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Stardock Tried To Make Star Control, Master of Orion Sequels

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the brought-to-you-by-frungy-the-sport-of-kings dept.

Classic Games (Games) 125

Gamasutra reports on comments from Stardock CEO Brad Wardell in which he described his efforts to revive two old but popular franchises: Star Control and Master of Orion. Quoting: "'I actually pitched Atari on a whole idea for a true successor to Star Control,' [he said], noting that the game would follow original series developer Toys for Bob's Star Control II rather than the Legend Entertainment-developed Star Control 3 ('We just pretend that never happened,' the CEO says of that release). ... Novato, California-based Toys for Bob has actually floated the idea of making its own Star Control II sequel, with co-creator Paul Reiche III indicating he has tossed potential design ideas around, but with the company now owned by publisher Activision the proposal seems to be stuck in limbo."

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Star Control II (4, Insightful)

LightPhoenix7 (1070028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797381)

I understand that they want to make a sequel to Star Control II, and that's awesome. However, I think that ship has long since passed. If they were really serious about carrying on the spirit of the game, they could simply make a new game in the Star Control style with a new background. That's why they're called "spiritual successors." I know that's not a true sequel, but that's about as good to one as we're going to get.

Re:Star Control II (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797445)

As I understand it, they own the rights to create any game they like in the Star Control franchise, other than the name "Star Control" itself. The issue at hand simply relates to them wanting to get paid to develop it, and the company that pays them doesn't necessarily want to pay for a Star Control sequel.

obligatory game link (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797473)

For fans of the original SC 2 game, or someone with an open mind for an awesome old game, you can find it here:

http://sc2.sourceforge.net/

Totally free and legal too.

Re:obligatory game link (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25799163)

Great! Now go and find the link to Starflight.

Sigh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797495)

But when will they make Master of Magic sequel?

Re:Sigh.. (3, Informative)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797525)

You mean this [elementalgame.com] ? Working on it.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798523)

Wow. Didn't realize their MoM sequel was officially announced yet. My respect for Stardock just got kicked up about five notches. Official: They are now my favorite company.

I'd better schedule some time off for when that gets released.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

a4r6 (978521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798951)

Bad artwork [elementalgame.com] wasn't really too much of a problem in the old VGA game, but the screenshots have a weird feel to them that I'm not sure I like... The gameplay area looks very cartoony while the UI is very detailed.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799611)

yes it does look a little strange.. I hope they clean that up in the months leading up to their tests they expect in June or July next year.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 5 years ago | (#25800851)

I had the same reaction. Looking more closely at the terrain in the screenshots, I think what they are going for is that the large map has the appearance of your typical fantasy novel land map, and zooms smoothly into the playing scale map with much the same appearance. We'll see in January.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801077)

I think the cell shading looks cool as hell. First time I've seen that in a RTS game. I cannot wait till it's released.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801707)

But, the link you posted is concept art.

Re:Sigh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797543)

Agreed. My holy trinity of old games would be Star Control 2, Master of Magic, and Wizardry 7.

Re:Sigh.. (1)

techess (1322623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803671)

I second that.. My hb & play still play SC 2, MoM, & Wizardry 8 all the time. Wizardry 8 is probably the best RPG I've ever played. I'd love to find more games like it.

You can still play Starcon II (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797503)

http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

This is a link to a full version of Star Controll II. It works on my Vista laptop and is as good now as it was in the old days.

Big whoop... (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797539)

Like Star Control II was such a great game. Who the hell on slashdot even remembers it?

Re:Big whoop... (3, Funny)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797567)

I thought Star Craft 2 wasn't out yet.

Re:Big whoop... (3, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797605)

I'm waiting for the merchandising. I want to buy Starcraft2 the Flame Thrower.

Re:Big whoop... (0, Flamebait)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797633)

Where StarCraft is concerned, I'm only waiting for the toilet paper.

Re:Big whoop... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802079)

"Fire it up!"

