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Star Control

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Star Control: Famous Battles of the Ur-Quan Conflict, Volume IV is an action-strategy video game developed by Toys for Bob and published by Accolade. It was originally released for MS-DOS and Amiga in 1990, followed by ports for the Sega Genesis and additional platforms in 1991. The story is set during an interstellar war between two space alien factions, with humanity joining the Alliance of Free Stars to defeat the invading Ur-Quan Hierarchy. Players can choose to play as either faction, each with seven different alien starships which are used during the game's combat and strategy sections.

The game was created by designer-artist Paul Reiche III and programmer-engineer Fred Ford. Initially, the concept was based on the space combat seen in Spacewar! (1962), combined with the action-strategy gameplay seen in Archon: The Light and the Dark (1983). The alternate title, StarCon, was a play on words referring to Reiche's prior work on Archon, adapted into a science fiction setting. After developing the core space combat system, Reiche and Ford created an assortment of ships, abilities, and character designs. The project was completed with additional artwork from Greg Johnson and Erol Otus.

Star Control was a critical and commercial success upon its release, leading to two sequels, Star Control II in 1992 (and the free open-source remake The Ur-Quan Masters in 2002), and Star Control 3 in 1996. It has since been ranked among the best games of all time by Polygon and VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, remembered for the replay value of its combat, as well as the colorful worldbuilding that gave rise to its acclaimed sequel. Years after its release, game designers have continued to cite Star Control as an influence on their work, including Mass Effect (2007), and Stellaris (2016).

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Action game

Action game

An action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes a large variety of sub-genres, such as fighting games, beat 'em ups, shooter games, and platform games. Multiplayer online battle arena and some real-time strategy games are also considered action games.

Accolade (company)

Accolade (company)

Accolade, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher based in San Jose, California. The company was founded as Accolade in 1984 by Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead, who had previously co-founded Activision in 1979. The company became known for numerous sports game series, including HardBall!, Jack Nicklaus and Test Drive.

MS-DOS

MS-DOS

MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and a few operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as "DOS". MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatibles during the 1980s, from which point it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system.

Amiga

Amiga

Amiga is a family of personal computers introduced by Commodore in 1985. The original model is one of a number of mid-1980s computers with 16- or 16/32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-based GUIs, and significantly improved graphics and audio compared to previous 8-bit systems. These systems include the Atari ST—released earlier the same year—as well as the Macintosh and Acorn Archimedes. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, the Amiga differs from its contemporaries through the inclusion of custom hardware to accelerate graphics and sound, including sprites and a blitter, and a pre-emptive multitasking operating system called AmigaOS.

Computing platform

Computing platform

A computing platform or digital platform is an environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system (OS), even a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage on which computer programs can run.

Earth in science fiction

Earth in science fiction

An overwhelming majority of fiction is set on or features the Earth. This also holds true of science fiction, despite perceptions to the contrary. Counterfactual depictions of the shape of the Earth, be it flat or hollow, occasionally are featured. A personified, living Earth appears in a handful of works. In works set in the far future, Earth can be a center of space-faring human civilization, or just one of many inhabited planets of a galactic empire, and sometimes destroyed by ecological disaster or nuclear war or otherwise forgotten or lost.

Fred Ford (programmer)

Fred Ford (programmer)

Robert Frederick Ford is an American video game programmer. He is the son of mathematician L. R. Ford Jr.

Archon: The Light and the Dark

Archon: The Light and the Dark

Archon: The Light and the Dark is a 1983 video game developed by Free Fall Associates and one of the first five games published by Electronic Arts. It is superficially similar to chess, in that it takes place on a board with alternating black and white squares; however, instead of fixed rules when landing on another player's piece, an arcade-style fight takes place to determine the victor, and each piece has different combat abilities. The health of the player's piece is enhanced when landing on a square of one's own color.

Greg Johnson (game designer)

Greg Johnson (game designer)

Greg Johnson is an American video game designer who has worked for Binary Systems and Electronic Arts, was co-founder with Mark Voorsanger of ToeJam & Earl Productions Inc., and in 2006 founded his own company, HumaNature Studios. He is known for the iconic ToeJam & Earl series (1991–present), and his design credits additionally include Starflight (1986), Game of the Year Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula (1989), the multi-award-winning Orly's Draw-A-Story (1997), Kung Fu Panda World (2010), and Doki-Doki Universe (2013), Back in the Groove (2015),

Erol Otus

Erol Otus

Erol Otus is an American artist and game designer, known internationally for his contributions to the fantasy role-playing game (RPG) genre, especially early in the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. He is also known for his artwork on the multiple award winning Star Control II as well as providing the voice for one of the character races, the Chmmr, in the same game.

List of video games considered the best

List of video games considered the best

This is a list of video games that multiple reputable video game journalists or magazines have considered to be among the best of all time. The games listed here are included on at least six separate "best/greatest of all time" lists from different publications, as chosen by their editorial staffs.

Mass Effect

Mass Effect

Mass Effect is a military science fiction media franchise created by Casey Hudson, Drew Karpyshyn and Preston Watamaniuk. The franchise depicts a distant future where humanity and several alien civilizations have colonized the known universe using technology left behind by advanced precursor civilizations.

Gameplay

A ZX Spectrum screenshot
A ZX Spectrum screenshot

Star Control is a combination of a strategy game and real-time one-on-one ship combat game. The ship combat is based on the game Spacewar!, while the turn-based strategy is inspired by Paul Reiche III's 1983 game Archon: The Light and the Dark.[1] Players have the option to play the full game with the turn-based campaign, or practice the one-on-one ship battles.[2] The game can be played by one player against the computer, or two players head to head.[1] The player can also assign the game's artificial intelligence to take over the strategy gameplay, the combat gameplay, or both.[3]

The strategy campaign consists of several selectable scenarios, with nine missions on home computers, and fifteen on the Sega Genesis.[2] Each turn-based strategy mission begins with opposing fleets arranged on a rotating star map,[1] with each player controlling a faction of their choice.[2] Each player has up to three ship actions per turn, which are used to explore new stars and colonize or fortify worlds.[4] These colonies provide resources to the player's ships, such as currency and crew.[1] The goal is to move one's ships across the galaxy, claim planets along the way, and destroy the player's opponent's star base.[4]

When two rival starships meet on the battlefield, an arcade-style combat sequence begins.[4] Each battle takes place on a single screen with an overhead view, zooming in as the two ships approach each other.[1] The battlefield includes a planet as a gravity well, which ships can either crash into, or glide nearby to gain momentum.[1] There are 14 different ships to choose from, with unique abilities for each.[4] Ships typically have a unique firing attack, as well as some kind of secondary ability.[1] For example, the Yehat Terminator has a forcefield, while the VUX Intruder can launch limpets that slow rival ships down.[3] Using these weapons and abilities will consume the ship's battery, which recharges automatically (with few exceptions).[1] Ships also have a limited amount of crew, representing the total damage a ship can take before being destroyed.[1] This ties into the strategic meta-game between combat, where the crew can be replenished at colonies.[1]

