Star Control: October 2015 update

Published on Saturday, October 31, 2015 By Brad Wardell In Star Control


Another month has come and gone and here is the monthly update -- just in a nick of time.

The Star Control team has continued to staff up as we've hired more animators and artists. 

Here are the topics to lead us into November:

Topic #1: The Founder's Program

Yes. The Founder's Program will get going within the next month or so.

If you are interested in joining, please fill out this survey:


Topic #2: The Tech

The game will be using the same graphics engine as Ashes of the Singularity.  That means it'll be both state of the art but also (Because we're not having to deal with 30,000+ units at once) be able to run on relatively modest hardware (it'll still require a 64-bit OS, DirectX 11 or later but you should be able to run it fine on an Ultrabook). 

The visuals are already quite stunning. Remember,. Nitrous's claim to fame (the engine)_ is that it renders similar to how CGI in movies is done except in real-time.  You can see that already in Ashes despite it having relatively simple 3D models.  Wait till you see what we can do with the aliens. 


Topic #3: Lore Update

Since this is a reboot, the game will take place before the events of the original Star Control 1. Without giving too much away, something happens in 2085 leading the Humans to form Star Control to begin exploring space and making contact with alien worlds.  The story will unfold from there.


Topic #4: Core elements

The founders will get a lot more information on all of this but below are the essential elements in the new Star Control.

  • Super Melee.  Without spoiling it, Super Melee will take place within a solar system, not around a single planet. It will support Internet multiplayer and will likely be the first component released to Founders (2016).
  • Planet Exploration.  This part is actually pretty far along and one of the coolest looking things I've ever seen and, after you see, it, it's "duh, of course that's how it should be done".
  • Encounters.  This is the most complex part of the game (or at least expensive).  Combining Nitrous with real-time emoting (not just lip syincing) is definitely proving worth it.  For the record, I was originally against this because I thought it would be cheesy. I've now seen it in action and it's really amazing.
  • Ship Customizer.  You wlll have a flag ship which will also pick up fleets of ally ships.  However, this time around, you'll be able to visually customize the ship such that everyone's ship will look different (which should prove fun in multiplayer and when exploring the multiverses created by others).  Think GalCiv III level customization combined with Nitrous fidelity.  This part of the game is already working (though primitively).
  • Exploration.  This part is working minus non-programmer art. 
  • Music.  We scored a real win getting Riku back after 25 years to score the new Star Control music. It's part of the charm of the original series.
  • Writing.  Chris Bucholz of is in charge of the writing.  The aliens are, well, pretty awesomely insane and ridiculous already.  There are already some catchy memes that have spread across the office.  It'll be interesting whether they spread once others are exposed to them.
We're basically moving at full force.  We are still looking to hire more engineers though. Must be willing to locate to Towson Maryland.
Topic #5: Road Map
Here's the near-term road map:
  1. Founders Program begins (4Q2015). This will be access to our vault and a private forum where we can bounce ideas off those passionate, like us, about the Star Control reboot.
  2. Founders Prototype (1Q2016): Founders under NDA will start to be able to give feedback and try out some of our tools and early prototypes of what we're working on to give feedback and suggestions.
  3. Founders Alpha (2Q2016): Founders, under NDA, start getting Alpha builds.
  4. Early Access (4Q2016).
  5. 2017: 25th anniversary of Star Control 2.

Topic #6: Bonus Topic
Because of the heavy emphasis on player created universes (hence all the work on tools and editors), we'll be using the term "Multiverse" a lot going forward.
Broadly speaking, if someone uses the tools to create a Star Trek universe that players visit in the game that is full of Klingon and Federation ships (obviously, WE won't be releasing that but the tools will let people create any universe they want with their own ships, stories, aliens, etc. of varying qualities) that universe will have an Earth also. Similarly, if someone creates a Babylon 5 universe, that one has Earth in it too.  And needless to say, I suspect many people will use the tools to recreate Star Control 2 based stories with their ships and aliens -- and Earth is in that too.
So we can't obviously call these mods different galaxies or different parts of the milky way galaxy. They're different dimensions.  Hence, the multiverse concept. 
That there are other dimensions is not news to Star Control *campers* of course.
Once people have completed our main story-arc, they will have endless different stories to go to without having to wait for us to create sequels.  They just pop into their ship and choose a dimension to visit.
Let me know what questions you have.   There's already plenty of spoilers in this post but we'll be reserving most of the details for the Founder's vault.