Star Control Reboot Emerges From the Wreckage of Atari

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Star Control Reboot Emerges From the Wreckage of Atari

Star Control 2 cover

Stardock says it hopes to involve as many original Star Control designers and developers as it can in an XCom-style reboot.

The collapse and dismemberment of Atari is a sad spectacle to behold (at least for those of us who remember a time when the name actually meant something) but there's one bit of good news to come out of it: Stardock Entertainment, the studio behind Fallen Enchantress and Sins of a Solar Empire, has successfully bid for the Star Control property, and it's planning a reboot of the franchise.

"We're very excited to publish a new Star Control game. We are inclined to go with an XCom-like reboot using Star Control 2 as a major source of inspiration," Stardock CEO Brad Wardell told Joystiq. "By rebooting the series la XCom, we can bring a new generation of gamers into a fun, silly space adventure. We hope to involve as many of the original designers and developers of the series, along with the fan base. It's important to us that Star Control remain true to its origins as much as is possible."

Star Control, a sci-fi strategy/exploration/combat game, was originally released for MS-DOS and Amiga systems back in 1990, but Star Control 2, which added new species, ship types, an actual plot and other gameplay elements, is the one that generally comes to mind when the name comes up. Players must form an alliance of alien races, assemble a fleet and ultimately throw off the yoke of the Ur-Quan, and while other games followed, Star Control 2 is the one that's best-remembered.

There's obviously a lot of ground between "we bought it" and "we made it," but Stardock is the right kind of studio for a game like Star Control and the fact that it wants to bring original developers back to it speaks well of its intentions. As bankruptcy auctions and IP acquisitions go, this is very exciting news indeed.

Source: Joystiq

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Depends on which X-Com Reboot they're talking about.

I dunno if you can recapture the essence of Star Control 2... But they're welcome to try. If they're shooting for an Enemy Unknown-style reboot and not one like the Bureau then by all means.

X-Com and Star Control 2 (which I still play) are very different games, so I hope the only similarity they are drawing is spacey-sci-fi. Or I'll use my Burvix Caster and send the Ilwrath after them!

I am the happiest man in the world. I mean, the last time Stardock took a beloved 90s icon and remade it it was Master of Magic and we got Elemental, and I don't know how many of the Toy For Bob guys they're actually going to pull out of the Skylanders money-printing machine, and...

Doesn't matter. Star Control. Squee.

For anyone who hasn't played it, the 3DO version of Star Control 2 was released for free ages ago. It's up and fully playable under the name The Ur-Quan Masters.

I think this is fantastic news. Star Control 2 is absolutely the kind of game that could be re-made well with a good writing and planning team without needing a staff of hundreds of people and a bank-breaking AAA-budget, and Stardock seems like a good fit for such a task. I wish them luck.

As long as there are Spathi ships with rear mounted homing rockets, they have my money :D

Yal:
I am the happiest man in the world. I mean, the last time Stardock took a beloved 90s icon and remade it it was Master of Magic and we got Elemental, and I don't know how many of the Toy For Bob guys they're actually going to pull out of the Skylanders money-printing machine, and...

Doesn't matter. Star Control. Squee.

For anyone who hasn't played it, the 3DO version of Star Control 2 was released for free ages ago. It's up and fully playable under the name The Ur-Quan Masters.

The 3DO version, was released on PC without the incredibly good voice acting (amongst other things), thus some people say, especially 3DO enthusiasts that the 3DO version is superior, even compared to the Toys for Bob 3DO PC version. It's also free technically too, what with the 3DO having no copyright protection.

I own that 3DO version, it's indeed a fantastic game, so i hope Atari don't fuck it up with this new one.

Nuxxy:
X-Com and Star Control 2 (which I still play) are very different games, so I hope the only similarity they are drawing is spacey-sci-fi. Or I'll use my Burvix Caster and send the Ilwrath after them!

I think what they means is, they want to bring the game to modern audiences whilst keeping to the original formula as much as possible. They want to stick to the game's roots and not just shove the name on an Ouya-exclusive knitting sim.

WOOOOOOOOO MORE STAR CONTROL!
image

Seriously though, I hope they don't mess this up, Star Control 2 is like one my my top 5 games period. I don't think they will though, I hope they learned from the mess that was the launch of Fallen Enchantress.

