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Universal Combat Freeware

Universal Combat is now available as a freeware release, as promised a couple of weeks ago (story). Word from 3000AD is: "Once again, our freeware game is released with no advertising, no nag screens, no expiration date, nothing. Just the full (and patched) single player game as was commercially released in Feb 2004, but with fewer music tracks (the game FAQ shows how players can add their own MP3 tracks) and no multiplayer." The download is available on Atomic Gamer, AusGamers,, FanGaming, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and Strategy Informer.

163 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 1.
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163. Re: Universal Combat Free Mar 11, 2009, 07:27 N/a
I have to say this game would be absolutley brilliant if it wernt so... empty i guess is the way to put it. I can fly for hours without encountering ships, friend or foe alike and when you land on a planet theres a sparse landscape full of nothing much, even in the city areas there are just buildings, a few vehicles and the odd marine trying to kill you.

Implimentation of civilians and population to planets/moons (such as wildlfe, cargoships flying around doing buisness runs etc) would be lovley and perhaps increasing the random encounter amount (assuming there is a random encounter type script) and giving it **areas of effect like having a large nebula more likley to spawn pirates which are using it for cover.

** not sure if this is alredy in the game, it didnt seem like it when i was playing.

As a not so important but greatly improving immersion factor suggestion, interiors e.g. docking on a space station and being able to walk around a 3D enviroment with outfitters, traders, docking bay where you can see your ship (and possibly the repairs being done on it if they are nessicary) and something that no space sim has ever done to my knowledge, adding ship interriors to the capital ships so that instead of watching a bit of text telling you where you're charecter is on the ship you can actually go into a 1st person mode and walk around the ship (go to shuttle bays and launch in a shuttle and/or fighter, hop on the transporter, help repair damage and all those lovley world immersion things)

Those are the few things that UC is really lacking that would make it the best space sim i've ever played, I love being able to land on planets and get in and out of ships at will top notch gameplay stuff there, its just missing a bit of life.

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2009, 07:54.
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162. Re: Derek Smart Mar 19, 2008, 07:29 mfauk
Bit late in the day but I have to comment.

There are two sides to this, the game UC, and the man DS.

I have recently just got back into it and looking forward to some time chillin' while commanding a large spacefaring vessel... WITH THE COMPLEX PARTS... in my time playing games, simulators and the rest it seems most if not all games have been dumbed down for the console generation, instant gratification. It is has become the norm for games to be eye candy, oh so pretty to look at but as shallow a carpark puddle. This is why i love UC, its not the most amazing in terms of graphics, but it has alot of content.

The UI and shortcuts are ... numerous for sure but hey i dont mind, name me another recent game where you can send a shuttle to a planet with a mining drone for resources needed, sending two more to surround your ship with mines, at the same time your crew are trying to keep the hull from spliting down the middle, get the reactor up and running as well as your turrets, fighters flying CAP... all of this after a fight, knowing there may be another cruiser turning up... for our time it dont get more real then this, and i love it... its something ill never see in my lifetime, but thanks to DS i can get an idea.

You dont like the UI, i hate that oblivion was dumbed down for consolers, that all games are so easy, your led by your nose in most if not all, so much so i play DOS games because they didnt have the graphics, had to make up for it in content... So UC - bloody brilliant!!!

DS... as far as i can tell is a bit of a c**t; a megalomanic, someone who is empathicly stunted. I see mention of his forums being empty, mostly because people were banded for asking questions when someone else had, or not reading the manual twice, or suggesting a change. Was there with BC3K, wanting to ask questions or solutions or have ideas, WHICH IN EVERY OTHER GAME MOST DEV'S APPRECIATE... WE ARE THE DEMOGRAPHIC, WE BUY THE GAMES.

ok last thing, manuals... thank god, i dont read them, i prefer the trial and error way (its how i perceive data and such), but if and when i do i like to have detail, beats 8 pages of pictures of guns and primary/secondary fire options at least then you know someone has made an effort.

ok am done!

