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Author Topic: My take on Stardock  (Read 12100 times)
Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2017, 08:52:05 pm »

Their posterboys and spokespeople have lied to us and performed some really dodgy business practices all in an effort to make a buck. They even tried to deflect by saying they would send royalties to P and F.

Sorry. They are right up there with Blizzard and EA.  Corrupt and backstabbing.

Are you planning to contribute anything to the community other than negativity?

Stardock owns Star Control.  That includes the classic series. It has the publishing rights for the classic series as well.  There is disagreement on what those publishing rights entail (obviously) as those products have content that was licensed from P&F under various terms and conditions.  The legal folks will straighten things out, ideally in a way that satisfies everyone.
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Scalare
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2017, 04:00:15 pm »

Their posterboys and spokespeople have lied to us and performed some really dodgy business practices all in an effort to make a buck. They even tried to deflect by saying they would send royalties to P and F.

Sorry. They are right up there with Blizzard and EA.  Corrupt and backstabbing.

Are you planning to contribute anything to the community other than negativity?

Stardock owns Star Control.  That includes the classic series. It has the publishing rights for the classic series as well.  There is disagreement on what those publishing rights entail (obviously) as those products have content that was licensed from P&F under various terms and conditions.  The legal folks will straighten things out, ideally in a way that satisfies everyone.


Thanks for staying adultlike, also in the legal conflict.
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Zelnik
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2018, 02:36:17 am »

I LOVE KITTENS, AND PONIES. STYGIAN IS BEST PONY.

ALSO I REALLY DISAGREE WITH FROGBOY AND THINK HE HAS NOT BEEN ENTIRELY HONEST

« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 05:32:49 pm by Death 999 » Logged
Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2018, 09:48:43 am »

We do mot know what happens behimd the curtains.
There are lawyers involved, so they'll keep a lid on it at least until there is agreement.

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Scalare
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2018, 12:25:44 pm »

I LOVE KITTENS, AND PONIES. STYGIAN IS BEST PONY.

ALSO I REALLY DISAGREE WITH FROGBOY AND THINK HE HAS NOT BEEN ENTIRELY HONEST

I'm trying to find nice words for the sentence buck off and never return Smiley
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 07:46:45 pm by Death 999 » Logged
Orz?
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2018, 08:28:38 pm »

All I'm gonna say is this:

Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars flopped. The devs didn't seem to "get it" in terms of what made the originals (particularly Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares) so appealing (mechanically and otherwise) as to stand the test of time after so many years. They didn't even come close. They thought "if we make it a Hollywoodesque/Disney-like 'cinematic' experience with the likes of Luke Skywanker and other sci-fi Star Wreck 'legends' contributing their voice-overs to it... everyone would surely loooove it, nostalgics and newcomers alike, and we're gonna make lotsa, lotsa money!"

Civilization: Beyond Earth, the alleged "spiritual successor" to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, also flopped. Didn't hit the mark. Faaaaaar from it. Heart was in the wrong place. It was basically just a "skin mod" for Civ 5 in an attempt to milk money from all those nostalgics. Yeah, sure, you could argue the X-COM reboot, on the other hand, didn't flop. But as far as I could tell: it had nothing whatsoever of X-Com: UFO Defense in it save the brand name. It could be a "massive success" for all I care, but not because they slapped the X-COM brand on it. (For what it's worth, OpenXcom is the real "successor" here. By a long, looooong stretch.)

Likewise, the upcoming System Shock reboot and prequel (?), will likely flop too. Because of the same marketing gimmick: "let's turn the game into a Hollywood/Disney interactive movie"! That, and twisting SHODAN into yet another softporn, eye-candy female villain cuz "that will surely sell!" After all, you gotta have at lest one hyper-sexualized female character nowadays, right? (For those who don't know what I'm talking about: SHODAN was an artificial intelligence referred to as both an "it" and even a "he" in the original game—no genders attached.)