Re:Big whoop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797575)

For a while I was tempted to go out and buy a 3DO just to play it, so yeah, I am happy to hear any rumors of a REAL sequel - Ur-Quan Masters, the open sourcing of SC2 mixing 3DO and PC versions has reminded me how much I enjoyed the game.

Are you out of your mind? (3, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797587)

This game was published in 1992 and it EASILY is still one of the best PC games of all time.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797639)

I used to play it all the time on my Compaq Portable III. I highly doubt that any sequel will recapture that early 90s spirit.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (4, Interesting)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797719)

I used to play it all the time on my Compaq Portable III. I highly doubt that any sequel will recapture that early 90s spirit.

This MUST be possible. I have never understood why companies don't release what amount to identical games under the hood with heavily updated graphics which remain true to the original art style of the previous game. Keep all of the game logic, but replace the graphics and make it run stably on an XP/Vista system.

Case in point: Sid Meier's Pirates!, which was in many respects totally identical to the old 2D version, and which looks great and is awesomely fun to play.

My dream is for someone to finally, FINALLY do this to XCom/UFO - keep the EXACT game mechanics of the original game, but make it run in 1280x1024 with photorealistic (but still manga-esque) graphics. They could keep the original music but re-record it. It would be stunning.

Other candidates for this treatment would be Syndicate/Syndicate Wars, and Theme Park.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798095)

My dream is for someone to finally, FINALLY do this to XCom/UFO - keep the EXACT game mechanics of the original game, but make it run in 1280x1024 with photorealistic (but still manga-esque) graphics.

1280x1024??? If you're doing a remake at least update it so it can run on modern resolutions including widescreen. LCDs in general suck at any non-native resolution, so it's even more important than before.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (2, Informative)

Catharsis (246331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798469)

You probably ought to give UFO: Alien Invasion [sourceforge.net] a try. It's definitely not the same game, but it's created by a group of people clearly in love with the source material.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798771)

My dream is for someone to finally, FINALLY do this to XCom/UFO - keep the EXACT game mechanics of the original game,

Actually, no. Replace the environment breaking routine with that of XCom 3.

photorealistic (but still manga-esque) graphics.

I don't think that's logically possible.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (3, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799487)

Case in point: Sid Meier's Pirates!, which was in many respects totally identical to the old 2D version, and which looks great and is awesomely fun to play.

Sid Meier likes doing that. Take a look at Colonization, which preserves the basic mechanisms of the original, but adds more sophisticated Civ4-style diplomacy and trade. And alliances with the Indians.

Only problem is, the Royal Expeditionary Force is normally absolutely huge by the time you declare independence, your troops don't upgrade to Continental Army status, and there's no foreign intervention force coming.

I had to drastically revise my war plans. In the original I used to build big heavily armed fortresses and pack them with troops and cannon, and wait for the king's men to come to the slaughter. In the new game, that doesn't work: artillery get a huge bonus to city attack, so no fortress is strong enough. Instead I play a Stalinist strategy. All troops and most of the population are evacuated from any cities the king's men approach, leaving only a token guard. The civilians are sent to the arms manufactories deep inland, and there drafted into the militia. The army lurks in the woods.

Meanwhile the king's men destroy my token garrison and occupy the city. That's when I counterattack: the artillery bonus now works in my favour. Sure, it means my cities get wrecked. The objective is to exterminate the king's men, not to have a viable colony left when the dust settles.

It actually made me feel very bad. The burning ruin of the greatest city in the New World, now home to nothing but a couple of small fishing communities. My score history at the end showed a colossal drop during the war, as all trade and useful industry was abandoned, and all of the civilian population not involved in arms manufacture evacuated from the cities and drafted into an army in the wild. And then slaughtered. I had a mental image of Field Marshal Sir Dougie Haig with his battle plans, sweeping soldiers off the board with a dustpan and brush...

Re:Are you out of your mind? (1)

nausicaa (461792) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799777)

It seems that every remake these days is only true in name.. Well, almost every remake :)

If there's one game I would love to see updated, it would be Iron Lord. Same kind of game, same music, just re-recorded, and updated graphics..