Star Control was already remade its called Mass Effect.

image

Jazoni89:
I thought the 3DO version, was released on PC without the incredibly good voice acting, thus some people say, especially 3DO enthusiasts that the 3DO version is superior. It's also free technically too, what with the 3DO having no copyright protection.

The speech pack is available as an optional download straight from the project site on Sourceforge, which I assume means its all legal and whatnot.

I confess I don't really know the differences between the real 3DO version and the UQM release. I believe most of them come down to the differences between televisions and monitors as displays.

Yal:

Jazoni89:
I thought the 3DO version, was released on PC without the incredibly good voice acting, thus some people say, especially 3DO enthusiasts that the 3DO version is superior. It's also free technically too, what with the 3DO having no copyright protection.

The speech pack is available as an optional download straight from the project site on Sourceforge, which I assume means its all legal and whatnot.

I confess I don't really know the differences between the real 3DO version and the UQM release. I believe most of them come down to the differences between televisions and monitors as displays.

http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Version_Comparison

I've also heard people say that the 3DO version is far less clunky than the PC version in terms of resource management, and combat. I guess that's why the 3DO version is still highly prized with it being more pick up and play, and having decent controls, especially when it comes to old school PC Ports, which most of the time never worked with a controller.

Releasing a high regarded PC game on a console and and making it work well was probably a very ambitious thing back in the day.

One of the Toys for Bob founders, Paul Reiche III, has a long resume in the industry, and is best well known for being 1/3rd of FreeFall Associates (the people responsible for the Archon duology), and designing Mail Order Monsters (which was the kaiju monster battle game of its time, and definitely a forerunner of Pokemon).

The Star Control series was the next step in the "strategic maneuvering, twitch-style close combat" genre that Archon started, and it could be argued was an ancestor of the modern RTS game.

Yal:
the last time Stardock took a beloved 90s icon and remade it it was Master of Magic and we got Elemental

You mean that disaster of a game, worse than Master of Magic in every way that matters? I've had zero faith in Stardock ever since GalCiv. Master of Orion was a relatively simple template with such obvious failings and they still managed to make a successor that was totally inferior to it's progenitor.

Ah well, at least after Star Control 3 the franchise can't sink any lower.

If it has space exploration and good dialogue with the alien races and music fitting SC2, then I'm all for this. Star Control 2 is still one of my favorite games of all time. My buddy and I played the "melee" free combat together for years after.

I hope they don't do something like the wasted Syndicate FPS "reboot". It can't just be set in that universe but with all the bullshit corporate mainstream changes that games seem to always have to have these days. If it his nothing on common with SC2 but the setting I'll probably be disappointed.

Also don't let serious bugs sit in the game for years like you did the the silent out of sync issue in Sins of a Solar Empire.

Oh - and pretend like Star Control 3 never happened, please. Don't take anything from that.

csoloist:

Yal:
the last time Stardock took a beloved 90s icon and remade it it was Master of Magic and we got Elemental

You mean that disaster of a game, worse than Master of Magic in every way that matters? I've had zero faith in Stardock ever since GalCiv. Master of Orion was a relatively simple template with such obvious failings and they still managed to make a successor that was totally inferior to it's progenitor.

Ah well, at least after Star Control 3 the franchise can't sink any lower.

Take it you haven't played Fallen Enchantress and Legendary Heroes or Galactic Civilization II and expansions?

Stardock doesn't let shit games stay shit. They gave away Fallen Enchantress for FREE to people who purchased Elemental.

I'm happy for a company that's capable of recognizing mistakes taking the helm of this project.

No no no no NO. I said remake the original, not reboot the series! Dammit, do I have to do everything myself? Maybe it's time I dusted off my Visual C++...

Also:

mfeff:
Star Control was already remade its called Mass Effect.

image

Superficial similarities do not a remake make.

Callate:
I think this is fantastic news. Star Control 2 is absolutely the kind of game that could be re-made well with a good writing and planning team without needing a staff of hundreds of people and a bank-breaking AAA-budget, and Stardock seems like a good fit for such a task. I wish them luck.

Yeah, you couldn't get this smile off of my face if you tried. After going through things like THQ going under and Atlus being auctioned off, having a game IP I love being bought by a studio that MATCHES the others' style so well is awesome. I am SO goddamn happy right now, and while this could easily blow up in all our faces, I'm legitimately looking forward to what they come up with.

