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Development To Begin Soon On New Star Control Game

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the brought-to-you-by-frungy!-the-sport-of-kings! dept.

Classic Games (Games) 160

In 1990, a development studio called Toys for Bob created a game called Star Control, a fun little space combat game with a bit of strategy added in. In 1992, they released Star Control 2, a full-blown space adventure RPG, which became one of the seminal works of early PC gaming. (Later open-sourced and released for modern systems.) After that, creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III lost control of the franchise to Accolade, who botched Star Control 3 and eventually abandoned the series. Last July, Stardock, the studio behind Sins of a Solar Empire, acquired the rights, and they're now discussing their plans to resurrect the classic series. They'll be using Star Control 2 as a template and an inspiration for all aspects of the game, though they won't be using any of the IP from Star Control I & II. They've also contacted Ford and Reiche and will try to hold true to their creative intentions. (The two currently run an Activision game studio, so they won't be involved with the new game.) Production will begin this winter.

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The fog of time (4, Interesting)

hubie (108345) | about 8 months ago | (#45857433)

It adds credibility to include them, but I wonder if Ford and Reiche can remember what their creative intentions were after 20 years.

Re:The fog of time (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 8 months ago | (#45858945)

It's easy enough to find out. Play Star Control 2, and Starflight, and do more of that. There are really no other comparable spacefaring adventure/RPGs in existance.

Re:The fog of time (1)

ZahrGnosis (66741) | about 8 months ago | (#45859045)

Agreed. This sub-genre is rather diminuitive and SC2 is, IMHO, the best iteration ever (I still play UrQuan masters semi-regularly). I think there are a few key design components that need to survive that are easy to pluck out by playing through. I hope they keep the openness of exploration, the simplicity (and necessity) of resource management, and the level of randomness that bantering about the universe can give you (will you meet the Shofixti early? Last? Before they are annihilated? etc).

I do worry that they'll have to dumb it down for a modern audience and that worries me. SC3 suffered from this a bit. For example, you really had to take notes to complete SC2 unless you'd played it a dozen times before -- someone would mention a planet and star system in the middle of the conversation and if you forgot it you may never be able to get back to it. I LOVED that aspect of old games, but with pop-up maps and waypoints listed in auto-populated journals, newer games put this aspect on auto pilot. That's fine for many games -- it puts you deeper into actual gameplay, but it's an aspect I would sorely miss in SC2 if it weren't there.

Mostly, though, I hope they find a way to keep the whimsy of the game married to a truly compelling story line. If anyone can do it, these guys can. I can hardly wait!

Re:The fog of time (5, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 8 months ago | (#45859671)

I do worry that they'll have to dumb it down for a modern audience and that worries me. SC3 suffered from this a bit. For example, you really had to take notes to complete SC2 unless you'd played it a dozen times before -- someone would mention a planet and star system in the middle of the conversation and if you forgot it you may never be able to get back to it. I LOVED that aspect of old games, but with pop-up maps and waypoints listed in auto-populated journals, newer games put this aspect on auto pilot. That's fine for many games -- it puts you deeper into actual gameplay, but it's an aspect I would sorely miss in SC2 if it weren't there.

I wouldn't. Automatically log every conversation and mark any coordinates mentioned, with a link back to the log. Why in blazes shouldn't the computer handle a simple and, frankly, tedious bookkeeping task? Removing manual copy-pasting of text is not "dumbing down" a game.

Re:The fog of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45860191)

I wouldn't. Automatically log every conversation and mark any coordinates mentioned, with a link back to the log. Why in blazes shouldn't the computer handle a simple and, frankly, tedious bookkeeping task? Removing manual copy-pasting of text is not "dumbing down" a game.

Completely agreed; one should not be required to keep a separate Zim [zim-wiki.org] notebook just to play a game. If nothing else, provide a simple method of bookmarking information as it's given to you, so that it's easy to record information in-game yourself.

The problem is that there's a fine line between "convenient" and "mindless", and a lot of (perhaps most) games cross it. Automatically recording information about the general area of an important location: awesome. Giving you a reliable idea of which direction you should be looking, or some other way of limiting the scope of your search so it's not "needle in haystack" hunting: great. Showing you exactly where and what your target is and completely eliminating any need for exploration: bad. As an example of how to get it wrong in both ways, the game nearly everyone has played or at least knows exists: World of Warcraft. Over the years, Blizzard has managed to hit both extremes (too obtuse, too hand-holding) without getting anywhere near a good compromise.

