Friday, October 13, 2006

The Ur-Quan Masters

The Ur-Quan Masters (UQM) project aims to port Star Control II to modern operating systems including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and BSD. The project began in 2002 when the original creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III released the source code of the 3DO version as open source under the GPL. It is currently at version 0.6.2 [4], and has accomplished its goal. It has also added the option of online multiplayer Melee play, something which was not available in the original game. A variety of modifications to the melee have been released by fans, including versions with superpowered ships and numerous planets. As of version 0.4, the long-missing intro and ending movies were finally added, as was an in-game setup menu.

The name of the project only uses SC2's name in a sub-title due to not owning the intellectual property (IP) rights to use the name. The "Star Control" IP is owned by Atari, who acquired them when they were known as Infogrames when they acquired Accolade.

While development on the UQM codebase continues, a second group of professional musicians called The Precursors are creating new musical tracks and remixes of the originals. They are an optional package that can be listened to in-game, replacing the original music, or just played with an audio player.

A very playable port has been produced for the GP2X portable game system and is available at the GP2X file repository