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News: Paul Reiche and Fred Ford want to continue the story they started when they created Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters. «Happy days and jubilation!» «But wait!» «There is something wrong here... something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze.» «Please, Captain, we need your help!»

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Author Topic: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock  (Read 12923 times)
bum783
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2018, 06:59:06 pm »

We’ve not threatened or interfered with this or any other fan community nor do we plan to.

I do not reply often, but felt I needed to here. A long time ago I was super critical of Stardock.  After the news of Ghosts I started watching everything and have to say I was slowly becoming more of a fan of Stardock. In fact as much as a month ago I was actually excited to buy Origins.

When I was reading this email chain 1 particular part stuck out.

"I'm going to have to ask that you or one of the
other members with administrative access to the UQM project site to sign
the trademark license no later than Friday, August 3."

"We are very interested in
seeing the UQM project continue forward and want to avoid seeing it being
drawn into this dispute."

This particular wording reminds of a Mafia movie lol. DO what we want, when we want. I would hate for something bad to happen to you. At the very least its a scare tactic which is just as bad.
As Elestan put it, "Brad came in with a stick" is exactly how I saw it. Brad has commented several times how he sometimes lets his emotions alter his statements.  A CEO of a major company who cant show self restraint on a friggin internet forum isnt exactly trustworthy in my opinion.

I was intending on purchasing Origins. I laughed at the idea that this lawsuit would deter anyone from purchasing the first star control game in decades. I thought fans would be excited no matter what was being said or done in court. Here we are a week after the release, and that thought appears to have been false.  It wasnt  the lawsuit with Paul & Fred that made me decide not to purchase Origins, it wasnt comments on this forum from fans or admins that made me decide not to buy Origins. It was the comments made directly by Brad Wardell in this forum, in his emails, and even on his own own forums.  I would venture to guess that in the end Brads public displays will cost Stardock more sales than Paul & Fred ever could have.


Finally I do not work for Paul and Freds PR firm as Brad has so often accused people of doing with low comment totals.
Im a regular fan in Michigan, nobody special. Id be happy to prove that  at any time
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 07:02:04 pm by bum783 » Logged
kaminiwa
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2018, 10:10:06 pm »

Finally I do not work for Paul and Freds PR firm as Brad has so often accused people of doing with low comment totals.

Just a tangent, but the PR firm was only active for about a month, February to March 2018. Court records included all the email correspondence, which makes it pretty easy to tell when they were active. Anyone who is still complaining about the PR firm is a good six months out of date Smiley
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2018, 12:13:19 am »

I'm new to this forum, but an old StarCon 2 fan. I've gone by PkunkFury on NeoGaf for well over 15 years, and use the same name on Playstation Network. I switched usernames on other services about 5 years ago after getting sick of explaining what it meant to friends. Just figured I should throw out some "cred" so @frogboy doesn't accuse me of being a PR firm plant.

I had long given up on getting a new Star Control game. I signed the petition ages ago, nothing came of it. Downloaded and enjoyed UQM, recommended it to a few friends who were new to the series, play it every now and then when I have time to kill. But I always thought Star Control was gone, and based on StarCon 3 and that terrible novel (Interbellum?) I figured, maybe it was for the best.

Needless to say, I was shocked when I wandered by Star Control Origins at PAX this year. I haven't been following any of the hubbub online. I had no idea this was being made. But I remembered that petition. And I saw the art, which looks so perfectly Star Control (unlike Star Con 3). I heard some of the music. I was overjoyed

But I, like every Star Control 2 fan, suffered through Star Control 3 (it wasn't thaaaaaat bad, it just wasn't what is should have been). Fool me once, shame on you... So I scrutinized the demo a bit. I didn't recognize any of the alien species (bad sign). So I asked the attendant if the original creators were involved, he didn't know. Expectations tempered. I got online that night, and what do I find but a shitstorm even worse than the one that was kicked up around Star Con 3. Let's just say I can't believe this is happening, again, and that a so called "fan" precipitated it

Needless to say I have not bought Star Control Origins, and will not purchase it until the lawsuit is settled and P&F are working on their sequel unhindered. I am someone Stardock would've have liked to have sold Origins to. Someone who made Star Control Super Melee popular among a handful of friends in the 90s, and someone who has since encouraged said friends to download the various attempts at online Super Melees as new iterations come out. Needless to say I have contacted said friends and warned them not to purchase this game, explaining that it is another Star Control 3. I am also done purchasing Stardock games until this resolved. And remember, I am someone who bought and played Star Con 3 despite knowing that Accolade worked around P&F. I was still willing to support the series and give the new team a chance since it seemed the rights were being handled appropriately. I gave the game a fair shake, as I would have Origins. I even like that the Percursors were Ortoggs! (gasp)

To @Frogboy, I have since read most of your posts, your one-sided FAQ, your shoddy, incomplete defenses of your actions (in a franchise where the fans are already familiar with this type of behavior and are conditioned to watch for it, no less. Why did you think this would work??). I'm certainly appalled by your behavior, both as a CEO and as a "fan". Your actions are consistently underhanded and your comments from the Discord chats come as no surprise. What's worse, is now I see you intend to roll out all SC2 species in your new games, but make them "different" in a different continuity. This is after you complained that P&F were causing "confusion" with the series. You are taking a bad situation and making it into an unmitigated mess. Inviting comparisons to the best game ever made by re-implementing everything with your own take is bound to fail. The comparisons invite themselves, and you put yourself in a worse position than Johnson did when he tried to reinvent Luke Skywalker. Allow me to leave you with the words of a very smart man:

"Don't go off and say, 'I have my own artistic vision.' Okay, good -- so call it something else. Don't ride the coattails of the people who came before you to launch your own artistic vision."

