Zenzmurfy's New Videos

I got a message from Zenzmurfy (aka Mike Ling) about two videos he posted on YouTube, showing off some new work-in-progress animations he has made very recently.

The fly-by shots of the ships is very reminiscent of Star Trek. Back then, to give the appearance of a ship flying through space, effects artists would have a detailed model ship in front of a blue screen and the camera would move over the ship to give the impression it is cruising through space.

Really awesome stuff. Thank you Mike for sharing these videos.

@zenzmurfy (Twitter)
Mike Ling’s Website

Star Control 2 Fonts

Out of all the things Star Control 2 is known for, the use of unique fonts to represent each race to reflect their attitude is something that is not mentioned as much as the game’s rich dialog and space combat gameplay.

The only other game that I know of that uses a unique font to represent a character is The Darkness, by Starbreeze Studios. It uses a twisted subtitle font to represent the demon that communicates to the player throughout the game.

Out of curiosity, I e-mailed a few major movie producers regarding the possibility of any movies using different subtitle fonts similar to the way SC2 does. I received a reply from Fox and Universal that they are not aware of any movies that uses different fonts in its subtitles to represent different characters. After, it may be distracting to people who are following along with the movie.

Then again, SC2 never had any speech when it first came out for PC. The fonts really did a nice job at making it clear that these humans are not the humanoid type characters that we see in Star Trek. Imagining the sound of their voices became much easier. When the 3DO version was released, the fonts were removed because there was actual speech. Since TFB released the source code for the 3DO version, The Ur-Quan Masters re-release was born, which combined the voices in addition to the fonts.

I even watched a few public domain silent films. In general, the only time different fonts are used is when the story is being explained to the viewer such as the introduction or to indicate whenever a character is speaking. The font does not necessarily represent the character in this case.

I e-mailed Paul Reiche about his experience during the font process of Star Control 2. Here is what he had to say:

I’ve always been entranced by different letter shapes. As with almost everything good, bad or freaky, my font fetish stems from strange childhood experiences. My first memory of actually noticing the use of lettering styles was in ‘Pogo Possum’, a long-running, nationally syndicated comic about a possum, alligator and their other swamp friends. Their conversations ranged from the innocent to anti-war politics to dark and/or incomprehensible (see examples below.)


Next comes my Larry Niven paperbacks (purchased in my pre-teen years…) which featured the very compelling OCR styling.

Then, when my high school buddies and I started publishing our own RPG books, we spent a LONG time poring through the Letraset catalog to pick out the font for the cover of The Necromican, a book of new magic spells. Gothic rules!… but is somewhat unreadable, so we changed to the somewhat more readable ‘Printers Gothic’ after the first print run…

So, when Fred and I started realizing how important text was going to be in Star Control, we decided to create our own font system, complete with a special editor. Making those fonts were some of the happiest, most obsessive-compulsive days in my life. Not only did we have multiple, proportionally-spaced fonts, but I think we were the first game to have kerning – minute pixel adjustments to letter spacing based on specific letter combinations. For example, when combining L and T, the upper left corner of the T can fit into the blank space in the upper right of the L. I bet almost no one actually realized we were doing this, but to me it made all the difference in the world.

I gotta go, but thanks for letting be babble about one of my favorite subjects!
‐ Paul

With the HD art inspired by UQM, I came across a thread on SCDB about finding fonts that stand out and represent each race just like it did in the original game. Choosing the right font can be complicated and there are so many to choose from, not all of them necessarily being “free”. Did you know that when the PlayStation 3 was first released, the logo on the top used the Spider-Man 3 font? When fonts are used in a specific manor, it really stands out. For example, I’ve seen the movies The Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox. All three movies are directed by Wes Anderson and the fonts used throughout the film and posters are of a specific style.


The fonts are an awesome aesthetic in Star Control II. It is probably the first time any of us has seen specific fonts represent specific characters. The brief backstory that Paul described is very deep and they put a lot of effort in getting those fonts in there. I know that UQM HD has just begun and it’s great to see the great fonts being chosen for this version. The look of a font can convey the right emotion or personality when used properly. The reason why we don’t see fonts being used in this way today is because it lengthens development time and increases development costs because of licensing fees.

What do you think about the use of fonts to represent the character speaking?

