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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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Author Topic: The Masters Thoughts  (Read 5231 times)
onpon4
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2012, 01:08:11 am »

Agreed which is why I was saying that at the time this game was made, the thought of creating those backgrounds to match your fleets would not have been possible.

...but like I said, that isn't necessary to achieve the effect. Not only would doing it dynamically (just like, if I'm not mistaken, the stars currently are in UQM) be easier, it would be better, and it would definitely have been possible even at the time SC2 was initially developed (though a waste of CPU time and development effort).
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2012, 04:40:41 am »

I am not sure the engine could handle a dynamic effect though. As it stands, you can get occasional frame rate drops when the combat gets hectic. Could you really implement both the codes for a dynamic battle in the background that is fleet accurate, be able for the game to recognize what to create in that background and not have it cause frame rate issues due to the increased activity on the screen?
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2012, 05:09:44 am »

I am not sure the engine could handle a dynamic effect though. As it stands, you can get occasional frame rate drops when the combat gets hectic. Could you really implement both the codes for a dynamic battle in the background that is fleet accurate, be able for the game to recognize what to create in that background and not have it cause frame rate issues due to the increased activity on the screen?

I don't know much about performance in C, especially on older hardware, because I was introduced to this in Python on relatively recent (albeit low-end) hardware. But I'm quite sure that some sort of battle in the background would be possible. Of course the game can handle a dynamic effect; AFAIK, the stars are dynamic (this would make sense; it looks a lot nicer and doesn't require nearly as much space), and of course, so are the ships and asteroids. Adding all those ships may be something that would have pumped up the system requirements (perhaps very severely), mostly because of having to add an A.I. to manage these battles I imagine, but it would still have worked, and it would still have been a much more feasible method than trying to make a million animations to try to come up with every possible scenario (the amount of space that would take would be outrageous even today).

When I speak of "dynamic", just to be clear, I'm not talking about dynamism in programming, but rather generating scenery out of sprites instead of pre-rendering it as an animation. I can't think of a better term for it.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 10:37:47 am »

I really can't agree with this at all. Star Control 3's system was a tedious waste of time in that department with virtually 0 value. I found that by the time any settled colony of any race was of value to me, I was near the end of the game and far too loaded already. Might and Magic and Master of Orion are very different games then Star control 2. You really can't compare them.

SC2's resource gathering and hyperspace/combat gameplay surely was a waste of time. Bashing a bunch of keys, aligning the direction in which you attack, repeating over, and over, is an inane and pointless activity. It makes no fucking sense to make a game about managing the crew and the resources of a ship, and then also introduce an arcade minigame into it. Those two things are not congruous. A strategy game and shmup should never be mixed up.

Even mining minerals is based on avoiding hazards by maneuvering your ship. What a bunch of bull****. A minigame about dodging storms, fires, and sonic blasts. Is there some elaboration required to prove that this is retarded? And if a planet is not inclement at all, all you do is move around in it?

Animal data processing is no different from mineral gathering. The only difference is that you have to fire on the animals to gather data. I don't understand how there is any challenge or meaning behind such a mundane activity, other than just spending time doing it.

It just baffles me that a game about exploring space, building your fleet, and gathering allies can actually turn out like Star Control 2 did. That a good formula was deliberately wasted by such arbitrary and nonsensical game design decisions

At least Star Control 3 tried to develop the right formula for a strategy-based scenario, ala Master of Orion I/II/I.




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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2012, 11:02:41 am »

Quote
No, Star Control 2 is a 4X Adventure game with limited digital logistic records.

This is so wrong in so many ways. Star Control is more like Zelda than any 4x game.

Star Control 2 was labeled by many as a "Strategy" game. Exploring space, building your fleet, and gathering allies surely doesn't resemble Zelda at all. And if you dare to compare both, you would immediately see an utterly miserable copy of Zelda.

An extremely difficult game to classify due to its poor game mechanics.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2012, 11:43:40 am »

Animal data processing is no different from mineral gathering. The only difference is that you have to fire on the animals to gather data. I don't understand how there is any challenge or meaning behind such a mundane activity, other than just spending time doing it.

The challenge is in the fact that you can fail at gathering data because of dangerous animals and other hazards. I don't understand the issue. And how can you be complaining about an arcade-esque minigame in a game whose CENTRAL FEATURE is an arcade-esque minigame? Are you aware of what game you're playing? Wait, right, the game you're playing is Star Control 3, which shouts at you every time you get into a fight. My mistake, feel free to go back to your shitty game that treats the core mechanic of the series as borderline cheating.

And everyone who thinks that Star Control II is a strategy game because it has a fleet in it is thinking about it totally wrong. All the battles are one on one, so your ships are more like personal weapons than an army. Gathering allies is handled entirely in dialogue, or by unique story-related methods (Thraddash) rather than with game mechanics like donating resources to make them love you more. Aside from the Thraddash, there's no race that you can subdue purely by shooting them a lot, thanks to the infinite ship homeworlds. You can annihilate some races, but you must do it with cunning and, again, dialogue. And it's all pre-scripted, with no strategic contribution on your part other than convincing race A and race B to have a slugfest. Once. Resource gathering is a strategy element, sure, but it's also a feature of RPGs that allow you to upgrade and repair your weapons - oh, right, just like Star Control II. Since you, again, have to personally handle it, it's definitely more RPG than strategy. Classifying SC2 is nowhere near as hard as people seem to think - it's an adventure RPG with arcade combat.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2012, 12:07:28 pm »

Honestly, I have a slightly different perspective: obviously, the campaign is an adventure game (or, alternatively, an RPG). Melee, however, I see as a strategy/tactics game, because the key to winning isn't normally skill, but rather choosing the right ship in a rock-paper-scissors fashion and then, no matter what the fight is, fighting in such a way as to minimize crew loss and maximize the enemy's crew loss. Even playing against the terrible A.I. in the adventure game, you have to figure out what ships work best against what others (and also want to learn to exploit the A.I.'s weaknesses effectively), at least until your flagship is powerful enough to destroy anything it comes across.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2012, 12:25:27 pm »

The arcadish mini-game is the core of the game?  Huh

Actually, I enjoyed the "Super Melee" mode in Ur-Quan Masters, but t it doesn't tie in well with the rest of the gameplay. If you can't see this, I highly doubt you'll understand the "CENTRAL FEATURE" of the game.