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 07:55.
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161. Re: Derek Smart Jan 8, 2008, 01:19 kdin
why not you can do it too. <a href="">online dating site</a>

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160. Re: Derek Smart Jan 4, 2008, 17:14 Kosumo
Welcome to the forums justice7.

I'm obviously using numbers sampling to make a point and not using them as some factual metric.

Yes, I asked him to with draw that statement (the actual numbers), he choose to stand by them.

If I was to buy a PhD in pscylology, I'd then state as a fact that when a person mis-skews numbers that badly and cant see the error that in fact their is no error (he belives, at lest to try and make it so, that %60 of people do get his user interface. - %60 of people?? is that of all people?)

Then saying about ones own great debating skills??? wtf?

I believe his only talent is to put spin on shit (his games, which sound like mostly shit). To get deal to have your games placed in gametap or whatever means very little to me. I've seen some of the most underserving television programes be comissioned and made, it still dont make them good. When your dealing with media, they have such a need for content they happy to pay good money to full holes with shit. They know their is no money in it but would rather not have holes.

They make enough money on those that do work to lose on others just so they have a complete line up. So selling to a large company like Turners means jack (thompson) shit to me. Your a busniess man, not a great game maker.

Oh and buy the way if we are doing the "I could be making $$$$$$$" thing; I could make 30 million a year if I wanted to ship drugs international but instead I choose another carrier (for now).

The guy lives in a fantasy world, just like his games are set in. He never grow past thinking playing flight-sims made you mature.

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159. Derek Smart Jan 4, 2008, 15:27 justice7

I signed up for an account after years of reading Bluesnews to send you a personal message.

You are an absolute disgrace to the gaming industry as a whole; not to mention to anyone with a PhD. You need to hire yourself a PR representative, and not interface with the buying public, ever.

If your name is attached to anything, you won't be seeing my dollar. In fact, you won't be seeing thousands of people's dollars i'm willing to bet for the exact same reason as I'm stating here. You're ignorant, self righteous and full of shit.

Perhaps this is your "schtick", how you make money (being an ass) and it is the only way you'll get recognition for anything you create. Being quite well involved in the gaming industry myself -- I can tell you that your ideas about game design when it comes to user interfaces and control schemes is rather flawed. You will NOT consider any kind of constructive critism, and insist that if someone does not want to bother to learn an intentionally complicated control scheme, that they are in the wrong and "dont have half a brain" to understand it.

Derek, it isn't about understanding your archaic control scheme. It is about making a game fun, yet challenging.

For some reason you feel the need to engage people online in an e-peen war flaunting your "doctorate" around as if it means something more than what the rest of us have done and are doing with our lives.

Basically Mr Derek Smart; get over yourself. You are not as hot as you try to make yourself sound.

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158. Re: Derek Smart Jan 4, 2008, 12:32 Overon
I'm with MacD on this. I wish DS would post some more specifics on his claims.

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157. Re: Derek Smart Jan 4, 2008, 11:10 MacD
Dude, Opencourseware is not something which gives you a phd.

am a noted math and AI whiz,

Cool...what have you published? Where? On what topics? Just give us anything we can look up on the uni's subscriptions.

program in no less than seven languages (one of which I wrote, from scratch)

Which programming language have you written?

have several publications

Again, which ones? It's a very simple fucking question with a very simple fucking answer. Any acedemic when asked the question will gleefully link to his/her research. That's what they's a function of doing research. You though have yet to offer a single link, a single bit of proof.

And patents are a matter of money and props there. IP the same...everything I write is my IP. The real question is, is the IP worth anything.

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156. Re: wtf Jan 4, 2008, 10:51 MacD
I'm obviously using numbers sampling to make a point and not using them as some factual metric.

As a scientist (well, give it another year), this statement REALLY pisses me off. You phd-less wanker, stop making statements like this where you try to show off, but end up screwing up so badly it just showcases your ignorance.

Seriously; misrepresentation of scientific methods does a LOT of harm. It's what has allowed ciggarette companies for years to lie about the harmfull effects of smoking; it has allowed oilcompanies to fund bullshit agencies to deny global warming and it has allowed shit like intelligent design to even be discussed.

