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Author Topic: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?  (Read 17227 times)
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Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« on: January 22, 2012, 01:46:09 pm »

When I think of my favourite computer games from the 90's, there were the medieval fantasy role playing games like quest for glory, ultima, daggerfall, and so on. Developers have continued to increase the quality of this genre. Skyrim is better than oblivion, oblivion is better than morrowind, and morrowind is better than daggerfall. So the best medieval fantasy role playing games of all time might be the recently developed Drakensang: The river of time ( 2010 ) and Skyrim (2011).

When it comes to the Star Control genre however, there hasn't been made any serious improvements since Star Control 2 came in the early 90's. So Star Control 2 still stands as the best game of all time for this sci-fi star-travelling role-playing genre. I don't think this is just because Star Control 2 was a great game, I also think it is because there has been made very few serious attempts to make games like Star Control 2....
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 01:47:50 pm by ubericon » Logged
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 08:30:57 pm »

I think part of the reason for this is that Star Control 2 actually didn't sell all that well (they had the misfortune to release at the same time as Wing Commander II...). The poor fan reception to SC3 probably didn't help either.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:41:59 pm by oldlaptop » Logged

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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 12:56:13 am »

Quality is difficult. Besides, the industry thinking seems to be that space sci-fi is dead unless it's called Star Wars. The perfect opportunity for a revival, parheps?
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 06:55:15 pm »

Quality is difficult. Besides, the industry thinking seems to be that space sci-fi is dead unless it's called Star Wars. The perfect opportunity for a revival, parheps?

Or Mass Effect, or Gears of War, but both of those play pretty similarly other than the whole "Mass Effect having a plot" thing.
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 07:19:31 pm »

Well, I not too long ago came across a game called Space Pirates and Zombies. It is somewhat similar, and it has been released very recently.
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 11:49:48 pm »

Mass effect 2 is a better Space RPG than Star Control 2 in my opinion Smiley. So the genre isn't dead at all!
Ofcourse, Bioware has a lot more tech and money working for them than TFB had in those days, then again let that be a lesson for TFB that creating top games in the past doesn't gain you immortality Wink.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 11:51:54 pm by Angelfish » Logged
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 09:42:05 pm »

I always thought Mass Effect inspired a bit on the premise of Star Control 2. The races, the planets and the exploration bit. But now I consider these just core aspects of a space rpg game.

I think possibly on a related note, here is a good comparison between the Reaper and the Kohr-Ah. Tongue
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 09:45:53 pm »

It's odd that people often come with Mass Effect when they're want something to group with Star Control II.
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 04:08:45 pm »

I only mentioned it because someone mentioned that scifi was dead, when the new ME game coming up shows that is far from true. That said, though, it seems like no small number of ideas in ME were seemingly cribbed from Star Control. A few of the most striking comparisons are Krogan - Thraddash, Asari - Syreen, Collectors - Precursors, Kohr-Ah - Reapers, etc. Obviously they're not exact, but they are quite close in some cases (I practically expected a Krogan to use the Thraddash "brutality" speech verbatim at some point).
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 08:04:22 pm »

Well I guess it's natural of SC fans to believe that Star Control had such influence.

There are some similarities, but I wouldn't attribute them to the spiritual greatness of Star Control, but rather assume that they're common elements in sci-fi. Blue humans, space brutes, tentacle aliens, (remnants of) ancient civilizations etc. not too hard to come up with them -- both with the concepts and the designs.

Genre-wise, I really didn't see much space adventure games since Star Control, especially not recently. Note that when I say "adventure game", it doesn't include "role-playing games" as I consider the latter as a different category, which originates from pen and paper role-playing. If you ask me what game is Star Control related with, I'd say The Day of the Tentacle or The Book of Unwritten Tales (I'd dare to say L. A. Noire too): conversational options and puzzle solving are the basis, with combat and resource gathering tasks as secondary features. These are investigative games: you have to use your power of observation, listen to what characters have to say, keep count on your clues, and use your wits/imagination in combining items.

RPGs however are combat games, with conversations as secondary features. The difference between hack'n'slash mousekillers like Diablo and Elder Scrolls is simply that Diablo does less chatting, but not listening to what either wants to say doesn't really hinder the player in progressing. They're all about raising stats and getting to the next level while the story is going on.
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 11:29:58 pm »

Quote
Genre-wise, I really didn't see much space adventure games since Star Control, especially not recently. Note that when I say "adventure game", it doesn't include "role-playing games" as I consider the latter as a different category, which originates from pen and paper role-playing. If you ask me what game is Star Control related with, I'd say The Day of the Tentacle or The Book of Unwritten Tales (I'd dare to say L. A. Noire too): conversational options and puzzle solving are the basis, with combat and resource gathering tasks as secondary features. These are investigative games: you have to use your power of observation, listen to what characters have to say, keep count on your clues, and use your wits/imagination in combining items.

I kinda agree. I tried to play mass effect 2, but found it too action-oriented for my taste. I do however think that some of the best games are hybrids between role-playing and adventure. Star control 2 certainly had some role-playing aspects ( like improvement of the precursor service vehicle ). Another adventure / role-playing hybrid I liked a lot as a child was quest for glory. I also think the elder scrolls series has become more and more adventure-like, and that is probably the main reason why I liked Skyrim much more than the older elder scrolls games.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 11:32:26 pm by ubericon » Logged
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2012, 03:10:04 pm »

Here's an old, old, old topic I made about this....
http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=3656.0
(I don't know why my post count reset. I'm guessing there was some forum database trouble at some point, I guess?)

