IRC chat Oct 1998 QA trim

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  1. StarControl IRC chat - 10-18-1998

Paul Reich / Fred Ford / Dan Nicholson (Fwiffo = Paul and Fred , Maelcum_ = Dan Nicholson) Logged by Stilgar -- visit the #StarControl homepage @ http://starcontrol.obscurity.net Snipped and shortened to just Q&As by Brettins

<SpathiX> Fwiffo- What do you think of the starcontrol clones in the making. (starconx & timewarp) ??

<Fwiffo> Regarding the Star Control clones, I think it's cool! Given the success of Accolade's sequels, it's one of the few bright lights in the SC history.


<Pulse^> Fwiffo�:� "few bright lights" - it sounds as though you think the SC series is a failure?

<Fwiffo> I don't think the SC series is a failure (quite the opposite) it's just that SC3 was a disappointment, and SC4 seems dead


<Deep-Reep> which one if you is the creative director and which one is the programmer?

<Fwiffo> In our current configuration, Fred and Ken Ford are the twin lead programmers, and I am the lead designer/blabber. Steve Kongsle is our lead artist.


<Mharr> And Accolade were depressing to work with?

<Fwiffo> At one point Accolade was a blast to work with. Our producer on SC1 and II (Pam Levins) was very supportive and professional. Unfortunately, Accolade's desire to continue the series doesn't seem matched with the capacity to do so.


<Earthling> why have u desided to leave accolade ?

<Fwiffo> About leaving Accolade: after finishing SC2 we needed a rest, and proposed a simple game "The Horde" before moving on to SC3. Accolade didn't want to publish the Horde, and our friends at Crystal Dynamics did.


<Pulse^> Fwiffo�:� who did the most design work in Star Control 2? By design, I mean plotting/naming of stars, and writing the excellent storyline.

<Fwiffo> I (Paul) wrote the story with the help of Greg Johnson (Starflight) and my old TSR buddies Erol Otus and Mat Genser.


<SpathiX> spectrum, commodore 64, genesis, pc, 3do.. are there any other ports of the starcontrol series?

<Fwiffo> Rgarding the Spectrum and C64 ports of SC1, I can only say "WE DIDN'T HAVE A THING TO DO WITH THEM!"


<SpathiX> were there any more ports?

<Fwiffo> We ported SC1 to the Amiga and Sega, and SC2 to the 3DO.


<Etherea|> Fwiffo: Were you inspired by any particular works of science-fiction in the conception of your universe?

<Fwiffo> Regarding inspiration, just check out the manual to SC1 -- we credit just about every writer I could think of. In particular though, I would highlight Jack Vance, Larry Niven, Orson Scott Card


<LordR-man> Fwiffo- how did you come up with the StarControl seriese, what enspired you and Fred Ford to make these games?

<Fwiffo> The genesis of the SC series is a long story, beginning, believe it or not, at Electronic Arts. After finishing World Tour Golf for EA, my old partners Evan and Nicky and I decided to make a modem game (code-named Camero at that time) and we proposed a science-fiction Archon game.


<SpathiX> I'll pay top dollar for another starcontrol game

<Fwiffo> If you guys want a Science-fiction game from TFB, send letters to our Crystal cohorts!

<Fwiffo> Er... I think mwallace@crystald.com (he's our producer.)


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- was it your intention to make the Orz the "bad guys" in StarControl 3?

<Fwiffo> In our rambling thoughts about SC3 we did seriously consider having the Orz assume a much larger and more ominous role, opposed to the return of the Precursors.


<Etherea|> Fwiffo: Were you inspired by any particular works of science-fiction in the conception of your universe? <Fwiffo> Regarding inspiration, just check out the manual to SC1 -- we credit just about every writer I could think of. In particular though, I would highlight Jack Vance, Larry Niven, Orson Scott Card


<LordR-man> Fwiffo- how did you come up with the StarControl seriese, what enspired you and Fred Ford to make these games? <Fwiffo> The genesis of the SC series is a long story, beginning, believe it or not, at Electronic Arts. After finishing World Tour Golf for EA, my old partners Evan and Nicky and I decided to make a modem game (code-named Camero at that time) and we proposed a science-fiction Archon game.


