Jump to content
3000AD Forums
Supreme Cmdr

Universal Combat Advanced

Recommended Posts

As I did with the Steam exclusive version of GALCOM SE, I am planning on releasing an updated (scenes, graphics etc) version of Universal Combat. It will be based on the Universal Combat CE v2.0 core.

This will be a precursor to my exploratory research into the viability of doing a remake of the original Battlecruiser 3000AD game but in full first/third person inside the carrier like in Line Of Defense.

More details coming soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woohoo! :D Will there be a boxed version or just direct download?

I am considering doing a limited edition boxed version with printed manual, map etc but I have not yet made a final decision. And if I do that, the price will get jacked up to around $29.99 or thereabouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meh. I paid $30 for Universal Combat in 2004, so that ain't no biggie. I'd much rather have a boxed version to add to my 3000AD collection than a simple direct download. Why not offer both?

Wow. It's hard to believe I've been apart of this community for over 14 years now. Time flies, huh? I still have my original copy of BC3K 1.0 circa 1998!

I think I might hold the record for being banned, reinstated, banned, reinstated, banned, reinstated... :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really wish you'd do a kickstarter to finally finish Universal Combat. I mean the game was ground-breaking, innovative, and before it's time, but it was ultimately unfinished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really wish you'd do a kickstarter to finally finish Universal Combat. I mean the game was ground-breaking, innovative, and before it's time, but it was ultimately unfinished.

Eh, I think that would portray a negative image. A kickstarter for an already released game? :/ Probably would need to spin it off as an expansion or something. But it still might be a good idea, it can let SC get a feel for how much and how fast he can raise funds on kickstarter for any future... *ahem* titles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Derek's idea of a revamped and updated UC would work. I think it would sell. There are a lot of gamers out there waiting for a DX 11 version of BC3K. Finished, and without all the bugs. ;) I think he could use what he has learned from LOD and All Aspect to finish the ground combat and assets for UC.

Plus, maybe flesh out the galaxy, trading system, add a few NPCs, and maybe a way to buy and upgrade ships?

The tech has changed a lot since 2004.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will finalize the docs later this week and will share it online once it is completed.

Basically there aren't going to be any new features or gameplay mechanics in UCADV. The update from UCCE v1.0 to v2.0 was very substantial, but that's not the extent of this ADV upgrade.

Below is what I am doing and is subject to change without notice.

  1. Single player only. There are no plans to do a multiplayer version. Ever.
  2. Single player controlled carrier (Engstrom class) and its support craft (shuttles, fighters, ground vehicles)
  3. The space (Space Traversal Engine) and planetary (Planetary Traversal Engine) Spec IV engines will be updated to use the Spec V ones from AAW since that is the most compatible version that is more advanced. This will include some atmospheric and special FX updates and tweaks.
  4. All new skyboxes (same quality as the ones in the Steam release of Echo Squad SE)
  5. Updated textures for most - if not all 3D assets (characters, weapons/inventory, ships, vehicles etc)
  6. As per the above, a legacy asset (e.g. vehicle, weapon etc) will most likely be exported from the AAW or LOD versions and updated for use in UCADV. This is a LOT more work. Which is why it will end up being last of the things to do since it has no gameplay/mechanics dependencies
  7. Revised first person GUI layout similar to the clean one used in AAW
  8. All new 3D cockpits for the carrier's support craft (fighters & shuttles) using the ones from AAW
  9. All new 3D bridge for the carrier. This will be similar to how it was done in Battlecruiser 3000AD. Depending on how much work is involved, I may show/remove bridge personnel at their stations depending on if they are there or not. e.g. if the Nav Officer is not on the bridge, her seat will be empty.
  10. I may update PerScan to be a top-down representation of the ship and plot intruders/crew there similar to how it is done in LOD. This will be a lot of work (creating the assets, plotting crew etc) and is one of the very last things I will even look at in order to determine if it can be done with minimal effort.
  11. All eight commander campaigns from previous games will be updated and converted. There won't be any campaigns/missions for any other career types because I am focusing this game on the commander career only.
  12. An all new 32 mission campaign based on the Insurgent incursion into Lyrius (sound familiar?) and which will feature both space and planetary combat missions. And of course the standard free flight scenario will also be available during which you can still trade, explore, go look for trouble etc
  13. A boxed version will include printed manual, world map, keyboard command sheet, DVD (with Steam key) similar to the original 2004 Universal Combat game.

