Total Annihilation and Master of Orion are strategy game classics

"Total Annihilation and Master of Orion are strategy game classics," said Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi. "Although it's too soon to disclose any details, we are more than willing to give a new lease of life to these games most of us grew up playing. It's exactly where our major focus will be."


Woot! Master of Orion IPs sold off at Atari auction

"Interesting to see Planetary Annihilation makers Uber go for Total Annihilation, and that Stardock bid on Master of Orion. Both are definitely in their respective areas of interest, but you’re in for a hard time if you’re bidding against Wargaming right now. Stardock didn’t go away empty handed, though – having taken hold of Star Control."


...and the winner is:
Master of Orion Franchise
Successful Bidder: Wargaming World Limited

Back-Up Bidder: Stardock Systems, Inc (hehe, they did hate tactical combat...so this seems good news for MOO2 fans...)


IE PC game designer Interview: Steve Barcia (Simtex, Circa 1994)

The youtube video description states:

Freshly after releasing Master of Magic, the now Defunct Interactive Entertainment CD Mag (magazine entirely on a CD) obtained an exclusive interview with the now legendary game designer and SimTex founder, Steve Barcia. They talk about what inspired him, how he works and a few questions specifically about SimTex and Master of Orion. Overall, a good interview process. Steve has since moved on to Retro Studios, heading Metroid Prime... then on to Electronic Arts. His profile picture on IGN shows that it looks like he's lost weight since 1994. [...]

He probably refers to this profile: http://games.ign.com/top-100-game-creators/88.html


Streaming Games On Ustream!

Hey, everyone, Gor here! You may know me from the IRC chat; and if not, I am often hanging around in there, so you'll probably see me some time. I am posting here to say that I am going to start streaming my games between myself and my friends, and possibly some members of the IRC if they are into it. I'll be posting an embedded player here, so that anyone stopping by can watch the games, and I'll try to keep everyone up to date on any scheduled streams. Hopefully this will give us all some fun content to enrich the community with. :) (Edit: Switching to Ustream)

Replay archive can be found here: http://www.ustream.tv/user/UniquelyDefined/videos


The Fastest Speedruns

Last week the German game magazine PC Games reported about the Speedruns Archive and listed the ten fastest speedruns. 3rd fastest speedrun of all games is the following MOO2 advanced game versus 1 AI. Just 39 seconds:


MOO2 Live Broadcasts

You may have observed that we had again several MOO2 live broadcasts on this website in the recent days. Earlier this year, justin.tv disabled the autoplay feature of their embedded videos – this made their embedded videos pretty much useless as there was no indicator of an ongoing broadcast at all – and therefore we stopped broadcasting. The autoplay feature is still disabled but they have implemented an indicator for live broadcasts again. You will now see - similar to the window on the right side - a red live button and a snapshot of the active broadcast:


Furthermore, the archive works now correctly and we have the option to extract highlights or even complete games. Let me give you a few examples:

Watch live video from MOO2 LIVE on Justin.tv

Cab here at bottom in this 5way taking out an early hydra at turn 48. Evil Sky was in the center with his telepathic race but had not enough fleet to cause trouble later on.

Some fragments of an 1v1 Cab vs Deathlord. BTW, long segments will be splitted into several 15min fragments:

Cabman vs Deathlord Pre (Build Up) 1/2 and 2/2

Cabman vs Deathlord Contact and the final (test) battle (Deathlord already conceded beforehand):

Watch live video from MOO2 LIVE on Justin.tv

Additionally, justin.tv seems to offer enough space for free to present full games. Here are two duels between Cab and Bork:

Duel 1, 20th July:

Cab vs Bork - Before Contact 1/8, 2/8, 3/8, 4/8, 5/8, 6/8, 7/8 and 8/8

Cab vs Bork First Contact

Cabman vs Bork t101-t114 1/5, 2/5, 3/5, 4/5 and 5/5

Bork's side (Post game hotseat analysis of bork's side. Bork was frustrated by Cab's spies.)

Duel 2, 26th July:

Cab vs Bork (t0-t109) 1/11, 2/11, 3/11, 4/11, 5/11, 6/11, 7/11, 8/11, 9/11, 10/11 and 11/11

Cab vs Bork (Contact-t123) 1/10, 2/10, 3/10, 4/10, 5/10, 6/10, 7/10, 8/10, 9/10 and 10/10

Cab vs Bork (Final Turns) 1/4, 2/4

The begin of the final battle:

Watch live video from MOO2 LIVE on Justin.tv

and outcome:

Watch live video from MOO2 LIVE on Justin.tv

Just PM me in our Quakenet channel if you are also interested to broadcast your Multiplayer or Singleplayer Games on this blog. Depending on the feedback I will possibly write a detailed instruction for optimal broadcast settings and/or adding new channels for simultaneously broadcasting xways.


