Star Control sequel

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During the development of Star Control II, the game's creators, Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, inserted numerous unsolved mysteries and even hinted outright at a sequel in the credit sequence (and in the ending, by having The Captain say "That, my children, is an entirely different story" as a response to his grandchildren asking where he went and how he found the Mark II). They did, indeed, intend to create a sequel, however they weren't willing to do so for the same amount of money that Accolade paid them for SC2 (and which left them to work unpaid for six months). So Accolade made an attempt to create a sequel on its own. The result was Star Control 3, a game immediately rejected by a crushing majority of the original Star Control fans as non-canon and utterly lacking quality. Some fans have even elected to create their own sequels, such as TimeWarp, which is intended to be based on plot suggestions from the public.

Another result of Star Control 3 was that Paul and Fred no longer held the Star Control trademark, having sold it to Accolade (later owned by Atari). This — and Toys for Bob's publishers' lack of interest in a sequel — withheld Toys for Bob from actually creating a sequel, though they intend to do so as soon as possible, always hoping that after they finish their current project they will finally be allowed to begin work on a new Star Control game.

Below are the revelations they have made in IRC chats and fan mails about their eventual Star Control sequel.

Plot[edit]

From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:09 <@fOSSiL> So we should refrain from asking too much about the potentially upcoming SC game? (not to devulge too much about the plot, etc.) ;)
23:12 <+PR3> I'd rather not say too much about the plot, except that Fwiffo's general paranoia, greed and lust for fame triggers the initial 'bad event' getting the player moving.
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:26 <@Meep-Eep> < Elerium> Speaking of which, does the guy in the back of the ZFP have any future plans? We all know he doesn't say anything, but I like to think of him as some super genius who sadly doesn't have the ability to speak.
23:28 <+PR3> He got fed up with the other two and has temporarily 'broken up the band'. You will need to get them back together, because as solo artists they suck.
23:28 <+PR3> (I mean the guy in back of the ZFP).
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:30 <@Meep-Eep> < Valaggar> Was there ever a planned "final form" for the Chmmr? I mean, you interrupted the process by speeding it up, and the end result was not what they had planned.
23:30 <@Meep-Eep> In other words: what does "The process has been interrupted" mean. Is there a final stage, or does it just mean only part of the population has merged
23:30 <+PR3> Good idea about the Chmmr. I will ponder upon this and steal your good idea.

Gameplay[edit]

From the 2003 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (fwiffo is Paul Reiche III, wimbli is Fred Ford):
22:32 < fwiffo> Top of my 'would be nice' list would be playing AVI's or other video files at key points in the story (including the end!) [note: refers to Star Control II, not the sequel; however, it is likely that it will be considered for the sequel too]
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:21 <@Meep-Eep> < PONAF_Rider> I'll restructure my previous question (it was a bit vague): Have you thought of how you are going to implement certain gameplay aspects for a future SC2 sequal yet? With this I'm reffering to things like... 2D or 3D gameplay, keep 1 on 1 battles or choose multiple ships as well... and other such things
23:22 <+PR3> We have thought about multiship battles a little (in fact Fred and Chris both implemented versions). The tricky part was targetting as I remember.
23:22 <+PR3> I would love to fly in a large armada against a huge enemy fleet!
23:27 <+tfb-chris> It's certainly compelling to allow epic space battles between large fleets. I expect we'd investigate that option, and see how that gameplay might work.
23:28 <+robot> I think we would like to make planetside much more engaging as well.
23:31 <+tfb-chris> PONAF_Rider: Regarding moving 2d melee into the third dimension, I expect we'd only do that if we could keep the gameplay feeling like star control. Maybe there's a good way, or maybe it's best to use 3d models for the ships, but keep them in a 2d plane.
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
00:18 <+PulsarX> ever considered to make the view follow the ship, when you are flying in the interplanetary space, instead of going from picture to picture?
00:18 <+PR3> Yes. I would like to see that, so long as finding a planet was not a big deal (some kind of radar?)
From an October 2010 interview on the SCDB with Fred Ford:
Lukipela: Speaking of game formats, besides melee the jump between SC and SC II was pretty big. Have you got any thoughts on in what direction you'd like to go when the third part in the octet comes out? RTS? Point'n click adventure? FPS? Something else?
Fred: It's still too early to say, but just choosing between 2D versus 3D is an order of magnitude decision in the amount of work and time. We're leaning to 2D, because we can actually imagine doing that in our spare time with fundamentally just the two of us. We realize that there are a large number of people who would sacrifice large parts of their existence to work on this with us, but we aren't at that place yet -- and we are still employed by Activision and wish to remain so. Genre also is undecided, but if it's 2D that would seem to eliminate, for example, FPS.

