Beta 2 Update for USC Beta 1 (any 0.9.0.x version). A HOARD of important changes & fixes, see below. A must have!
Ultimate Space Commando (USC) is an old-school turn-based strategy game that focuses on actual field tactics as a small group of elite commandos become engaged in a deadly conflict with a yet unknown, but rather ravenous species of aliens. Make relevant strategic choices, develop tactics and equip your soldiers as you see fit, try to survive and give the aliens hell in the single-player Campaign. Build and customize 4-man squads to play various 'Single Missions', Scenarios and 'Defend the Base!' actions alone or in a hot-seat or TCP/IP multiplayer session with up to four players, either man vs. aliens, man vs. man or even mixed, with various objectives, official scoring system, and much more. A full-fledged and truly Random Map Generator makes every mission you play unique and challenging.
USC is currently in its Beta stage, but most of the gameplay elements are already functional and very well balanced. Customized squads can even make progress by collecting crafting materials, prototype blueprints, and completing very challenging Defend the Base! sessions (a long-term undertaking, with trouble exponentially rising after the first 2-3 missions). The Campaign (and a few special scenarios) are the only elements missing, these will make USC complete in its final release (Q2 2014). Until then, patches and updates are being frequently released, fixing bugs, improving functionality, adding new features, and balancing things furthermore here-and-there.
USC is a difficult game. Once you familiarize yourself with the controls and all the little things that different weapons, gadgets, map elements, aliens, etc. can do, you might try to complete a mission on a harder difficulty setting. There are seven, plus other settings that can alter difficulty. All 7 were carefully balanced, with Easy being a jump-in for starters, and 'ULTIMATE' and 'Cataclysm' being only beatable--but beatable!--with top-notch gear AND tactics. No gear is useful unless you know how to use it to your advantage. You'll need all your brain cells, tactical routine and instincts to drive the Horde back on the game's true difficulty settings!
The Beta 2 Update is the next milestone in the development of USC. Though the very much anticipated new game modes (Campaign and Scenario) are still not being introduced, core mechanics, rules, accessibility options, GUI functions and engine stability are now considered a final release candidate. Base rules are very unlikely to further change in the future, so from this moment on, all tactics you experiment with should be considered as "live".
In the past month, my main focus was developing the Campaign. It's a very serious commitment. The Campaign will be much, much more than a series of single missions. There will be a ton of scripted, semi-randomized events that give more life to the missions, lore to the story, dialogues that make your squad members feel like real persons, player story choices, a non-linear mission roster that takes your previous choices and available resources into account and determines the fate of the Campaign on a global scale, multi-map missions, research possibilities, and more. An all-capable custom script system must be created and integrated into the engine, and then the story elements, mission layouts and actual scripts, etc., must be also written. I also added a very detailed, interaction-wise tutorial into the game. I can confirm that a few Scenarios will be available before the Final Release arrives, and that the release date of the Campaign will not be delayed further than late May or early June, tops!
But, as always, while creating the new content, I stumbled into bugs, minor inconveniences, new ideas regarding some combat rules, and so on, and now these changes are made available as Beta 2. You can read the full change log in the downloads section, but I'd like to highlight the most important and awesome changes here in detail:
-- Armor for USC units (and only for them!) now also means a percentage of Damage Resistance, not only a Damage Threshold. E.g. with an Armor of 25 and an attack of 50 damage you previously suffered 25 damage; now you will suffer (50-25)*0.75 = 19 damage.
-- Melee USC weapons (i.e. any melee mode of any weapon) now have a significantly increased chance of hit. You should no longer "perma-miss" lesser targets with the katana or the chainsaw.
-- Doorlocks on safety lockdown can now be re-activated for 5 Action Points and you can retry the hacking procedure or use a circuit cracker.
-- A new set of 10 "war breed" affixes (skills) are now added to the game; aliens will have these based on mission difficulty. These units are distinguished with a vivid green color and a green, pulsing energy animation. The new skills do not make the aliens much stronger; instead, they mostly add more varied behavior and combat abilities: they jump away on being hit or knock you back really hard, deliberately attack your weakened units, cause bleeding wounds, perform slow, but always hitting attacks, have an incendiary or tranquilizing attack, etc. A single alien can have only one of these, but even Alphas can be bred for war!
-- Reaper Mothers now have the ability to lay eggs. These tend to hatch very quickly, so watch out!
-- The complete, detailed information sheet for weapons can be now seen in-game, on the Squad Assembly screen.
-- Mousehover info about aliens will now show detailed description of their actual abilities.
A ton of fixes and optimizations have been also applied (see change log). Enjoy the hunt, and keep your eyes open for the next update!
Latest tweets from @creatio49
This also means that Beta 2.1 might even feature some Campaign-related content (portraits, etc.), and will contain additional improvements!
Jul 4 2014, 2:14am
USC dev. progress is speeding up with all kinds of Campaign stuff. Beta 2.1 may be delayed a little, but the overall project is on schedule!
Jul 4 2014, 2:10am
Beta 2.1 is close! It will mostly feature engine stability improvements and a few minor rule tweaks. Dev. progress on the Campaign going on.
Jun 18 2014, 6:59am
Got a new keyboard after 7 years, enjoying typing once again! XD
May 21 2014, 1:02am
USC Beta 2.1 Update coming up in a few weeks, Campaign coming by the end of summer! Keep your eyes peeled, marine!
May 20 2014, 12:51am
Mar 26 2014, 3:29am
Ultimate Space Commando Beta 2 Update (v0.9.1.0) is scheduled for next week! This is probably the last "core" patch before Scenarios arrive!
Mar 21 2014, 5:16am
Got a virtualized Windows XP today to properly emulate Direct3D acceleration and I can confirm that even this way, USC runs just fine! ;-)
Mar 18 2014, 10:09am
The Scenario system will also be soon implemented. It will feature event controlled and multi-map missions, some random, some quite planned.
Mar 17 2014, 5:12am