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    Reading, outdoors, Go, Video games, philosophy, programming

Wyrdsmith's Achievements


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  1. When the original Battlestar Galactica aired when I was a kid. It was awesome (when I was a kid anyway lol). Books are what really made me a fan. The school library had a huge selection of Heinlen, Bradbury, and Azimov. I was hooked after that.
  2. Huh. That will be awesome if it happens. It's nice to see that a couple of Starship sim games are getting ported to the modern consoles. However, Elite IV has been promised for so long it's could give Duke Nukem Forever a run for it's money. I'll believe it when (and if) I see it. Still, it would be awesome though. I'd love to play a new version of the grandfather of the starship game.
  3. Knightblade, huh? I think I remember reading one of the preliminary posts about that a year or two ago. Forgot it was on the 360. Playing something even remotely like UC on a 50' plasma tv .... you can well believe I'll have it on launch day. Thanks again. I've been tapping my fingers at work all day to get home and wreck yet another expensive carrier on yet another ill conceived (yet fun) jaunt into some sector I have no business being in, only to remember I forgot to read the sticky on the engineering panel that reads:'NOTE TO SELF ---> BUY FUEL BEFORE LEAVING'. I've got a leg up this time. I've gone back to UC enough times now that I remeber what all the three letter acronyms are for, what most of the keyboard shortcuts do, and more importantly, my traditional first 'get my feet wet' cruiser, the (usually) aptly named "Falling Brick" managed to kick ass without getting so much as a scratch (with me shouting orders at it via tacops from an ill conceived safari on earth due to my forgetting about the VTOL down key while getting in some shuttle practice). Tonight, though, it's a BC Mk III and an Insurrectionist base. I like to do the big coordinated marine strikes on them, which always result in lots of screaming, and my calling the carrier down from orbit in a panic, so it's point defense can lay waste to the base. An awesome sight, to be sure, which almost makes up for for the gazillions of dollars of replacements I have to buy to replace all the marines and tanks. And they keep giving me carriers.
  4. After a break of about a year, I had some time to dive back into UC/CE once again. Last year I played it quite a bit, until a big HD crash ended an otherwise promising career. Been playing these games since Millenium, since the BC/UC series is really the only real starship sim since Dr Trevor Sorensen made the old Star Fleet series (anyone play those -great games!) So, tonight, I installed the game and downloaded the new 2.0 patch. I have this to say: God DAMN did this get an upgrade! Everytime I pop in on these forums, I've read how Derek is moving on towards more action based games, and leaving the now unprofitable starship sim genre to rust in peace, and yet, each time I come back, there is yet another awesome update to this wonderful series. One might almost think the man, you know, likes the game or something... This time, however, I was just blown away. I've always thought the UC games graphics were serviceable to good, not that it mattered given the scale of the game, but now ... wow, UC/CE is just jaw dropping. So I decided to log in and post to say ... thank you. I don't know any other developer who has stuck by a game regardless of bad press, reviews, criticism, slander and an obviously dwindling niche market like Derek has. No developer cares that much. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to command my own starship. These games scratch that itch like nothing else ever has. The unbelievable scale, detail, and vast scope is like nothing else I've ever experienced. UC is obviously a labor of love, and it shows. Version 2.0 of the final release of Universal Combat is one hell of a swan song, sir. My hat is off to you. You're a dying breed, a developer that actually cares about they games they make past the initial profit. By way of thanks, I ordered Galactic Command, even if I have no idea when I'll get to it though. I'll be far to busy commanding a carrier to bother with fighter patrols, however pretty, for some time. Thanks for letting the few of us who care explore the final frontier in style and extraordinary beauty, one last, glorious time. *whoops, just realized I posted this in tech support -could I get a move to the general discussion forum? That's what I get for posting past my bedtime...*
