Free Stars: Children of Infinity (née, Ur-Quan Masters 2) -- The Official Follow-up to the Best Game of All Time

As far as UQM2, while I hope there are gameplay loops that both pay homage to the original and have engaging gameplay, as long as they don’t suck or somehow get in the way of the epic story and world building I’ll probably be happy. My interest in a sequel, and I imagine this is common in the fanbase, is not nostalgia for top down asymmetrical space war like combat but to have the opportunity to again *enjoy the sauce* of the Ur-Quan Masters universe.

I played SC 1 a ton on Sega Genesis as a young kid, but didn’t have a gaming pc during UQM’s heyday there, so never really played it at all. When I got to SC3 on PC years later, which jettisoned almost all of that stuff in favor of an amazing FMV adventure-RPG, I completely fell in love.

Going back to SC2 later via the UQM open source game was viscerally painful. My beautiful hilarious dialogue, quirky but loveable characters, and fascinating scifi lore were buried under hours and hours of tedious controller breakingly difficult “gameplay” that did nothing to advance the story and everything to grind it to an agonizing halt.

It’s genuinely difficult to describe how much SC2 ANNOYS me, because I KNOW amazing writing and worldbuilding are hidden in there under mountains of god awful combat and planet diving. Ugh.

Oh hey, someone that had exactly the same SC experience as me! And here I thought I was all alone.

Yup. I know there’s an all-time classic game in the somewhere but holy crap there’s a lot of tedious bullshit piled on top of it.

I’m just really glad someone told me about the lander bug right at the start of the game. (Once the Earth base is running, you can sell your only lander, and keep selling, because after you have zero landers, you suddenly have max integer number of landers that you can keep selling).

So I never had a shortage of money. I never had to use the lander for gathering minerals. I did have to use it to find artifacts and biological data for the Melnorme. So it was still an important part of the game, but not a vital bottleneck.

Plus I already loved the combat gameplay from Star Control 1, I already knew how to defeat the AI on hardest difficulty using any ship in SC1 against any other ship (though some very very tricky).

What was a bit of a shock was how the AI for the enemy ships had been improved in the sequel. A lot of the brain-dead maneuvers the AI made were fixed in the sequel, so it was a lot harder to win, which I appreciated. Plus they added things like the Ur-quan ships “Launching Fighters” could actually go around a planet instead of dying instantly as they got sucked into its gravity well like in SC1.

One ship I wasn’t very good at using were the Spathi ships. I could eek out a victory here and there, but not consistently. So I was shocked at the start of SC2 when I got Fwiffo, and suddenly my best ship against probes and against wandering Ur-quan was a Spathi ship.

I got reaaaaaaaally good at flying the Spathi ship in SC2.

I thought I recognized that art shown above of the creature. I wonder if my old gaming buddy Erol did that and is still working with them on this project (I see an EO on it). I should reach out and try to catch up with him again, especially since I am back in EQ and that was where we first met!

For some reason I missed Star Control in all of its iterations through the years and have never played it, but I follow it some!

Well, the lander stuff was pretty much pulled straight from Starflight and I loved the lander stuff in Starflight so…

The rest of the game was mostly RPG and strategy stuff and then you’re suddenly thrown into some horrible real-time twitch combat. It was jarring to me. Granted I played it many, many years after it was released so I was well past liking twitch in my games unless they were FPS or Dark Souls like games.

You guys are crazy, melee was the best part of the game. In high school a bunch of us would get together in the science room and have melee tournaments. Actually, I never even played that much of the proper SC2 game but played a ton of the melee mode.

How did you guys decide on the starting lineups for the ships? Me and my brother would go a few rounds. One of us would select the ships, then the other would select ships that were a good counter to those, then the first one would again adjust the ships to compensate for that, and so on, until we were both satisfied with the ships we were bringing into battle.

It’s been a while, but if I remember right we all created our teams before the tournament, limited to some number of points. Then did a random draw for the tournament seating.

I hope they just make the game they want to make. People are going to bitch and moan about it regardless.

I need a link that tells me this is real.

A rare, and humble reguest. I am shaking.

That’s kind of true to a degree, but I still feel like the core gameplay needs to be strong for anyone to enjoy the experience overall, otherwise, you get situations like this:

If you feel like the stuff you enjoy is buried in with loads of core gameplay that you have to “get through” in order to get to the stuff you like, that’s not good.

Another way of saying that is, look, it’s Paul and Fred, they know the writing and worldbuilding is what made SC2 special. But if they just phone it in on the core gameplay, which is combat, then we’re going to get something like Stardock’s Star Control, which might or might not have brilliant world building and excellent exploration and writing. I don’t know because I abandoned it because I didn’t enjoy the core gameplay loop of planet exploration and melee combat in that one.

I mean, the core gameplay loop might be fun for people who actually like to be challenged/play videogames. I really just want to play visual novels, but I haven’t been able to fully admit that to myself yet :)

(also given that the overwhelming majority of VNs are seemingly produced as quasi-pornographic fanservicescapades, well, that doesn’t help their case for me)

Was Stardock’s SC combat any worse than SC 2 combat?

And it might just be age, I remember enjoying SC2 combat when I was younger, I just can’t deal with it now. Or don’t want to deal with it all that much.

Also, if memory serves me, you could beef up your starting ship on SC2 a whole lot, enough to make combat easier.

True, you don’t really play games. But still, the point stands! No one should have to wade through stuff they don’t like to get to the good stuff. They need like a “automate combat” option for you, maybe. One of my brothers was the same way in SC2. He hated it, while me and another brother loved it. But even the one who disliked it used the Cyborg thingie to automate the combat. And once he upgraded his ship, the cyborg won easily for him, I believe. (I never tried the cyborg myself, since I loved the combat portion).

It’s hard to say. Like you said, I can’t deal with it anymore either. I played it about 5 years ago, and I thought it stood the test of time just fine (SC2), but then I played Galak-Z, and I tried SC2 again right before Stardock’s SC came out, and it just felt sooooooooo ancient and clunky to me. Once you’ve seen something better, it’s hard to go backward. And Stardock’s SC felt similarly clunky to me. Plus I don’t know what they were thinking with all those generic ships you find. One of the hallmarks of SC is all the unique ships, each with it’s own unique abilities and feel. But in Stardock’s SC, you find all these ships as part of exploration that just have different turning radiuses and energy recharge and main weapon damage, but are essentially all the same ship that just look different and have slightly different stats. It just made combat feel all the more generic and boring.

They just need a good auto-resolver for people who hate fun ahem I mean melee.

They better keep melee though because it’s the defining feature of star control.

I’m probably with Armando on this one, I’d be ok with a Star Control without the Asteroids-style pew pew, or at least a lot less of it. Maybe they can give weenies like us a win button so we can get back to exploring the cosmos.

Isn’t that what longplays are for? :)

Put me in the ‘I like [good] gameplay in my games’ camp too. :P