Today, Stardock Entertainment announced that international star Adam Baldwin is joining the voice cast of the highly anticipated science-fiction adventure game, Star Control: Origins. Learn more here.
Stardock Game News
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 through how the Star Control aliens that appear in Star Control: Origins were developed.
Do you have enough Jeff in your life?
We first have to separate the difference between a character and a species. In the classic Star Control series, there was Fwiffo, the character and Spathi, the species. For the most part, Star Control: Origins focuses on species but there are also a few characters and one of our favorites is Jeff.
Ironically, as far as I know, Jeff's species is not revealed in Star Control: Origins. I won't spoil Jeff's personality but you can get an idea of what he looks like and how he evolved.
First, you have the inkblots:
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 allow the ship to be frequently updated with new modules. Because the ship was designed to handle technology from different nations such as the United States, China, Russia, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, etc. the interfaces are remarkably flexible.
Ironically, this need for flexibility has also made the Vindicator class well suited for plugging into alien technology that arrives...
It's well known that RTS suffer from being less accessible than other genres, but I think the reasoning for why is oversimplified and under-analyzed. Most people attribute the accessibility woes of RTS to their steep learning curve, but that's only part of it. If the steep learning curve is such a hurdle, then why are MOBA's like Dota or League of Legends so immensely popular? I don't think you can argue that StarCraft or Company of Heroes have a steeper learning curve than Dota, which is as hardcore as you can get. A more accurate diagnostic might be that RTS have issues with player retention, it's difficult to get new players hooked on an RTS. Today I'll be exploring what it is that makes RTS suffer from player retention and mention examples from RTS that have attempted tackled these problems.
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 Control III: The Kesari Quadrant, took its own direction, which many fans have since come to not care for.
When we began working on Star Control: Origins we had the challenge of deciding what was and wasn't canon in the Star Control universe. Ultimately, what we decided was to make Star Control a multiverse. Thus, Star Control II took place in what we call the Ur-Quan universe. Star Control III takes place in the Kessari universe, and Origins takes place in the Origins universe.
Early concept of the Xraki
Fleet Battles just received another massive update and we can't wait to see you online to try it out. We've added some new alien ships, devastating new weapons, new maps, a new feature called "scavenging," and more. In addition to Fleet Battles Beta 3, we have also released alien content packs containing music and concept art as part of Star Control: Origins. Learn more here.
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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 City Crafter, and the Ship Designer, so that people can create compelling stories to share.
Of course, our job is to tell the first story: Star Control: Origins itself, starting in 2088. Over the past four years, we've written a lot of stories. And while the main mission might "only" take 20 hours to complete, that is not the end of the story. It's a big galaxy out there. And mind you, this is just our universe. People will be able to travel to completely different universes as well with their own stories and characters. But it is also our hope that fans will want to help flesh out this universe with us over the coming years.
To understand how big our playing field is, let's talk about our setting: Orion's Spur.
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 always loved making strategy games.
Star Control is not a strategy game. It is a role-playing game. And the best RPGs have excellent writing.
At the very start, we knew that we would need to work with talented writers. In 2013, we hired Chris Bucholz to lead the writing effort for Star Control. His How-To guides on Cracked and his ability to write both serious and comedic stories was compelling. No one has spent more time on Star Control: Origins than he has.