Updated DOSbox Guide

I have updated the DOSbox Guide recently. I also added several screenshots to clarify a few issues.

Additionally, you can download my own dosbox.conf now. It works in combination with the default MOO2 directory: C:\MPS\ORION2

When you use this configuration you need just to read steps 1-4 and 8. The steps 5-7 explain the changes of my dosbox.conf file.


Master of Orion mobile

I have recently found two interesting posts:

Master of Orion on Pocket PC!!!

As long as I've owned a Pocket PC and known that there were emulators for it, I've longed for the day when I would be able to play Master of Orion on my Pocket PC (I discussed this a little bit here if you're interested).

Well, I just learned that you CAN play Master of Orion on your Pocket PC! Let me say that again: you can play Master of Orion on your Pocket PC!!! The miraculous piece of software that makes this possible is called PocketDOS.

What Is PocketDOS?
PocketDOS is a revolutionary program that allows you to run old DOS programs on your Pocket PC. According to the website, PocketDOS emulates a PC with an 80186 processor, 1 mb of RAM, VGA video, and "the standard support chips." There are a number of add-ons for this program, including some that make it possible to run Windows 3.1, emulate a 486, etc. [...]

and Master of Orion on Windows Mobile!!

So a while back (== a good few years!) I loved playing a certain PC game called Master of Orion (Remember it??). Now I came across the CD's for it the other day, and i was wondering if there was any way that I could get it to play on my phone (Orange SPV M5000 - basically the imate JasJar) - the phone runs Winsows Mobile 5 and I was thinking there has to be some way to get those old DOS games to run on it. [...]


Tenth Anniversary

Today is MOO2's birthday. Master of Orion II was released exactly 10 years ago: October 31, 1996. I have to admit that I actually can't remember that day: (a) Halloween was no issue here at all and (b) here in Germany, MOO2 was released roundabout 6 weeks later.

In the recent weeks I have mailed further MOO2 devs, unfortunately most seem too busy to respond. It also seems that the devs besides Steve Barcia (Metroid Prime, SSX on Tour) and Ken Burd (Dungeons & Dragons Online) left the gaming industry and were simply uninterested. Rob Corell is one exception. Here are some parts of our mails:

Rob: Sorry for the delay, but I've been trying to hit a milestone on my current project, Adobe Bridge.

I'm pleased to hear that people are still playing (and patching) MOO2, though I didn't have much involvement in it other than the awful network support (sorry!), sound, and a a few special effects. I was the head of a project called "Guardians: Agents of Justice" that was busily failing at the end of MOO2 development.

I wish Steve would make games like that again. Even though he fired me, I'd be happy to play his next turn-based game.

Ken Burd still lives pretty close to me and, last I heard, he was working on Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Hello Rob,

thanks for your reply. About the network performance: There is huge difference between DOS and WIN version here. So we have accepted to use the DOS version and the WIN version doesn't bother us much. But we have one hypothesis to explain the difference and I want to know if it is true:

MOO2 was first developed for DOS and in an later stage it was made (under time-trouble) compatible with WIN95?

Rob: It was definitely developed under DOS. I did the DOS network support, and don't even remember any Win95 testing for MOO2.

Further Mails from:
Russ Williams (AI)
Nieya Anjomi (QA)

Tenth Anniversary BattleTournament

Here are the final resuls (click it to enlarge). Congrats ALEXD! His EMG design dominated.

Evaluation round:
First duels
Further duels
Results (screenshots of successful designs)
Groups (videos of ALEXD's battles, save files)
Further Results (video: ALEXD vs. Cabman)
2nd week (YouTube video)
First Results (save file)


Battle Contest - Final

The final has started:

Download: Save


Battle Contest - Qualifying: Results

Results - (click it to enlarge):

The following designs are qualified:


The finals will start next weekend. The finalists are allowed to update their designs until this friday 1200 CET. (But no relocation of invested RPs.)


