The Ur-quan Masters 2x V1.0 (star Control Ii)


senquack

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Earlier today I updated the archive with my latest version of my port of UQM to the GP2X, version 1.0: Archive link: http://archive.gp2x.de/cgi-bin/cfiles.cgi?0,0,0,0,29,2390

Please use this thread for any new comments. The old thread is here: Someone in the last thread suggested saying more about the game, next time around so here goes:

EDIT: NEW LANGUAGE PACK RELEASED
Adds support for Russian, Spanish, German, Finnish
http://www.gp32x.de/board/index.php?showt...id=570620&#
http://archive.gp2x.de/cgi-bin/cfiles.cgi?0,0,0,0,29,2412

LINKs TO YOUTUBES VIDEOS W/ OPTIONAL SPEECH PACK (for SC2 newbs)
(These show PC version but this GP2X version is indistinguishable):
First 7 minutes of game
Super Melee mode showing many of game's ships fighting

NEWBIE TO SC2?? READ THIS FIRST
Extract the .ZIP, with full pathnames enabled, into any folder you like on your SD. Game is run by executing uqm.gpe You should consider is getting the "uqm-0.6.0-voice.uqm" file from here (100+MB download): http://sc2.sourceforge.net/downloads.php
The 3DO voice acting adds hours of speech to all the conversations in the game. It is very well done and adds a lot to the game, in my opinion. Place it in content/packages/ subfolder under the main game folder.
[cut]
IMPROVEMENTS IN VERSION 1.0 OVER BETA 1:
  • GCC4 automatic compiler profiling has been applied to both the game and the integrated libTremor .OGG decoding library.
  • Some sprite handling code has been rewritten to be faster on ARM architectures.
  • 3DO .OGG music files have been re-encoded and downsampled to 22050hz. The GP2X's output isn't very high quality; no one will notice the difference. .MODs already were 22050hz.
  • The above three things allow usage of the planetary lander at full 24fps speed in almost all cases. No overclocking or RAM tweak should be needed.
  • Volume buttons work. You can set the intial mixer volume using GMenu2X if you prefer to start the volume lower. The program will respect the setting, I'm working on a small problem that but for the most part it works great.. Volume buttons can be used in-game to adjust main Linux sound mixer. Sound settings in configuration menu can be used to adjust the relative volume of the music, speech, and samples.
  • The game can now be installed anywhere you like on the SD.
IMPROVEMENTS IN BETA 1 OVER PREVIOUS PORTS BY OTHER AUTHORS:
  • Smaller memory footprint. Should help ensure program stability.
  • Large amount of previously unused compiler optimizations have been applied. Integration of ARM ASM memory handling routines.
  • Lowered default sound sample rate to 22050hz.
  • The above three additions enabled smoother overall use of the planetary lander. I no longer had to overclock UQM too much.
  • Fixed text scrolling when using 3DO voice package.
  • Added sync() on exit to avoid loss of save data.
GAME DESCRIPTION:
Ur-Quan Masters is an open source port of Star Control II, one of the best home computer games of the early 90's:

(FROM http://uqm.stack.nl/wiki/Star_Control_II):
QUOTE
Star Control II, the sequel to the original Star Control, is a space adventure game that features role-playing elements alongside a robust 2D combat system. It was a milestone for non-linear gaming and an undeniable influence on modern space travel games such as Homeworld; many consider it one of the best computer games of all time. The player assumes the role of the captain of a single starship wandering a detailed environment of solar systems, gradually gathering information and resources in order to defeat a mysterious and implacable enemy; the plot contains numerous mysteries and other half-explained elements that contribute to the beauty of the game, along with a rare sense of humor that manifests numerous times, inevitably having the player rolling on the floor laughing.


The game had a great soundtrack for the time, using .MODs where other games used simpler FM style music. My port contains the additional 3DO soundtrack and its a nice blend of incredibly awesome acid-techno/industrial and ambient synthesizer music. The game can switch between 3DO and PC music in the setup menu and both are worth trying out. The game's music was the result of a contest the publisher held.

If you want to learn how to play, visit these two pages first:
http://uqm.stack.nl/wiki/First_Things_To_Do
http://uqm.stack.nl/wiki/Non-Spoiler_Hints

You might consider saving this (rather large) image to your SD somewhere, it's the original filled-in starmap players got with the game. It provides you with some valuable info on the layout of Hyperspace you wouldn't get otherwise: http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.c...2_color_map.jpg

Here are some screenshots:
Ur-Quan slave lord
urquangx7.gif

That starbase commander sure loves loud acid house and red strobe lighting:
ravingdn0.gif

The loooove boat
shipyardwx8.gif

Big universe out there!
starmapox1.gif

[/cut]
 
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imhotep

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Very well constructed post, SQ. Very useful stuff there. Love the Star Map!
 

emphyrio

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Thanks, it's working great!

