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Star Control 2 Released Under the GPL 271

Posted by chrisd
from the waiting-for-starflight dept.
Jagasian writes "The classic computer space adventure role playing game known as Star Control 2 has been officially ported from its obsolete mono-platform source code to modern multi-platform C++/SDL source code. The game is open source, and compiles and runs on Linux! The alpha release binaries are available for download now!"
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Star Control 2 Released Under the GPL

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  • by Freston Youseff (628628) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:21PM (#4785954) Homepage Journal
    I can only suggest the great wealth of links located at dmoz. [dmoz.org] There's pretty much everything you need to learn about the series and then some.
    • by MWright (88261) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @11:02PM (#4786095)
      The main fan site for Star Control has, for as long as I can remember, been The Pages of Now and Forever [star-control.com]. It's got all sorts of Star Control related stuff (information, extracted music, fan art, and various other stuff). It's a good place to find information and news about Star Control (all three of them), and meet other fans. (Sadly, the SC community is not what it was five years ago, but it still exists. Slightly Offtopic: anyone here remember Guillaume's Star Contol message board?).
  • FINALLY! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Maxwell_E (16977) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:23PM (#4785964)
    Finally we have the source to do what I've always wanted to in SC2.

    Annhilate those goddamn space harpies. OOOOOH I hated those with all of my Ur-Quan might. WHY THOSE SPACE WENCHES WILL QUAKE IN THEIR BOOTS when I uhh, get my hands on that source...

    (proceeds to downloads and launches fighters for good effect.)
    • Re:FINALLY! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Maxwell_E (16977) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:51PM (#4786051)
      I realize it's poor taste to reply to your own comment and all but funny story.

      I just showed my wife this comment. And I'm like, YEAH! Vindication! See! I'm not a nut, someone else out there hates space harpies as much as I do! The conversation went like this:
      Me: Yeah! Space sirens suck! Woo!
      Wife: Space sirens?
      Me: Yeah! It's like, you're this Ur Quan massive guy, and your whole thing is you launch like this swarm of locust fighter type thing and then this stupid dildo ship comes along and..
      Wife: Dildo ship?
      Me: Dildo SHAPED ship...
      Wife: Uh huh.
      Me: Anyways those goddamn space tramps are all like, OOOOH AAAHH AAAH And you're like, GODDAMMIT!
      Wife: Uh huh.
      Me: And see, you're fucked because she can, OOOOH AAAAH AHH the whole time with your fighters, and you're toast.
      Wife: That's nice dear.
      Me: (silence, realizing the obvious)
  • by ttfkam (37064) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:25PM (#4785967) Homepage Journal
    We used to play this game as a drinking game in college. During melee play, the loser would drink. It became so much more interesting when drunk players would have a Pkunk yell "idiot," "moron," "dork," "worm," etc. at them. Things sometimes got heated and hilarious at the same time.

    Now if it were network aware so that two people wouldn't have to huddle onto the same keyboard (or one person with a joystick), I would be a happy man indeed.

    Incidentally, the full game had some of the best humor I have ever seen in a game. Truly timeless.

    It's too bad SC3 sucked so much.
  • Congradulations Paul (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know if you actually read this stuff, but great job Paul and the folks at TFB! I know what a large pain in the ass this must have been to complete.

    And good job to all of you helped through SourceForge.

  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by A non moose cow (610391) <slashdot@rilo.org> on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:27PM (#4785976) Journal
    I can get rid of my floppy/zip DOS bootup combo with its freakish combo of memory managers and drivers. I spent two days putting this jerry rig together just so I could reminisce.
  • Damn them! (Score:4, Funny)

    by RecoveredMarketroid (569802) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:28PM (#4785978)
    When I was in first year, we picked up this game just before midterms... My entire floor lost about a month to it!

    Now, they hit me with it again, at the most intense point in my year!... Oh, the carnage...
  • Whoah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:31PM (#4785985) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how many cool articles like this get pushed aside for the never ending anti-MS crap.

    On a side note: Given that it's Open Source, I wonder if they'll accept mods to it? The CG FX in the 3DO version was excellent, but I'm curious what the modern generation of 3D artists today could do to update the artwork in it. As silly as it sounds, I know some peeps that'd probably jump at the chance to create their own 'art-pack' for that game.
    • Re:Whoah! (Score:4, Informative)

      by MWright (88261) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:38PM (#4786009)
      The title screen is fan-created, and there's a music remix project (some of the original musicians are doing the remixes... the Ilwrath music is already up at the Pages of Now and Forever [star-control.com]). I'm pretty sure they'd accept quite a bit of fan-created stuff, as long as it's good enough. The developers are *Happy Campers*, after all :)
      • Re:Whoah! (Score:2, Informative)

        by svdb (413611)
        Actually, this is not true. Yes, we are *Happy Campers*, but there will be no new fan-created things added until the 1.0 version. After that, you can expect a lot of branches.
        The game material will be a mixture from the PC and the 3DO version, switchable where appropriate.
        The remixes are created by a team of original musicians, and you will be able to choose whether you want the PC, 3DO or UQM remixed version, probably even per track.
        The new title screen was necessary as we can't use the "Star Control" trademark, and it was created by Erol Otus, who created the original title screen as well.

