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Star Control: Origins - Star Control reboot from Stardock

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Dr Tomo, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. dragonul09 Arcane Edgy

    dragonul09
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    Here's the thread https://steamcommunity.com/app/271260/discussions/1/1733213724896075091/ where Brad Wardell himself is telling people to avoid 99% of the planets and just do missions like they aren't as bad as landing on planets and farm like a peasant. It's so sad seeing him defend the game left and right, but not 40$ sad:lol:
     
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  2. Alpharius Literate

    Alpharius
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    I didn't play it. Thats why i don't really care if the 30 years old game was better or worse than this (though it must have been way better if people remember it to this day). Only that this game is absolute shit and i wasted 10 gb of bandwidth and several hours of my weekend on it.
     
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  3. Cael Ask me about Pathfinder Dumbfuck Edgy

    Cael
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    LOL! People should demand 99% of their money back from him and use that as proof of a defective product. You better screenshot it before the fuck finds a way to delete it.
     
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    But... that's exactly what dragonul09, the person you quoted, is saying!

    I cannot believe this guy still hasn't figured out that Stardock and Brad Wardell are on his side. Do you need us to make you a screenshot collage or something? Dexter
     
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  5. Cael Ask me about Pathfinder Dumbfuck Edgy

    Cael
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    Against my better judgement, I will respond to Infiniteshithole:

    He is saying that the gameplay is WORSE than SC2. Exact quote "there's nothing in this game that you didnt get in SC 2, hell it's even more streamlined." And the usual suspects responded with? How SC2 was repetitive and bad and fetch quest and...

    Get a grip, buttfucker, and stop slurping dev assholes.
     
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  6. oasis789 Arcane

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    #6 is particularly interesting.
     
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  7. Shadenuat Arcane

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    Interesting although all dialogues I've seen were completely linear.
     
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  8. Grampy_Bone Cipher

    Grampy_Bone
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    Not sure why you keep saying this. If Stardock was sold an IP that was not actually for sale, then Atari are the criminals and Brad is a victim of fraud. Or maybe you don't think IPs should ever be bought by anyone other than the original creators? I sympathize, really, but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

    This is hardly like Fallout, where Bethesda took their own style of game and slapped the Fallout label on it. Stardock seems to have at least tried to make an authentic Star Control game.
     
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  9. T. Reich Arcane

    T. Reich
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    Fucking newfags, every fucking time.
    :killit:

    What you deserve is piss down your throat.
     
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  10. T. Reich Arcane

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    I went through the link and read it. At no point did he say to "avoid 99% of the planets".

    Also, this:
    [​IMG]

    Every dot is a star system.
    There are hundreds of star systems in UQM.
    Most of them contain at least one planet to explore. A lot of them contain several.
    There are thousands of explorable planets in UQM.
    During the course of normal playthrough, a player would probably visit a few (low) hundred planets to gather mineral and organic resources required to complete the game.
    A lot of these planets would be resource-poor or sometimes contain no resources whatsoever.
    A lot of these planets would waste your time (landing/takeoff/navigating the system/navigating between systems) and resources (environmental hazards + fuel expenditure), being a net negative unless you learned to recognise resource-rich systems/planets with high reward-to-risk ratio (there are ingame hints to that).
    Several hundred out of several thousand = 10% or less of the playable area.

    OMG STAR CONTROL II IS A GRINDAN GAME WHERE EXPLORING EVERYTHING IS NOT REWARDING HURR DURR!

    P.S.: dragonul09 It's no surprise you're raging here. You couldn't git gud in ELEX either. Garbage of a player.
     
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  11. dragonul09 Arcane Edgy

    dragonul09
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    The game is 10 hours long you fucking retard, there's nothing else to do but hope you can find something interesting on the other planets, a quest, an item, that's why people are mad, the game doesnt have the content for the asking price of 40$, this is a 9.99$ game at best, but having cum guzzling fan boys like you to keep them afloat, the devs of course don't give a hoot and serve you a plate full of shit at full price.