Don't forget to *enjoy the sauce*.

mfeff:
Star Control was already remade its called Mass Effect.

Yeah, if Mass Effect had had some cool starship combat and fleet building, it would have been the perfect Star Control remake.

I'm excited about StarDock handling it. I hope this time they manage to deliver on the 1st try though.

The rotating green carousel of death monster to the immediate left of this post approves of this message.

My biological credits are manifold.

Make whatever rituals are necessary for your species.

DVS BSTrD:
Depends on which X-Com Reboot they're talking about.

This is Stardock we're talking about, so it's a safe bet to say they meant Enemy Unknown and not the FPS.

Also, Atari is dead /again/? I'm actually kind of sad this time, since it means Infogrames (which was the last company to buy out Atari, changing their name in the process) is gone now. Infogrames was cool, they basically invented Survival Horror, and then Capcom popularized it with a game that used zombies instead of Lovecraft.

Tiamat666:

mfeff:
Star Control was already remade its called Mass Effect.

Yeah, if Mass Effect had had some cool starship combat and fleet building, it would have been the perfect Star Control remake.

I'm excited about StarDock handling it. I hope this time they manage to deliver on the 1st try though.

It's more that both Mass Effect and Star Control were remakes of Starflight, which was and older, somewhat simpler version of the same idea as Star Control II. The mako sections and the in system flight were even pulled straight out of Starflight, which used a ground vehicle that was just the Mako with better controls for resource collection.

Incidentally, Starflight was an EA game, pre-evil. They still hold the copyright to it, so I'm surprised they haven't done anything with it in light of how successful Mass Effect was.

I would have preferred someone else to get it, like one of the European strategy specialists (and Toys for Bob are still going as part of ActiBlizzard). I'm not really a fan of Stardock's games and CEO, but at least they will do something with it. It could have gone worse places.

By the way if you haven't heard of it, The Ur-Quan Masters is an excellent free remake of Star Control II based on the source code that Toys For Bob released to the community in 2002. Their website looks like the 90's threw up on it, but they are legit.

EDIT forgot stuff again

Owyn_Merrilin:

DVS BSTrD:
Depends on which X-Com Reboot they're talking about.

This is Stardock we're talking about, so it's a safe bet to say they meant Enemy Unknown and not the FPS.

Also, Atari is dead /again/? I'm actually kind of sad this time, since it means Infogrames (which was the last company to buy out Atari, changing their name in the process) is gone now. Infogrames was cool, they basically invented Survival Horror, and then Capcom popularized it with a game that used zombies instead of Lovecraft.

Yeah, its sad, but for the last 10 years Infogrames/Atari's corporate strategy seems to have been to sell of any potentially profitable IP's and subsidiaries. Not exactly a sustainable strategy. Surprising they lasted this long.

thiosk:
The rotating green carousel of death monster to the immediate left of this post approves of this message.

My biological credits are manifold.

Make whatever rituals are necessary for your species.

You.

I like you. I would like to be your friend.

I could not possibly be more excited after reading this news.

Colour me excited.

The only bit I didn't like about Star Control II was the ship to ship combat - maybe it's just because I wasn't very good at it, but I wussed out and just left it on AI controlled mode the whole time. If they could improve on that and keep all the other stuff, it'd be awesome :)

This is excellent news. Star Control II was one of my all time favorites, since it was basically an update to my first gaming love, Starflight. I sure hope they can capture what made the original so great.

(leaving)

AD-Stu:
Colour me excited.

The only bit I didn't like about Star Control II was the ship to ship combat - maybe it's just because I wasn't very good at it, but I wussed out and just left it on AI controlled mode the whole time. If they could improve on that and keep all the other stuff, it'd be awesome :)

You missed out on some of the great joys of life, such as: taking out an Ur-Quan Dreadnought with an Arilou Skiff; or having a single P'kunk Fury reincarnated 20 times.

You also missed out on some of life's great shames, like sling-shotting your Mycon into it's own plasmoids.

DVS BSTrD:
Depends on which X-Com Reboot they're talking about.

