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  #1  
Old 02-12-2017, 09:15 PM
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Angry New Star Control Game

I saw this trailer for the new upcoming Star Control game (due out this year) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ3kMuc148k

I thought it might be of interest to a couple of you since a bunch of forum people seemed to have gotten into Star Control 2 during the first downtime after following the link in my signature.

It's not surprising but interesting how closely they have mimicked the original feel of SC2 despite not having the rights to anything save the name (and original SC3 content). They even hired the same composer to score the music for them.

Apparently, they're labeling this as a prequel to the first Star Control game (set before humans met the Alliance or Hierarchy) and are inventing new races for them to encounter because they do not have the rights to any of the aliens that Fred or Paul created in the first two games (that means, among other things, no friendly neighborhood Arilou laleelay to run into).

Personally, I remain perturbed by this whole development and have no interest in actually playing the game. Further, it looks to me like they're pulling a scam that involves them skirting the no SC/SC2 aliens rule by putting it on players to create them in their own modded universes...

Quote:
As for an in-universe explanation on why those new aliens aren't in the follow-up games, Wardell explains that Star Control might get a little metaphysical. "One of the things we've done with Origins is make it clear that Star Control 1/2, 3, and Origins each exist in their own game universe. Have you ever read the book Ready Player One?" he asked. "We'd like to build Star Control up to being a multiverse where you start the game and can choose which universe you want to go into. A significant part of our budget has been put into developing tools so that after Origins is released, fans will be able to share their own universes with their own stories, aliens, etc."
Source: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/...lease-in-2h17/

They're not outright saying it but basically you'll be able to create your own Fred and Paul inspired universe for them and further entice fans of the original to shell out money to them. I find this particularly irksome after all of the partial and failed fan attempts to make free continuations and mods for Star Control over the years. Some will be pleased by this as they'll now have the tools to do it more easily and effectively and that's fair but what bugs me is that their work will now be going to feed the profits of this game company who swooped in and grabbed the brand name.

For those who missed my last rant on this or who are too lazy to read the above link, this all came about because they bought the rights to the name (and original SC3 content) at an Accolades bankruptcy auction. For years, Accolades retained the rights to the brand name while Fred and Paul retained the rights to the storylines and characters in the first two Star Control games. This allowed them to port SC2 but they had to do so under the title, Ur-Quan Masters.
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  #2  
Old 02-15-2017, 04:52 PM
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Sure! Why not? I mean how long are we gonna wait for HL3? I'll tell ya, until some fan makes a decent fan based steam mod not using any original names, that's how long. It's how we got portal.

I spent hours playing SC on a 286?pc and the sweet sega G. Even more time on the two follow up games. I'd love to see what someone can do with it in the modern world.

Edit: I want to see a Nintendo home brew port. Something that has a strategy board game feel mixed with dexterity space blasting like the original.

Last edited by Beckhan : 02-15-2017 at 04:56 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2017, 04:01 AM
FakerFangirl FakerFangirl is offline
 

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It's fun! But there's not a lot of players. I wonder if Ariloulaleelay will be in it
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2018, 09:30 AM
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I haven't been tracking news of this at all, but following your post I found they uploaded new videos. For anyone interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1bgnu-JTgc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-hhgTxiB8Y

I take it from your reply they're now in beta.

Anyway, there won't be the Arilou laleelay in this game, nor will any of the other aliens from the original games appear. Stardock only bought the name at auction. That's the one thing that the original creators did not have the rights to. Everything else, including all the aliens, belong to Paul and Fred, and they opted not to let Stardock use any of that in this game. It's possible, however, that because of how moddable Star Control: Origins is, fans will recreate those races/ships as best they can and share them among themselves. As I've said previously, I think that it has been Stardock's intent to simply let fans do that as a way around the rights issue.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:16 PM
LeonelR LeonelR is offline
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arilou View Post
I haven't been following news of this at all, but following your post I found they uploaded new videos. For anyone interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1bgnu-JTgc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-hhgTxiB8Y

I take it from your reply they're now in beta.

Anyway, there won't be the Arilou laleelay in this game, nor will any of the other aliens from the original games appear. Stardock only bought the name at auction. That's the one thing that the original creators did not have the rights to. Everything else, including all the aliens, belong to Paul and Fred, and they opted not to let Stardock use any of that in this game. It's possible, however, that because of how moddable Star Control: Origins is, fans will recreate those races/ships as best they can and share them among themselves. As I've said previously, I think that it has been Stardock's intent to simply let fans do that as a way around the rights issue.
This just turned me off from this project. I was looking forward to it, but I had no idea about the whole rights controversy. I was assuming it was a direct sequel.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2018, 10:56 AM
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I have some good news and bad news for you, LeonelR. After seeing your reply I finally decided to check up on Star Control news and it turns out a direct sequel by Paul and Fred is (it seems) in the works, but it, of course, won't be called Star Control.