        Serge van den Boom
        from the Ur-Quan Masters core team



    • I wonder how many cool articles like this get pushed aside for the never ending anti-MS crap.


      Sure - you're a constant supporter of Microsoft. Others aren't.


      On a side note: Given that it's Open Source, I wonder if they'll accept mods to it?


      Others have already pointed out that there is already work towards new media files for the game. But even if the current developers won't accept your work - doesn't mean you can't do it. Create it. Put it out there for the public. If this is something the community / public likes, it will catch on - and maybe make it back to the origional project. Or it'll remain its own "advanced" or "custom" fork. In any case - everybody wins.

      Of course. This should all be rather obvious. I can't help but feel like I'm being baited for something. :)
      • "Sure - you're a constant supporter of Microsoft. Others aren't."

        Just to clarify: I'm not a supporter of MS. That would imply that I'm running around saying "MS is great". There is only one thing of MS that I'd call great: Their optical mouse.

        I think the reason I come off as a 'supporter' of MS is that I'm not so quick to join in on the FUD campaign that /. constantly launches against MS. A supporter of MS would say "Drop Linux in favor of Windows". All I've said is: "Linux should be envious of Windows' end user experience." The difference is subtle, but it's there. I want Linux (more specifically KDE or Gnome) to be as easy to use as Windows is.

        "Of course. This should all be rather obvious. I can't help but feel like I'm being baited for something. :) "

        I'm not baiting you into anything. However, your concern isn't totally unfounded. I think you can tell there's an idea there that I didn't express. When I said "Given that it's Open Source...", I didn't fully articulate what was going on in my mind. (Sorry!) I'm not really familir with Open Source, and I'm even less familiar with the licensing of the visuals of that game. For example: Did their license of the code mean that they can only use the original artwork in the game? If I were to make my own rendition of a Melnorme, would I be violating Accolade's (err I may have the wrong company) copyrights on that creation?

        I really should have thought more about that question before I submitted it, it mighta been interesting to discuss. I think the window for that opportunity closed, though. Heh.



        • I think the reason I come off as a 'supporter' of MS is that I'm not so quick to join in on the FUD campaign that /. constantly launches against MS. A supporter of MS would say "Drop Linux in favor of Windows". All I've said is: "Linux should be envious of Windows' end user experience." The difference is subtle, but it's there. I want Linux (more specifically KDE or Gnome) to be as easy to use as Windows is.


          Fair enough. Linux (or perhapse more specifically KDE/GNOME) deserves criticism. Keeps everyone honest. And it reminds us that improvement is an ongoing process.

          Having said that, I wouldn't describe all of Slashdot's anti-MS articles as a "FUD campaign". Microsoft is in a unique position on a couple of points. First, no matter what computing platform you use - you will be affected by Microsoft. Secondly, Microsoft has done a lot over the years to gain distrust. Considering these points, there is little wonder Slashdot includes a fair amount of Micrsoft articles. And those articles tend to be critical.

          I wouldn't claim that these articles are 100% on-target. Criticism is a two-way street. But I would hardly label this as "anti-MS crap" or a "FUD campaign".


          I'm not really familir with Open Source, and I'm even less familiar with the licensing of the visuals of that game. For example: Did their license of the code mean that they can only use the original artwork in the game? If I were to make my own rendition of a Melnorme, would I be violating Accolade's (err I may have the wrong company) copyrights on that creation?


          Ahhh. Now here's the interesting bit. :)

          From their FAQ:


          # What license will be used?

          * The code will be released under the GNU General Public License. The content will likely be released under something similar, but that remains to be seen.

          # What features are you going to include?

          * We intend to include every feature from the 3DO version and most of those from the PC too. The user will be able to configure which aspects of the game match which version. Version 1.0 will be a straight port: major gameplay additions are not on our agenda until everything that was originally there actually works. Version 1.0 will also include some original media from the original artists and musicians, specifically for this project. These will be included into the release snapshots as we receive them. Once Version 1.0 is completed, then we will become open to all sorts of additions.


          One of the interesting parts of another famous GPL release involved the media files. When iD release Quake I (and later Quake II) as GPL code, it covered only the code. The media files were not included. In the case of Quake I, some simply distribute the shareware release and use those files. Others began a free media project.

          This seems to underline one of the problems currently facing Open Source games. Collaberation makes sense to coders. But it seems that the idea hasn't caught on with artists yet. It is currently more difficult to find someone able to generate good media than good code.