At release and for a long time after, you had to find quest locations by reading the log and discovering the location yourself. Unfortunately, the directions tended to be vague, and were sometimes even completely useless or non-existent, so you spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly in a vaguely-worded "north" or "east" and hoped you found the right thing to stab. Eventually, the people that did the exploring made websites and addons that did the work for you, until they became the de facto standard for playing the game, at least for most players.

Years later, Blizzard overhauled the quest log system as a response to this third party ecosystem of quest assistants. Instead of making it more user friendly and accurate, they took out any sense of exploration at all. Big blue area markers on the map that show exactly the area you need to be in, with hover tooltips on every enemy and item that tell you which quest they belong to, and arrow son the minimap that point you toward where your "active" quest area is located. Click a quest, go toward arrow until blue appears, click enemies until you find one that is marked as quest-related, then kill and loot. No discovery, no explanation, and no reason to even glance at the quest text any more, except for a handful of particularly obtuse quests.

Re:The fog of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859543)

There are really no other comparable spacefaring adventure/RPGs in existance.

I would argue that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Saga belongs in that group.

I am *expanding*! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857479)

It is so *squishy* to make me a *happy camper*. I cannot wait to *smell* it.

Re:I am *expanding*! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857709)

Don't forget to *enjoy the sauce*!

Re:I am *expanding*! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858233)

Happy days and jubilation!

Re:I am *expanding*! (1)

buswolley (591500) | about 8 months ago | (#45859149)

Indeed. My Two favorite games:

1. Star Control 2 (loved 1 as well). 2. Space Empires IV (a completely awesome turn based 4x space strategy game)

Re:I am *expanding*! (3, Funny)

Stormalong (36874) | about 8 months ago | (#45858337)

You guys are so lame. Its just a video game.

Why don't you go outside and play some Frungy?

Re:I am *expanding*! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859575)

Nobody likes a bully.

Re:I am *expanding*! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859673)

Because without it, Frungy wouldn't exist. It's a Pkunk and Egg problem.

Re:I am *expanding*! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858495)

Go! Go! Go!
*intruder*
Diu! Diu!
Bleagh!

Awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857495)

I hope this new instalment will be at least as much fun as SC2.

"Dribble-down economics."

Re:Awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857929)

Heck, if it's half as fun as SC2 it'll be Game-of-the-Year in my book.

No Faith (1)

Karna99 (784157) | about 8 months ago | (#45857503)

I wish I could believe Stardock would do it some justice, but likely it will be a colossal cluster F like their attempt to redo Master of Magic as Elemental.

I think I will just go back and play the original. Still amazing what Fred & Paul did given the constrains they had. The music was the best part of SC2.

Re:No Faith (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 8 months ago | (#45857563)

On the plus side, Stardock is owned by Brad Wardell. So maybe we'll be able to sexually harass the various characters and oppress lesser races.

Re:No Faith (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857799)

I totally want to play as the republican space rangers [youtube.com] !

Re:No Faith (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 8 months ago | (#45859403)

Well keep in mind in response to that incident, the woman ended up writing a letter of apology to Stardock and Wardell.

Seems she may have departed on bad terms and they had evidence she destroyed company property in the process, and were willing to drop it till she filed her harassment suit. In response Stardock countered with the property destruction, and as part of the settlement both cases were dropped and she apologized for causing the trouble.

One generally does not apologize for causing trouble if they are a legitimate victim of sexual harassment.

Re:No Faith (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 8 months ago | (#45860241)

You do if the other party has a pile of cash and filed a lawsuit they can afford to drag on for years even if it's totally made up.

Re:No Faith (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#45857715)

Yeah, I got burned too. I even pre-purchased the collectors edition, dreaming of a competent turn-based fantasy strategy game. I played maybe an hour before I could take no more. What a waste.

Re: No Faith (1)

Therad (2493316) | about 8 months ago | (#45857887)

You should try out fallen enchantress: legendary heroes. It is quite good and it is free for those of us that bought elemental.

Re: No Faith (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#45857905)

Actually, I bought(I COULD'VE GOTTEN IT FREE?!?!?!?) that on steam, not realizing it was the element engine, and I thought it was better, but not great.

Re: No Faith (1)

Karna99 (784157) | about 8 months ago | (#45858253)

To be honest I am so bitter about the whole Element thing that Stardock could cure cancer, AIDS, and world hunger and I would still not play that game.

It was the whole Gamers’ Bill of Rights hypocrisy that burned me good. Previous to that point, I would buy most of their games and generally be ok with the value of the purchase.