Quote:
The brains behind Star Control II are resurrecting the series a quarter of a century after the last real entry in the sci-fi series. Creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III announced today that they are coming back to do a legitimate sequel. The project doesn’t have a release date, platform, or pricing info yet, but it does have a name: Ghosts of the Precursors.
https://venturebeat.com/2017/10/09/s...ars-later/amp/

Quote:
This is a passion project for us and we have committed to dedicating some of our own time to creating a true sequel. We are early, early in development, but rest assured, the game will include genuine

...

Arilou Lalee'lay ...
https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/blog/2017/10/6/launch-fighters

Now for the fun. You know how I said that this Stardock acquisition would be problematic for Fred and Paul when/if they wanted to do a direct sequel? Yeah, well, cue the lawsuits.

Quote:
Stardock now seems to think that not only can they use our aliens, ships and narrative without our permission, but thinks that we cannot make a sequel to The Ur-Quan Masters without their permission -- this is where we got really, really angry.
https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.co...volved-lawyers

(Make sure to read the whole article)

For anyone thinking of paying money to Stardock to play "Star Control: Origins" I would urge you not to do so. This company swooped in, bought the name from Atari in a bankruptcy auction, and are now trying to co-opt everything Star Control. 1. They're trying to prevent Fred and Paul from creating their sequel. 2. Their game confuses the market as to what is and isn't Star Control. 3. They've been trying to sell the older games as a bundle on Steam, despite not having the full rights, which cuts into the money Fred and Paul had been making via an agreement that had with GOG. 4. I maintain that they are trying to get around the rights issue via this builder mode of theirs, which will likely allow players to recreate the races and ships of the original Star Control games.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2018, 12:07 PM
FakerFangirl FakerFangirl is offline
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arilou View Post
1. They're trying to prevent Fred and Paul from creating their sequel. 2. Their game confuses the market as to what is and isn't Star Control. 3. They've been trying to sell the older games as a bundle on Steam, despite not having the full rights, which cuts into the money Fred and Paul had been making via an agreement that had with GOG.
What the... That explains the races. That is such a disappointment.
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  #8  
Old 02-25-2018, 09:24 PM
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The insanity continues:

Quote:
Stardock filed a complaint in Federal court against us, personally, alleging among other things that we are not actually the creators of Star Control. This is news to us! Are we clones of the original Fred and Paul, just now learning of our squelchy vat birth? Unfortunately, Stardock’s complaint is not a prank – so, today we took action and filed a response in Federal court answering Stardock's false claims. Of course, we've also filed counterclaims against Stardock, as the original Fred and Paul would have wanted.
https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.co...ol-sues-us-wtf

Here's a long form article explaining the situation: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...ks-trademarks/

It sums up what has happened thus far and nicely breaks down the complaints made in Stardock's lawsuit. Here are some highlights it mentions:

Quote:
  • That Stardock, by virtue of owning the "Star Control" trademark, is due all of the "fame, reputation, and goodwill" directed by fans toward the Star Control games
  • That Ford and Reiche want to associate their game, Ghosts of the Precursors, with that "fame, reputation and goodwill," as well as the "fame, reputation, and goodwill" generated by Stardock around Stardock's selling the Star Control games and around the development of Stardock's upcoming Star Control: Origins title
  • That Ford and Reiche are willfully infringing Stardock's "Star Control" trademark by marketing their own game as a "direct sequel" to Star Control 2
  • That Ford and Reiche are willfully infringing Stardock's trademark by the use of old Star Control cover art on Ford and Reiche's Twitter accounts and on their website
  • That Ford and Reiche refused to stop selling Star Control titles on GOG in violation of Stardock's trademarks and copyrights
  • That Ford and Reiche have indicated they are knowingly violating Stardock's trademarks and copyrights and that they have expressed an intention to continue doing so
  • That Ford and Reiche are purposefully trying to delegitimize and jeopardize Stardock's upcoming game, Origins
  • That Ford and Reiche are purposefully trying to create confusion in the minds of prospective consumers over who owns "Star Control"
And here's the ownership bit:

Quote:
However, Reiche or Ford’s advertising that they are the “Creators of Star Control” is false. As Reiche and Ford know, it was Accolade, not them that created Star Control I and Star Control II. Upon information and belief, any authorship that Reiche and Ford may have contributed to the Classic Star Control Games was limited, and it was instead a team of many other authors, including numerous artists, animators, musicians, designers and writers, among others, that collaborated together to develop creatives used in Star Control I and II.

...