The different starships are organized into two warring factions, the Ur-Quan Hierarchy, and the Alliance of Free Stars.[1] Each ship has different strengths and weaknesses, determined by their unique weapons and abilities, as well as their speed, battery, crew (health), and cost.[2] Ship selection has a major influence over combat,[1] and players can discover matchups that give them an advantage.[3] While expensive ships are usually more powerful,[2] the weaker ships can still win in the hands of a skilled player.[1] The screen also displays a cockpit animation for each player, with unique character design for each alien and ship.[2] The ships also have distinct sound deign, such as the barking Chenjesu drones, or the Ur-Quan Dreadnaught bellowing "launch fighters" when it initiates a strike.[5]

As was typical of copy protection at the time, Star Control requested a special pass phrase that players found by using a three-ply code wheel, called "Professor Zorq's Instant Etiquette Analyzer".[6]

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Turn-based strategy

Turn-based strategy

A turn-based strategy (TBS) game is a strategy game where players take turns when playing. This is distinguished from real-time strategy (RTS), in which all players play simultaneously.

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Spacewar! is a space combat video game developed in 1962 by Steve Russell in collaboration with Martin Graetz, Wayne Wiitanen, Bob Saunders, Steve Piner, and others. It was written for the newly installed DEC PDP-1 minicomputer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After its initial creation, Spacewar! was expanded further by other students and employees of universities in the area, including Dan Edwards and Peter Samson. It was also spread to many of the few dozen installations of the PDP-1 computer, making Spacewar! the first known video game to be played at multiple computer installations.

Paul Reiche III

Paul Reiche III

Paul Reiche III is an American game designer, particularly known for his work on video games. Reiche is best known for being the co-creator, together with Fred Ford, of the Star Control universe.

Archon: The Light and the Dark

Archon: The Light and the Dark

Archon: The Light and the Dark is a 1983 video game developed by Free Fall Associates and one of the first five games published by Electronic Arts. It is superficially similar to chess, in that it takes place on a board with alternating black and white squares; however, instead of fixed rules when landing on another player's piece, an arcade-style fight takes place to determine the victor, and each piece has different combat abilities. The health of the player's piece is enhanced when landing on a square of one's own color.

Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive outside North America, is a 16-bit fourth generation home video game console developed and sold by Sega. It was Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released it in 1988 in Japan as the Mega Drive, and in 1989 in North America as the Genesis. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tec Toy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.

Space station

Space station

A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting a human crew in orbit for an extended period of time, and is therefore a type of space habitat. It lacks major propulsion or landing systems. An orbital station or an orbital space station is an artificial satellite. Stations must have docking ports to allow other spacecraft to dock to transfer crew and supplies. The purpose of maintaining an orbital outpost varies depending on the program. Space stations have most often been launched for scientific purposes, but military launches have also occurred.

Hill sphere

Hill sphere

The Hill sphere of an astronomical body is the region in which it dominates the attraction of satellites. To be retained by a planet, a moon must have an orbit that lies within the planet's Hill sphere. That moon would, in turn, have a Hill sphere of its own. Any object within that distance would tend to become a satellite of the moon, rather than of the planet itself. One simple view of the extent of the Solar System is the Hill sphere of the Sun with respect to local stars and the galactic nucleus.

Specific angular momentum

Specific angular momentum

In celestial mechanics, the specific relative angular momentum of a body is the angular momentum of that body divided by its mass. In the case of two orbiting bodies it is the vector product of their relative position and relative linear momentum, divided by the mass of the body in question.

Force field (technology)

Force field (technology)

In speculative fiction, a force field, sometimes known as an energy shield, force shield, energy bubble or deflector shield, is a barrier made of things like energy, negative energy, dark energy, electromagnetic fields, gravitational fields, electric fields, quantum fields, plasma, particles, radiation, solid light, or pure force. It protects a person, area, or object from attacks or intrusions or even deflects energy attacks back at the attacker. This fictional technology is created as a field of energy without mass that acts as a wall, so that objects affected by the particular force relating to the field are unable to pass through the field and reach the other side, are deflected or destroyed. Actual research in the 21st century has looked into the potential to deflect radiation or cosmic rays, but also more extensive shielding.

Limpet mine

Limpet mine

A limpet mine is a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets. It is so named because of its superficial similarity to the shape of the limpet, a type of sea snail that clings tightly to rocks or other hard surfaces.

Copy protection

Copy protection

Copy protection, also known as content protection, copy prevention and copy restriction, describes measures to enforce copyright by preventing the reproduction of software, films, music, and other media.

Plot

Star Control reveals its plot through the each scenario in the game's campaign,[2] as well as the game's instruction manual.[1] The story takes place during a war between two interstellar factions of alien species: the peaceful Alliance of Free Stars, and the invading Ur-Quan Hierarchy.[1][3]

Characters

The Ur-Quan is the oldest and most advanced species in known space, resembling giant predatory caterpillars with a rigid social order. As slavers, the Ur-Quan recruit other species into their Hierarchy as serfs, which includes their genetically engineered translators, the Talking Pets. The mollusk-like Spathi are cowardly by nature, and were easily coerced into the Hierarchy. The fungoid Mycon joined the Hierarchy freely and fanatically, while the blobbish Umgah joined out of boredom, amused by the war as a great interstellar prank. Two Hierarchy species hold a grudge against Earth, including the humanoid Androsynth who escaped Earth as renegade clones, and the one-eyed VUX, whose were insulted by a human during their first contact.[7]

The Chenjesu are the most powerful members of the Alliance, a species of crystalline philosophers who consume electrical energy. Earth joined the Alliance as a multinational crew under their planetary defense organization, Star Control. The Alliance includes the marsupial Shofixti, a brave warrior species who were technologically uplifted by the Yehat,[7] a militant species of avian dinosaurs.[8] The allied Mmrnmhrm are robots with transforming ships, while the Syreen are female humanoids who use their psychic abilities to hypnotize enemy crew. The Arilou are a race of "space elves" with hyper-jump capable vessels, who also have a history of "tormenting" Earth.[7]

Throughout the campaign, each side discovers powerful relics belonging to the Precursors, an unknown lost species who once inhabited nearby space, hundreds of thousands of years ago.[7]

Story

Humanity encounters a first alien contact near their Ceres outpost, where they receive an urgent warning from the Chenjesu. The crystalline aliens explain that the Ur-Quan Hierarchy is annihilating them and their allies. The Alliance council previously decided that Earth was not strong enough to make a difference, but now the Ur-Quan slavers and their minions have broken through the Alliance defenses, and are approaching the solar system. The diplomats of Earth agree to join the Alliance, earning a position on the Alliance council, and an Alliance pact to defend Earth and its space colonies.[7]