Before you ask; no, I have no plans to update, let alone release the GBS scripting tools for this. I may consider doing it at a later date depending how sales go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really wish you'd do a kickstarter to finally finish Universal Combat. I mean the game was ground-breaking, innovative, and before it's time, but it was ultimately unfinished.

What was unfinished about it? And if you're talking about the original 2004 title, you do realize that several versions (SE, CE, CE v2.0) came after, right?

True. I've always wanted to play a cross between BC3K, Elder Scrolls and FFE. Now that would be a kick-ass space-sim!

There is a reason that nobody - including me - wants to do anything like that.

Aside from LOD Tactics and LOD MMO, my current plans for an all encompassing capital ship space/planetary combat game, is UCADV. I was planning on doing Galactic Command Online for specifically that based on the LOD MMO engines but that one has been put on hold for now. Which is why I decided to do this update.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who remembers this bridge image from the original 1996 Battlecruiser 3000AD game?

This is similar to what I'm going to be doing for the carrier in UCADV; but of course it will be a more detailed 3D render.

And depending on how things go, I may add other player controlled capital ships as DLC (free or paid, not yet decided). It is a LOT of work. So I'm not planning on doing 3D cockpits for 55 ships (fighters, shuttles, carriers, cruisers, transports) in a $19.99 game.

BC3K_bridge.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember that image!

I'm sure the new render will be just as outstanding today as it was when the original was done. Especially seeing the art in LoD. :)

-Sho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the event of an intruder breach into the bridge, do we see the crew slain, with blood puddles littering scene and bodies dropping lifelessly eveywhere?

P.S I think the Perscan crew plotting (#10) is a great idea. Are you planning to still have it update every ~15 seconds? If you don't mind my input, I think a deck-by-deck representation in an isometric view might be the least amount work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the event of an intruder breach into the bridge, do we see the crew slain, with blood puddles littering scene and bodies dropping lifelessly eveywhere?

No. There won't be any depiction of intruders on the bridge in the bridge view

Are you planning to still have it update every ~15 seconds?

There is no reason for the update time to change. The underlying code will remain the same.

As I've stated before, this is just an update to the core game. As such, I don't envision changing anything that currently works just fine. Since I have pretty much settled on what I want to do with UCADV, if it's not in the list I created above, then there is a very good chance that I'm not doing it.

The biggest amount of work is going to be in migrating the Spec V engine suite to work with UCADV. And if that proves to be too much work, I won't do it. Instead, I will just make minor revisions to the Spec IV version in UCCE v2.0 and get it over with. Most of the Spec V engine suite was 90% focused on planet terrain rendering since AAW/AOA weren't space combat games and have no space access (without a hack).

If you don't mind my input, I think a deck-by-deck representation in an isometric view might be the least amount work.

An isometric view is more work and will cause more problems. If I end up doing this, as I said before, it will be a 2D top-down view like in LOD. The only problem I see with this is that unless you know the layout of the carrier, you won't be able to tell on the map what location those crew dots are in. Which means that the maps will have to be annotated with text showing the valid locations on the deck maps.

The reason that I am even considering revising the Perscan screen is because the carrier is going to be the Engstrom class GCV-Starguard one since we already have a fully built model of it. The campaign story is going to be based on events that led to that carrier ending up in Lyrius with a missing crew. Pretty much the events leading up to the LOD game and GALCOM going back to the region to find out wtf the Insurgents are up to down there.

I don't want to remake Battlecruiser 3000AD. But by focusing UCADV on a single carrier, support craft and crew for now, it will be the closest thing that we will get to a true sequel - and a full blown capital ship planetary/space combat game. In fact, if the Spec V engine wasn't so difficult to add an indoor renderer to, I would make the entire game in first/third person - pretty much what has been done with LOD.