And so, unfortunately and regrettably (but not surprisingly or unexpectedly) Star Control: Origins will... probably also flop. Once again, the devs seem to have their hearts in the wrong place: profit over creativity, and flashy 'Michael-Bay' visuals over gameplay, character & story first and foremost. They focus so much on the "skin" that it ends up being a completely "soulless" product by the time it's released—an imitation and mimicry at best. Yet a cash-cow to be milked dry all the same, even if for only "5 minutes of fame".



Bottom line is this: the gaming industry is not the same as it used to be. It has lost its former "innocence", sad as it may be. It's basically the new Hollywood/Disney now, purely driven by greed and profit. And in this age of "nostalgic revival", they will psychologically prey on the weakness because they understand "nostalgia equals easy, safe, risk-free money" in their cold, calculating schemes.

It doesn't matter if these game are shit in the end, because they know people will still click that big, bold "BUY ME" button as they frantically drool "TAKE MY MONEY!" at the screen, like mindless zombies. Yes, these game will probably still appeal to the 15-year old audiences of today who will have a "touch n' go" with them and jump to the next flashy game right afterwards. Save for a few exceptions, video games are just not made for the same reasons anymore.

No, nowadays gaming studios are all about (a) maximizing profit by (b) appealing to the widest audience/demographic (wanky teens to old dicks) whilst (c) making the game as addictive as possible (hence the pervasiveness of "microtransactions", "loot-boxes", "season passes", "DLCs", and so on, in every major triple-A title). They are essentially creating virtual slot-machine casinos disguised as video games. And I can't support that kind of psychological exploit.

So although I may not "like" Zelnik's tone either, I understand where they are coming from. (Blizzard died after Warcraft III when it sold its proverbial soul to the devil and joined the "We're In It For The Big Fat Bucks" club alongside Disney, Microsoft, EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Capcom, Rockastar, et al).

But they aren't worst than those who continue to click that big, bold, "BUY ME" button. No, the biggest culprit here is the consumer who continues to consume the product they are being sold—and the addicts that defend their vice.

After all, they do say "don't bite the hand that feeds", right?

Apologies if any this comes off as too harsh or abrasive; just some raw, undiluted, brutal honesty!

It's just an internet forum, don't take too much offense for it! Wink

Food for though!

(Didn't bother reading the entire thread/topic, but got the gist of it, so probably shouldn bother replying to this post as it is not meant to initiate or perpetuate any kind of flame war.)



EDIT: Perhaps it wasn't the most clever idea to drop this post amidst such animosity. So I'll just add this: should we be having this conversation face-to-face, everything would reveal itself to be said in a much more amicable (and why not, humorous) tone than it otherwise may appear at first glance over the impersonal "wall" that is the interwebs Smiley


« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 08:30:10 pm by Orz? » Logged

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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2018, 08:52:18 pm »

It doesn't matter if these game are shit in the end, because they know people will still click that big, bold "BUY ME" button as they frantically drool "TAKE MY MONEY!" at the screen, like mindless zombies. Yes, these game will probably still appeal to the 15-year old audiences of today who will have a "touch n' go" with them and jump to the next flashy game right afterwards. Save for a few exceptions, video games are just not made for the same reasons anymore.

Lots of your claims might be partially true, at least according to your own perspective. But you shouldn't necessarily underestimate how the  (rosy retrospection bias), might be influencing your own perspective. Things weren't necessarily just flowers and roses in the past either.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 08:55:25 pm by Zanthius » Logged
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2018, 11:26:08 am »

I ALSO LOVE KITTENS AND PONIES. HOWEVER, MOONDANCER IS BEST PONY.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 05:23:11 am by Death 999 » Logged
Death 999
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2018, 05:23:00 am »

Folks,

having opinions is OK. Even opinions lots of us disagree with. Even opinions that I disagree with, or you disagree with.

But personal attacks are not so OK. And it gets much less OK when they are unfounded, hyperbolic, overgeneralized, and/or intensely personal.

Also, issuing cryptic statements that can come across as threatening is not so great, even if the threat is mild.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 05:36:58 pm by Death 999 » Logged
Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2018, 03:02:04 am »

The comparison with the new MOO and other recent games that have tried to revive old franchises is an interesting one.