Map generator

[UPDATE! Download link has changed Latest version 0.40]
I am proud to announce a new tool for Master Of Orion 2!

This tool is intended to balance the starting conditions of players.
It can replace toxic, ultrapoor, low gravity, heavy gravity, tiny and small planets with a better ones.
You can decide what to replace by yourself.
To do that, hosting player have to start new game as always and right after the game begun, he have to quit the game and run mapgen.exe with desired switches, and after that host the game again.
This is my example dosbox.conf:

cd c:\imoo2\
ipxnet startserver 6666
VDCGM2.exe /hugestart /planets=5 /noorion /nowh /nobh /nosplint /noreport /nonebula
mapgen.exe -ttoxic -tupoor -ttiny -tflathw
VDCGM2.exe /hugestart /planets=5 /noorion /nowh /nobh /nosplint /noreport /nonebula

So, after I started game, chosen race and got on the game screen, I presed "Quit game", mapgen.exe started automaticaly, replaced toxic planets with radiated, tiny with small and ultrapoor with poor. And made homeworlds almost equal.

After that, VDCGM2.EXE started again and I had to load game and wait for second player.

Here is the help about usage, that you can get by running mapgen -h:

Usage: ./moomapgen [-h] [-t terraformation] [-s special] [-m change] [-b type] [-r numOfPlayersToMerge] [-`~ [-v] [-V] [-f file]

Example: ./moomapgen -t toxic -t upoor -t lowg -t heavyg -t tiny -t small -f SAVE10.GAM

  -h [-H] This help.

  -t Terraform
      toxic - Toxic planets become radiated
      upoor - Huge Ultra Poor planets becomes poor. Other Ultra Poor planets become Abundant
      lowg - Low Gravity planets become Normal Gravity
      heavyg - Heavy Gravity planets become Normal Gravity
      tiny - Tiny planets become randomly from Small to Large. With except for -tsmall flag, if it is used, they become Medium.
      small - Small planets become medium
      flathw - Flattens unoccupied planets in HomeWorlds:
        They become Abundant, Toxics and Rads become Barren,
        gravity become Normal except for one planet,
        it become the same gravity as occupied planet, size is set in order
        Large, Large again, Medium, Small untill
        there are no more planets to modify. Gaias become Terrain.

      fixedhw - Implies `flathw`. Planets become:
        Large Abundant Swamp, Large Abundant Arid, Large Poor Tundra,
        Medium Poor Terrain, all normalG.
        If your homeworld is lowG, than all other planets except Arid
        it becomes lowG.
        If your homeworld is heavyG, than Swamp becomes heavyG, others
        become normalG
      gaia - DOES NOT imply fixedhw. Last planet become small poor gaia
        unless you are creative or aquatic or tolerant.
        elswise you get small poor terrain
      richhw - Makes first unoccupied planet rich
      hugehw - Makes first unoccupied planet huge
      goodhw - Implies richw & hugehw. Makes first unoccupied planet terrain.

  -s Specials Change
      splint - Splinter replaced by gem deposits.
      nonatives - Natives are replaced by gold deposits.
      arti - Arti planets still exist, but don't give techs anymore.

  -m Monsters Change
      grav - Guarded planets become normal gravity, even ultrarich now.
        Pirate stash and space debris under guarded planets become marooned heroes.
      terraform - Guarded rich & urich planets are terraformed.
        Toxics, Rads, Barrens, Deserts become Tundra.
      monst - Does the same thing as -mgrav and -mterraform.

  -b Balance Galaxy
  showringX - Make planets in X parsecs distance from HW visible to players
  calc - Calculate opponent starts and print out results

  -v Verbose debugging output(CHEAT!)

  -r Num of PLAYERX.GAM files to merge in 'filename'

  -V Print Version and exit

  -f file Edit 'file' instead of SAVE10.GAM

You can download This tool from here https://github.com/tifeit/moomapgen/blob/master/mapgen.exe?raw=true

Feel free to send your suggestions and bug reports to tf8@list.ru.

WARNING! This tool works only on first turn, if you will use it on any other turn it would mess up everything!