And no, the LOD engine can't be back ported to work for UCADV. And doing a capital ship game using that engine and which is true to all the features we have in the UC games, is about three years (think how long it took to get from BC to UCCE v2.0) and close to $3m investment. Not happening. And I'm not going to crowd fund it because as a space game, it stands very little success of getting funded at that amount. Before you say Star Citizen or Elite Dangerous, don't. If can't figure out what I mean by that and you want me to tell you why, just ask.

I simply want to modernize the game as best as possible instead of just re-releasing it with minor updates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please keep discussions in this thread specifically about this game. If you want to discuss something else, take it to another forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is amazing. Ever since AAW I have wanted an updated version of UCCE!

I do have a questoin though - you say you're revising the FPS GUI from AAW, but is the gameplay going to be modified to be like AAW? I loved the concept of FPS combat in UC but the gameplay left a bit to be desired - especially after the release of AAW. I thoroughly enjoyed playing AAW and thought that it was a very nice way to play.

This is purely theoretical since the GBS isn't planned to be released - but if it was would it be possible to recreate the tight spaces that are similar to the ones from AAW to use in ground combat? I'd love to bring to bare a full carrier and all its assets on a small base - something you didn't really have the ability to do in AAW - and then go down and see it all happening from the ground while having it actually be fun and sensible.

Edit:

Also purely as a fan comment - I find it amazing your source control - your ability to get your older games up and running with (apparent) minimal ease years after release is quite remarkable. Even from what, 2009 with UCCE2.0 to now there has been enough changes and alterations that there must have been hurdles to cross. I wonder how far back you could go to get a running version of the older games from source compiled in a modern IDE. BCM? The beta window build of BC3K 2.0? It'd be interesting to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to do my best to integrate the fps elements (including UI) from AAW to the fps portion of UCADV. But remember, this game is a capital ship combat game, not a dedicated fps like AAW.

All the planetary bases (at this point, I am not planning to have any cities) in UCADV are going to be recreated from scratch. The goal is to have them be a cross between the base scenes in AAW and those in LOD. That's why there probably won't be any cities, just individual bases on the pre-existing habitable planets.

I can go all the way back to the first game released in 1996; and I have the source code going all the way back to the very first build back in 1990 I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! This is awesome news. I'm looking forward to it.

One thing about the original game that always bugged me was that the hyperspace engines would drain after jumping through a gate or wormhole to a new system. When trying to pursue ships across systems, they would always outrun me while I waited for my engines to recharge after entering a new system.

I wonder... Was I just playing it wrong all this time? Was this something that would improve over time with crew ability, and I just didn't give it enough time? Or is this how it was designed to operate?

If it is by design, would you consider changing it so that hyserspace engines don't drain anymore after inter-system jumps? Only drain the engines if used within a system, because the ship is unaided by a gate or wormhole?

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing about the original game that always bugged me was that the hyperspace engines would drain after jumping through a gate or wormhole to a new system. When trying to pursue ships across systems, they would always outrun me while I waited for my engines to recharge after entering a new system.

I wonder... Was I just playing it wrong all this time? Was this something that would improve over time with crew ability, and I just didn't give it enough time? Or is this how it was designed to operate?

Hyper-drive recharge rates do increase with upgraded engines and reactors. Also crew XP will increase over time, but I don't know if that increase the recharge rate for the hyper-drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, I do know about upgrading. I've been here since the beginning, though I've been away for awhile.

If I'm remembering correctly, the hyperdrive speeds were a function of engine power and ship mass. "Speed" Was really a matter of time that it took to get to the destination. Short planet-to-planet jumps and cross-system gate-to-gate jumps took the same amount of time, and both jumps equally drained the engines.

It would be nice if the hyperdrive system were changed to one where the engine drains based on distance traveled (assuming that hyperspace speed is fixed), and not the one-size-fits-all way that it works now. And also clarify whether gate and wormhole jumps are hyperdrive-assisted, or don't drain the hyperdrive engines on inter-system jumps.

Just my opinion...

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really a great news!

finaly :rotfl:

And despite the hard work envolved, if you could put a isometric view and use the most new engine(V instead of IV) and add new cockpits and effects, and maybe cities... :whoa:

Even today I am sorry for Knightblade never have been released ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×