Real life aspects[edit]

From a mail by Fred Ford to a Star Control II player:
We are finishing another game for Crystal (Japanese version only) for the next few months, but after that we are seriously considering another epic adventure game with lots of humor. And if we do this, I hope it will live up to all of our expectations.
From a mail by Fred Ford to a Star Control II player:
: Theoretically speaking, if you and Paul wanted to do another Star Control game independant of Accolade, would Accolade have any legal groud to prevent you from doing it? (I really hope NOT!)
I'm afraid the answer is, "Yes they would." We were slowly losing the Mexican standoff with Accolade. They were making sequels we didn't much support and at the same time changing what people thought when they heard the name "Star Control." So Paul and I decided to sell them our half of the rights and when (not if) we were ready to do another epic adventure game, we would just have to start from scratch.
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:05 <@Meep-Eep> And I think we should start with the question which most people here will be most interested in to hear: what are you working on atm?
23:06 <+robot> We're working on a sequel to a game we made before that's not StarControl. Sorry.
23:06 <+PR3> I have also been working on a plot flow for a new SC game, though it is mostly in disorganized paper notes.
23:06 <@Meep-Eep> So what are the prospects for a new SC game?
23:07 <@Meep-Eep> Is it still useful to sign the petition?
23:08 <+PR3> We keep pushing on Activision and Atart (former=employer, latter=trademark holder) to let us do a product. So far we have interest but nothing concrete -- which is pretty much the same for the last few years!
23:08 <+tfb-chris> Like the robot said, thanks so much, everyone, for keeping the Star Control flame alive!
23:08 <+robot> Believe it or not, Activision has expressed an interest. But not having all the rights is still a problem.
23:08 <+Kwanger> I think the petition site might be dead but send me an email in support, if you haven't already: alexness at toysforbob.com
23:08 <@Meep-Eep> Isn't the only right missing the trademark?
23:09 <+PR3> One of the more likely prospects is a download-only product for XBox Arcade.
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:16 <+PR3> It is also hard to assimilate into any sensible plot the trajectory of computer technology, so my story ideas keep trying to circumvent that.
23:18 <@Meep-Eep> < guesst> PR3, what do you mean? You mean your stories are limited by the technology. Say it ain't so
23:19 <+PR3> Technology is cool and I love it. The problem is projecting the capabilities of computation and communication technology out a century -- I keep arriving at telepathy!
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:15 <@Meep-Eep> < guesst> Are you still up on your Sci Fi? What do you think will infuence Star Control's sequel?
23:15 <+PR3> Still reading Jack Vance.
23:19 <@fOSSiL> <Katana`7> Someone tell PR3 to read Charles Stross
From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:37 <+robot> I think you will see an SC3 someday. Paul and I have every intention of continuing our almost 19 year collaboration and we're still excited about SC.
From an August 2010 posting on the SCDB by Fred Ford:
On a side note, I want to mention that I've started doing some unspecified work away from the office after some early and continuing conversations with Paul. Just saying . . . and it's way early yet . . . and it's just me . . . so, yeah.
From an October 2010 interview on the SCDB with Fred Ford:
Lukipela: There's been some mention of a mysterious Fred&Paul side project on the forums. Would you care to shed any light on that?
Fred: I've left some pretty broad hints in the previous answers. I'm working, in a hobbyist sort of way, at home on a foundation for myself. Because I'm not really a big fan of working on something without an application, I can think of one obvious application on which I can work that resolves that problem. The pace is currently and understandably slow, and until I get further and until Paul has had some chance to think about things, progress will be agonizing to some who lack patience.