Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

We live in an age where developers actually brag about creating random quests as if that’s a good thing.

In an age of gigabytes of memory the challenge isn’t in how many worlds you have, it is how to make those worlds compelling.

In Star Control: Origins, there are no random missions. 

No episode of Star Trek ever ended with Captain Kirk receiving 14 Dilithium crystals for his troubles.  Star Control is about telling stories in which you are the central character.

Each mission is designed to tell a story.  While we don’t forbid missions from giving the player some sort of tangible reward, most of them simply alter the universe in some, subtle way.  It is the journey, not the destination we care about.

Consider the popular HBO series, Westworld®.   In that series, guests travel to Westworld and interact with “hosts” that are AI-driven beings with scripts.  In no episode is it suggested that guests leave with some sort of monetary benefit.  Instead, the world is designed for visitors to learn a little bit more about themselves.

While the central narrative (spoiler alert – not really) is that you must save the human race from certain annihilation, there is one way to accomplish that task.  Far be it from us to get in the way of a voyage of self discovery. You have a goal (save all life on Earth from terrible murder aliens).  How you do that is none of our business.  We just hope you do it. You know, so that we don’t…well…die. Living is our favorite state of existence.

Building a rich, living universe

So you might ask yourself, if you’re not going to resort to randomly generated quests where the player does X to get Y, how are you going to have enough content to make the world feel truly alive?

The answer, my friends, is that you make it easy for creators to tell stories.

Consider for a moment the user interface presented in Westworld:

image

Now, to be fair, this system is far too complex for the authors we are seeking out to use.   Our answer is Adventure Studo, a new major application we are working on.  This app alone is as big as one of our major software projects.  Its purpose is to make it possible for us to recruit Sci-Fi authors to easily create their own stories in Star Control.

Like many of you, we love to tell stories.  Stories that don’t necessarily end with the protagonist gaining 5 quadroons of space-gold.   And the way you make that happen is to make it easy for creators to do their thing.

At GDC, we’ll be showing off Adventure Studio.  To my knowledge, no one has ever tried to do something like this (though I want to give props to the Never Winter Nights team for doing a lot of pioneering in this area). 

Feel free to ask questions in the comments.


Comments
on Feb 27, 2018

Who's gonna be the presenter?

on Feb 27, 2018

"Oh, baby... Do you know what that's worth?"

on Feb 27, 2018

Will this be a separate release or a component of the main game?

Will it be a paid add-on or a part of the experience? If it's paid DLC, will it be free to Founders?

And also: that screen cap is intriguing, is it really from Westworld? I remember it on the show but that looks kind of like a game-related cinematic!

on Feb 27, 2018

Sounds interesting.  I really like the Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2 module system.  

With the ability in SC:Origins for authors to make entirely new ships (and hopefully associated races) to make part of the story, that could be really compelling.

-Dan

on Feb 27, 2018

It'll be a free app on StarControl.com. 

on Feb 28, 2018

Will the team be able to create Missions for the game after it's released? 
DLC is one thing but, i mean Update missions? Like you can download missions, i gather there will be mod support, but i wonder if there will be "Official Mods" 

on Feb 28, 2018

If Stardock wanted to take a page from Steve Cole's playbook, they could take the best story/questlines made by players, maybe do a little more work on them themselves to bring them up to their production/writing standards, and make them a part of future patches.  "Officially" adding the ones they really like to the game.  If a lot of people got into using the adventure editor, the "universe" of SCO could eventually grow into something a lot more "populated" than modern game developers even dream of being able to achieve on their own.  3 years of player created quests, for example, would probably at least double what the game had originally shipped with.

"Time and pressure make diamonds."

on Feb 28, 2018

ShadeDark

Will the team be able to create Missions for the game after it's released? 
DLC is one thing but, i mean Update missions? Like you can download missions, i gather there will be mod support, but i wonder if there will be "Official Mods" 

Definitely.  Everyone will be able to contribute their own stories.

 

on Feb 28, 2018

You talk about "recruiting" sci fi authors. Could this possibly mean that if someone's fan SC content made using this program is good enough you might end up employing them at Stardock? As a long time fan of your work and a writer for a couple of mods I think that'd be awesome but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

on Mar 01, 2018

Frogboy


Quoting ShadeDark,

Will the team be able to create Missions for the game after it's released? 
DLC is one thing but, i mean Update missions? Like you can download missions, i gather there will be mod support, but i wonder if there will be "Official Mods" 



Definitely.  Everyone will be able to contribute their own stories.

 



HECK YA~
 So happy with this~

on Mar 04, 2018

Thank you my friend this is important for me good job!