Sun. Oct 2nd, 2022

Directed by Sean Dacanay, edited by Marcus Niehaus. Click here for transcription.

In December 2018, Ars was lucky enough to sit down with Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III – a pair of designers who’ve worked on a ton of great games, but who are probably best known to geeks of a certain age as the creators of the star control series. Paul and Fred (one soon begins to refer to them with a single scrambled word that sounds like “Paulnfred”) were extremely generous with their time, taking box after box of vintage game design documents, piles of carefully folded maps and charts, notebooks full of sketches and UX concepts – a wealth of star control

As with all of our “War Stories” videos, we had to edit a few hours of footage into a 10 to 15 minute video – that seems to be about the limit most people will tolerate when it comes to game design videos on YouTube. And as with all our “War Stories” videos, we had a huge amount of great footage left when we finished.

We used a few minutes of that footage to create a second video entitled ‘Six Degrees of star control.” While we are the genesis of star control, we met many famous and soon to be famous space game designers who often intersect in the late 80s and early 90s, and Paul and Fred worked with many big names. This includes people like starflights Greg Johnson, Dungeons and Dragons artist Erol Otis, and Star Wars concept designer Ian McCaig.

The other few hours of footage seemed doomed to stay in the vault, but not anymore.

The extended interview of kings

Similarly, we’ve published extensive interviews with many of the other designers we’ve talked to, including: Myst’s Rand Miller, Crash Bandicoot’s Andy Gavin, and Homeworlds Rob Cunningham – we are pleased to present our in-depth interview with Paul and Fred. We supercut the interview and all the cool stuff we couldn’t find space for in the shorter video, and it’s great to be able to spend some extra time with the duo.

And of course, now that the nasty lawsuit has been settled, Paul and Fred are working hard on their long-rumored and mysterious Ur-Quan Masters sequel, once tentatively titled Ghosts of the Forerunners and now nameless. Once they have news about that project to share, rest assured we’ll be there to report on it.

By akfire1

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