The Hand From Star Control

Here is the box art for the PC Version of Star Control 1:

PC Box Art

This is the box art for the Sega Genesis version:

Star Control Genesis Box Art

The box art for the Sega Genesis cover was done by Boris Vallejo. He is a very talented painter who is known for mixing themes of fantasy and erotica. His wife, Julie Bell is also a painter. They both work together on creating calendars that feature their work.

During the days of the Sega Genesis, Boris made artwork for other Genesis games which Accolade published under the title Ballistic.  In addition, he did artwork for Golden Axe II, Phantasy Star IV and Ecco the Dolphin.

While Boris’ Sega Genesis art is nice, it’s just an alternate version of the PC box art.

"This was the box-cover for the Genesis version of Star Control I. As we were porting the PC version to the Genesis, Accolade came to us and said, "We got an artist to do the Genesis cover. What would you like him to do?" Not knowing (unless we were psychic) that it was Boris, we said, "Well, just have him make the claw cooler." And Accolade said, "Uh, Okay." It was only much later and to our dismay that we discovered the opportunity that had been lost."
- Fred Ford

Who knows what the cover would look like if they had been told that the artist was Boris? We’ll never know. Although the art was nice, it didn’t change the fact that the Genesis version has a very slow framerate with horrible audio making it inferior to the PC version. Also, anyone who bought the Genesis version had the opportunity to mail an order form to get a large poster of Boris Vallejo’s art; it is very rare to have.

I remember a long time ago, there was a painting in the gallery in the US Embassy in Tehran, Iran:

Propaganda Painting

Then the Star Control box art was compared to a novel by L. Ron Hubbard:

Mission Earth: The Invaders Plan

The book was published before Star Control.  There are no similarities between them.  Neither image shares a direct connection with Star Control.  The Star Control images have an alien hand holding a ball of energy, while the other images are holding a planet.  On an interesting note, the 3DO box art for Star Control II shows two different alien hands tearing apart a planet:

Star Control II (3DO)

It’s still cool video game art work. It’s still a mystery what those aliens actually are. Even Star Trek shows aliens who are never discussed or explained, so it’s nothing new in the Science Fiction universe.  Wait a minute…

<LordR-man> Fwiffo- What really happened to the Androsynth in sc2?
<Fwiffo(PR3/FF)> In regards to the Androsynth: They were snagged by the entity who/which projected its fingers into our dimension (which looked to us as the Orz.)
23:55 <+Cap`n`Kyth> One thing I've wondered - is Orz the same as 'Them', or is Orz "competing" with 'Them' over the Androsynth (like food?), or protecting the Androsynth from 'Them' - by *pulling* the Androsynth away before 'They' can find the Androsynth again?
23:57 <+PR3> The Orz is part of Them, the projection of Them into TrueSpace.

I’m just making a very wild guess, but could those hands also be part of Them?  I could be wrong, because they said above that they “projected its fingers into our dimension (which looked to us as the Orz.)”.  It was worth thinking about.  The Androsynth homeworld was never torn apart and no bodies were found, so those fingers must have a different meaning.

Only the gods at TFB know and this can only be answered with a true sequel to Star Control II.  If only Activision would listen…

Tor Interviews Erol Otus

Painting by Erol Otus
Painting by Erol Otus

Tor is a very popular science fiction and fantasy book publishing company.  Some of Tor’s popular authors include Phillip K. Dick, Cory Doctorow and R.A. Salvatore.

Erol Otus started out as a cover illustrator for Dungeons & Dragons manuals.  In addition, he worked as an artist for the games that we all know and love:  Star Control and Star Control II.  His current title at Toys for Bob is Senior Game Designer.

The interview finished with Erol giving a shout-out to Star Control II:

Anything else you’d like to add?

Do you know about Star Control 2? It is a computer game I did some artwork for. It is an old but great game, play it!

Erol is being interviewed by Matt Staggs, who works as a literary publicist, reviewer and writer for Tor.  Matt seems to recognize Erol more for his on Dungeons & Dragons, which is understandable.  Even though Star Control is only mentioned once, Erol describes his art style, his use of colors and balancing realism and cartoony:

I’ve always been attracted to your work because I always thought it seems to eschew a sense of strict “realism” in favor of a more symbolic or impressionistic aesthetic. Is this a fair description? That is a fair observation, but I’m not thinking about realism versus anything. Just comes out this way. On the other hand it suits me fine and I don’t try to change it.

