Star Trek Birth of the Federation 2 Sequel Projects in 2017

I still consider Star Trek The Next Generation – Birth of the Federation to be one of the greatest Star Trek games ever made. I was a big Master of Orion 1&2 player so to a play a Star Trek version of that was a dream and suddenly that dream became a reality. I still remember that night in 1999 when I first brought BOTF home. A mate and I were calling every video game shop in my city but all copies were sold out as trekies were all racing to get this game. Finally just before 9pm at night (closing time) we found a place with 1 copy left, jumped in the car and sped over there to get it! I played BOTF nonstop for days, weeks, months! So did my mate as he discovered that if you started the game with the cd you could take it out and still play, so for days he kept showing up at my house to borrow the disc for 20mins haha!

Like many trekies I was devastated when Micropose lost the licence and fell apart ensuring there’d never be a sequel to BOTF. However fortunately in the early 2000s several fan groups decided to take on the mantle of making a BOTF2 sequel. The 2 biggest were the Star Trek Supremacy and Birth of The Empires projects. I religiously followed them though all the 2000s however as the project updates got rather quiet I sadly lost track in the 2010s and just figured the projects had died like so many other great fan projects out there. Recently I decided to investigate to see if these great old BOTF2 projects were still alive after 15 years and much to my surprise and joy, they were! In fact due to a breakup in the Supremacy group now there were now 3 BOTF2 projects out there – the Supremacy project, the BOTF2 project (split from Supremacy) and the Birth of the Empires project. All 3 projects were way more complete then I expected and you can literally play long games as the original races or cool new ones such as the Borg or Dominion in them right now!

Sadly because these projects have sort of disappeared from the limelight over this decade they don’t seem to have quite the huge followings they had back in the 2000s likely because of website moves, forum closures and fans like me just thinking they were dead. To help fix this I decided to make some long detailed tour videos of each 3 projects showing you just how cool and complete they are. If you loved playing BOTF back in the day then I strongly suggest you check out these 3 projects and visit their forums to show your support! There’s not many people left working on these projects so they could use all the help they can get! Feel free to do what I’m doing and offer help to all of them. I’ve been working with both the Supremacy & BOTF2 project guys to added more Remen content to the Romulans (Scimitar & Shock Troop centres etc). They’re all really nice guys and open to suggestions and very open to offers of help. 🙂

Here are the 3 projects:

Star Trek Supremacy Project


The first big BOTF2 project has come a long way over the years and is very fun and stable to play. Play as the Dominion? Yes please!
Link to Project Forum
Link to my tribute page with more pics and info

(Shortcut links to each race/faction tour in video description on youtube page)

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No super update to Blake’s Sanctum in 2017


Hey guys,

As we close in on 29,000 visitors to Blake’s Sanctum and 4,000 visitors to this blog I’m sorry to announce that I won’t be doing my annual super update to all sections of the site this year. It’s normally a 1-3mth job and I just don’t have that kind of time at the moment. It’s not due to lack of content though as so many great people have sent me so many great fan projects to add to my various tribute lists so next years update will be MEGA!

However the good news is I will succeed in my old 3 new sections a year objective as I’ve recently completed the big Imperium Galactica Legacy section and I’m currently working on a Palm Kingdoms tribute section and some minor tributes to forgotten classics like Celtic Tales Balor of the Evil Eye and Legends of Pegasus.

The real activity though is happening on my Blake’s Sanctum youtube channel. Regular subscribers will have noticed that I’ve been uploading new a new video every weekend! Yup that’s 1 video a week. This is going to continue for while into 2018 as I’ve got a whole bunch of fun recent OpenRA Netbash videos and also recently completed my first ever lets play series and am currently cutting together the many episodes!

Oh and I have still done some minor updates to the site. Fans with a keen eye will notice all the welcome screens have been updated and some of my new sections are trialling an improved contents menu as the old one was just boring text.

So bottom line is there’s no super update but oh man is there plenty going on at Blake’s Sanctum haha! 🙂

Netbash 1 & 2! Retro Gaming Multiplayer LAN Videos

Hey everyone 🙂

I don’t know about you guys but when I was a young man in the late 90s and early 2000s I loved meeting up with 3 or 4 mates, getting some booze & bad take away food, bringing our computers over and playing multiplayer games like Command & Conquer, Unreal Tournament, Counterstrike, and Civilization just to name a few. We nicknamed them ‘netbashes’ and had many over those years but sadly for whatever reason (grew up, got jobs, got girlfriends etc) we stopped doing them after 2001ish.

Well in 2017 we decided to bring back the netbash (possibly due to an early midlife crisis haha) and relive our youth playing some of these great old games. Thanks to the fan gaming and modding community its easier than ever to play some of these classic games on modern machines. OpenRA in particular is just an utterly brilliant and addictive way to relive C&C and Dune gaming. Since I already had a website and youtube channel devoted to retro gaming and mods I decided to start filming some of our netbash games to improve the content. Below are some of the videos of these great fan remakes and mods of great classic games!