          Secondly, IP holders seem to warm up to the idea of releaseing old code. But they're hesitant to release old media. Is it an irrational comparison between code and media? Or are the media files the real keys to the gaming kingdom?

          In any case... looks like the project leaders are gunning for a "classic" port of the origional game. Once that's done, they'll be looking at new things. I'm sure your interest in new media would be welcomed then (which doesn't mean you can't get a jump on the whole process now).
    • On a side note: Given that it's Open Source, I wonder if they'll accept mods to it?

      If it's Open Source, they obviously can't prevent you from modifying it ... :)

  • this really was one of the most fun games i ever played.

    the story ROCKED. i don't play games much normally but star control 2 sucked me into it's fun world and destroyed my life for a short period of time.

    what made star control so fun was the awesome story for one player play and the melee mode where two players could select ships and just duke it out. it had sorta of an adventure game and action game put together. although during playing one play game you could set the computer to play for your ship battles
  • Awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BlindSpot (512363) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:32PM (#4785991)
    Wow, this is totally awesome! I was just thinking about SC2 a few days ago, too!

    I don't play too many RPGs, but I was drawn to SC2 after I tried it at a friend's place. It had everything. Great races, good story, and incredible music. There are still tunes from that game that I can't get out of my head. I hum them regularly.

    SC2 was really something special, and I'm thrilled to see it's coming back.
    • 3do version! (Score:3, Informative)

      by gl4ss (559668)
      you'll be thrilled to note that this is actually port of the 3do-console version, with SPEECH, remixed musics & all. i've been lusting for after this baby for years.. as it's pretty damn hard to find 3do console+this game for sale around here i'm VEEERRY HAPPY.
  • someone care to do a review/comparative with doom3?
    • It's a completely different style of game. SC2 is a 2D Space/Adventure game where you have to solve a puzzle.

      The graphics are not all that if compared to today's graphics, but the Aliens (yes, you have to interact with all kinds of whacked up aliens) are incredibly fun. I remember laughing out really hard in the middle of the night playing this game.

      It's hard to describe. You got to play to understand.

  • best part about it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@@@SPAM...yahoo...com> on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:44PM (#4786020) Journal
    the person who started doing it : Chris Nelson ( http://slashdot.org/~Lumin Inverse/ ) is a good friend of mine here in college. I remember him first telling me about making a game back in freshman year during a CS class. Heh, never thought it would get this far. Go Chris! Brilliant!
  • 140 MB? (Score:4, Funny)

    by I_R_Che (598681) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:44PM (#4786021)
    I mean, wtf? Are they bundling KDE with it?
    • No shit! The original fit on four 1.2 meg floppies. The source to the PC version was lost, however. What's up on SF now is based on the 3DO version, which apparently had speech. (I'm unwilling to download 140 meg over dialup to find out.)

      Odd tidbit: The .MOD files from the original version are still on my drive and I listen to them regularly.. They've been shuffled around as I've upgraded hard drives over the years, but the original file creation dates in 1994 remain in the directory. I think at some point I put them all in a .zip which would've preserved the file dates.

      I'm pretty excited about this, I'd love to see a network-enabled version of super-Melee. Anyone with the requisite skill wanna try it? (I once tried to fix gorilla.bas to play across a lan. Since then I've left such things to professionals.)
    • Re:140 MB? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Novus (182265) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @06:12AM (#4786961) Homepage
      The original PC version of SC2 fits nicely on 4 floppies, and the actual game code and data is roughly the same size in the new version. However, the 3DO version (on which this remake is based), filled a CD with speech and CD-quality audio (using some rather hairy custom compression, too). The fact that they managed to squeeze this into 140 MB is solely due to the greatness of Ogg Vorbis.

      Version 1.0 will also be released in a version without speech and remixed music, which ought to be under 10 MB.
    • Hey, man...SC2 was a HOG when it came out, what was it, 5 floppies and ten megabytes installed? Jeez, man, that was a half to a quarter of my entire hard drive.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...this is one to play. "Star Control 2" stole from the very best, "Starflight", and included a great deal of combat options for the adventure impaired. A real delight.
  • Great Game... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bje2 (533276) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:48PM (#4786039)
    I used to love this game, we played it all the time when i was in high school...the Chmmer (which reminded me of a modified X-wing rocked)...then there was the big green Urquan ship with the little fighting pods you could release...and the Korah, which shot the big spinning Chinese stars...awesome game...the story was pretty cool (although could take a while), but I was all for the Melee mode...

    shoot..what was the name of the Ship where it's special weapon was self destruction???? was it Bonsai, or something else? Bonsai might have been the pilot's name...hmmmm, i forget...
  • by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:48PM (#4786040)
    ...for a Game Boy Advance version of this game.
    • Really? How much?

