The Third Doctrinal War -- Stardock, Reiche/Ford, and Star Control


#2626

SC2…


#2627

Thanks. As someone who never played these games, I’m having trouble keeping them all straight…!


#2628

Your handy guide to Star Control

Star Control 1 (1990)- The game was just the space battles. Sort of an Archon in spacewar format. The aliens created as background for the game would go on to appear fully fleshed out in…

Star Control 2: The Ur-Quan Masters (1992) - The battles from SC1 dropped into an epic, dynamic, space adventure. This is the game that inspired so many others (like the Mass Effect series), makes so many greatest games of all time lists and has inspired the cult following. It takes place in a living active universe, as in events don’t wait around for you to stumble upon. It’s filled with rich characters that deliver interesting and humorous dialogue. Characters that remain memorable to this day for people who played it decades ago.

(important note: The Ur-Quan masters is available to play for free thanks to an open source project that started with the 3DO version source and has been making fixes and improvements. http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ )

Star Control 3: The Kessari Quadrant (1996) - Accolade wanted to make another sequel. If I’m not mistaken they weren’t willing to pay much for it’s development and since SC2 resulted in P&F working unpaid for six months to finish the game to their satisfaction they weren’t keen on taking Accolade’s offer. So instead a licensing agreement was created for Accolade to be able to use certain elements from SC2 like some of the aliens. The game was developed by Legend entertainment. IIRC it sold better than SC2, but fans generally didn’t like the continuation of the story that took place in SC3 and it is considered non-cannon. It has a status among fans of SC2 similar to how fans of Highlander consider Highlander 2.

SC4/Starcon - The license for SC3 was extended for a future Star Control game but nothing ever came to fruition. There was a bit of work on a “Starcon” game that would have been a space sim of some sort set in the universe from the prior games.

Star Control: Origins (2018) - Stardock’s “prequel”, err, “reboot”, err, whatever term they are using now and the game at the heart of this current mess.

Ghosts of the Precursors (?) - Paul and Fred’s announced follow up to the story of SC2 that is currently held up by the litigation.


#2629

Technically untrue! The game also included a rudimentary strategic mode that was significantly expanded upon and updated in the tragically maligned Star Control 3.


#2630

I actually paused for a moment writing that and pondered if and how I should mention that. I went with the Archon comparison for that reason, since the strategic layer serves as the analog to the chessboard in Archon.

SC3 really does have a worse rap than it deserves. If it didn’t try to stand in the shadow of SC2’s story I have no doubt it would have been much better received.


#2631

Ohhhhh, okay. Sorry. I never played that game, so the reference totally sailed over my head. Makes sense now!


#2632

No worries. All this stuff dates back so far sometimes I forget that games like Archon are ancient history to most gamers today.


#2633

I’m also a relative gamer-baby, though I did spend an inordinate amount of my youth playing SC1 on the Genesis and replaying SC3 on my old Win95 machine :)


#2634

Just fyi, Greg just got married (within a few days of that post). So he may have simply been reading that article and thinking it was good news for them while celebrating his own good fortune. He doesnt necessarily have any inside information.


#2635

Oh, I didn’t think he’d have inside information. I just figured it’s good to know that he is still supportive of P&F after the injunction. (And yes, I know he also supported their copyright claim, etc., so it’s not a surprise, but still good to know that people who were actually involved in the creation of SC2 support P&F, and I don’t think the tweeted comment was noted before in this thread.)


#2636

Ah gotcha! yeah for sure he is 100% supportive of his ex colleagues. No doubt. He also happens to be one of the nicest men in games development. Great guy.


#2637

Regarding look-and-feel, I stumbled on a game that seems pretty egregious. I don’t know if Bullfrog ever sued these guys, but they could have, right??

image


#2638

Wow, yeah.


#2639

For those of you who hate the DMCA, I think you are looking at it from completely the wrong angle.

As someone above said, the DMCA is not really designed for copyright owners or infringers. It is designed to protect ISPs/hosts.

If you think about it more as a process that allows people to actually host third party content without being liable for infringing content (so long as they follow the process to take down such content), it makes a lot more sense.

It protects Steam, not Stardock or P&F.


#2640

It’s a very appropriate comparison as Paul Reiche designed both.


#2641

This is absolutely true.


#2643

It’s three posts above this one, just FYI.


#2644

That isn’t lost on us. The DMCA could have let hosts conduct more of a process in response to takedowns while providing hosts with just as much safe harbor. It’s law written or heavily influenced by media industry lobbyists.


#2645

I saw a funny quip from someone on twitter about how the takedown is totally against the spirit of the law since the law was designed to be used by companies against content creators, not the other way around.


#2646

Hosts don’t want to conduct a process. Hosts want a clear path to safe harbor.

Most real internet hosts do not want to have to engage in any process or fact finding. It adds costs and uncertainty. Let the third parties who actually are making counterclaims figure that out.