Stardock owns Star Control and is planning an "XCOM-like" reboot


Wasn’t there a choice at the beginning?


Was there? I can’t remember anymore I guess. I don’t remember there being one, but it’s possible that I’ve forgotten by now.

I’m thinking of getting one of those AI modules myself. This was unthinkable in the first three Star Control games, since I loved the combat so much. But in this one, combat just feels terrible in comparison, so maybe the AI module is the answer? I’m just finding the physics and combat to feel horrible.


Yes, you can pick a difficulty at the beginning – easy, normal (?), hard, IIRC.

Edit: actually you get the prompt on the first in-game screen, after the opening cutscene, and there’s four difficulty levels:

And hey, didn’t notice the typos before (“report to the the U.E.S”, and “[a]waiting your arrival”)!

Not really, since it makes you watch the inept AI slug it out with itself. ;-)


But is the combat bad or is older you less able / willing?


And here Brad says it can be changed:


I thought about that this weekend. I fired up Hyper-Melee mode in Star Control 3 and Super Melee in Star Control 2. StarCon2 is definitely less smooth than I remember it, but it’s better in StarCon3. It took me a bit to get used to the keyboard controls again. Both are definitely better in my memory than in reality, no doubt about that. But still, both feel less “janky” in the combat compared to Origins. There’s no weirdness with collision detection and what-not that you get with Origins, plus the wrap-around playfield is much better than a super huge playfield surrounded by asteroids, since you never zoom out as far as you do in Origin, where everything becomes tiny.

I think the combat in Origins is salvageable. If they’re married to the playfield not wrapping around, they just need to make the collision detection less wonky. A patch should be able to fix the latter. They’ve got a decent foundation, it just needs more polish.


I’m kinda the opposite, Rock8man. I never enjoyed Super Melee in SC2, but Origins is a lot more enjoyable. Maybe because I’m a lot better at it! :) I was utterly terrible at SC2 super melee, getting stuck in the campaign fairly early because I couldn’t beat something with my piffling pea shooter. In Origins I have an advanced nuke and short-range lasers, and I am enjoying blowing shit up. The only downside is the feedback when you hit the enemy isn’t very good. I’d prefer a meatier bang, crash or wallop, but I’ve got used to watching their shields take a hit. Of course I’m still fairly early in the campaign so I might eat my words in a bit.

Incidentally, Origins melee reminds me of Space War quite a lot. I used to play that a ton when I was a kid. I’m still pretty good at eyeballing a missile trajectory to hit the enemy ship.


Yeah, how good we were at the previous games probably colors a lot of the impressions. By the time StarCon2 came out, I was really good at melee thanks to the original Star Control. And by the time StarCon3 came out, I was god-like.

The most recent game that currently colors my perception the most is Galak-Z. If you haven’t played that, put it on your wishlist right now! It’s got the best 2D space combat I’ve ever experienced. Honestly, I was hoping Star Control: Origins would have the feel of the physics/collision/control of Galak-Z mixed with the ship variety of a Star Control game.

Edit: Good point about the lack of audio feedback when you get hit. That’s a big part of why this feels kind of limp. Also, running into asteroids kills your crew as well, even though the collisions look kind of benign on the screen. Maybe better, more devastating audio feedback is required there was well.


I guess it is doing its job then. Super melee was basically supposed to be Spacewar, right?


Yup super melee is definitely a souped up spacewar.

My mind still boggles that the play field does not wrap around in SC:O. I mean it’s not even an option? Such a strange departure.


The design is completely different, with the shrinking battlefield clearly intended to keep the games short. It doesn’t make any logical sense, of course, but I think it works okay. The AI doesn’t seem to be able to handle it, though.


The responsiveness of controls and tactile feedback required to make an arcade game play and feel good are really hard to capture. I haven’t played SCO, so I can’t say how they did, but are there any Stardock games in the past that have been player-controlled in this same way? I bet they learned a lot in making combat and planetary landing gameplay, but I guess I’m not shocked if it’s not super polished. And for arcade experiences, polished practically equals fun. (See Geometry Wars)


The combat works well for me. No hitbox issues, etc., although I agree some audio feedback after a hit would be great. I have a couple of minor gameplay concerns, but the combat is right up my alley.

Some minor concerns I do have:

  • Salvaged/“random” ships (not belonging to any of the main races) don’t all get replenished at Earth. This encourages me to not use them, as any damage seems permanent.
  • Cost for making your landers jump-capable seems pretty high. I don’t mind the mining and critter meat collection, but those worlds with canyons can be a major PITA.
  • Critters not showing up on your scans. They can be REALLY hard to find (especially those ant-types). I understand keeping the underground one hidden, but is there a way to make the rest visible?


I had a fun experience with the in-game AI control in a fight recently. My very slow capship was chosen against a nearly equally slow enemy vessel, and the two immediately settled into an endless game of loop-de-loop. They basically swiveled across the battlefield in an increasingly large ellipse, never drawing near enough to each other to fire, spinning endlessly.