Re:Are you out of your mind? (2, Interesting)

falcon9x (618587) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799875)

I would like to see this in X-COM also.

And in Wing Commander

And in SimTower

And in SimAnt

And in Dungeon Keeper (Evil Genius doesn't count)

And in Theme Hospital

And in Grim Fandango (mostly for the controls, I like the look of it)

And in Gunship 2000 (PLEASE!)

X-COM and Gunship 2000 would be the ones I would like most to see revived in the spirit of the original (none of this X-COM: Interceptor or things like that).

Re:Are you out of your mind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25800069)

UFO: Alien Invasion (http://ufoai.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] ) is trying to do this. It's not quite the same, and it's still in development, but it's very good.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25802647)

If you want an almost exact replica of Xcom/ufo, try UFO: extraterrestrials. I have no idea how they got away with it, but it works and LOOKS almost exactly the same with updated graphics. You can buy it from Matrix games on line or I bet find it in bargain bins.

J.

Re:Are you out of your mind? (1)

mrjimorg (557309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803079)

Tried it - it sucked. As do all the XCom "spiritual successors". They seem to forget all the things that made X-Com cool. For instance, throwing a satchel charge through a window and killing everything inside that small farmhouse. None of them have implemented night and light-spheres like the original X-Com.

I doubt it (2, Interesting)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797897)

I remember Fallout 1 (or maybe 2) had a certain edible item called a "cookie". It restored a very small amount of hitpoints if you ate it. However, if you ate the cookie, your hard drive light blinked twice. This was back in the day where hard drive writes were quite loud and noticable. Since no other edible items wrote to the hard drive, most people realized that this was an easter egg left by the developers. With hard drives so quiet today (and SSD starting to take over) would anyone even notice if this was in a present-day game?

This is a fairly obvious example where the software needs the the hardware (loud hard drives). But I am sure there are other examples where the hardware of today cannot give the same game experience of yesterday.

Re:I doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25799573)

To be fair that's a tiny loss and I wouldn't go cancelling a remake over it...

Re:Are you out of your mind? (1)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798021)

You didn't detect the sarcasm in the GP post. I guess your Ultron is broken. (Or, for another hint, you could have read the sig.)

Re:Are you out of your mind? (2, Informative)

KlausBreuer (105581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798685)

Heh - weird. Your parent is termed "Funny" - correctly. Your post is termed "Insightful". Although I do agree with you, you simply didn't get the sarcasm of your parent.
Let's see if I also get an incorrect value attatched - "flame" perhaps? ;)

Re:Big whoop... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797591)

I certainly don't.

Re:Big whoop... (1)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798135)

Laugh. Nice.

Took me a moment.

Re:Big whoop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797597)

I remember it. I haven't played a better game. Ever.

There are probably a lot of people who'll agree with me.

Re:Big whoop... (1)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797757)

I am among those people.

Re:Big whoop... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797677)

I remember it as one of the best, most imagination inspiring games I've ever played.

I once faked sick during 2 weeks of junior high so that I could stay home and play it constantly.

Star Control II was amazing. Awesome story, awesome characters, awesome gameplay. One of the best ever adventure games.

Mind your disrespectful, heathen tongue, boy.

I feel sorry for those who missed out. You can look up the Ur-Quan masters [sourceforge.net] remake on sourceforge, though.

I certainly hope for a true sequel, or at least a game set in this amazing universe.

Re:Big whoop... (4, Funny)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797709)

Whoever modded this flamebait instead of funny either didn't read your sig, or didn't remember Star Control II! How very *frumple*! *Happy Campers* enjoy the *sauce*! Come *dance* in the *heavy space*!

Re:Big whoop... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797845)

I wish I had mod points so I could give the mod the OP funny and you insightful - I can't BELIEVE all those replies and you were the only one to notice the sig. All the other replies are SC2 fan POSEURS!

Re:Big whoop... (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798571)

Signatures can be switched off in your user preferences. Many have (obviously).