SCDB - Help! Star Control 2 Fonts, discussion about new fonts for UQM HD

Gamasutra Interviews Paul Reiche

“It’s the most rewarding project we’ve worked on since Star Control.”
‐ Paul Reiche, Gamasutra - “Toys For Bob’s Rewarding Skylanders Flight” by Leigh Alexander

TFB seems to be getting more time in the spotlight since the release of Skylanders. Leigh Alexander quotes Reiche on topics such as how I-Wei Huang collaborated with other co-workers to create the technology behind the toys and the fact that he had the idea of mixing physical toys and video games before Skylanders. He also mentions that the toys have from “30 to 60 paint operations” and surpassed quality standards.

It’s awesome that Paul mentioned Star Control in the article. Check out the article.

Even if we don’t see a new Star Control game next, do you think they’ll make games with all the TFB goodness we all know and love that made Star Control awesome?

Gamasutra - News - Toys For Bob’s Rewarding Skylanders Flight

TFB & Skylanders Praised in Activision's Q3 2011 Earnings Report

Eric Hirshberg: “They’re not toys; these are superheroes they’re alive inside!”

Even though I am not a financial expert, I occasionally skim through Activision’s annual and quarterly for things that I may find interesting. The purpose of these reports are to show investors how much profit is being made and what their expectations for the future are. Needless to say, Activision is clearly making high profits. In this year’s report for the third quarter, Skylanders is mentioned multiple times, and Bobby Kotick gives a shout-out to Toys for Bob.

“…our industry-leading capability to develop original, globally-appealing innovative intellectual property, which we do exceptionally well, continues with Skylanders.”

“Also, with respect to industry firsts, I want to thank everyone at our wonderful studio, Toys for Bob, for all their inspired work on Skylanders. The game has received outstanding critical response, and although it’s early in the quarter, so far Skylanders is performing ahead for our expectations.”

“Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty Elite and Skylanders are all extraordinary examples of how we continue to redefine entertainment around the world.”
‐ Bobby Kotick, Activision-Blizzard CEO

“Inventories of $207 million increased sequentially ahead of the Skylanders launch…”
‐ Thomas Tippl, Activision-Blizzard COO/CFO

“…we put a tremendous amount of passion, imagination and innovation to the creation of Skylanders and the result is the world’s first truly cross-platform game, which brings the world of toys, video games and the Web and mobile together like never before.”

“…in the West, the markets of toys is actually bigger than the market for video games. The franchise like Skylanders, which brings these 2 audiences together, represents significant opportunities.”

“…Skylanders is already on many of the most influential list for the top toys of the holidays including the Toys ‘R’ Us Holiday Hot Toy List, the Toy Insider ‘Hot 20 List’ and Time to Play’s ‘Power Ups’ holiday toy list.”

“…our retail partners have embraced Skylanders as though we’re an established franchise, giving us unprecedented shelf space and store presence.”

“…reviews have been incredibly strong, especially for a kids title. Gamers received an average 87 ranking across 5 platforms according to GAMESMagazine.com and my favorite are some of the reviews from the hard-core gamer press who really seem to love it.”

“…the game is performing ahead of our expectations in both starter pack sales and the sale of individual toys. As of today, there are already millions of toys in the hands of children around the world.”

“…after only a few weeks in the market, literally all of our major retail partners across all territories have already placed reorders.”

“So in summary, this year, we have delivered innovation with both Skylanders and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty Elite, which are firsts for the industry.”

“…in terms of Skylanders, we’re not going to discuss exact attach rates but it is – we can say that it is higher than we expected.”

‐ Eric Hirshberg, Activision Publishing CEO


It is clear that Activision is continuing to make lots of money. They are the largest third-party publisher in the world. Even though Skylanders is completely different from what we were expecting before their announcement, it’s has been very successful. The combination of TFB’s creative control, younger target audience, fascinating toy collection elements and Activision’s strong marketing campaign made Skylanders far more successful than anyone could have imagined. After listening to Activision’s report, I almost forgot about the developers who were closed down or downsized because of unsuccessful games. Regardless of the video game politics, TFB is clearly here to stay and they are still growing in size. Because of this success, their relationship with Activision is stronger. It’s nice to hear that Kotick gave them a shout-out in the report in addition to the remark he made in an older interview that he was the one who gave TFB additional time during it’s development. Eric had the most to say about Skylanders because he is directly involved in publishing the games.