The campaign begins with a lone Syreen Penetrator vessel attempting to stop the Androsynth from redeploying. The first full battle breaks out where both spheres of influence meet with a mix of combatants, followed by a single Ur-Quan dreadnaught trying to stamp out a fleet of Shofixti scouts. The next encounter takes place in an uncolonized sector between Hierarchy and Alliance starbases. By the fifth and sixth scenarios, the war has escalated to multi-ship battles, including an Ur-Quan armada rampaging towards an Alliance stronghold. The final encounters of the campaign feature a Spathi assault on a Mmrnmhrm mining cluster, and two battles between all members of each faction, with and without starbase support.[7][9]

The Sega Genesis version features additional scenarios. In neutral space, an Alliance task force attempts to stop the spread of Mycon colonies. Where the Hierarchy has the advantage, they attempt to conquer Earth's surrounding solar system. Meanwhile, a lone Chenjesu Broodhome finds itself outnumbered by a Hierarchy force, while the Hierarchy tries to defend its colonies from an invading fleet of Syreen Penetrators. There are also scenarios that favor the Alliance, where they defend a stronghold against a VUX incursion, and also confront a Hierarchy fleet pressing deep into Alliance territory.[10]

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Extraterrestrial life

Extraterrestrial life

Extraterrestrial life, colloquially referred to as alien life, is life that may occur outside of Earth and which did not originate on Earth. No extraterrestrial life has yet been conclusively detected, although efforts are underway. Such life might range from simple forms like prokaryotes to intelligent beings, possibly bringing forth civilizations that might be far more advanced than humankind. The Drake equation speculates about the existence of sapient life elsewhere in the universe. The science of extraterrestrial life is known as astrobiology.

Serfdom

Serfdom

Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century.

Mollusca

Mollusca

Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda, the members of which are known as molluscs or mollusks. Around 85,000 extant species of molluscs are recognized. The number of fossil species is estimated between 60,000 and 100,000 additional species. The proportion of undescribed species is very high. Many taxa remain poorly studied.

Fungus

Fungus

A fungus is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, separately from the other eukaryotic kingdoms, which by one traditional classification include Plantae, Animalia, Protozoa, and Chromista.

Earth in science fiction

Earth in science fiction

An overwhelming majority of fiction is set on or features the Earth. This also holds true of science fiction, despite perceptions to the contrary. Counterfactual depictions of the shape of the Earth, be it flat or hollow, occasionally are featured. A personified, living Earth appears in a handful of works. In works set in the far future, Earth can be a center of space-faring human civilization, or just one of many inhabited planets of a galactic empire, and sometimes destroyed by ecological disaster or nuclear war or otherwise forgotten or lost.

Human cloning

Human cloning

Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human. The term is generally used to refer to artificial human cloning, which is the reproduction of human cells and tissue. It does not refer to the natural conception and delivery of identical twins. The possibility of human cloning has raised controversies. These ethical concerns have prompted several nations to pass laws regarding human cloning.

Marsupial

Marsupial

Marsupials are any members of the mammalian infraclass Marsupialia. All extant marsupials are endemic to Australasia, Wallacea and the Americas. A distinctive characteristic common to most of these species is that the young are carried in a pouch. Living marsupials include opossums, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabies, and bandicoots among others, while many extinct species, such as the thylacine, are also known.

Humanoid

Humanoid

A humanoid is a non-human entity with human form or characteristics. The earliest recorded use of the term, in 1870, referred to indigenous peoples in areas colonized by Europeans. By the 20th century, the term came to describe fossils which were morphologically similar, but not identical, to those of the human skeleton.

Elf

Elf

An elf (pl. elves) is a type of humanoid supernatural being in Germanic mythology and folklore. Elves appear especially in North Germanic mythology, being mentioned in the Icelandic Poetic Edda and Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda.

First contact (science fiction)

First contact (science fiction)

First contact is a common science fiction theme about the first meeting between humans and extraterrestrial life, or of any sentient species' first encounter with another one, given they are from different planets or natural satellites. The theme allows writers to explore such topics such as xenophobia, transcendentalism, and basic linguistics by adapting the anthropological topic of first contact to extraterrestrial cultures.

Ceres (dwarf planet)

Ceres (dwarf planet)

Ceres is a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It was the first asteroid discovered, on 1 January 1801, by Giuseppe Piazzi at Palermo Astronomical Observatory in Sicily and announced as a new planet. Ceres was later classified as an asteroid and then a dwarf planet – the only one always inside Neptune's orbit.

Solar System

Solar System

The Solar System is the gravitationally bound system of the Sun and the objects that orbit it. It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. The vast majority (99.86%) of the system's mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in the planet Jupiter. The four inner system planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars—are terrestrial planets, being composed primarily of rock and metal. The four giant planets of the outer system are substantially larger and more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are gas giants, being composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the next two, Uranus and Neptune, are ice giants, being composed mostly of volatile substances with relatively high melting points compared with hydrogen and helium, such as water, ammonia, and methane. All eight planets have nearly circular orbits that lie near the plane of Earth's orbit, called the ecliptic.

Development

Conception

The mock-up image that Paul Reiche used to secure a publisher for the game. According to Reiche, "the idea was 3D space combat with the sort of asymmetrical match-ups we’d done with Archon."[11]
The mock-up image that Paul Reiche used to secure a publisher for the game. According to Reiche, "the idea was 3D space combat with the sort of asymmetrical match-ups we’d done with Archon."[11]

Star Control was created by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford,[11][12] who both attended the University of California Berkeley around the same time, and both entered the video game industry in the early 1980s.[13] Reiche had started his career working for Dungeons & Dragons publisher TSR, before developing PC games for Free Fall Associates.[14] After releasing World Tour Golf, Reiche created an advertising mock-up for what would become Star Control, showing a dreadnaught and some ships fighting. He pitched the game to Electronic Arts, before instead securing an agreement with Accolade as a publisher, thanks to Reiche's former producer taking a job there.[15] Meanwhile, Ford had started his career creating games for Japanese personal computers before transitioning to more corporate software development.[11] After a few years working at graphics companies in Silicon Valley, Ford realized he missed working in the game industry.[15] At this point, Reiche needed a programmer-engineer and Ford was seeking a designer-artist, so their mutual friends set up a gaming night to re-introduce them.[14] The meeting was hosted at game designer Greg Johnson's house,[15] and one of the friends who encouraged the meeting was fantasy artist Erol Otus.[16]