      I'm not too familiar with the freshly GPLed SC2 code, but I am VERY familiar with the clone Star Control: Timewarp, and I think that with a bit of effort I could get that working on a GBA. Of course, CPU and storage space would limit what can be done somewhat, and getting the networking to work with an IR port would be painful...

      Star Control: Timewarp
      http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol /timewarp/
  • Some notes (Score:5, Informative)

    by MWright (88261) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:49PM (#4786044)
    I'm not a developer of this, but I'm on the developer email list and I've been following CVS and discussions.

    Chris Nelson is the main person responsable for the port; Fred and Paul (known among SC fans as "The Creators") are not very involved wit the port. It's a port of the 3do version, not the PC version - meaning that there's speech, and the 3do music (the pc music can be enabled with a commandline switch, though). That also means that the wonderful ending of the PC version is not implemented yet, but it probably will be. It's currently alpha, and there are quite a few bugs - it's actually impossible to win due to collision-detection issues, but I've gotten extremely close to the end. There is also a project underway to create new versions of the music; some of the original authors of the music are involved. The developers don't plan on making any major changes to the game (this should come as a relief): this release will focus on fixing all of the bugs, but otherwise staying as true to the original games as possible. The main ways in which they are straying from the real game is by integrating the 3do and PC versions a bit; the same story, and most of the same graphics, will be used. The name, "The Ur-Quan Masters", has to be used instead of "Star Control" due to trademark issues.

    So, download it and *enjoy the sauce*!

  • Oooh, Star Control (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Frederique Coq-Bloqu (628621) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:51PM (#4786048) Journal
    I usually lurk, but had to make an account for this occasion..here's my take.

    Star Control 2 is perhaps one of the finest space exploration games ever made, which in itself is an unfortunate but highly defendable opinion simply because the number of similar games in the last decade can be counted on one hand. Many other games have similar traits, or implement their respective characteristics with much greater finesse, but so very few have the triple-threat of exploration, combat, and humour, with a double helping of back-story and plot unravelling thrown in just for a balanced intellectual meal. Many fans of SC2 (and loathers of SC3) would say another important feature, or rather omission, is that there is no colonization involved. Your mission is to seek out new life in order to liberate your own, not clutter the galaxy with fleshy pink bipedal mammals. Why devalue the property?

    The 3DO conversion of the PC game was done by Crystal Dynamics, and they will forever have my respect for not getting a single thing wrong. Any and all changes were made for the better, enhancing the game to 120% and bringing it into the fold of higher technology. The control system was further simplified from keyboard pecking to the minimalist selection of three buttons plus two shoulders of the 3DO pad. The menu system was replaced entirely with graphics instead of text, and most efficiently combined all three planet scans into one action! Yay! Also the planet lander windows were greatly enhanced for size and visibility, though it is still impossible to cross the north or south pole of any planet. And who can deny the coolness of the huge foldout starmap? That is, if you were lucky enough to get a complete copy of the game with map intact.

    Naturally the graphics have a greater colour depth, and are truely a treat if you can experience them with an S-Video cable. Usually in a CD-ROM version the added storage space for extra additions like FMV and bad voice acting is a horrific experience, but the treasure of this game is the amount of time, effort, and obviously big bucks that was poured into dubbing every single line of dialogue in full aural regalia. No corners cut, no drunk actors, no scratchy sound mixers, this is giving the characters LIFE! And sweet mother of mercy, YOU CAN FAST-FORWARD AND REWIND EVERY CLIP! Who can spare six minutes to hear an Utwig whine about his favourite shroud being at the dry cleaners? We've got a galaxy to save!

    If you're anything like me (and I'm a big demographic, so you probably are), music makes all the difference to the enjoyment of an adventure and of life in general. The 4-channel Amiga MOD's of the original have a lot of charm and nostalgia for me personally, and indeed most of them are fully intact, but at a higher sampling rate. It's really the new remixes that make you boogie and bounce in your chair, rockin' across Hyperspace, or exploring the cold vacuum of a lifeless planet that's WAY too far from the nearest starbase.

    The full beauty of Star Control 2 is in how well it plays. Whether it's your first time exploring, or one of dozens where you know the star systems by memory, the time spent adventuring feels well spent, even when the game might come to a sudden but not unexpected end. Best of all, it leaves you hungry for more after the final credits roll. Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford created something splendid here, and their names join the hallowed elite of game creators. There is much much more to this universe, both in the past and the future. Only time will tell if more faithful chapters in the story of our Captain see the light of day, or perhaps they may delve into the past of the Milieu and Precursors.

    I recently just converted some machines at work to Linux, so this is a big bonus for an RPG fan like me.
    • by Pav (4298)

      Yes, the music blew everything else away at the time. Interesting trivia : Paul Reiche III (SC2 game designer) actually announced a music competition on Usenet in 1992 to get music for the game. See Google [google.com] for an archive of the original message... $50 bucks each for the winners... hmmmm.

