RFTS

Discussion relating to Reach For The Stars.

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RFTS

Postby solops » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:49 am

So when are you guys gonna dust this off and send out a new version? I still think the last version would have been a better seller with a different GUI.

Forever hopeful,

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Postby Twinkle » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:52 am

???

I think you better explain what you are thinking; we are no mind readers at this forum even if I'm sure some likes to be... The GUI for BiN is quite good indeed and is getting better with the patch that adds lot of keyboards shortcuts and new commands.

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Re: RFTS

Postby Gregor Whiley » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:57 am

solops wrote:So when are you guys gonna dust this off and send out a new version? I still think the last version would have been a better seller with a different GUI.

Forever hopeful,

solops


Thanks for asking. We hope to have some news about Reach For The Stars fairly soon.

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Postby Cpt. Feathersword » Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:58 am

I'm not even sure he is commenting on BiN, what the hell is RFTS?

EDIT: Ah, nevermind.
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Postby solops » Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:32 pm

Gregor’s note got me all worked up, so I re-installed Reach for the Stars. Yep, it’s back on my hard drive for the first time since…I guess the year 2000. I’ve been playing the ancient game Stars! (for my money Stars! had the best GUI and data presentation of any space 4x game ever) and Space Empires IV a lot for years now because no other decent turn-based games space 4x were available. SEIV is not all bad, but the AI is lacking and the micro-management gets nasty, but the game looks good and data presentation and manipulation is adequate.

Anyway I started playing RFTS again with the 1.2 Beta patch installed. And I quickly began to run into the things again that after 4 years still bug me. (First let me say that RFTS has some unique features and options that are GREAT. And the AI is better than most 4x games. I still have my old Apple II version of RFTS and even it gave a better fight than most of the current crop of games.) Where RFTS falls down for me is how it looks...how it is presented. Order giving off of the data presentation is, as a result, clumsy in places. The “wings” that contain the data on most screens are too big and obstructive. They are unnecessary. Just throw the data up in small boxes. Most of the screens are too “artsy” with icons laid out in curves and patterns…very cluttered and unorganized looking. The Planetary Production Screen is one of the egregious offenders. The whole thing is about as un-businesslike as can be imagined. No tables, few charts or graphs. Yeah, it IS “pretty”, but pretty does not take care of business. I can’t think of any other serious objections to the game, but looks DO matter. PC games are about information and info presentation and manipulation is a huge item. I know that SSG thought that this graphic intense presentation was what the market wanted and bet heavily on it. I think that this presentation is just what made the game a poor seller, because there sure isn’t much else wrong with it in my book. There are other games such as Space Empires IV that are notably inferior in many respects that have still continued to sell for years and still have active communities. Their ONLY superiority over RFTS was in the data presentation and manipulation area. Well, that is my opinion, anyway.

Some additional notes: It would be nice if the tech trees were longer and more varied and there were more items to build, but not at the expense of confusing the AI. And when I say businesslike I mean "organised, clear, concise and uncluttered."

My plea: Make nice maps and pretty ships but give us the data on the empire, planets and ship data in the form of reports and tables similar to what real decision makers get. Some graphics and links are useful, but don't get carried away.
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Postby solops » Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:29 am

I have run into an odd problem. After getting whacked by medium AIs in a random game, in the next two random games ALL of the seven medium AIs in each game were totally inactive for the entire game. I ran one out for hundreds of turns. What might be happening?

Also, can I build my own shipset and import it into the game?
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Postby Robjess » Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:53 am

Do you have a saved game that you can send me or Alex and we can have a look at it if you like.

In terms of the Importing your own ships.. Im not sure.. I will have a look at the editor over the next few days and get back to you..
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Postby Robjess » Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:16 pm

When you say build your own shipset and import it into the game - what do you mean :)

In the game you can build your own ships.. ie: pick the hull, the weapons, the types of shields etc.. and give that class of ship a name.. is that what you mean?
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Postby solops » Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:11 am

Robjess wrote:When you say build your own shipset and import it into the game - what do you mean :)

In the game you can build your own ships.. ie: pick the hull, the weapons, the types of shields etc.. and give that class of ship a name.. is that what you mean?


I mean new skins, I.e. new bitmap images.

Saved games: I had some but I wiped everything out and did a new re-install, thinking I had another angle on the problem. If the problem continues to occur, I'll send a file or three.
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Postby solops » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:48 am

No joy. I have sent a request for an address to send the file to and I have sent the file to SSG Support.

Very frustrating and confusing. All the moreso since it worked fine long enough to pound me in the first game of RFTS I played in 4 years. Now it won't let me try a re-match. I refuse to believe the AI is that smart with a personality to boot.

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Postby Joe » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:16 am

Rob,

He is not talking about KP or BIN
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Postby Twinkle » Mon Dec 13, 2004 12:01 pm

Joe wrote:Rob,

He is not talking about KP or BIN
-


He is talking about reach for the stars...
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Postby solops » Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:48 pm

And an additional note: I have determined that the AI works fine in the scenarios that come with the game. The only place there is a problem is with the user-defined game set-up. Within that context I have not been able to determine if any one of the settings, such as galaxy size, might be resonsible for the odd behavior.

Very, very odd.

Gregor, when can you give a bit more on the future of RFTS? This last version was for me the most intensely anticipated game ever. And, although I was not wild about the results, I still think Roger and Ian have made some of the best games ever and that they may be the only people who will ever give us the space 4x game we want with an AI that can really fight back without it being a total cheat.
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Postby Robjess » Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:46 pm

Well Im glad he is talking about Reach for the Stars - because thats what Im talking about too.

I dont know about importing new ship graphics.. I guess it can be done.. but it is something I would need to look into.

I quite like the most recent version of Reach for the Stars (the version you are talking about) - its a great solid game!
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Postby solops » Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:37 am

Has anyone duplicated my problem or had the same issue when starting from my saved game file?

I had thought that perhaps it had something to do with using the "domination" option in a user defined game, so I tried the "Largest Empire" setting. Again, no joy. All of the AIs are still as inactive as a bump on a pickle.
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