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One of the most difficult challenges we've had in developing a new Star Control game has been the delicate balance between the need to start fresh and the desire to satisfy hard-core fans of the classic DOS games.

SC_UI_Origins1

Today we will look at our solution to that conundrum.

Star Control will be a brand-new game for most people.  Given the number of comments we've seen on Facebook that can be summarized as "Oh this is inspired by Mass Effect!" or "This is just No Man's Sky with a story!" it's clear that most people have no idea about the amazing DOS games that came so long ago.

Minor spoilers for Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters below:

There were many battles...

SC_Background

The first Star Control game was essentially Space War wrapped inside a fairly straight forward strategy game. So we won't spend much time on that.

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Space War

It was Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters that introduced lore to the series.  In that game, the player starts in the year 2155.  Earth had been an interstellar power for some time, but had been defeated by the Ur-Quan some 20 years prior. 

You, the player, have arrived from a lost colony in a remarkable ship constructed by an ancient precursor civilization that possessed immense technology. Upon arriving at Earth, you discover Earth is under a slave shield. You are on your own and must take advantage of your remarkable ship to free Earth and save the galaxy.  And we mean that literally: galaxy in Star Control II was a galaxy-wide concept.

Your ship and you...

Star Control: Origins takes place in 2088.  That's almost 70 years before Star Control II did.  Earth is nothing in the grand scheme of things. No one even knows about us. 

Your ship is, by galactic standards, primitive.  I won't get into how we manage to get into hyperspace. The only real threat we pose is our willingness to use nuclear weapons as our go-to solution for everything (a fact that is remarked upon from time to time).

Star Control: Origins also follows our real world timeline starting from 2018.  No nuclear wars. No peace vaults. No clones.  Instead, strong AI, terrorism, mega corporations are the threats that humans faced leading to 2088.

The ship you command is state-of-the-art (by human standards) and is the third ship designed around the gravity channeling technology that is wedded to the emDrive technology that allows ships to travel across the solar system in days rather than months.

 

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Enterprise Class. (2056)

 

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Endeavor Class. (2068)

 

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Vindicator concepts (2072)

 

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emDrive Test Ship Platform (TSP) circa 2079.

 

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Vindicator class (2088)

The Multiverse

Two different histories (three if you treat Star Control III as having a different history). How do you reconcile that?  Our solution: the multiverse. We refer to the universe expressed in Star Control II as the "Ur-Quan universe" and treat it as being owned by Paul Reiche, the designer of Star Control II with the numerical designation of 6014.  Uncreatively, we refer to the Star Control: Origins universe as the Origins universe with the numerical designation of 6072 (none of this matters, except to super-fans). 

What happens in Origins stays in Origins, and vice versa.  This prevents us from having to deal with a "Kelvin timeline" type situation and sets things up for the future where other universes might be licensed for the player to visit (imagine traveling to the Farscape universe or the Firefly universe).

Scale

The lore of Star Control: Origins focuses on Orion's Spur.  A massive area, but still just a small part of the Milky Way galaxy.  There are roughly 300 billion stars in just the Milky Way. Star Control: Origins has something like 500 stars to visit with a few thousand planets (which is still fantastically big). Orion's Spur itself has over 900,000 stars in it. So it's safe to say that we have a lot of room to expand our story in the future. 

Our place in this crazy universe

Humans in Star Control: Origins aren't the Federation. We don't have Warp Drive.  We don't have phasers and we've never encountered an alien before.  The universe has been humming along for millions of years, just fine without us.  In Star Control: Origins, we make our grand entrance to the celebration - or ruination -  of the galactic neighborhood.

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Wire map of the Milky Way Galaxy.  The yellow dot represents the Scryve domain within the Mid-Spur of Orion's Spur.

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The flag of Star Control

 

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Our ability to easily land and take-off from planets came at a very high cost.

 

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There were many different designs for trying to safely and reliably land on planets of various environments.

As the Captain of the Vindicator prototype, you will be the first human any aliens you come across will have met.  What you do with that opportunity will be up to you.