How would you best describe your art?
Things that are present in my mind when executing/planning art:
1. That the rules the piece itself brings into being are followed.
2. Entertain myself (the best way to entertain other viewers I think).
3. At least try to make something that would never otherwise have been made.
For me these all apply to both fine art painting and illustrations. Any creative activity really.

What is it about working with games that you most enjoy?
The fusion of art and game design. Game design is a discipline that I’ve always been interested in.

Tell me about your color palette. You seem to favor otherworldly, bright colors, noticeably contrasting them with dark backgrounds.
Sometimes colors are influenced by non-aesthetic factors. For example: If you were illustrating a medical textbook and felt that the chest cavity was too dominated by reds and browns and it needed some sky blue... too bad! These necessities can come from one’s own judgments as well.

I have never stopped to think about the art style that Star Control has. I knew that it obviously has one and I never really analyzed it until now. The game and its visuals are in fact colorful and it works. The way everything was visualized, I never said to myself “That’s weird” or “What’s that doing over there?” The Syreen are blue and it is the right shade to represent a skin tone without looking like a human painted blue.  The Zoq, Fot and Pik are different colors and shapes and still match with the background while giving the appearance that they work together.  Even the dark Kohr-Ah has bright red in it with a darker background which differentiates them from the Kzer-Za and convey a sense of similarity.

Erol's website still under construction.
Erol's website is still under construction.

Erol Otus also has a personal website and it is still under construction as of this writing.  It displays the image above with text that reads “ is in its early stages, it will shuffle into the light in the not too distant future.”

Check out the review! Thank you Erol for taking the time to do the interview and for mentioning Star Control.

An interview with fantasy artist Erol Otus

Long Tail Gamer Reviews Star Control

‐ Cameron Goble

Long Tail Gamer is a new blog about video games. What sets it apart from other video game blogs is that it is dedicated to the games that have stood the test of time, still available to play, cheap and has a strong community. For his first episode of Long Tail Gamer, Cameron Goble started with his favorite game of all time, Star Control II!

He shows off his spectacular starmap which comes with the game; I wish I had one. In addition, Cameron mentions the ability to search the starmap by typing the name of the constellation. This feature made it’s first appearance in UQM 0.5.0.  I only discovered it after I finished the game:

The Starmap is searchable! Type / then the beginning of the constellation name, and you can tab through all possible completions.

When Cameron mentions Fred Ford and Paul Reiche, he mispronounces Paul Reiche’s name. It’s a tricky last name because it is not pronounced the way it looks. Reiche is actually pronounced the same as “Richy”. I made the same mistake when I saw Paul’s last name. I remember typing his name into a text-to-speech program, which pronounced it as “Ray-Chee”. I didn’t get the correct pronunciation until I listened to a video interview with Paul.  It’s probably not the first time anyone has mispronounced the name:

"I recently got into an argument about this very thing. We've always pronounced it RITCHIE, but I've lived in the UK for the last five or so years, where people are more apt at european pronunciations. So when I tell people that I do not in fact pronounce it the German (technically correct) like RAI‐CH‐JH‐IA, they frown upon me.

But short answer Ritchie."
‐ Arianna Reiche

While describing the different races, he recites a funny poem:

There's the spunky Pkunk, new age avian kooks.
They're friends with the humans, who have all the nukes.
There's the bold, bash Thraddash, who have many cultures.
Then the devilish Druuge, those cruel corporate vultures.
There's the slinky Syreen, who all look like whores
and the enigmatic extra‐dimensional Orz.
There's so many more. I could go on and and on.
And at the heart of it all, we'll face the Ur‐Quan.

After reciting his poem, I thought he said “I’m sorry about that. I am not generally moved to poetry but I love Ur-Quan Masters and [zi ha tu no si retz en rous]”.  I thought he started speaking in another language.  It turns out he actually said “The heart, you know, she writes her own rules” in a strong French accent.  Either that, or he understands the Orz language and I should have used asterisks.  I feel a little embarrassed and I’m just glad I that it’s been cleared up.  Thank you Cameron for clearing that up for me; I haven’t heard anyone use a French accent in a long time.  It’s still poetic nonetheless.  We can all relate to his poetry; Star Control has touched our hearts at one point or another.

He covered a lot of stuff about Star Control within 8 minutes and 17 seconds, and it’s definitely worth watching.  Thanks Lukipela for posting a link to his blog and to Cameron for making a video about Star Control.  It shows that for a game from 1992, the fan base is still strong and there’s people out there willing to write about it.