    These people had 30 years to evolve and improve the core of SC 2, but what did they do? They streamlined the game even more, the combat is worse, the writing is garbage, the exploration is tedious, they just copy pasted SC 2 and made it worse, how can you even do that?

    In the end you are a shit eater, a bottom feeder, especially now that you think Elex is a good game, no wonder devs are getting lazier with every project, they have people like you to keep them afloat.
     
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  12. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    So you're mad that a new, higher-profile release started at an unreasonable price and you didn't want to wait for a Steam sale? [​IMG] You must get tired ranting in every thread where a game does that.
     
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  13. Zarniwoop Destiny Cleanser Patron

    Zarniwoop
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    ELEX is love, ELEX is life. Fucking heretics.

    That said I have no problem believing this game is shit.
     
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  14. dragonul09 Arcane Edgy

    dragonul09
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    Have you played the game yet? Do you even understand what I'm talking about, because trust me, you really need to play to understand how basic and streamlined this game is, it feels like a cheap tablet game. Let's take it like this, I didnt mind when paid 45$ for PoE 2 or DoS 2, because those game actually have diverse content and play time to last you for weeks. This game has two lousy combat modes, 2-3 types of quests and that's it, there's no meat here, only bones.

    Stop talking if you havent played the game it, it really bugs me when people do that.
     
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  15. Nano Learned

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    So being a Gamergater is all it takes to get the Codex to defend your shitty game, huh.
     
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  16. Grampy_Bone Cipher

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    I was up to 4am last night reading about this. The saga of this game's creation is more interesting than the game itself.

    A lot of confusion seems to be around the difference between ownership and licensing. Fred and Paul own the Star Control 1&2 IP, which they licensed to Accolade to make more SC games with. That's how Accolade was able to legally make SC3 without Fred and Paul. Now Fred and Paul are claiming to have a burning desire to create more Star Control games.... but there is little evidence for this.

    The license was permanent and exclusive, meaning as long as the terms were fulfilled Paul and Fred were up shit creek. They claim the terms were not met (failure to pay royalties) so the contract was nullified 17 years ago and the rights reverted to them. Yet they didn't seem to actually bother to do anything about it. I'm not sure, maybe they had to go to court and get the agreement formally nullified by showing unpaid royalties? If they had a document showing the rights were formally back in their ownership, they surely would have produced it by now. Instead they just point to the original contract and say it was invalidated, without any proof.

    I find this strange. If they cared so much about the game and the IP rights, why leave it like this? Maybe they worried if they challenged it in court, the company would pay the royalties and they would be cemented as not owning the license anymore. What's true is Star Control was a cult classic with little economic value back then. Maybe they thought SC was dead, they were making enough money with their new studio, and it wasn't worth bothering with. But then Steam, GOG, Kickstarter, and the Indie Renaissance happened.

    So Stardock buys the copyright to Star Control 3 and with that they claim they received the old Accolade licensing agreement for Star Control IP. Brad Wardell reaches out to Fred and Paul and asks them if they want to make a new Star Control game with Stardock, and they say no, they'd rather make one themselves. He immediately offers to sell them back the rights but they decline. Notably, they didn't say, "We already own the rights, we don't need to buy them from you, we'll see you in court asshole." Which is what I would say if someone were trying to make a game with a property I owned. Instead they said their contract with Activision prevented them from making a SC game. Oh well, sucks for them.

    It's not like they were broke, either. Their company makes Skylanders and has been pretty successful. They claim to have the rights and the desire to make another Star Control game, but never made one 20 years ago nor made any effort to acquire the rights/settle ownership or put together a project in all the intervening time. Very strange.

    Meanwhile, Brad starts making a Star Control game without anything from Star Control 2 in it. He knows this is a risk. He knows the fans will see his game as fan-fiction at best, or sacrilegious at worst. He claims he did this out of deep and abiding respect for Fred and Paul, he didn't want to step on their toes or mess with "their" story. I......... don't know if I believe that. If his ability to use Star Control 2 IP was as iron-clad as he claims, why not make a proper sequel? Sure the fans would be up in arms and the whole thing would be a clusterfuck, but that happened anyway, so why not? If he really went to all this length just to avoid ill-will, my hats off to him, but he failed. The other explanation is that he knew the licensing agreement for the IP was shaky and best so they made Origins a reboot to hedge their bets against probable lawsuits. Seems rather prudent now in hindsight.

