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Star Control: Origins - Freedom to Fail

Published on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Star Control Journals

Star Control: Origins lets you do a lot of dumb things. Starting off in command of humanity's latest and greatest spaceship, your orders are to travel to Neptune's moon of Triton. On the way there, you're free to fly into the sun and melt your entire crew or explore the planet Venus and watch your planetary lander immediately get obliterated.

This game doesn't hold your hand in the way most RPGs do, where you're forced sit through a tedious tutorial and it takes a long time to encounter a possible failure state. Most RPGs only have failure states in the context of combat, where multiple choices tend to only affect combat and narrative outcomes, rather than wider gameplay and progression consequences. 

In Star Control: Origins, you can attack a new alien on sight and ruin the potential to have an alliance with them, or you can strip an ally of too many of their ships, so they get annoyed and no longer help you when it counts. When writing dialog for even minor alien races, we try to distance ourselves from the RPG tropes such as "if someone offers me something, I should take it because it will end up paying off later on!" Maybe it will, and maybe it won't. Space is big, and there's a lot of junk out there.




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Star Control: Origins Prelude 2 of 13 - So Many Planets

Published on Friday, July 6, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

Greetings!

Space is big. We know that.  But how interesting is it? That remains to be seen.

Let's take a look at the orbital bodies in our own solar system.

Orbital Body

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Mercury

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 Basically a hot rock.

Venus

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 A poisonous, toxic hell.

Mars

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 A really cold desert.

Jupiter

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 Big ball of gas.

Saturn

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 Another big ball of gas with cool rings.

Uranus

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 Ice gas ball.

Neptune

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 Ice gas ball.

What about the moons?

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Ashes Dev Journal: Map Making Considerations

Published on Thursday, July 5, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals

 

During my time working on Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, I have made many new maps and reworked countless of the existing ones. There are recurring characteristics for the changes I make to maps, and criteria that I base most of my maps on, so I thought it would be interesting to articulate what it is that governs my map making and rework process. 

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Star Control: Origins Prelude 1 of 13 - The Living Universe

Published on Friday, June 29, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

Greetings!

We now have an official release day: September 20, 2018!  Almost five years since we began our adventure with Star Control. 

For this occasion we have begun to number these journal entries to count up to week 13, which is when the game gets released!

13 weeks...Not much time.  So even though it's a Sunday as I write this, and my birthday, I'm pleased to share this blog to let you know where we are.

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Star Control: Origins - Professional Modder

Published on Monday, June 25, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Star Control Journals

"Designer" is a rather vague term; it's my role on Star Control: Origins but it doesn't communicate particularly well what I do on the project. So how do I explain when someone asks me what it is that I do? Professional modder, is what I tell them. I create ships, but I'm not an artist. I create quests, weapons, and transform stars, but I'm not a coder. I work with the in-game ship editor and Adventure Studio, our powerful modding suite for Star Control: Origins. I'm creating content for the campaign in the same way modders later will, our entire single-player campaign is built using the tools that will be available to everyone when the game launches. My title is designer, but practically I'm a modder getting paid to make stuff for the campaign in synergy with the rest of the talented design team. So why does this matter?


With Star Control: Origins, we're allowing everyone to be their own designer of their own universe; modders can create and shape their own galaxy, making it as rich and vast as the one we're working on. Have a story you'd like to tell, or a race of aliens you like to draw? You can bring them to life now in a matter of hours. Create a planet or entire star system for your aliens, assemble ships and scatter their colonies amongst the stars, write some dialog and scripts with our visualized conversation tree, import your drawings and assign some behavior. You now have your new aliens, ready for befriending or conquering. 

 

 

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Star Control: Origins - June 2018 Status Report

Published on Friday, June 15, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

Greetings!

Lots of exciting things happening!

Star Control at E3

Stardock had a big presence at E3 this year where it announced the release date for Star Control: Origins - September 20.  The last day of Summer!

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Stardock's Patrick Shaw on stage at E3 presenting Star Control: Origins!

You can watch the trailer here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-EnCjcxsJE 

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Dev Journal: Experiential Unit Design

Published on Monday, June 4, 2018 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals



Experiential unit design is the realm of making units and other game components feel different from each other, players have to think completely differently about Siege Tanks and Zerglings because of good experiential unit design. It may sound like a simple topic, but many RTS games have failed due to not executing it properly, resulting in a bland game where unit control is unsatisfying. Today I'll be exploring examples of superb experiential unit design from a few of my favorite RTS franchises, including Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. 

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Star Control: Origins - May 2018

Published on Friday, May 25, 2018 By Frogboy In Star Control Journals

Greetings!

This is the LAST month for monthly Star Control updates before release....because now we're moving into weekly updates because things are moving so fast.

The Menkmack arrive!

FINISHING

We will be announcing our official release date soon.  You may have heard that we will have a big E3 presence and we anticipate announcing the final release date then.  For those of you who are familiar with Stardock, you know we tend to run a bit "hot".  With Star Control: Origins, being that it's a role playing game, we actually have to "finish" the game this month.  That is, the..how would you guys describe this? The GAME part.  That's because we need lots of time to iterate on the story.

Star Control is a space RPG that focuses on the story. It's not exploration for exploration's sake
even though it's in a very big universe.

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3 Years of Galactic Civilizations III and we’re celebrating with a special sale!

Published on Monday, May 14, 2018 By Island Dog In Press Releases (GalCiv III)

When our CEO Brad created Galactic Civilizations from his dorm room at Western Michigan State University, he had no idea that it would lay the groundwork for Stardock growing into what it is today. Celebrate 24 years of the series with us and save 66% on Galactic Civilizations III! Learn more.

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