You might make a 'game' and release it for free, but you never have and never will will have a phd, not if you can in all seriousness make a statement like the one above.

Your debating skills suck as do your logic skill. In future, please don't use language you obviously know nothing about.

Let's start with when it is and isn't ok to use numbers sampling [sic]. To start with, never. It is not an actual science, as your sentence makes it out to be. Statistics may be what you're looking for, in which sampling is a technique.
Number sampling is like ...I dunno, I have never had to think up such an incorrect analogy, but here goes... numerical adding, a technique used in simple arithmetic.

Now, the sampling of numbers is always used to make a point. The point is always a factual metric. If it were not, your use of statistics would be based on invalid assumptions, and any conclusion (point) you derived from it would be baseless...incorrect data in gives incorrect data out, almost per definition.

IOW: once you start using numbers, those numbers must be correct (within reasonable margin of error) or the conclusion you make has such a huge error marging that the conclusion is meaningless. To use a statistical technique to make a point is only valid if you actually use the technique (which in this case means using correct numbers and developing a conclusion based off the output...which you can't do if the output is incorrect).

You know, fuck just gives me chills to think in how many ways that one sentence of yours is incorrect. You cannot have developed your own game-engine; you must have a bought it. A person with such weak logical skills cannot use quaternions.

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155. Re: DSmart Jan 4, 2008, 10:26 MacD
What really gets me is the forums he runs for his games. They're sparcely inhabited, by sycophants. It's quite scary. There's a post of dsmart where he asks if he should release his game for free. 12 people vote. There's a guy in the same thread who gives his opinion andf ends it with ' Yeah, I'll head for the airlock now', and the thread (after two or three replies) ends with dsmart saying 'well I decided anyway, before 5 votes where in!'.

Man, it just leaves a nasty taste in my unpleasant can you get? It's like a failed cult of personality.

Anyway, point is, with so few forum members, I somehow doubt his games sell well enough.

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154. Re: No subject Jan 4, 2008, 10:21 Hpankin
Derek getting contracts signed is not contingent on his having a PhD so let's not make such a large logic leap. He gets contracts signed because he has a built-in fanbase (albeit niche, according to Dr. Smart himself) that's large enough to create a stream of revenue significant enough to warrant the signing.

That's all.

Derek does not have a PhD from an accredited institution of learning. He knows this, which is why he has never provided the name of the school and never provided info about the dissertation.

Any one of us can do what Derek did to get a PhD but then, we'd not be able to live with ourselves. Derek clearly has no such qualm which is fine. Whenever Dr. Smart claims to have a doctorate in philosophy, you'll know the truth. And so will he.

And yes, it's very nice that Derek decided to provide his game for free. I, too, will not play it even though it sounds like something I'd like. Cheers.

[edit] Here's a link to the PhD Fraud page of The page speaks to this specific issue.

This comment was edited on Jan 7, 11:03.
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153. Re: No subject Jan 4, 2008, 10:18 MacD
It'd be funny if it was just an agressive hosts file

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152. Re: No subject Jan 4, 2008, 10:11 MacD
I really like where you say "you haven't played my games...I'll prove it by posting the docs!".

That's a classic

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151. Re: No subject Jan 4, 2008, 06:42 zirik
just one for the record. In the UK you can search the university libraries for dissertations and individual thesis since the university publishes them as research work (the whole point of a doctorate of philosophy!)

Even the distance learning ones such as from the university of london (which has no campus to speak of!) have virtual libraries.

and that is the big lie from derek smart. you will never find his name on any database of acredited institutions offering docotrate degrees. nobody can confrim his credentials yet he gets contracts signed. derek is the poster child of affirmitive action if i ever seen one.

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150. Re: No subject Jan 4, 2008, 04:18 Armengar
just one for the record. In the UK you can search the university libraries for dissertations and individual thesis since the university publishes them as research work (the whole point of a doctorate of philosophy!)