On the PC I never got around to playing the story part of this game; I had too much fun playing melee against my brother :) .

Speaking of which, are usb joysticks supported? I've tried enabling them in the control configuration, but didn't get them to work.
 

emphyrio

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zacaj said:
Do you need any datafiles, or do you just download it and play?
The data files are included, as is the 3do music. Only the speech file is not included, but it is not required to play the game.
 
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Alex.

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Thank you, Senor Quack :) I gave this a solid try yesterday and I had a blast. I downloaded the voices, too, and everything runs great. Excellent work!

zacaj said:
Do you need any datafiles, or do you just download it and play?
Download and play!
 
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senquack

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emphy said:
Thanks, it's working great!

On the PC I never got around to playing the story part of this game; I had too much fun playing melee against my brother :) .

Speaking of which, are usb joysticks supported? I've tried enabling them in the control configuration, but didn't get them to work.
USB Joystick support will be added in a version sometime soon. I need to get a breakout board, I guess.

Glad everyone likes it!
 
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yodaofborg

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Nice work again, I have not yet completed the game, but I do have most of the items I need to finish the game, including landers that can survive on the surface of just about any planet. And, although sometimes in the most active parts the frame rate does drop a little, its still high enough not to affect sound @ 200 Mhz.

I have had 1 crash, but I have been unable to reproduce it, so it could have been caused by a low battery situation (it happened right after my red warning light came on). Since then I've switched over to my AC and I've wasted practically all my Saturday on it, without a break from 7am GMT till now (6pm, GMT) 11 hours without a crash, great work. Goin to leave it running by itself while I go out, get drunk, and try get the damn music out of my head :D
 

Megagun

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Yay. Updates! :)

Having USB pad support and a working TV-out function would be really insanely awesome, and possibly one of the biggest reasons for me to get one of them Cradles.. :)

Anyways, for all of you who are just starting to play this amazingly awesomely classic best game in the history of games for the first time, unlike people like me who have played through the single player campaign for over nine thousand times: http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.c...php?topic=933.0 contrains two A4-printable starmap versions. Be sure to scroll down to the .pdf version of the map the guy posted, as it also contains constellation lines which could prove useful someday.

Also, and this is very, very, very important: the game has a 'timelimit', but due to the speech not being recorded for the 3DO version of the game, the gametext in which this is explained is not in UQM. If you have the feeling you're nowhere near the end of the game after 3 or 4 in-game years: start getting worried. There are a few ways of stretching the timelimit, though. In general, I advise you to have a certain goal with every trip you take. So do not fly mindlessly around gathering minerals. Instead, gather minerals near where you need to be ('questwise')...

Now, some general "did you know" (read:useless) info about the game that's just begging to be told because it shows you how things were like in the gaming industry when men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri:

Fred ford about the development process (and the six months of no payment):
QUOTE
Paul Reiche and I have been a partnership named Toys for
Bob since 1989. While creating SCI and SCII for Accolade we were outside developers -- getting paid for milestones and receiving royalties. As part of our
contract we were careful to keep ownership of the ideas; however, Accolade owned the trademark. Accolade, at the time, never understood Star Control. They
were a sports game company. Star Control I, to Accolade's bafflement and complete lack of marketing, was an unexpected success. So they were quite willing to let
us do a sequel. They didn't know what they were getting and, frankly, didn't much care. Paul and I threw ourselves into Star Control II and when the project started
to run late and we were unwilling to compromise our vision in order just to get the product out the door, Accolade, as was their right, stopped paying us. For six
months, Paul and I worked with no income and the last two months we averaged 18 hour days, seven days a week. When we finally presented a final version to
Accolade in November of 1992, we were told that they would have been happier to ship the version they had in September. To show you how little of a clue they
had that version had NONE of the conversation in it. You would fly up to a home world or an alien in hyperspace and it would say something like "Arilou hello 1" or
"Ilwrath goodbye 5." Needless to say, Paul and I were pretty burnt on Accolade and Star Control and we wanted to do a simple game to cleanse the palette (The
Horde). This is where our working relationship with Accolade came to an end.

QUOTE
For a game company, the bottom line is money, because money equals survival. And to a greater or
lesser extent that is true of the outside developer. During the development of Star Control II, I had to spend $15000 of my own money in order to allow me and Paul
to finish the game as we wanted to. The point of this is that developing any game has its risks. I was willing to take the risk, because I believed in what Paul and I
were doing. Accolade was not willing to pay us more than we had initially agreed upon for the contract. If both Paul and I hadn't made sacrifices, Star Control II
would never have been. Of course if we had guessed better the magnitude of the undertaking, maybe we could have negotiated a better contract.