This is essentially the American equivalent of Pokémon. The collectible toy market is going to have stronger competition now and there will definitely be a sequel. If TFB isn’t working on Skylanders 2 as their next project, the TFB guessing game continues…

Activision’s Q3 2011 Earnings Report

A Day in the Life of a Portal Master

(Video removed)


I finally bought Skylanders for the Wii, knowing that this is geared towards a much younger audience. I wanted the Wii version because it is the version that Toys for Bob dedicated their time to.

When I entered Future Shop to find this game, I wandered the Wii section searching for it. I gave up after not being able to find it for ten minutes. I asked one of the employees where it is and he directed me to a section of the store for PC games, PC USB controllers, headphones. There was about 3-4 columns of shelves dedicated to Skylanders for all the consoles with separate toys for sale!

Although I have just started the game as of this post, I want to write about my first impression and the impressions of people who saw me play the game.

The Toys

Not only are there toys that become playable when placed on the portal. There are also adventure packs that come in the form of toys that go on the portal to unlock locations and magic items. Needless to say, some people have called this “physical DLC”.

According to the game’s manual, the following information is saved to the toys:

  • Victory Points and Experience Level
  • The "Nickname" that you give to your Skylander
  • Currency
  • Upgraded abilities and Statistics
  • The Hat your Skylander is wearing

There can be up to three toys on the portal: Two skylanders characters and either a magic item or location piece. The portal for the Wii version is wireless and connects to the Wii using a proprietary wireless USB adapter.

The player’s progress and collectibles (e.g. Legendary Treasures) are stored on the console.


While I was playing Skylanders, some friends and family who saw me noticed the toys and portal on the table and asked me what it was. I explained the game mechanics and mentioned “the people who made Star Control made this”. They looked at me strangely as I played the children’s game. Someone asked me if the toy actually does anything. I replied “No. It just sends and receives data to and from the Wii. It doesn’t move.” They were fascinated by the tech, nonetheless. It was a complete departure from other new games I’d play such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Red Faction Guerilla, Orcs Must Die!, etc. I realized that it has been many years since I’ve bought a toy.

The gameplay is very simple and easily accessible. The player chooses a toy and runs through various levels destroying enemies, unlocking doors, moving blocks, watching cinematics and listening to character dialog. While it’s nowhere as complex as games for older gamers, it’s definitely simple enough for anyone to pick up and play.

There are RPG mechanics such as increasing stats when a character levels up. The maximum level is 10. The only equipment that the characters can wear are hats which have various effects such as damage increases and armor.

Comparison to X-Men: Destiny

I wanted to compare this game to X-Men: Destiny because of some obscure observations I made. However, it’s not fair comparing the two games since they have different source material, designs, target audiences and both developers are of different sizes: There are approximately 90-100 at Toys for Bob and 185 people at Silicon Knights. In addition, I have not played X-Men: Destiny myself as of this post. The aggregated scores for Skylanders on Metacritic are much higher than the ones for XMD.

Keep in mind Silicon Knights worked on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii versions of the game while Other Ocean worked on the Nintendo DS version. For a game that was announced in October 2010, that is a lot of work to get done for late September 2011. Toys for Bob concentrated on the Wii version while other developers worked on the other console ports. In addition, TFB was given more time to make more improvements to the game.

Skylanders and XMD were both published by Activision. Both games strayed away from their respective franchises. The initial reception from the announcements and reviews are very different.

Silicon Knights is a great developer and capable of great things. Like BioWare, they are also a Canadian company. I think the criticism towards their game can be attributed with their multiple platform targets and tight deadlines. That’s all I wanted to say and people should look at how Activision treated these two games. This is yet another example of “video game politics”.

Did you know that Silicon Knights worked on the Sega Saturn version of The Horde?


I finally got the Skylanders game for the Wii. I must admit that I would not place this on my list of “favorite games of all time” because I am clearly not the target audience. The portal of power concept is really fascinating and that’s the only “TFB twist” I see in this game. Each character has a primary and secondary attack and is nowhere near as diverse as the ships in Star Control. In addition, the spoken dialog is nowhere as rich and diverse as Star Control either. After all, this is a game geared towards a much younger generation. I can see Activision making a sequel to this in the future; I read somewhere that these are flying off the shelves at Toys ‘R’ Us and the reviews are generally positive, making it clear that this is a kid’s game.

I thought of X-Men: Destiny because it also has RPG and hack n’ slash elements and I think it’s worth mentioning with regards to Activision and their notoriety for publishing sequels at a steady rate.

I believe that TFB’s strong relationship with Activision earned them more control with Skylanders and took a risk with the toys after discontinuing the DJ and Guitar Hero series.

