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Protostar: War on the Frontier (DOS)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

An alien race known as the Skeetch is threatening humanity and the peace in the entire galaxy. The human organization Newfront has launched a Protostar Initiative in an attempt to convince four alien races to join the humans in their battle against the Skeetch.

Protostar: War on the Frontier is a space trading/exploration game in the same mold as Starflight and Star Control series. The player can scour planet surfaces for resources, discover new planets and creatures and name them, use diplomacy, barter and trade with aliens, wage war against hostile races, find new crew members, and improve the financial situation of human organizations.

Screenshots

Protostar: War on the Frontier DOS ...you may sell your cargo and buy rare materials.
Protostar: War on the Frontier DOS The space bar
Protostar: War on the Frontier DOS The Frontier Craft
Protostar: War on the Frontier DOS The Human Alliance is eager to hear of our progress.

Alternate Titles

  • "Starflight 3: Protostar" -- Working title

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User Reviews

The unofficial "Starflight 3". Has a lot of atmosphere, good music but is much too short. -Condor- (6) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars

The Press Says

PC Player (Germany) May, 1993 72 out of 100 72
Power Play Jul, 1993 71 out of 100 71
PC Games (Germany) Jun, 1993 68 out of 100 68
All Game Guide 1998 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
Computer Gaming World (CGW) May, 1994 1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars 20

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Trivia

In the CD version's 'Making of' audio feature, Protostar designer Vas Nokhoudian elaborates on the Starflight 3 issue:

“Tsunami was contracting with Electronic Arts to make Starflight 3, a science fiction exploration game much like Protostar is today. Due to various business reasons, Tsunami was no longer making Starflight for Electronic Arts, but EA was gracious enough to let us go ahead and take what we had finished after about six months of work and turn that into something else. So that’s really where Protostar started.”

Some additional extracts of interest from the audio interview:

“We have basically taken an adventure engine and made it do combat, which means we didn’t use a lot of the system functions. There was a lot of coding and tweaking involved. It was one of the more ambitious efforts that’s been done here at Tsunami.” (John Hamilton, Lead Programmer)

“I don’t think there’s many other games where the characters really change expression right in front of you depending upon what you say, and that’s another feature which I think is really a breakthrough that we did in Protostar. We plan to do that in the future. Characters will change expression depending on what you do and what you say.” (Bryan Ellis, Lead Animator)

“The spaceships were made as models. [Art Director] John Shaw created and designed them, and then he would photograph them in the positions as they rotate. I scanned the snapshots and cleaned them up in the computer. They look very realistic.” (Bryan Ellis, Lead Animator)

…and in the category ‘Wishful Thinking’:

Protostar 2 is going to have a much more streamlined interface; we’re trying to get rid of all the menus on the starship bridge. It’s going to continue the storyline and resolve all the current story elements. It’s going to include characters from the previous game, crew members from the previous game, species from the previous game. It will take place in a new region of space. And it’s going to have a lot more action in it!” (Vas Nokhoudian, Lead Designer)
woods01 (154) added Protostar: War on the Frontier (DOS) on Mar 17, 2001