At the time Element was announced, I wanted to support Stardock and paid upfront (pre-order) based on the things Brad Wardell was saying. The Gamers’ Bill of Rights was in stark contrast to where things were going with the industry and I wanted to support a company that would state that.

And I loved MoM, so how bad could they possibly screw it up given that they had that as model to follow.

Pretty much Stardock took a dump on the game and even worse the hypocrisy of the Gamers’ Bill of Rights.

So yeah F-you Brad Wardell.

Re: No Faith (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 8 months ago | (#45858751)

No... The tongueings the best part.

Re:No Faith (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 8 months ago | (#45858977)

For the MoM fan who wasn't aware of Elemental, what are the problems with it?

Some musings (4, Insightful)

Akratist (1080775) | about 8 months ago | (#45857509)

I wouldn't necessarily agree that SC 3 was "botched," although 2 was a better game. A real botch job was Master of Orion 3... That said, it should be interesting to see what Stardock does with this, given their track record with Galactic Civilizations and Sins of a Solar Empire. They need to resist temptation to make the game too "heavy," too -- no real need to turn it into a cartoonish version of SFB or something.

Re:Some musings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857779)

It's funny that you mention Stardock's track record and you don't include their awful recent (past 6-7 years) games (Elemental, etc). But you include Sins of a Solar Empire, which they only published.

Re:Some musings (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 8 months ago | (#45857819)

Agree. MOO3 was the first and last game I have ever pre-ordered. I was so excited that it was coming out. Then when I got it...

I think it can be best described as they took a really fun game and turned it into a tedious simulation.

Re:Some musings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858323)

I could have written your comment. That matches my experiences 100%.

Re:Some musings (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#45858591)

So true.

MOO2 remains to this day my favorite game of all time, and MOO3 was such a letdown. I followed most of its development since the developers were extremely open during the entire process, but the fact that colonization, development of infrastructure, and most other detail-oriented actions were fully automated took the fun out of playing. As you said, it felt like watching a simulation that we were just there to observe, since we had very little actual ability to influence things. That feeling was only reinforced the first time I lost the game without ever establishing contact with a single other race...the game had decided I lost the simulation before I had ever had a chance to even influence it in a meaningful way.

Utterly absurd.

Re:Some musings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858643)

Same for me. Although I can find spreadsheets entertaining, I never find them fun. I too was burned on the pre-order. Never again.

Re:Some musings (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 8 months ago | (#45859449)

Similar for me, I traded in like 8 of my PC games for a pittance to be able to afford MOO3 when it was released. Some were at the time hard to find and became quite valuable in recent years, such as Total Annihilation.

Re:Some musings (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 8 months ago | (#45858249)

Yeah me and a friend used to play SC 3 a ton and had plenty of fun with it. Didn't ever seem "botched" to us.

Re:Some musings (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859409)

SC3 was excellent for its time. Full voiced dialogues. Humor. Good story line. Some elements of planetary management. Exploration. And core Star Control combat system where you control each ship. For me it was Sega Genesis version of star control (just a battle simulator with a strategy game built in, pretty fun but no story), then I jumped into SC3, and even later played through SC2. All very good games, but today they seem too primitive. I tried Star Control Urquan Masters a few years ago, just couldn't get into it.

Re:Some musings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858303)

>no real need to turn it into a cartoonish version of SFB or something.

I would pay enormous wads of cash for development of a new version of SFB, cartoonish or otherwise.

(Yes, I played the Starfleet Command series; thanks for asking.)

Re:Some musings (1)

Akratist (1080775) | about 8 months ago | (#45858933)

Yeah, don't take it as a slam on SFB -- I loved the pen and paper versions, and was thrilled when they came out with the computer game versions, and wish they would be updated (nice job of locking down your "IP," Paramount). I was more thinking that Star Command was always a "light" game and would suffer from an excess of detail and tactical decisions, though.

SC 3... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859613)

I think most people I talk to agree that as far as gameplay goes, SC 3 wasn't fundamentally so bad. The issue was that the writing was so blatantly distinct from SC2. I was hoping for a solid, coherent continuation of the SC2 story addressing much of the open ended mysteries of SC2 (the arilou, orz, rainbow worlds, precursors, mark ii were notable examples of story elements in SC2 that SC3 provided 'an' answer for that just didn't satisfy). SC2 demonstrated that, within the game, a lot of things got set up and subsequently provided a nice answer, so I had some hope that SC3 would do it for the open questions.