Netbash 0 – NYE 2016
Didn’t have any New Years Eve plans for the first time ever (getting old lol) so I met up with my mate James to have dinner and drinks. After dinner we randomly decided to connect 2 computers and play some old games. The netbash was back! Although sadly I didn’t do any videos as this was totally unplanned lol!
Bash 0 naughty meal of choice: Outdoor BBQ Feast!

Netbash 1 – February 2017
James & I decided to test more games in preparation for a bigger netbash with more mates. After many painful hours we got the Red Alert 2 mod for the OpenRA development version working! We failed to get the Dune 2 classic mod working though. We then went on to have a really fun Tiberian Sun team game.
Bash 1 naughty meal of choice: Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill!


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New Imperium Galactica Section!

Hi guys! We’ve passed 27,000 visitors at Blake’s Sanctum and are already half way there to 28,000! That’s nearly 10,000 up since this time last year which is just amazing! Thank you everyone for your support and kind messages. 🙂 Helps drown out the few who feel the need to tell me how much they hate my work. :/

Anyway it’s that time of the year again when I add a brand new section to Blake’s Sanctum. To celebrate Imperium Galactica’s 2017 resurrection on Steam & GoG I thought I’d finally do what I’ve been planning for years and create an Imperium Galactica Legacy section paying tribute to the original IG games along with any successful & sadly unsuccessful IG related fan projects out there to make sure that they are never forgotten and can inspire talented IG fans to create new IG projects in the future. I also created a list of other games out there that are similar to IG as while there’s nothing out there quite like IG there are still some pretty brilliant similar 4X games out there with in-depth planetary development. For this list I collected pics, vids, demos, and information for as many of the projects as possible.

Pictures:

Videos:
I’ve also created some videos as thanks to THQ Nordic upgrading IG2 and the awesome guys behind OpenIG you can now play the whole series in high resolutions looking better than they ever did back in the day.

I waffled on more than planned haha but I just love these games. 🙂 Hopefully they bring more new and returning fans to the series.

IG2

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Elder Scrolls Oblivion Remastered 2017

Regular followers of my website & blog will know that I’m a huge Elder Scrolls fan & enjoy posting amazing realistic super modded Skyrim videos from youtube user “Unreal”. Well who would have thought that someone could make the 11 year old game Oblivion look just as good but someone has! Youtube user “Bevilex” has added a huge list of mods to Oblivion making it looks absolutely incredible! A lot of it comes down to ENBs and there’s now a few great ones out there for Oblivion. I’m only a few months away from finally starting my big Oblivion journey (where I explore & do everything just like in my 5yr Morrowind game) so I’ll definitely be using some of these mods.

Check out these videos below, you won’t believe it’s Oblivion!!


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Great Retro Gaming News Sources

Hi guys,

Found some great retro gaming, indie gaming, classic consoles & emulation news sources last night. I’m amazed to see just how alive the old Commodore 64 community is too. Check them all out!

https://twitter.com/Indie_RetroNEWS

(there are people friggin building new Commodore 64s & making new games lol)
https://twitter.com/CommodoreBlog

https://twitter.com/_RetroGaming_

(I used to visit Zophar’s Domain in the 90s lol)
https://twitter.com/ZopharsDomain

https://twitter.com/emuparadise

(These guys appear to be a magazine that’s been going for years.. how on earth did I not know about them!!!)
https://twitter.com/RetroGamer_Mag

Looks like you can subscibe to the magazine here:
https://www.isubscribe.com.au/Retro-Gamer-UK-Magazine-Subscription-Subscription.cfm

And these guys have past copies in digital format:
https://au.zinio.com/www/browse/back-issues.jsp?productId=500654829

These are Australian sites however it’s a UK magazine so no doubt you’ll be able to find similar online distributors for other international locations.

Babylon 5 Civilization IV BTS FF Mod

Has anyone here played the Babylon 5 total conversion space mod for Civilization 4: Beyond The Sword? I decided to give it a go a couple of months back to a do a cool tribute to it on my Babylon 5 Fan Games Website and have been COMPLETELY addicted since lol! It uses the awesome Master of Orion style Final Frontier space mod for Civ 4 BTS to create an amazing B5 space strategy game. Was so blown away I made a 3 part video series below for people who may not know about it. For a turn based strategy gamer like me who’s always wanted to play a sandbox game as the Earth alliance colonising planets and conquering the galaxy with Hyperions, Omegas & Warlocks it’s just a dream come true!! The creator has plans to add huge battle scenarios (separate to the sandbox game much like the Star Trek Civ 4 mod), and he wants to have playable shadows & Vorlons too. Unfortunately he’s the only one left working on the project now and he has limited C++ coding/graphics skills so progress is slow. Hopefully he doesn’t abandon it! If you’ve got experience with C++ or the Civ 4 graphics toolkit then he could really use your help!

Mod located here:
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=261551



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Dune 2 HD Remakes Comparison & Skirmish Matches

Hi guys,

I’ve been busily working on some fun new video content for my big Dune Games section. I have installed the latest versions of all the big Dune 2 fan remakes and created videos giving a brief tour of their features and then (badly lol) played a skirmish match in each to put them through their paces.

