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

Greetings!

This is the LAST month for monthly Star Control updates before release....because now we're moving into weekly updates because things are moving so fast.

The Menkmack arrive!

FINISHING

We will be announcing our official release date soon.  You may have heard that we will have a big E3 presence and we anticipate announcing the final release date then.  For those of you who are familiar with Stardock, you know we tend to run a bit "hot".  With Star Control: Origins, being that it's a role playing game, we actually have to "finish" the game this month.  That is, the..how would you guys describe this? The GAME part.  That's because we need lots of time to iterate on the story.

Star Control is a space RPG that focuses on the story. It's not exploration for exploration's sake
even though it's in a very big universe.

Let's talk story...

THE STORY

Think of your favorite story-driven games of all time.  Star Control II, my favorite story-based game of all time (Knights of the Old Republic is pretty close though) was a wonder of pacing in its day.  So for the next few months, we have to really focus on iterating story pacing. 

Our lead writer, Chris Bucholz, was the first person we hired for Star Control: Origins.  You may have read his work on Cracked.com.  RPG games live and die on writing.  Star Control, in particular, absolutely relies on having a great story.  No other part of the game has gotten as much attention as the story.  The entire game design and engine was created around what we wanted to do with the story.

But story and gameplay are not the same thing.   For instance, how far, in seconds, should players spend traveling?

Determining how long it takes to travel and how far the stars
are all has to be very carefully crafted.

We have metrics and focus groups that pore over things like: how long should it take to fly to Neptune at the start? How long should it take to explore a planet? How many side quests should players run into? How many different, fully developed pathways to winning should there be, and how much should those paths mix together? Here's one from last week: How bumpy should a planet be? Detailed planets make great screenshots, but you have to be careful not to make them tedious to explore.

Stardock Fans, Classic Fans, New Fans

No challenge has been on our mind more than balancing the game for these three similar but definitely distinct groups. 

Stardock has millions of fans and they tend to expect deep, massive, strategy games.  Star Control: Origins is not a strategy game. At all. We did not take the Star Control 3, route but rather focused on story and adventure. But...the game does run on top of a multicore AI engine. You are most definitely part of a living universe. There are no random events. At all. None. Zero.  But that doesn't mean things are scripted either.  They are determinative.  So your actions will change the universe.  When you visit a star system, there might be a dozen ships traveling around.  Freighters, Transports, civilian travelers, smugglers, pirates, military escorts, etc.  They are driven by AI and are given their own priorities to accomplish, and they don't even realize that you aren't simply another AI ship (obviously they don't know they're AI either).

Stardock fans expect our games to deliver an epic sandbox to play in.

Stardock fans also expect its games to let them mod and customize anything they want up to
and including being able to create and share their own universes, stories, ships, planets, bases, stars, etc.

Then there are the Star Control classic fans.  They come in many forms, from super passionate about the lore from the classic series and wanting to know if it will manifest in Star Control: Origins, all the way up to people who remember the game, but mainly as a fun space adventure game.  Star Control: Origins takes place in a different universe from the Ur-Quan universe that Star Control I/II take place in.  That means it has a completely different history.  But that doesn't mean that the Star Control aliens won't show up eventually. It is all driven by the story.  Star Control: Origins takes place in 2088.  In Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters, humans don't encounter any classic species until 2112.  So the answer here is that even though Star Control is a different universe, don't expect to run into classic aliens in Origins - but, some of them are definitely out there and not necessarily the ones you expect given the changes to history.

Fans of the classic Star Control series expect a game where writing, story, and lore have been
carefully considered.  It's not about the game mechanics, it's about learning about the lore of
a universe that has been busy for a long time.

We think Star Control fans will, in particular, like that there are dozens of different
species with a great deal of history to them.

 

Lastly, you have new people.  I believe there are a lot of gamers who would like to see a space RPG.  Last year, Divinity: Original Sin II was a massive success.  Great story. Wonderful writing. Epic presentation.  That tells us that story-driven role playing games are in demand.   Many people are already somewhat aware that Mass Effect is considered  by  some to be a remake of Star Control II.  The question will be whether the Star Control way of delivering a story (top down versus first person) will appeal to today's gamers.

We've seen that gamers are interested in space exploration games. But they want there to be a purpose.
In Star Control you have very specific, hand-crafted, missions. There are no random quests. No random rewards.
You are exploring, but there's a reason for it.

We also believe that there are gamers who would like to see space combat that isn't first-person (or third person).
Star Control's top-down action allows us to come up with all kinds of devious weapons and abilities.

Next up

I will be quietly tapping some people to ask them if I can ruin the game for them.  That is, a handful of people to play the full adventure game under NDA and give us feedback on areas to help with pacing and user experience.  If you are interested, respond here.  Note that I won't be asking many people. We will put you in the credits, it's the least we can do to rewarding your sacrifice!

  

More soon!


Comments (Page 2)
on May 27, 2018

This feeling, when you are some kind of foreigns, like an alien or maybe half so weird , because of poor English... Too bad to be tapped... Definitely I will play SC: Origins anyway, not waiting for german or much better russian localizing. But maybe there are some aspects on actual (testing) level, where my helping hand (two of this!) could be needed?

Now I know - I did try it!

on May 28, 2018

Hey Brad. I'd be happy to give feedback on the adventure game. Tap me in! I've been following the forums here since November 2017 when I picked up the super melee beta, and that alone has some serious potential. Can't wait until I can play and mod the full game!  

on May 28, 2018

Oh for the love of all that is *happy spices*, please tap me on the shoulder.