<SpathiX> Fwiffo - What about that 'add on' pack for sc2 giving more ships that was never released? does it exist? <Fwiffo> The add-on pack was never finished. We spent 4 months on the code/data overlay technology which would make it possible, but Accolade really wasn't interested (alas.)


<Mharr> Do you still have the ship ideas? <Fwiffo> Regarding new ship ideas: Yes, we often go, "Hey what about a ship that can slip backwards in time" or something like that. Our new game "Unholy War" has many of our new ship ideas incorporated into monster and robot fighters.

<Deep-Reep> i wonder what a dnyarri ship would look like. <Fwiffo> About Dynarri Ships: They are lazy as they are evil. They would never work up a sweat designing or building anything new when they could just take a ship technology from a thrall race.


<Deep-Reep> a ship that can slip backwards in time, would that be having a copy of the ship you're fighting appear next to you, and in a minute the first one disappears? how would the game know the damage the 1st ship has taken in the minute after sliding? <Fwiffo> About the time power: We thought about recording a journal of events, and when a player used the power, we would back-up the journal. Then, the enemy player would repeat his exact moves, while the time-traveler got to change his actions.


<Deep-Reep> what really happened to the precursors? was the sc3 team right in guessing they were the ortog? <Fwiffo> About the Precursors: I thought the regression to cow form was a funny idea with some interesting consequences, but to answer your questions, No, that was not what we had in mind.


<Fwiffo> About what happened to SC4: As far as we know, it's production has been stopped.


<LordR-man> Fwiffo- What really happened to the Androsynth in sc2? <Fwiffo> In regards to the Androsynth: They were snagged by the entity who/which projected its fingers into our dimension (which looked to us as the Orz.)


<Xxyl> Wonderful, I bought a 3do for SC2 and now I'll need a playstation for Unholy War :) <Fwiffo> About the Unholy War: Buy it! Buy it! Buy it! (Was that subtle enough?)


<Deep-Reep> have you ever played quest for glory? was it an influence on starcon2? <Fwiffo> Regarding Quest for Glory: No I never played it.


<SpathiX> the fight scene is like a melee <SpathiX> in unholy war <Fwiffo> Yes, the fighting Melee mode -- er... Mayhem mode, is very much intended to be played with the same passion and fun as in Star Control II.


<TheManta> Fwiffo: Why *did* the Melnorme's bridge turn purple?  :) <Fwiffo> The Purple Bridge question, eh? How much is it worth to you? <Deep-Reep> 120,000 credits <Fwiffo> I promise here and now, that in our next SC project, we'll answer that Purple Bridge question to your ultimate satisfaction.


<Fwiffo> Regarding fan projects: As far as I am concerned, your efforts are not only allowed but hugely encouraged!

<Mharr> SO how many people own bits fo the SC universe? <Fwiffo> Regarding SC rights: This is a very interesting question -- at least to me. From our perspective, we own all of SC beside the name "Star Control" and any of the new characters and events in SC3.


<TheManta> Fwiffo: It was great when I looked at an SC1 codewheel and discovered lots of SC2 race names. <Fwiffo> About the SC1 codewheel: I made that sucker on my Mac, but hidden in the center (which you could only see if you were trying to take it apart) was the phrase "Only a broodless Umgah would stoop so low as to duplicate this codewheel." <Fwiffo> Unfortunately, Accolade thought it would encourage people to take them apart and duplicate them!


<Mharr> We were just asking when you turned up - Are there any Star Control easter eggs? <Fwiffo> Well, the cloaking device was answered. Maybe what is our favorite race.


<Mharr> We were just asking when you turned up - Are there any Star Control easter eggs? <Fwiffo> No easter eggs. We were trying to get a conversation with me and Paul, but we didn't have time.


<NNNGN> Okay then -- what's your favorite race?  :) <Fwiffo> Paul's favorite race is the Spathi. It's closest to his heart.


<Manta> Fwiffo: Has anyone ever brought up parallels between Babylon 5 and Star Control? <Fwiffo> Babylon 5 causes a certain amount of stomping around the office screaming. <Fwiffo> Babylon 5 steals from us. We steal from known space. <Fwiffo> And Larry in known space steals from others.


