Details on New Star Control Title Emerge

Ohhhhh Yeah....

Ohhhhh Yeah….

Thanks to friend of the site Roberto for this tip! Remember last July, when the folks at Stardock acquired the license for Star Control, and we all wondered what they were gonna do with it? Welp, Ars Technica has some deets, such as it’ll take place before Star Control 2 and has the blessings of Toys for Bob, and plenty more (still going through it as I write this), but I wanted to chime in and let’cha all know about this.  Once you’ve read the article, please chime in with your thoughts! :)

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  1. Nack says

    I'd be happy with something like StarCon2 (ie: pure 2D) with updated graphics. I think I'd be less happy with a game that went full 3D; one of the nice things about StarCon2 even now is that the universe felt big, but it didn't feel empty and was easy to navigate. If I remember right, there was some sort of "hyperspace is 2D" handwaving pseudoscience explanation for why the entire universe fit on a Cartesian plane, and that was good enough for suspension of disbelief.

    The combat also needs to be arcade-style, unless they're going to completely change the feel of the game. In a lot of ways, StarCon2 behaved like a JRPG; regular random encounters (especially with those damned probes) that ended quickly, and occasional boss fights.

    I'm less worried than I could be, given the people making it seem to be saying the right things. The disaster scenario for StarCon has always been someone saying "2D is OLD and DEAD, the Kids aren't hip to 2D, let's do this in newtonian 3D with realistic flight times and realistic combat...".

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    • Grave says

      "let's do this in newtonian 3D with realistic flight times and realistic combat...".
      That's the problem. But people will whine if it's not done that way either.

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  2. kert says

    News tip: [link removed] failed kickstarter apparently, but they are still active

    Posting regular updates on [link removed]

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Hey kert, I apologize, but that doesn't really have anything to do with the topic of this post, and I like trying to keep things on point. There's a forum thread about this game if you wanna talk about it there. :)

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  3. Nack says

    Possibly, but the thing is, Star Control as an IP only really matters for what it stands for. Anyone old enough to remember what it is will almost certainly want an up-to-date version of the game they liked. The name isn't going to sell the game to people who didn't play StarCon 2.

    For an analogy, consider what happened when everyone thought the XCom update was going to be a first-person shooter. The fans of the original were pissed, and nobody else cared. Or the Syndicate update, for that matter. Either would have seen a far better reception if they'd just not slapped the old IP on.

    If you want newtonian physics in 3D with realistic flight times and realistic combat in a sandbox universe, that's great, but calling it Star Control 4 would be a blunder. Set it in a new universe, or find some other IP that actually matches the concept. Surely the Lightspeed IP rights must be pretty cheap by now if anyone can figure out who owns them...

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    • tsubasanut says

      Let me disagree a little bit. Using old IP is a good way to have a setting laid out for you already, You can spend more efforts for details since you need to think less about overall picture. A new XCom (Firaxis one) was a good game, though i still think the original is better. And for someones who wants same old SC2 feel - go check project 6014 (hope is still kicking)
      While i agree with you, that moving from 2D to 3D for games franchise was most of the time more harmfull, than fruitfull - usually it was because of "trying to move the same gameplay into new dimension". And you can count on your hands times it has worked (Final Fantasy, Infinity engine -> Aurora engine, C&C (to some extend)... anything else?).
      But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Seriously, try to envision epic battles from Star Contol 1 timeline in 2D...i can't. They should be in 3D. I just hope Stardock will not blunder this one. Guess we all do.

      Oh, and i second you immensivly for Lightspeed/Hyperspeed IP. It's a shame it was forgotten. One of the closest SC-themed game, close came maybe only Starfight. IP should be still in Atari care, since Atari own all Microprose IPs. I've seen a pdf around the net with full list of Atari IPs, from banckrupcy package, it was several pages long. Will try to find it again,

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      • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

        OMG Starflight came out before Star Control AAAHHHH! WHY DO SO MANY FORGET THAT AAHHHHH!

        And yeah, a new Lightspeed would rock. ;)

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        • tsubasanut says

          Hi Brian, sorry, being a russian, i just phrased my thoughts incorrectly. I was talking about all multitude of existing games, regardless of creation time. Of cause i know Starflight I and II was before SC2. It's just i discovered them later, when i was frantically searching for any game, that resemble SC2 at least remotely (and i found them, Hyperspeed, Protostar, Alien legacy and some other pretty obscure titles :).

          SC2 was within my first dozen of games played. And i still consider it #1 for me after more than 20 years of gaming.

          Again, no offense to Starflight, i know how much you love it and i also think it is a great game. In fact i was playing it in Amiga emulator just a year ago , But It just for me SC2 happend first in my life ^_^

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  4. Nack says

    When Firaxis was first teasing the new XCom game they claimed it was going to be a first-person shooter, with some quote from a PR flack about turn-based strategy being old and dead and unsellable (which in retrospect was some master trolling, especially since it came from the crew that makes Civilization).

    The thing is, plot and setting are pretty easy. The only reason to latch onto a specific IP is if it has brand awareness and if that brand awareness will help promote your product. Sticking "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" on something gets you all the people who will buy any SW/ST product sight unseen because of their investment in that universe. The Star Control IP doesn't buy you that.

    What the Star Control IP buys you is a lot of wary fans who would really like to have a good game from you, but who will be watching you like hawks for any signs of screwing up.

    Honestly, I think they'd have had more creative leeway and done just as well to say "We're making a game *inspired* by SC1 and SC2, we've talked to the original authors, and we're going to try to do it right!". I don't think there's anything uniquely compelling about the SC universe, and it has some nasty traps for the story writers. The new story is supposedly set between SC1 and SC2, which means they can't really change much, and all the Big Reveal things that happen in SC2 are pretty much off limits unless they're going to do the "and then you were lost in space forever, along with everything you learned" ending.

    Star Control 2 was great for what it was, but (at least for myself) what I want from another Star Control game is the play style of the original, possibly with some updates. I don't particularly care if the game doesn't have the Umgah or the Pkunk or the Spathi in it. Or any of the others. In fact, I'd rather it didn't, because what I really want is an experience like what I originally had playing SC2; exploring a new universe that I don't already know like the back of my hand.

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