Did the lead designer of those games hang out on the fan community sites for years before release listening to feedback and interacting with the fan community?

Because with Star Control, I'm here.  I've been here for years.  If the game comes out and isn't good, I'll be here.

If Stardock wanted a quick cash grab with Star Control, the smart thing would have been to:

Just use the classic aliens and make it with Unity and have released it years ago.

Instead, we've created a brand new game engine around Star Control in order to do it right.  We also, out of respect for Paul and Fred, spent the past four years with a team of writers crafting an extensive lore and background in the Scryve universe in order to leave the Ur-Quan universe alone.

Some of you have the Fleet Battles beta so hopefully its quality, even at this early stage, speaks for itself.   And when people are traveling to thousands of worlds in which they can travel across the surface of the planet finding quests, precursor relics, minerals, etc. and then travel through hyperspace where they can customize not just what their ship does but what it visually looks like and then download new missions and new universes made by the fans and by us, I am hopeful that people will see that the team making the new Star Control are dedicated.

We know Star Control, its history, the Ur-Quan lore, the notes, etc. inside and out.  We've read every IRC chat log, every book that Paul suggested we read, every interview, all the lore, etc.  so that we know not just what Star Control I, II (and yes, III) was about but also to understand the mindset that surrounded it when it was being made.

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Death 999
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2018, 08:45:30 pm »

> Just use the classic aliens and make it with Unity and have released it years ago.

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you had the rights to that, you could do what you're doing now, but with SC1&2 aliens, and I don't think anyone would be complaining.
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Frogboy
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2018, 01:09:01 am »

> Just use the classic aliens and make it with Unity and have released it years ago.

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you had the rights to that, you could do what you're doing now, but with SC1&2 aliens, and I don't think anyone would be complaining.

Paul and Fred had asked us not to and as a a pretty die hard fan, I wanted to make them happy.  By contrast, MoneyGrab corp. wouldn't have cared what Paul and Fred wanted.

Now, if I'd known that our gesture wasn't going to be treated with the good will I thought it had earned, we would likely have been more inclined to use the aliens and it is still something we may consider post-release at least in terms of cameos and in terms of helping tie it all together.  But that's a different issue.

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Krulle
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2018, 09:02:48 am »

Let me interject, that I am personally rather glad you did not.

Honestly, I also fear that any continuation of the story will feel like a let-down.
The original SC2 left so many things open, with just some vague hints at a possible solution, that there was plenty of room for any imagination to fill any gaps.
That was part of the allure to me and my friends.
Filling that gap with more story bears the risk of us overanalyzing friends of finding inconsistencies which will destroy the memory of a pleasant game.
And not leaving many points open will also not feel like a SC2 experience.
So, for every open question to be filled, I expect three new blanks to be opened.
(And none of my friends and me had any issues with the inconsistencies between SC1 and SC2. It was part of the shift from a simple missions game to a full story game.
We never treated SC1 as a "fixed story", also because you could write your own missions.)
But changing parts of the "fixed story" of SC2 to fit in the enw setting of GotP? That'll be harder to accept.

I will take the coming game any way: as a real try to continue the lure of SC2 (and thus risking more open ends I want to be filled by more sequels), or as a try to close off the story and end most open questions (risking that the game will be less enjoyable, as it'll leave less to imagination).
I simply want it.

And the more I've read about StarDock's try, the more I want to play it.
But I fear that StarDock's game might get rather complex, and will take a while to learn the ins and outs to play, and as a father of three, I am hard pressed for time.
Anyway, just like SC3, I'll put it in my shelf, likely. Just to have it. (Yes, I became such a StarControl fan.)


I am looking forward to both new games, and I thank StarDock for not going the straight way. (Although I might have bought that game anyway, and then felt like being cheated as too many answers would've been delivered on a silver plate, like SC3/Kessari Quadrant did.)
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2018, 11:27:31 am »

Folks,

having opinions is OK. Even opinions lots of us disagree with. Even opinions that I disagree with, or you disagree with.

But personal attacks are not so OK. And it gets much less OK when they are unfounded, hyperbolic, overgeneralized, and/or intensely personal.