<Deep-Reep> known space rocks! have you read the latest man-kzin war novel? <Fwiffo> Paul has read the latest man-kzin wars. I have not.

<Earthling> Fred, what program u used to create Starcontrol 2 ? <Fwiffo> SCII was created in C with some assembly language



<Xxyl> Q: Was that really Paul's dad as the old ship Captain in the 3do version? That's very cool if so. <Fwiffo> Yes, it really was Paul's dad and Paul's kids. Or close facsimiles anyway.


<Pulse^> Fwiffo�:� Do you still own the source for SC2, or is it the property of Accolade now? And would you ever be willing to email a copy to a poor misguided wannabe programmer in Australia? :) <Fwiffo> We actually never gave all of the source to Accolade.


<DrkEtrnl> Fwiffo: Are any of the StarCon2 musicians coming online? <Fwiffo> We didn't invite any directly. If the musicians heard about it, then ...

<Deep-Reep> the yehat theme is my favorite. <Fwiffo> I also like the yehat theme.

<Fwiffo> The pkunk's resurrection is really only 50/50


<Pehtoori> fwiffo: the yehat composer was a finnish on e no? <Fwiffo> Pehtoori: one of the composers was indeed finnish


<DrkEtrnl> Fwiffo: Ok, people may have asked this allreay, but I wasn't here, IS there a Cloaking device in SC2?? <Fwiffo> No, no, no cloaking device


<ORZ> How much time have passed between SC1 to SC2? <Fwiffo> We did SC1 in 1989-90, SC2 in 91-92


<DAvatar> Fwiffo: Can you describe your relationship with Accolade? I mean, did they screw you badly, and how? And what would you say to someone who's looking for a publisher? Who would you recommend? <Fwiffo> Accolade was just disinterested in what we wanted to do.

<Earthling> Fwiffo, all of those races that the Melnorme Captian Greenish 9 spoke of I mean the taalo etc .... have u did their ships or they are nothing then text ? <Fwiffo> We did no extra ships


<|argh|> ok, this has probably already been asked before... but what the hell was up with SC3 ??? <Fwiffo> We really have no comment on SC3


<_Stilgar> <Deep-Reep> q: what's it like to work with a gaming company, how does it work? <Fwiffo> We're employees now. So it's nice getting a regular paycheck. We have a special arrangement with Crystal. They allow us great independence.

<Manta> <Manta> Fw: Do you get any sort of royalties for the novel? <Fwiffo> Minuscule royalties ($50 apiece)


<Manta> <lb> Fw: is there any truth to the rumor that the 10 rainbow worlds were to point to 'Fred and Bob planet'? <Fwiffo> There is truth to this rumor alas. <Fwiffo> They are in the shape of an arrow. Pointing to something ...


<Manta> <DAvatar> q: Again - any advice for authors looking for a publisher that wont screw them? <Fwiffo> Negotiate in a friendly manner, but make sure you use a lawyer and remember royalties are ALWAYS disappointing. Go for cash!

<Ye> <Ye> Is it true that there will be no PC version of Unholy War? <Fwiffo> Probably no PC version of Unholy War although our development is on the PC so it already runs there

<Pulse^> <Tsing:#starcontrol-chat> Here's a good question - just how DO you pronounce MMRNMHRM? <Fwiffo> Just pretend you have no mouth and MMRNMHRM is easy to say


<_Stilgar> <ORZ> Q:What was your ideas for the hypothetical Sequal? <Fwiffo> We never had to settle on an idea, because we never got that close. But we were thinking about those missing Androsynth.


<Ye> <Ye> If Accolade showed up at your doorstep, crying and holding a big box of money, trying to get you guys to help them with StarCon what would you do? :) <Fwiffo> How big was that box? Just wondering...


<_Stilgar> <Tsing> Did you REALLY sign the 'Turn Star Control into a movie' petition? <Fwiffo> I will confess, we are still interested in creating more Star Control and yes we signed the petition.