WARNING! People report, that when you use mapgen.exe, sometimes planets get extreme gravity bonus. It could be indicated by orphan coma after planet mineral status on star system screen, like "Abundant,". So please, if you use mapgen.exe, store your SAVE10.GAM file before running mapgen.exe and after and keep it untouched somewhere, and if you hit that bug, please report it to me, attaching that original save, so i could solve the problem.

UPDATE! Version 0.40
-tupoor - Huge Ultra Poor planets becomes poor. Other Ultra Poor planets become Abundant
-ttiny - Tiny planets become randomly from Small to Large. With except for -tsmall flag, if it is used, they become Medium.

UPDATE! Version 0.23
Bugfix -ssplint now works.

-tfixedhw now works slightly different. The fifth planet was Desert, but it's Gaia now - that would be more fair for non-aquatic races. But you can still play with /PLANETS=4 to avoid this behaviour.

-mterraform now works slightly different. Monster guarded rich&urich planets are terraformed from Toxics, Rads, Barrens and Deserts to Tundra. Previous behaviour was: Toxic&Rad -> Barren, Desert -> Tundra.

UPDATE! Version 0.22
Bugfix -tmonst didn't work, now it works and known as -mmonst.

UPDATE! Version 0.21
Added -tmonst, -mgrav, -mterraform, -ssplinter and -sarti flags.

UPDATE! Version 0.11
Fixed bug! Although Gaia's became Terrain when using flathw, they still produced the same ammount of food as Gaia's. Also when using fixedhw, modified planets kept the same ammount of food production as they had before using "mapgen.exe" too. Now both of the problems fixed.

UPDATE! Version 0.1
New switch!
-fixedhw - It makes homeworlds look like Large Swamp, Large Tundra, Medium Arid, Small Desert.

Additionaly -flathw now makes Gaia's at home to be Terrain. upoor - Huge Ultra Poor planets becomes poor. Other Ultra Poor planets become Abundant


Master of Orion 2 Replays

Hello, Masters of Orion!

I wrote this post recently and tried to get some videos of professional players game, but they are too lazy to record video:)
So I decided to do it by myself. I am a newbie really, I played just about 10 multiplayer games.
I will regularly add interesting video to this post. So, here we go.

You need to read this post and install appropriate ZMBV codec to view this videos, or install Mplayer.
on_FiRe reported that Media Player Classic can play this videos without installing codec.
Displacer reported that SMPlayer can do this too.

This four replays are our game with Cybersaber. I lost this game because I expected him to be Creative again and were not ready for early attack.

tf8_cyber_hotseat.avi - this is hotseat game review after I surrendered.

Cabman shows us masterclass in housing :) 80 pop buy t 65 AWESOME!
(even more, than 80 - remaining pop are in freighters )

Another awesome Cabman video. This time VeryDifficultChoice Mod.
VDCGM2.exe /skipintro /nowh /nobh /nosplint /minstart /planets=4 /noorion /noreport /nonebula /monsters=0
Dictatatorship Subterranean Lithovore Population Growth +100.
150 pop by T100.


VDCGM2.exe /skipintro /nowh /nobh /nosplint /minstart /planets=4 /noorion /noreport /nonebula /monsters=0
Dictatatorship Dictatorship Tolerant Cybernetic.


VDCGM2.exe /skipintro /nowh /nobh /nosplint /minstart /planets=4 /noorion /noreport /nonebula /monsters=0
Democracy Subterranean Lithovore.

Game settings: goodmap3 /skipintro /minstart /planets=4 /nosplint /nowh /nobh /noorion /noreport /nonebula
Map settings: size: Large, age: Organic Rich, tech level: Average.
This is 3way newbies game. This video will be interesting for newbies to see, how does it possible to get about 150 pop on 100 turn.
Video stops at turn 107, because it isn't interesting after that, I met my opponents and saw that I have at least twice more population and outtech them much.
When I revised this video, I have found those mistakes:
First of all, i should build outpost ships and explore more to find better planets and meet my opponents earlier to see their racepics and to choose better strategies.
Also I shouldn't research tritanium armor, deuterium fuel cells would be more helpful. I should get Zortium instead of tritanium. And I should build my first bb earlier, because it is dangerous to stay without defence.
Cabman (absolute record of 252 pop at 100 turn holder) says, that I should have been housing till 3-4 pop on first settled system, and only after that send pop from hw there. I should have refit my scouts and remove beams to make it more fast, so that it have chance to retreat from monster. I should have rebuild my scout, if it got killed. And at last, I should have sent cship AFTER scouting all systems around.

I would be glad, if professional players view this video and point on other mistakes ( Including English Grammar:) ).