____________________________________________________________

READ THE SERIES

Prelude 1 of 13 - The Living Universe

Prelude 2 of 13 - So Many Planets

Prelude 3 of 13 - Creating Interactive Stories

Prelude 4 of 13 - The Mid Spur

Prelude 5 of 13 - The Aliens of Star Control

Prelude 6 of 13 - The Ships of Star Control

Prelude 7 of 13 - The Aliens of Star Control Part 2

Prelude 8 or 13 - The User Interface of Star Control 

Prelude 9 of 13 - The Lore of Star Control (Current)

Prelude 10 of 13 - The Art of Star Control

Prelude 11 of 13: The Environments of Star Control

Prelude 12 & 13: Coming Soon

 


Comments
on Aug 27, 2018

And live!

on Aug 27, 2018

What about the Galactic Civilizations universe? Any chance for a future to visit that universe?

on Aug 27, 2018

I don’t envy you the balance act. Do you have a rough idea of how many people know of Star Control already versus the people who will be new? 

It begs the question, why did Stardock acquire Star Control if most people haven’t heard of it? What was the benefit since you aren’t relying on the SC2 lore?

 

on Aug 27, 2018

_Melian_

What about the Galactic Civilizations universe? Any chance for a future to visit that universe?

Definitely, maybe.

 

on Aug 27, 2018

Okay, so I honestly have not been looking forward to this game. No offense but I am a GalCiv guy (when I get to play games at all these days). I even was a founder there. 

I am an “old” gamer but surprisingly never played any of the Star Control games which is odd given that sci-fi is my thing, go figure. 

Anyway, having watched the development of these game from a distance and most recently all these posts from Brad selling it I have decided that I am going to jump in when it releases and give it a whirl. So when does it release? Has to be soon I suppose. 

on Aug 27, 2018


I don’t envy you the balance act. Do you have a rough idea of how many people know of Star Control already versus the people who will be new? 

It begs the question, why did Stardock acquire Star Control if most people haven’t heard of it? What was the benefit since you aren’t relying on the SC2 lore?

 

Well given the pain this past year has been if we had a time machine we might have passed on it.

For us, it was a question of value vs. cost.  $300,000 is less than we spent in the opening month of Ashes of the Singularity advertising.  For $300,000 we had instant awareness with thousands of people.  That’s quite valuable versus starting from scratch.  Plus, it gave us the opportunity to revive a franchise we loved.

So while most people will be new to the series and some people who see our promotions seem to think Star Control:Origins is a “copy” of Mass Effect or Spore or NMS, others can point out that the Star Control games predate those games.  

As for what % will be new.  It’s probsbly better to think of it in terms of desiring the spark that lights the fire of excitement.  

Most fans want a new story driven space adventure game.  Some fans will be disappointed that it’s not a continuation of sc2.  Other fans will be disappointed that it’s a new universe.  What percentages that turns out to be remains to be seen.  But we’ve been pretty clear for five years now why it wasn’t viable for us to continue sc2’s story or to try to reboot the sc2 universe.

So, tl;dr:  We wanted to revive the Star Control franchise and get $300,000 of awareness for our new story driven game. And it’s been very successful on both counts.

on Aug 27, 2018

MyViewsAndMuse

Okay, so I honestly have not been looking forward to this game. No offense but I am a GalCiv guy (when I get to play games at all these days). I even was a founder there. 

I am an “old” gamer but surprisingly never played any of the Star Control games which is odd given that sci-fi is my thing, go figure. 

Anyway, having watched the development of these game from a distance and most recently all these posts from Brad selling it I have decided that I am going to jump in when it releases and give it a whirl. So when does it release? Has to be soon I suppose. 

Very soon. September 20.  To put it in GalCiv terms, imagine If you were the captain of one of Earths first ships at the start of GalCiv.

 

 

on Sep 11, 2018

Frogboy
 So while most people will be new to the series and some people who see our promotions seem to think Star Control:Origins is a “copy” of Mass Effect or Spore or NMS, others can point out that the Star Control games predate those games.  


Totally copied off Starflight!! (I love both franchises for different reasons.)

Sorry, I am getting restless waiting for the 20th ... Yes, I am showing my wrinkles ...

on Sep 14, 2018

The ship you command is state-of-the-art (by human standards) and is the third ship designed around the gravity channeling technology that is wedded to the emDrive technology that allows ships to travel across the solar system in days rather than months.

emDrive?!

This emDrive?

I stumbled across this several years ago and have had conversations with one of my coworkers about it back in the day about its viability.

Now, just searching on it, we have this.

A propulsion system like this would certainly revolutionize space travel!

Matt