Brad Wardell's Blog

Arilou Observer in the shop

Published on Friday, July 13, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

The Arilou Observer was designed to keep an eye on us.  It will make its debut in the Fleet Battles beta 3 coming out next week.

Its is not generally designed for combat but its primary weapon is a plasma spreader that shoots bolts slowly in every direction.  Its secondary weapon is a cloak which allows it to escape detection from curious humans.

In the above screenshot, we took the Arilou Observer into the Ship Design.  Players can make new ships or create their own version of existing ships with their own set of weapons as well.

Star Control: Origins arrives on September 20.  Add it to your Steam (or GOG) wishlist today!


Star Control: Origins Prelude 2 of 13 - So Many Planets

Published on Friday, July 6, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Journals


Space is big. We know that.  But how interesting is it? That remains to be seen.

Let's take a look at the orbital bodies in our own solar system.

Orbital Body





 Basically a hot rock.



 A poisonous, toxic hell.



 A really cold desert.



 Big ball of gas.



 Another big ball of gas with cool rings.



 Ice gas ball.



 Ice gas ball.

What about the moons?

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Star Control: Visual Iteration

Published on Thursday, July 5, 2018 By Brad Wardell In PC Gaming

Those of you who are familiar with Galactic Civilizations, Ashes of the Singularity, Sins of a Solar Empire or any of our other games knows the power of visual progress.

I suspect there are a few of you who would have wished that Galactic Civilizations III v1.0 had waited until we had done Crusade and released that at version 1.0.  Of course, strategy games are a very tricky thing because they tend to be about "the feature" whereas an RPG like Star Control is about the story and immersion.

With that in mind, i wanted to share with you guys some images of the planet exploration part of Star Control so that you can see how it's progress...


This is what we wanted the surface of a desert planet to look like.


Very early on...




Closer...May 2018 (E3 build) shadows and sky starting to get right.

Closer...Sky is still a bit off. props are a bit too jumbled.  June 2018.


and here is where we are now (though this is near sunset so it's a bit darker).


The thing to remember: These are procedurally generated worlds (the mockup had placed everything).

Where will we be by September 20? We'll see.



The power of iteration in game development

Published on Sunday, July 1, 2018 By Brad Wardell In PC Gaming

One of the things Stardock is, unfortunately, known for is releasing games as soon as they are "complete".  That is, complete from a technology point of view (i.e. not buggy, feature complete, etc.).

Star Control, however, is our first RPG.  Unlike strategy games, RPGs have to be played over...and over...and over to get them to feel just right.  Which means that Star Control: Origins was complete back in May but our release date is September 20.  

To be sure, there are other factors weighing in.  For example, you do not want to release your game in June (Steam sale).  July is right out (no one buys game in July).  August is iffy.   So September it is.

This has worked out so well for Star Control: Origins that you have to see it to believe it:

Same planet.  Less than 30 days different.  And as proud as we are of this shot now, it'll likely look a lot better in another month. Such is the power of full iteration with the full team.

And in fact, this development process has worked so well that it will be carried onto all our future games (you may recall that Galactic Civilizations III was released in May...under the new process it would have been set to September instead).

While it doesn't really affect gameplay that much, it has a dramatic effect on the visual and polish quality of the resulting game.


Life in our solar system?

Published on Saturday, June 30, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Everything Else

So we may have a candidate for life around one of Saturn’s moons.

Looks like we will need to make sure we look closely at this moon for the new Star Control.

There are some very interesting articles and videos at just how terrifyingly it would be if it turns out life is pretty common. Because if that’s the case, where is everyone?



Star Control: Now and Forever of the galaxy

Published on Friday, June 29, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control

This is a crude image of star densities in the Milky Way galaxy.

Star Control: Origins takes place in the yellow dot.

Post-release, we'll be expanding into the red and purple areas which are immensely huge areas of space (the yellow dot alone has thousands of unique worlds with lots of alien species).



Star Control: Origins Prelude 1 of 13 - The Living Universe

Published on Friday, June 29, 2018 By Brad Wardell In Star Control Journals


We now have an official release day: September 20, 2018!  Almost five years since we began our adventure with Star Control. 

For this occasion we have begun to number these journal entries to count up to week 13, which is when the game gets released!

13 weeks...Not much time.  So even though it's a Sunday as I write this, and my birthday, I'm pleased to share this blog to let you know where we are.

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