Introduction to Master of Orion

Introduction to Master of Orion

Sirian
Sirian

March 1st, 2004, 1:56 am #1

I have begun to assemble a page for Master of Orion. Not MOO3 or MOO2, but the original game. The page opens with two sections complete, the rest under construction, but there is enough to get you started if you are curious. I will work to bring more sections online in coming days.

Sirian's Master of Orion Page

If you have serious inquiries about the game, feel free to post them here. If you have criticisms about the site or wish to notify me about errata and other feedback, please take that to [url=mailto:sirian23@earthlink.net]email.[/url]

Thank you for your cooperation. I hope you enjoy the site.


- Sirian
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Zed
Zed

March 1st, 2004, 5:22 pm #2

nt
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Ozymandous
Ozymandous

March 2nd, 2004, 2:18 pm #3

I have begun to assemble a page for Master of Orion. Not MOO3 or MOO2, but the original game. The page opens with two sections complete, the rest under construction, but there is enough to get you started if you are curious. I will work to bring more sections online in coming days.

Sirian's Master of Orion Page

If you have serious inquiries about the game, feel free to post them here. If you have criticisms about the site or wish to notify me about errata and other feedback, please take that to [url=mailto:sirian23@earthlink.net]email.[/url]

Thank you for your cooperation. I hope you enjoy the site.


- Sirian
Hey Sirian, what do you think of the original strategy guide for MOO? I know many folks loved it since the guide went past basic game mechanics and had hard numbers and other good data that helped players understand the game better.

Just thought I'd ask again here since I spammed the Epic 38 thread. :/
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Sirian
Sirian

March 2nd, 2004, 6:48 pm #4

I think a training game or two from the likes of Zed, BamBam and me, would exceed the value of the strategy guide. I admit that among strategy guides, it's in the upper echelon, but not all of its advice is sound. The charts and such, the references, the raw data... Sure, no reason not to make those available. Some of that stuff is floating around out there already, on the MOO sites I turned up in my websearch. If players want to track down a copy of the guide, I won't object, but I do not plan to advise it as necessary for new players. If we actually go forward with MOO events, those will become the definitive source for MOO strategy, I would think.

Smegged had never played the game in olden days. He picked it up about a year ago, maybe a year and a half, when MOO3 was still a promising prospect. He might be the right man for the job of describing the process from newbie to competent player. I think it only took him a couple of games to figure out not only the essentials, but some successful strategies.

This game is not hard to learn. It may be more difficult to master, but let's cover the learning first, eh?

The game manual is compact and well written, written by the game's designer. That would be where I steer new players. RTFM! If they have the patience to do that, then they will need hands-on experience before they go much farther. If they don't, then they need the hands-on experience even sooner! Thus, in my view, there are no cases where I would suggest STARTING with the strategy guide. Thus, my focus is first on piquing interest, and then on smoothing the way for the curious to be able to try the game. From that perspective, any mention of the strat guide now is putting the cart before the horse. Do you appreciate that point of view?


After I wrote some spot reports for GalCiv, interest and participation began to pick up. There's nothing quite like being taken through the gaming experience.

I'm still working on getting an old machine up and running. I've run into a snag or two, but there are several ways around them. One way or another, I will resolve the issues, and then I can play and report on a game. Most folks should be able to get the game to run on their current systems. All of the animations will play at lightning speed, but none of those are essential to gameplay. They add only to atmosphere.

Of particular importance will be trying to make the path as smooth as possible for those who never played the game at all but would be willing to give it a shot. We don't want to leave them hanging without instructions, fumbling around in the dark trying to get a ten year old game to run.

Zed and BamBam are still going strong with GalCiv while I have hit burnout, so I don't expect any help in the early phase of assembling my site and playing and reporting on a game. However, if you are itching for MOO action yourself, there's no need to wait on me. If you want to play and report on a game, go right ahead. Or you can wait. I -will- get something going here, but this will take some work to assemble.