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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2012, 12:45:31 pm »

By the way, get your facts straight people:

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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2012, 02:07:18 pm »

By the way, get your facts straight people:
Citing an obviously flawed Gamespot information page (e.g. it does not mention the original DOS version) that provides no justification for its classification does not help your case.

Strategy games involve more or less continually controlling multiple units spread around a playing area, while role-playing games involve a single person or smallish party that you control and nobody else really does anything unless it's a plot point. Star Control II clearly belongs more to the latter category as you have only a small group of ships in your fleet and effectively no way of even communicating with, let alone giving orders to, anyone in a different solar system.

onpon4's argument actually, to me, supports the classification of SC2 as an RPG: as is usual for an RPG, the choice of party member or skill/weapon to use against an enemy is the primary deciding factor and you can improve your party/fleet through plot rewards, collecting gold/RUs through combat. However, SC2 does lack some typical elements of RPGs, such as experience points. Nonetheless, since collecting money or suchlike and using it to purchase upgrades is characteristic of RPGs but unusual in adventure games where money is often effectively treated as yet another item to solve puzzles with. Similarly, adventure games, if they include combat at all, typically treat it as an isolated minigame at a specific point in the adventure.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2012, 02:55:32 pm »

Adventurers longing for a deep and rich story, with carefully crafted characters, coupled with swashbuckling fighting action and challenging puzzles and problem solving, look no further.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH0EB8kFbhs

I think I clearly stated a good example of a well designed multi-genre game highly appraised by the community.

Generally speaking, without bullshitting around, the arcadish "Space Invader" clone is a bad joke. From my point of view, designers really dropped their imagination here.
 
Wrapping this Strategic/Role Playing/Adventure game with a fucking retro shooter from the 70's is as bad as implying that this title is a shoot'em up.

It's like mixing a bottle of Cognac with some Pepsi. Disgusting and unappealing.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2012, 03:48:06 pm »

Generally speaking, without bullshitting around, the arcadish "Space Invader" clone is a bad joke. From my point of view, designers really dropped their imagination here.
 
Wrapping this Strategic/Role Playing/Adventure game with a fucking retro shooter from the 70's is as bad as implying that this title is a shoot'em up.
First, it seems you're confusing Space Invaders and Spacewar (which, by the way, is from the early 1960s). Second, you seem to miss the fact that Star Control II is based on Star Control, which essentially consists of the Spacewar derivative Mêlée and a simple strategy game wrapped around it. The RPG part is the later addition, not the combat.

Spacewar is admittely pretty much as retro as it gets. However, considering how little the Spacewar formula was developed in the intervening years, Star Control is actually pretty ground-breaking. While Space Wars added details like asteroids into the mix, the idea of having several different ships rather than effectively identical ones is arguably Star Control's biggest contribution.

I get the impression that you object to Star Control II combining many different types of game into a loosely connected whole rather than integrating aspects of different types into one single game engine. While this does reduce the cohesiveness of the game, it allows it to include a much wider range of different activities. For example, Mass Effect pretty much ignores ship-to-ship combat since it's effectively an RPG bolted onto a third-person shooter (it also has an even more tedious and simplistic mineral collection aspect bolted onto this). In Star Control II, space combat can be used support the narrative and gameplay (and, indeed, integrate with the puzzles in the main game) rather than simply cutting to an extended cutscene.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2012, 03:50:29 pm »

From my point of view, designers really dropped their imagination here.
 
Wrapping this Strategic/Role Playing/Adventure game with a fucking retro shooter from the 70's is as bad as implying that this title is a shoot'em up.

It's like mixing a bottle of Cognac with some Pepsi. Disgusting and unappealing.

I'll note that you're posting on the forum for a community-maintained version of this game, which is mainly used by the game's biggest fans.  Clearly, you're not one of them.  That's fine, but if you're just going to complain about how awful you think the game is, it would probably be more productive to go post somewhere else.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2012, 04:00:12 pm »

onpon4's argument actually, to me, supports the classification of SC2 as an RPG: as is usual for an RPG, the choice of party member or skill/weapon to use against an enemy is the primary deciding factor and you can improve your party/fleet through plot rewards, collecting gold/RUs through combat. However, SC2 does lack some typical elements of RPGs, such as experience points. Nonetheless, since collecting money or suchlike and using it to purchase upgrades is characteristic of RPGs but unusual in adventure games where money is often effectively treated as yet another item to solve puzzles with. Similarly, adventure games, if they include combat at all, typically treat it as an isolated minigame at a specific point in the adventure.

I agree. I was actually thinking more of SuperMelee, particularly competitive PvP. I think it's more like a strategy or tactics game than an action game.
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Re: The Masters Thoughts
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2012, 04:18:53 pm »

Star Control II is based on Star Control, which essentially consists of the Spacewar derivative Mêlée and a simple strategy game wrapped around it. The RPG part is the later addition, not the combat.

How about this, to some extent, SC2 is a dumbed-down actioned-up version of Master of Orion with a story-driven campaign.
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