Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Frogboy's Articles » Page 2
August 31, 2018 by Frogboy
With labor day nearly here in the United States, we are putting the finishing touches on what will be the version that goes out for review.  

Here are some highlights from this week:



Better late than never.  Your ship's fuel range is now showed on the map.  Very convenient if you want to avoid Tywom fan fiction (yes, that's a thing).



The in-game codex continues to be enriched with documentation, lore, and other goodies.

 



Visual effects have be...
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 22, 2018 by Frogboy
This morning I awoke to see one of the most flagrant examples of doxing ever.



Now, to be fair, this person did apologize:



This event started because the social media person at a game company made a joke that this person didn't like.  To make that person pay "in real life", they took it upon themselves to find out who the person was and make their information public.  This is an ugly trend that seems to be gaining momentum.  Someone offends you with words, you try to ...
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 15, 2018 by Frogboy
Being involved in gaming communities means dealing with a lot of drama.  The most common problem I observe are people who have no capacity for empathy.  It never occurs to them what someone might do back at them.

Here are a few truths I've come to recognize:

If you attack someone's livelihood, don't be surprised if someone returns the favor. You have no right to anonymity. People should respect your privacy but don't confuse respect with rights. Do not assume that...
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...
August 5, 2018 by Frogboy
Every day, more and more people are becoming aware of intellectual property. As a software developer, this is great!

When I started my career, I routinely ran into people who couldn't understand how someone could justify $100 for a piece of software when it only "cost" $5 to produce it because they didn't understand the concept of intellectual property.

Unfortunately, enough people know just enough to get themselves into trouble.  So in this article I will try to walk lay people throu...
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...
July 18, 2018 by Frogboy
I have watched this so many times.

With our work on Star Control: Origins, we now have an engine that really could create a truly sophisticated battle system like this.  I wouldn't want to do this for Star Control since the charm of its battles is that they are fast and and simple.

But I bet I'm not the only person who would like to see a modern game that takes all the various systems into account.  There are some interesting ones I've seen that remind me of FTL but I'd want ...
July 16, 2018 by Frogboy
The Star Control universe is rich with interesting characters and species.  From the cowardly Spathi to the horrifying Kohr-Ah, players will be frequently caught off guard by the juxtaposition of so many different experiences.

In Star Control: Origins, the ever-so-needy Tywom are introduced.  They will be your best friends whether you like it or not.

Stardock is best known for its strategy games.  Well, technically, we're best known for our software and technology, but we've...
July 6, 2018 by Frogboy
Greetings!

Space is big. We know that.  But how interesting is it? That remains to be seen.

Let's take a look at the orbital bodies in our own solar system.

Orbital Body

Image

Comment

Mercury



 Basically a hot rock.

Venus



 A poisonous, toxic hell.

Mars



 A really cold desert.

Jupiter



 Big ball of gas.

Saturn



 Another big ball of gas with cool rings.

Uranus



 Ice gas ball.

Neptune



...
July 5, 2018 by Frogboy
Those of you who are familiar with Galactic Civilizations, Ashes of the Singularity, Sins of a Solar Empire or any of our other games knows the power of visual progress.

I suspect there are a few of you who would have wished that Galactic Civilizations III v1.0 had waited until we had done Crusade and released that at version 1.0.  Of course, strategy games are a very tricky thing because they tend to be about "the feature" whereas an RPG like Star Control is about the story and imm...
July 1, 2018 by Frogboy
One of the things Stardock is, unfortunately, known for is releasing games as soon as they are "complete".  That is, complete from a technology point of view (i.e. not buggy, feature complete, etc.).

Star Control, however, is our first RPG.  Unlike strategy games, RPGs have to be played over...and over...and over to get them to feel just right.  Which means that Star Control: Origins was complete back in May but our release date is September 20.  

To be sure, there...