Background information

In the beginning

In the year 1992, Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford created the game Star Control II. The players loved it. And Accolade, the publisher, realised that there was more money to be made, and ordered a sequel.
But Paul and Fred weren't ready for that. They had just spent the last six months working long hours without pay after the project ran late, because they didn't want to compromise on their vision. And for the sequel, Accolade wanted them to do the same amount of work for the same pay.
So Star Control 3 was created by a different team, and while the result wasn't all bad, to those who played Star Control II it was a disappointment.

The fans never forgot Star Control II, and a true cult following began to form. There have been fan-made Star Control games, Star Control screen savers, Star Control fan fiction, Star Control remixes, Star Control role playing games, Star Control paintings, even a project to make a Star Control movie (it's still ongoing), everything a rabid fanboy could think of. But also the mainstream gamers hadn't forgotten about Star Control II...

Ten years went by since Star Control II was first released. While Paul and Fred — now together known as Toys for Bob — would have liked to return to the Star Control universe, reality had always made that science fiction.
They had now however regained all the rights to the game except for the name itself, and in the summer of 2002, as a gift to the fans, they released the Star Control II source code as Open Source.
From the fans arose a team that set out to adapt this code for modern computers and for other languages. It didn't take long for word of mouth to reach the players, all over the globe. They weren't just the people who fondly remembered playing the game ten years earlier, but also a new generation, gamers who were prepared to look beyond the dated exterior.
Since then, the game — now known by the sub-title of the original, The Ur-Quan Masters — has been downloaded hundred thousands of times [1], by Windows, Linux, and Mac users alike. And the fan base is larger than ever.

And now, a new chapter in the history of Star Control may be in the making.


[1] The exact number is hard to estimate. For the numbers for SourceForge, the official download site, you'd have to add the counts for the installers (for Windows), the source files (for those who compile from source), and the MacOS .dmg files, for all the releases (the other files go with those files). Then there are third party sites that distribute the game; download.com comes at hundred thousand all on its own. Linux distributions also usually have their own packages. And then there are those people who don't download at all, but get the game from DVDs that came with magazines.



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