Overall, Skylanders is not a bad game. I am simply too old for this kind of experience. The target audience is much younger. If anyone wants to know what the game and toys are like, I’d suggest finding a friend who already has the game. Skylanders gives kids a new game and toys to collect; two birds with one stone.

It would be interesting if there could be playable characters from Star Control or other video game franchises. However, since all of the characters are on the disc, I’m not sure how adding new characters would work. I’m curious if people will hack the portal and toy hardware to see what can be done with it. I read an article a long time ago about someone who hacked Guitar Hero so that a computer reads the video output from an Xbox 360, tracks notes and times each note with the correct button presses perfectly. Could someone open the toys, reprogram the chips inside and be able to do new things with the game and toys?

Also, the Toys for Bob website has been redesigned and simplified to show Skylanders. This means that there is no longer a news page at the moment. I will miss those sporadic news posts. :’(

Toys for Bob website
Skylanders website

Edit: Nov 1 2011 - Made a minor correction. Silicon Knights did not work on the DS version of X-Men Destiny. The DS version was developed by Other Ocean.

TFB's New Intro

Their new intro seen in Skylanders.

(Video removed)
Their former intro. In Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, the intro is slightly longer with the Ur-Quan theme is playing before the Orz theme.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, TFB has updated their intro video and website to reflect their most recent game, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. The video is made using stop motion techniques. The toy that is shown in this video is called Trigger Happy. His guns shoot coins, which may or may not be a reference to pirates who would stick any metallic objects in their blunderbuss, ranging from nails to valuable doubloons.

Check out the video and the links below.

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think it’s safe to say that Skylanders will be successful in ratings and sales to its younger demographic. The relationship between TFB and Activision has strengthened and they’ll have more games to work on for many years to come.

If they’re next games is not a Skylanders sequel, could it be a game geared towards an older audience? What do you think?

Paul Yan’s website
Pau Yan’s YouTube website
Toys for Bob website

Paul Reiche Interview on CVG

“22 years ago, we founded Toys for Bob, Fred ford and myself; making Star Control 1 and 2, science fiction games, which to this day, have a bizarrely-dedicated fan following and we promise someday, we will make the real sequel.”
‐ Paul Reiche, ComputerAndVideogames.com interview, October 7 2011

Here is an interview that Paul Reiche had with CVG, a popular video game website. He briefly describes what Toys for Bob is about, mentioning facts such as having “90-100 employees” depending on production, working on “one game at a time” and spending “two and a half years” working on Skylanders.

He also mentioned how Activision asked TFB to completely recreate the Spyro franchise and create an entirely new game. It’s now just under a week until the game’s official release date, October 16. I’m not sure how the game will be reviewed. I think Activision is definitely taking this seriously. It’s definitely serious competition to other video game franchises geared towards younger audiences such as Pokémon and other games that utilize RPG elements or collecting in general. The interviews are very brief and are definitely worth checking out.

I have no idea what they’re going to work on next and I’m sure I’ll be just as surprised if not more than the day Skylanders was announced.

One thing that still surprises me is that Activision is treating this differently than any other kid’s game. They could have just told TFB to work on a normal Spyro game without the Skylanders elements and pump out another sequel next year. However, they allowed TFB to have more control over the project and make something more unique.

Do you think Skylanders will become the next game that Activision will be publishing sequels for years? Will this peripheral-based game surpass the success of Guitar Hero?

CVG - Interview: Paul Reiche Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure
CVG - Interview: Paul Reiche Skylanders & The Toys
Paul Reiche’s Twitter (@PaulReiche3)

12 More Days Until Skylanders

Skylanders will be released next week, Sunday October 16 2011. For Canada, it may be a few days later. It is multi-platform and can be played by anyone with a Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows/Mac PC, DS and the Wii version which Toys for Bob worked on.

Arianna Reiche tweeted an article Paul Reiche had with Dean Takahashi from GamesBeat, the gaming section of VentureBeat. Paul even said some nice things about Activision:

“Paul Reiche, head of Toys For Bob, said in an interview that team knew what kinds of risks it was taking, but it decided to step up to the challenge anyway. The story of how they did so says a lot about how to innovate in an industry with so much prior art and risk aversion.”

“Asked if Skylanders was as big a bet as a Call of Duty game, Rieche (pictured) replied, ‘Fair enough.’ He added, ‘There were many points where we suggested something very radical. There is an unfair perception that (parent company) Activision Blizzard is risk averse. This shows that when there is a good opportunity, they go for it.’”