Upon information and belief, and contrary to the common public understanding and what they have portrayed to the public, Reiche and Ford may not have created any of the artwork, animation or characters incorporated in the games, or otherwise substantially contributed to the authorship of Star Control I and Star Control II. Reiche and Ford’s advertising themselves as being the “creators” of the Classic Star Control Games is false and misleading, and has been made in an attempt to dishonestly benefit from the goodwill and reputation associated with the STAR CONTROL Mark to which they have never had rights.
Read the full article for additional details.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2018, 08:47 PM
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Since I last posted there have been additional legal developments. Rather than sum it up, I will just point interested parties to Fred and Paul's blog: https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/ They also posted some neat Star Control development art.

What prompted me to post, however, was finding out that in 2016 Stardock openly talked about their mod tools existing to allow fans to create ripoffs:

Quote:
You start up Star Control and one of the menu items is "Multiverse". You click on that and you see various universes we've made (DLC, expansions, whatever) along with universes other players have made and put up via Steam workshop (Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, whatver people come up with that the player has already downloaded). Fans of Star Control 2 might want to download the Ur-Quan series like "Ur-Quan War I: Alliance of Free Stars, Ur-Quan War II: Kohr-ah", and so on).
https://forums.galciv3.com/471109/page/9/#replies

In a recent post this same person has cited, as a reason for fighting Fred and Paul over their IP, the possibility that the duo would demand that Stardock remove the mod tools that would allow players to make their own ships:

Quote:
Or that they think we have to remove our ship designer. That move would ruin us.
http://star-control.com/community/vi...1269&start=100

Mind you, from all appearances this is not an actual request that Fred and Paul have made. In his post, Frogboy (representing Stardock), listed their actual demands separately and then, in the paragraph I pulled this from, decided to list possible future demands.

I find this particular fear interesting given that it's been obvious to me from the start (and now I see it has been backed up by Stardock's own words) that they're attempting to create a copyright loophole by empowering fans to rip off the earlier games or whatever else they want, including other science fiction universes. Now it looks to me like they recognize what shaky ground this player universe scheme puts them on are and are attempting to head it off with legal action.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:43 AM
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The drama continues. Now Stardock is openly saying that they intend to steal the unique alien races from Star Control I & II for use in future games:

Quote:
Future Star Control games will have the classic Star Control aliens in them. For years, our position was that we would not use the classic Star Control aliens. I’ve even previously said that PF had common law copyrights on them (because like most people here, I believed their claims).

We held this position because PF asked us not to and said they wanted to continue their story and we wanted that too. But it was always assumed that even if they wanted to work on it themselves, they’d do so as an authorized Star Control game. When they made it obvious that they didn’t believe we have rights to the Star Control aliens (not just what they might have copyrights to but even the names) we had no choice but to defend our rights.

Only the most unreasonable person would argue that Star acontrol games can’t have Star Control aliens simply because an independent contractor of Accolade’s claims rights to names he may or may not of randomly generated 28 years ago. Sorry, I can admire someone’s work without instilling upon him extralegal rights.

Someone might argue that PF “created” the Orz but the evidence actually doesn’t indicate they did. However, even if they had, it was as an independent contractor for Accolade and all they would have is any copyright over the expression of the Orz. It wouldn’t prevent Accolade (or us) from having Orz in our game, it would only prevent a derivative of that artistic expression of the Orz.
Source: https://forums.starcontrol.com/487690/page/11/#3713501

Earlier in that same post he was ranting about how Fred and Paul were going around calling them thieves:

Quote:
In any event, it seems petty to me for them to have spent months calling me, personally, a thief. Hiring a PR agency to issue a press release calling me a thief and doing a media tour attacking us was not helpful to them as it has made it much harder to find a win-win.
The guy was also going on about how Fred and Paul's actions have cost them millions of dollars in potential sales while being oblivious to how much his behavior has turned people off to their product. I do not like these interlopers, and I hope their game crashes and burns.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:12 AM
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Not sure if anyone checking here is still interested in the ongoing legal battle, but just in case, here's the latest: Fred and Paul have now setup a gofundme page to help with their legal defense. I am not going to link directly to it, but in the description they talk about their view that this is all "a predatory legal attack ... -- an established, corporate publisher attempting to bully two lone developers into surrendering their most treasured game, characters and unique universe."

The only other thing of note to come out of this is that Paul and Fred are saying they think their legal fees will cost them $2 million.

I'm curious to see if this spurs another crazy rant from the Stardock guy, but sadly I don't have the time to look for his posts atm.


Edit: Below are videos that provide a detailed look at the legal dispute for anyone interested to catch up on what's been going on without doing a lot of reading.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yochP8F69LY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yochP8F69LY
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