In his blog, he linked to a thread I started a long time ago called “Star Control Photoshops”.  I’m not an expert at photo manipulation and I somehow became inspired to take random images and make some changes to add a Star Control theme to it.  I was surprised by the responses I got at the time.  I wanted to do it after seeing the “Photoshop Phridays” on SomethingAwful.

Check it out!

Spore: Galactic Adventures is not Star Control!

I was watching a bunch of video game trailers when I came across a new expansion to Spore.  I wrote an article about Spore a long time ago, where I quoted other reviewers who compared its space stage to Star Control II.

Their next expansion to Spore will be Galactic Adventures.  It will be entirely set in the space stage and will have more adventure, exploration and diplomacy elements.  Will Wright has left Maxis and is not involved in this expansion; he has moved on to another project called the Stupid Fun Club.  Maxis and EA are making Spore games without its original creator.

The reason why I wanted to write about this expansion is because I immediately thought of Star Control the second I read the words “Galactic Adventures”.  I’m anticipating reviewers comparing it to Star Control again and I wanted to put in my two cents about it before they do.

If I had to put everything in a single sentence, Spore: Galactic Adventures is not even close to Star Control and it will not change how we see sci-fi adventure games.  It still retains its simulation style gameplay where there is not definitive end to the game.  There is no spoken character dialogue.  There is no ship vs. ship combat.  The player will only have 1 ship which will beam down a crew to any planet it visits.  There’s no epic soundtrack which reflects the race it is being played for.

Since the game is being published, it will probably have the same SecuROM protection which limits the user to installing the game 3-5 times.  A friend of mine once described it as “a $50 rental”.

I’m not quite sure if this can be considered “milking the franchise”; developing an expansion in hopes that the Spore license will be enough to sell it. Like The Sims expansions, players will need Spore first before getting this.

The user-generated content is what made Spore famous. As far as I know, there is not set plot or epic quests; it seems to have a player control a set of user-generated characters and is still bound by Spore game mechanics, so the player will still need to dance in order to form alliances.

Personally, it will not change the way I look at video games set in a science fiction universe. User-generated content is a good because it encourages players to come up with their own ideas; its a clever way of saving time in development.

It’s just not the same as Star Control.  There’s no ship vs. ship combat.  If reviewers do try to compare this expansion to Star Control, I would be very curious to see what they would write about it. What both games have in common is they take place in space, there is a captain and the player can travel through space.  They’re 2 seperate games.  I would take Spore: Galactic Adventures more seriously if Will Wright was involved in its development.  I will continue to stand by the fact that nothing will replace Star Control.

3 Years and Counting...

There hasn’t been any recent news from TFB other than the fact that they are currently working on a game that is not Star Control.

After thinking about the significance of this month for a while, I realized that it is now after the date April 11, 2006; it has been 3 years since Alex Ness has announced that they are interested in making a new Star Control game and they want us to show how strong the fan community is and send him e-mails showing our support.

Since their announcement, they have completed Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam and Madgascar 2.  Alex has mentioned that the people at Activision have expressed “some interest” in a Star Control sequel.

I told myself, “Wow, it’s been 3 years”.  Three years is a long time sometimes and it passed by so quickly.  I have no way of knowing what Activision will say about Star Control after TFB finishes their current game and I will still keep my fingers crossed.  I still have to wrap my head around the Activision-Blizzard merger; some games are either being published under Activision, Vivendi, Activision-Blizzard, cancelled or sent to other publishers.

I’m still hoping for a miracle.  I can’t wait to see what the next TFB news post will be, new Star Control fan art and anything else that could put Star Control in the spotlight again for some good publicity.

Behind the Biography Photo

I've been looking through a bunch of Star Control stuff when I decided to read through the manual for Star Control 1.  I found a brief and hilarious biography with a photo that caught my attention.

Left to Right: Fred Ford, Paul Reiche III
Page 54-55 of Star Control PC Manual

Yes, it’s a picture of the Star Control gods!  After I looked at the photo a bit longer, I realized that this is not a simple bland “this is what I look like” type of photo.

From Left to Right: Fred Ford, Paul Reiche III
From Left to Right: Fred Ford, Paul Reiche III

A bunch of questions popped in my mind:

  • What's Psycotic Pineapple?
  • What's that stuffed bull at the bottom?
  • What's that painting in the background?
  • Why is Paul wearing suspenders?  (Just kidding, I never really asked :D)

Out of curiosity, I decided to write an e-mail to the Toys for Bob kingpin himself, Paul Reiche.  This is his response:

Hi Anthony!