After about five minutes, the battlefield “shrunk” enough that one of the wormhole exits wound up in the damaging nebula field that surrounds SCO battlefields for some reason.

Since the ellipse wasn’t a perfect circle and did slowly wobble left and right across the battlefield, every 8-10 revolutions, one ship or the other would sail into the other wormhole and pop out in the nebula, taking about 4-5 dots of crew damage. Since my capship had about 2x the health of the enemy vessel, it eventually won by attrition.

It was the stupidest goddamn thing, but my options were either to watch it play out, or Surrender and reload from a previous save and hope the AI chose a different ship on my part (cuz the last autosave was just as I was getting approached by the enemy vessel in question, IIRC) :(


Guess I’ll add my two cents: I’m surprised how well the combat has clicked with me. Didn’t have any problem with that Scryve assault ship, though I did lose some crew. I admit I wasn’t looking forward to the arcade aspects of combat but I’ve enjoyed it so far.


I’m enjoying this game, but after the initial systems the difficulty seems to have ramped up significantly. I keep running into the 3-ear-aliens while trying to accomplish objectives for my missions and running low on resources. In addition, I’ve run out of fuel twice so I need to find another resupply option as I get further from Earth. My current save game has me basically in a no-win situation so I think I’m going to have to go back in time a bit.

I would really appreciate an ability to tweak difficult during the game.


Some random thoughts after around 29 hours with it according to steam.

1 - There’s a trigger event that significantly ramps up difficulty in my game.

Triggering Event Spoilers

If you have a mission to visit a secret Scryve facility with a special code that you obtain elsewhere, I’d recommend avoiding this task until you’re truly ready for a spike in combat difficulty. I triggered this without having advanced my ship tech far enough and it was not good. I reverted to an earlier save. I’m now delaying this task as long as I can.

2 - YMMV, but I find that I really need to visit a lot of planets and at least take a look at them close up to determine their value. I limit the planets I land on to those with gold, green, and pink minerals

3 - The gameplay loop which is fun, can be summarized as:

  • Visit planets, check value, “mine” planet if worth enough
  • Combat
  • Follow missions to: gain alliances, unlock more tech, buy better stuff
  • You also occasionally find new tech from visiting planets too.

4 - I’m stuck on the Lexites quest line. I’ll keep exploring, but here’s some spoiler details.

Lexite Spoilers

I’ve visited a lot of ruins, I also paid 5K for Lexite info at a space baazar (it was directions to a location I already visited on my own), and I’ve received clues that they’ve headed towards the inner spur. The trail is cold now. Maybe I’ll stumble across another clue somewhere or an explanation of where the “inner spur” is on the map. I feel like I need to advance this quest to the end or near it to get enough tech to survive the triggering event I mentioned earlier.

5 - I find that I’m not too fond of dealing with the fleet of ships. They haven’t been worth the effort. Many ships don’t heal or resupply when you visit Earth - especially the couple I’ve encountered that are pretty good. Compared to the main ship, it’s just not worth it. I’ve discarded my extra docking bay now and just work on upgrading the main ship. This strategy may not work later, but it’s been great so far.

6 - I have a UI wishlist that’ll have to post when I have more time. I’ve also found a new bug that appears when using SHIFT for speed boost and the numeric keypad for lander controls. You can get it stuck in a turn or movement that requires repressing the same turn or movement key while not touching SHIFT to disable the “spin”. In the meantime, I’ve moved the boost key to numpad 0 which seems to work reliably.

I’d like to write more, but I’m out of time for now. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the game.


Ever look at the options? :)


Um. Hm… How about that!? :)


Question for those of you far ahead of me (over 20 hours!?? Man, I played ever minute I could, but I have to watch my son, and playing a game like this on the computer chair while holding him is impossible, so I have to wait until he’s napping or playing with his mom).

I mostly collect all the minerals if I’m going down to a planet anyway to investigate a signal. Most of the time, the signal turns out to be a ship or a trading post. Trading posts are useless right? And the ships I find sadly, so far, have seemed pretty useless too. So what about resources? I usually go back to Earth and sell the conventional resources. But I’m hanging onto the others so far. Should I be? I know we used some Uranium at the start of the game, so I’ve hung onto unconventional resources from then on, but haven’t found any other use for them in many hours. So I was thinking, maybe selling them will mean I’m not always low on RU?

I’d love to be able to buy that advanced nuke for my main ship, but it’s really expensive, and I usually haven’t been able to find those kind of RU out there.

EDIT: By the way, the ships I find on planets don’t seem to be in the Fleet-battles mode. I tried looking for them to get some practice in using them in combat, but when picking ships, the only ships I recognize from the game are three races I’ve encountered so far. But none of the ships I’ve found on planets seem to be available as options for Fleet battles.

I guess I need to go to the Sol system and practice using them at the training facility in the system?