    With Fred and Paul, the gut feeling I get is that they were never really going to make Star Control 3, but they didn't want anyone else to make one either. They feel Star Control is theirs and no one else should get to play with it. I sympathize, I really do, but they may have screwed the pooch here. Hardly the first developers to get fucked by publishers and contracts though.

    Finally, this whole thing is separate from the Star Control name and trademark, which Fred and Paul don't own. That's why they had to release the source code for SC2 as "The Ur'quan Masters." That's also why Brad said he was fine with them making a "Ur'quan masters 2" or other game continuing the storyline of SC 2, as long as it didn't have the Star Control name on it. This is perfectly legitimate, it's the same reason Brian Fargo had to make a game called Fallout instead of Wasteland 2, and if he had called it "The Sequel to Wasteland" EA would have certainly had grounds to sue him. Also note that Fargo was smart enough to ensure he had the full, uncontested rights to Wasteland before making the actual sequel. Something Fred and Paul should have learned from.

    In any case, the SC Origins seems okay. I'm liking it more than Bard's Tale 4. I also seriously doubt "Ghosts of the precursors" will ever get made. As Steve Jobs once said, "Real artists ship."
     
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  17. Cael Ask me about Pathfinder Dumbfuck Edgy

    Cael
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    Being a victim of fraud does not allow you to violate another's IP. That stardick did so and then basically said, "So sue me if you dare!" is criminal.

    The other criminal thing stardick did was to promise to respect and not use the original races and then did so anyway in order to boost their sales. That is "obtaining a financial advantage via deception", which is fraud, which is a crimiinal matter.

    Stardick is a criminal enterprise, and its CEO a criminal.
     
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  18. Grampy_Bone Cipher

    Grampy_Bone
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    Which races did they use?
     
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  19. Elestan Educated

    Elestan
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    I agree; the legal twists and turns are really fascinating.

    The license is here, but it's an addendum, so it needs to be read in concert with the original agreement.

    Most notably, (per section 2.2 of the original contract) the license only lasted as long as Paul was getting at least $1000/year. There are also clauses that say that it cannot be assigned (transferred) without his permission (12.1), and also (in 7.1) that it terminates if the publisher goes bankrupt (as Atari did in 2013).

    To me, it seems like if the contract says it ends if X happens, and X happens, the contract ends, unless the contract has language specifying some kind of notice and/or cure requirement. But I'm not a lawyer, so if you know what the legal rules are for this, I'd love a reference. I suspect that it would be in California state contract law (and related case law).

    As for how the lawsuit started, I just made a post relating my thoughts on that topic over at Qt3.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  20. LESS T_T Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    LESS T_T
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    What is an RPG?: https://www.stardock.com/games/article/491183/star-control-week-two-news

     
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  21. Grampy_Bone Cipher

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    Yeah I don't know either. I am reminded of the case where MGM sued Nintendo, claiming that Donkey Kong infringed on the King Kong copyright, only to find that no one owned King Kong. Oops.

    In any case, Paul and Fred's actions are weird. They couldn't be arsed to do anything about Stardock's game for four years, then right before release announced their own game, which doesn't even seem to exist. I can't find any screenshots, mocked or otherwise, no concept art, no teaser, no feature list, nothing. That didn't stop the media and loyal fans from running with it and calling it 'The Real Star Control Sequel' presumably to stir up drama and cause maximum damage to Stardock's sales. That is what I would term 'dirty pool.' This is not the action of someone with a strong hand, it is the behavior of someone with a weak hand who wants the opponent to fold. "When the law is on your side, pound the law. When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When you don't have facts or law, pound the table." Fred and Paul are pounding the table.