Map Mod: Decent Rocks

I.) Introduction
This map mod creates the maps used in the DC mod for regular MOO2. This mod is called DecentRocks since the tiny and small rocks (i.e. Barren, Radiated, Toxic etc.) have now a decent size. See III. for details. Since StepNRazor had asked for it (see comments), I added an ORIONDR3 mod in IV.

II.) Installation
1. Find the Install.exe on your Moo2 CD and double click it to start the DOS installer. (i.e. INSTALL.EXE. If u dont have install.exe on your Moo2 CD use the win-installation and copy this rkernel.com file in your moo2 directory and proceed.)
b) Apply the v1.31 patch
c) Apply the v1.40 patch
Unzip the DecentRocks.zip into your moo folder. NO BACKUP IS NECESSARY! The new file (different file name) can coexist with the 1.40 patch.

Test the Oriondr.exe ---> Singleplayer should work already.

2. Multiplayer via DosBox:
Instead of orion2~1 (last line of step 8 in this guide, btw that is the exe name of the1.4 version) you can simply paste the exe name of the mod:

III. Map Balance
The Orange Mod is quite popular among Aqua-Players. But obviously, those players who prefer Sub, Tol, Lith or Cyber dislike the increase of foodplanets. Therefore just the moderate change under a):
a) Brown Stars are defacto Red Stars now. This mod doesn't change any climate probability of any further star color!
b) I have removed all unguarded UltraRich planets. (They are rich or abundant now.)
c) UltraRich planets have now a basic prod of 7 per worker instead of the previous 8.
d) Tiny and small planets are now slightly larger. Basic Gaia size for tiny and small are 5 and 10 in regular moo. In this mod they are 8 and 12.
e) I have slightly increased the climate modifiers besides Terran and Gaia.
The effects of the modifications d) and e) are summarized in the following table.

MaxPop Values (click it to enlarge):

See this post for details how the max pop values are calculated.

IV.) Decent Rocks Planet Mods
Each system has exactly 1 or 2 or 3 planets in the following 3 mods. Asteroids and Gas Giants are removed.
OrionDR3.zip (contains OrionDR1, OrionDR2 and OrionDR3 mod)


Battle Contest - Qualifying: 2nd Week

This Battle Contest is heavily influenced by so called Rock-Paper-Scissors effects. Many good and playable designs are knocked out by specialized taskforces. One good example is ALEXD's NeutronBlaster/Transporters tactic against Seb79's unshielded titans. ALEXD has initiative and a sufficient ground combat value to raid and destroy these titans in the first combat round. See the YouTube video of this massacre:

You can also download the DOSbox video of this battle. (DOSbox videos have far better quality than YouTube.) But you need to install DOSbox (and its codecs) to watch it (see Battle Contest post below).

ALEXD has also recorded his other duels:
If you want to watch them in better quality you can ask him on our IRC Channel. See the sidebar to join there.

Further results - Update 17.10. (click it to enlarge):


Lord Brazen embedded PJIRC (an open source Java applet IRC client) on his blog. By using it you will directly connect to our MOO2 channel: irc.quakenet.org#moo2. You can also enter from this blog here (and ALEXD's site): Just enter your nickname in the sidebar and hit the chat button. See also Stem's post for details and alternative IRC clients.


Battle Contest - Qualifying: Current Standings

Another close battle in Group B:
cab_vs_alex.zip (20 min)
AFAIK you need DOSbox and you have to install the codecs provided by DOSbox to watch these videos.

Further results - Update 9.10. (click it to enlarge):


Battle Contest - Qualifying Groups

Saves Group A-C: Download

ALEXD also provides two videos of the first duel between his both designs in group C:
AFAIK you need DOSbox and you have to install the codecs provided by DOSbox to watch these videos.