- Sirian
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Zed
Zed

March 2nd, 2004, 7:40 pm #5

As far as GalCiv goes, I've got enough energy left for SGs, and potentially an Epic or two if they start up at some point. However, I don't think I'll be playing and submitting any solo games anytime soon, beyond maybe one per month. That should leave me at least some time to invest in MOO once the ball gets rolling (or, potentially to help get the ball rolling.)
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 2nd, 2004, 8:46 pm #6

I think a training game or two from the likes of Zed, BamBam and me, would exceed the value of the strategy guide. I admit that among strategy guides, it's in the upper echelon, but not all of its advice is sound. The charts and such, the references, the raw data... Sure, no reason not to make those available. Some of that stuff is floating around out there already, on the MOO sites I turned up in my websearch. If players want to track down a copy of the guide, I won't object, but I do not plan to advise it as necessary for new players. If we actually go forward with MOO events, those will become the definitive source for MOO strategy, I would think.

Smegged had never played the game in olden days. He picked it up about a year ago, maybe a year and a half, when MOO3 was still a promising prospect. He might be the right man for the job of describing the process from newbie to competent player. I think it only took him a couple of games to figure out not only the essentials, but some successful strategies.

This game is not hard to learn. It may be more difficult to master, but let's cover the learning first, eh?

The game manual is compact and well written, written by the game's designer. That would be where I steer new players. RTFM! If they have the patience to do that, then they will need hands-on experience before they go much farther. If they don't, then they need the hands-on experience even sooner! Thus, in my view, there are no cases where I would suggest STARTING with the strategy guide. Thus, my focus is first on piquing interest, and then on smoothing the way for the curious to be able to try the game. From that perspective, any mention of the strat guide now is putting the cart before the horse. Do you appreciate that point of view?


After I wrote some spot reports for GalCiv, interest and participation began to pick up. There's nothing quite like being taken through the gaming experience.

I'm still working on getting an old machine up and running. I've run into a snag or two, but there are several ways around them. One way or another, I will resolve the issues, and then I can play and report on a game. Most folks should be able to get the game to run on their current systems. All of the animations will play at lightning speed, but none of those are essential to gameplay. They add only to atmosphere.

Of particular importance will be trying to make the path as smooth as possible for those who never played the game at all but would be willing to give it a shot. We don't want to leave them hanging without instructions, fumbling around in the dark trying to get a ten year old game to run.

Zed and BamBam are still going strong with GalCiv while I have hit burnout, so I don't expect any help in the early phase of assembling my site and playing and reporting on a game. However, if you are itching for MOO action yourself, there's no need to wait on me. If you want to play and report on a game, go right ahead. Or you can wait. I -will- get something going here, but this will take some work to assemble.


- Sirian
I have been able to run MOO under XP using information on Jon Sullivan's site and a post on the GalCiv forums, however I've found a better solution -- DOSbox,

<http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/news.php?show_news=1&gt;

Under DOSbox, sound AND music work. DOSbox allows finer control over machine parameters (# CPU cyles, # frames skipped) to control program response. You mentioned that "the animations would run lightning fast", do you have a benchmark as to what is "normal" speed and what is "fast"? I did notice along with working music and sound effects no longer skipping, that the missile base launching four missles in the intro is MUCH faster under DOSbox.

Be seeing you...

---> TBC (Throttle Back Cycles?)

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Sirian
Sirian

March 3rd, 2004, 4:40 am #7

I have begun to assemble a page for Master of Orion. Not MOO3 or MOO2, but the original game. The page opens with two sections complete, the rest under construction, but there is enough to get you started if you are curious. I will work to bring more sections online in coming days.

Sirian's Master of Orion Page

If you have serious inquiries about the game, feel free to post them here. If you have criticisms about the site or wish to notify me about errata and other feedback, please take that to [url=mailto:sirian23@earthlink.net]email.[/url]

Thank you for your cooperation. I hope you enjoy the site.


- Sirian
I've posted another section to my site, completing the first major section, "The Actors", which attempts to offer the big picture. The next section will get into more of the finer points, to provide some backdrop. Hopefully, by the end of this process, some of those tuning in out of curiosity will have been sold and we can bring some new people on board.

TBC, I'll have to get to your questions tomorrow.


- Sirian
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Sirian
Sirian

March 3rd, 2004, 6:33 pm #8

I have been able to run MOO under XP using information on Jon Sullivan's site and a post on the GalCiv forums, however I've found a better solution -- DOSbox,

<http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/news.php?show_news=1&gt;

Under DOSbox, sound AND music work. DOSbox allows finer control over machine parameters (# CPU cyles, # frames skipped) to control program response. You mentioned that "the animations would run lightning fast", do you have a benchmark as to what is "normal" speed and what is "fast"? I did notice along with working music and sound effects no longer skipping, that the missile base launching four missles in the intro is MUCH faster under DOSbox.

