Jan 24, 2015: Server Outage
The SJGames login server experienced a DDoS attack last night, and as a result the secure login site is temporarily blocked. This affects UltraCorps logins. We expect it to be resolved sometime this evening. The Saturday tick for the New Year's Bash game has been suspended; ticks will resume Sunday Jan 25.
February 10, 2015: SoFNN Update: New Years? Bashed!As all active commanders know, New Years Bash ended on February 5th, Turn 30. SoFNN would like to offer congratulations to all commanders who strove for a piece of space to call their very own. (Editor's note- Even if they were the bashee instead of the basher.)
For those new to the 'points' game, the victory conditions involve far more than simply how many planets you have at the end of the game, and so strategy must adjust for it. In addition, when the player pool is much larger, scores tend to have a more wide range, and yet scores among the players end up being significantly closer. The top 2% of a category, which earns 10 points for that category, is only occupied by the top spot in a 40 player game, while in the top 4 spots of a 200 player game. (Editor's note- That means start recruiting yesterday. Hey, it's still fun AND free!)
Be that as it may, we at SoFNN have heard rumors about the next mega game which should be opening in the near future. Scientists from around the universe have reported unusual activity at a number of pulsars and quasars, and the action seems to be building towards some cataclysmic event. As of the time of this publication, it's unclear what the penultimate outcome will encompass, but this author would like to personally be the first to go on public record to welcome our new pulsar-goosing, quasar-pimping overlords to our little corner of space-time. I would also like to assure them that I am not the heroic type, and that my survival would do little to weaken their overlordy positions.
This message has been brought to you by our sponsors, Gua-Yes Guano Services, Inc: "If you don't like our product, you must be bat-poop crazy!"
Travail, UC News Reporter
Frequently Asked QuestionsUpdated December 31, 2009
. . . About Our Plans
- What's your goal for UltraCorps?
- To run a fun, classy, and profitable for-pay game, with paid, professional moderation, that appeals to the sort of intelligent fans who like our other games. That seems to be the same kind of people who like UltraCorps now, which is probably why Steve liked it so much when HE got into it.
- When will the open beta start?
- It is almost over, actually.
- When will the game go live?
- Real Soon Now. The list of things that must be finished before launch is now very short. We may have everything done by the end of the first week in January. The biggest remaining issues are PayPal payment (PayPal has had some bad system hiccups) and insuring that our own connectivity is reliable. The game code is basically, finally, DONE! Note . . . "beta test" does mean a TEST, and "beta" means "Still being messed with." We'll do our best to maintain the integrity of test games so the players can have fun, but if something breaks, we may decide that a game can't be continued . . . or we may continue a game even if a bug has completely and unfairly hosed some players . . . and that's the way it goes in a test game. So please be patient with us. <--->
- What will the game cost to play, and what will subscribers get?
- The best way to answer that is to link you to the subscription page.
- If I don't subscribe, will I get to finish the PUB games I'm in?
- Well, we really hope you'll subscribe! But if not . . . yes, you will get to finish any PUB games you are currently hosting or playing.
- Will we keep our points, badges, and avatars when the game goes live?
- You will keep your badges.
- You will keep your points. However, if you don't subscribe, you will not earn more points and you won't show up in rankings.
- Once we launch, avatars will be a subscription privilege, but beta-testers who already had avatars will be able to keep them (but not change them) even if they don't subscribe. But we hope you do . . .
- Will you change the rules?
- Yes. We have already tweaked starting setups and unit stats for balance, and we're continuing to do so. We've added a few new units and some special racial powers. As we run the game, we'll find ways to do things better, and we'll try them. But we won't make changes randomly, and some of the changes will probably be to provide a variety of different game scenarios, rather than actual rules changes.
. . . About Joining, Getting Started, and Reporting Bugs
- How can I get into a playtest?
- The playtest is basically over. Sign up here to be on a mailing list for UltraCorps playtest notifications. (This is not the permanent UltraCorps information mailing list, which doesn't even exist yet - this list will only be used for pre-release playtest.) To actually sign up for a game, follow the "Games You Can Join" link on the lobby page.
- Where can I read the rules?
- Right here.
- How do I get the client?
- There is no client; the game is completely browser-based. If you can read this, you can ALMOST certainly play. Follow this link and look at the bottom of the page for the UltraCorps system requirements.
- How do I log in?
- Click on the "Play Now" button. If you are already registered, this will take you to the login screen. If you are not registered, you will be invited to do so.
- Who do I contact if I think I see a bug?
- First, please check the known bug list to see if we already know about it. If not, please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
. . . About Gameplay
- Why is the FP on a world often not quite equal to the sum of the FPs of the fleets there?
- Firepower is listed for your guidance; the system uses different (and much more complex) code to determine battles. The "firepower" stat is an approximation, calculated on the fly by a quick-and-dirty algorithm. It doesn't take into account X-factors, and in the case of units that complement each other very well (like an E-class backed by lots of fodder) two fleets can combine into a single fleet with notably more FP than the sum of the original fleets. FP is intended to make learning easier and to make play a bit faster, NOT to replace the skill of the players.
- What happens if I miss a tick?
- Then you missed that turn. There's no way to set the clock back.
- What if the whole system misses a tick?
- Then something is broken. That shouldn't happen . . . but if it does happen, everyone missed the turn, so you aren't suffering any personal penalty.
. . . About Fan Involvement
- Can I help you run UltraCorps?
- If you were one of the game's original programmers or artists, we sure want to hear from you! Drop a line to email@example.com. Otherwise . . . We're already using volunteer moderators for the forum. We hope there will be enough demand for the game that we'll need a paid part-time GM position, and obviously that will have to be someone with experience with the game. But we don't know yet. Hide and watch . . .
- Will you link to other UltraCorps websites?
- Yes. SJ Games always likes to link to really good fan sites, and UltraCorps will be no exception. An online game is nothing without an active community, and fan sites are part of that community. If you're interested in setting up a fan site, please check out our online policy. And notify us when it's set up . . .
. . . About History and Stuff
- Who originally designed and programmed UltraCorps?
- View the credits page for a list of people who have worked on UltraCorps over the years.
- Why was UltraCorps dropped from the Microsoft Zone?
- It wasn't bringing in enough money. This should not come as a surprise; this game is not for everyone. It's not going to have millions of customers, and it probably could never cover its overhead on a mass-market system. But if we can reach even a thousand faithful fans who WANT a game with this level of challenge and involvement, we'll be fine.