Star Control began as an evolution of concepts that Reiche created in Archon: The Light and the Dark and Mail Order Monsters.[11] The project would adapt the action-strategy gameplay of Archon into a science fiction setting, where unique combatants fight space battles using distinct abilities.[11][14] Also called StarCon, the title was a play on words.[1][17] According to Ford, "StarCon is really just Archon with an S-T in front of it", pointing to the one-on-one combat and strategic modes of both games.[15] Star Control would base its combat sequences on the classic game Spacewar!,[12] as well as the core experience of space combat game Star Raiders.[18]

This was the first collaboration between Ford and Reiche,[11][12] who decided to limit the game's scope to establish an effective workflow.[14] Releasing the game under their personal names, they also began referring to their partnership as Toys for Bob.[7][11] Programmer Robert Leyland and artist Erol Otus had both worked with Ford at his previous place of employment, and joined him as he began work on Star Control.[11]

Design and production

Fred Ford's first prototype was a two-player action game where the VUX and Yehat ships blow up asteroids, which led them to build the entire universe around that simple play experience.[11] Ford designed the Yehat starship with a crescent-shape, and the ship's shield-generator led them to optimize the ship for close combat.[15] They built on these two original ships with many additional ships and character concepts,[12] and play-tested them with friends such as Greg Johnson and Robert Leyland.[15] The team preferred to iterate on ship designs rather than plan them, as they discovered different play-styles during testing.[15] The asymmetry between the combatants became essential to the experience. Ford explained: "Our ships weren't balanced at all, one on one... but the idea was, your fleet of ships, your selection of ships in total was as strong as someone else's, and then, it came down to which matchup did you find".[17] Still, the ships were still given some balance by having their energy recharge at different rates.[15]

Although the story does not factor heavily into the game,[1] the character concepts were created based on the ship designs.[14] The team would begin with paper illustrations, followed by logical abilities for those ships, and a character concept that suited the ship's look-and-feel.[11] The first ship sketches were based on popular science fiction, such as SpaceWar! or Battlestar Galactica, and slowly evolved into original designs as they discussed why the ships were fighting each other.[15] Reiche describes their character creation process: "I know it probably sounds weird, but when I design a game like this, I make drawings of the characters and stare at them. I hold little conversations with them. 'What do you guys do?' And they tell me".[12] By the end of this process, they wrote a short summary for each alien, describing their story and personality.[15]

After creating a large ship that launches fighters on command, Reiche and Ford decided this would be a dominating race.[17] These antagonists would be called the Ur-Quan, with a motivation to dominate the galaxy to hunt for slaves, and an appearance based on a National Geographic image of a predatory caterpillar dangling over its prey.[12] They decided to organize the characters into nominally "good" and "bad" factions, each with seven unique races and ships, with the humans on the good side.[15] As they were creating the alien characters based on the ship abilities, the Spathi's cowardly personality was inspired by their backwards-shooting missiles.[14] A more robotic ship inspired an alien race called the Androsynth, whose appearance was imagined as Devo flying a spaceship.[11] Reiche and Ford were also inspired by character concepts in David Brin's The Uplift War. The designers asked what kind of race would be uplifted by the fiercely heroic Yehat, and decided to create the Shofixti as a ferocious super rodent.[14] The team also decided that the game would need more humanoid characters, and created the Syreen as a powerful and attractive humanoid female race.[15] When they saw that the Syreen ship resembled a cross between a rocket ship and a ribbed condom, Fred Ford suggested calling it the Syreen Penetrator, which coincidentally happened moments before the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake.[19]

The game's file size was largely devoted to sound effects,[1] with audio sampled from famous science fiction media,[3] as well as original sound designs for other alien ships.[5] Each alien race also has a short victory theme song, composed by Reiche's friend Tommy Dunbar of The Rubinoos. The longer Ur-Quan theme played at the end of the game was composed by fantasy artist Erol Otus.[15]

Porting and compatibility

Paul Reiche III, Fred Ford, and Rob Dubbin give a postmortem of the game's development at GDC 2015.
Paul Reiche III, Fred Ford, and Rob Dubbin give a postmortem of the game's development at GDC 2015.

The number of visible colors was a major technological limitation at the time, and the team created different settings for CGA, EGA, and VGA monitors.[14] A separate team ported a stripped down version of the game to the Commodore 64, Amstrad, and ZX Spectrum, which meant reducing the number of ships to eight, as well introducing new bugs and balance issues.[2] Additional problems were caused by the number of simultaneous key-presses required for a multiplayer game, which required Ford to code a solution that would work across multiple different computer keyboards.[14]

Star Control was ported to the Sega Genesis,[20] in a team led by Fred Ford.[15] Because the Genesis port was a cartridge-based game with no battery backup, it lacked the scenario-creator of the PC version, but it came pre-loaded with a few additional scenarios not originally in the game.[21] Where the PC version featured synthesized audio, the team discovered the digital MOD file format to help port the music to console, which would become the core music format for the sequel.[14] It took nearly 5 months to convert the code and color palettes,[21] leaving little time to optimize the game under Accolade's tight schedule, leading to slowdown issues.[22][23] Released under Accolade's new "Ballistic" label for high quality games, the game was touted as the first 12-megabit cartridge created for the system.[20] The box art for the Sega version was adapted from the original PC version, this time re-painted by artist Boris Vallejo.[2]

The Genesis port was not authorized by Sega.[14] Frustrated with Sega's licensing requirements, Accolade decided to reverse engineer the console to disable the code that locked out unlicensed games.[24][25] This allowed Accolade to port several games to the Genesis from their previous list of releases, including Star Control.[26] Sega responded by suing Accolade for copyright infringement, but the appeal court found that reverse engineering was a fair use exception to copying the code without Sega's authorization.[27][26] The ruling set an influential precedent, allowing other instances of reverse engineering to continue without penalty.[28] Sega eventually settled the lawsuit in Accolade's favor, making them a licensed Sega developer.[29]

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Paul Reiche III

Paul Reiche III

Paul Reiche III is an American game designer, particularly known for his work on video games. Reiche is best known for being the co-creator, together with Fred Ford, of the Star Control universe.

Fred Ford (programmer)

Fred Ford (programmer)

Robert Frederick Ford is an American video game programmer. He is the son of mathematician L. R. Ford Jr.

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. The game was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). It has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. The game was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry, and also deeply influenced video games, especially the role-playing video game genre.

Free Fall Associates

Free Fall Associates

Free Fall Associates was a video game developer of the 1980s and early 1990s founded in 1981 by game designer Jon Freeman, game programmer Anne Westfall, and game designer Paul Reiche III. Westfall and Freeman are married. To start the new company, Freeman and Westfall left Epyx, the company Freeman co-founded in 1978. Free Fall Associates is best known for Archon: The Light and the Dark (1983), which was one of the first games from new publisher Electronic Arts.

Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California. Founded in May 1982 by Apple employee Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer game industry and promoted the designers and programmers responsible for its games as "software artists." EA published numerous games and some productivity software for personal computers, all of which were developed by external individuals or groups until 1987's Skate or Die!. The company shifted toward internal game studios, often through acquisitions, such as Distinctive Software becoming EA Canada in 1991.

Accolade (company)

Accolade (company)

Accolade, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher based in San Jose, California. The company was founded as Accolade in 1984 by Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead, who had previously co-founded Activision in 1979. The company became known for numerous sports game series, including HardBall!, Jack Nicklaus and Test Drive.

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is a region in Northern California that serves as a global center for high technology and innovation. Located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area, it corresponds roughly to the geographical areas San Mateo County and Santa Clara County. San Jose is Silicon Valley's largest city, the third-largest in California, and the tenth-largest in the United States; other major Silicon Valley cities include Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Redwood City, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Cupertino. The San Jose Metropolitan Area has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world, according to the Brookings Institution, and, as of June 2021, has the highest percentage of homes valued at $1 million or more in the United States.

Greg Johnson (game designer)

Greg Johnson (game designer)

Greg Johnson is an American video game designer who has worked for Binary Systems and Electronic Arts, was co-founder with Mark Voorsanger of ToeJam & Earl Productions Inc., and in 2006 founded his own company, HumaNature Studios. He is known for the iconic ToeJam & Earl series (1991–present), and his design credits additionally include Starflight (1986), Game of the Year Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula (1989), the multi-award-winning Orly's Draw-A-Story (1997), Kung Fu Panda World (2010), and Doki-Doki Universe (2013), Back in the Groove (2015),

Erol Otus

Erol Otus

Erol Otus is an American artist and game designer, known internationally for his contributions to the fantasy role-playing game (RPG) genre, especially early in the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. He is also known for his artwork on the multiple award winning Star Control II as well as providing the voice for one of the character races, the Chmmr, in the same game.

Archon: The Light and the Dark

Archon: The Light and the Dark

Archon: The Light and the Dark is a 1983 video game developed by Free Fall Associates and one of the first five games published by Electronic Arts. It is superficially similar to chess, in that it takes place on a board with alternating black and white squares; however, instead of fixed rules when landing on another player's piece, an arcade-style fight takes place to determine the victor, and each piece has different combat abilities. The health of the player's piece is enhanced when landing on a square of one's own color.

Mail Order Monsters

Mail Order Monsters

Mail Order Monsters is an action-strategy computer game created by Paul Reiche III, Evan Robinson, and Nicky Robinson. It was published by Electronic Arts for the Commodore 64 in 1985, then released for Atari 8-bit family in 1986. Players create monsters which they can use to battle multiplayer or against computer-controlled opponents.

Spacewar!

Spacewar!

Spacewar! is a space combat video game developed in 1962 by Steve Russell in collaboration with Martin Graetz, Wayne Wiitanen, Bob Saunders, Steve Piner, and others. It was written for the newly installed DEC PDP-1 minicomputer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After its initial creation, Spacewar! was expanded further by other students and employees of universities in the area, including Dan Edwards and Peter Samson. It was also spread to many of the few dozen installations of the PDP-1 computer, making Spacewar! the first known video game to be played at multiple computer installations.

Reception

Star Control was a commercial success at the time, reaching the top 5 on the PC sales charts by September 1990.[14] According to a retrospective by Finnish gaming magazine Pelit, the game would go on to sell 120,000 copies, leading Accolade to request a sequel from creators Reiche and Ford.[42]

The game earned wide acclaim for its arcade-style combat, including its tactical depth and player-vs-player mode.[3][36][38][30][31] MegaTech enjoyed mastering the different starships, earning the game an editorial Hyper Game Award as "one of the best two-player Mega Drive games ever".[30] Similarly, Computer and Video Games chose Star Control for their editorial "CVG Hit" award, highlighting the variety of weapons, the fun of learning favorable matchups, and the overall playability of the game's two-player mode.[3] Italian publication The Games Machine celebrated Star Control as a modern re-invention of Spacewar!, recommending the combat mode for its range of options, its automatic camera zoom, and its implementation of physics.[38] Entertainment Weekly also recommended the game for evolving the Spacewar! formula with a variety of unique ships.[36] The arcade combat earned additional praise for its replayability from Computer Gaming World,[34] Digital Press,[5] Videogame & Computer World,[31] and Raze Magazine.[39]

Several publications celebrated Star Control for its artistic details, including its character designs and animations.[5][3][38][39][43] Digital Press praised the personality of the alien ships for their portraits, and the lore behind each species.[5] Strategy Plus appreciated the unique humor and personality of the aliens, highlighting the design of the Syreen and their Penetrator ship, as well as "silly" names like Chenjesu commander Bzrrak Ktazzz.[43]Videogame & Computer World praised the unique animations of the aliens,[31] while Strategy Plus declared the game's graphics as "truly spectacular in 256 color VGA".[43] The Games Machine celebrated the game's many graphical details, particularly the alien pilots.[38] French publication Joystick offered its strongest praise for the game's art and environment.[37] The game's audio design was also highlighted by several publications.[5][3][37] Digital Press felt that the sound effects for the Ur-Quan and Chenjesu gave their ships a "fantastic" personality,[5] while Computer and Video Games praised the audio for drawing on popular science fiction.[3]

Several reviewers were more critical of the game's strategic mode.[36][34][39][37] Computer Gaming World found that it lacked depth,[34] and Joystick compared the strategy sections unfavorably to the game's combat.[37] Entertainment Weekly criticized the star map as difficult to see,[36] while Raze Magazine found it tedious to operate the strategy game menus on the Sega Genesis.[39]

Originally released for the PC, Star Control received criticism for its porting to other platforms.[2][39] Advanced Computer Entertainment called the Amiga version "disappointing", denouncing the load times and "tacky two-dimensional combat sequences that look as if they've been borrowed from an early Eighties coin-op".[44] Computer and Video Games similarly compared the Amiga version of Star Control to the "aging co-op Spacewar!".[35] While reviewing the Sega Genesis version, Computer and Video Games described the graphics as inferior to other titles on the console.[3] Raze Magazine felt that it lacked the polish and depth of the original PC version, criticizing the sprites and environments, while still offering praise for the detailed portraits.[39]

The year of the game's release, Video Games & Computer Entertainment gave Star Control an award for "Best Computer Science Fiction Game", noting that "the two creators have put together a game that is great either as a full simulation or an action-combat contest".[40] They later highlighted the game in a list of science fiction releases, proclaiming "Reiche and Ford's action-strategy tour de force is one of the most absorbing and challenging science fiction games of all-time".[45] The game was additionally nominated for Best Action/Arcade Program at the 1991 Spring Symposium of the Software Publishers Association.[41]

