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

Nice! I’ll be happy to be on board for that when the time comes.

Today was one of those days I was thinking of QT3 from 15 years ago. Back then, it was pretty much only hard core gamers and journalists.

So for instance, today I spent a lot of time on pacing. As some of you know, I have the soul of a reptile. That’s why for Star Control we outsourced soul to a great writing team led by Chris Bucholz (you can google his work). But pacing is a big challenge in these games.

How long should you go without your first battle? How much dialog should there be? How many minerals should we have on a planet? It really makes you appreciate the genius behind the classic Star Control games.

LMAO - acknowledgement is the first step. When something’s tripped me up at work, one of my go-to statements is, “Look, I’m a complete idiot on this; can you please explain this to me in the simplest way… and maybe with pictures?” I then offer to bring the crayons, if needed.

Sounds like you’re taking all the right steps, Brad.

The answer is easy. The exact right amount :)

I do like this answer lol. But seeing how you’re actually asking this question shows that you’ll probably get it right. What would be fasincating to know is if the designers of the originals actually put this kind of thought into it, or if they just started writing and what we played is just what they programmed organically without tons of planning.

The February Dev Diary for Star Control: Origins is out! It has updates on the game’s progress, answers to your frequently asked questions, and some discussion on the lore and how it fits in with the classic series. :)

Still gonna be that weirdass dude who really misses the light 4X component. Had hoped for something about 50% between Sorcerer King and StarCon2, but alas, I do understand the decision.

Just means I gotta learn to program so I can make my own idealized comedy space adventure strategy game, right? ;-)`

I’ll back that Kickstarter.

Just an RPG campaign…for now!

Not directly related, but I got a Kickstarter backer email this morning for “Beautiful Desolation”, the latest adventure game from the folks who made Cayde and Stasis, and they included some images they created as fans of Star Control, and I figured they’re worth sharing -

Ooooh, yes! Well done, as always from Mr. Bischoff.

Interesting article about the whole legal mess over at Ars Technica. Lots of interesting allegations in the legal proceedings, worth a look -

Interesting bit from the article: “However, one of Stardock’s primary talking points—one the company returns to more than once in its complaint—made us pause and do an actual double-take, because it appeared to contradict reality: Stardock alleges that Ford and Paul are not the creators of Star Control at all.”

The counter claim is pretty fascinating:

I’m no lawyer, let alone IP lawyer, but on page 43 of that document the IP ownership sure seems super cut and dry to be retained by Paul Reiche III as far as I understand it:

11.4 Ownership. Developer shall be the owner of
the copyright and all other proprietary rights in the Work
and all Derivative Works by Developer.

And Accolade even repeatedly refers to how Reiche has IP Ownership (page 59):

WHEREAS, Reiche agrees to allow Publisher to so develop such new versions and
sequels using certain characters, names, likenesses, characteristics, plot line, setting, source code,
and any proprietary rights that Reiche has in and to the Classic Star Control Software in
exchange for Publisher paying Reiche certain royalties.

Curious to see what real lawyers will make of it, but on the surface a bunch of the Stardock claims seem totally bizarre to me looking at how the original Accolade/Reiche contract has him literally signed as the developer.

Can we go to the part of the multiverse where we get Ghosts of the Precursors, Stardock’s pre-magining AND whatever pipedream @ArmandoPenblade dreams up? With an extra serving of no drama, preferably.

Since I’m totally unqualified to speak to the legal legitimacy of any of these recent actions, I will only speak to the hearts-and-minds-of-Star-Control-fanboys side of the equation by saying:

Stardock has lost all my support and goodwill based off this (from the article): “Stardock wants an injunction against Ford and Reiche producing any Star Control-ish game.” Wow, that’s shitty, guys. I know that Brad Wardell understands how video games are inspired (e.g., Titan Quest : Diablo), how ideas get picked up and recycled and revived (Stardew Valley, anyone?), and how beloved games adhere to the people who were instrumental in creating them long after the companies and franchises themselves have faded into history (CliffyB?). Don’t stop some dudes–who you supposedly admire–from making a video game.

I was excited for two Star Control-ish games to get made. What Stardock are doing sounds like an interesting take on the franchise. I wanted to play it. I STILL want to play it. I don’t know when the heck P&F might have something of their own–I bet it’s a long way off. But of course I want to play that too. Speaking as a fan, P&F’s announcement didn’t damage my interest or enthusiasm for what Stardock had in the works. What’s damaged it is their shitty, disrespectful, litigious attitude.

Well it is the company that blamed a female employee, that filed a lawsuit, for Elemental War of Magic right?

Is that due to protecting their claim to the rights? Similar to how you lose your trademark if you don’t defend it?

I honestly have no clue. That’s definitely a question, not a theory I’m putting forward. It’s just that Brad was vocally supportive of the Ford and Reiche’s game. Pretty sure he even announced it to everyone here in this thread… so something in the formula has clearly changed.

You can read the original complaint here:

You will note that it makes no claims of ownership on characters or plot line or source code.

I admit to being rather curious if Stardock had obtained a copy of the 1988 agreement referenced but not included in their filing, which was included as an exhibit in the counterclaim, before signing the asset purchase agreement with Atari. And if so, what the legal review of it said.