I would *sauce* to be part of the Adventure *picnic* test!

Frungy is the Sport of Kings! 

 

on May 28, 2018

Oh Hell Yea! As a ever lasting "old school" fan of Star Control .... A tap on the shoulder would be awesome! ... Don`t worry I wont tell... I found the path to "Nothingness of mind" many years ago.  

on May 28, 2018

I have not had the privilege yet to play the latest fleet battle version, i would like to know if the handling of the ships have been bettered/corrected, i've heard some complaining about the ships not feeling locked in, when you play star control 2, your ships responds instantly to your controls, from what i heard some felt that there was an exponential feeling in SCO, you would turn the ship but it will take a while to respond, that's would be enough to ruin it for me. I certainly hope it has been fixed.

on May 28, 2018

UrQuanian

I have not had the privilege yet to play the latest fleet battle version, i would like to know if the handling of the ships have been bettered/corrected, i've heard some complaining about the ships not feeling locked in, when you play star control 2, your ships responds instantly to your controls, from what i heard some felt that there was an exponential feeling in SCO, you would turn the ship but it will take a while to respond, that's would be enough to ruin it for me. I certainly hope it has been fixed.

In single player or local multiplayer its instant. Should feel at least as good as the classics.  In MP....depends on lag and is something we have to improve.

on May 28, 2018

I'd love to participate since Star Control II is my favorite game of all time!

Matt

on May 29, 2018

They mentioned having the lag in single player mode, but more like a not locked in feeling, you would for instance press the left button (D) (or any control button for that matter and the ship will respond only after a short time (very short time but you can feel it) It's not direct response. Could it have been an earlier beta version ? And the issue been resolved in the latest  version ? Sorry just would like some clarity as i'm getting mixed opinions. But if you indeed imply that there was this delayed response and it has been sorted out with the latest version then awesome no need to respond any further to this then thanks.

I guess if i also could possibly get a link to the pre release it would be great then i can see for myself.

on May 29, 2018

UrQuanian

They mentioned having the lag in single player mode, but more like a not locked in feeling, you would for instance press the left button (D) (or any control button for that matter and the ship will respond only after a short time (very short time but you can feel it) It's not direct response. Could it have been an earlier beta version ? And the issue been resolved in the latest  version ? Sorry just would like some clarity as i'm getting mixed opinions. But if you indeed imply that there was this delayed response and it has been sorted out with the latest version then awesome no need to respond any further to this then thanks.

I guess if i also could possibly get a link to the pre release it would be great then i can see for myself.

Given how much timing matters, I’d definitely would have noticed input lag.  I haven’t seen it.

on May 29, 2018

Frogboy

Given how much timing matters, I’d definitely would have noticed input lag.  I haven’t seen it.

Same. There is no input lag in single player mode at all. The only lag I have seen is when I have played FB against people in other countries, and about half the time I get the lag and half the time they do, depending on which one of us the game decides is the host.

on May 31, 2018

Thanks for the update, looking forward to the weekly updates!

I've been lurking the forums since day one following this awesome dream come true of finally a new star control game.

 

also my shoulder is so ready

on Jun 01, 2018

As to that...I've only been around, what, a month or so on this forum? So I'm unfamiliar with procedure.

Are updates announced? And will there be change notes?

Or do we just get to be surprised the next time we load up the game?

 

Looking forward to it, either way; just curious.

on Jun 01, 2018

bleybourne


Quoting Frogboy,

Given how much timing matters, I’d definitely would have noticed input lag.  I haven’t seen it.



Same. There is no input lag in single player mode at all. The only lag I have seen is when I have played FB against people in other countries, and about half the time I get the lag and half the time they do, depending on which one of us the game decides is the host.



I think this is an artifact of the different ship/thruster types.      If you build a big ship and put the smallest thruster on it, then the ship responds to your controls like a stunned snail....

Each thruster/engine combination changes the feel of the ships as they move and some of them are just not very responsive, but I think that is a good thing and not a glitch.

on Jun 01, 2018

Release date at E3? Very exciting.


I am interested in giving feedback for the adventure mode.

on Jun 01, 2018

Each thruster/engine combination changes the feel of the ships as they move and some of them are just not very responsive, but I think that is a good thing and not a glitch.

In fact, there are some ships that are too maneuverable, making them hard to control.

I've got this one that I built with thrusters that make it turn so fast it's difficult to get it pointed in the right direction.

 

I tend to pick the maneuvering ability based on the needs of weapon-aim...and a certain amount of combat balance. A ship with a long-range projectile weapon versus a short-range beam weapon, for example, need entirely different ways of moving.

I've found that it's rather difficult to get a direct shot with a beam, so I usually try to get it pointed to make the target ship pass through it as it travels; such a ship needs to be able to go fast enough to catch its target, but doesn't need to turn super-quickly in order to get pointed correctly.

By contrast, the ship that can fire a projectile doesn't need to go quite so fast, but getting aimed properly requires a certain amount of precision, especially with a weapon like Charbroiled, which cannot fire as frequently as Dual Shot, and needs far more accuracy to make a hit.

 

One thing I have noticed, though, is that sometimes weapons-fire will pass right through a ship, almost as though geometry doesn't matter in the least...and each of those shots seems to be hitting the edge of the target. 

Is there simply have a sphere of impact that's that same size for each vessel in that size-class, regardless of how it's been built? Just curious.