Re:Big whoop... (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797885)

I never played Star Control II, so the joke/reference went right over my head. Bad mod should be null and void with this comment.

Re:Big whoop... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797907)

You are officially the /. good citizen for the day ;)

Re:Big whoop... (1)

mrjimorg (557309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803149)

Wow, that brings back memories. I loved the blobby creatures - "Thanks for saving our race. As a reward we shall give you your choice of either an extra arm or leg. Or we can give you both!"

Re:Big whoop... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797761)

Then play it:
http://sc2.sourceforge.net/

Re:Big whoop... (2, Funny)

XiX36 (715429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797839)

Spathi > Mycon! Who cares about semi-sentient mushrooms. Terrified meta-mollusks rule! At least until they get scared away. . .

Never forget Valiant Fwiffo (1)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801261)

SC1 and Starcon2 where great games..I actually didnt mind 3 either but 2 UrQuan races were a lil much

Re:Never forget Valiant Fwiffo (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802067)

Worst part about SC 3 was the fact that you could dead-end yourself and have to start all over...

Re:Big whoop... (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25807683)

Spathi are at their most dangerous when they're running away. That means their B.U.T.T. cannon is facing you. ;)

Re:Big whoop... (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797867)

That makes me *frumple* so much.

Re:Big whoop... (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798059)

Like Star Control II was such a great game. Who the hell on slashdot even remembers it?

It was a defining event of my childhood.. :)

It goes without saying that perhaps I needed to get out more, but SC2 was one of the first games ever created with a truly brilliant storyline. One loaded with programmer humour, no less. Excellent execution, great battle, and story with lines that I (and apparently you) still remember to this day. Even the story in the readme.txt was inspiring.

I'd give anything for a sequel by Fred and Paul.

Re:Big whoop... (2, Funny)

Cyrano de Maniac (60961) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798189)

Heh. For the past 10 years I've named all my workstations at work after Star Control; I've named machines "kohrah", "kzerza" (fittingly those two were in service at the same time running x2x between them), "chenjesu", "earthling", and "pkunk". So far I haven't been masochistic enough to name one "mmrnmhrm". I'm pretty sure my next machine will be either "arilou" or "shofixti".

And can I be the only person who consistently misreads the title "The Drudge Report" as "The Druuge Report"?

Re:Big whoop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25799953)

Y'know, that could be a very cool show, should pitch it to TFB :D

Re:Big whoop... (1)

RayMarron (657336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801219)

Hehe. My wireless SSID is "Sa-Matra". :)

Re:Big whoop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25798301)

... and then the aqua helix and... yes! Now, the red button!

RE: Big whoop... (0, Redundant)

jamesh (87723) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799245)

Obviously at least 5 people remember it for your post+sig to have been scored funny :)

I'm surprised nobody has linked to The Ur-Quan Masters [sourceforge.net] ...

Re:Big whoop... (0, Redundant)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799329)

Like Star Control II was such a great game. Who the hell on slashdot even remembers it?

Those who don't remember can play a Free version [sourceforge.net] .
There are versions available on the project's download page for Windows, OSX, BSD, and Linux.

Re:Big whoop... (0)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799921)

Do I remember Star Control II?

Hmmmmm..... Oh Hell Yes.

It was a magical combination of certain events that culminated in the most fucking awesome weekend of my young adult life.

1) My parents left Thursday morning for a business trip to New York. Not back till the middle of next week.
2) They LEAVE ME ALONE since they can't find anybody to watch me and I am generally responsible.
3) I had saved up enough money to buy one of the first SoundBlaster cards to put into my computer.
4) I conspired with 2 friends to get *multiple* 14.4K modems over to the house and hooked up to a few lines and proceeded to download Star Control II and some other games I actually can't remember off some Pirate BBS boards. I did not have a handle or account since my modem was an embarrassing 2800 baud.
5) We were hooked up to a 54 INCH Mitsubishi monitor. It cost 12,000 dollars and my father used it for business presentations in his house. This was back in the days when it took over a month to render a 3D video for investors on 10,000 dollars worth of hardware.

