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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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Anthony
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Vote Toys for Bob
« on: March 07, 2009, 02:41:35 pm »


A few days ago, I was reading the latest issue of PC Gamer.  It had an article titled "49 Greatest Developers".  It's a countdown list and none of the developers were in any particular order.  The list included 3D Realms (listed as Apogee), Bethesda, the Nethack Team, Popcap, Telltale Games, etc.  It wasn't limited to big-budget developers.

The reason why there are only 49 listed is because they want their readers to write a letter to letters@pcgamer.com that explains the developer they choose as the 50th greatest developer.

This is the perfect opportunity to e-mail them and tell them about Toys for Bob.  If Star Control II can be called one of the "greatest games of all time", TFB deserves the title "greatest developer" as well.

I wrote about this on my blog and I received an awesome comment from the article's author, Richard Cobbett:
Quote from: Richard Cobbett
Definitely write in. If it helps, TFB were on my shortlist, specifically because of SC2. They'd have been in there if I'd had a couple more slots to play with, but 49 is both a very big and a very small number when you're writing a list like this. I also just finished a piece on retro games for a different magazine which specifically holds up Ur-Quan Masters as one of the titles worth downloading ;-)

It's definitely worth writing to.  I wrote my letter to them shortly after I finished writing about it on my blog.  This is great for everyone who already wrote to Alex Ness.  Toys for Bob truly deserves this honor.  Spread the word.  Grin
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 04:01:46 am by Anthony » Logged

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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 04:27:56 pm »

I wanted to chip in the minute I saw this show up on StarController, but it sounded like a lost cause and just now I've realized why.

If you want to argue that Toys For Bob is among the greatest game developers of all time, you have to do it entirely on the merits of one game and its open source release. This will be stacked against companies that have released megahit after megahit. What was it the Spathi said when refusing to join the New Alliance of Free Stars?

Quote from: Star Control II
"Yes we ARE strong enough! Look at our Precursor vessel. Is it not unique?"

"Yes, your vessel is unique, and here is the crux of the problem.
A `Unique', meaning singular, starship is not equal to the task of destroying the entire Ur-Quan armada.
If you had, say, ten thousand similar starships, we could take your boasts more seriously."

I would honestly vote for Microprose (RIP) or Origin Systems (RIP x2) over Toys For Bob simply because they've released a multitude of great games, even if none of them alone were as fun as SC2. Those two might already be covered. I guess I should ask if there is a list of the other 49? I don't mean to rain on your thread. Perhaps this will encourage discussion.
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Anthony
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 05:08:12 pm »

Nice quote, Shiver.  I completely agree that it seems like a lost cause with more popular developers who could be #50.  Spathi’s quote regarding the single precursor vessel does a good job at reflecting our predicament.

Origin is on the list.  The founder of Microprose, Sid Meier, is on the list, but not the company itself.

I don’t consider your post “raining down”; I’m just glad that someone finally replied.  I hope other people reply as well.

It’s worth a shot, at least.  It would be nice if they had more recognition for their own games and not known as the “guys who did Madagascar and Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam”.  It’s obvious that it’s going to take much more to convince Activision to make that new Star Control game we’ve been dreaming of for so long.

When I read your Spathi quote, I thought of Commander Hayes’ quote about how we’ll have to seek new alliances, build up an army and defeat the Ur-Quan in 4 years.

Here are the 49 developers that were on the list.  It is not a countdown list.  They were listed in no particular order:
(click to show/hide)
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 06:03:13 pm »

It looks like PC Gamer is dropping the ball. Why all of these single individuals showing up on this list? And Derek Smart? Really? Maybe we should be petitioning to take a few of these off of their list. TFB is definitely worth more than some of the above.
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jaychant
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 08:38:15 pm »

The only one I even know about on that list is Microsoft and Sierra...
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 09:07:26 pm »

What is wrong with these guys, no Troika in the list!? Chris Avellone and Black Isle are definitely worthy of being there, though.
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 09:10:41 pm »

It looks like PC Gamer is dropping the ball. Why all of these single individuals showing up on this list? And Derek Smart? Really? Maybe we should be petitioning to take a few of these off of their list. TFB is definitely worth more than some of the above.

Agreed. That's a lot of single individuals.
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2009, 10:05:30 pm »

And they've got Sierra as well as Ken and Roberta Williams. And ID and John Carmack.
And where are Taito, and the Bitmap Brothers?
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 10:55:15 pm »

Looking Glass Studios. Now there's a name that definitely deserves being here Smiley (one of their games is the only one I consider awesome enough to be on par with SC2 Grin)

Blizzard and Westwood too, they made some true classics.

I'm also familiar with some of these due to a single, but great game (Bullfrog, Sierra, Valve, Id Software, Bioware/Black Isle Games).

Looking at some of the others, I do agree TFB should be on the list as well...
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 11:45:19 pm »

If you want to argue that Toys For Bob is among the greatest game developers of all time, you have to do it entirely on the merits of one game and its open source release. This will be stacked against companies that have released megahit after megahit.

You say that but look at some on the list, sure some of them made loads of great games but they have Ion Storm, I think we all remember that awful game they made that need not be mentioned but they made it on there because of Deus Ex, their one great hit.

Edit: I have written my own submission, let me know what you think.

Hello,

I would like to nominate Toys for Bob as the 50th greatest developer. Obviously there has to be some sort of reason as to why I believe they should be the 50th greatest developer and here it is. They created one of the greatest games of all time, a game that I personally have lost many hours to as have many others, sure it may be just one game but just one game has changed the gaming community before such as Final Fantasy VII or Deus Ex. I of course mean their fantastic 1992 hit, Star Control II, this game was well known in its time but has only a cult following today and I look to bring Toys for Bob back to public attention with this email. Star Control II has been an important game for me as a gamer, it had everything I look for in a game, a well-thought out story, nice gameplay, a touch of RPG and a solid soundtrack. People now underestimate the importance developers such as Toys for Bob had on the whole industry and while it may seem like they weren't an influences to many, they certainly have inspired many. Efforts today are continued in an attempt to get a legitimate sequel to Star Control II and these efforts are stronger than ever with developers such as Stardock considering buying the rights to the Star Control franchise and making the sequel many have waited for. Toys for Bob may not have been the greatest developer or even the most widely known but with the hit Star Control II, it would be unfair to not recognize them as a developer worthy of being in your list.

Thank you,
David
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 12:09:08 am by DaveStrife » Logged
Anthony
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 03:21:15 am »

Nice letter, David.  Mentioning Stardock's interest in Star Control is a good example that there is at least one other company interested in making a new Star Control game.

Thanks for writing.
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Re: Vote Toys for Bob
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2009, 08:15:24 pm »

Nice letter, David.  Mentioning Stardock's interest in Star Control is a good example that there is at least one other company interested in making a new Star Control game.

Thanks for writing.

No problem, it's developers like Toys for Bob who keep me interested in gaming, gaming isn't like it used to be, most games now are short and developers are concerned about graphics over gameplay, I like older games better than most modern games. Now off to play Star Control II, I can't believe it's as old as me.
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