Even the distance learning ones such as from the university of london (which has no campus to speak of!) have virtual libraries.

Its not the cough that carries you off but the coffin they carry you off in.
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149. Re: No subject Jan 3, 2008, 23:45 MacD
Good point. He does deserve props for that.

OTOH, isn't releasing a computer virus a punishable offense?

Ah, but the reproductive code is broken and hasn't been patched, so it doesn't really classify as a virus Clever, dsmart!

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148. Re: No subject Jan 3, 2008, 23:43 MacD
I'm the guy they fed tenacity for breakfar and by lunch I had crapped a whole heap of resilience.

You might want to check that sentence with a dictionary on hand and parse it for syntax.

These kids have no clue who they're dealing with.


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147. Re: No subject Jan 3, 2008, 23:06 Stoli
All I can say is that I am sick of Derek Smart and his flame war.

Derek, I will NEVER play one of your games (not even the free ones) because of the fact that you are such a salty cockbag and have absolutely no respect for anyone that isn't posting something positive about your games.

I've never played one, so I am not commenting on how shitty they are (or may not be, I'll give your games some benefit of the doubt).

You are so full of shit, I don't think you even know what the truth is and what's a lie anymore. I don't even know why I'm wasting my time posting this - maybe to make myself feel better and to finally get it off my chest.

.!.. ..!. you. You're arrogant, self centered, egotistical and narcissistic. And you're a complete ass.

But, I will close with something positive.

Thank you for releasing your games for free - even though I will never play one (and I am SO wanting to play a deep and involved space sim), I do appreciate it for those who enjoy them or are ignorant of your attitude.

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146. Re: Titles Jan 3, 2008, 21:00 Beamer
I got mine through the University of Manchester. It was a study on the effects of artificial intelligence as a medium of self tuition. The only work I needed to do at the university was a competency interview (two of them) and a few days in attendance for the viva et al.

Yes, but you admit where you did it and, I'd assume, you wrote a dissertation.

Smart did neither.

In some fields you can get a degree via distance. Some you can't. If it's a field that requires people, no, you can't. This is why distance learning MBAs are utterly useless. If it's a field that requires specific research you likely can't, either. For many you need lots of time in a lab. For others, such as English, you need access to an insane amount of rare books.

Computers you absolutely can.

But again, not having that daily interaction and discourse takes a lot from it. You're less likely to learn quite as much and you'll be lacking in experience.
For some disciplines that doesn't matter as much. You're still better off not doing it at home. Always better off. From everything but a financial perspective, and you must weight accordingly.
Music for the discerning:
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145. Re: No subject Jan 3, 2008, 19:48 Tango
Hey hump I know it's fun to slam the attorney folk. But I wish someone who had the legal knowledge would weigh in and defend the attorney folk in this particular area.
I forget (or never knew) why Hump has a particular hard-on for bashing lawyers, but there's little point in defending them against that sort of hatred. Never mind that, as with almost every profession, there are a few bad apples and a great majority of people trying to earn a living.

Avatar 18712
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144. Re: Titles Jan 3, 2008, 16:49 Armengar
Wow, this thread got large overnight.

Normally I dont like to feed the trolls but most doctorates can be gained via "distance learning" (although it may be a bit different here in blighty).

I got mine through the University of Manchester. It was a study on the effects of artificial intelligence as a medium of self tuition. The only work I needed to do at the university was a competency interview (two of them) and a few days in attendance for the viva et al.

Took three years in total (after a failed viva) but it was all done "at home". My wife is currently completing her doctorate (some sociology nonsense ) at home too.

Then again, anyone who needs to brag about income loses all respect in my eyes. I earn about $20,000 a year (in US terms) but I own my own house, my kids have grown up and I am the happiest I have ever been.

I do not like battlecruiser etc simply because I cannot be bothered to learn them I find it very worthy that 3000AD games are released free though.

edit: terrible speling adn gramer

This comment was edited on Jan 3, 16:49.
Its not the cough that carries you off but the coffin they carry you off in.
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163 Replies. 9 pages. Viewing page 1.
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