So recently we asked you what makes Star Control....well...Star Control?
If you have never played the classic series before, fear not as Star Control: Origins starts at the very beginning in a fresh new universe that we will all explore and learn about together.
Star Control is unique. The closest thing to it is probably Mass Effect which some argue was a remake of the classic series.
So what is special about Star Control? Why do we think it's going to be such a major game-changer for role playing games?
Story-Driven Open Universe
The Star Control universe is rich in lore, history and depth. But it is an open universe. You are not on rails. You can go out and explore the galaxy and affect how things go.
You are the captain of a single ship. It's not like Sins of a Solar Empire or Galactic Civilizations where you can simply order the construction of fleets and colonization of planets. In fact, in the year 2088, humans are so far behind the curve that they don't start with FTL technology. Your mission is to save the Earth and Earth is willing to...ahem...look the other way and let you decide how to do that.
Why other games don't do this now? A big part of the reason has to do with the tech. The original Star Control series was actually pretty linear. Star Control: Origins works on a state machine basis. This is only possible because we do require 4 CPU cores (which you all probably have easily now adays but most games are written assuming a single CPU core). We are, in effect, an RPG riding on top of a simulation.
I want to give credit where credit is due: Classic games tried to touch on this. Notably, Ultima IV and Ultima V for starters. Even the original Baldur's Gate touched on this. In Star Control: Origins, we're doing thousands of planets with thousands of unique characters all controlled by AI.
As deep as it is, it wouldn't matter if playing wasn't fun. And Star Control's big challenge has always boiled down to mixing 4 very different game designs together: Planet Exploration, Ship Combat, Space Exploration and role playing.
Think about your favorite recent RPG. The combat and exploration and the role playing all are pretty much part of the same "scene". That's not how it is in Star Control. The planet exploration is a completely different experience from the space exploration which in turn is different from the combat. This is why we had to develop a new game engine just for this game. Imagine the challenge of having a first person mode + a strategy mode + a 4X leader scene mode and you get the idea.
When combined together with a lot of time for iteration (4 years +) you and up with something pretty awesome.
This is similar to the idea of a story-driven open universe but it also means that we don't tell you how to play. There is no tutorial. If you want to go around murderin' that's your business. You gotta do what you gotta do. We don't punish players for doing "the wrong" thing because there is no "wrong" thing. There are simply things that will have logical consequences.
We've had over four years to weave together and edit terrific prose in this game that is then superbly voice acted. Near the end of this Summer, we think you will find a game that makes you feel a wide range of emotions. The universe is simultaneously ludicrous, tragic and horrible.
Whether we're talking about a music sound track that would be worth the price alone (there's a lot of music in this game, more so than most games you get) or the small touches to the thousands of unique planets that you occasionally find a spot where someone has carefully crafted a moment for you, Star Control makes it obvious that its creators care about it and that each moment has been thought of.
You won't see the Stardock team brag about "procedural generation". This is a massively single-player game. Some of the side-quests will be too difficult for 95% of players. And that's ok. You can all play together to try to figure out the depths of the universe. There are no random encounters. No random events. No random anything. Everything in this universe is for you. You are the star.
End of Summer is when we expect to make this available to everyone. You can play the Fleet Battles (the combat game) now though if you want to pre-order at a discount and help support our development.