This is Stardock we're talking about, their one of if not the smartest game publisher/developers that exist in the industry and are what we all demand publishers/devs to be. Every game of theirs I have played has been perfect or next to perfect, there has rarely if ever been an issue and whenever they hear of one they fix it. Support is excellent and community feedback is listened to. This couldn't have ended better if god himself had of come down to do it :-P (well maybe alittle better lol)

Bravo Stardock, bravo
image

Jazoni89:

The 3DO version, was released on PC without the incredibly good voice acting (amongst other things), thus some people say, especially 3DO enthusiasts that the 3DO version is superior, even compared to the Toys for Bob 3DO PC version. It's also free technically too, what with the 3DO having no copyright protection.

I own that 3DO version, it's indeed a fantastic game, so i hope Atari don't fuck it up with this new one.

Atari doesn't exist anymore, their IP's have been sold off and their dead, Stardock purchased the IP from the bankruptcy hearing and has announced a reboot (smart move on their part). You will get a fantastic game, this I guarantee.

Stormwaltz:
"...Stardock is the right kind of studio for a game like Star Control"

I have to disagree.

Setting aside Brad Wardell's personal issues, Stardock has a long history of releasing colorless turn-based games that they spend years patching into something good. I don't see that as the best choice for a realtime game remembered for its splashy personality and sense of humor.

They almost sank Gas Powered Games with their unplayable netcode for Demigod. The recent Legendary Heroes, while a solid and enjoyable game, is really their third try at designing Elemental, and was "rescued" by hiring the best modder of Civ4 and the lead designer of Civ5.

I have to disagree with you, and you pointed out why. They didn't just go "oh well" and leave the games with what problems they had like EA etc, they went out of their way and fixed them. They also made Sins of a Solar Empire which (and everyone I know) considers to be one of the best space RTS that exist (up there with Homeworld).

RicoADF:
This is Stardock we're talking about, their one of if not the smartest game publisher/developers that exist in the industry and are what we all demand publishers/devs to be. Every game of theirs I have played has been perfect or next to perfect, there has rarely if ever been an issue and whenever they hear of one they fix it. Support is excellent and community feedback is listened to. This couldn't have ended better if god himself had of come down to do it :-P (well maybe alittle better lol)

Bravo Stardock, bravo

Hi Brad, how you doing? Shouldn't you be worrying about that lawsuit, not wasting time on websites?

Andrew_C:

Hi Brad, how you doing? Shouldn't you be worrying about that lawsuit, not wasting time on websites?

Excuse me?

Oh what don't you like Stardock and anyone that says they do must be some sort of impersonator? I guess you prefer EA's way of "don't like it, tough" verses Stardock's way of fixing any issues? Which I'll point out I have never had in any of their games, I heard of the elementor problems but I personally never played that game, regardless they did completly redo the game for the community. You'll never see EA or Activision doing that for their fans.

RicoADF:

Andrew_C:

Hi Brad, how you doing? Shouldn't you be worrying about that lawsuit, not wasting time on websites?

Excuse me?

Oh what don't you like Stardock and anyone that says they do must be some sort of impersonator? I guess you prefer EA's way of "don't like it, tough" verses Stardock's way of fixing any issues? Which I'll point out I have never had in any of their games, I heard of the elementor problems but I personally never played that game, regardless they did completly redo the game for the community. You'll never see EA or Activision doing that for their fans.

I believe was I was doing is referred to as "Humour" in many places (see also irony and sarcasm).

I made the joke because your love for Stardock seemed a bit over the top and Wardell is known for coming onto websites to defend or extol the virtues of his products company and himself (Although he doesn't use pseudonyms).

As I said, I don't like Stardock's games (they promise much but consistently disappoint IMHO) or Wardell, but at least they will do something with the IP, unlike Atari/Infogrames.

EDIT: clarified

Andrew_C:

I believe was I was doing is referred to as "Humour" in many places (see also irony and sarcasm).

I made the joke because your love for Stardock seemed a bit over the top and Wardell is known for coming onto websites to defend or extol the virtues of his products company and himself (Although he doesn't use pseudonyms).

As I said, I don't like Stardock's games (they promise much but consistently disappoint IMHO) or Wardell, but at least they will do something with the IP, unlike Atari/Infogrames.

EDIT: clarified

Ah my apologies, it can be hard to tell when it's sarcasm or a serious comment. As you said Wardell is known for commenting on websites to defend the company and thought you had made the real assumption I was him.

Yeah it probably did seem over the top, but I'm sick of the EA's and Activision's. So far I've enjoyed every stardock game I've played (I haven't played all their games) and they do seem to listen to fans, so compared to the mentioned EA and Activision they feel like saints at times.

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