Legacy and impact

Star Control has been received several retrospective awards from gaming publications.[46][47][48] In 1996, Video Games & Computer Entertainment ranked it as the 127th best game, describing it as "Space War enters the 90s with a touch of humor".[46] In 2001, PC Gameplay ranked Star Control as the 45th most influential game of all time, based on a survey of dozens of game studios.[48] In 2017, Polygon ranked it as number 253 in their top 500 games of all time, arguing that "as a melee or strategic game, it helped define the idea that games can be malleable and dynamic and players can make an experience wholly their own".[47] Journalist Jamie Lendino also noted Star Control among the most significant PC games of the early 1990s, for successfully combining an action game with science fiction strategy.[49] The game is also celebrated for the debut of the Ur-Quan, as "one of the all-time villainous races in the history of computer games".[12]

Years after its release, Pelit recalled the original Star Control for its polished combat system, as well as the creativity of its character designs.[42] In 2005, Retro Gamer described Star Control as "a textbook example of good game design", where "two genres were brilliantly combined, making for a finely balanced and well-rounded game experience".[2] The publication further highlighted the many "elements that gave Star Control 'soul'", describing it as "the seed from which the vastly expanded narrative found in Star Control II grew".[2] IGN celebrated Star Control as a "special game" for "its colorful universe and superb combat system", which laid the foundation for its acclaimed sequel Star Control II.[50] In a retrospective, Hardcore Gaming 101 attributed the game's legacy to its combat system, and the story and characters that would be further developed in the sequel.[1][8]

Founder of BioWare, Ray Muzyka, has cited the original Star Control as an inspiration for the Mass Effect series of games, stating that "the uncharted worlds in Mass Effect comes from imagining what a freely explorable universe would be like inside a very realistic next-gen game".[51] Former BioWare writer Mike Laidlaw praised the creativity of the Star Control ship designs, and credited the game with laying the foundation for its sequel, which influenced him as a writer on Mass Effect.[8] Creative producer Henrik Fahraeus has also cited the game's influence on Paradox Interactive's character designs in Stellaris, particularly the bird-like and mushroom-like aliens.[8]

Discover more about Reception related topics

Computer Gaming World

Computer Gaming World

Computer Gaming World (CGW) was an American computer game magazine published between 1981 and 2006. One of the few magazines of the era to survive the video game crash of 1983, it was sold to Ziff Davis in 1993. It expanded greatly through the 1990s and became one of the largest dedicated video game magazines, reaching around 500 pages by 1997.

Computer and Video Games

Computer and Video Games

Computer and Video Games was a UK-based video game magazine, published in its original form between 1981 and 2004. Its offshoot website was launched in 1999 and closed in February 2015. CVG was the longest-running video game media brand in the world.

MegaTech

MegaTech

MegaTech was a publication from EMAP aimed specifically at the Sega Mega Drive gaming market. The magazine was started in 1991. The launch editorial consisted of a small team including Paul Glancey (editor) and Mark Patterson. It was published monthly. In 1993 the magazine was acquired by Maverick Magazines. It ceased publication in 1994 when it was merged into Mega magazine.

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment

VideoGames & Computer Entertainment was an American magazine dedicated to covering video games on computers, home consoles and arcades. It was published by LFP, Inc. from the late 1980s until the mid-1990s. Offering game reviews, previews, game strategies and cheat codes as well as coverage of the general industry, VG&CE was also one of the first magazines to cover both home console and computer games. The magazine gave out annual awards in a variety of categories, divided between the best of home video games and computer video games. The magazine featured original artwork by Alan Hunter and other freelance artists.

Pelit

Pelit

Pelit ("Games") is a Finnish video games magazine published in Helsinki, Finland.

The Games Machine (Italy)

The Games Machine (Italy)

The Games Machine, also known by the acronym TGM, is an Italian video game magazine that features previews, reviews and cheat codes.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly is an American digital-only entertainment magazine based in New York City, published by Dotdash Meredith, that covers film, television, music, Broadway theatre, books, and popular culture. The magazine debuted on February 16, 1990, in New York City.

Video Graphics Array

Video Graphics Array

Video Graphics Array (VGA) is a video display controller and accompanying de facto graphics standard, first introduced with the IBM PS/2 line of computers in 1987, which became ubiquitous in the PC industry within three years. The term can now refer to the computer display standard, the 15-pin D-subminiature VGA connector, or the 640×480 resolution characteristic of the VGA hardware.

Joystick (magazine)

Joystick (magazine)

Joystick was a French computer magazine that published monthly issues on PC games. It was founded in 1988 by Marc Andersen, who later left in November 1995. Originally published in the form of a 32-page weekly magazine in 1988 and 1989, it saw monthly 148-page issues past 1990. It initially sold with one or more floppy disks and then later with several CD-ROMs, and finally, until April 2012, a DVD that included complete copies of video games. In 2012, Joystick ceased distribution.

ACE (magazine)

ACE (magazine)

ACE was a multi-format computer and video game magazine first published in the United Kingdom by Future Publishing and later acquired by EMAP.

Amiga

Amiga

Amiga is a family of personal computers introduced by Commodore in 1985. The original model is one of a number of mid-1980s computers with 16- or 16/32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-based GUIs, and significantly improved graphics and audio compared to previous 8-bit systems. These systems include the Atari ST—released earlier the same year—as well as the Macintosh and Acorn Archimedes. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, the Amiga differs from its contemporaries through the inclusion of custom hardware to accelerate graphics and sound, including sprites and a blitter, and a pre-emptive multitasking operating system called AmigaOS.

Software and Information Industry Association

Software and Information Industry Association

The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) is a trade association dedicated to the entertainment, consumer and business software industries. Established in 1984 as the Software Publishers Association (SPA), the SIIA took its new name when it merged with the related Information Industry Association on January 1, 1999. The joint enterprise was headed by Software Publishers Association founder Ken Wasch and operated out of the SPA's existing offices.