Let's see...

Tommy Dunbar, the musician who crafted the Archon theme as well as most of the SC1 'ship ditties' is an old friend and lived at my house for a few years. Besides his main band, The Rubinoos (check out their history, it's epic!), Tommy also played in Psychotic Pineapple from time to time ‐‐ I think as 'the Pineapple'. I love that shirt! Another member of the band was the t‐shirt's artist, John Seabury ‐‐ an excellent and fellow. (googling...) Here's a link to a current pic of John and note his shirt!

The background? Heck if I know. It was at Accolade in their lobby, I think. Man, Fred is sharp‐looking! Anyway, I am holding my favorite Where The Wild Things Are doll, which made me more comfortable with the whole oh‐god‐they're‐taking‐a‐picture‐of‐me panic. I don't know how I feel about them making that movie, by the way. It treads on dangerously fundamental psychic turf for me. Next thing, they will be making a Matthew Looney movies, featuring the dread 'Lava Five Bomb'.

Anytime, Anthony!

‐ Paul

I never expected a connection between the band Psycotic Pinapple, Star Control 1 & 2 and Archon!  Tommy Dunbar is credited as “Tommy V. Dunbar” in those games.  He is also the founding member of The Rubinoos.  In 2007, he was involved in a lawsuit against Avril Lavigne over similarities between her song “Girlfriend” and The Rubinoos song “I wanna be your boyfriend”.  The charges were later dropped.

The abstract art painting in the background still remains a mystery.

The bull at the bottom is from a 1963 children’s book called “Where the Wild Things are”.  I’ve never read it before.  It is about a kid who is sent to his room, where he imagines a land of monsters called “wild things”.  There is a movie being made, directed by Spike Jonze.

Matthew Looney is a non-human character in a series of books in the 1960s and 1970s about Matthew and Maria Looney who live on the moon.  I’ve never read any of these books either.  Their civilization is similar to humans.  Matthew is very curious about life on Earth and wants to travel there to explore someday.

So there’s an explanation of some things in the photo above and a bonus peak into the mind of Paul Reiche.

Thanks Paul for taking the time to write to me.

A Weird Letter

A week ago, I got a weird letter from someone.  It was very short, vague and had a typo:

"hey i am new at the game; and you seem to know a lot about the, and i wanted to know how many different species in the star control game and how many of them can you play as?"

Honestly, I don’t know how many different species are in Star Control.  There are the 25 races from the 25 ships in Super-Melee, then there’s Precursors, brown Ur-Quan, Taalo, Dnyarri, the creatures on the planets that can be converted into biological data, Zebranky, etc.  I would say that there are over 25 different species, although not all of them are seen or encountered.

Regarding how many alien races the player takes control of is one:  The human captain.  However, when the player enters combat, the player will take on the role of the captain of whatever ship is chosen for each battle.  So my final answer for this question is one.  Whenever the player encounters another ship and engages in a conversation, it’s always from the perspective of the human captain.

Although I am a fan of the Star Control universe, I do not know everything there is to know about it.  I find myself reading the Ultronomicon, reading quotes from the forums and trying to remember certain pieces of dialog from Star Control II.

I hope that answers those questions.  It’s like asking “How many songs are in Rock Band and how many of them you can play?”  There is no definitive answer.  I’d like to say that all the questions that are left unanswered in Star Control can only be answered with a true sequel to Star Control II.

My Last Post

I started this blog back in August 2008 when I wanted to take blogging more seriously.  I wanted to get some hands-experience with blogging, HTML and writing effectively. It was the best way to get Star Control related thoughts out of my mind and share it with the world.  Star Control is one of the games that’s made a very strong impact on getting me into gaming when I was a kid.  I didn’t realize that I cared about Star Control so much until Alex Ness on the TFB website that they need to convince Activision first before starting on a new Star Control game.  It made me see the video game industry on a whole new level; like many industries, there is bankruptcy, backstabbing, lawsuits, shovelware, cancellations, etc.  As I continued to explore Star Control, I discovered that there are so many connections to other people, TV shows, other games and even other developers.  Needless to say, I’ve had so much fun with the blog and I appreciate all the feedback I’ve been getting so far.  It’s been a great factor on making this blog better and showed me that there are people who do read what I write.

