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New Star Control to include series creators' input, alternate timeline

Developer and publisher Stardock's in-development Star Control title is getting input from the original series' creators, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell told Ars Technica.

Series designers Fred Ford and Paul Reiche, who are currently working at Toys for Bob on the Skylanders franchise, have been consulted for the project, Wardell said. Although they can't be part of development in an official capacity because of their affiliation with Activision, Stardock's current title is being created with "great respect" for Ford and Reiche's material.

"I talked to them quite a bit about what level of involvement they would like to have in the new game," he said. "The main issue is that Toys for Bob is owned by Activision now and as a result they cannot be officially involved at present."

According to Wardell, the new Star Control will feature both single and multiplayer modes for ship-to-ship combat, and while the script will borrow the framework of that of Star Control 2's, it won't touch the storyline. The game will mirror the tone of the first two Star Control games and instead feature an alternate timeline that splits off from the original games.

"Morally, we just didn't feel it would be right to try to impose our vision onto Paul and Fred's sci-fi universe," Wardell said, noting the game will have no connection to Star Control 3.

The new game will lean towards being an adventure game, rather than a 4X-style empire-building strategy game, Wardell said. The title is also in development with a team comprised of veterans from Big Huge Games and Firaxis as well as longtime Stardock staff members.

"In our minds, Star Control is more of an adventure game," Wardell said. "The new game is definitely coming from the same mold as Star Control 2. In terms of design, I don't think our 4X development really comes into play since we don't see Star Control as 4X. But we are very familiar with space-based game development and we've assembled a team of Star Control fanatics to ensure that we stay true to the series."

Wardell said Stardock doesn't "expect to even consider what a release date is until next year [2015]." Currently Stardock plans to launch the title for Windows PC as well as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam machines and any platform supported by the studio's Nitrous engine.