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Free Stars: The Ur-Quan Masters, which is an open source version of the classic Star Control 2, has managed to get a Steam release from Pistol Shrimp Games. The developer team includes both of the original designers Paul Reiche and Fred Ford and they're currently working on The Ur-Quan Masters 2.

The Steam release sadly only comes with the Windows version, even though the main project fully supports Linux and macOS too. According to the FAQ post: "This release includes a few things which are not default settings in other releases, like voice over, 3DO music, and other minor changes. No source code has been modified. We also wanted to bring the game to Steam to reach the millions of players who use it as their game library of choice."

It will no doubt run just fine in Proton though for those who want an easy click and play experience.

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Game Features:

  • Experience an open-world adventure, venturing through space to defeat the invading Ur-Quan and its hierarchy of battle thralls.
  • Travel through extra-dimensional HyperSpace and discover nearly 500 unknown star systems filled with alien worlds.
  • Fight enemies in fast-paced space battles with 25 different starships, each with its own unique attacks and powers.
  • Befriend, threaten, or fight a diverse cast of aliens with unique personalities, from scary, to funny, to just plain weird.
  • Explore thousands of planets, collecting resources and technology to upgrade your flagship and grow your fleet.
  • Play standalone Super Melee to practice space combat against AI opponents or to duel against a friend.
  • Mod and tinker with freely available, open-source code and content.

Nice bit of gaming history there that inspired designers on all sorts of games like Fallout, Mass Effect, Stellaris and the list goes on. It also gives the developers another way to advertise their new game, whenever it appears.

Check it out on the Steam store page. It's free of course still.

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20 comments
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soulsource Feb 20
If one doesn't care about Steam additional features (like Steam Input, Remote Play Together), it's probably more convenient to just get it via the distribution's package manager. I only checked Debian and Gentoo, but they both have it in their official repositories, the package name is "uqm".
Jarmer Feb 20
Quoting: soulsourceIf one doesn't care about Steam additional features (like Steam Input, Remote Play Together), it's probably more convenient to just get it via the distribution's package manager. I only checked Debian and Gentoo, but they both have it in their official repositories, the package name is "uqm".

I'm on Opensuse Tumbleweed and the official repo doesn't have it, and when I search flathub, all I get is a mod? Is that the full game you're talking about?
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This is one of the greatest PC games ever made.
pb Feb 20
On Arch there's also
Quoting: Jarmer
Quoting: soulsourceIf one doesn't care about Steam additional features (like Steam Input, Remote Play Together), it's probably more convenient to just get it via the distribution's package manager. I only checked Debian and Gentoo, but they both have it in their official repositories, the package name is "uqm".

I'm on Opensuse Tumbleweed and the official repo doesn't have it, and when I search flathub, all I get is a mod? Is that the full game you're talking about?

Yes, it's always been called uqm so if you don't see it, you probably don't have it. You can also look for sc2 but I doubt it will be there.

On Arch there's extra/uqm and there are also lots of add-ons on AUR, such as HD textures and remixed music.


Last edited by pb on 20 February 2024 at 3:30 pm UTC
Quoting: soulsourceIf one doesn't care about Steam additional features (like Steam Input, Remote Play Together), it's probably more convenient to just get it via the distribution's package manager. I only checked Debian and Gentoo, but they both have it in their official repositories, the package name is "uqm".
That's how I play it on Mint.
And you know, it's still a fun game.
slaapliedje Feb 20
 
sudo apt install uqm

Then download the 3do version from archive.org? It always weirds me out a little bit when someone basically takes an open source project and throws it up on Steam and hopes to make some money, or they don't fully support all the operating systems that the opensource project supports.
pb Feb 20
Quoting: slaapliedjeIt always weirds me out a little bit when someone basically takes an open source project and throws it up on Steam and hopes to make some money, or they don't fully support all the operating systems that the opensource project supports.

It was released by the creators of the original game, for free, as a part of building hype for the upcoming sequel.
scaine Feb 20
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Quoting: pb
Quoting: slaapliedjeIt always weirds me out a little bit when someone basically takes an open source project and throws it up on Steam and hopes to make some money, or they don't fully support all the operating systems that the opensource project supports.

It was released by the creators of the original game, for free, as a part of building hype for the upcoming sequel.

Yeah, but the Steam version is Windows only, which I think was slaapliedje's point. At least in this case though, as you say, it's not a random person - it's the creators of the original game itself.
Quoting: pb
Quoting: slaapliedjeIt always weirds me out a little bit when someone basically takes an open source project and throws it up on Steam and hopes to make some money, or they don't fully support all the operating systems that the opensource project supports.

It was released by the creators of the original game, for free, as a part of building hype for the upcoming sequel.
And it's a good thing to do--I have no problem with it. But I do have to agree with slaapliedje that it's a bit weird in that there is a Linux build all packaged up, I for one can testify that it works with no issues, so why exclude it from the Steam release? It doesn't matter because I'd install it from my distro's repository anyway, it just seems a bit odd.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 20 February 2024 at 8:21 pm UTC
scaine Feb 20
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BTW, I tried this on Debian Sid and it doesn't work - you need to add "non-free" into your source. Just edit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list and add "non-free" to the end.
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