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Tamnosynth
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Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« on: March 20, 2011, 11:34:05 am »

Hi everyone! First post (I think) but I've been a lurker here on and off for a couple of years, ever since stumbling on UQM and loving it like ZEX loves xenoteratomorphs. (Well, maybe not quite like that.)

I've been thinking about whether it would be possible to mod UQM so that the Captain isn't necessarily male. It would involve removing any references to the Captain as 'he' in alien dialogue, altering or replacing artwork that shows a male Zelnick, etc.

The game doesn't mention that you're playing a male character until you're already a fair way into it, and I found it a bit jarring - I thought I could picture my character as whoever I wanted (like my name and ship). I've read a few posts that suggest some other players felt the same way.

(I"m ignoring the SC2 manual - I know it goes into some detail about the 'boy genius', but I doubt many people playing UQM for the first time will find and read that.)

I know slightly less than zero about programming, so I haven't tried doing this myself (yet). I've gotten as far as making a rough list of things that would need changing, but I'll wait to see what people think of the general idea before posting them...

This of course assumes that nobody else has looked into the idea and a) produced a mod already somewhere or b) found the whole thing impossible for technical reasons.

Thoughts?



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onpon4
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 01:08:42 pm »

Hm... This sounds to me like a resource editing job, not a programming job, so it could probably just be a UQM addon. Someone made a dialog editing tool some time ago...

(looks for aforementioned tool)

Here it is: http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=4865.0

Good luck. Smiley
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JudgeYohance
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 04:09:43 pm »

But how would you go about the situation with Talana then? 
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Grand Master Planet Eater
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 06:05:42 pm »

But how would you go about the situation with Talana then? 

Syreen are bisexual
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Wolframm
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2011, 06:59:57 pm »

Really? How would you know about it? I guess you're right since the problem with lack of the  Syreen males makes them "lonely".
Still wouldn't it be a little controversial? Mass Effect has gained a bad name for the same thing.
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Death 999
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2011, 07:29:07 pm »

Controversial? It's nothing they didn't imply before, way back then, and things are a lot more favorable nowadays. The only awkward part is explaining why she goes for you if you haven't got any unusual - to - them equipment on board.
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 04:35:21 am »

Really? How would you know about it? I guess you're right since the problem with lack of the  Syreen males makes them "lonely".
Still wouldn't it be a little controversial? Mass Effect has gained a bad name for the same thing.

That whole "controversy" was just the bible-thumping morons at Fox News flailing like retards on fire.
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JudgeYohance
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2011, 04:46:32 am »

Actually the real problem i was thinking of is Star Control 2 at it's core is a story being told to the captain's grandchildren by him. How do you work around this?
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Tamnosynth
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 10:19:54 am »

Warning, wall of text ahoy!

Thanks for the responses everyone. I've done some checking and apparently the only alien races that directly refer to the Captain as male (based on searches of the dialogue comparison page) are the Melnorme, Pkunk, Spathi/Fwiffo/Safe Ones, Umgah and Zoq-Fot-Pik. They all throw in the occasional 'he/his/him', which I might be able to snip out of the voice acting if I'm lucky... though if I did a version with no voices it'd be much easier.

There are a few other phrases that will be trickier, like the Pkunk's fortune telling about you and Talana. If anyone spots some more I've missed, let me know!  Smiley

onpon4: Thanks, I've noticed that dialogue editor before but will have a closer look.

JudgeYohance: Good question about the sex scene with Talana. I think it would be a matter of changing the dialogue tree so that you can refuse sex with her without affecting the story. I would probably try to use the existing response: "Hey, hands off, I'm not THAT kind of Captain!" (I was actually expecting this to let you refuse in the existing game, but she carried on regardless... hasn't anybody told Talana that 'no' doesn't mean 'yes'?  Roll Eyes )

Grand Master, Wolframm et al: I do agree Syreen are at least currently bisexual (see the end of this post for reasons*). However, I'm not worried about whether Talana wants the player - I'm more concerned about whether the player is attracted to her or not. You might be a female player who would happily jump Talana given the chance, or you might find the whole idea squicky. Or you might be a gay male player. It's just a matter of allowing the player to choose.

Also, regarding the grandchildren aspect: I actually don't think this would be too hard to change. It's only revealed as a story for the grandchildren at the end. At the start, it's all direct address: "YOU must command the Precursor ship!" and so forth.