      Also for those role players out there Paul Reiche III did a stint at TSR and amongst other contributions was the inventor of the Thyr-Kreen insectoid creatures for AD&D. See the Toys for Bob Bio [att.ne.jp] for more info.

    • What I want to know is, when is a 3DO port coming out? I have a 3DO and I want to play this game on it. :)
  • Be prepared to spend a couple of minutes installing this...
    Im installing this under windows and for the past 10 minutes it has been installing the THIRTEEN THOUSAND png and ogg files !!!
    So much for packing it all under one file...My FAT table is going to crap on me...

  • Most of the comments are about this becomming open source.

    I'd just like to say that the game was _really_ good. The things you could make the aliens say, the races you would meet in space where so imaginative. The gfx was also really good. In the sense that it fitted 100% together with the sound and game atmosphere.

    This game is the reason I restored a 386. So I could play starcontrol 2.

    I cannot wait for this game to be compiled on my linux box :-)
  • by svdb (413611) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @10:55PM (#4786066)
    In my opinion the news item isn't emphasizing enough that this is still an alpha. Not everything is working yet and crashes are still frequent.
    The real fans will still like it, but for the full experience, you might want to wait for at least a beta release.
    We actually thought it was to early for a Slashdot announcement, but I guess it was inevitable. The timing couldn't have been worse though, as for some (probably malicious) reason, a large number of files from various SourceForge web sites seem to have been deleted.

    Also worth mentioning is that the source for this port came from the 3DO version, and not the PC version (this means there are differences, such as spoken dialogs), and that the final release will include (optional) remixed tracks by the original artists.

    *enjoy the sauce*

    Serge van den Boom
    from the Ur-Quan Masters core team

    • Great work, I am looking forward to playing it.
      I have a small suggestion though - how about preparing a smaller media/game data pack, perhaps with the music/fmv ripped out so that this is more managable for dial up users? Also, people who have never played the game before may want to just try it out, but aren't prepared to download 140megs worth of data..
    • a large number of files from various SourceForge web sites seem to have been deleted

      I noticed this too. It seems part of the Psi [sf.net] forum was deleted. :(

      Anyone have any insight as to why this may have happened??
  • This is by far one of the funnies games I've ever played. It's funny that even today I was talking to a friend about it and how cool it would be if it became GPL.

    And some say dreams don't come true! :)


  • This is great news, Star Con 2 is one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played. The 1 on 1 space combat is just exceptional.

    I hope the team that is doing this will eventually put in some kind of TCP/IP based network play, because that would just be super fun.

    Because of the (presumedly) low system requirements, this will make a great 'light' game to play on your system. Something you can run for 15 minutes just for some fun during a break.
  • And I was going to pass this year. Oh well.
  • this is absolutly awesome!

    SC2 is really one of those games that makes you lose a month at least because of it's great story
  • by MrEd (60684) <tonedog.hailmail@net> on Saturday November 30, 2002 @11:01PM (#4786088)
    For all of you who want a *real* sequel to Star Control 2, you can kick in a bit of development towards Star Control: Timewarp [classicgaming.com]. Currently it supports 2-player-over-LAN with plans for 8-at-a-time melee. The single player game has had the foundations laid. Plot decisions are sometimes hard to make by committee. ;)


    So yea. Check it out.

  • by digirave (569748) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @11:01PM (#4786091)
    not many game developers can claim of such a loyal fan base

    http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/petition/ [classicgaming.com](b.t.w. there is an annoying ad before you get to the "real" page, click on "continue" to get through)

    from the page: "Sign this petition if you would want to play and BUY another Star Control game created by Toys For Bob"
    "Approximate number of people who have signed the petition: 4476 "
  • SC2 under WinXP/2k (Score:3, Informative)

    by willith (218835) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @11:02PM (#4786094) Homepage
    Note that if you still have your original copy of Starcon2, it is possible to play it under Windows XP or 2k, with full sound, by running it under DosBox [zophar.net], an MS-DOS emulator.

    Ironic that this bit of news gets posted to Slashdot not two days after I finish playing through the game!
  • Like they couldn't use the package-managed SDL-Mixer that I have already got when they ported this TEN-year-old game? Come on, guys!

    Anyway, Top Google result for the search I just did for "star control 2":

    • News: Star Control 2 Released Under the GPL - Slashdot - 37 minutes ago
    Google is awesome.
  • Starflight (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jormundgard (260749) on Saturday November 30, 2002 @11:10PM (#4786118)
    Star Control 2 always felt a little like a ripoff of Starflight and Starflight 2 to me. If only the similar projects behind those games would be as successful!
    • Re:Starflight (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Malor (3658)
      Star Control 2 was highly derivative of several games of that time. I have a distinct memory of thinking that it stole blatantly from three games, but I can only remember Starflight now.