Further results (click it to enlarge):

MOO2 10 years later: QA

A few days ago, I received the following e-mail from Nieya Anjomi who is mentioned in the credits (Quality Assurance):

Hi Siron,

Just wow. It's great to know that people are still following this great title after so many years. I am indeed one of the original testers from the project, and unfortunately, I don't keep in contact with any of the original programmers. In fact, the QA was done in Alameda California, a seperate location than the development, so I've never actually met any of the developers.

Personally, MOO2 was the only game that I tested for pretty much an entire QA cycle for a game. I was a tester on several other games, but this was my first and last complete game tested as it was basically an extended summer job while I was going to school full time. I quit microprose during my 4th year of college, where I went on to get my B.S. and M.S. in computer science. I originally wanted to be a game programmer, however after I graduated I was facinated by network security and ended up working at SONICWALL for the next 4+ years. Like Russ Williams, this game took a lot out of me, regularly working 50-60 hours a week while attending full time classes, teaching me the way the game industry is based on demand and the development cycle.

I remember that all the testers on this game were heavily addicted to QUAKE which was our game of choice to be played during lunch and after hours.

I hope this helps, feel free to blog it, and I wish I had more to contribute. It's been a lifetime for me since I tested this game or was involved in the game industry itself.



Battle Contest - Qualifyings

The evaluation round is complete. Some of the missing duels were decided by autocombat.

Results: here and here

The five most successful designs of the evaluation rounds are:

Dottore2 (assault shuttles)
ALEXD2 (gyro stab titans)
Brutalisk2 (EMG)
Feuerzahn1 (Gauss Shield5)
Cabman1 (EMG)
Here are some screenshots of the ships:

Dottore2 (click it to enlarge):

ALEXD2 (click it to enlarge):

Brutalisk2 (click it to enlarge):

Feuerzahn1 (click it to enlarge):

Cabman1 (click it to enlarge):

The Qualifyings will start at the 1st October.

There will be 3 groups of 6-8 designs. 24 participants will be the maximum. The drawing of these groups is based on the results of the evaluation rounds and the order of submissions. The 12 most successful designs (i.e. 2 won duels in the evaluation round) are directly qualified for these groups. Further participants are:

a) Designs which were submitted after the start of the evaluation rounds.
b) Updated designs of the evaluation rounds (this includes all 48 designs). It is still allowed to update your design. But no relocation of your invested RPs.
c) Also new designs can be submitted. Copies of the most successful designs will be rejected. Counter designs are ok.

There are still a few slots until the maximum of 24 designs is reached. First come, first served. Conact: moo2niac at googlemail dot com

The first 2 of each group and the 2 best 3rds will advance to the finals.
Further details can be found in the updated FAQ.

ICQ List

Since most players use DOSbox now, ICQ isn't that important any longer. You can chat now during our games (kali chatserver 138 or irc.quakenet.org#moo2). Therefore, I have removed the ICQ list from the side bar.

115394370 1st&17th
230293330 ALEXD
8236577 BARrE
212585425 Brent
4506289 Brutalisk
318949662 Budee
198518442 cabman
100884773 Charon
93409660 Choly
2349011 Cybersaber
132268639 Da Brick
343085472 DeathSmell
252951766 Dimka
8480948 dirt-bag
6206177 Dmitry
18800300 Dopefish
100091196 druzhio
160276985 Duke Winterhawk
338420742 Futurist
218012441 Glimmer
20697973 Graylord
14990607 Gusset
21534733 INver
16470213 JB-Bigkat
168210250 KevituZ
54369414 Kfizzle
159185772 Klon
260400286 Larsman
212778170 Maxalban
19031837 Nalla
164417961 PK
196170960 RedDog
289586139 rhcorni
277134183 seb79
214233447 seppel
29650966 Serbitas
268583383 shwabrer
208755302 siron
8017109 SkyBandit
225161399 SpaceWolf
95761274 StepNRazor
230190568 Strothmann
143837984 Superchad
101605502 The Zealot
287125780 Titanius
332086660 uincom
30506490 Vovin
60554935 wern
227039734 Yukan
11972979 Zirkahn