<_Stilgar> <LordR-man> Do you believe that this fan following is strong enough to push for a sequel? <Fwiffo> I think the fan following is what got SCIII made, because SCII was not a great seller. <Fwiffo> The numbers are in 120K units SCI, 130K units SCII (including 40K Japanese), and 80K SCIII <Fwiffo> And 12 posters

<Greenish9> Have you given any more thought to the new space opera you were thinking of? <Fwiffo> Greenish: we have not had the breathing space to think about new stuff yet.

<Xxyl> <me> What was working with 'real live movie stars' like for "The Horde"? <Fwiffo> Michael Gregory, the evil high chancellor was amazing. Kirk Cameron was really, um, nice.


<Pulse^> So 2 actually did relatively well compared to 3? <Fwiffo> Yeah, but remember 50K was from the 3DO version and the game has been around for 6 years. <Fwiffo> SCI did so well because of the early Genesis wave.


<_Stilgar> <che`z`puf> Are the Taalo really dead, and when the Pkunk spoke of rocks that were awakened, did they mean the Taaolo? <Fwiffo> The Taalo LIVE!

<Manta> <DAvatar> q: So what about sequels? If it *IS* possible that you would get involved with a sequel - is there any way in hell that you would be in a position to buy back the rights to Star Control from the pinheads at Accolade? <Fwiffo> If Crystal humored us and helped us get the rights back, that might make it possible. <Greenish9> How much would that cost? <Fwiffo> We don't know the cost. It depends on Accolade.

<Manta> <lb> So what *were* some of the inspirations for the races? I mean, the Umgah, the Druuge, the Spathi? <Fwiffo> Sometimes, the ship art and function inspired the race. Like the Druuge. <Fwiffo> Actually, Paul says the Spathi prayer each and every morning.


<Greenish9> Was SC1 really originally for the Sega Genesis? <Fwiffo> No, SCI was a PC game first. <Greenish9> In the interview it said it was later ported to the PC from the genesis <Fwiffo> The interview was in error. Although in general we think it was a fine interview.


<Greenish9> Was it SC : Timewarp you guys were looking over (at the end of the interview)? <Fwiffo> Yeah, that is what we were looking over.

<Mephisto_> Fwiffo: Did you mean for the Orz to be Satanists, or is it just a strange coincidence that the entire race seems to follow the philosophy of Anton LaVey...does it have anything to do with the fact that they are from *below* (that was a big discussion here at #StarControl one night not too far back)? <Fwiffo> Anton LaVey? Hey, he always has cute attedants! No, Satanism, per se, has little interest for us.


<Greenish9> Hey! Can I do my work experience at Crystal D.? ;) <Fwiffo> In regards to breaking into the industry, get into a company in any role you can (like test), and then show off what you can do. There is a real talent vacuum!


<Mephisto_> Fwiffo: What exactly did the Arilou *quickbabies* do to piss off the Orz so much? <Fwiffo> The Arilou always *jumped in front*, which was both a physical taunt as well as a political one. They got to the humans first.


<Manta> <Deep-Reep> please post this! I'm about to leave. fwiffo: I'm going now, cya. ask paul if he's read destiny's road by niven, did he like the idea that most sentient races might not be able to explore their world? <Fwiffo> I believe I've read everthing that Niven's written, but that one wasn't my favorite. I think Niven is better at painting a broad canvas of human/alien interaction rather than solo human experience.


<Manta> <lb> "How did you originally find Eric Berge, Dan, and company?" <Fwiffo> We met the MOD crew (including Dan and Riku) through a contest we hosted. We invited people from around the world to enter MODs, and the best ones got into the game.

<Manta> <JimL> question: What can fans do to make a real SC3 more likely to become reality some day? <Fwiffo> To enhance the chance of SC3 by TFB, write to Crystal and tell them that you would by a bazillion copies of an SC game for the Dreamcast. Also, since Eidos now owns Crystal, you might try them too.

<Manta> <DrkEtrnl> Fwiffo: Why DreamCast? what about N64 and the PSX?? <Fwiffo> By the time we get our next project our (18 months from now or so) the Playstation and probable the N64 will be history.