      Regardless, it was a work of surpassing excellence. The story was entirely original, and the the mix of combat/exploration/puzzle solving was probably the closest to perfect of any game of its era. The resource-gathering got a little tedious... probably the only real weak spot.

      I loved this game so much that about three years ago, I Ebayed a used 3DO console explicitly to get its superior version of SC2. I have played it through twice since, and I assure you it stands up with the very best of today's games. I would love it if the original designers were to do a REAL sequel... plain ol' 2D would be fine, and I'd pay top price for it. The storyline they had going was fantastic. Funny, VERY funny.... but interesting at the same time. Rare combination.

      Of course, this means that my carefully-preserved 3DO version will lose value, but it's probably just as well. Hardware breaks, and source code can be preserved indefinitely.

      As an aside, for fans of old games, Star Control is probably #2 or #3 in my all-time-favorites list. #1 is probably Chrono Trigger, on the Super Nintendo. Very rare cart, but the emulators are good enough to play it almost perfectly now. It is a VERY long game with an intricate plot. You just won't believe what they managed to squeeze into a 4MB cartridge.
  • I spent much of my childhood playing Star Control 1 with my best friend. We used a single keyboard playing on separate sides long before multiplayer gaming was a standard practice. Those moments stand out as some of the best gaming moments of my childhood, and I can't wait to check out the port of Star Control 2. I've actually never played it, but I'm assuming it's in the same flavor as 1, so it should kick ass. If anybody out there hasn't checked out star control, you should. It rocks!
    • Melee mode is largely unchanged, with perhaps only the addition of a few new ships. But "full" mode is a whole other beast; where SC1 was a strategy-oriented game, SC2 is a story-driven RPG. You can still have the computer auto-resolve combat if you're not arcade-game-inclined.
  • What do i do when i lose my lander? They don't seem to sell them at the starbase.

    Damn. Stupid lander.
    • Re:No lander! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kowh (61371)
      Actually you can, they're available as a "module". Just scroll up to the lander slots and then activate the slot to get the option of purchasing a lander.
  • I've never heard that before.

    I LIKE IT!

    I'm going to add that phrase to my vocabulary if no one has (tm)ed it yet.

    "Mono Platform" pretty much says it all doesn't it?

    It's why I don't run OSX. It's why I am trying to get off Windows. Why should I be constrained to mono platform?
  • by Woy (606550)
    I, for one, welcome the return of our Ur-Quan masters!

  • by delstar dotstar (593915) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @12:32AM (#4786313)
    Happy *pieces*! I am *squirting nice colors*!
    *Spicy games* are always fun.
    This is *happy town* after all!
    Do not forget to *enjoy the sauce*!!!
  • by chrysrobyn (106763) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @12:37AM (#4786327)

    Starflight [mobygames.com] was released in 1986. It featured CGA graphics (EGA later?), diplomacy, 80 star systems, 5 races, simple trade interstellar and planetary navigation and a plot that games today can't touch. Published by Electronic Arts.

    Starflight II: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula [mobygames.com], released in 1989, this was a worthy sequel. It featured more star systems, more sophisticated diplomacy, VGA graphics, moderatly complex trade and additional plot elements. Published by Electronic Arts.

    Star Control [classicgaming.com], published in 1990 was a pretty cool melee game. It offered a few ships you could fly around, develop strategies for and have realtime battles with either against an opponent or an AI. Published by Accolade.

    Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters [classicgaming.com], published in 1992, was what Starflight 3 should have been. It had many elements of the starmap of Starflight, many of the underlying plot elements and game engine of that series with the Star Control melee combat grafted on.

    Starflight 3: Mysteries of the Universe [starflight3.net], yet unreleased, is an Open project with many of the original Starflight crew, Binary Systems, aiding in consulting or programming.

    Here's what I want to know: Is there any official link between the Starflight and Star Control families? Was there swindling involved? Was I deprived of a Starflight 3 I would have paid double for vs. a Star Control? Why oh why? As far as I'm concerned, the Open Starflight 3 will be great, no matter what, but the real Starflight 3 that seemingly "almost was" would have been worthwhile.

    Apologies for the long rant it took to get here. Any responses appreciated.

    Pardon me, I think I hear the Uhl whispering in my head.

  • Rockin' music (Score:3, Informative)

    by delfstrom (205488) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @12:46AM (#4786350)
    One of the best things about SC2 was the thumpin' music. My friend had the Gravis Ultrasound card and the music totally ROCKED! In the PC version, the music was done in Amiga MOD format [unige.ch], a four-track music system based on sound samples. It was amazing what could be done with just four tracks. MODs were featured heavily in the demo scene for a while.

