistant.
Oh, I know.  The art assets were by far the most difficult part of doing this.  I'm not a writer, so matching the game's "voice" was something I knew I had to do, but had zero ability to do it.  I did my best, knew I missed the mark, and shipped it anyways in the hopes that it would be "close enough".

I wish you didn't end your post with a "kthxbye" notion. I'd really love to see this mod maintained, even extended further
But that's just it -- this release encompasses everything I ever wanted to do with this project.  It's fully playable, feature-complete with respect to anything I care about, and there's just not anything left to do with it anymore that I find particularly interesting.  It's time for me to move on, and by putting this out there, I can do so without any measure of disappointment.  I did it.  It's done.  Others can build upon it if they do choose, but my heart just isn't in it anymore.
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 01:13:33 am »

In this one, or in the original one?

This one.
So... you went to Vela and fought/fled from the Ur-Quan there? Then why did I get booted out to the menu after I finished talking to that Ur-Quan ship? Undecided

Ooh, that looks nice. The only change I don't think I like is the Fwiffo change...

Why do you hate Fwiffo?  SEND HIM HOME!  Wink
I don't hate him. I like Fwiffo. That's why I want him in my fleet.
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2009, 01:18:16 am »

I can't compile it Sad looks like I'm missing something ... can anyone compile it   for Ubuntu for me please ? The win32 download on wine is just too slow to play ...
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2009, 01:22:18 am »

Do you have SDL, libogg, etc etc?

Oh, by the way... does the Syreen SOI move to encounter the Mycon? Because I feel it should. (I haven't gotten that far because I know no way to get near-infinite fuel at the beginning of the game...)
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Re: Requiem
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2009, 01:26:57 am »

I have installed from the depositories the sdl , the vorbis , the open-al but it wouln't compile - it gives a warninga to a zillion lines during compilation and ends with several errors , not finishing the compilation ...
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