Ugh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857533)

It's a shame it's by Stardock. Not only are they terrible at making games, their CEO Brad Wardell is an asshole: http://kotaku.com/5940401/pc-gaming-studio-said-she-ruined-their-game-but-only-after-she-sued-the-boss-for-sexual-harassment [kotaku.com]

On top of that, he made up a fake lawsuit and sued her to use his money to force her to drop the suit.

Fuck the new Star Control, it's not by Toys for Bob anyway.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858367)

Stardock had to spend "vital time" leading up to Elemental's release "attempting to re-create" the marketing materials, "rather than programming, debugging, and otherwise readying Elemental for release."

That's the part I had trouble with, the most. I'm not saying Wardell's harassment or asshollery are any better, but that statement sounds like they're saying that programmers were tied up doing marketing. Programmers are not marketers. There are some programmers out there that also double as great PR people at conferences, etc but you can't expect a team of programmers to crank out a marketing campaign. That's not their job, it's not what they're trained to do, and their work will be slap-dash at best.

It also seems weird that they 'noticed' this years after the fact. I'd be interested in knowing the statute of limitations on such litigation(though, I wouldn't be surprised if it's 3-5 years...well over the 1-2 years in question).

I have to say, I like Sins of a Solar Empire, but learning this about Stardock makes me rethink supporting them.

Not in Debian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857551)

Bizarrely Star Control 2 is not an apt-get away... At least not that I can find. Anyone got any ideas?

Re:Not in Debian... (5, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about 8 months ago | (#45857593)

Sure it is. Accolade still owns the name "Star Control 2", so the open source release was rebranded "The Ur-Quan Masters"

apt-get install uqm

Re:Not in Debian... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 8 months ago | (#45857759)

Okay, maybe I should have read the summary. Allow me to fix my statement.

Accolade still owned the name "Star Control", so the open source release was rebranded "The Ur-Quan Masters"

Re:Not in Debian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858537)

me@pc:~$ sudo apt-get install uqm
[sudo] password for me:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package uqm
me@pc:~$

Not in Ubuntu at any rate. Perhaps it's in Debian. But I'm surprised if it were in Debian, but not in Ubuntu...

Re:Not in Debian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858811)

It is on ubuntu, you need to enable the multiverse repo. http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/uqm

Re:Not in Debian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859881)

Cheers. But what "copyright or legal issues" prevents it from being in universe? Bizarre.

Re:Not in Debian... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#45859581)

It wants to install an "autodownloader.noarch" package on Fedora. I take it the data files are not in the repos? Be nice to know how big they are...ah looks like about 150MB total.

Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857555)

Starcon2 was epic way back in the day.

*Nerd* *Punk*

Have any modern resurrections been very good? (2)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 8 months ago | (#45857687)

The closest I can think of is Civilization Revolutions. It's streamlined for console play, hardcore fans will probably call it kiddified, but I think that they really cut to the heart of the game without larding it up with too much cruft.

Beloved game sequels usually fall into two categories:
1) True fans who love the game and want to make their mark but end up cluttering the clean and elegant design of the original with entirely too much crap that bogs things down. See Master of Orion 2 to Master of Orion 1, later Civilization games on PC, etc.
2) Franchises purchased for IP name recognition but fundamentally different games are built, equivalent to when studios buy a stand-alone script and beat on it until it can become yet another sequel. Max Payne 3 was an entirely different game that they then stuck the Max logo on, sharing none of the original's atmosphere, play mechanics, or fun.

I can at least respect the true fans even if their efforts turn out like caked shit on the hairy ass of gamedom. I heard the new X-Com kind of straddled the line by being made by true fans who also tried to shift the genre and failed.

Re:Have any modern resurrections been very good? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 8 months ago | (#45857989)

I don't know in what world you live in but most people agree that Civilization IV is the best Civ around, with some going as far as saying that V is even better with the expansions. Beloved game sequels fall into all sorts of categories, it's the fans which fall in a select few, one of which is the nostalgia-goggled fan who'll never ever accept that a sequel or reboot can actually be better than the original. The new XCOM is also a game that most people will say keeps the spirit of the original while managing to find its own style and doing so with excellent results.

Re:Have any modern resurrections been very good? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 8 months ago | (#45859359)

Civ V has hexes. Heresy!

Also, no more Stacks of Doom :(

Re:Have any modern resurrections been very good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857991)

Pirates Gold.

Re:Have any modern resurrections been very good? (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about 8 months ago | (#45858801)

MOO2 was a far better game then MOO1. The big issues with it was that late-game tech made the galaxy distances meaningless, late-game battles were tedious, and the AI was rudimentary and easy to trick/defeat. Combat, however, was far more balanced in MOO2 over MOO1 and you didn't have to build stacks of 65k ships in order to win.