Currently there's no voice acting on the UQM ending slideshow, so all I'd have to do is a) delete the word "Grandpa" and b) edit the images so you can't clearly see Zelnick in the frame, possibly by zooming in. (You could maybe see a hand or a shoulder, but preferably you'd never see him/her at all.)

Even having Talana appear at the end might not be a problem, since as far as I can recall, the game never actually says you get married to her. You might just be good friends  Smiley The 'angel' scene might be tricky though...

*Re Syreen bisexuality: I expect they are, judging by the "we make out all right [with just us females]" line. And even if they aren't under normal circumstances, many Syreen probably formed lesbian relationships due to the sheer lack of males at the current time, as Wolframm says (similar to the homosexual behaviour that often occurs among segregated populations, e.g. in prisons).
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Death 999
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2011, 02:42:18 pm »

Quote
I think it would be a matter of changing the dialogue tree so that you can refuse sex with her without affecting the story.
I think you can. If I'm right, that isn't so much a problem as the set of dialog options upon meeting her. Only one of them makes sense for a heterosexual woman, and it'd be nice to have more applicable options.
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2011, 10:08:38 pm »

You could swap Talana's scenes from the game with the falsified  bits from Zarla's "Secret theater"
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 07:28:16 am »

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JudgeYohance: Good question about the sex scene with Talana. I think it would be a matter of changing the dialogue tree so that you can refuse sex with her without affecting the story. I would probably try to use the existing response: "Hey, hands off, I'm not THAT kind of Captain!" (I was actually expecting this to let you refuse in the existing game, but she carried on regardless... hasn't anybody told Talana that 'no' doesn't mean 'yes'?  Roll Eyes )

But you still have to work around the games ending that the Captain was telling this story to his grandkids. Otherwise it is not a bad work around.
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Tamnosynth
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 02:28:18 pm »

Hey, I've discovered the insert quote button! I feel intellectual.

(By the way, I don't need to put spoilers on any of this, do I? It'd be a bit tricky to talk about modding if so... Anyway, first-time players BEWARE!)

Quote
I think it would be a matter of changing the dialogue tree so that you can refuse sex with her without affecting the story.
I think you can. If I'm right, that isn't so much a problem as the set of dialog options upon meeting her. Only one of them makes sense for a heterosexual woman, and it'd be nice to have more applicable options.

Oh, the list that includes the Touch-O-Vision line? You're right, I'd probably need to go through every Talana interaction to be sure. (Good grief, they cut or changed an awful lot of her dialogue in the 3DO version. Forget Organon -  I never even found a Deep Child on my first playthrough because I didn't know where Syra was. Did we ever get a reasonable explanation for all the cuts?) 

You could swap Talana's scenes from the game with the falsified  bits from Zarla's "Secret theater"

Actually I thought it would be only fair to let the player romance a) Talana b) Hayes c) ZEX or d) all of the above. And then one of them would show up in the 'angel' scene at the end. That would be a lot more complicated though, so I'm not worrying about it for now. Just a wistful dream Grin

Though I would definitely change Talana's ending pic so she's properly blue. That's always bothered me.

But you still have to work around the games ending that the Captain was telling this story to his grandkids. Otherwise it is not a bad work around.

See my previous post - I'm fairly sure you'd only need to remove the word "grandpa" in the ending, and crop out Zelnick. They're still your grandkids, but you could be their grandmother instead. I don't think the game says they're descended from you + Talana. (Actually, if you snip out "grandpa" they could just as well be random colony kids.) Need to check the ending again though... and obviously the player can't use the 3DO movie.

Anyway (still thinking aloud) what worries me is the less obvious 'implied male player' stuff that Ctrl+F is no good at finding. Like the Umgah's frankly filthy joke about your 'mate'.  I would have spat out my coffee if I ever actually drank coffee. Still can't quite believe that line actually made it into the game.
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 05:38:25 pm »

Quote
and obviously the player can't use the 3DO movie.

You know i have honestly never seen the 3DO movie, only the original ending. I should fix that.
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Re: Mod idea: Unspecified gender for Captain
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 09:07:41 pm »

Why don' you go all the way? You need to poke aroudn every part of the comm's referencing to the captain as "he". And you need to put in a choice to let the captain pass up on Talana.

So add a choice, where you pick gender first. Then have he/his or she/hers as appropriate. For Brownie points, also allow for picking the gender of love interest. For straight women or gay men, replace Talana with Talan. Find someone to redo the graphics, and presto.
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