The result? A whole weekend without sleep playing Star Control II on a 54" inch monitor hooked up to my father's stereo in his conference room with no parental oversight and shitloads of pure fun.

Oh yes... I REMEMBER Star Control II.

Re:Big whoop... (1)

coljac (154587) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799935)

Hee hee. Nice joke, hunam.

I still have the original box-cover stuck on my office wall.

When I was young and when I played this awesome game, I wrote the publisher a fan letter. They sent me back an SC2 jigsaw puzzle! I wish I still had that sucker.

Re:Big whoop... (2, Funny)

RayMarron (657336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801153)

Not I.

Re:Big whoop... (2, Informative)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25807555)

Please don't be so *frumple*. *Happy Campers* are best!

THe monopoly corps and their lawyers wouldn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797599)

Clearly the nefarious Italian cabal that controls computergames and videogames industry would not allow this. Down with Italians and your sister.

I'm interested. (1)

glassware (195317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25797657)

Number of games I've purchased in the past year: 2

Mega Man 9, Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

Number of Star Control sequels I would purchase if Paul Reiche III was involved: At least 1. :)

Everyone try UQM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797659)

You guys should know that Star Control 2 was remade for modern systems (PSP,WinXP,Linux) by a dedicated team of fans,and they have internet melee too!
http://sc2.sourceforge.net/

Simple solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25797919)

No problem. Star Control II was an almost identical rip-off of Star Flight 2 from 1989. Just talk to the Binary Systems guys and away you go.

What? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25798045)

What's all this nonsense I've been hearing about stardork and master of onion?

They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (4, Insightful)

Cordath (581672) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798091)

Master of Orion 2 differed from MOO1 in several fundamental ways. Most of those ways involved added minutiae to the game that didn't really add to the strategic depth of the game.

Take buildings for example. In MOO2 (and every bloody civ-in-space game since) you can erect specialized buildings on your planets that focus the planets production. There is a tiny amount of strategy in the order of building things, but once you figure out an optimal build order for different types of planets it's just an annoying game mechanic that gets in the way of expanding your empire, saying "Nice doggy!" to your would-be enemies while you research a bigger stick, etc..

Really, this sort of thing ammounts to shoe-horning an inferior version of sim-city into a game that doesn't need it. However, it's in every bloody 4X game people make these days, with Stardock's own Galactic Civilizations being one of the worst offenders. In MOO1, you could just set a slider telling each of your planets how much to devote to industry, research, ship production, etc..

This is the philosophy I would like to see the MOO franchise return to:

Create simple, intuitive, direct ways to manipulate a deep and complex system with cleverly balanced AI.

e.g. To allow players to focus production, give them a simple control, such as a set of sliders, instead of a sim-city clone mini-game.

Now, I know a lot of people love MOO2 and building buildings. It's a good game, and the mechanic is now utterly ubiquitous. However, if you liked MOO2 you can go play GalCiv or any of dozens of games that have all the same mechanics. If, however, the MOO franchise were to go back to it's MOO1 roots and try to find other ways for players to interact with the universe, we might finally see the ossified 4X genre evolve a little!

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

philipgar (595691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798215)

I agree, MOO1 is one of the best games ever. You don't have to spend time micromanaging your empire, and there was a lot of strategy involved. While adding one or two other things to the planetary sliders wouldn't hurt, MOO2 really went overboard. I tried playing it not too long ago, and just didn't like it at all. I had no clue what I was doing, and it started to feel way too much like the civ series. MOO1 was simple, and the simplistic nature worked great for it. That way you could focus on things like you're research and fleet building, plus of course which of your enemies to attack. Some things could be changed (like making it so that building planetary shields was not required to build missile bases), but they're really minor points.

Also, after playing MOO2 briefly, I really hated their new combat mechanics. MOO1 oversimplified combat, sure, but they made it fun and intuitive. Of course, some updates to the combat are necessary. There were just too many cheap ways to fool the computers AI and destroy huge fleets at a time. Some of these could be addressed with a better AI that realizes that it's not worth sacrificing half your fleet because you have one scout sitting at a planet with 75 missile bases.