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20998

I also see that you are now threatening UQM, and attempting to use them as a pawn in your fight with P&F, when UQM has existed to keep this wonderfuld game alive for all of us for the past 15 years on P&Fs goodwill. It's mind numbing

I would like to add my voice to the many, many others who have claimed they happily would've bought both Origins and GOTP if this nonsense hadn't escalated. Heck, I think the idea for a prequel to SC2 is inspired. There's certainly room to play through the first contact story as an adventure game. You continue to pop up here and in other forums, yet I've never seen you provide a satisfying reason why you didn't amend or accept the very reasonable settlement P&F proposed, which seemed to give both parties the rights to create exactly what they claimed they wanted to create. Instead you went nuclear.

I don't think anyone who knows of Star Control 2 took P&F's GOTP announcement to mean Origins was invalid. We all know that the "real" sequel to Star Control 2 language was referring to the title we have all deemed a "fake" sequel to Star Control 2 at this point, Star Con 3. From what I'm seeing, you even promoted GOTP as the "true sequel to Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters (i.e. Star Control III is not canon for that universe)." then went back and changed your posts so you could play victim. Once again, you are dishonest and don't deserve my money. I just don't understand why you would do it. You wanted that game to exist just as much as the rest of us, and you still could've made your own artistic vision a reality without riding on anyone's coat tails. You know damn well that this is a niche but thirsty market which would've happily supported both products

I guess you guys can ban me or whatever if this was too harsh. Just understand Star Control 2 was a big part of my life, it really hurt thinking a new game was coming and then seeing the mess it is leaving in its wake. I needed to vent, thanks for the time
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 06:38:27 am by BetterOffEd » Logged
CelticMinstrel
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2018, 05:53:29 am »

I probably won't buy SCO either. I might've gotten it in on sale two or three years after the release, but everything I've seen about the lawsuit and Stardock has convinced me that, even if it turns out to be a pretty good game, it's not a company I want to give a single cent to.
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2018, 10:53:30 am »

If they had made SCO available for Linux I might have bought it, but there is no chance that I ever will install Windows on one of my computers again.
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2018, 02:02:00 pm »

I was a late founder for Origins (signed up after Ghosts was announced) and even spent some time in the Discord. Part of the reason I did it was that Wardell did so much to associate himself and Origins with Ghosts -  I assumed the "multiverse" connection must have had Fred and Paul's blessing, for example. When this controversy first broke through Fred and Paul's blog posts I tried to give Stardock the benefit of the doubt. It didn't last long though, because even before the news of the actual suit went public there was too much in SD's narrative that didn't make sense.

If this could have been settled on reasonable terms, I probably would have still played the game with dampened enthusiasm, but it is well past that point now. I did not ask for a refund, partly out of laziness and partly because I did not want to give Stardock the satisfaction of using it for damages. However, I have had Steam permanently delete the game from my account and expect I will never play it.

"Star Control" is not a name that means something to a lot of people. Even UQM's 2 million downloads, while impressive, are stretched out over 15+ years and include many repeat downloads and I'm sure many more who grabbed it just cause it was free and barely played it. It does have a passionate fanbase who might have still formed a decent-sized sales base for Origins. But Stardock has done so much to alienate and antagonize said fanbase (seriously, Wardell's constant posting and picking fights on forums has done him immense harm in people's opinion of him, not to mention that it will be used as evidence) I'm not sure who the target audience for the game is now. Like it's gotten lukewarm reviews, so who exactly is going to buy Origins now besides loyal Stardock fans, who would have bought it under any name?

My hunch is that Wardell thought his very supportive founders in Discord represented Star Control fans in general more than they really did and so the damage wouldn't be too bad.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 02:12:10 pm by Mormont » Logged
Krulle
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2018, 02:27:24 pm »

(seriously, Wardell's constant posting and picking fights on forums has done him immense harm in people's opinion of him, not to mention that it will be used as evidence)
From my viewpoint, that is among the biggest plus to SC:O so far. That Mr. Wardell is still coming up here and answers posts here.
(The biggest being that the game actually got published, and carries a na,e I connect to great memories, despite knowing that the game has been made by others than the original creators credited by the original publisher, without the involvement of the original creators.)

I'm in the process of selecting a new PC, and actually saw that at least one graphic card manufacturer gives away SC:O with his cards.
But I've been watching some of the "let's play" videos popping up on youtube.
The game is close to what I was hoping for.

