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Lianachan
2005-Sep-21, 08:14 AM
Does anybody remember Frontier: Elite II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frontier_%28computer_game%29) ?

I loved this game, and played it to death for many years. Truth be told, I still fire it up every now and again.

I was wondering what the people here made of it's realistic (by computer game standards) physics and it's inclusion of real star sytems (given character by having systems of planets, usually). A huge, highly detailed galaxy to explore - and all on a single floppy disk!

The physics made combat tricky, and navigating without an autopilot was extremely difficult, but I think it did create a more immersive gaming experience.

Any thoughts/dewy-eyed nostalgia?

HenrikOlsen
2005-Sep-21, 09:47 AM
I just gave the shareware version a go after playing Elite for a long time.
It looks like it has the same fundamentally messed up physics as the original, ie. ships go in the direction they are pointed, which makes for very simple flying, it's only the deliberately messed up controls that gives it a learning period.

worzel
2005-Sep-21, 09:53 AM
If only Rockstar would do a Frontier II - that would be cool.

Lianachan
2005-Sep-21, 10:15 AM
I just gave the shareware version a go after playing Elite for a long time.
It looks like it has the same fundamentally messed up physics as the original, ie. ships go in the direction they are pointed, which makes for very simple flying, it's only the deliberately messed up controls that gives it a learning period.

Actually, if you are moving forward you can yaw the nose left and right (even right the way around through 180 degrees) while still going in the same direction (unless you apply forward thrust too). This formed the basis of most of my combat - I was staying on course to my destination while engaging enemies. Using the entire ship like a turret, I suppose.

HenrikOlsen
2005-Sep-21, 10:55 AM
Ok, you couldn't in Elite and I only tried Frontier for about 5 minutes without reading the manual so I probably missed the controls to do the yawing because it reminded me so much about elite.
I only managed to fly backwards:)

Count Zero
2005-Sep-21, 11:16 AM
Frontier - Elite II is one of the greatest games I have ever played.

The inertial motion system was very realistic. You could turn on a cursor to show you what your direction of travel was. Generally, I would let the autopilot line me up on my target planet, then turn it off, boost 'til I was half-way there, flip over (using the rear view to line up), then use max boost to slow down. When I was in the neighborhood, I switch the autopilot back on to get me to the station. In this way I could usually shave a day or more off the time it would take if I used autopilot all the way.

The gravitational model was also very, very good. By using the spacebar for the engine toggle, I learned how to put myself into various elliptical orbits. This got tricky if I tried this around the moon of a gas giant: the three-body interactions could get pretty hairy if I left it in accellerated-time mode for too long.

The career choices in the military, or as a trader or a hit-man or a miner or a pirate, or a bounty hunter (or all of the above!) were endlessly - and addictively - entertaining.

I wish I could get it to run on my current machine, but it wants ~590kb of memory.

Lianachan
2005-Sep-21, 11:34 AM
Frontier - Elite II is one of the greatest games I have ever played.

The inertial motion system was very realistic. You could turn on a cursor to show you what your direction of travel was. Generally, I would let the autopilot line me up on my target planet, then turn it off, boost 'til I was half-way there, flip over (using the rear view to line up), then use max boost to slow down. When I was in the neighborhood, I switch the autopilot back on to get me to the station. In this way I could usually shave a day or more off the time it would take if I used autopilot all the way.

The gravitational model was also very, very good. By using the spacebar for the engine toggle, I learned how to put myself into various elliptical orbits. This got tricky if I tried this around the moon of a gas giant: the three-body interactions could get pretty hairy if I left it in accellerated-time mode for too long.

The career choices in the military, or as a trader or a hit-man or a miner or a pirate, or a bounty hunter (or all of the above!) were endlessly - and addictively - entertaining.

I wish I could get it to run on my current machine, but it wants ~590kb of memory.

I liked doing slingshots - of no practical use, but very very cool to do in a game. I also loved the "frame of reference" way your velocity was measured, relative to the nearest massive body, and the way it jumped up and down according to what was around.

One of my all time favourites too.

I recommend DOSbox (http://dosbox.sourceforge.net/news.php?show_news=1) for all your nostalgic PC game revisiting.

Charly
2005-Sep-22, 10:36 PM
The only problem was, the game was rubbish.

It all stems frm the combat.

Going at close to the speed of ligh, and having a dog-fight at the same time doesnt really work.

I remember finally affording the really big ship, waiting a month in dock before I had a crew big enough to fly it.

Every fight I got into consisted of strafeing runs by the enemy ship, until it colided with mine. Every time! I didnt need any weapons, just hundreds of shield generators.

If they could have sorted this part oof the game out, it would hav been cool.

What I really loved was the accurate depiction of the local stars, plus the relative measurements of velocity, and the way the planets all moved:

so if your navigation computer was knackered, and you pointed you ship towards a planet and accelerated for a day, decelerated for a day, the bloody thing had moved!

GOOD ASTRONOMY, ANYONE?

TrAI
2005-Sep-26, 12:11 AM
Frontier was a nice game. When I came into a fight i used to shut of the engine and use manual thrust, I found it was easier to keep the enemy in the sights this way than using the mode that kept the speed at what you set it to, this, of course, worked since both you and the enemy had close to the same velocity relative to the place you were traveling towards, so it was mostly just the relative velocities between the ships you had to handle.

Ahhh. Jump to some solarsystem, kick up the old StarDreamer to next highest(there was something strange with the implimentation of the StarDreamer, when you set it to maximum you seemed much more likely to encounter hostiles) and just cruise on auto pilot towards your destination, Buy some nice stuff to sell in some other system, by checking the imports and exports, see if there were any intresting stuff on the bulitins. Fuel up, launch and activate the hyperdrive... And than the hyperdrive fell off due to lack of repairs... O_o

Vega Strike (http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/) reminds a little of it, since you have trading and missons and stuff, though its not as accurate at simulation it seems, yet at least, but hey, its free. And the SPEC drive is fun, you can zoom of at FTL speeds, and drop to sublight by just deactivating the SPEC drive(the multiplied speed is inertialess) or coming closer to your destination(the closer one gets to some mass the less it multiplies your speed). Another fun thing to do is jump through a wormhole while having SPEC on...

jumbo
2005-Sep-26, 02:12 PM
What do you mean remember? Im still playing first Encounters (which after patching is Frontier tarted up a bit)
Absolutely adore the game.
I chose a military career and am a commodore for the federation. rather enjoyable taking out a spy satellite so i can sneak up on an enemy base on an outer moon of a distant planet. Then swooping down to launch my nuclear missile waiting for the 80+ fighters to launch agaisnt me and then legging it into hyperspace once the missile hits.
First encounters having extra missions means i now fly a Thargoid ship complete with enormous laser and rather huge range.

Roy Batty
2005-Sep-26, 04:44 PM
First encounters having extra missions means i now fly a Thargoid ship complete with enormous laser and rather huge range.
Thargoid ship huh? just stay out of witch space else you'll become alien artifact cargo for me! .. errr ok, wrong game :cool:

Edit: hmm 1st time posting on Baut.. what are the 'cool' smiley characters?
.. doh! :doh:.. just worked it out.