Sequels and open-source remake

Star Control II

Star Control II is an action-adventure science fiction game, set in an open world.[52] The game was originally published by Accolade in 1992 for MS-DOS, and was later ported to the 3DO with enhanced multimedia elements.[53] Created by Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, it vastly expands on the story and characters introduced in the first game.[8] When the player discovers that Earth has been encased in a slave shield, they must recruit allies to liberate the galaxy.[54] The game features ship-to-ship combat based on the original Star Control, but removes the first game's strategy elements to focus on story and dialog.[53] Star Control II has earned critical acclaim[55] and is considered one of the best games of all time through the 1990s,[56] 2000s,[57] and 2010s.[58] It is also ranked among the best games in several creative areas, including writing,[59] world design,[60] character design,[61] and music.[62]

Star Control 3

Star Control 3 is an adventure science fiction video game developed by Legend Entertainment, and published by Accolade in 1996.[63][64] The story takes place after the events of Star Control II when the player must travel deeper into the galaxy to investigate the mysterious collapse of hyperspace.[65] Several game systems from Star Control II are changed.[63] Hyperspace navigation is replaced with instant fast travel, and planet landing is replaced with a colony system inspired by the original Star Control.[64] Accolade hired Legend Entertainment to develop the game after original creators Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford decided to pursue other projects.[66] Though the game was considered a critical and commercial success upon release, it would receive unfavourable comparisons to Star Control II, with some fans regarding it as non-canonical.[67][68][69]

Cancelled Star Control 4

In January 1998, Accolade announced that they were developing Star Control 4.[70][71] Also known as StarCon, it was designed as a 3D space combat game.[72][73] By this time, Electronic Arts had agreed to become the distributor for all games developed by Accolade.[74] Accolade producer George MacDonald announced that "we want to move away from the adventure element and concentrate on what it seems the players really want – action!"[71] Though heavier on combat than previous titles, players would still have the opportunity to fly to planets and communicate with different aliens.[75] The team also created a Star Control History Compendium, to help them resolve storylines from the previous games.[71] In a playable alpha version of the game, players could control a fleet carrier, with the ability to launch a fighter that could be controlled by either the same player or a second player.[76] The game was later announced for the PlayStation home console with plans for release in 1999, featuring a 40-hour variable storyline, and both competitive and co-operative multiplayer.[70] Electronic Arts and Accolade promoted the choice of playing as "one of two alliances (Hyperium or Crux)", with the option of operating a fighter, carrier, or turrets.[77] Another publication described the ability to select from three different alien factions, with different missions that impact the storyline, and the ability to destroy entire planets.[78]

Development on the game was halted at the end of 1998. Not satisfied with the game's progress, Accolade put the project on hold with intentions to re-evaluate their plans for the Star Control license.[79][80] In 1999, Accolade was acquired by Infogrames SA for $50 million,[81] as one of many corporate restructurings that eventually led to Infogrames merging with Atari and re-branding under a revived Atari brand.[82] Star Control 3 became the last official instalment of the series.[8][83][84]

The Ur-Quan Masters

By the early 2000s, Accolade's copyright license for Star Control expired, triggered by a contractual clause when the games were no longer generating royalties.[85][86] As the games were no longer available for sale, Reiche and Ford wanted to keep their work in the public eye, to maintain an audience for a potential sequel.[15] Reiche and Ford still owned the copyrights in Star Control and its sequel Star Control II, but they could not successfully purchase the Star Control trademark from Accolade, leading them to consider a new title for a potential follow-up.[69][87] This led them to remake Star Control II as The Ur-Quan Masters,[88] which they released in 2002 as a free download under an open source copyright license.[89] The official free release is maintained by an active fan community,[90] and prevented Star Control II from becoming abandonware.[91]

Discover more about Sequels and open-source remake related topics

Action-adventure game

Action-adventure game

The action-adventure genre is a video game hybrid genre that combines core elements from both the action game and adventure game genres.

Open world

Open world

In video games, an open world is a virtual world in which the player can approach objectives freely, as opposed to a world with more linear and structured gameplay. While games have used open-world designs since the 1980s, the implementation in Grand Theft Auto III (2001) set a standard for the concept which has been used since.

Accolade (company)

Accolade (company)

Accolade, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher based in San Jose, California. The company was founded as Accolade in 1984 by Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead, who had previously co-founded Activision in 1979. The company became known for numerous sports game series, including HardBall!, Jack Nicklaus and Test Drive.

MS-DOS

MS-DOS

MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers mostly developed by Microsoft. Collectively, MS-DOS, its rebranding as IBM PC DOS, and a few operating systems attempting to be compatible with MS-DOS, are sometimes referred to as "DOS". MS-DOS was the main operating system for IBM PC compatibles during the 1980s, from which point it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in various generations of the graphical Microsoft Windows operating system.

3DO Interactive Multiplayer

3DO Interactive Multiplayer

The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, also referred to as simply 3DO, is a home video game console developed by The 3DO Company. Conceived by entrepreneur and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the 3DO was not a console manufactured by the company itself, but a set of specifications, originally designed by Dave Needle and Robert J. Mical of New Technologies Group, that could be licensed by third parties. Panasonic produced the first models in 1993, and further renditions of the hardware were released in 1994 by GoldStar, and in 1995 by Sanyo.

List of video games considered the best

List of video games considered the best

This is a list of video games that multiple reputable video game journalists or magazines have considered to be among the best of all time. The games listed here are included on at least six separate "best/greatest of all time" lists from different publications, as chosen by their editorial staffs.

Adventure game

Adventure game

An adventure game is a video game genre in which the player assumes the role of a protagonist in an interactive story, driven by exploration and/or puzzle-solving. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media, such as literature and film, encompassing a wide variety of genres. Most adventure games are designed for a single player, since the emphasis on story and character makes multiplayer design difficult. Colossal Cave Adventure is identified as the first such adventure game, first released in 1976, while other notable adventure game series include Zork, King's Quest, Monkey Island, Syberia, and Myst.

Legend Entertainment

Legend Entertainment

Legend Entertainment Company was an American developer and publisher of computer games, best known for creating adventure titles throughout the 1990s. The company was founded by Bob Bates and Mike Verdu, both veterans of the interactive fiction studio Infocom that shut down in 1989. Legend's first two games, Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All the Girls and Timequest, had strong sales that sustained the company. Legend also profited from negotiating licenses to popular book series, allowing them to create notable game adaptations such as Companions of Xanth and Gateway . Legend also earned a reputation for comedic adventures, with numerous awards for Eric the Unready in 1993. As the technology of the game industry changed, Legend continued to expand its game engine to take advantage of higher graphical fidelity, mouse support, and the increased media storage of the compact disc.

Paul Reiche III

Paul Reiche III

Paul Reiche III is an American game designer, particularly known for his work on video games. Reiche is best known for being the co-creator, together with Fred Ford, of the Star Control universe.

Fred Ford (programmer)

Fred Ford (programmer)

Robert Frederick Ford is an American video game programmer. He is the son of mathematician L. R. Ford Jr.

Canonical

Canonical

The adjective canonical is applied in many contexts to mean "according to the canon" – the standard, rule or primary source that is accepted as authoritative for the body of knowledge or literature in that context. In mathematics, "canonical example" is often used to mean "archetype".

George MacDonald

George MacDonald

George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet and Christian Congregational minister. He became a pioneering figure in the field of modern fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow-writer Lewis Carroll. In addition to his fairy tales, MacDonald wrote several works of Christian theology, including several collections of sermons.