MOO1 is one of those classic games that I regularly end up firing up on dosbox. It's just too much fun not to play, and still challenging on impossible level (although, I wish there were a slightly better midgame.... it seems to go from being massively behind to all of a sudden being unstoppable.

Phil

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (0)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798225)

They tried doing it your way. It was called MOO3 and it was very bad.

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

Catharsis (246331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798503)

WHAAaAAAaa? You think MOO3 was a *simplification* of MOO2?

To make a more recent comparision, MOO3 was like EVE Online without a subscription fee. It was a bureaucracy simulator par excellence. I made it through the tutorial realized there was probably a fun game in there after about a six month training course, and went outside* instead.

*: I did not actually go outside.

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

shinmai (632532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798637)

I actually preferred MOO2, liked MOO1 and never really got into MOO3. I'd love to see a MOO sequel with a modernized UI one of these days.

Anyone have any recommendations for MOO2-like games for modern systems?

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#25800653)

I was the same. I love moo2, never got that much into moo1 (started with moo2) and I installed moo3, played it for about 3 hours and gave up.

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802479)

Try Galactic Civilzations 2. The whole pack is available as a DRM-free download (paid of course). Minus the turn-based combat, it's completely faithful.. but with more story!

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

n1ckml007 (683046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25800385)

Yeah MOO3 was different from MOO2... It sucked, and was not fun to play. "Bueacracy simulator" funny...

I'd forgive all that... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25800717)

If they had only left the Hot&Sexy-Elf-Amazon-lesbian-babes Elerians in the game.

Instead, you could take your pick among some of the most repulsive 3D models ever.

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802069)

Haha. I ran home from the store to install it. I played for like 4 hours. Then, I pushed "next turn" to move to turn 2. By turn 3, I turned the game off and uninstalled. Damned bastards.

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798981)

Agreed. "Sword of the Starts", however, is a nice throwback to slider style planetary management, though it's more in the vein of "Spaceward Ho" than "Master of Orion".

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25798987)

Additionally, original Moo had a very 'shallow' user interface. Your research, strategic map, fleets, diplomacy, planets and ship design were directly accessible from the main screen, as well as having a number of good shortcuts such as: "next of my planets upon which the dogs of war are being loosed". And your planetary economics was accessible from the tactical map.

So you didn't have to keep drilling down (and then back up) through a great many intermediary screens in order to do the stuff you wanted to do.

Oh, and the 'empire wide' 'build queue' modifications were really good, e.g. "hooray, we just discovered planet shields, everybody go and allocate 25% of your income to building them" is much better than having to go and stick it on all the build queues manually.

Moreover, in your first turn you could build 2 scouts*. When I played Moo 2 it takes about 15 turns to produce your first scout, during which time your planet is basically doing nothing else. Playing Moo 3 it takes about 2 hours to get your first scout, and then if your scout runs into someone else's scout, that non event takes about an hour to play out. For some strange reason after trying it once on a friends machine I never went and bought Moo 3 myself...**

*3 if you were cunning :D
** Makes me wonder: does it actually play a lot faster on modern hardware???

Yes, yes, yes! (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799627)

You are saying what I have been preaching to anyone who listens. I rediscovered MoO 1 only recently and I love it. Huge universe with 6 races at level impossible? Just give me Psilons and bring it on! My weird brother uses Klackon to do the same. How wrong is that, I ask you?!

MOO3 and Ascendency (2, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799647)

I had no real problems with the MOO3 system of planet management. The biggest problem I had in 3 was that combat sucked. It was so uninvolved as to make me resolve all battles with the one button click.

The problem in MOO3 is that the idea was excellent but the execution wasn't. Too much of the tech made little sense, you could not weigh its impact on your empire easily. Travel down "warp lanes" made overly long games as most of your time was spent trying to get ships to where you needed them and the route could be a convoluted mess with ships arriving woefully out of date by the time they got there.