<Manta> <|argh|> it'd be stupid to release an SC that's not on the computer <Manta> <DrkEtrnl> Fwiffo: You don't have much confidence for the N64 do you? <Fwiffo> A PC version of SC would be best. <Fwiffo> I think the N64 is a great machine. It's just that the next generation of machines are here, and there really cool.

<Manta> <MangoMan> Fwiffo: Aren't you worried that game-console users (who usually just look for action and graphics in games) might not be able to appreciate the sophisticated intruiging plot typical of a Star Control game? <Fwiffo> Yes, the sophistication issue is a very good one.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- what is your schedule like for the coming months? any chance you might be able to squeeze a StarControl sequel somewhere, assuming our pressures on CrystalD will amount to something? <Fwiffo> Unlikely we could "just sueeze a StarControl sequel"


<Manta> <lb> here's a bizarre question: "What kinds of games do you like/what genres are you fans of?" <Fwiffo> We like all sorts of games. Although games that require thought are usually most popular.


<yehaT> If you own the SC2 code, what would it take to have it? =) <Fwiffo> Unfortunately the code is incomplete due to time and hard-drive failures.


<Manta> <che`z`puf> Has Unholy Wars been successful? Are you happy with it's SC1 like interface (love the game here)? Will you be making more like it? <Fwiffo> Unholy War has gotten good press, but it's too early to tell if it will ultimately be a successful game (whatever that means).


<Fwiffo> Fred's e-mail address fford@crystald.com has been public on the SC discussion board.

<yehaT> Fwiffo: Do you like classic adventure games? Like the oldies from Lucas Arts (Monkey,Zak..)? <Greenish9> What do you think of the X-COM series? <Fwiffo> Yes, we like the adventure games and X-COM (the first one) is one of our all-time favorites. <Greenish9> It's a very deep game. Perhaps some of it's ambience could prove inspiring for the next SC? <Fwiffo> We have often talked of doing an X-COM like game.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- where did some of the StarControl races names come from? was MyCon short for "MyControl" (i.e. "my StarControl")? :) <Fwiffo> Believe it or not some of the SC names were generated randomly.


<Manta> <Cheetah-> question: Have you played any of the truly ANCIENT games (like Adventure), and do you like them? <Fwiffo> Yes, we had played StarFlights and we even worked with the lead designer, Greg Johnson. <Greenish9> Syreen = Sirens, VUX = that funny acronym, Ilwrath = Ill Wrath, and so on. Interesting take on Mycon there, Stil! <Fwiffo> Greenish is mostly correct. Ilwrath was a bastardization of a friend's name McIlwraith. <Manta> Melnorme... Mel Torme? <Fwiffo> Give Manta a prize! He's absolutely correct!


<Greenish9> Star Control 2 seemed filled with little personal jokes, jibes and touches... <Fwiffo> Greenish: it was which is probably why the Japanese never understood it.


<Manta> <ken-ohki> the race i'd bne most curious abtu the name of is the thradash <Fwiffo> The thraddash were on the wheel in SCI. It's origins are clouded in mystery.

<Inging> <MangoMan:#starcontrol-chat> How do you explain the fact that SCI takes place <Inging> after SCII? <Fwiffo> Inging: hey, it worked for George Lucas.


<Xxyl> <Capt_Crim> Fwiffo: "Have you ever considered about making SC related an adventure game like Monkey Island. Of course with the dialogue." <Fwiffo> We LOVE the Monkey Island series, so yes, we'd like to work on a game like it someday.

<Inging> <DrkEtrnl:#StarControl-chat> Fwiffo: Where you kicking yourself when you found <Inging> out about the lander cheat? or where you like.. "how did I miss <Inging> that?" <Fwiffo> Often times we fix really obscure bugs, and accidentally introduce really obvious ones at the last minute (as was the case with the landers.)


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- how hard do you think it will be to buy the rights to StarControl back from Accolade? do you think fans stand a chance? <Fwiffo> Before the Starcon debacle it would have been easier, I think. Now that they've sunk a lot of cash into the project, they would probably want to recover money from the sale of the name.


<_Stilgar> <R-man> Question: Fwiffo- Did you and Paul think of any good ideas for Starcontrol3 before accolade dropped you out? <Fwiffo> We've generated quite a few ideas since then (hopefully some of them were good) but we have never formalized a new plot.


<Xxyl> <lb> "Where do you think new games should go, in light of modern graphics/processor/networking technology?" <Fwiffo> In regards to the future of games: I am wondering this very thought right now. The strict genrefication of the last 5 years has made it increasingly difficult to made innovative titles. <Fwiffo> Hopefulle we won't keep chasing Doom and C&C for 5 more years.


<Mephisto_> Fwiffo: Were you ever planning to genetically combine the 2 species of Ur-Quan into the original brown UrQies or perhaps build the Slylandro some gas-ships to get off of their homeworld in a sequel? <Fwiffo> I don't think the Ur-Quan are capable of great change. They can move off-stage, but I'd hate to see their problems and capabilities dulled.


<Greenish9> Unoriginal question: What did you think of SC3? Did George Macdonald really come and chat to you about it? <Fwiffo> We did chat with George quite a bit at the start of SC3. Unfortunately, we had very limited time and really couldn't design as much as he wanted. <Fwiffo> Regarding the dialog: I defined the conversations structurally and wrote pieces of all of them, however, Greg Johnson was responsible for the majority of the Orz, Arilou, and Pkunk. Mat Genser wrote the Utwig and Ilwrath. Robert Leyland wrote the Supox, and Leonard Robel wrote some of the Thraddash. Iain McCaig did much of the VUX.


<Inging> <Churten:#STarControl-chat> question: does the word 'Dynarri' intentionally <Inging> bear resembelance to the ancient monetary unit? <Fwiffo> About the Dnyarri: I read everything and forget almost all of it immediately. Then, later and often in the shower, these words bubble up out of my subconscious. Where do they come from? I don't know!

<_Stilgar> <Spyhunter> Fwiffo: "How much time did it take to finish the dialoque in SC2?" <Fwiffo> The dialog took about 5 months.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- When did you start looking at fan pages on the web? <Fwiffo> We first noticed the web pages just over a year ago. their presence was a cool suprise.


<Mephisto_> Fwiffo: Did you hire the voice-actors for the 3DO version of SC2, do all of the voices sound like you would've imagined them to sound? <Fwiffo> We hired a number of local voice-actors for some parts, and we did the rest in-house. Greg Johnson was the Orz, Paul was the Talking Pet. <Fwiffo> Yes, for the most part. -- except for the Starbase commander who didn't really speak his lines with authority.


<_Stilgar> <MangoMan> Why is there a different picture of the earth starbase in all/some of the manuals? <Fwiffo> Sometimes we have a lot of control and particiaption with the artists (as with Erol's drawings in the SC1 manual and the George Barr's illustrations in the cluebook.) Other times, we never even hear about the artwork until after it is done (like Boris' covers)


<_Stilgar> <che`z`puf> when the Ur-Quan were forced to surrender, were the Dynarri destroyed? <Fwiffo> The talking pets left after the defeat of the Ur-Quan were probably destroyed -- all except for a few who were left on an arid moon. <Fwiffo> You know, when it comes to voices, I was talking about the 3DO version -- I have no idea how the SC3 voices sound since I never played that game.

<Xxyl> Fwiffo: My friend Erica wants to know what was supposed to happen with the Syreen commander when a girl plays the game. She's greatly disturbed. :) <Fwiffo> In regards to a girl playing with the Syreen, wake up and sniff the 90's!


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- were any ideas in the ending of SC2 going to carry over to your version of SC3? (MARK II, etc.?) <Fwiffo> In a word: Yes.

<yehaT> Fwiffo: I heard Fred Ford is an android. What sorts of android powers does he posess? <Fwiffo> Fred is back on and I resent that remark - resent that remark - resent that remark


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- what WAS the Mark II? <Fwiffo> The Mark II was a precursor cruiser as opposed to a precursor tug which is what you guys flew.


<Xxyl> <Spyhunter> Fwiffo: "How did you choose the music for each of the races?" <Fwiffo> In terms of music -- in some cases we took the contest entries and matched them up and in some cases Dan wrote them to match the characters.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- do you have a StarControl web page that you visit on a regular basis? do you have a personal favorite? <Fwiffo> I've been lurking on the SC Discussion Board for a couple of weeks. Other than that every once in a while I'll just cruise them all.


<yehaT> Fwiffo: Did you watch Star Trek for example when you were young? Did it have any influence when making the storyline of SC? <Fwiffo> Star Trek? What's that? ;)


<Xxyl> Re: music...Why were certain ones (Quasispace comes to mind) changed for 3do...just preference, or rights? <Fwiffo> The themes that changed on the 3DO did so because we could play redbook audio at those junctures. <_Stilgar> Fwiffo- did the same people who made the music for the PC version of StarCon remix it for the 3DO version? <Fwiffo> Burke Treischmann did the 3DO music.


<_Stilgar> <Spyhunter> Fwiffo: "So the music was chosen to equal the motives and "emotions" of the races?" <Fwiffo> Spyhunter: sort of, but we really only had a limited amount of music to choose from.


<_Stilgar> <FlyChy> Q: Are you planning to make gay/lesbian aliens in the next sequal? <Fwiffo> FlyChy: can you tell a gay/lesbian alien from a straight one?


<Mephisto_> Fwiffo: Was ZEX gay, or just a little 'confused'? <Fwiffo> ZEX liked humans. He was into beastiality at the very least.



<_Stilgar> <MusicSK> Q: Do you think the Orz were misrepresented in SC3? <Fwiffo> Yes <_Stilgar> A natural follow up- "how so"? :) <Fwiffo> MusicSK: the response for the Orz is beyond the scope of this.

<_Stilgar> <FlyChy> Q: Are there any plans of stealing the SC3 puppets from Accolade and making a new SC? <Fwiffo> (Paul again) I didn't really like the puppets in SC3. The art for SC4 was all 3D rendered, and looked much better. (That Syreen made by sphincters contract.)


<Mephisto_> Fwiffo: Do Spathi have feet, and what do VUX look like from the waist down? <Fwiffo> Spathi have a foot (like an abalone), but it is specialized for high-speed locomotion, usually away from anything vaguely threatening.)


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- so what do you think would be the best thing for fans to do now to ensure a sequel to StarControl? <Fwiffo> To ensure a sequel, keep bugging us, bug Crystal and Eidos, and don't support anyone else releasing an "official" SC project unless it is okayed by us.


<Inging> <Cheetah-:#STarControl-chat> fwiffo: if the spathi have so many children, do <Inging> they have a high infant mortality rate, or do lots of them just die <Inging> of the frigtening thought of overpopulation? <Fwiffo> Inging: A perfect conclusion.


<Xxyl> Here's an argument I've been having....Spathi have shells or no? <Fwiffo> I think Spathi's didn't naturally have shells, but based on their desire for safety, they might adopt them as a fashion.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- if Accolade sent you off for a few months unpaid to finish SC2, why didn't you ditch them and go to another company that could better appreciate your skills? <Fwiffo> We really wanted to finish SC2, but not in a hurried, crappy fashion.



<_Stilgar> <Etherea|> Fwiffo: Were the Mycon in your mind simply the insane fungus rewriting the memories of the sentient Deep Children like in SC3? They gave them a stupid religious fanatic look, IHO, which seemed too simple for the potential they had in SC2... what was your idea of the Mycon? <Fwiffo> The Mycon were biological tools of the Precursors. They had been programmed for terraforming, but when the Precursors vanished, the Mycons were left unattended. Over the following millenia, their programs drifted, forming the worship of Juffo-Wup.


<_Stilgar> <FlyChy> Q: Do you have any Voodoo puppets of Accolade employees? <Fwiffo> No, actually I reserve voodoo puppets for my old masters at TSR, who were genuinely evil.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- any chance of you guys "officially" endorsing a clone project? <Fwiffo> About endorsing a project: we have legal obligations to Accolade which would prevent us from doing that right now.


<Greenish9> So the SC3 idea was really yours? <Fwiffo> The SC3 plot was NOT ours.