So, what’s the point of this article, you ask?  After working on this blog for after a year, I have decided to stop the blog and take it down for good.  No more Star Controller!  It’s hard to explain why.  Maybe it’s the lack of comments, readers, responses to my e-mails or the fact that I sometimes call the Activision-Blizzard executives “jerks”.  Deep down inside, I know that nobody cares about this blog.  I’m just a college graduate with some cash and time to write some stuff every week and nobody cares.  Plain and simple!  I’m nobody special; just a guy with a computer.

So, this is my last post and I’m going to miss you; all of you.  Bye everyone.  It’s been a fun blog-ride and I need to realize that this is one of the many blogs that people just don’t care about.

Star Controller is still alive!
Star Controller is still alive!

No, Star Controller isn’t going down!  This is not really my last post either!  I’ve been busy with so many personal priorities that I haven’t been able to write as much as I’ve wanted to.  At the moment, I am very curious about who PC Gamer selected as the 50th greatest developer.  I’d like to thank everyone who has written to PC Gamer to nominate Toys for Bob as #50 and to everyone who discussed it in the UQM Forums.  It’s the last day until April so I’m waiting for next month’s issue of PC Gamer to find out who was chosen.  I am aware that we were against all odds.  Shiver found a good Star Control II quote to describe it:

Captain: Yes we ARE strong enough! Look at our Precursor vessel. Is it not unique? Fwiffo: Yes, your vessel is unique, and here is the crux of the problem. A 'Unique', meaning singular, starship is not equal to the task of destroying the entire Ur-Quan armada. If you had, say, ten thousand similar starships, we could take your boasts more seriously.

I’ve been aware of the odds since I wrote my first e-mail to Alex.  It became a wake up call to open my eyes to how politics, marketing, customer demographics and sales affect video game development and developer’s control over what they really want to do and what they are given; it is a constant balance between doing what one loves to do best and what must be done to have food on the table.

P.S. This is my 100th post.   Woo hoo!  I hope to write 100 more.

Vote Toys for Bob

SC2 is one of the greatest games of all time.  TFB deserves this!
SC2 is one of the greatest games of all time. TFB deserves this!

I was reading random game news on the internet, when I realized that the April 2009 issue of PC Gamer had an article titled “49 Greatest Developers” by Richard Cobbett.  This is not a top 49 list, where a developer is higher than another; they are simply the greatest developers in no particular order.

So, why 49?  Why not a nice round number like 50?

"And in case you're wondering why we stopped just shy of that magical number of 50, that's because we wanted to leave one spot open for you to fill in.  Send us an email at letters at pcgamer dot com to let us know who you would add to that list."
- Richard Cobbett, "49 Greatest Developers", April 2009, PC Gamer

We have the chance to show PC Gamer why Toys for Bob deserves this honor.

Can we make it happen?

On the list of 49 are high-profile developers such as Blizzard, Bethesda, Rockstar North, Epic Games, Microsoft, Valve, BioWare and id Software; there are other developers I never guessed such as Dani Bunten-Berry, Popcap, The Nethack Team, Telltale Games, Introversion, Graham Nelson & Emily Short, Tim Schafer and Origin.  This list is not solely based on who has the most sales, biggest guns or even the largest influence on game reviewers; these are people who all have their own fanbase, like Toys for Bob.

We can convince PC Gamer to choose Toys for Bob because TFB has been making games since the beginning of the video game industry.  The two gods we like to call Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford have been making games before they even formed TFB.  Before forming TFB, Paul has worked on other games such as Archon and Starflight; these are also games that have a strong legacy of their own.  Paul was credited in ToeJam & Earl as “Invaluable Help”.  ToeJam & Earl creator, Greg Johnson and Paul are good friends and that’s a really cool connection.

After all of these years, Star Control still has a strong legacy.  Star Control II really raised the bar for what it is capable of evolving into and turned into an entire universe.  It was more than a Melee and Full Game mode.  There was an entire storyline where the player can move around freely in a pre-determined plot to find out what has happened during the war with the Ur-Quan and ultimately strike back and win the war.  Out of the kindness of their hearts, Toys for Bob released the 3DO source code to the community.  It eventually evolved into the open source masterpiece we all know as The Ur-Quan Masters.

It’s not about the quantity of e-mails that PC Gamer receives; it’s about the quality of the letters they receive.  I know there are people out there who will write to them only to say “I love Infinity Ward” and simply say their choice without taking the time to say what’s great about that developer.  If they add small developers to the list of “greatest developers” then there’s nothing to stop Toys for Bob from making this list.  No matter how advanced gaming becomes, it still needs polish, detail, easy controls and enough time to get everything done right.