    Brad is tiptoeing around stuff. "We have the license, but we're not going to use it because we respect you. But we have to protect the trademark by suing you. We also stuck a bunch of easter eggs in the game that kinda-sorta are using the license." Hmm. They offered a settlement to relinquish the license to Fred and Paul and agree to not interfere in each other's games, but Paul and Fred would have to give up the Star Control name. That must be too much for them. I get it, you make something great but someone else owns it, and sells it off. Bummer. Having Brad offer to sell it back to them was probably a slap in the face.

    They probably want to go to court in the hopes they can get the license plus the name. Litigation is expensive though; Brad's price of $400k will probably seem cheap in the long run. On the other hand, Brad could have made the exact same game, just called it something other than Star Control, and this whole mess would have been avoided, and Stardock would be $400k richer. Was the name really that valuable?

    *edit1* Nevermind, I was mistaken. Fred and Paul are the ones who offered to give up the name (which they definitely don't have anyway), in exchange for the license and ending the attacks on Stardock, which would seem to support my 'pound the table' idea. I think it's likely their hold on the license is not as strong as they thought. The intervening years, Brad may have found that Paul was still being paid the royalties and thus the agreement was still valid.

    *edit2* Looks like Fred and Paul were after the name.

    http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Stardock_Systems_Inc._v._Paul_Reiche_III_and_Robert_Frederick_Ford

    One of their claims is that the Star Control trademark actually expired through lack of use, so Stardock couldn't actually buy it. Then Stardock tried to trademark Ur-quan masters and all the SC2 aliens. What a clusterfuck. I'm finding it harder to point fingers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  22. oasis789 Arcane

    oasis789
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    is it projection if you could replace the word SCO with unavowed
     
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  23. Grampy_Bone Cipher

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    I don't get why Brad kept nagging Paul and Fred for some kind of endorsement of Origins when it's clear they were very determined to never do that. It's also clear they wish Origins didn't exist, but they were too cheap to ever buy the trademark, or didn't think it was valuable.
     
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  24. Elestan Educated

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    There's a fairly plausible explanation for why they wouldn't do those things: They've been working for Activision since about 2005, and their employment agreement with Activision probably says that if they work on competing products (i.e. games) while employed, Activision gets to steal the rights. Last Fall, they apparently got permission to go on extended leave to work on Ghosts of the Precursors, but at the point that they made their post, they were only just starting, and didn't have anything to show yet. And SC:Origins just released last week, so their announcement was a year prior; Stardock was angry just because they stepped on press for its Beta test announcement.

    Regarding the name "Star Control", Stardock probably owns it, and P&F don't seem very interested in it themselves; they didn't name their new game "Star Control: Anything"; they just want to call it a sequel to Star Control II, since it continues the storyline from that game, which they own the copyright to.

    They didn't make that claim until after Stardock used its trademark to sue them. I view it as essentially a "Disarm" maneuver; Stardock is swinging the sword of its trademark at them, so they try to invalidate it in order to disarm the attack

    This is what really pissed the fan community off. For those who don't know, Paul and Fred open-sourced the game after Accolade's copyright license expired, and renamed it to "The Ur-Quan Masters" to avoid trademark infringement. With these registrations, Stardock's CEO is threatening to shut the "vile" fan community down He claims it was just a pissed-off rant, but he also tried to trick the project admins into signing away their trademark rights, so he's gotten a fair amount of flak recently.

    I gave my theories on that here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  25. Elestan Educated

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    You need to know the history of the series. Accolade made Star Control 3 without Paul and Fred and it sucked, so when talk of the Trademark being sold from Atari arose, all the forums were talking about how any new game would probably suck unless Paul and Fred were on-board.

    I haven't seen anything to suggest that they didn't want it to exist, at least initially. To me, their attitude seemed more like indifference. As long as Stardock didn't try to use the aliens, ships, or plot from the prior games, they didn't really care about it. Then Stardock decided to start putting the old aliens in, and things got more heated.

    I think that they didn't buy the trademark because they didn't really care about the name.
     
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