And now an update...
The game industry is too busy making a billion first person shooters.
There are tons of indie projects, but nothing from a big company. A lot of them aren't complete yet.
So it seems like the demand is there, at least to some extent.
We're either not loud enough... or the industry just doesn't care?
Though some companies have sort of tried.... a little bit.... Lack of emphasis on exploration is often a big problem.
I'll list some games that are very similar, and some vaguely similar, to what we're all looking for....

Starfarer: http://fractalsoftworks.com/
I haven't tried it.... yet.... but it looks promising. Development seems pretty active.
It's not free though, but it may be well worthwhile.

Black Sky: http://www.blackskygame.com/
Development is slow, but it's still alive! Somewhat recent developer activity!

Noctis: http://anynowhere.com/bb/layout/html/doors/local/frameset_noctis.html
Amazing, unique game! I'm sure many people here have heard of it already.
... But it's kinda old. Graphics sort of have their own charm though.
The controls are a little odd... you get used to it though..
It could have used a little more.... things to look for, maybe more ruins and alien life (there's some, but not much),
...but oh well.
I loved Noctis for about two weeks or so, then I got bored.
Every planet I went to started to look the same. It may have millions of planets, but there's not much variation.
The developer planned to make a new version, but sadly, I'm pretty sure the project is dead.
It's an amazing game with the potential to be even more amazing. It's too bad there won't ever be a new version.  
I would fall in love with a game like this, combined with stuff like Star Control has!

Transcendence: http://neurohack.com/transcendence/index.html
I'm not sure how big the universe is, or how much exploration you can do.
It looks very interesting though. I must try it sometime

Spaceway: http://spaceway.1gb.ru/
This is looking pretty nice, but more people need to know about it.
It does have a long way to go, but development seems fairly active, from what I can tell.
I've tried it, but I don't think I've taken advantage of all the features yet.

Space Engine: http://en.spaceengine.org/
Another amazing one! It's just... beautiful!  Right now, it's just a simulator, but the developer plans to make it more game-like in the future.

Celestia: http://www.shatters.net/celestia/
Not really a game and not really intended to be one. Still nice though.
There are lots of mods to add interesting things.

Starflight 3: http://www.starflight3.org/
Maybe this will be real someday...

Infinity: http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/
This one is supposed to be an MMO. I'm not usually a fan of MMOs, but it looks like a dream! Development has been slow, but it's definitely not a dead project.

Pioneer: http://pioneerspacesim.net/
I'm not sure I've tried this yet, but it looks nice. Definitely has lots of potential!

Vega Strike: http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/
I tried this once, but my computer couldn't handle it well at the time. I need to try it again sometime.

Starflight: The Lost Colony: https://sites.google.com/site/starflighttlc/
I'm not sure what to say, but it could be good. I haven't tried it yet.

Prospector: http://code.google.com/p/rlprospector/
A roguelike. Get paid to discover new planets, life, and other stuff!
It's still in beta.
I must try this game sometime!

Space Rangers I and II: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Rangers_%28video_game%29
I played the first one. I was addicted to it. There aren't a ton of star systems though.
I don't know why I haven't played the second one yet. I have it.
(Beware of Starforce copy protection in some older copies of SR2. It's caused lots of trouble for people with legit disc versions of the game. I recommend getting the game from Steam, or somewhere else online...)

Spore: http://www.spore.com/ftl
Does this count? I haven't played it yet, but I've heard it has space exploration at the end

Distant Worlds: http://www.matrixgames.com/products/379/details/search.asp
It's a 4x game... but it has tens of thousands of planets to explore!
It seems kinda hard from what I've heard though. It sounds fun, but I'm afraid  Shocked

X3: http://www.egosoft.com/games/x3/info_en.php
I'm really not sure how much focus there is on exploration...
It looks kinda fun though!

Evochron Mercenary: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronmercenary/
Not sure how much focus there is on exploring itself, but the scenery is amazing!

Sins of a Solar Empire: http://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/
Seems very interesting, but I'm not sure how much exploration matters in this game.
It's really more of a strategy, battle, and expansion game.  I've also heard it's kinda difficult.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 03:22:29 pm by grayfox7777 » Logged
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 09:21:38 pm »

There's Halo.  I've only played the first one but that's positive proof that the sci-fi space genre isn't dead meat game makers, isn't it? 
Grayfox7777, I noticed you put Vega Strike and Pioneer on this (gotta check out the rest of the games on the list sometime) but there's also Elite, or the fan-made Oolite.  The graphics are horrible compared to Vega Strike and Pioneer, but I don't really care since it's the only game of the three that you can actually play on mid-range a computer.  I have a dual core 2.00 Ghz and 2 gigs of ram, but Vega Strike is still slow.  VS has a lot of spinoffs including Pioneer, but Elite/Oolite is just something else entirely.  There are also TONS of mods of varying degrees to the game, called OXPs.  I must  admit I lost interest in the game for now, but it's worth a try.  I'm sure there's hi-res OXPs for Oolite too, at least new skins for ships.
http://www.oolite.org/

By the way, there's also "Space Traders" for the PDA (Palm, Windows Mobile, and others).   Tongue
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2012, 09:31:17 pm »

There are loads of sci-fi games, the real problem is that since the SCUMM recipe game designers are less creative with adventure games, or at least they do less risky experiments than before.
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Re: Why hasn't there been made more games like Star Control 2?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2012, 05:39:19 am »

Ah, sorry to revive an older thread..but I just came across it and wanted to add a couple other oldies to the list.

Sentinel Worlds 1
Megatraveller 1 and 2
Planet's Edge

There are more, but in my (obviously) old age, I can't remember.
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