The Skylanders project started out as an idea while “Activision Blizzard was pruning back on its investments”. Activision wants to publish fewer games that have greater sales, more often, for as many consoles as possible.

Paul mentions more details regarding portal and toys. Robert Leyland at TFB experimented with the wireless technology. The “Leyland Gravity Whip” is named after Robert, who was involved in programming Star Control II. A hardware company who work under Activision, RO Design helped with the design. It is possible that former employees from RedOctane are now working at RO Design.

Dean ends the article with a quote from Paul:

“‘People should be watching this,’ Reiche said. ‘We are not going at it half-cocked at all.’”

I haven’t had a chance to preorder this game. Whenever I get the chance to buy the game, I will be getting the Wii version since that’s the one TFB has been working on, while Vicarious Visions developed the 3DS version and XPEC Entertainment developed the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions.

Skylanders will be coming out next week. It’s geared towards a much younger audience and is completely different from any other Spyro game. If not for the toys, this may have been written off as a “kiddie hack-n-slash game”. I’m still curious about what the RPG elements of the game itself will be like. I remember playing Final Fantasy when I was a kid and I never understood the stats completely; for example, I knew that one weapon may be stronger or faster, but I never went out of my way to mix and match armor; I chose items because they had larger numbers. Heck, I still do this with games today. :(

The DeanBeat: Skylanders is massive, innovative gamble for Activision Blizzard
Arianna Reiche’s Twitter

EDIT: Fixed title.

Speak of the Devil

I know I mentioned Legend Entertainment’s Star Control 3 in my previous article, but something else has surprised me: It is now available on GOG.com for $5.99.

Here is part of the overview on GOG that mentions that Star Control fans did not like this game:

Star Control 3 is the last installment of the series. Taking a slightly different track that diverged from the Star Control 2 formula, it got excellent reviews though some of the hardcore Star Control fans weren’t entirely thrilled by the innovations. Journalists, new fans of the series, and hardcore fans alike all agreed on one thing, though: this game’s story is great.

So whether you’re an old fan of the series, someone who was put off by a friend’s dislike of the game, or someone who’s never played the Star Control games at all, here’s your chance: pick up the excellent final game in the Star Control series and make up your mind for yourself!

I remember when GOG was first announced, it was implied that the games available would be older, critically-acclaimed games. I don’t consider this game critically-acclaimed. Then again, Star Control isn’t a multi-million best-seller, so the people who like this game probably haven’t played the two games made by Toys for Bob.

This still makes me wonder who still owns the right between Toys for Bob and Atari. If Legend is now defunct, do they still own their content (e.g. Harika, etc.)?


I would like to reiterate that nothing is being held against Legend personally. It’s just that this game went in a completely different direction and the result turned down people who loved the universe established by Toys for Bob. I don’t consider Legend’s game canon. With the legal mumbo-jumbo between TFB and Atari, what about this game? This Star Control game isn’t the worst game in the world; it just didn’t feel like a TFB game. If anyone is curious about what this game is like, $5.99 really is a cheap price that anyone can afford; it is much cheaper than grabbing a copy off eBay. It includes the PDF manual in addition to the game and no DOSBox tinkering is required. Just be prepared to see something way off TFB’s path.

I don’t know how GOG is able to jump through the legal hoops; it is certainly impressive how they do this. They even went as far as selling their new game, The Witcher 2, DRM-free.

What do you think about this? Do you think Atari is using this as a way of having more than just their flash game as a way of showing that they are using the Star Control trademark? Their flash game was considered a “token” which could be challenged. Now that they’re distributing the three games with GOG, they most likely have more protection with the copyright. If TFB does make a true Star Control sequel, I’m open to any title such as “The Ur-Quan Masters 2” or anything else. A rose by any other name…

GOG.com - New Release: Star Control 3
GOG.com - Star Control 3 page
GOG.com - About Us
Abandonia - Star Control 3

I Wasn't Expecting This

Note: Although many fans, including myself, do not consider their “Star Control 3” canon, we have nothing against Legend Entertainment personally. Like Toys for Bob, Legend Entertainment also worked hard to keep food on the table and have worked on other quality titles such as Unreal II: The Awakening.