CIV4 was mostly an improvement over CIV3, but CIV5 goofed it up because the developers threw out all of the lessons of Civ3 and Civ4. Hexes were a great idea. Limiting the stacks of doom was a great idea. 1UPT (one unit per tile) combined with hexes that were 2x-3x too large for that purpose was garbage and resulted in constant micro-management in order to keep your forces from tripping over their own feet.

Re:Have any modern resurrections been very good? (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 8 months ago | (#45858999)

X-Com succeeded brilliantly.

Re:Have any modern resurrections been very good? (1)

buswolley (591500) | about 8 months ago | (#45859177)

Space Empires IV is better than these IMHO

Re:Have any modern resurrections been very good? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#45859527)

but I think that they really cut to the heart of the game without larding it up with too much cruft.

If you've ever read "The Princess Bride" you'll recognize the following reference. I call Civ: Rev, the "Good Parts" version of Civilization. All the fun without the tedium.

Impressed I am to see such a following (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45857729)

I have the Amiga game in a desk drawer, which I tried playing a couple times, but found it far more time consuming than I was willing to commit to. No idea how involved it is, but it did look like a serious time sink, after reading the manual and wondered how such a game would fare. Perhaps I should dig it out and have another look at it.

I was more interested in a freebie little c compiled game called Conquest, which had something like 20 stars, each with between 0 and 2 possible planets, which could be played in about an hour per session. Variations on that game included one where AI included certain personalities - Dwarf, which tended to colonize slowly but built heavy defences, something else which was aggressive as heck, but didn't defend itself much at all and at least one other which tended to throw a lot of resources at developing highest tech weaponry and starcraft.

I'm more of a casual gamer now and tend toward games I can play in less than 2 hours, but have had a soft spot for the old Trade and Conquest type games (such as Elite) since I played something on a mainframe in college.

Re:Impressed I am to see such a following (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 8 months ago | (#45858543)

I played a game called Conquest on a DEC Vax running VMS, but it was written in fortran. I believe you can still find the code for it and someone might even be running a server for it out there on the Internet. It didn't have an AI but resembled a terminal-graphics version of xtrek. You'd fly around, blow up opponent team ships, bomb and colonize their planets.

Now Xtrek was really where it was at for all that. There was definitely something to be said for 20-30 players wrestling for control of the universe over the course of 2-3 hours or so.

Re:Impressed I am to see such a following (1)

hubie (108345) | about 8 months ago | (#45859487)

I played that on a VAX back in 1984. It was fun, but I never played it enough to build up a strong enough ship. Those sysadmin bastards (who were usually CS majors sitting at the terminal for their work/study job) would love to swoop in and pick off the newbies.

Re:Impressed I am to see such a following (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858553)

that's nice. so is slashdot now your personal blog?
on the other hand, it might actually be an improvement with the way things are going...

Re:Impressed I am to see such a following (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45860471)

So wait, SC2 is too time consuming, but you played ELITE!? Are you legally insane?

Ridiculous (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | about 8 months ago | (#45857781)

The very fact that Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III 'lost control' over their creation shows that copyright/trademark law is bullshit. There's no rational reason to prevent them from continuing their own game. It's preposterous that some other guys will only 'ask for input' from them. It's also nonsensical that a game not made by them can be called Star Control 3. It only leads to consumer confusion.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858141)

Didn't they hand over the IP to Crystal Dynamics who in turn got bought up by Interplay?

IP law is BS but then again handing over your creation to somebody else, probably not the best

Re:Ridiculous (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | about 8 months ago | (#45858391)

'handing over your creation' is only made possible by the law in the first place.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858969)

Why should someone be disallowed from handing over something they own?

Re:Ridiculous (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 8 months ago | (#45859507)

Also I assume they were compensated for it, so should people and organizations not be allowed to trade their work for money?

I have X, and want Y.
You have Y, and want X.
Let's trade...

Oh we already knew about this (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 8 months ago | (#45858301)

I mean the younger people here might not have heard of this one but John Fogerty effectively got sued in the 80's because he sounded too much like himself. (No, I'm not making that up.)

