Bob's Toybox

User avatar
mharr
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:54 am
Location: UK

Bob's Toybox

Postby mharr » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:48 am

Like any nerd of a certain age, I've been following the development of the decades-late expansions to the Star Control universe(s) with cautious feverish excitement, until today when Video Games Hot Dog dropped the news that Fred and Paul (Legal and ethical owners of that universe) have some legal problems with Stardock (Legal owners of the words 'Star' and 'Control' in that order) that don't sound likely to be amicably resolved.

Stardock now seems to think that not only can they use our aliens, ships and narrative without our permission, but thinks that we cannot make a sequel to The Ur-Quan Masters without their permission -- this is where we got really, really angry.

https://dogarandkazon.squarespace.com/b ... ed-lawyers


I took particular note of the way the Kingdom of Loathing/Frog Fractions team spat the name of Brad Wardell, Stardock CEO, and a quick search here brought up comment about the 'tone at the top' at Stardock. I'm aware that Mr. Wardell is not a fan of Kotaku, but that's not an unusual position and doesn't necessarily mean somebody's gone full Notch. Are there unpleasant things that are known in the industry, and should I be pre-emptively removing my contribution to Star Control: Origins?

It's all very upsetting, a week ago I was really hopeful that everyone would avoid working at cross purposes in good faith, and that each project could act as free marketing for the other.

As a cleanser, here's a cool podcast interview with Fred and Paul from October.
http://game-wisdom.com/podcast/creation-star-control-2

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 10307
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby Mongrel » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:47 pm

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo :(

I haven't been following it quite as closely as you, but SCII is pretty much my favourite vidja game of my youth. The fact that not only have there been no successors (let's forget about SCIII please), but not even any SPIRITUAL successors has always been rather depressing, and I had really hoped that Fred and Paul would someday be able to make a sequel.
Image

User avatar
mharr
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:54 am
Location: UK

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby mharr » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:03 pm

Sorry. None of this feels good. :/

I've been worrying at the twitter, forum and Steam discussions around this like a loose tooth over the week end, and it seems to have completely split the fanbase into warring sides already. Brad's official statements certainly sound like he wants to be friends, I'd like to believe that's more than just careful PR. http://www.littletinyfrogs.com/article/ ... l-and-Fred

Mongrel wrote:not even any SPIRITUAL successors

Mass Effect 2 skimmed the atmosphere.

Also, as Richard Cobbett once pointed out, this evokes a similar atmosphere in a different genre:
Image

User avatar
Mongrel
Posts: 10307
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:28 pm
Location: Canadumb

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby Mongrel » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:19 pm

I'd like to think someone besides Fred and Paul could make a game with the same heart to it, but until I see actual evidence of that, I'm not really prepared to give Brad much benefit of the doubt.

Fred and Paul seemed to be willing to live and let live. Brad seems to want extract profit, or at least to "rule the roost" as it were. I don't trust a guy like that to make any sort of game with genuine heart and fun in it. Leopards don't change their spots that much.

That said, like Fred and Paul, I'd be more than happy to see both games get made.
Image

User avatar
mharr
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:54 am
Location: UK

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby mharr » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:22 pm

Actually, there is a close spiritual successor in the Indie market, Halcyon 6 has the heart of Star Control in a simple 4x engine with early Final Fantasy style rock-paper-scissors combat. The plot is basically Deep Space 9 except the rest of humanity just got chomped by generic Lovecraftian extra-universal threat #27, and the tone matches the art style.

Shodan/Borg Queen being suspiciously chipper:
Image

Ship Commanders:
Image

User avatar
Grath
Posts: 1521
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:34 pm

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby Grath » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:34 pm

mharr wrote:I took particular note of the way the Kingdom of Loathing/Frog Fractions team spat the name of Brad Wardell, Stardock CEO, and a quick search here brought up comment about the 'tone at the top' at Stardock. I'm aware that Mr. Wardell is not a fan of Kotaku, but that's not an unusual position and doesn't necessarily mean somebody's gone full Notch. Are there unpleasant things that are known in the industry, and should I be pre-emptively removing my contribution to Star Control: Origins?

Here's Brad boycotting UPS because they boycotted Fox News, and here's discussion of his Trump-esque book about building a border wall to keep brown people out of your contry.

User avatar
mharr
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:54 am
Location: UK

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby mharr » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:49 pm

Ah. So, Gamergate fellow-traveller with professionally managed public persona then. Yeah, can't see his company culture getting this one right. Oh bollocks.

Update: Eurogamer and RPS have picked this up now, placing it firmly on the SC:O Steam store page for a while. Some of the commenters there have other insights, such as Mr. Wardell being sued for sexual harassment by an ex-employee until his company counter-sued them, strong-arming them into dropping their case. He has since claimed these events as a legal victory and exoneration of his name. Hmm.

User avatar
mharr
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:54 am
Location: UK

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby mharr » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:35 pm

Update II: The Repentance of Patronage

TFB have begun a PR campaign of total information transparency, and Stardock are deleting threads and banning accounts anywhere they have that power. All signs now point to Wardell operating in bad faith from the beginning, while posing as a well meaning fan for as long as possible to extract pre-orders from the faithful. I am now fully convinced that team Fuck This Guy In Particular have the right of it.

Star Control Legal Issues Megathread
https://www.reddit.com/r/starcontrol/co ... megathread

User avatar
Smiler
Imperisaurus Rex
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby Smiler » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:44 pm

Brad Wardell aka "You're allergic to bees? Well I guess it's time to UNLEASH THE BEES!"

User avatar
mharr
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:54 am
Location: UK

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby mharr » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:51 pm

Given that his legal strategy appears to be 'screech and throw frivolous counterclaims until it goes away', I'm thinking the sexual harrassment exoneration he's so proud of was achieved using a similar strategy. It'll be interesting to see how that works against opponents with Skylanders money.

User avatar
Smiler
Imperisaurus Rex
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:27 pm

Re: Bob's Toybox

Postby Smiler » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:58 am

I really doubt anyone from Toys For Bob got anything more than a Christmas bonus for Skylanders.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest