Below is an interview I had with Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock Games about the upcoming game “Star Control Origins.” The game is currently in the pre-order stage of development but has not reached the Early Access stage yet (though pre-ordering will get you access to the Early Access edition of the game). “Star Control Origins” is a reimagining of the original “Star Control” and “Star Control II,” the latter of which is oft considered to be one of the best games of all time. Combining exploration, diplomacy, and a vast customization system; “Star Control Origins” looks to be a game I will definitely be playing for hours upon hours when it releases.
My questions are in regular text and Mr. Wardell’s responses are in italics.
Thank you to Mr. Wardell for the interview and I hope you all become as excited for this game as I am!
When was the first time you played a Star Control game and what system did you play it on: Genesis or PC for Star Control 1, PC or 3DO for Star Control II? What are some of your fondest memories playing the games?
PC back in 1992.
I remember it was November, 1992 and just having a blast with it.
With Star Control II often considered to be one of the greatest PC games of all time, was it a difficult decision to purchase the license to the series?
It was. I was part of a community of people who were holding out hope that someone would make a new Star Control game. But after a couple decades and seeing that Toys for Bob was pretty bound to Skylanders, I thought the only way we’d see a new Star Control game any time soon is if we took the opportunity to acquiring the publishing rights of the original series.
How many hours have you personally logged in the Star Control series? Are there people on the development team with more play hours than yourself?
I couldn’t even tell you how many hours I’ve put into playing Star Control 2 and later Ur-Quan Masters. I looked on Steam and I have 84 hours in December alone playing the new one and that’s still in pre-alpha.
What games do you consider to be the main influences for Star Control: Origins aside from Star Control and Star Control 2?
I would say each element of the new Star Control gets some inspiration from other games. For instance, the new planet exploration system takes some inspiration from Super Mario galaxy. That is, you’re landing on small, spherical planets and racing around.
The general exploration of the galaxy reminds me some of the recent open ended space adventure games.
Are the galaxies going to be procedurally generated, based on the original Star Control maps, or based on our own galaxy?
It’s going to be a new galaxy that is somewhat influenced by the actual positions of stars and planets.
Since the game is reported to take place after the Androsynth Rebellion (according to the Ars Technica article on the game (here) ), will this mean there will be alien allies with whom we can trade or add ships to our fleet with or will it be human only to begin with?
Probably the best way to think of it is that the Earthlings are not impressive at the start. Since this is an alternative universe (in the Ur-Quan timeline we had a nuclear war in 2015) there are some differences but overall, we are dealing with humans at 2090. In the Ur-Quan timeline of Star Control 2, the cool human ships are from the year 2130 or so. By contrast, the human ship you start out with is..well, considered by the aliens to be space garbage. It doesn’t even have Hyperspace capability at the start of the game. Every player’s ship will be different by the end of the game depending on where they visit. But they all start with the same Earthling ship in the year 2090.
Will the game feature a return of the calendar system from the game, showing the passage of time and triggering key events?
That is the plan.
Thanks in part to the licensing restrictions that exist for development of the franchise, will races such as the Spathi and Ur-Quan be making an appearance or will all of the races be brand new?
We’re going with an all-brand new cast of races for Origins. We don’t want to create any confusion regarding the different timelines.
Reports are that the game is set 69 years before the original Star Control. Is this game then considered an alternate universe/reboot of the franchise (a la the Abrams “Star Trek”-verse) or a true prequel to the original Star Control?
It’s more akin to an alternative universe. If we think of Star Control as being akin to say the DC Universe (or Marvel Universe) then we have multiple universes within that. For example, Marvel has Earth-616 for one universe and Earth-1610 for their Ultimate universe. In Star Control we have the Ur-Quan universe for Star Control 1 and 2 and then the Hegemonic universe for Star Control  (released back in 1996).
This way, there’s a little more artistic freedom in creating new Star Control games (as well as opening the way for fans using our extensive tools to create their own universes with their own stories).
What official mod tools are being considered for creation with the game? How many customization options due you estimate will be available for players to tinker with?
Since a major effort in our development is to make it so that people can create their own stories and universes we’ve developed:
Star Control: Universe Maker – Lets you design out your own universe (stars, planets, etc.)
Star Control: Story Maker – Lets you create your own stories
We also have in development a World Maker (so you can design planets), a Ship Maker (for designing your own ships) and a plugin so you can make your own aliens if you want (for diplomacy).
Sourced from CohhCarnage’s Twitch Channel, the final question I have for you is: “How do you handle being asked the same question over and over again?”
Aw I love it. This whole process has been a joy. For one thing, we get a ton of help from the fan community on how to handle some of the more challenging questions out there since there will be no way you can make a new Star Control game that will make everyone happy (i.e. people who want us to make a follow-on to Star Control 2 but pretend Star Control 3 didn’t happen).
This is going to be a super fun year for us because we all love this franchise so much. It’s really been a joy.
Thanks very much to Brad Wardell of Stardock for the interview! I am really looking forward to the new Star Control game given what I’ve seen and read about Origins so count on a full review when the game releases.
Pre-orders for “Star Control Origins” are available at their website at http://www.starcontrol.com.