OpenRA Dune 2 Classic Mod
Probably the most recent and rarely seen Dune 2 remake. OpenRA (a C&C and Red Alert engine rebuild) is extremely popular but because this mod only works with the Github development version of OpenRA it’s half impossible to get working. With some help from the devs my friends & I finally got it working. However our multiplayer match was over way too quickly so I decided to do a longer skirmish game to check out end game buildings & units too.


Dune 2 Legacy
By far the greatest Dune 2 remake of them all. Great graphical options, 3 sub houses (Fremen, Sardukar, Mercs), a map editor and loads of skirmish/multiplayer maps. They’ve added the Super Dune 2 Missions with new improved briefings so really the only feature still missing is support for Dune eXtended missions.


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Star Trek Doom & QFG4-3D Hexen NOT WORKING

Hi guys,

After receiving the frustrating news today that photobucket have disabled all offsite usage of their images stuffing up a huge amount of my website, blog and forum posts/links, I’ve now also discovered that due to recent updates to the GZDoom engine both my Star Trek Doom & QFG4-3D Hexen mods have stopped working. There are serious code errors I can’t fix and even if you’re able to get around these errors you still face a multitude of problems in-game. My music tracks aren’t playing, you get stupid Doom/Hexen score screens in-between levels, and my intermission and end game sequences are broken too. 😦

At this stage I have no idea how to fix these problems so I’m sorry to say both mods are currently unplayable unless you use older version of GZDoom such as GZDoom v1.8.2 which they were originally made and tested with. Sorry guys. 😦

Palm Kingdoms & Royal Bounty Series

I’m a huge Heroes of Might & Magic series fan. More so with the classic games then the newer one’s as Ubisoft seems to be ruining the franchise with rushed unfinished releases, budget cuts & incomplete patching leaving us with broken games forever (yet I stupidly keep throwing money at them for the collectors editions :/ ).

On my HoMM website I’d listed Palm Kingdoms (formerly Palm Heroes) & Royal Bounty in my ‘similar to HoMM games’ section for years but had never got around to playing them. However Iosoftware recently decided to release their Palm Kingdoms games for free to attract more fans to their latest game Royal Bounty HD & their up and coming Palm Kingdoms 3 HD game so naturally I couldn’t resist lol!

I’ve gotta say my original expectations were pretty blown away as I became a complete addict playing PK1&2! They look and feel very much like HoMM2 but contain various little improvements either from later HoMM games or totally new and original ideas. The first game required me to get it working on a windows phone emulator but the second one is a PC game and ran just fine (PK2 also contains all the content of PK1). I really enjoyed playing the super XL map ‘The Divine Status’ as there was so much to explore & conquer that it took me days to finish it!

I was so impressed I couldn’t resist buying their newer game Royal Bounty HD on steam as it’s dirt cheap (as I say in the vids it’s pretty much a glass of coke in a bar lol!) and I became even more addicted lol. It drops castle management for a classic King’s Bounty style game however all the graphics are upgraded to HD quality and the game looks great (if you’re a retro fan like me not looking for the big 3D stuff). It’s funny seeing all the people whinging on steam about it being too hard as I pretty much broke the game in the first few hours by upgrading my peasants to money making citizens & becoming insanely rich able to buy & upgrade nearly unlimited troops lol! Guess you’ve gotta be a HoMM4&5 veteran to spot that trick haha.

Looks like all the nice upgraded graphics and gameplay elements from RBHD will be making it into Palm Kingdoms 3 HD. Can’t wait! You can watch PK3’s progress on the Palm Kingdoms facebook page. They’ve had a lot of funding troubles so hopefully they can get it across the finish line!

Here’s some videos I made of PK1&2 going through the races and talking about all the similarities and differences to HoMM if anyone’s interested in checking out the games. With the RBHD videos I rush play through the entire first chapter to give you an idea of the game (I do the peasant trick in part 3).

Palm Kingdoms 1 – Part 1 Video: Introduction & Tutorial Mission.

Palm Kingdoms 1 – Part 2 Video: Tutorial Mission Continued, Tour of all 6 races castles & units (Using the cool ‘Divine Status’ super XL map), & How to get the game working via emulation.

Palm Kingdoms 2 – Part 1 Video: Introduction & Tutorial Mission (note: I’ve since discovered the game looks better at 720p).

Palm Kingdoms 2 – Part 2 Video: Tutorial Mission Continued, Tour of the 6 classic races castles & units (Using the cool ‘Divine Status’ super XL map), & Extended tour of the new & totally original 7th race!

Royal Bounty HD – Part 1 Video: Introduction, Prison Break, & Chapter 1 Forestria Beginning.

Royal Bounty HD – Part 2 Video: Chapter 1 Forestria Continued.

Royal Bounty HD – Part 3 Video: Chapter 1 Forestria Final Stages, Cool Unit Upgrades, Chapter 2 The Lost Scroll Teaser, & Peasant Upgrade MEGA Money Making Trick.