But maybe not. Game companies also must make decisions on a risk/reward basis. It's much easier for them to evaluate the probable success of games that are
derivative of other successful games (they know how many units were sold of that previous game, they know all the pieces they need, they know how to market it
and to whom, etc.). At the time, Accolade had no idea how to market Star Control II. Was it an action game? Was it an adventure game? Are we going to get the
union of those two types of game players or the intersection? I think Star Control II came closer to the intersection since it was not a great selling game.

So with the production quality of games such an issue today, it doesn't matter how compelling your story is; if you don't have the expected bells and whistles, it's hard
to market your game to the masses. And if the masses don't buy your game you've lost money, because it takes a lot of time and effort to paint the Sistine Chapel (or
produce a good Space Opera).


Fred ford about the ingame music:
QUOTE
Believe it or not we have never met Dan or Riku face to face. We have only dealt with them electronically. The music is an interesting story. As we hurtled toward
our finish date, we realized that we had all these alien races and not only no music for them but no budget (understandable given my previous posts). That's when we
came up with a desperate gambit. We would hold a MOD music contest over the internet with a $500 first prize and many $50 second place prizes. We probably
got about ten different MOD artists who submitted MODs (two of them were Riku and Dan and, in fact, Star Control II is what brought them together). We used
most of the MODs that we got, but Riku and Dan demonstrated the talent and willingness to do additional pieces for us as well.


Anyways, have fun all of you who will be playing this game for the first time. You're in for a real good treat!
 
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senquack

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yodaofborg said:
I have had 1 crash, but I have been unable to reproduce it, so it could have been caused by a low battery situation (it happened right after my red warning light came on). Since then I've switched over to my AC and I've wasted practically all my Saturday on it, without a break from 7am GMT till now (6pm, GMT) 11 hours without a crash, great work. Goin to leave it running by itself while I go out, get drunk, and try get the damn music out of my head :D
Not long ago, I had my first crash, too. Good thing is, it's reproduceable so right now I am isolating it to my code modifications, seeing if it's something I did basically. Thanks for the bug report.

Guess I need to modify the archive's description ;)

I am also talking with the author of the Tremolo library, seeing why I'm having clicking in the sound when I use his ARM-optimized OGG decoder. If I get that integrated, I might get the game a bit faster but I never could get clean sound out of it.
 
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imhotep

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Good Luck with the bug fix, Senor Quack. The Tremolo library seems an interesting way of increasing performance. I hope something good comes of it.

Megagun said:
http://starcontrol.classicgaming.gamespy.c...php?topic=933.0 contrains two A4-printable starmap versions. Be sure to scroll down to the .pdf version of the map the guy posted, as it also contains constellation lines which could prove useful someday.


Very nice maps, Megagun!
 
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stormyandcold

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1st time I've tried it and it works really well :)

Love the melee mode, havent got into the single player yet.

Fun game and excellent release, thanks! :D
 

senquack

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I now have libTremolo successfully playing all .OGGs which means more of the program is now ARM ASM. Unfortunately, this hasn't given a very big speed increase, but not much more is needed now anyways. Every bit counts, right?

The crash I mentioned happens when I load a specific save game of mine, and try to visit Sol through hyperspace. I recently had to run scandisk on my SD card and lost a tiny amount of clusters, might have corrupted that save file. Since the official 0.6.2 version that I have on my Linux PC completely chokes when trying to load that specific file, I think it might be corrupted by accident. I haven't played a huge amount of the standard 0.6.2 version of the game, so maybe it is a bug that happens there too occaisionally, dunno. More testing will tell eventually, it doesn't seem to be too important now.
 

b._.o._.b

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Very nice game, plays like an interactive novel, good voice acting, great atmosphere (played it for an hour).

Thanks for another great release SQ!
 

classicgmr

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Have to say thank you Senor Quack! I played the last port of UQM but due to the crashes I didn't get into it "hardcore" and try to finish(though I still loved the fact I could play it on the 2X).

First thing I did with this is drop the 3DO voice into the package as that was the BEST bar none version of Star Control II**. I like the improvement you have implemented with the typed text showing up WITH the voice active. THAT is incredible!

I'm clocking to 220MHz with GMenu2X and I am very happy with performance! This has to be the best UQM I have played on the 2X and I am very appreciative! Thanks a ton!!

**I still to this day don't understand how the PC version of SCII didn't have voice yet a console did.
 

senquack

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zacaj said:
Addicting, although the ships a little slow
You change that by upgrading your thrusters and turning jets, silly. It is a lot faster once you do that!
 
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poro

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Thanks for the effort, but why assume everyone wants the new music?
 
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