<_Stilgar> <NNNGN> Fwiffo: Which one of you two worked for TSR, when, and on what? <Fwiffo> Paul worked at TSR in 1980-81, creating D&D and Gamma World modules, plus microgames and contributing monster designs (like the Thry-Kreen)


<_Stilgar> <MusicSK> Q What about the Arilou? What were your plans for them? <Fwiffo> Personally, I wanted the Arilou do dance on the boundary of threatening and helpful. They seem to be superior and manipulative, but so far, their plans don't appear harmful to humans.


<_Stilgar> <MusicSK> Q: Do the Druuge in any way represent TSR/Accolade? <Fwiffo> The Druuge are the worst aspects of my negotiations with TSR and EA. The Druuge are also somewhere inside me too.

<_Stilgar> <Spyhunter> Fwiffo: "How does an "Ultimate Evil" -race in an SC2 -style game behave when meeting the player?" <Fwiffo> You mean the big carnivorous teddy bears on Spathiwa?


<Xxyl> I believe those were those "Evil Ones" <Fwiffo> Oh yeah. Well, I rarely paint someone as absolutely "evil" -- it's all a matter of perspective. What is interesting is why people (aliens) do things that seem evil to you or me, and what prevents us from doing the same.


<yehaT> Did the artists use Deluxe Paint? <Fwiffo> We used Deluxe Paint and Deluxe Animate. Now we also use Photoshop and Fractal Painter.


<_Stilgar> <zenir> Q: how did the chmmr/taalo evolve.. especially to sentients? <Fwiffo> Adaptation and evolution require the ability to change in response to the environment. The Taalo and Chenjesu must either be the product of a previous culture, or they must be mostly software with some kind of field maniulation ability.


<_Stilgar> <che`z`puf> Can you tell us something about the Yuli, Yuptar, Faz and Drall? <Fwiffo> In regards to the dead races, er... they were really cool! Yeah, that's right -- cool and interesting. Too bad they're not around anymore.


<yehaT> What engine does SC2 use to play the MODs? Or have you coded it on your own? <Fwiffo> We borged some finnish MOD-playing code for the Amiga version, and then created our own version for the PC.


<_Stilgar> <FlyChy> Q: Are there any Syreen puppets...for ummmm, home use? <Fwiffo> Close your eyes and imagine.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- were any races in SC2 a "last minute addition", or were they all there right from inception of the plot? <Fwiffo> In terms of last minute additions, no - we had a pretty good idea of what we intended to do. We had to leave out a few things though.


<_Stilgar> <che`z`puf> Ouch! Not sure I agree with that one; after all, the Faz were slave shielded, not destroyed. <Fwiffo> The Faz not dead huh? Okay Mr. Smarty, I'll see about that. Just wait until I cook up a suitable demise for those pesky Faz. <Fwiffo> The Tarnoon never made it into the game (zen beetles), nor did the race who flew the grape-cluster ships (they looked too dumb.)


<yehaT> Have you read the Foundation and robot series from Isaac Asimov? Do you think it would be possible to create computer game with such huge environment? <Fwiffo> Yes, of course. It would be possible if you generated the world as you went and stored just the changes the player made to it. The question is, could you make that a fun, completable experience.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- obviously ships in the great war didn't fight on a one-on-one combat. Is there any chance that there will be a StarCon in which you could do massive 2-on-2 or more fights? <Fwiffo> There is a 4-player Melee game being developed right now! (Speak-up if you're out there.) I believe it's called Timewarp.


<_Stilgar> Fwiffo- were the minerals and biologicals on the planets generated in a random fashion? was this also true about the star map? <Fwiffo> The Stars themselves were layed-out to look interesting. 99% of the planetary data was automatically generated, and then we overwrode key planets to aid in supporting the story.


<_Stilgar> <Umgah> Q: Are you still making any money on SC1 or SC2? <Fwiffo> We make a few hundred dollars every 3 months.


<yehaT> A must ask: Which you like most TNG,DS9,Original,B5,Movies? <Fwiffo> I like the arc episodes of Babylon 5 a lot, for perhaps obvious reasons. In truth though, I watch all the rest of them too.


<Inging> <che`z`puf:#StarControl-chat> How is Frungy played? <Fwiffo> With gusto!

<Fwiffo> It's been our great pleasure to be here. Hopefully we can reture after we finish the Japanese game late this year.