Aftermath

Fans continued to demand a new Star Control game well into the 2000s.[92][93] Reiche and Ford expressed interest in creating either an updated Star Control II or an alternate Star Control 3, particularly if they found the right publisher.[94] During this time, thousands of fans started a petition in hopes of inspiring a sequel.[95] Toys for Bob producer Alex Ness responded in April 2006 with an article on the company website, stating that "if enough of you people out there send me emails requesting that Toys For Bob do a legitimate sequel to Star Control 2, I'll be able to show them to Activision, along with a loaded handgun, and they will finally be convinced to roll the dice on this thing".[96] In the months that followed, Ness announced the petition's impact, reporting that "there did honestly seem to be some real live interest on [Activision's] part. At least on the prototype and concept-test level. This is something we may in fact get to do when we finish our current game".[97] In a 2011 interview about their next game Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, Reiche declared that they will one day make the real sequel.[98]

Intellectual property split

By the early 2000s, the Star Control trademark was held by Infogrames Entertainment.[88] Star Control publisher Accolade had sold their company to Infogrames in 1999,[99] who merged with Atari and re-branded under the Atari name in 2003.[100] In September 2007, Atari released an online Flash game with the name Star Control, created by independent game developer Iocaine Studios. Atari ordered the game to be delivered in just four days, which Iocaine produced in two days.[101] Also in September, Atari applied to renew the Star Control trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, citing images of Iocaine's flash game to demonstrate their declaration of use in commerce.[102]

Atari declared bankruptcy in 2013, and their assets were listed for auction.[103] When Stardock became the top bidder for Atari's Star Control assets, Paul Reiche indicated that he still owned the copyrighted materials from the first two Star Control games, which implied that Stardock must have purchased the Star Control trademark and the copyright in any original elements of Star Control 3. Stardock confirmed this intellectual property split soon after.[104][105][106] As Stardock began developing their new Star Control game, they re-iterated that they did not acquire the copyright to the first two games, and that they would need a license from Reiche and Ford to use their content and lore.[107] Reiche and Ford echoed this understanding in their 2015 Game Developers Conference interview, stating that Stardock's game would use the Star Control trademark only.[14] After a lawsuit, the parties agreed on the same separation of rights, with Stardock using the Star Control name, and Reiche and Ford announcing a sequel to The Ur-Quan Masters after a mandated quiet period.[108][109]

Discover more about Aftermath related topics

Activision

Activision

Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, and consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016.

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is the first video game in the Skylanders series. It is a 3D action-adventure platform game that is played along with toy figures that interact with it through a "Portal of Power" that reads their tag through NFC and features the voices of Josh Keaton, Darin De Paul, Dave Wittenberg, Keythe Farley, Audrey Wasilewski, Joey Camen and Kevin Michael Richardson.

Atari SA

Atari SA

Atari SA is a French video game holding company headquartered in Paris. Its subsidiaries include Atari Interactive and Atari, Inc. It is the current owner of the Atari brand through Atari Interactive. Because of continuing pressures upon the company and difficulty finding investors, it sought bankruptcy protection under French law in January 2013; its subsidiaries in the United States have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as well. All three subsidiaries have since exited bankruptcy.

Atari

Atari

Atari is a brand name that has been owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by French publisher Atari SA through a subsidiary named Atari Interactive. The original Atari, Inc., founded in Sunnyvale, California, in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles and home computers. The company's products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s.

Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash is a multimedia software platform used for production of animations, rich web applications, desktop applications, mobile apps, mobile games, and embedded web browser video players. Flash displays text, vector graphics, and raster graphics to provide animations, video games, and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video, and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera input.

Allegation of use

Allegation of use

An allegation of use is a necessary filing in the prosecution of an intent to use (ITU) trademark application in the United States.

Bankruptcy in the United States

Bankruptcy in the United States

In the United States, bankruptcy is largely governed by federal law, commonly referred to as the "Bankruptcy Code" ("Code"). The United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact "uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States". Congress has exercised this authority several times since 1801, including through adoption of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, as amended, codified in Title 11 of the United States Code and the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA).

Liquidation

Liquidation

Liquidation is the process in accounting by which a company is brought to an end in Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, and many other countries. The assets and property of the company are redistributed. Liquidation is also sometimes referred to as winding-up or dissolution, although dissolution technically refers to the last stage of liquidation. The process of liquidation also arises when customs, an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties, determines the final computation or ascertainment of the duties or drawback accruing on an entry.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The best-known types are patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. The modern concept of intellectual property developed in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The term "intellectual property" began to be used in the 19th century, though it was not until the late 20th century that intellectual property became commonplace in the majority of the world's legal systems.

Star Control: Origins

Star Control: Origins

Star Control: Origins is an action-adventure game developed and published by Stardock Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, released September 20, 2018.

Game Developers Conference

Game Developers Conference

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is an annual conference for video game developers. The event includes an expo, networking events, and awards shows like the Game Developers Choice Awards and Independent Games Festival, and a variety of tutorials, lectures, and roundtables by industry professionals on game-related topics covering programming, design, audio, production, business and management, and visual arts.

Non-compete clause

Non-compete clause

In contract law, a non-compete clause, restrictive covenant, or covenant not to compete (CNC), is a clause under which one party agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession or trade in competition against another party. Some courts refer to these as "restrictive covenants". As a contract provision, a CNC is bound by traditional contract requirements including the consideration doctrine.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Kalata, Kurt (September 11, 2018). "Star Control". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Szczepaniak, John (2005). "Control & Conquer" (PDF). Retro Gamer Volume 2 Issue 2. pp. 85–87. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Glancey, Paul; Leadbetter, Richard (July 1991). Review - Star Control. Computer and Videogames Magazine Issue 116. pp. 108–110. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Weiss, Brett (21 September 2016). Classic Home Video Games, 1989-1990: A Complete Guide to Sega Genesis, Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16 Games. McFarland. p. 202. ISBN 978-1-4766-6794-2. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Staff (November 1991). Reviews - Star Control. Digital Press - Issue 02. pp. 5–6. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  6. ^ Williams, Andrew (2017-03-16). History of Digital Games: Developments in Art, Design and Interaction. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-317-50380-4.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Ford, Fred; Reiche III, Paul; Otus, Erol; Rianda, Jeff; Hall, Larry (1990). Star Control Manual (PC ed.). Accolade. pp. 3–4, 10–12, 17–30, 37, 38, 39–40.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Sanchay, Pre (May 12, 2021). Kalata, Kurt (ed.). "Now and Forever: The Legacy of the Star Control II Universe – Hardcore Gaming 101". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  9. ^ Paul Reiche III & Fred Ford (1990). Star Control (PC). Accolade.
  10. ^ Paul Reiche III & Fred Ford (1991). Star Control (Sega Genesis). Accolade.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Barton, Matt (April 19, 2016). Honoring the Code: Conversations with Great Game Designers. CRC Press. pp. 203–. ISBN 978-1-4665-6754-2. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
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