  5. Hi all. I posted on here a bit back in 2004 or so when I picked up vanilla UC, the only one in the franchise I've played. I played it pretty regularly, but a very glitchy PC setup contributed to a lot of CTDs and other problems, and after losing my second major career to file corruption, I gave it up. A few days ago, I stumbled upon yet another *cough* glowing review of the game on a game site. What a bunch of whiners. For a series I enjoy, it's ironic that I always seem to get reminded of this franchise by the copious amounts of bitching involved by reviewers. Long story short, I picked up UCCE at the local game store, and I must say, I'm pretty impressed. The planetary engine is vastly improved, and I'd completely forgotten how jaw-droppingly huge the damn game is (teach me to land thirty clicks out from an Insurrectionist base and try to drive). I like the FPS portion a lot. It's a lot different than the more common 'shooter' types like Halo and Half Life, but the huge scale, and unit tactics are very fun. In some ways, it feels pretty realistic, and being able to explore whole planets (and nuke them from orbit) is just awesome. The draw distance is staggering. The new anti-aliasing/shading options make the space side of things look great, and i love the new gun sounds and effects. Makes the ships sound much more menacing. Sure, the graphics may not look as good as, say, FEAR or Halo 3, the last time I checked, you couldn't coordinate orbital strikes, fighter attacks, and ground assaults on one of hundreds of bases on a planet while you ride shotgun on a tank as your mile long carrier roars overhead raining PTA fire in Halo. I'd forgotten how much fun this game was, though it' really probably better labeld as a simulation. It's got a lot more in common with Sub Command and Decicive Action and other 'sims' than most games. Actually, maybe that's the reason for all the bitching. People buy a game, and bitch if it's not easy to play. Sim players, on the other hand, bitch if the Cessna cockpit has a gauge with too many bolts, or the waterfall display in a 688 attack sub doesn't use proper sound channel modeling for the ocean thermal layer. Giving a game like this to some gonzo at IGN or Gamespot to review is like handing my dog an algebra textbook and asking him to graph polynomials. I'd almost forgotten how rewarding some of these sim games are, and how much fun it actually is to have to think as well as react in a game. Of course, a lot of the thinking, I'm finding, involves various ways of saying 'gee, that was dumb' I'm a bit rusty Anyway, nice job to Derek and the dev team. This thing is THE definitive starship sim IMO, and since everyone else is whining and moaning about it being impossible, I figured I'd chime in and say thanks. It's rare a developer sticks with a series this long and develops it to such gigantic proportions. Think I'll stick around this time. Maybe join one of the MP fleets if the time commitment isn't too big.
  6. Nope, I wasn't cheating! I'm not big on using codes, cheats etc. Mind you, I've got my lumps since My Warmonger is currently sitting in lunar orbit, and I believe two airlocks, a turbolift, and a bathroom are still functioning. My crew are currently 'camping' in the shuttles due to radiation. Heh. If I had just reloaded the save, I wouldn't have had the fun of evacuating my crew, and towing my wreck of a ship back to spacedock with a shuttle before an Aestrom and it's fighters got in range to finish me off. I made it, but only just I guess actually reading the documentation pays off, eh?
  7. Great point Narny! I should have specified that I meant more of the 'early teen' demographic when I said kids, because yes, you're right, we do all start with imagination, and (some of us) lose it along the way. Too much in games, tv, etc TELLS you what to do/believe etc, rather than stimulate or inspire. They call it the idiot box for a reason As to your experience, don't be embarassed. I'm fairly new at the game, but I posted something on another thread about the first time I landed a shuttle and just watched the sunrise, so I know what you mean. THAT has never happened before. As to the reviewers, we could really use some people who actually think for themselves, and don't just rehash what all the other websites and mags are doing. Video games, unlike a decade ago, are major entertainment, rivaling movies and the like. It's too bad they are not given the breadth of scope and creativity the way film is. UC, in that context, would be more of an art film. I understand why it's not for everyone. I just wish it, and other good cutting edge or experimental games would get the credit they deserve. A LOT of people won't even BUY a game without letting a reviewer tell them it's ok, so bad press really hurts the small developer in the end. It's strange how imagination really makes a game memorable. I STILL remember Wizardry, Ultima, Elite, etc like I played them the other day. I do this because a part of myself went into playing them, and like a book, the memories are part of my own interpretation, and part of the games own style. I can't remember much of anything about most of the new stuff, because most of it didn't really involve me creatively.