Also, issuing cryptic statements that can come across as threatening is not so great, even if the threat is mild.

I didn't mean it, I just hoped he would retaliate in a worse way and you would ban him as a result (or he would leave on his own accord).
Besides that, if I am so successful at threatening across the ocean and through telephone and glass fibre wires, I really should change my profession.
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Re: My take on Stardock
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2018, 12:10:09 am »

I can understand the overall gist of what Orz? is saying above, though there isn't much that can be done about it.

The fact is that video game development in the modern world is a costly exercise at the best of times.  It used to be something done by tinkering nerds in their basement (read about how Richard Garriott made Akalabeth, for example) and could be done by a small number of people working together.

But the demand for better sound, better graphics, and more polish comes with increasing demands on staff.  You can't have some amateur doing a bunch of wonky pixel art, as most people want it to look smooth and good.  You can't have the neighbourhood radio station providing voice acting, it needs to be Patrick Stewart now.  All these things cost money, and lots of it.  Making a videogame becomes a huge gamble, because it's no longer about doing it just for fun - if it doesn't sell, you're now bankrupt.

The offshoot of this is that high quality games need to appeal to the largest audience possible, and as such, they are far more likely to attempt to play it safe - that includes creating sequels to existing, nostalgia-inducing licenses to try and secure a 'guaranteed' audience, while also making it 'approachable for a new generation'!

In many cases the two don't mix well.  Having anyone but the original authors making a sequel to an old game almost never ends up recapturing the same feel of the original.  "They changed it, so it sucks!" will be the warcry of all the grognards who loved the original, for they loved it for its warts and all.  Keeping it too close to the original however will not capture much of a new audience, and the grognards tend to be the (vocal) minority, so don't expect a lot of things to be pitched only to them.

There are exceptions: some indie developers, typically with much lower budgets, do experiment and try new things (things like Undertale, Super Meat Boy/Binding of Isaac spring to mind) but for every success there are a ton of failures - not always because the games were bad, but because they just never reached the critical mass word of mouth needed to make them popular.

Stardock is probably in a similar situation.  I doubt they want to put out a game that doesn't live up to our nostalgia googles version of Star Control 1 and 2, but (and maybe I'm a cynic) I doubt they'll be able to recapture the same feel of the originals.  This is almost inevitable - everyone has their own writing stylem, and that style evolves over time.  If you replace the writers for a certain established series with someone else, or even the same writers, if enough time has lapsed - no matter how passionate they might be - you'll end up with something that feels more like fan-ficiton.  Either it will feel like they're trying too hard to ape past glories or the new things they add will feel out of place.  It's a no-win scenario either way.

For my part, I haven't been following Star Control: Origins very much, but a lot of what Zelnick says does resonate with me in the sense that it may have been "missing the point".  One of endearing things about Star Control was that humans were both technologically and socially rather primitive compared to most of the other races and really just got caught up in a greater conflict by accident, so having a plot based on other species fearing mankind's rapid development sounds like a case of someone not really getting that aspect of it.

One thing I would add though: Zelnik's venom seems to come heavily from how he (she?) percieves as 'scummy' business practices by Stardock.  Zelnik is poor at making his point because of how angry he is, and is so abrasive that I wouldn't be surprised if he got banned from their forums for that reason alone.  However, the posts on on F&P's blog (https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/) make it pretty clear that either F&P or Stardock are not being honest here.  Either Stardock respects F&P as the creators and rightsholders of Star Control and F&P are just posting stuff to make Stardock look bad (for some reason), or Stardock is legally overreaching and are activley acting against F&P's wishes for the game/unverse they themselves own the rights to.

Of the two parties, I feel like I trust F&P more, since I don't understand what would be in it for them to lie.  I find it hard to reconcile the supposed love and care that Frogboy states Stardock has for the Star Control universe with the apparent lack of respect shown to F&P's wishes (legal rights notwithstanding).  This in turn makes me wary of anything else Frogboy has said, even if he's said it much more politely than Zelnick.  Actions speak louder than words.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 12:46:52 am by Soul Reaver » Logged

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