Most games ended up with an empire that could produce amazing amounts of material and not do anything with it. Diplomacy really took a hit in 3. The Orion Senate or what not was another mess in its own, you could go most of a game and never be part of it.

In the end it was a mess because it was buggy and the developer sucked. At least is was not the game Alan wanted as that would have been even more of a "just click next turn' than what we got

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25800785)

> but once you figure out an optimal build order for different types of planets it's just an annoying game mechanic that gets in the way of expanding your empire

Except that you ignore that those buildings must be researched. Without the Creative racial trait, that research is typically at the expense of more militarily-useful technologies. Once the building is available, it still has actually to be built, and small colonies can take a long time doing so.

These considerations do factor into the player's overall strategy while the game is still in balance. The micromanagement chore sets in once you've already won, and have so many worlds that handling all their build queues becomes onerous.

I'm not claiming it's a perfect system, but from the game paradigms of the time, it's not bad, and a lot of the dissing seems to come from people building out past the point at which they could just roll over their remaining enemies.

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25800989)

The sliders in MOO1 were research dependent as well.

Research a better factory tech -> build more factories with the slider, or better yet just set all planets to build extra factories with 1 click.

Ditto for terraforming/defense bases etc.

Re:They should base it on MOO1, not MOO2 (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802249)

I've always felt the downfall (for me!) in my enjoyment of wargames has been the increased amount of CPU power available for the games. I played the hell out of civ, Master of Orion, and ESPECIALLY Master of magic. What worked for me, which I think at the time was a lack of "cpu power", was the simplicity of complex systems. The game was always moving forward, I could clearly tell what was going to be good for me or bad for me, and I didn't have to think too much about micromanaging towns.

But the trend has really been to add more and more complex systems to the game, to get closer to modeling the "real thing". I think that is awesome and I definitely know people who love that niche. But for me, I guess I just want to really build up towns, build badass armies, and beat the crap out of everyone while I turn the map my color.

There are few games now a days that fit that cater to the, dare I say it... "casual wargamer" like MOO and MoM did. I think back then it was just tech limitation holding them back, which resulted in a fun, manageable game.

It's rough cause all the things dev's want to add are great ideas, but, for myself at least, I never seem to finish any of the wargames lately. I get to that point where you are a steamroller and it is just a matter of time, then quit, because at that point, the sheer volume of managment that has to take place in a large empire is just a super headache, turns take 10 min, 15 min, more...and between play sessions I forget where I was moving each army, or what town is building what, or what my build path for planet reapy 310 is supposed to be.

Anyway, I think stardock gets all this, and I look forward to elements, as i think they'll take the best parts of all their games and put it in this one (as seems to be their trend).

They also wanted to remake Master of Magic (1)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798467)

See http://www.masterofmagic2.com/ [masterofmagic2.com] for links on the subject. When they couldn't get the license, they started working on a spiritual successor, without the license. And hate to say it, but I'd much rather see a new MoM sequel than a new MoO sequel. I thought Toys for Bob was still trying to re-gain the rights for their own true SC2 sequel?

Re:They also wanted to remake Master of Magic (2, Insightful)

paganizer (566360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799385)

My thoughts on this subject:
We don't really need a MOO2 sequel; the game plays just fine on modern systems, the graphics are adequate, the only things I could really see as improvements would be making the graphics a little higher res, maybe some more variation in ship design, and it would be GREAT if the number of stars could be increased, maybe by a factor of 4? But thats really it; the game still works, and works well.
MOM is just more of a extreme case. While Age of Wonders: shadow magic is probably as close as we've got to a MOM2, it obviously just doesn't cut it. I still play MOM on occasion, and for about 15 minutes it's really annoying trying to interpret what the 320x240 graphics mean. And then you get caught up in the fantastic gameplay and forget about it. We don't need a sequel to MOM, we just need the license holder to improve the graphics and re-mix the fantastic audio to modern standards, and LEAVE EVERYTHING ELSE ALONE.
The same goes for XCOM/UFO; The only thing wrong with the game is that it's old. update the graphics, update the audio, and release it.
3 ancient titles that the license holders could put minimal work into and get 3 best-selling games.