Re:Oh we already knew about this (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 8 months ago | (#45859325)

Fogerty v Fantasy [wikipedia.org] did become significant in that it went to the Supreme Court. Being the prevailing party, Fogerty sought to have attorney's fees which the district court denied. The district court said that Fogerty as the defendant had to prove bad faith or frivolousness in order to get attorney's fees. The appeals courts agreed. SCOTUS reversed the lower courts noting it was a double standard in that if Fogerty was the prevailing plaintiff, he would have gotten attorney's fees. SCOTUS ruled that district courts still have discretion to award attorney's fees, but that the language of the statute did not treat plaintiffs differently than defendants.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858351)

The very fact that Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III 'lost control' over their creation shows that copyright/trademark law is bullshit. There's no rational reason to prevent them from continuing their own game. It's preposterous that some other guys will only 'ask for input' from them. It's also nonsensical that a game not made by them can be called Star Control 3. It only leads to consumer confusion.

LOL. Meanwhile, back in the real world, game developers need to eat. It's perfectly reasonable to sell off your rights if you need the money and preventing that abridges the freedom of contract the libertarian contingent here is so fond of.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858457)

Yeah, they should be able to sign away the rights to their creation for a shitload of money, and then continue making derivative works after being paid for voluntarily giving up their exclusive rights to do so!

Idiot.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Rakishi (759894) | about 8 months ago | (#45858629)

Yeah, I'd sure hate to be able to make money from my creations. What an awful system. How dare someone even think of giving me money for my hard earned work.

To Begin Soon? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#45857787)

Development To Begin Soon On New Star Control Game

Really? We're getting announcements before games are even started development now? Seems a little early to get everyone all excited about a product that hasn't even started development yet. Let m know when the product has a solid release date.

Liked SC1 better than SC2 (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#45857865)

I might be the minority, but I loved SC1...not so much SC2. The advantage of SC1 was that you could whoop on your friends for hours in 2D combat...or play a QUICK strategy game. By the time SC2 rolled around I was in high school...and just didn't want to invest in an RPG slog to build up my fleet.

Personally, I'm hoping they make the core like a space battle version of Super Smash Brothers with a little solo-play piece grafted on to allow you to unlock more ships. I'm also hoping that some kind of "can play in under an hour" PvP strategy game comes back.

Re:Liked SC1 better than SC2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857915)

Star Control 2 came with the Super Melee option, which is pretty much what you are describing. It was just combat with pre-built fleets and no unlocking was required and no questing. It was pure combat, either against the AI or another human. The open source version has a network play option.

SC2 Super Melee Wasn't Strategic (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#45858019)

>> Star Control 2 came with the Super Melee option, which is pretty much what you are describing

Not really. SC1 came with a couple of different strategic scenarios built around a dozen or two stars. You'd move and use your fleets to secure star systems which offered benefits like extra citizens or mining. There was strategy in securing the right stars, using diversionary feints, building the right sets of ships to counter the enemy, etc.

When SC2 came out and replaced that part of the game with a grinding, probe-driving RPG (yippee, MORE aluminum)...I pretty much lost interest.

Re:SC2 Super Melee Wasn't Strategic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858839)

In SC2 you didn't really need to do much mining. In fact, you could get almost all the resources you needed by engaging in a few fights early on and selling stuff you found. There was very little grind in the game.

Re:SC2 Super Melee Wasn't Strategic (1)

lpp (115405) | about 8 months ago | (#45859129)

xxxJonBoyxxx is describing the multiplayer aspect of SC1. You are describing the single player campaign. In the multiplayer aspect of SC1 there was the option to have a strategic element where you had star systems tied by star lanes. You secured star systems as choke points and for resources and when enemy fleets moved in there was combat which was like a single ship Super Melee mini-game between the two players. Something akin to Archon. There is nothing like that additional strategic layer in the SC2 multiplayer mode, though since we do have UQM I would love-love-love to see it added. :)

Re:Liked SC1 better than SC2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45857953)

It kinda lessens your credibility when it sounds like you never even found the melee-combat-only exe version of the game. I found SC2's combat far more fun because of the expanded roster of ships, and the strategy game of SC1 was as bone-dry as SC2's space-mining-and-exploration bits were to me.

Re:Liked SC1 better than SC2 (1)

Cyrano de Maniac (60961) | about 8 months ago | (#45858165)

While overall I liked SC2 better than SC1, I too missed the strategy game aspect of SC1, for much the same reason -- it was a quick strategy game instead of a long RPG-like adventure. SC2's humor was spot-on, so that was a huge bonus.

I remember not having a code-wheel to use to start up SC1, but my college roommates and I knew that "PARTY" was one of the answers to the startup challenge screen, so whenever we'd want to play it was "cd \games\starcon", "starcon", followed by repetitions of "party", "party", "party", then F3, until the game let us in.

Also, the SC1 music emitted by the old Radio Shack "Game Blaster" was better than that from the Sound Blaster that I replaced it with -- I can still feel the melee music in my bones 23 years later.

Re:Liked SC1 better than SC2 (1)

AdamThor (995520) | about 8 months ago | (#45859451)

I'm with you, bub!

Toys for Bob also did (1)

miller701 (525024) | about 8 months ago | (#45858469)

the first two Skylanders games so I hope they made some bucks from that. Very clever idea with Skylanders- the character's levels are stored in the character, which also makes them cross platform.

Re:Toys for Bob also did (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#45859453)

what? You mean if a person levels their thingy on the PS3 and then takes their Flaming Dragon of Cuteness to someone who has the Wii version and puts it on their portal thingy, the Skylander still has it's levels?

That's nice, didn't know that. I figured the stats were stored on the regular game save and that the toy was just there to unlock the creature in the game.

I hate Stardock's writing. (1)

Sowelu (713889) | about 8 months ago | (#45858477)

The terrible 'sense of humor' they brought to GalCiv2's tech descriptions made it impossible for me to take that game seriously. I think they underestimated the importance of tech descriptions in, say, Civ IV.

Then again, I doubt they had dedicated writers at that point, or focused on that aspect at all...but that was a mistake. They had damn well better get it right for a Star Control game.

Holding out hope.

Re:I hate Stardock's writing. (1)

Sowelu (713889) | about 8 months ago | (#45858849)

(Specifically, Alpha Centauri's tech descriptions absolutely sold its setting.)

Re:I hate Stardock's writing. (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 8 months ago | (#45859569)

Same, for such games you do need to keep things like the descriptions rather serious, if the rest of the game is.

It's jarring when the game and campaign is designed as some space opera, but the tech tree is like something from KSP. The audio clips from AC were just golden and were great for making it seems like you were part of a functional world; like in real life, faction leaders will make PR comments about new technology or repeat famous quotes.

Re:I hate Stardock's writing. (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 8 months ago | (#45859443)

From what I've seen of Civ IV's tech descriptions, they came off as rather pompous. All rambling about the destiny of the human race and stuff...read by Leonard Nimoy. Ack!

There's something to be said for just getting gunpowder and curb-stomping the AI instead of meditating on Hinduism.

Star Flight 1 & 2 (3, Interesting)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 8 months ago | (#45858489)

I would really like to see Starflight [wikipedia.org] (and Starflight 2 [wikipedia.org] ) resurrected as well.

The various aliens and the story provided perspectives of human issues/problems with humorous ways. But they were fun! And they were inspirations for the Star Control games.

Please, pretty please, perhaps after they've revamped Star Control, could they revamp Starflight? Pleeease!

Re:Star Flight 1 & 2 (2)

Sowelu (713889) | about 8 months ago | (#45858761)

Yes! Those were my favorite games growing up (aside from Zork). I'd love that.

Just...just as long as they make flux nexuses less of an exercise in confused terror.

Re:Star Flight 1 & 2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859621)

Starflight was one of my all time favorite games. If you haven't played it, give the original Mass Effect a look. While no substitute, it shares more than a few similarities to the spirt of Starflight (and is an astounding game on its own.)

Re:Star Flight 1 & 2 (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#45860293)

Ditto on the Starflight recommend. SF 1 had an amazingly detailed story that required some real-life skills with regards to problem solving and knowing how to take good notes from a conversation that isn't going to get recorded, with a climactic plot revelation that honestly made me gasp in total awe right where i was sitting when I discovered it shortly before the end of the game. I

Starflight 2 was equally compelling in terms of story, and shared many of Starflight 1's strengths, it's biggest flaw was in the endgame, which, in retrospect, felt more like a final boss fight than a carefully calculated set of actions chosen by the player to produce the intended conclusion. After the fight, the game was just over, with nothing more to do. The biggest "oh my god" moment (at least for me) in that game actually came as expository text after that battle, so I felt more disappointed with that game than the first. Overall still an excellent game though, and I would sorely love to see a continuation of the series that was true to the spirit of the originals, and especially had as much continuity with them as SF2 did with SF1.

FUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858695)

YES! That is all I have to say about this. SC2 is still one of my favourites.

Not a good match (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45858885)

Stardock makes soulless games, quite the opposite of Star Control 1&2. I know they're popular with some, but I haven't developed any fondness for them. This is not a good match IMHO.

Old Doesn't Mean Good (1)

Toad-san (64810) | about 8 months ago | (#45858931)

I'm sorry, but I've NEVER found a "resurrected" game that was any fun to play, no matter how much fun the first versions were Way Back When. DOOM was great .. but I wouldn't play it now, no matter HOW much it was updated, ported, massaged to take advantage of the new hardware and memory and speeds and video available. I don't see much better coming out of this endeavor (especially since I never heard of Star Control).

Re:Old Doesn't Mean Good (1)

an0nemus (668839) | about 8 months ago | (#45859181)

That's because games like Doom are pretty devoid of real game play. Put a new coat of paint on there and that's all you need. Strategy games are a different beast.

Re:Old Doesn't Mean Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859263)

If you haven't played the Star Control games, minus SC3, then you have sorely missed out. They are two of the best games ever made.

Re:Old Doesn't Mean Good (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#45859509)

I'm sorry, but I've NEVER found a "resurrected" game that was any fun to play, no matter how much fun the first versions were Way Back When.

Not even the new XCOM? (the turn based one, Enemy Unknown, not the shooter one)

(especially since I never heard of Star Control).

What? I'm a console gamer and even I have heard of Star Control, course there was the 3D0 port of SCII that Ur-Quan Masters is based on.

Re:Old Doesn't Mean Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859737)

Once I year, I replay Star Control 2 in the form of The Ur-Quan Masters. It may not appeal to you, but it certainly appeals to me. Take a whole different game, Bionic Commando on the Nintendo, I loved that game to death as a kid, and I certainly loved the remake that was Bionic Commando Rearmed. Just the same, once in a while, I'll replay Doom and I enjoy being able to do so in higher resolution and with a mouse.

Saying that "old doesn't mean good" doesn't mean anything. It's like saying that an "old-fashion cake doesn't mean a good cake". You're talking about a subjective topic, one of taste. You never heard of it, and it's a shame, but maybe it wouldn't be your type of game(and that is fine), but since you haven't played it, you don't even know if it was a good game to begin with, and you're trying to make an argument that a new version may be pointless. Basically, you're saying absolutely nothing positive about something you have no knowledge of, and saying that a new version of what you didn't knew existed will probably be as bad. Really?

Star Control 2 shines in the dialog department. You encounter a rich universe of weird and funny aliens. The Spathi, a race so focused on being cowardly and their own survival that they have a ship where the sole torpedo launcher is situated behind the ship for helping them escape. I remember reading Ring World, and wondering if the inspiration for the Spathi came from the Puppeteers.

"Attention big, mean, hostile alien vessel hovering overhead in an obvious attack posture: This is Spathi Captain Fwiffo. I know you are going to torture me, so let's just get this over with right now. The coordinates of my homeworld, Spathiwa, are 241.6 : 368.7 and the ultra-secret Spathi Cypher, which is known only by me and several billion other Spathi is `Huffi-Muffi-Guffi'"

The universe of Star Control 2 reminds me of Mass Effect. You have such a variety of aliens, so different from each other, and it's fun to learn about them. The gameplay is really old school, and it could be fun to see what they would do with a new Star Control game. Currently the game play as more of a rock paper scissor dynamic. You pick a bunch of different ship, and you try to counter the CPU or other player by picking the right ship for the job. Destroying an Ur-Quan ship with an Earthling ship? Doable, but it usually ends in disaster for the Earthling ship.

The game can be freely downloaded from: http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ . There is also an HD version that is still in alpha last I checked. For those thinking of playing it, be ready to have a notepad with a pencil. You'll want to start taking notes of star systems coordinate!

Re:Old Doesn't Mean Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45859957)

Are you kidding me? The Earthling Cruiser is death to an Ur-Quan vessel unless you start off close to each other. Gravity whips keep you away, point defense take out any autonomous fighters and long range, guided nukes pound the Dreadnought from afar.

I can beat any ship using any other ship, including taking out a Chmmr Avatar with a Pkunk Fury. It's not rock-paper-scissors, it's knowing how to play the game. For me, that's why I can still play melee mode 20 years later. The game is ingenious in its seeming simplicity layered over complex underpinnings. It's like Weiqi; easy to pick up, difficult to master.

Already disappointed (2)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 8 months ago | (#45859637)

They'll be using Star Control 2 as a template and an inspiration for all aspects of the game, though they won't be using any of the IP from Star Control I & II.

Sorry, it just won't be Star Control without the Arilou, Yehat and Pkunk. No original IP means it's just not going to be Star Control. Just a totally new game hijacking the original name.

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