But there are some points I dislike very much, and you encounter them very early in the game.

But indeed, because of several reasons I won't be buying SC:O soon,
- lack of time to play at home (wait two years, and my kids will play for me).
- this mess with money being spent for lawyers, delaying the story-game I want to play.
- my PC still not up to a level where I actually could play SC:O.


There are some things I dislike very much, though.
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2018, 06:15:34 pm »

Most of us are fans who would have been happy enough to have a "SC-like" game. I remember bookmarking Stardock's dev forums a bunch of years ago, watching with cautious optimism. Like many people, I started following more closely with the GOTP announcement. The rest we've all been here for.

Taking the IP rights at face value, the obvious compromise would have been Stardock's "SC-like" being sold as Star Control: Origins, and P&F's sequel to SC2 (yes, sequel, in the sense of continuing the SC2 story) being sold as GOTP. It would have been incredibly easy to make an SC-like without Precursors or Arilou or Melnorme. Even easier to make a sequel without the "Star Control" name on the box.

Stardock decided that all of our opinions are invalid because we have been spun by a pro-P&F PR campaign, if not on their actual payroll. If you believe that conspiracy, it follows that any criticism of SC:O's story or gameplay is in bad faith, and a fanatical attack on Stardock. It also follows that the only neutral fans are the ones who mostly praise Stardock. The rest are part of a "vile community". Shut them down.

And it continues. The biggest game media like IGN and Gamespot have found the game to be mediocre. So, even the journalists are secretly in on the conspiracy. Fuck them. Who cares what they think, right?

Stardock has trapped themselves into a walled garden. Can you make a successful 10 million dollar project with that?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 06:18:19 pm by rosepatel » Logged
Defender
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2018, 10:25:04 pm »

steam spy has sco at 52...up from 59 yesterday...but down from 1 on launch day...
me thinks stardock has already alienated the sc fans and thus divided his profits.
no im not going to buy it...yes i played it and found it meh...
stardock, i think, shot themselves in the foot by their actions...
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kaminiwa
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2018, 11:47:30 pm »

My role is to deliver documents back and forth. If Serge wanted to modify it and send it back I would have forwarded his changes to the appropriate people and they’d evaluate.

Serge did indeed send you a counter proposal, but the email thread ends without any Stardock response to it:

Fortunately, there is a way to alleviate those concerns, and show the
fans that you would not act in bad faith against the community.

What I am suggesting is that you unilaterally grant a full and
non-revocable license to whatever necessary intellectual property rights
you hold to the community. It is my understanding that it is in fact not
required to have the licensee assert that the licensor actually has the
rights they are licensing; you could instead say 'to the degree that we
own ...'.

You could probably just publish such a license grant on Stardock's
website, and it would put a few minds at ease.

Please consider it. After all, with your new game on the way, some
positive attention is always welcome.
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2018, 04:43:53 pm »

"I'm going to have to ask that you or one of the
other members with administrative access to the UQM project site to sign
the trademark license no later than Friday, August 3."

"We are very interested in
seeing the UQM project continue forward and want to avoid seeing it being
drawn into this dispute."

This particular wording reminds of a Mafia movie lol. DO what we want, when we want. I would hate for something bad to happen to you. At the very least its a scare tactic which is just as bad.
[...]
Finally I do not work for Paul and Freds PR firm as Brad has so often accused people of doing with low comment totals.

Well as someone with a high comment total, I can verify that this is the impression Brad's escalating legal aggression and carefully-worded-not-quite-threats have, at this point, given a "non shill" as well.
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Cedric6014
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2018, 10:22:01 pm »

So does me buying SC Origins undermine Fred and Paul’s ability to make Ghosts of the Precursors? And if so, how?
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2018, 11:17:12 pm »

Yes. Your buying SC:O contributes to Stardock's legal fund and their attempts to undermine Paul and Fred's legitimate intellectual property rights which are necessary to produce Ghost of the Precursors. Please don't do that.
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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2018, 09:01:04 am »

Yes. Your buying SC:O contributes to Stardock's legal fund and their attempts to undermine Paul and Fred's legitimate intellectual property rights which are necessary to produce Ghost of the Precursors. Please don't do that.

That's just ridiculous. None of the money that goes to SCO goes to their legal proceedings. That gets absorbed straight into the gaming division to make up for the cost of SCO.
You don't magically make an $11 million deficit disappear.

Do what you want to do. But saying that buying SCO buys into the legal fund of Stardock is just plain wrong.

At best buying SCO buys Stardock out of their own hole.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 07:31:51 pm by Serosis » Logged

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Re: Regarding 'Star Control: Origins' and Stardock
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2018, 01:42:45 pm »

That's just obtuse.

I don't think there's a need to be insulting.

Quote
None of the money that goes to SCO goes to their legal proceedings. That gets absorbed straight into the gaming division to make up for the cost of SCO.

In a company Stardock's size, I strongly doubt that there is a legal separation between divisions that would prevent the money from going wherever Brad wants it to go.
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