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


At my age, the power is stilll there…the accuracy…sigh.


My stream is as powerful and accurate than that of a racehorse stallion in his prime.

And yes, I’d rather talk about pee than the sausage-factory backscenes look at IP law.

Just make this work and come up with games that toothless old me can harangue the kids about in another 25 years.


Thanks very much for the explanations @Brad_Wardell - I think you’ve been more clear and forthcoming on other forums (here, GOG) than on your own forums :-)

As a (completely passive so far) founder for SC:O I am somewhat distraught by this whole affair. My impression is that Paul & Fred got primarily pissed off by your interview on Ars Technica, first, and then something else.

The first post in their blog on this matter reads to me like reviews I have seen in academia where the authors behind an idea get all protective of their former work and try to blast out of existence follow up research which is not controlled by them.

I think the diagram in the Ars Technica article was a bit unfortunate, and I can understand that they thought you were appropiating their stuff. You were basically positioning yourself as the “keeper of the gates” or the “architect”. The original authors, which for whatever reason walked away from their creation for the best part of a generation, didn’t like that one iota.

As an emotion, it is not too different of what is my first impression when I see previous work of mine being “incorporated” into frameworks of which I do not approve of on technical or aesthetical grounds. All emotional responses are valid, yet the acts these responses motivate may or may not be reasonable or socially acceptable.

All of this seems to have been brewing up for a while, and from the timeline of events, I think the December 1st post by Paul & Fred was triggered by trying to sort out things with the games on GOG.

I cannot other than observe that the “Star Control Origins Bundle” previously offered on is no longer available - yet Google has it cached here

Google says that the page has been preserved as it was available on 29th November

<div id="google-cache-hdr" dir=ltr>
<div>This is Google&#39;s cache of 
       <a href="[" dir="ltr"></a>. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on 29 Nov 2017 16:05:03 GMT. 

Now GOG only offers SC:O without any older SC games bundled it. This same offer is still available on Steam.

There are some details I don’t understand. Following Paul & Fred narrative, they had GOG to take down the Star Control classic games from GOG. That actually happened on December 6th, according to Google’s Cache

The important bit is that the GOG website credits the product to be developed by “Toys for Bob” and published by “Stardock”. This is the same arrangement featured on the Steam page for the game

It is not clear to me why the classic games have vanished from GOG, and haven’t from Steam (yet). May GOG be appreciating a dispute where Valve does not? Or is this just Stardock taking a step back? If Paul & Fred narrative is consistent with reality, then why GOG allowed Stardock to appear as the publisher in the first place? The obvious answer is that Paul & Fred narrative is not consistent with reality, in at least one event.

In any case, and seeing the “forensic evidence” gleaned from Google’s cache, I can’t other than reckon the contention lies with Stardock appearing as the publisher of stuff branded as Star Control… My guess is that they see Stardock’s entitlement as something that prevents them from securing funding to do Ghosts of the Precursors. And that they resent your time in the limelight @Brad_Wardell.


No need answer to this publicly @Brad_Wardell while it is not safe.

My post was motivated by the coverage I am seeing on some gaming sites, which has left me :m


I didn’t understand at all what they were referring to when mentionning the Ars Technica article as being inappropriate and, thank you, now I see it. Jeez, I guess it is my bad for reading the words and not looking at the pretty pictures.


I didn’t understand at all what they were referring to when mentionning the Ars Technica article as being inappropriate and, thank you, now I see it. Jeez, I guess it is my bad for reading the words and not looking at the pretty pictures.

Little details like that can go unnoticed very easily… because bystanders like us will never be emotionally invested in games as much and in the same way as their designers/programmers are.

I had read the Ars Technica article and didn’t even think twice about the diagram. It was the tone in the first blog post, the use of sarcasm/irony as a response to not being consulted, what made me snap my fingers and go back to the article and read it again.


Ironically, that chart was made to help pave the way for their game. Notice how Star Control III and Star Control II are now represented as being in different universes.

When the chart was made, it was still under the impression that Stardock had a very positive and productive relationship with Paul and Fred and that they would be pleased that we had taken steps to make clear that Star Control III was not in the same universe as II.

Up to the point of that chart, my correspondence with them could only be described as embarrassingly fanboyish. Only days before I had posted this:


I remember that post, Brad. I can’t imagine how things have come to this stage.

All the best with your upcoming game, and that from Toys for Bob; I’m excited to see both of these games!

I hope this is a giant misunderstanding and that this will pass quickly.


I reckon they contemplated your relationship with them as one of “subordination” rather than a “partnership”, @Brad_Wardell.


Just made SCII hyperspace theme my ringtone.


Those guys have made so much money off Skylanders they could have bought the Star Control IP if they wanted to, easily. They need to STFU and walk away. Buy it from Stardock or sit down.

This coming from a HUGE Star Control fan that had his own fan website and did LEGO Star Control comics and everything.


I think you mean Activision made so much money from Skylanders. It’s unclear how much those guys made as employees of Activision where Toys for Bob are completely owned subsidiary.

Also do we know that they didn’t bid on the property in the auction?


Ah, I assumed they invented it and sold it to Activision. Well, same thing with Star Control, really. I must have played hundreds of hours of Super Melee against friends in my dorm freshmen year of college. That and Dune II were the Bee’s Knees back then.


Niche Gamer is streaming Star Control: Origins Fleet Battles tonight around 7pm EST on YouTube.


Brad is having a Discord chat tonight about Star Control, so if anyone is interested feel free to stop by. :)

Star Control Discord


Happy February!

Thought I’d post some updates:

The exploration part is coming along really well.

What you can’t really see here is how good the camera is. It’s so smooth as it zooms in and out based on what you are going on. From a technical point of view, we essentially have a little AI system running in the background controlling the camera.

For example:

This is one planet that the game has zoomed in on as you approach it.


I don’t see any cars in orbit in any of those shots. I thought this was supposed to be a serious simulation?


Only in the asteroid belts…


It’s looking good, Brad. Of course, it will look better on my PC, so feel free to leak an early build here if you’re ever in the mood ;)


We’re actually setting up a github archive where the beta testers will be able to collaborate to create a fan-based universe for testing. It’s how we’re testing our the crafting system.