It’s hopeless if we do nothing; it’s possible if we try.

What can I tell them?

There are many things that can be said.  There is no perfect way to write to them.  The most important thing is being clear, concise and straight to the point.  The people who read these e-mails will be reading thousands of e-mails on a single day, so have fun with the letter and be creative. Put “Toys for Bob” in your subject line, so when they see the subject of your e-mail, they will know who you chose before reading the rest of your e-mail.  Tell them about Star Control:  The deep storyline, complex combat strategy, the open source UQM, great dialog, colorful imagery, etc.  Tell them about Toys for Bob’s desire to make a new Star Control with Activision and how they’ve collected thousands of fan e-mails supporting them.  Most importantly, what do you like about Star Control and Toys for Bob?

I am serious about this!  We have a lot to say and if we can work together and write something that shows our loyalty to TFB and how much we respect them, it will grab their attention.  We even go as far as referring to Paul and Fred as gods for crying out loud!  It doesn’t have to be an essay.  It can even be 250 words (half a page) or less.  I’m going to write to them the moment I finish writing this post.

Spread the word!  We need as much support for this as possible. Send your e-mail to letters at pcgamer dot com.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. :)

An Old Letter From George Broussard

"lots of classic games are coming back in some form or another" -George Broussard

I was looking through my past e-mails and I remembered that I e-mailed George Broussard, the co-owner of 3D Realms.  This was after the time that Duke Nukem 3D was released for Xbox Live Arcade and the voice clip of Duke Nukem promoting Star Control.  I wrote an e-mail thanking him for putting Duke Nukem 3D on Xbox Live and asked how he felt about Toys for Bob’s desire to make a new Star Control game with Activision.  I also attached the MP3 file to the e-mail for him to listen to.  Here’s what he said about Star Control:

"Heard about it, but never played it. I'm not a big space sim/flight type of guy. I pretty much stick to action shooters and rpg's like Oblivion.

The voice clip was amusing. I don't have any thoughts on bringing back Star Control, having never played it, but lots of classic games are coming back in some form or another, so it's not an alien concept. It normally just depends on fanbase and popularity, and mainly, who owns it."
‐ George Broussard

Even though he has not played Star Control, I’m glad that he liked the voice clip and said that classic game revival is starting to become a trend.  His last sentence about fanbase, popularity and who owns it is directly related to what it will take to make a new Star Control game possible.  I know that the Star Control fanbase can be described as a strong “cult following”, Toys for Bob owns the game’s content while Atari owns the name “Star Control”.  His reply actually proves that to make Toys for Bob’s dream of a new Star Control possible, we have to make the fanbase larger and stronger, raise Star Control’s popularity and get those legal rights from Atari.  Of course, this is easier said than done.

We all know that TFB is currently working on a game that is not Star Control.  Paul Reiche and Fred Ford have been making video games for over 20 years; they have worked on other games before forming Toys for Bob in 1989.   Their website states “what’s really important is that we keep working on fun games for fun people”.  I also remember Fred Ford posting on the UQM forums about “keeping food on the table”.  Sometimes, I feel like they are being pushed into becoming “that licensed-game developer”.   I know that they are capable of more than just skating games and minigame collections and I will bet my life on that anytime.  There’s so many possibilities and I feel that pumping instant sequels and generic movie games hurt the video game industry for a quick buck; I wish success was about quality, not quantity of sales.  There are so many different sides to this and I admit that I do not know everything about this situation.

If Stardock does get the rights to Star Control, I hope they get Toys for Bob involved in it somehow.  Brad Wardell seems like a great person who understands that Star Control II deserves a worthy sequel.

There’s so many discussions about sales, marketing, demographics and getting reviewers to give high scores for their games and games with great potential get put into risk over a money/management issue.  Games such as Prototype, Brütal Legend, Ghostbusters and Chronicles of Riddick: Assault of Dark Athena were in risk cancellation during development.  This is due to the merger between Vivendi and Blizzard, forming Activision-Blizzard.

I heard about this merger from a friend of mine a few years ago when there was an official announcement made by both companies.  At first, I thought this was awesome because two giant companies were coming together to form an even bigger company.  “Maybe they’ll have more original games”, I thought to myself.  Now I think differently about this.

As I write about this, I know that no matter what happens, we will be waiting for TFB to finish their game and maybe we might hear something about the chances of that sequel we’ve been dreaming about since.

Thank you so much George for writing back to me.