Re:They also wanted to remake Master of Magic (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25800979)

We don't need a sequel to MOM, we just need the license holder to improve the graphics and re-mix the fantastic audio to modern standards, and LEAVE EVERYTHING ELSE ALONE.

It might be a good idea to re-balance the rules a little. Master of Magic was oh so very exploitable. So very many plans for munchkin starting builds. My favourite was always to abuse the crafting system to get more mana from breaking an artefact than it took to create it in the first place. Use this to build up enormous mana stocks very early, equip some schmuck hero with top-of-the-line gear, and have him take over the world for you.

There was also the fact that if you took all Death books, you could get Wraiths as a starting spell.

No, you know what? Sod re-balancing. Most of the fun of that game was in finding new and interesting ways to break it.

Re:They also wanted to remake Master of Magic (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802297)

Exactly. I always read lots of posts about MoM xyz strat that was broken... I kind of like being able to choose if I want to play the game hard mode, or I want my flying galley's to take over the world. I guess that was part of the fun :)

I used to play turtle boy on an island somewhere, upping my magic/tech until I got warrax, beefed him out in spells, and used him to conquer the world. I think I just liked him as a hero unit for his style, but yeah, lightning bolts of death and solely conquering cities... yeah, that's what its about, fuck the balanced armies they force on us all now a days :)

Dominions surpassed it (1)

Botched (1314867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25804089)

Dominions, dominions 2, dominions 3 Master of magic was my favorite game in the world for quite a while. But Dominions is just so much better.

saga (1)

caubert (1301759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25798941)

well, I think SC1 was also cool, SC3 - an epic fail

Who can create a sequel to Star Control II? (2, Informative)

Novus (182265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799373)

To my knowledge, two companies have expressed an interest in creating a sequel to Star Control II - The Ur-Quan Masters: Toys for Bob [toysforbob.com] (the creators of Star Control and Star Control II; warning: site is entirely Flash) and Stardock [stardock.com] (better known for strategy games like Galactic Civilizations).

Toys for Bob holds the copyright to Star Control II and its characters, which allowed them to open source the game (or, to be exact, a crude attempt to get the enhanced 3DO CD version to run on Windows, which has since been cleaned up and gained additional features such as network play) as The Ur-Quan Masters [sf.net] a few years ago (code under GPL 2 or later, content under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5).

The reason for dropping the name "Star Control" and using the subtitle is simple: the Star Control trademark [uspto.gov] is owned by Atari (a.k.a. Infogrames, who bought Star Control's publisher Accolade).

In other words, TFB has all the rights to make a sequel except the name (in fact, with the open sourcing, anyone could create a sequel, albeit non-commercially). However, since TFB is owned by Activision, they can't work on whatever they like (without being fired). TFB have stated on their news page that they need help convincing Activision to finance a sequel to Star Control II; they have the will, the skill and the rights to do so (albeit not the name, but that's secondary).

Links inside (4, Informative)

RichiH (749257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25799687)

http://www.freeorion.org/ [freeorion.org]
http://www.thousandparsec.net/ [thousandparsec.net]
http://www.startreksupremacy.com/ [startreksupremacy.com]
http://abandonia.com/ [abandonia.com]
http://gog.com/ [gog.com]

Re:Links inside (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25801095)

Could you give us a little more detail, which ones are decent, which ones suck, etc?

I'm unlikely to download and try them all.

Re:Links inside (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25802685)

FreeOrion is the best of the FLOSS ones. Look at the last two as well, as those are very different sites :p

I'd just like to say (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25803251)

I'd just like to say that I have a copy of MoO2, boxed, still in original shrinkwrap. Offers welcome. :-)

Re:I'd just like to say (1)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 5 years ago | (#25806651)

The current Ebay Market Rate for those is $10.
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