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Frogboy's Articles In Star Control Journals
July 29, 2019 by Frogboy
It's been an exciting Summer so far for fans of Star Control. Last month we re-released the classic trilogy on Steam, posted a major update to the engine to improve the visuals, and now we are busy working on chapter 3 of the Earth Rising expansion.

For those of you who have played the game or will be buying the game in the near future, let's talk about the galactic scene today.

Star Control takes place in the not-so-distant future. The stars are real stars, and in Origins they're placed...
March 5, 2019 by Frogboy
The first expansion pack to Star Control: Origins, Earth Rising, is broken into 4 parts that is being delivered as a season pass (that is, a new part every season).  The first part, Aftermath, was released in December and added a whole new region of space to explore, as well as new quests for your crew and the beginning of Earth's journey into being an interstellar power.

Part 2 is arriving soon and it concerns itself mostly on the mysterious Lexites. The Lexites first appeared in Dawn o...
January 23, 2019 by Frogboy
Greetings!

Star Control has definitely been the most...dramatic franchise we've ever worked on.  No doubt the diabolical work of the Crimson Corporation indeed!

So what's next? What's happening?  Right now, we're working on Part 2 of Earth Rising which revolves around the Lexites.  You might ask, what is the process for creating these?  Well, broadly speaking it goes like this:General story.  What is the overall meaning for the story.Design up the quests for p...
September 28, 2018 by Frogboy
Greetings!  With Star Control: Origins out and having already sold nearly 50,000 copies after only a week of availability we are now ready to talk about...THE FUTURE.



We will be making an official announcement after version 1.1 (the big modding release) is available but we didn't want fans, especially those who are starting to finish the Origins adventure, to have to wait to know what's next.

Needless to say, we've gone back and forth on the best way to deliver new stories, quests...
September 23, 2018 by Frogboy
Greetings!

Wow! What a fantastic week! Like many of you, we weren't sure what the reception would be. How many people are into space adventure/RPG games? I've even seen debates on what exactly is an RPG?

Here's what we have planned for this week:

Translation (Перевод)

Russia is the #2 market for this game. With German a close #3. The translations came in a lot hotter than we expected due to the star and planet names.

We are hoping very much to have a package from Moscow waiting in...
September 24, 2018 by Frogboy
Greetings!  This is it! The very last of this Prelude series.  I hope you've enjoyed them.

So now let's talk about modding.



To understand modding in Star Control: Origins, you need to understand how the game is structured.

Everything that matters is in the \Assets directory.Meanwhile on your machine, in your documents folder you have:Each universe is equivalent to the Assets folder. If I want to create a whole new universe, then my changes would go into the universe f...
September 17, 2018 by Frogboy
In the previous Prelude, I mentioned that, early on, there was an expectation that a lot more time was going to be spent exploring planets than we ultimately chose to execute on.



Today, let's take a look at the menagerie of creatures we had considered back when we believed that the planets would be where players would spend most of their time.



We had a lot of critters designed for the planets. And I don't doubt that, over time, we will find a way to introduce them. But here are som...
September 10, 2018 by Frogboy
The best laid plans...



Let's talk about the environments of Star Control...



Explore to explore, in order to explore some more...

At one point, we expected players to spend a lot more time on planets than they actually do in the final game.  I don't mean just a little bit more time, I mean a lot more time.



Early on, we envisioned planet exploration to be the primary activity of the game. We were wrong.I don't know if there was something in the drinking water back in 2...
September 5, 2018 by Frogboy
Back in part 9, I touched briefly on the art style with the debate we had on having a "mobile" style UI vs. an immersive style UI. Today, I want to walk you through how the art style itself evolved during the five year development of Star Control: Origins.



Let's jump right in..



A tale of two philosophies

Let's take a look at Star Control II:



If you look at the box and the screenshot below it, you get a sense that it's trying to convey a classic pulp Sci-Fi look.Pulp Sci-F...
August 27, 2018 by Frogboy
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.



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 stor...
August 20, 2018 by Frogboy
Most fans of our previous games know that we make a lot of strategy games. Strategy games are all about having as much data on-screen at one time as possible.

But Star Control isn't a strategy game, it's an action RPG.  It took us a very...very long time to nail down the user interface we wanted for Star Control: Origins, mostly due to having to quit trying to make a strategy game UI for an RPG. 





Who is looking?Star Control: Origins was in development long enough for an e...
August 13, 2018 by Frogboy
In one of our other dev journals, we showed the pipeline of how aliens came to be in Star Control: Origins.  The process started with the artists and the writers working in parallel.  The artists would sketch up lots and lots of alien shapes, and the writers would design the history and lore and roles of the aliens. From there, the process would begin to merge to ensure that the final alien visual expression matched up with the lore for them.

Today we're going to begin walking you t...
August 6, 2018 by Frogboy
Not all ships are created equally.  This is particularly true for the ships of Star Control itself.  In the year 2088, the United Earth Advanced Space Vehicle Program (UEASV) had done its best given the politics involved.  But ultimately, what Star Control starts out with is a ship with very much the capabilities that a ship in 2088 would have, which is to say: it can... turtle around the solar system.

The first long-range ship program - the Vindicator program - was designed to...
July 30, 2018 by Frogboy
For most people, Star Control: Origins will be the first Star Control game they've ever heard of.  But long ago, back in the DOS days, there was a trilogy of Star Control games.

The first Star Control game was essentially a Space Wars style game with a strategy layer. There wasn't really any "lore" with it.  The second one, my favorite, was Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters. This game was filled with an epic lore that dated back over a quarter million years. The third one, Star C...
July 23, 2018 by Frogboy
Star Control: Origins is a space action adventure game.  You are the Captain of a ship with a mission to protect Earth and explore the galaxy. 

From a technical perspective, Star Control is a story engine.  We don't generate new quests.  Instead, we are looking to populate a deep and rich world with hand-crafted Sci-Fi stories.  But we won't be doing it alone.  Much of our effort has been to create consumer (i.e. user friendly) apps like Adventure Studio, the Cit...