Be seeing you...

---> TBC (Throttle Back Cycles?)
I grabbed a copy of DOS-Box. It is working under WinME, Athlon CPU, but it is not working properly. I get a continuous streaming "SDL Lock Failed" error in the background, and I get stuttering sound and poor performance in the game, although it is (marginally) playable this way. Since WinME is not verified for DOS-Box as compatible, I can't really complain. I expect the performance on other Windows operating systems is much better.

WinME does not support Expanded Memory function, which is why MOO does not work. I had MOO1 working under Win95 and Win98 over the years, though, on machines ranging from a Pentium 75 to a P2 300. That's where I saw the animations running fast, but emulators and other options may not see that.

I know, I know. Why am I running WinME? Well, that's a long story. I've had no problems with it doing what I want EXCEPT in the area of getting Xcom and MOO to run, which is why I've never been motivated to back up to 98 again. There was no need, so I didn't bother.


There was one other problem for DOS-Box. I could not take a screenshot. Dumping the screen to the Windows clipboard with PrntScrn failed. What came out was a garbled mess. Are you able to take screenshots? If not immediately, perhaps after tweaking DOS-Box a little? If you can't take screens, that would be problematic for tournament or SG play, obviously. Let me know.


As for getting the game to run, I will have to rely on you and Zed, and perhaps others, to assemble easy to use instructions for getting up and running in XP or Win2000. I should be able to provide that for Win98 and Win95B. I plan to install Win98 on the P1 166 I'm trying to assemble. Since Descent, Xcom, and MOO will all play well at that speed, and will play better at native speed on a slower box than through an emulator on a modern PC, I still intend to go forward with that plan for myself.

I did take a few minutes to poke around in MOO while I had the game open, though. 640 resolution DOES look worse than I remembered. It's been about four years since I played any of the old games at that resolution, but it still felt good to revisit an old friend. It will be good to play again. Won't be too much longer now...


- Sirian
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Ozymandous
Ozymandous

March 3rd, 2004, 7:23 pm #9

It is possible to take screenshots with DOS-box, I am just not sure how to do so. There was a thread with screenshots people had done with old games, Descent was ont of those that was working with the emulator.

Just thought you might like to know.
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Joined: February 16th, 2004, 12:36 am

March 3rd, 2004, 7:53 pm #10

I have begun to assemble a page for Master of Orion. Not MOO3 or MOO2, but the original game. The page opens with two sections complete, the rest under construction, but there is enough to get you started if you are curious. I will work to bring more sections online in coming days.

Sirian's Master of Orion Page

If you have serious inquiries about the game, feel free to post them here. If you have criticisms about the site or wish to notify me about errata and other feedback, please take that to [url=mailto:sirian23@earthlink.net]email.[/url]

Thank you for your cooperation. I hope you enjoy the site.


- Sirian
I thought I might chime in here.

Getting older games from my childhood to work on my current computer has been an obsession of mine. Here are a couple of helpful links for slowdown programs and general info:

http://www.oldskool.org/

http://www.oldskool.org/guides/oldonnew/resources

Also check the forums at:
http://www.the-underdogs.org/forum/view ... cc25c6e32d

What I finally found to work best is a generic boot disk program called Behive OS. This program will crate a boot disk that will boot you into DOS and give you several options to configure your memory. It also has generic CD-ROM and mouse drivers. I have managed to get both X-com and MOO running with it. You can get it here:
http://community.the-underdogs.org/pub/bootdisks/

The file is called whive12.exe Just pop a floppy into your drive and run it. It will even get you into a “true” DOS mode running windows XP!

This boot disk doesn’t do anything for speed issues but if you combine it with some of the slowdown programs found at oldskool.org you can get most games working well. This should work for most people.

I have a lot of experience dinking around with stuff like this, so if anyone has a question or problem I may be able to help. I also proficient in DOS if anyone needs some help getting past A:\
Last edited by Isit on March 3rd, 2004, 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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