After last week’s short, cryptic announcement, several of you asked, “Where’s the beef?!” Actually, none of you asked that (sadly, beef-related metaphors have been on the decline), so I will put this in simple, vegan terms: Fred and I have been working on UQM2 full time since Fall of last year. So far it’s just the two of us, with Fred working loooong hours developing a cool new designer-friendly scripting system for gameplay, and me reading old sci-fi, drinking Mai Tais and trying to make something coherent out of almost 30 years of story notes and design sketches.
Our goal is to create a genuine sequel to the game we last worked-on in early 90’s – something that feels like a seamless continuation of your best UQM memories. Selfishly perhaps, we also want to make the game our own way without any bosses, driven only by our own imaginations and that of the UQM community. To that end, we will soon be opening up a forum where the core UQM2 team, volunteers and fans can discuss, debate and collaborate on the new game.
We are making real progress, but we still have a long way to go. We sincerely hope that all of you are up for the journey – it’s going to be a blast!
We did, however, want to give a recap of what we learned and heard last week, which is very, very hard to distill down into a few pithy sentences, but here’s some of what we saw:
Down with the third dimension! Width and height shall reign! Depth in games is an illusion I have attempted to grasp multiple times, resulting in several broken monitors and a bandaged hand. You like 2D! We’re going to ask a question about that this week.
I feel like melee is the heart of the game too. It’s the main gameplay element, and I thought it was excellent back in the day when the game came out in 92. But I agree that it feels clunky now and Stardock version didn’t update it enough to feel smooth.
Combat was never the best part of SC2, but I liked it enough to play just the melee mode for quite a few hours with friends. The biggest problem I ever had was when your keystrokes wouldn’t register because there were a limited number of keys that could be pressed at once!
So combat was fine. But the lander gameplay…? UNIMPEACHABLE.
Yeah, to me SC1 was ‘Space War’ on steroids, mixed with a bit of Archon. That combat was essential to the game; it was the game. Whether in SC2 it became a vestigial organ, or the core element of continuity around which all the other stuff was layered, is I suppose a matter of perspective. I am unusual in this forum in that SC1 is the (only) Star Control game I played a ton of. I have tried SC2 a few times, and will try again, but you know how it goes - it’s often hard for an old game to get its hooks in you when you didn’t play it back in the day. It takes more of an effort.