  8. LOL! If I had a feather from every feces-laden turkeybird in our government right now, I'd have a pillow factory by now
  9. A comment on the game being 'too easy' (snicker): Play something other than a carrier. Try a career as a raider in one of the smaller heavy cruisers. I did that. It's much harder, but a lot of fun. How about my other point? That people don't get into games like UC because they change the way that people have to play/interact with them? Almost all the complaints that I've read about UC (that are not whining about some problem that could be solved by glancing at the manual) go something like this: 'This game is no fun. The FP career isn't like halo/doom/half-life. The space career isn't like freelancer/wing commander etc' Many people don't want to use the imagination, and we've established that, but do you all think it may also be an unwillingness to change the way they PLAY games? Everyone whines about how most games are 'all the same', but when they're different, the reviews are always as above. They want the new game to play like the old one with some new bells and whistles. UC make you play the game different, and I think that scares some people off. Comments?
  10. quote: *I agree, I would like to also add that perhaps that they don't have the time to wait for hours for things to happen, with the shortage of leisure time people are looking for the most "bang for the buck" from their games.* I don't think it's a time issue (although it is with UC, perhaps). You can have a creative, stimulating game that involves your imagination and/or creative faculties. An example might be Animal Crossing which, although I don't really like it much, is very open ended and requires a lot of participation and imagination to enjoy, while only playing 30 min or so a day. As to UC specifically, I don't think it takes that much time to enjoy. It DOES take a lot of effort to PLAY well, yes, but not to start enjoying. I was having a blast after a couple of hours or so. I sucked at it, yes, but I was having fun I think the main thing with the people who say UC was too hard to get into are the ones who don't read the manual, the folks who just like to 'jump in'. THEN UC's an exercise in frustration. I got stuck in a meeting at work and read the whole manual , so i was all set by the time I got home. The UC interface looks much more counter-intuitive than it is. Once you actually dive in, you can see why the SC set it up the way he did. Playing the game, as far as controls are concerned, is really a cinch once you leanr how it works. Staying alive is a whole other shopping spree. As to the whole 'waiting' thing, I've found it makes for a unique experience. Perhaps it's just me. It forces me to actually approach the game differently. It's become kind of an after-work unwinding thing. I kick back, fire the game up, and do mostly automated trading runs at present. I grab a good book, something cold to drink, and kick back. I RELAX. When the alerts sound, I dive straight in, and it's nail biting and edge of the seat panic for a bit. Very much (so I've heard) like real life patrols in wartime. I wonder if the SC programmed it that way because of this? I almost feel like an off-duty captain getting called to the bridge, you know? More of that imagination stuff we've all been yammering on about So, to wrap up my after work diatribe, here's another reason people don't like UC: It forces you to change the way you play games. It changes the experience. People don't like change. We humans tend to stick with the familiar, and unfortunately, miss out on a lot in the process, you know? So, how do you guys handle the downtime?
  11. Bridge Commander? Blech. My roomate thinks along those lines as well. Here's a question for you all: WHY do you think so many people want their hands held these days? Here's my spin on it. I think it's because the graphics, sound etc have gotten to the point where people no longer need to use their imagination when playing games. Kids especially are so overstimulated that they really don't develop imagination as much I think. I started out gaming with the old Atari 2600, and worked up to an Atari 800. Lol. You NEEDED an imagination to play stuff back then, and it really deepened the experience. Plus, I think, most people don't read books as much as watch TV anymore, which dampens the imagination too. What do you all think?