I was looking for something interesting stuff to get on eBay when I discovered something strange:  An official strategy guide for Legend Entertainment’s, “Star Control 3” (shudder), published by Prima Publishing.  Of course, this is NOT the true sequel to Star Control 2.

This guide is written by Daniel Greenberg, who also provided game’s script, dialog, voice direction, programming and game design.  He has also worked on other games such as Crysis, The Lord of the Rings Online and the upcoming game, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars.

So, why am I writing about this?  While the strategy contains the walkthrough of the game itself, there are chapters at the beginning and the end that talk about their experience with animatronics and even gives a shout-out to Paul Reiche III, Fred Ford and Greg Johnson.  Other than the walkthrough, these additional chapters are:

Here are some interesting things I noticed: Many people are mentioned in the dedication, including the Star Control fanbase itself:

“To those highly active Star Control fans whose years of letters, e-mail, poll answers, Web pages, newsgroup arguments, online forums, and personal conversations at convention gave us the feedback, tips, recommendations, and utterly unreasonable demands we needed. You helped shape the direction and mold the final form of Star Control 3.”

Has anyone ever wrote to Legend Entertainment about Star Control 3 during its development? I don’t want to point the finger at anyone; I’m just saying that I don’t think their design for the game (e.g. animatronics, Precursor hippos, etc.) could have been inspired by fan letters.

There were other studios that collaborated with Legend on this game:

  • SOTA/FX (State of the Art FX) - Animatronics
  • Panoptic Imaging - 3D images
  • Absolute Pitch - Audio
  • Flite Three - Video Post-Production

Paul Reiche, Fred Ford and Greg Johnson are mentioned in the dedication:

And last but not least, to Fred Ford, Paul Reiche III, and Greg Johnson for starting it all. It's been a privilege, guys.

The Forward mentions that Paul and Fred were simply “unavailable” to work on the third game:

“When Accolade decided to do Star Control 3, I jumped at the chance to produce it. But Paul and Fred were unavailable to work on the project and I knew it would take a great crew of people to make Star Control 3 a reality.”

It is generally believed that TFB did not agree Accolade’s terms for SC3. They have also worked several overtime hours on Star Control 2, some of which they were not compensated for.

In The Making of Star Control 3, Daniel states “We wanted to remain true to Star Control 2, which we both loved playing, but we also wanted to go in new directions.” Well, they certainly took it in “new directions” all right.

Then he mentions:

In doing our basic game research, we talked to fans and plowed through numerous online discussion groups. (If you contributed to the SC2 discussions, you may have contributed to SC3.) Accolade even put out a questionnaire. The responses we got varied as widely as the races themselves, but overall they confirmed our opinions.

Again, does anyone remember any discussions or questionnaires? I find this hard to believe, but I really have no way of proving this. I am under the impression that no feedback from the fans were collected.

In the Fun Facts about SC3 section, there are some Star Control fansites listed.  One of them is an old link to Pages of Now and Forever.  Another site is listed as “The Star Control Saga” with “Comprehensive information on ships and races”.  The archived site on archive.org shows a webpage called “Unabashed Crabbiness about Star Control III” which criticizes SC3.

I was surprised to see  that Legend Entertainment’s game had additional info about what was done behind the scenes.  It even notes that it tries to keep voice distortions to a minimum.  I still do not consider Legend’s game part of the canon established by TFB.  I would like to reiterate that nothing negative is being directed towards anyone at Legend Entertainment; it’s just that this particular game did not meet our expectations.  The animatronic puppets had limited motion and the did not look interesting enough; many of them are simply boxes or a wall.  It is obvious that lots of work and effort was put into this project.  It’s just that it wasn’t the sequel we were dreaming of and we really wished that TFB was involved in it.  I actually never heard of this game until I saw it on star-control.com many years ago back in my college days.  It shows that TFB’s unique and passionate style of game development contributes to the awesomeness of Star Control that we all know and love.

Also, I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning discussions with Legend, fan feedback or any form of communication between fans and Legend Entertainment during development.  However, this is something that game developers and publishers are using to promote their games; for example, companies use social media to track how people react to trailers and gameplay videos.  Many events such as E3 and GDC exist for the sole purpose of showing off games, interviews and collecting data on what people think of it.

The above chapters are worth checking out for anyone who wants to know a little bit more about Legend’s attempt to continue the Star Control universe.

What do you think?

Unabashed Crabbiness about Star Control III (archived)
Accolade’s SC3 page (archived)
Star-Control - Star Control 3
Daniel Greenberg’s Website