    You can imagine how pleased I was to find the music in MP3! Grab them here: http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/3do/music .shtml [classicgaming.com].
  • by CaptainPhong (83963) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @01:01AM (#4786404) Homepage
    The game is 10 years old - play the original and tell me it feels older than six or seven. Seriously, it ran on a 286 (but faster on a 386), had nice VGA graphics (pretty advanced at the time), and digitized music (mod). That was completely unheard of - if games had music, it was adlib, and the pc beeper was still being used with regularity. It was the first game to support the GUS. I still have my GUS in an old computer just for playing SCII (sure, it had SB support too, but the GUS's hardware mixing sounds much better.) SCII was EXPANSIVE. The install was almost as big as Doom which came out years later.

    Of course, being "advanced" isn't what made the game great. The game was great because of every single thing in it. It had simply the best story/plot of any videogame ever made - funny, inspiring, deep, suspenseful. On par with a good sci-fi novel. The aliens were damn cool. All of them. Noble and flawed heros, salesmen and scoundrels, tragic tourtured villans. The music and artwork were outstanding. The gameplay was fun, involving, diverse and never dull or repetative (the way far too many RPGs are).

    It is unarguably the best game ever in it's genera - one of the best videogames ever on any list, and in my completely non-humble opinion, the best videogame ever written. It will probably the best that will ever be written (unless Toys for Bob makes a legit sequel, in which case, it could be topped).

    It pains me terribly that there are people out there that have not played through this brilliant, amazing piece of work. Their lives are lacking in ways that they can't even begin to imagine.

    I truly believe it's one of the worlds great tradgedies that there aren't more quality space-RPGs. There is SO much area there to explore, yet so few games are produced in that genera. It's really quite sad.

    The GPL version is pretty damn functional considering it's the first alpha release. Give it a whirl - or if you haven't played it before, wait until you can get a version that can be played to completion.
  • Argh!!!!!!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by feceus (450222)
    I just bought an old computer to play the DOS version!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, I did go out and buy an old computer JUST for this game... I recently moved to school (thus leaving behind many of my old 386, 486 and Pentiums). During one of my procrastination breaks, I had the urge to play StarCon2.. I found DOSBox [zophar.net], but it would periodically crash for me.
  • by sasami (158671) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @01:46AM (#4786521)
    I was in 11th grade when SC2 came out. There were a lot of SC1 fans in my school, so we were all aware of its impending "release." Of course, like many income-deprived 16-year-olds, that just meant we waited for someone to get us a pirated copy. Five floppies, if I recall correctly. Even downloading ISOs takes more effort.

    Well, I played the game for only ten minutes before I decided that I would not make a copy. I would go to the store that very day and buy it off the shelf. I'd beg my parents for the money if need be (didn't have to =). There was simply no way I could live with myself otherwise.

    A game that gives me so much enjoyment; that constantly surprises at turns with the authors' wit, style, art, and code; that achieves a balance that I've rarely seen before or since. How dare I insult them by by ripping off their hard work? It makes so little sense that it's nauseating. It would be like meeting [insert celebrity: say, Carmack] and gushing about how you love their [whatever] and then mugging them in the alley when they leave. After all, they have plenty of money in the bank.

    I have not stolen a piece of software since then. Even those who don't think piracy is "wrong" cannot escape the fact that it's usually crass, ungrateful, self-centered, and unattractive. Especially if you ended up enjoying or benefiting from the software.

    Isn't it ironic that SC2 is now Free Software? Well, only somewhat. That the project exists shows the game's immense popularity -- yet sales were dismal. From Accolade's perspective, the product was not too successful. Paul and Fred leave Accolade, and the license gets farmed out to a second-class subcontractor... resulting in the abysmal Star Control 3.

    ---
    Dum de dum.
    • Can anyone fill me in on why so many people hated SC3? I never got to play #1 or #2, I was a kid when my mom got me #3, I played it and liked it a lot.....it's one of the few games I've gone back to play again years later. I've had a laugh at a few of the references made in this discussion, so I gather that it doesn't veer off too far from the others. I wouldn't put it in my top 10 list, but the weirdness/sillyness of the game definitely left a good impression on me, so what gives?
      • All anyone can tell you is to give SC2 a try, then you'll see. I pretty much pounded down the door at EB the day SC3 was released. It was good. If there had never been an SC1 and SC2 it would have been damn good. But as a sequel to those two, it was dismal. Go try out SC2. The graphics aren't special, but the storyline is incredible. As far as I (and many others, judging from this thread) am concerned, it's the single best game ever made.

  • *squealing hobbit voice* Oh my eyes Gandalf, for this is greater then news that the elves have returned to Rivendale, this is magnificent!

    Yay geek!