  12. Some thoughts on UC and gaming: My ship, the GCV RAINIER, has managed survive a massive engagement right out of spacedock, several concerted attack runs by enemy cruisers, and several raider attacks to boot. I actually haven't been 'savescumming' (as we nethackers like to call it) either. One thing I've noticed is that the immersion level of the game deepens considerably the longer you play a single ship. That 'Mk1 Shuttle' ceases to be a meaningless asset and becomes the 'Mk1 shuttle I flew that marine mission against the insurgent base with; the one that got us out alive while half it's systems were shot out'. Your crew ceases to be random cannon fodder, and you start feeling (at least I do) attached to them. You worry when you take your ship into battle because they could get killed. People complain in the reviews that UC is dry and boring. A recent magazine review actually stated that you need to be 'obsessive and fettishistic' to even enjoy it. Excerement. Maybe in the future, folks might actually, umm, you know, PLAY the game a bit first? Like a good book, UC takes time to get into. I love the fact that the game lets you have room for the imagination, for your own stories, adventures etc, and doesn't lead you around through the nose. Here's the reason I think most people don't get into UC, BCM, etc. We'll use my roomate as an example. *glances over shoulder* See, I convinced him to buy UC the other day, since I am having a blast with it (and hoping to play som MP over the network). He gets it, installs it, and plays it for about 15 min and says 'it's boring, there's no point to it.' I argue otherwise. I tell him about all the great stuff you can do. He says the same thing, over and over. After talking to him, what I realize is that he really means 'I don't like it because it doesn't tell me what to do. I'm lost.'. It's kind of sad, but a lot of gamers feel that way I think. They want to be led, coerced, pushed. They don't want to (or even remember HOW) to engage their imaginations to participate in a game. They want everything spelled out for them, like my roommate. They want the game to take the PLACE of their imagination, rather than stimulate it. When you think about it, that's a bit scary. Meanwhile, my ship (and I do mean MY ship) is undergoing a refit in prep for it's first long range mission into the unknown. I'm a little worried she won't make it back. I mean that. I have NO IDEA what will happen, so *I'm a little worried* That's worth twenty bucks ANYDAY.
  13. My day job involves working with people who have varying kinds of disabilities. I teach them different job skills, and basically help them overcome a lot of the negative self-image problems that they have developed in a society that treats them as defective. Currently, my crew is doing janitorial work. The following is taken verbatim from an unintentionally funny episode the other night. The guys were loading up the van with our equipment and having a bit of problem getting the mop to fit in the back, so they began arguing about it. Another crew memeber and I were sitting up in front of the vehicle waiting for them to finish when we hear (some grammar correction was necessary): "Pull it out! Pull it out! It's going in funny!" "Shut up! I can't help it, it's all wet!" The guy in the seat next to me looks over at me with raised eyebrows, and then starts laughing, but it only gets worse. "No! NO! Not like that!" "Stop complaining, I always put it in like that!" "Ouch!" "Take it like a man" "Just put it in the other way!" "Now it's going in crooked! Do it the other way!" "I can't help it, it's too hard!" "Ow! Use both hands stupid!?" By now, the other crewmember and I are practically rolling on the floor we're laughing so hard, then we hear: "These wood ones are too hard to fit in!" "Why don't they make them out of plastic? They would bend easier. Stupid wood." "Yeah, even when they're wet they're hard." "Stop pushing!" "It's going in!" "You're gonna break something!" At this point I was laughing so loud the two unintentional comedians with the mop noticed and asked what was going on. I explained. It's been mop jokes for two weeks straight
  14. Haha. Retrained? I think you need to get your voice recognition software out of the liquor cabinet and over to an AA meeting Thanks for the advice too. The jammer/FATAL tip sounds very useful, as did the evasive maneuvering tip. I was doing that for the first half of the initial engagement (totaly by accident, of course ), and when I tried something else was when I started to get hammered. I've been observing my pta's via f10 and I'm getting better at aiming them. Nothing quite like seeing a poor gammy fighter getting torched by a storm of plama. I have had good luck with jamming when I hear the 'incomming' warning, and then a quick course change, followed by deactivation of the jammers and missles. I've found shooting brief bursts with my guns at any fighters that happen to fly past my forward arc caused them to veer off at times, so I did that occasionally too. I haven't had this much fun with a space game since Star Control II (I'd almost given up on finding a good one again). Freelancer irritated me (someone should sue them for that 'free' in the name), and X2 induced coma but the battles in UC are about as intense as anything I've come across in years, and it's HUGE. Thanks again for the tips, Admiral, and taking the time to type all that up. For all the bad press these boards got elsewhere, I've found them very friendly. See you around, it's been a pleasure meetin' ya!
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