  • by beej (82035) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @02:00AM (#4786552) Homepage Journal
    For those of you who love to build it yourself:

    1. Get source.
    2. ./build.sh uqm
    3. You only have SDL-1.2.2. You need 1.2.3.
    4. Get SDL-1.2.3, build install
    5. ./build.sh uqm
    6. SDL mixer is unhappy. Get a new SDL_mixer, build, install.
    7. ./build.sh uqm
    8. Bask in your nearly completed task. Glory awaits!
    9. ./build.sh uqm install
    10. cp--what's this "content"?
    11. find . -name content -print
    12. Go back to the web page, RTFWP, download content tarball.
    13. See that content tarball is 120MB.
    14. See the 56K modem blinking.
    15. Play GTA3 for 8 hours.
    16. Unpack content.
    17. ./build.sh uqm install
    18. Launch fighters!
  • I think I remember playing this game in the early eighties. Maybe on the Apple ][ or something.

    Uh... was a fun game. Maybe next we'll get Flight of the Valkyrie released in source. Or Temple of Apshai? :/
  • Nomad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JanusFury (452699) <kevin DOT gadd AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 01, 2002 @02:33AM (#4786622) Homepage Journal
    What I'd like to see in a space game is exploration like in Nomad [the-underdogs.org], one of the most underrated space sims I've ever played. It was a little game released by GameTek back around when SC2 came out, and it was extremely good. Came on 4 floppies, ran on a 286, and had some quite high quality sampled voice in various spots (no music though). The most stunning feature overall, however, was the 3d - the entire game was realtime rendered, polygonal 3d. The planets were texturemapped spheres which you could orbit, and spacecraft flew around in 3d space. The combat engine was rather pathetic, but was still fun. You could purchase different types of worker 'bots' and send them down to the surfaces of planets to harvest materials. You also could get jobs from various planets to go rescue stranded captiains, help ships in battles, steal information from enemy planets using spybots, and tons of other stuff. It was gigantic. Something in the range of 1000 unique planets, ~16 races, and a gigantic nonlinear plot that I never managed to completely unravel. And best of all, it was fun. I still play it from time to time. One of the producers went on to make games like Subspace & Infantry and is now one of the executive producers for Sony's Everquest games.
  • This was one of the best games ever, long have I kept my 3do around simply for this game. The graphics were fantastic 10 years ago, the sound was unrivaled, the dialog, and storyline are (in my opinion) still unmatched. This game was created when gaming seemed more pure... It's a breath of fresh air to get it out and play it once every so often ... how surface and cliche' the game appears - and how deep the rabbit hole actually goes.

    This makes me happy, perhaps it will help to spur game makers out of the "wow, it's fast and cool... look at the graphics and sound... whee!" toddler phase - and perhaps put focus back on the story.

    Then again...
  • I love that game. The one thing about the game I didn't like was that it ended every time I played it. I wish the game were longer somehow.

    But now it's coming back and probably better. That's a pretty cool Giftmas present if you ask me. Although I've already read there aren't to be any major improvements, I know there are people out there who cannot resist changing things. I think the most interesting thing that can be done would be to update or write a patch for a more adult version and of course update the graphics. They were awesome at the time but the time is now, not back then so I think a lot can be done.

    Did I mention I hope there is an internet melee thingy added? I didn't? Well I meant to...
  • by Jouni (178730) on Sunday December 01, 2002 @06:57AM (#4787030)
    Back in the day, Accolade was working on StarCon [gamesdomain.com]; the latest title in the Star Control continuum. We were working with those guys on the 3D graphics technology front - they were making it a space shooter and our technology that was also used by Warthog in Starlancer [microsoft.com] was well suited for the project.

    Unfortunately, the project was put on ice and never completed; the Accolade development studio was acquired by Infogrames and it gradually shut down over the following few years.

    The project itself was quite ambitious and well received by many of the early previews. It was not being developed as a strategy game, though, so it could have sat oddly with some of the old fans. I think the game had a lot going for it, considering it was done by the same company and the designers of previous Star Control games.

    In the end it became just another fatality of the games industry battleground.

    Still, it's nice to see that the legacy of the series lives on. Long live Star Control!

  • RPM/Deb formats (Score:2, Informative)

    by rinkjustice (24156)
    rpm -i starcontrol-blah.fishcakes.rpm

    or better yet...

    rpm -i ftp://ftp.sourceforge.net/pub/rpms/starcontrol-bla h.fishcakes.rpm

    anyone?
  • I won't comment on the game itself other than to say that it brought back some great memories of playing the original but they really need to pack these files. It took longer to install than it did to download.
  • At some arbitrary point in the past, Accolade put Star Control 1 and 2 on CD-ROM. They even disabled the copy protection so you didn't need to consult the starmap each time you wanted to start the game. IIRC the boxed set was $20, purchasable at local mall game stores. Also, the folks at "The Pages of Now & Forever" put together a Star Control 2 buying guide [classicgaming.com]...

    That reminds me... OT, but did anybody ever buy the Ultima I-VI compilation on CD-ROM? I wanted that so badly. Was it everything an avid Ultima player dreamed about?
  • Well, long after my map got destroyed, I could still start the game because I knew stars were at which coordinates from memory. Best game EVER. Are there any other exploration games that come anywhere near SC2?

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